Friday, September 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Hunt for 15 colleges with potential for excellence
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Punjab University has begun a search for colleges with potential for excellence. The list has been sought by the University Grants Commission for the selection of colleges to be considered among the 100 colleges from all over the country as colleges with potential for excellence. The grant sanctioned to a college could be as high as Rs 1 crore.

Reliable sources in the university administration said a search committee would draw a list of at least 12 colleges which will be forwarded to the commission. Panjab University has about 105 affiliated colleges.

The amount of financial assistance will vary between Rs 35 lakh and Rs 1 crore for the 10th Five Year Plan.

The non-autonomous and non-accredited (by NAAC) can get a grant up to Rs 35 lakh, autonomous and non-accredited colleges can get up to Rs 60 lakh, and autonomous and accredited colleges can get Rs 1 crore.

The performance of the colleges will be regularly monitored and colleges that improve their performance can get enhanced rate during the remaining period of the grant. Each college will be required to submit its annual report.

At the same time colleges which are found not to be performing well will be given six months to improve. The status of special assistance will be withdrawn in case the institution does not improve its functioning. The financial assistance will be revoked in case of misappropriation and misuse of funds. Colleges have also been asked to supply correct data on all information sent to commission. In case of any errors, the grant will be withdrawn.

The UGC will categorise the applications state-wise. “Each state will be allocated a certain number of colleges. The number is not fixed”, an official letter says. The UGC will not necessarily visit all colleges. Colleges which have a history of good performance can be ‘naturally’ selected.

The college applying for the special status should be at least 10 years old. Colleges are expected to submit a self-study report, NAAC reports and additional data. Colleges will receive assistance for academic improvement, strengthening of science laboratories, improvement of college library, retaining of teachers, helping poor students, tutorial and examination system and emphasis on research, besides others.

The objectives have been highlighted as: strengthening academic and physical infrastructure, promotion of flexible and effective governance, improvement undergraduate education and achieving global standards of excellence.

The UGC has decided to give due weightage to factors like geographical region, urban and rural areas, backward region, women colleges and those with special coverage to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates.


College teachers go on mass leave, hold rally
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 25
Classes in over 150 non-aided colleges in Punjab and Chandigarh remained affected as teachers affiliated to the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) proceeded on mass leave and held a protest rally in front of the office of the DPI (Colleges), Punjab, before marching towards Matka Chowk here today.

The union had given a ‘Education Bandh’ call in Punjab and Chandigarh. The agitating teachers were demanding implementation of pension, gratuity schemes and retention of Classes XI and XII in colleges.

Hundreds of teachers, carrying placards and banners, raised slogans against both the union and the Punjab Government. Union leaders criticised the Punjab Chief Minister for “going back” on his pre-poll promises.

They alleged that the Punjab Government had reduced the salary grant to Rs 56 crore from Rs 100 crore.

They demanded retention of Classes XI and XII in colleges. Otherwise 1,500 teachers and 700 non-teaching staff would be rendered surplus, they said. Retaining the two classes in colleges would ensure for better standards, they claimed.

Lambasting officials of the Punjab Finance Department and the Finance Minister, the union charged the government with blocking implementation of the provisions of the UGC notification that aimed at benefiting teachers. Union leaders alleged that even after accepting Rs 70.17 crore from the Central Government for implementing the UGC package, revised scales had not been extended to staff of un-aided colleges as on January 1996, 20 per cent arrears of pay-revision had been held up and enhanced allowances and CPF had not been released.

Two incentive increments for pre-1996 Ph.D degree holders, parity scales for DPEs and librarians, promotional scales for demonstrators had been denied to the teachers despite reminders from the Ministry of Human Resources and the UGC, alleged the union leaders. It was also alleged that despite assurance by the Chief Minister, the case of HRA and RAA (rural area allowance) for rural colleges had not been cleared by the Finance Department.

The protesting teachers also alleged that both the Central and state government were privatising and commercialising education under the dictates of the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO. They also objected to the functioning of certain sections of the office of the DPI (Colleges) and demanded immediate streamlining of the work to save teachers from humiliation.

Prof S.S. Hundal, PCCTU president, Dr V.K. Tewari, PCCTU general secretary, Mr P.S. Sangha, President of the Federation of Principals’ Associations of Punjab and Chandigarh (Non-Government Colleges), Mr Ranbir Singh Dhillon, president of the Mulazam Sangharsh Samiti, Mr R.S. Sandhu, an employee leader from Punjab, Dr V.K. Sharma, Prof Prakash Singh, Dr Surjit Singh, Prof Kamaljit Singh, Prof J.S. Kahlon, Prof N.P. Manocha and Principal B.D. Budhiraja, general secretary of the Un-aided Colleges Principals Association, also addressed the rally.


Expert: stress common in pre-school kids
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 25
A two-day workshop on stress management, with special focus on children, began at the Institute of Stress Managament and Research here today.

As many as 20 school teachers participated in the two sessions, and were given lectures on how to handle stress in schoolchildren, at different age groups by Mr V.K. Kapoor, Director of the institute. The teachers were told about the causes of stress, how to detect stress, handle such cases and manage it.

Mr Kapoor said 80 per cent of the diseases had their beginnings in stress. “Two in five Delhi students have high cholestrol and diabetes and one in five students have stress-related emotional disorders,” he said. Mr Kapoor also highlighted that stress was a phenomenon common to even pre-schoolers and teachers should be understanding and supportive to deal with such cases.

He advised participants in the seminar not to overload children with many activities or force them into “pursuit of excellence, which increases the stress of mind and body.” Mr Kapoor also elaborated on the extreme cases of stress, leading to suicides and asked teachers to look for warning signs and “communicate openly, freely and frankly to help relax youngsters.”


Symposium on language and politics
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
‘Bhasha aur rajneeti’ was the subject of a symposium organised by the Hindi Department of Panjab University here today as a part of Hindi Day celebrations.

Prof Rama Kant Agniras, a former head of the Kalidas Chair, said politics was what reformed the society. To destroy any culture, one needed to destroy the language first, he added.

Dr Shakeel Ahmad said literary consciousness was a must for any society.

Prof N.K. Oberoi said aggression against any language affected culture.

Mr Radhey Shyam, a senior journalist, raised many questions regarding language, culture and politics. The politics of language was not concerned about the common masses, he opined. Dr Satya Pal Sehgal, chairperson, and Dr Neerja Sood also spoke on the occasion.


PU B.Sc, MA results declared
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Panjab University today declared results of B Sc III and MA I(Punjabi) conducted in April, 2003, an official press note said here today.

Students can consult enquiry counter of the university on all working days.


Celebrations at school
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 25
Shabad “Gayan and kirtan by students marked Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib’s birth anniversary celebrations at Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Sector 40, here today.

Starting the programme with shabad gayan, children spoke on the life of Guru Harkrishan Sahib. Mr A.S. Rawat, honorary secretary of Guru Harkrishan Education Society, Chandigarh, spoke on the life of the guru.


Abhishek’s new avtaar in ‘Zameen’

Year 2003 has been a productive year for Ajay Devgan and Abhishek Bachchan. Both play lead roles in NR Pachisia’s ‘Zameen’ together for the first time on silver screen. Abhishek Bachchan is still Bollywood’s big hope and a major film like ‘Zameen’ may boost his career. It will be released today at Neelam, Chandigarh K.C. Panchkula, Bassi Mohali and across India.

‘Zameen’ is reportedly inspired from Kandhar hijack episode. Set against the backdrop of terrorism, the film is directed by Rohit Shetty. Ajay Devgan plays an army officer and Abhishek Bachchan plays a police officer. Both are on a same mission in their own style. The audience will get see Abhishek Bachchan in an action-oriented role for the first time.

The film has cinematography by Aseem Bajaj, story-screenplay by Suparn Verma, dialogue by Javed Siddiqui, action by Jai Singh, editing by Bunty Nagi, art by Jeena Mathews and sound by Anoop Mishra. Himesh Reshamiya is the music composer. The starcast includes Bipasha Basu and Mukesh Tiwari.


N. Chandra, the producer-director of films like Tezaab, Narsimha and Style has once again teamed up with Sharman Joshi and Sahil Khan in his new film ‘Excuse Me’. This one opens today at Jagat, Chandigarh and Suraj Panchkula. ‘Excuse Me’ is touted as an extension of ‘Style’ in which Jaya Seal, Saurabh Shukla, Sudhir Dalvi and debutant Sonali Joshi play lead roles. Trade pundits predict that it is a good entertaining small budget film.

Sanjeev Darshan’s music is already a rage and so are the promos.


From the makers of ‘Bollywood Calling’ here comes another delightful comedy ‘Mumbai Matinee’. This one is Pritish Nandy Communications presentation and is written and directed by Late Anant Balani. The film opens today at Orient, Ludhiana (morning special show). ‘Mumbai Matinee’ is an urban black comedy. It is a story of a 32-year old man who is desperately trying to loose his virginity. The guest of the protagonist is humourous and involves some serious introspection.

Perizaad Zorabian, Rahul Bose, Kabir, Vijay Raj, Asrani and Saurabh Shukla play important roles. Anand Raaj Anand is the music director and Farhad Wadia is the guest composer. — DP


Vivek’s ‘Nalayak’ a fun with pun
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, September 25
A few lucky students of Panjab University today, not only got the opportunity to rub shoulders with Bollywood actor Vivek Shauq but also to become part of Punjabi film “Nalayak”. After a prolonged delay (due to Vivek’s ill health) the second phase of shooting resumed with the shooting of a few university scenes.

The scene shot today depicted a group of students selected for the part being challaned by the police and later a few of them (professional cast of the film) come back dressed as police officials and make a fool of the traffic police. It appears to be a comedy scene but, according to Vivek Shauq, the scene builds up the character of Nishant Singh, the protagonist.

“‘Nalayak’ is essentially a comedy film but not without a message,” says Vivek, while sparing some time to talk to The Tribune. “We aim at providing pure entertainment but with on a strong message, which touches the missing link between dream and reality,” says Vivek.

Though Vivek’s typhoid had messed up the shooting schedule back in July, the unit is hopeful that the film will be completed by the end of this year. “We are going to shoot for about a week at different locations here and then go back to Mumbai for the final touches like song and dance sequences and other scenes,” says Vivek. Without revealing the names, Vivek says they are going to bring a few heavyweight of Hindi cinema into this film.

Vivek, who got his major break in Jaspal Bhatti’s “Ulta Pulta” and later established himself as an actor of repute as Darmiyaan Singh in “Ghadar”, is a busy man these days. Though comedy is his forte, Vivek has proved himself as a versatile actor in a number of films like “Andaz”, “Koi Mil Gaya”, “Pran Jaye Par Shan Na Jaye” among others. His forthcoming films include “Surya” directed by Partho Ghosh, Kundan Shah’s “Ek Se Badh Kar Ek”, Sunil Darshan’s “Hum Ko Tumse Pyar Hai” and “Khel”.

“I am also working in another big-budget Punjabi film by Monmohan Singh, “Aasa Nu Maan Batna”,” says Vivek. For “Nalayak” Vivek is the co-producer along with Ravi Nishant who is also directing the film. The film introduces Gauri as the lead actress. Baba Sehgal is giving music to the songs written by Dev Kohli.


Jassi enthrals audience with peppy numbers
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 25
Fun and excitement marked the celebration by the Toyota family at the Chandigarh Club tonight. First it was a speech by the Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s finance director, Mr Y. Kayoda. He congratulated the Toyota owners of the city on the company’s crossing one lakh unit sales in the country. It was followed by the unveiling of a Toyota’s limited-edition Qualis L4 model by Mr Kayoda.

Then it was the turn of singing sensation Jasbir Jassi, who entertained the audience for about two hours with his new and old songs. Starting the evening with “Gurbani”, Jassi switched on to a romantic mood and rendered songs like “Sawan di raat” and “Tere ishq da”.

However, it was just a prelude to what was to come later. Switching on to the role what he does the best, Jassi warmed up the audience with peppy numbers. like “Tere chardi jawani” before he brought them to a foot-tapping frenzy with hit songs like “Channo da jawani wich pair pai gaya”, “Aaja gal wich pale nishani yaar di” and the all-time favourite “Dil le gayee kudi gujarat di.”

However, Jassi was not the only show stealer at the function. Excitement ran through the crowd as Baywatch girl Tania Zaetta walked in accompanied by her co-hosts and hostess of AXN ‘Xtreame Dhamaka” team Mike Whitney, Deepica and Salil to adorn the front row.

The show concluded with honouring two famous personalities from the city — Gurinder Singh Mann, a known figure in the car rally circle, and world renowned artist Shiv Singh.

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