Wednesday, April 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘PU chairs waste of talent’
Professors advocate merger with depts

Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
Will Panjab University merge the languages chairs with the teaching departments concerned? The answer is no, at least for the moment. However, the issue is not dead; it may be raised in the Senate.

There are strong reasons to seek the merger, one of which is that the coveted chairs are making a “nondescript” contribution to academics and wasting important manpower and already scarce funds on maintaining “non-contributing staff”.

The issue has been rejected by the Syndicate, but may feature in the Senate and generate a “good debate”. The issue has sparked off a debate, following a resolution in the Syndicate by Prof Satya P. Gautam and Dr Deepak Manmohan. Dr Deepak Manmohan is himself Director of Sheikh Baba Farid Chair.

The resolution says: “Various chairs such as Sheikh Baba Farid Chair, Guru Ravi Dass Chair, Guru Nanak Chair and Bhai Veer Singh Chair be merged with the respective basic teaching departments for economy and efficient use of human resources, besides other budgetary provisions with these chairs”.

The explanatory note says that several chairs were established in the university at different times to promote research in fields related to the persons in whose name these were established. However, a review of the functioning of these chairs showed that, had these chairs functioned as integral parts of the mainstream departments, the incumbents could have been saved from functioning in isolation.

Teachers, in a situation of functioning with the departments, would be in a better position to devote their talents to research and teaching. Besides, the secretaries and the other staff attached to these chairs would be available for optimal utilisation. The existing arrangements, where many chairs remained vacant for years, have put strain on the already weak financial resources of the university.

Dr Deepak Manmohan justified his demand for the merger and said: “The chairs have independent libraries that are of no use to university students. There is a negligible presence of research scholars in these chairs, which renders the reason for their establishment null and void.”

Dr Deepak recently contributed 3,500-odd books to the chair library. His letter to the Vice-Chancellor read: “I am willing to surrender these positions (peon and clerks) for the provision of a library assistant. Stenographer clerks have no utility when attached with any chair.”

Prof Charanjit Chawla was, perhaps, the only Syndic who reasoned for the merger in the Syndicate. He said, matter should be put in a broader and correct perspective.



Pvt schools want to be part of SIE workshops
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 29
Staff of private schools of the city want to attend workshops and orientation programmes conducted by the State Institute of Education (SIE), the coordinating body between the schools and the NCERT. About 100 private schools, catering to more than a lakh students, being debarred from attending such programmes.

While the SIE at Sector 32 has organised a series of orientation programmes, workshops and seminars for teachers of government schools the Private Schools Association, Chandigarh, is making effort to get included in the list.

“Time and again we have been approaching the SIE and the Education Department, UT Administration, to include us in their programmes but nothing has been done so this time we are approaching the NCERT directly,” Mr D.S. Bedi, president of the association and Principal of Shivalik Public School, Sector 41, said. “After all private schools are also generating revenues for the Administration so I fail to understand why we should be debarred from attending such workshops,” he added.

A majority of private school principals feel the same. “Education is education in whatever form it has been offered,” Mr Charles Sammuel, Principal of Mount Carmel School, Sector 47, said. “Teachers need to constantly update their knowledge in order to disseminate quality education to students and in that regard we would be benefited by such workshops,” he added.

Dr Saroj Saini, Director of the SIE, said the decision to include private school teachers rested with the Chandigarh Administration. “We just act as a coordinating body between the Education Department and the NCERT,” said Dr Saini, adding that, they had intimated the Director Public Instructions (Schools) regarding the programme.

“There is no such guideline by the NCERT which says private schools can’t by included in our activities but till date the Administration has not made any move to include them in the list”, a source said on condition of anonymity. “Once we inform the DPI about our programmes, the message is circulated in government and aided-schools,” the source added. The DPI (Schools) was not available for comments.

Meanwhile, the SIE has chalked out a detailed programme for April and May. Towards the end of this month, the institute will organise workshops for Hindi teachers and a paper-reading contest to celebrate the birth anniversary of Dr B.R. Ambedkar. The highlight of this month will be the National Talent Search Examination to be held on May 11.


Workshop focuses on water conservation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
Dwindling water resources and the possible measures for water conservation were highlighted at a workshop on “Water — the Elixir of Life” and “vermicomposting and Vermiculture” organised by Panjab University in collaboration with the Punjab State Council of Science and Technology at the Department of Botany here today.

Prof K.P. Singh of the Department of Geology, highlighted the use of rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation and growing crops with less water requirement for water conservation.

Prof A.S. Ahluwalia introduced the participants to the theme of the workshop. Ms Jasmine from the Biotechnology Department used coloured visuals to illustrate different aspects of vermiculture. Earlier, Prof S.P. Khullar, convener of the workshop, welcomed the guests.



Lecture on rly station design
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
A presentation on the complex urban design issues involved in the planning of the Kashmiri Gate station of the Delhi metro rail network were highlighted by Mr Dinesh Sareen, an architect, at a lecture delivered at the Chandigarh College of Architecture here today.

Mr Sareen said the station was designed as not merely a building for transportation, but a destination for retail and entertainment — a new place for people to be in.

In other words, he said the station would really be a public building, recreating the railway stations of the past, where it was a building for the people, going beyond just the technical requirements. This was in keeping with the worldwide approach to station planning, he added.


Declamation contest held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 29
The Rotary Club, Chandigarh Central, and Interact Club, New Public School, Sector 18, organised an inter-school declamation contest at the Art Gallery auditorium, Sector 10.

About 14 schools of the city participated.

Rohit Malhotra of St. Stephen’s School was declared the winner of the contest. Dhaarana Tangari of St. Kabir Public School got the second position. Three participants shared the third prize, which were Sahiba Sandhu from New Public School, Rahat Suil Dhir from Manav Mangal School and Prasahant Gulati from St. Stephen’s School.


PU compartment results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
Panjab University has declared the compartment results of BA III (English) conducted on April 1, a press note said here today.

The copies of the result gazette will be available at the enquiry counter on all working days. No telephonic enquiry will be entertained.


YPS students put up thematic show
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, April 29
A thematic show put up by students of Yadavindra Public school (YPS) here today was a huge success. Students of Classes I to III took part in the event, highlighting a particular theme and gave an impressive performance. The themes selected by students of Classes I, II and III were light, water and environment respectively.

Mrs Anita Kashyap, a senior teacher of the school, said in a press note that thematics were a regular feature of the school curriculum in the junior classes. Thematics were the best example of an integrated approach to learning where there was no compartmentalisation of subjects and learning was made fun.




When an object changes its position or moves from one place to another when a force is acted upon it, the object is said to be in motion.

Everything in the world is said to be in motion. We can see some forms of motion, such as a person walking around or a car moving.

The Earth itself is a moving object, revolving around the sun, and moving around the universe together with other celestial bodies of the solar system.

However, some objects that seem to be still, such as buildings or stones, contain tiny particles called atoms, which are in a constant state of motion. They move minutely, or vibrate within a limited sphere.

The force or effect produced by such vibrations is too small and insignificant vis-a-vs the object, and hence no effect on the object in relation to its position.

All motion requires force to start, to change speed or direction, or to bring it to rest.

When a person moves, energy produced by the body is used to bring it into motion. Same is the case with other living organisms.

In machines, such as cars or aircraft, fuel or electricity is used to produce the power that helps it move or change speed. Greater the power or force applied to an object, greater will be the effect on its motion.

Fast Action : A leopard in motion. It is the fastest moving land animal.


How & Why

Formula : Speed S = D / T

where : S is Speed, D is Distance, and T is Time

Speed is measured in meters per second (m / s), while distance is measured in metes (m) and time is measured in seconds (s).

Example: If a car travels 200 meters in 25 seconds, then what is its speed ?

S = D / T

= 200 / 25

= 8 m/s

Perpetual Motion

Perpetual Motion is nonstop motion which needs no energy to keep going. In theory, it could be used to run machines without fuel or other sources of energy.

People have tried to build machines which can run perpetually, but so far they have been unsuccessful.

Machines cannot run perpetualy because, according to principles of science, they always convert some of their energy of motion into other forms of energy, such as heat, while doing work.


Speed, Velocity & Acceleration

Speed and velocity and acceleration are terms used to describe motion.

Speed is the rate at which an objects moves from one place to another, or the distance travelled in relation to the time taken. It is a scalar quantity, meaning that it describes the distance and time, but not the direction.

Velocity is a vector quantity, implying that describes the time, distance as well as the direction of a moving body. For example, if a car moves at a constant speed in a along a straight road, its velocity is constant. If it travels at a constant speed along a winding road, its velocity changes whenever it turns.

Acceleration is the rate at which velocity changes. Velocity describes the speed and direction of motion.

When a car driver presses down the gas pedal of his vehicle, it moves with increasing speed — it is said to be accelerating. Similarly, when the foot is removed from the gas pedal, the ca slows down and is said to be deaccelerating.

In this picture, the speed and velocity of the boat is constant, but the car’s velocity is changing even if its speed is constant.



Plan on dairy complex fails
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 29
With the municipal council’s proposal for setting up a dairy complex near Bhagwanpura village having been shot down by a recent High Court judgement, the stray cattle menace is here to stay.

The municipal council had proposed to acquire 55-acre of village common land from Bhagwanpura panchayat near here for setting up a dairy complex. However, a recent ruling of a three-member Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, regarding inclusion of zumla mustarka malkan land in shamlat deh, has thwarted the MC’s plans. The court had ruled that the land reserved for common purposes, whether utilised or not, stood vested in the gram panchayats.

The municipal council will now have to undertake the exercise of finding another alternate site for setting up the dairy complex. The SDMs of Panchkula and Kalka have now been asked by the district administration to find an alternate site for the purpose. Dairy farming being an important avocation, stray cattle is found in abundance, especially in sectors adjacent to villages and slum and labour colonies. Panchkula is estimated to have about 240 dairy farms and over 1,500 cattle heads, including Mansa Devi Complex and the 13 villages of this town. Sources in the MC concede that of the 1500 cattle heads, at least 500 have been abandoned by owners. The Department of Urban Development, Haryana has proposed an amendment in the Haryana Municipal Act and Municipal Account Code in January, 2002, for allowing private contractors to round- up stray cattle in 13 cities/ towns of the state. At present, these Acts do not have provision for rounding of cattle by private contractors.

The issue of amending the above mentioned Acts came up only after objections were raised by the office of Director, Urban Development, over a contract given to a private party by the Panchkula Municipal Council in 2001. Before the municipal council was constituted, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) had given contract for rounding up of stray animals in the township. However, later the MC was given special permission by the department for privatisation of rounding of stray animals.

But this has failed to have the desired results, especially in Sectors 4, 12, 12-A, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21 and Mansa Devi Complex, because of their proximity to the villages or slum/ labour colonies, where the dairies are located. Though the contractor has been allowed to impose fines (Rs 500 for buffalo, Rs 400 for cow and Rs 300 for other animals) on the owners , it has hardly proved a deterrent.


HC quashes cable operator’s complaint
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
Allowing a petition filed by Star India Private Limited, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today quashed a complaint filed by a Panchkula-based cable operator Krishna Communications, alleging cheating and forgery.

In a ruling, Mr Justice Amar Dutt also directed the quashing of all proceedings arising out of the complaint, including the summoning orders issued against Star India on October 23 last year.

In its complaint, Krishna Communications had earlier alleged that even though they had paid Rs 57,000, the “channels had not been made available to them”. After hearing the arguments in the case, Mr Justice Dutt ruled: “The basic dispute, gazed from the pleadings, is the failure of the petitioner to activate the decoders which seems to be a result of some misunderstanding....”

The Judge concluded: “The petition is allowed and the complaint under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code pending before Panchkula’s Judicial Magistrate is quashed.”

Petition dismissed

A petition filed by an advocate challenging the elections of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association was today dismissed as withdrawn by a Division Bench of the High Court.

In his petition, the advocate had alleged bogus voting and other malpractices. The elections, it may be recalled, were held on April 25. Mr Anmol Rattan Singh Sidhu was declared president.


Conquering depression
Confide in parents, friends if you are low
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

HIS wildly thumping heart hammered against his chest as the under-grad sank into a chair in his Sector 35 residence a day before the declaration of results. No, he was not sure of his defeat, but could not wait that long to see the outcome.

Restlessness is there as long as anxiety. He was aware of the fact. If someone was to tell him right there and then that he had flunked, Raghu would gave reconciled almost immediately. But this uneasiness was too much for him to cope up with.

Dad had high expectations. Wanted him to become "something in life". Like is elder brother. An engineer with an MBA degree. Mom too wanted to brag about her son's climb up the social ladder of success in her kitty party.

Ever since her friend Mrs Sharma's little one had flown to Switzerland for his hotel management course, she too wanted Raghu to go abroad. A son studying across the seven seas was prestigious. Raghu was aware of all this. But wasn't exactly thinking of it. Right now, he was feeling helpless, downright helpless. "What should I do?" was the question he kept on asking.

Apprehensive and exhausted, Raghu pulled his dusty hair with agitated hands before clenching his fingers. Rubbing hard his eyes to fight the darkness all around, he pushed back the chair to pace the room, alone. Suddenly, he realised it was not worth it. All the anxiety… apprehension. Life was not worth living. His won existence had no meaning.

About the other world, he was not thinking. His parents' plight after his final exit was the last thing on his mind as he swallowed pills, and pills, of a pain killer before going off to sleep. Luckily, he woke up after a few hours. By that time, his parents were home, and the fit of anxiety had left ceremoniously. He joined them for dinner, talked about everything except the incident. Next morning he saw his name in the list of successful candidates. Had passed in first division with "poor marks" just in economics.

Today, eight years after the incident, Raghu is working with a multinational organisation. No, he didn't go abroad for higher studies, but landed in the city six months back after attending a conference in Singapore. He has an affectionate wife and a daughter he has dinner with whenever he is not out on tour.

Reposing on a comfortable chair in his office, Raghu talks about the day when the pain of living was more than that of dying. "The situation wouldn't have been so bad if I had parents or friends around me at that moment," he asserts.

Well guys and gals, if you have friends suffering from depression, do something to help them out, lest they find themselves in the same situation Raghu was in.

First of all, take your pal seriously. A suicidal threat, even if said jokingly, should always be taken gravely. It is wrong to assume people who talk about suicide seldom commit. Your friend may be dropping a hint when he says, "I wish I were dead". Another thing. Do not hesitate in asking your friend about his feelings. Questioning won't plant the idea in his mind.

If you suspect a friend of contemplating suicide, tell a responsible adult, someone who'll listen and take action. In case he is not concerned, go to another. Keep going until you find someone who takes you seriously. Remember, this is an act of true friendship.

Lastly. Offer help. Listen carefully and don't judge. Reassure your friend of help. Suicidal thoughts are temporary, tell him. Offer to go with him to his parents or doctor. Go ahead, save a life, kids.


Doctor speaks
Strengthen family ties

THE recent upsurge in the suicide cases is causing utmost despair and tension in the minds of the people in and around the city. The cause may vary from case to case, but the trend highlights the stress being faced by the present generation and the web in which they are trapped.

The suicides by school children after their failure in examinations, or by the slum dwellers, by the broken hearts, or by any other individual, due to one reason or the other show to some extent the breakdown of the social support system, besides the widening of the gap between the rich and the poor.

The suicides in Chandigarh can be categorised as anomic and egoistic rather than altruistic in nature. They point towards the loosening of family integration, besides religion and community ties, leaving the individuals to fend for themselves, resulting in more suicides.

Family, like religious groups, is powerful counter to suicides. The institution of family needs to be strengthened. The parents need to realise their responsibilities.

— Dr Ranjay Vardhan is lecturer of sociology.


Don’t take suicide threats lightly

IF you think youngsters attempt suicide to prove something, you are wrong. Some do swallow pills to emotionally blackmail the parents, but all do not. Attempt to take one's own life is certainly a cry for help which should never be ignored. It is a warning that something is terribly wrong. You must always take the attempt seriously. Here are some other myths.

  • People who talk about suicide do not really commit. Wrong again. People tend to drop hints before taking the extreme step. Do not ignore suicide threats, please. Statements like "you'll be sorry when I'm dead," may indicate serious suicidal feelings.
  • Only crazy kids try to themselves. False. Victims in majority of cases are not psychotic or insane. They are simply upset, grief-stricken, depressed or despairing. Extreme distress and emotional pain are not necessarily signs of mental illness.
  • Nothing can stop a person determined to kill himself. Sorry guys. You are wrong. Even severely depressed can be treated. They have mixed feelings about death, and life. They waver until the very last moment between desire to live and need to die. So many do not wish to make the final exit, they want the pain to end. The impulse does not last forever.
  • People wavering between life and death are unwilling to seek help. Nope. Studies have proved beyond doubt that at least 50 percent of the victims try to seek help before plunging in the river of death.
  • Talking about suicide may give someone the idea. Wrong, absolutely wrong. You do not give ideas to people by talking about suicide. Rather, the opposite is true. Open discussion may actually help the depressed. 


Killing facts
Hopelessness is the fatal factor

INCREDIBLE, but true. The frequency of attempted suicides is 20 times higher than actual suicides. Three times more women than men attempt suicide. Three times more men succeed. Men use violent methods. Women are likely to take an overdose of medicines. Over 6,000 people in the USA use handguns to kill themselves each year.

Although considered a crime in most countries, it was acceptable in the past. Hara-kiri in Japan was a method of avoiding dishonour. In India, widows were considered deified by burning themselves on their husband's funeral pyre.

Suicides have been recorded in history since the early Middle Ages with criminal and social penalties for those attempting it. Until the Reformation, suicides were condemned by the Church and the state. It’s hard to believe, but until 1823, those committing suicides were denied burial on consecrated ground. Infact, they were buried at night, without a service, at a crossroads and with a stake through the heart. Their possessions were confiscated by the state.

Remember, suicide is related to mental illness. About 60 to 80 per cent of suicides are committed in a state of depression and physical illness, besides financial problems and personal disputes. People are likely to commit suicide following a separation, divorce, or a prior suicide attempt. They will take the step if they are unemployed, if the means to commit suicide are available, if there is a family history of suicide, mental disturbance or violence. The likelihood is more if the "victim" has been subjected to emotional, physical or sexual abuse. Hopelessness is considered the greatest motivating factor. That’s all folks.


Tip Top
See the doctor, now

HEY kids, do not sign your own death warrants. If you feel you are suffering from depression and are inclined towards suicide, please see your doctor, now.

Remember, a combination of anti-depressants and psychotherapy can do wonders. Just go through the symptoms of major depression. If you are suffering from four or more symptoms, if nothing can make them go away, and if they have lasted for over two weeks, it is time for you to save your soul.

A persistent sad or "empty" mood is the first sign of depression. Then comes the feeling of hopeless, helplessness, worthlessness, pessimism, even guilt. Also see if you are feeling fatigued or have lost interest in ordinary activities. Disturbances in eating and sleeping patterns are also indicators of depression. Make sure you are not suffering from irritability, increased crying, anxiety and panic attacks.

Some face difficulty in concentrating, remembering thing or in taking decisions. They think of suicide, chalk out the plans, even make attempts. This is not all. Sometimes body pains do not respond to treatment.


Look out for those signs

THE journey out of this world on the wagon of suicide is long and tedious. The road cuts across hope and despair before reaching the unknown destination. Exhausted of cutting along the sharp curves of life, the travelers do complain. Before taking the extreme step, they drop hints. Look out for warning signs to know if your friend is also travelling on the highway of death. See if he constantly talks, reads, or writes about suicide or death.

You know he needs help if he keeps on saying things like, "I'm going to kill myself", "I wish I were dead", or "I shouldn't have been born in the very first place". Be cautious if he is visiting or calling friends to say goodbye. Is sending e-mails after taking out names from the recycle bin of his memory.

Also see if he is giving things away, is returning the borrowed items, or is organising and cleaning the bedroom "for the last time". Notice if he is obsessed with death, violence, guns or knives. Recall if he ever had suicidal thoughts or tried to end his life. Inform his parents immediately or take him to the doctor if he is indulging in self-destructive behaviour like self-cutting. Just take care. Your friend needs you.


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