Wednesday, October 8, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Grant to 7 private colleges withheld
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
The holding back of second quarter of the 95 per cent grant meant for payment of staff salaries and other dues by the UT Education Department for the second time in a year, adding up to Rs 3 crore, has landed the seven private colleges of the city in a soup.

While salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff are at stake, the non-release of grant has also forced colleges to use their own funds to make payments, some even having resorted to borrow the amount.

Left to fend for themselves following a summon for the submission of detailed records, these colleges are yet to receive their grants for the quarter of June to August while the third quarter grant for September to November are also unlikely to be released in time going by this year’s record.

When contacted, the DPI (Colleges), Mr Dilip Kumar, said he was not aware that the grants of private colleges had not been released for the second quarter.

However, in a letter to private colleges, a Superintendent of the Department has sought details of the total number of students in each college, workload of every teacher covered under the 95 per cent grant-in-aid scheme, details of fee and funds collected by the college upto August 31. A week’s time was given to the colleges to provide the information in the letter issued last month.

“The department cannot hold the colleges to ransom. Even if they want clarifications or information, the holding back of grant is not the right way to proceed. Why employ these pressure tactics especially when we gave all details to get our grant for the first quarter released,” asks a principal.

With a teaching and non-teaching faculty of nearly 700 in private colleges, the managements of other colleges are in a tight spot. The total amount of the grant for a quarter for all colleges of the city totals to over Rs 3 crore under the scheme and the colleges claim they have no resources to generate these funds.

Another principal of a private college says: “Though we are facing a major financial crunch with grants not coming in, we have to give salaries on time whether we beg, borrow or steal.”

Meanwhile, most of the colleges have already sent the details asked for. However, even though the records have been submitted, the Department has not given any specific date for release of grant.

The UT Education Department had withheld grants of these colleges for the first quarter, March to May, as well on similar grounds. Officials of the Department had claimed that private colleges were collecting funds under various heads which are not accounted for.

Following the non-payment of grant, teachers of SGGS College, Sector 26, observed a dharna. The grants for all colleges were finally released in August.

* Grant of seven city colleges withheld for June, July and August.

* Total amount due for the second quarter exceeds Rs 3 crore.

* Salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff pending in a couple of colleges.



‘Ineligible' made eligible by PU rules
Sanjeev S. Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
Contradictory stands in the rule books governing admission and eligibility have come to the rescue of the students who were wrongly admitted in an affiliated college of Panjab University. At least two students spent one whole year in the college after wrongful admission and even appeared in the annual examination, which meant they would have lost an entire year.

The mistake was of the authorities and the university has "rightly" come to the rescue of the students by digging up another regulation.

Harpreet Kaur and Sukhdev Kaur were admitted in BA II by the university at the SMS Karamjot College for Women, Maini, despite the fact that both had secured a compartment in their BA I results where both appeared from a college affiliated to Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. The university regulation 4.6 reads “a candidate who is placed under compartment in first or second year from the universities (Punjabi University, Patiala, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra or Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla) will be not allowed to join second or third year class of this university”.

The university has put the entire blame on the college administration and a note of displeasure has been conveyed to the Principal. Surprise is being expressed at the university office being given a clean chit despite the university quarters being the one which issued the roll numbers for examination.

The Principal of the college clarified that the candidates were declared ineligible by the university yet they were allotted their roll numbers by the same quarters and “it was presumed that the candidates were eligible”. The Principal said after the issuance of the first letter, the follow-up action should also have come from the university which had not been done. It was demanded that the university should not harass the students and also punish the erring official so that such mistakes were not repeated.

The university has, however, clarified that the examination branch sent all roll numbers to the college where the Principal was expected to verify the credentials of a student's eligibility before issuing them roll number. In the discussion it was, however, decided that the students should not be made to suffer for "someone else’s fault". Here came to the rescue of the university an alternative “official” arrangement, which was a diversion from the earlier regulation. The university Regulation 15 (PU Calender Volume II) reads that " notwithstanding anything contained in any other regulation, the Syndicate in order to avoid hardship to a candidate will have the power to relax the regulation". The regulation provides that concession will be allowed if proved that mistake was primarily of the head of the institution on part of the university.

The candidates, meanwhile, has cleared the compartment from Guru Nanak Dev University and the PU also has regularised their admissions here, it is learnt.Back


A hot spot for Panjab University students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
The importance of place nearby Students Centre on the Panjab University campus can be gauged from a heavy rush even during the long vacation during the scorching months of May and June each year. On a normal working day it is difficult to find an empty space and the rush is more pronounced towards noon.

Meandering queues of vehicles in the parking lot almost blocks the way to nearby shops. Interestingly, the venue is a hot-spot even for students from outside the campus. There used to be rush even earlier but the crowd largely consisted of campus students. Now, sizeable number of vehicles here are of outsiders, said Navjot Singh, a senior student.

Gurpreet Singh ‘Gabi’, a student of Defence Studies, said the department canteens do not have much variety in eatables. Moreover, there are card and stationery shops near the centre. This is a place to relax after hectic classes. The venue was also the home to the Student Council where students could list their problems.

Kuldeep Bishnoi, a student of MA (Philosophy), said students from different departments converge here and was definitely a more refreshing site. The place has better sitting facilities and was also a place for interaction with students from other departments. This is place where a large number of old-timers can be seen sharing their past.

Parminder Singh from the Department of Public Administration, said crowd attraction was one major reason for visit here. Tenny, a student of MA (II) English, said one of the major reasons for everyone, including girls, was to see the “happening crowd”. Without any malice, the venue gave a setting for casual and healthy interaction. Capt Rajnish Talwar owns the stationery and the card shop here for the past more than two decades. Reminiscing his past, he said “there has been a substantial change in the quality of students that came here. Earlier, one could witness long sessions of academic debate at different places here. Now, the content of discussion was too trivial”.

Rohit Singh, another student, said earlier the place had just three shops which was sufficient. Now it has become like a market place with the coffee shop, a juice shop and indications for more structures soon.


Film institute lying closed
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 7
Almost a-year-old Pesco Film and TV Institute in the industrial area here, which had been promoted by the Punjab Government, is lying closed. The institute had been inaugurated with great fanfare by Sunil Dutt on August 2 last year.

While one batch of students had finished their training course, the admission process for the second batch had so far not been completed.

About six months ago the students of the first batch of the institute had staged a protest as the required facilities had not been provided to them. They had also said that no practical training was being given to them and neither they had been taken to watch some on-the-spot shows.

Mr Deepak Malhotra, who was working as a Principal on a contract basis, said that the authorities were looking for another person from Mumbai who could take over as the new Principal. He said that a two-year contract had been signed with him but some months ago he had received a letter which stated that his contract had been cancelled.

He said the institute was running diploma courses in acting and modelling and had 30 students on its rolls.


PU teachers to go on mass leave
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
Teachers of Panjab University will go on a mass casual leave on October 9 in protest against the non-implementation of a viable pension scheme, a press note of Panjab University Teachers Association said here today.

The note said the varsity which provided academic leadership to the region was perhaps the only university in the country which did not have a pension scheme for its employees. The drastic cut proposed in the interest rate on the Provident Fund of employees is also being resented. The PUTA will submit a memorandum of demands to the senate members on October 12.


Talent hunt contest concludes
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, October 7
A two-day talent hunt competition organised by Government Degree College concluded here today.

The competition that were organised on the occasion include painting, clay modeling, cartooning, poster making, collage making, rangoli, poem recitation, declamation contest, histrionics, giddha, bhangra, folk songs, geet, ghazals, and fancy dress competition.

The function was inaugurated by the college principal, Ms Shakuntla, on Monday, while Mr SK Ghai, Assistant General Manager (Region-I), of the State Bank of Patiala, was the chief guest of the valedictory function.

The winners of the contests are as follows: Painting and Clay modelling — Vinod Kumar, Cartoon and poster-making — Davinder Kaur, collage- making — Jaswinder Kaur, Rangoli — Renuka Sharma.

Poetry recitation: Amrinder Kaur (1) and Kulvir Singh (2); declamation contest; Urvashi (1) and Suneet (2); histrionics — Damneet Kaur; Giddha — Gurpreet Kaur (1) and Harpreet Kaur and Kamaljit Kaur (both second).

Geet and Gazal: Rajinder Singh; Bhangra — Ravinder Singh and Gurjeet Singh (1) and Jaspal Palli and Gurinder Singh (2), Folk song — Kamaljit Kaur

Parminder Singh and Pradeep were adjudged the best in the Fancy dress competition. 


Seva trust to award teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
The Jan Seva Trust, a trust instituted in memory of Late Tara Chand Saboo by his family, will award four teachers in different categories. There is a lifetime achievement award which carries a cash prize of Rs 50,000 and a citation. Award in other categories carry cash prizes of Rs 20,000 each and citations.
The awards will be presented by the Punjab Governor at CII Convention Centre, Chandigarh, on October 10.


Speedy disposal of Bhattal case sought
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 7
Claiming that he is being harassed due to delay in the trial, Mr Balwant Singh Dhillon, the complainant in a corruption case registered against, Punjab Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, today pleaded for the speedy disposal of the case during hearing in a local court.

Appearing on behalf of the complainant, senior Supreme Court advocate, P.N. Lekhi argued that despite the fact that the Supreme Court had directed that the trial court would decide the matter expeditiously, the defence caused delay in the trial by seeking adjournment on one ground or the other.

Stating that due to mistake committed by the Registry Department of the apex court, the case was also delayed unnecessarily, Mr Lekhi added that there would be speedy disposal so that the complainant did not suffer harassment.

Ms Bhattal informed the UT Special Judge, Mr R.S. Baswana, that following court summons, she appeared in the case and not accompanied by any advocate.

After hearing the arguments for about 10 minutes, the UT Special Judge, Mr R.S. Baswana, adjourned the case for arguements on the framing of charges against Ms Bhattal for October 16. The judge also added that if the arguements were not completed on October 16, these would be continued on October 17.

Mr Vijay Singla appeared as Special Public Prosecutor on behalf of the State of Punjab in place of Mr R.K. Anand. The UT Administration had withdrawn its notification appointing a member of the Rajya Sabha and the Supreme court advocate, Mr R.K. Anand, as Special Public Prosecutor in the case.

Being a member of the Rajya Sabha, Mr Anand could not appear as Special Public Prosecutor on behalf of the Punjab Government in Ms Bhattal’s case. The FIR against Ms Bhattal was registered on May 22 last year at bureau’s police in the Ferozepore range on the complaint of Mr Balwant Singh Dhillon.

The complainant pleaded for the speedy disposal of the case.

Mr P.N. Lekhi argued that the trial court would follow the Supreme Court directions, directing it for the speedy disposal of the case.

Mr Vijay Singla appeared as Special Public Prosecutor for the Punjab Government in place of Mr R.K Anand.



Statement in Beant case recorded
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 7
The statement of Mr Tilak Raj Mehra, Principal Scientific Officer, Central Forensic Science Laboratory(CFSL), New Delhi, was today recorded in the Beant Singh assassination trial in a special court room in the Model Burail Jail.

While deposing before the UT Additional and Sessions Judge, Mr Balbir Singh, Mr Mehra stated that he had examined the handwriting of two accused— Balwant Singh and Gurmeet Singh— in the case. He added that hand writings of the two accused in high probability matched with hand writing in the CBI records.

Mr Mehra said Hindi and Gurmukhi mentioned in the documents was not taken into consideration as these were not compatible and he had examined only English language. 


Abhinet back with theatre festival
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
In 30 years of its existence, Abhinet, a local amateur theatre group, has given theatre lovers of the city a lot to cherish. Formed to keep Chandigarh culturally alive, Abhinet has been regularly staging productions, often bringing classic plays to the city.

Though it has never been a professional group, Abhinet has made an appearance at the national level, participating in various festivals and presenting plays like “Mitti da gadeer” at the Uttar Shetra Natya Smaroh in Allahabad and “Hayavadan” and “Ala Afsar” at Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal.

Apart from performing on celebrated platforms, Abhinet has also kept its date with the city audience. For years now, it has been organising annual theatre festivals despite the retirement of many of its stalwarts. The president of the group, Harish Bhatia, is not only taking care of direction and production, but is also featuring in many of the latest Abhinet productions.

In keeping with its tradition, Abhinet is bringing a two-day theatre festival to Chandigarh. The festival, which begins tomorrow, will feature works of writer Krishna Baldev Vaid. Directed by Harish Bhatia and enacted by the core group of Abhinet, which comprises Vijay Kapoor, Jainendra Singh, Madhavi Kataria, among others, the festival will see a theatrical presentation of “Bhookh aag hai”. The writer himself will be present to view the play. This play has only been performed by the National School of Drama so far.

As a prologue to the play, Harish Bhatia will present another story, “Kabar bijjor”, which brings to the fore the painful division between the haves and the have-nots. The story will be used as an introduction to the play. The same set of play and story will be performed on the second day of the festival as well.

Instead of presenting various plays in succession, Abhinet has decided to stage other productions in the coming months. After the present festival, Abhinet will hold another theatre festival on November 1 and 2, during which it will stage G.P. Deshpande’s “Andhar Yatra”. A cerebral production, it unleashes a sort of debate between the characters on stage, thus involving the audience also.

December will see the third phase of Abhinet’s theatre festival. To be held on December 5 and 6, it will feature Badal Sircar’s “Pagla ghoda”. The first in the series of productions will be staged at Tagore Theatre on October 8 and 9 from 6.30 pm.


A play with dramatic elements
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 7
It was a story of a man's vanity which was told in the "Nautanki" style, where a story unfolds with all the dramatic elements — a “sutradhar” to narrate the theme, complemented by songs and dance sequences besides pompous dialogues.

Rupinder Rupi's musical play "Sabh Theek Hai", which was staged at Tagore Theatre this evening, had all elements of entertainment, including a heavy doze of comedy and satire.

Originally taken from Sharad Joshi's Hindi play "Ek Tha Gadha Urf Allah Dad Khan", the Punjabi version "Sabh Theek Hai" depicts the story of a ruler who indulges in cheap tricks to maintain his popularity without compromising on the original script. So even when the dialogues are in Punjabi, the background is based on the Muslim culture of Lucknow.

The play has a comical start as Nawab, the ruler of the state, announces a holiday in order to attend the funeral of “Sultan” without going into the details of the event but with the sole motive to earn applause from his subjects. He finally cuts a sorry figure as “Sultan” turns out to be the dead donkey of a poor washerman. However, to save his face, the Nawab gets one of his subjects killed and stages his funeral, thus keeping his “honour” intact.

Directed by Rupinder Rupi and Gulzar Pawar, the play was presented by the Sur Sanjh Cultural Society, Chandigarh. The cast included Gulzar Pawar as Sutradhar, Rajesh Sharma as Nawab, Mohan Kamboj as Kotwal, Indu Bansal as Ramkali, Anil Sanouri as Sultan Khan, Vinay Puri as Kallan Dhobi. The music was given by Nihkilesh Happy and the make-up was done by Mohan Kamboj.

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