Monday, July 28, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


New engineering options draw attention
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

DURING times when engineering institutes have “mushroomed” in the entire northern region, the Panjab University Institute of Engineering and Technology has attempted a fresh innovation with its focus on new technologies taking an alternate route from the traditional fields of civil, mechanical, electrical, electronics and metallurgical engineering. Telecommunication, chip design, software development and biotechnology are the areas of “future”, promising good career opportunities at the national as well as the international levels.

The courses for the university degree are telecommunication and information technology, micro-electronics, bio-technology and software engineering. Prof B.S.Sohi, director, said the courses had settled down well in the minds of students as was evident from the greater rush this year.

Even the industry and educational institutes have responded positively to the innovative engineering courses in the university. Bharti Telecommunication has come forward to establish the Bharti Chair in Telecommunications. The university has signed an MoU with the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, that allows the institute to collaborate in research and development, share expertise and infrastructure. The campus of the UIET is still under construction so the department is currently working from the Aruna Ranjit Chandra Hall. The regular on-campus building of the institute is to be constructed on eight-acre area, which is likely to be completed within one year. Great care has been taken in planning out the laboratories. One is surely impressed to see over 100 computers in two laboratories which have the latest systems. Equally equipped are the labs of electrical and electronic engineering besides the biotechnology gadgets.

The department has initially made use of teachers from different science departments on the campus. Recruitments are under consideration for the remaining posts in the department. Filling the teaching posts has not been an easy job, keeping in mind the fact that the institute has started on a self-financing basis.

The department offers three free seats (tuition fee exempted) to the toppers, one each for male, female and SC/ST categories. In the first year, the free seats are given to the toppers of these categories in the entrance test and the subsequent year the free seats will be offered to the toppers based on the degree results.

Easier student access

Panjab University has decided to increase the timing for visitors’ passes being made for students during their visit to the Administrative Block on the campus.

Students complain that they were not given the passes after 12.30 p.m. before lunch and after about 3.30 p.m. in the post-lunch session. Students who come even from far off places like Ferozepore and Hoshiarpur face problems in getting their work completed within a day.

The university has sent a circular saying “in view of the inconvenience being faced by the students and their parents coming for making their enquiry in PU’s Administrative offices, it has been decided to allow the visitors from 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. on working days”.

Entry passes will be issued at the university’s main enquiry counter. “Concerned officials are requested to ensure that the enquiries are properly attended to,” an official press note said.

Students unhappy with fee

Students on the campus and local colleges are upset because the UT Administration has not reverted its decision of fee hike announced recently. Students were expecting an announcement as the Punjab Government has announced a complete rollback on its proposed hike.

The fee proposed for colleges of Punjab was much higher than the one proposed for the local colleges, however, students feel that still they were on a higher side.

Saurabh Joshi, secretary of the local unit of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, said the university was having a 10 per cent hike in the fee each year since 1999 so there was no point in announcing such a massive hike suddenly. He said dharnas staged earlier could continue once again.

Malwinder Singh Kang, president of the Panjab University Students Union, said the university Senate decision of not agreeing to the proposed hike had been upheld by the Punjab Government and the same was expected from the UT Administration, otherwise, students will have to take up the issue with the authorities through protests.

Dinesh Kumar, a student of BA-I, said he was a fresher and the hike had been done for the freshers only who were not organised on any platform. The onus now lay with the seniors to take up the issue with the authorities on their behalf and surely on behalf of the future students.

Dr R.P.S. Josh, a fellow of the university senate, said the Administration should apply the logic of the Punjab Government as was done when the hike was announced and later withdrawn. The Syndicate has asked the UT to look into its decision once again and the DPI (Colleges) has assured that the matter would be discussed at the higher levels of before a formal announcement.


The following have been elected office-bearers of the Panjab University Field Workers Union: president — Mr Hari Singh; general secretary— Mr Jaspal Singh; senior vice-president — Mr Ram Raj Sharma; vice-president — Mr Surmukh Singh; secretary — Mr Ram Lout Yadav; and finance secretary — Mr Nanak Chand.



Mathematics intricate yet simple

MATHEMATICS is all about concept formation and then the practice. Whether it is number theory, geometry or algebra, if one doesn't have the basics clear rest doesn't matter. After all how can you know about "plane" when you don't know what is "point"?

How many times have we advised our children and students to concentrate because if they do not then they will never be able to grasps higher mathematics? It is this particular attribute that is required in a teacher of mathematics other than the obvious knowledge of the subject. It is all about how interesting can one make the subject for one's students.

Teaching of mathematics to students who do not have a very strong background in Mathematics is all the more challenging. This experience becomes extremely rewarding when these students begin enjoying the journey, which leads to mastering the concepts.

So we need to do identify student's learning style preference and considering them design our lectures and teaching. But of course we cannot make changes for every student. What we can do is plan our teaching in accordance to their age. The class of small children should be activity oriented. Simple concepts like numbers could be taught to them using various attractive items like ball, colorful pencils etc. While teaching geometry doesn't depend upon child's imagination rather use models. Small models of triangles, sphere, cone etc are much more practical and attractive to children than their simple drawings on the black board, in two dimensions.

When teaching numbers to children then give them examples from real life than books. Give them small activities like checking the number of the bus as it arrives or looking at sizes when buying shoes and clothes. Such simple activities draw them to mathematics they realize the very fundamental bases of mathematics. They see for themselves how they can employ it to their everyday life.

At later stage we can make mathematics interesting by introducing the students to the famous paradoxes, magic squares, mathematicians etc. the interested students could be given the tasks of searching for the origin of mathematical terms like pi(Ë) or googol. One could also organize a Mathematics Club that could conduct various competitions or activities and work towards building up of interest and trust for the subject. It is the attention paid the little details that we can make mathematics an interesting and loved subject among the students.

Dr (Mrs) Madhu Chitkara, ex-senior lecturer, Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36-B & Best Teacher State awardee, 1987



Swami Ram Tirath Public High School, SAS NAGAR
Focus here is on extra-curricular activities
Tribune News Service

THE oldest school in Mohali is the Swami Ram Tirath Public High School. Affiliated to CBSE, the school was established in 1979 founded in the memory of Swami Ram Tirtha, one of the great saints of modern India. Swami Ram Tirath was known all over the world for his teachings of oneness of mankind and regard for all other religions of the world. Among the other prominent educational institutions that Mohali can boast of Swami Ram Tirath Public School occupies a special place of pride.

The school is governed by an enlightened management, consistency of intellectuals, philosophy and bureacaurats. Hans Raj Sharma, freedom fighter and former finance minister of Punjab, is the president of the governing body. He has always been busy and dedicated to keep aloft school’s name in every field.

The school spread over 4 acres of land in the heart of the township in Phase IV is a 25 years old co-educational institution and runs classes from pre nursery to class X. The school aims to impart education based on modern techniques and latest facilities including computers and is hoping to start Class XI and Class XII in arts and commerce in the coming years.

Special importance is given to extra curricular activities like quizzes, essays, debates, creative writing, elocution and poem recitation competitions are held on a regular basis. To foster the spirit of healthy mind, training is imparted in the field of sports. The school's playground is a huge spread of green well maintained football field. The students are constantly encouraged to participate in workshops, inter house and inter school competitions.

Students also make optimum use of the treasure house of knowledge, well stacked library which banks five thousand books including periodical, magazines and newspaper. It has well equipped science laboratory comprising of three sections namely biology, chemistry and physics and a high tech computer lab. The school holds regular music classes to train young artists. The environment in the kindergarten classes is colourful and motivating. They have a well equipped activity room, coloured furniture and colourfully decorated walls with bright charts and paintings.

Above all, discipline and character building are the top priorities of the school. The school is proud of its happy team of highly qualified and experienced staff. The school doesn’t believe in its motto which is - “ inspire and achieve”.



Tuitions are waste of time and money

On tuitions:
I am against tuitions. It is wastage of time and money. Travelling time is extra. If students study all that is taught to them at school regularly, revising it at home, there is no need for tuitions. In fact, both teachers and students should ensure that the students do not feel the need for tuitions at all.

On future plans:
We are wanting to increase the strength of the school so that we can upgrade it to 10+2 level. We have also started special classes to get good results. We are thinking of introducing some new games in school and send our children to state and national level events.

On achievements of the school:
We have organised special classes for extra- curricular activities like painting, music both instrumental and vocal and dance. Moreover from this session we have started English speaking classes from II class onwards. In sports, we are focusing on Cricket and football. Hockey has been our forte for many years.

On computerisation of education:
Computerisation of education is a positive trend but nothing can take the place of classroom teaching. What a teacher can teach a student with his words, speech and gesture, a computer should be used as tools but should not be allowed to overtake teachers.

On reforms in education:
Stress is laid on quality education, over all development of the child and to carve out good and responsible human beings. Good education aims at discovering and developing the sterling qualities in pupils and to inspire them to enrich their values by imbibing ethical values by developing in them a dispense of fellowship and understanding.



Indian band that rocks the world
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
From Delhi to Edinburgh, Mrigya has travelled a long way. Creating music that appeals to sensibilities irrespective of the geographical boundaries, this nine-member Indian band has many credits to show. It created history at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, UK, 2001, by becoming the first Indian band to get a four-star rating in the Scotsman, Scotland’s leading daily. It also brought home glory by winning the “The Herald Angel Award” presented by The Herald for excellence in music, dance and theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year.

After hitting the international scene with music that is a unique blend of the blues, funk, folk, Latino, jazz and Hindustani classical, Mrigya, that stands second only to the famous Euphoria, is now all set to storm New Zealand with its musical finesse. In the city today on a private visit, Sachin Gupta, lead guitarist of the band, talked Chandigarh Tribune about Mrigya and described it as an entity that emerged from music and ended with it.

“It was a long journey for all of us. The nine-member band has six instrumentalists and three vocalists, who converged after years of detouring in the world of music. Some of us came from the already established Parikrama. As we got together, we realised that our music could create a universal impact. It had that kind of soulful touch. We began with blending jazz and rock with Hindustani classical music and shared the results with Indians and foreigners. Our music appealed to everyone alike.”

Some time ago, Mrigya played for communal harmony in Ahmedabad when it was reeling under communal violence. Sachin, who is already making jingles for some UK agencies said: “We played for Sehmat, a group dedicated to communal harmony in Ahmedabad. We have often played for a cause and used music of different genre to make appeals for peace. “No wonder Mrigya bagged the 2002 “Tap Water Award” given by the ‘Out of The Blue Trust’ for music that promotes communal harmony.

Having performed at the Dubai Jazz Festival with the world’s leading Jazz bands at Jazz Majlis, 2002, Mrigya believes in bonding through music. As Sachin said: “We all came from different backgrounds and found musical diversity to be our greatest strength. Just as diversity breeds cohesion within our band, we wish our music breeds peace internationally. We have performed with Sting and many other leading musicians of the world. Our message, every time, has been peace.”

Mrigya has released an album on the theme of universal brotherhood. Titled ‘Vasudev Kutumbakam’, the album unleashes a sound that cuts across cultural divides. Sachin says: “Our music reflects aspirations of people, notwithstanding cultures and nationalities. Crossover Music is what we have perfected with years of research and dedication. It is earthy, soul-lifting, yet sensuous.”

Mrigya has Sharat Chandra Srivastava on violin, Gyan Singh on tabla, Rajat Kakkar on drums, Indraneel Hariharan on bass, Sachin Kapoor on keyboards, Rajshree for Hindustani vocal, Sachin Gupta on guitar, Tara Baswani for jazz vocal and Ghulam Qadar, the qawwal.



Shaheedan di Virasat” released
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 27
At a function organised by the Qaumi Virsa Kender, “Shaheedan Di Virasat”, a Punjabi translation of “Yash Ki Dhrohar”, was released in Sector 46 here today.

The book written by Bhagwan Dass Mahaur and Sadashiv Ray Malkapurkar, who were members of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army, has been translated by Sita Ram Bansal.

It provides an insight into the life and works of members of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army who revolted against the British.

The book gives sketches of legendary revolutionaries like Ram Prasad Bismil, Shiv Verma, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Bhagat Singh, Narayan Khare and Chandar Shekhar Azad.


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