C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PTU colleges to be linked through Internet
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 24
In what might be the first of its kind effort in Punjab, all Punjab Technical University (PTU) colleges will be linked through Internet.

According to a press note issued by the Director Chandigarh Engineering College, Landran, a meeting of the Academic Council of PTU scheduled to be held tomorrow at the college will discuss the report on world space for linking all technical institutions under PTU through Internet.

The meeting, chaired by the Vice Chancellor, Mr Y.S. Rajan, will be attended by the Principals and Directors of all technical colleges in Punjab. The council will also discuss holding of a special convocation of PTU for awarding honorary degrees, medals, awards and merit certificates. Other issues likely to be taken up include sports and cultural activities, university directed programmes (UDP), dates of CET-2004 MET/CAT-2004, LEET- 2004, Unnati Prayas Scheme and setting up of regional centres.

Sources in the college stated that once all PTU colleges were linked through Internet, it would lead to not just exchange of course material online but also sharing of teaching expertise through Internet. “We can have a total sharing of all things common between the students in various colleges. Question banks, course material, experiment results, in fact everything and anything which is of value to another student in another college can be exchanged for no cost. Other than the fact that it will lead to better communication between the colleges, linking will also lead to a certain amount of standardisation of teaching methods resources,” pointed a faculty member.



Young achiever
Topping exams is her habit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
Topping examinations is a habit with Ankita Chakravarty a student of Class X of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Sector 26. Studying is a passion with her and examinations, despite making her nervous, are ironically, her source of inspiration as well once the results are declared.

Giving full marks to her school for that, Ankita says,”The school has inculcated a spirit of competition in me. In my class we have a very healthy competition and try to improve upon our performance rather than envying each other. Though examinations make me jittery, I continue to strive for excellence and stop not till my goal is reached.”

Having stood first in the National Science Talent Search Examination besides attaining a rank among the top 15 in the country in the national Olympiad examination, she has lost count of the certificates in her kitty.

“I participate in all that is literary and academic right from examinations conducted by various national-level and state-level bodies to debates and quizzes. These enable me to keep my information on every issue up to date and give me confidence and a feeling of success which acts as a tonic to boost my morale,” Ankita adds.

Fond of reading Erich Segal and Agatha Christie, she has her own collection of books at home, adding a new one whenever her pocket allows. “Most of the examinations I have taken have not brought in any trophies though these have contributed to my bank balance. So, I can afford to buy books on my own,” she exclaims.

She is quick to state that though there is no shortcut to success in academics, classwork followed by a couple of hours of study are enough to see a student through any examination. “I am not a bookworm and, sometimes, I take the liberty of not even opening my books at home. However, I am regular in class and give undivided, focussed attention to classwork. I believe, that has stood me in good stead,” she holds.



PU hikes scholarship amount
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The Board of Finance of Panjab University in a meeting today recommended that the scholarship for research scholars in M Phil be increased from Rs 600 to Rs 1000 per month, reliable sources said here.

There was a long inconclusive discussion on whether the teachers serving above 60 years should be paid their salaries or not. It was pointed out that the budget had a provision to this regard however the salaries were not paid.

The board has recommended Rs 30 lakh as Medical Welfare Fund of employees, both teaching and non teaching. The board recommended a hike in the conveyance allowance for the security staff.

The board has sanctioned Rs 40 lakh for power and water expenses in the teaching and non-teaching departments. The appointment of certain programmers as lecturers has been deferred. The board also recommended a hike in allowance for the secretarial staff of the Registrar and the Controller of Examination.



Convey your love, appreciation, greetings through flowers
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

  • Don’t look for profits in the first year.
  • Expenditure will come down by 50% in the second year.
  • From the third year, you can expect a profit of Rs 1.50 lakh per acre.

KNOWN all over the country as the city of gardens and open spaces, Chandigarh is now adding a new punch to the flower power. Suddenly, saying it with flowers has become the in-thing. More and more people are using the flowery route to convey their love, affection, appreciation, greetings and tributes.

Be it weddings, birthdays, private parties or corporate bashes, or even a funeral, flower decoration has become a must. Flowers are now being used to lend colour and fragrance to homes, offices, hotels, restaurants, shops, hospitals and nursing homes. As one city florist puts it, even the lowly peon has adopted the flower culture and prefers to buy a rose bud rather than any other gift to present it his sahib on the latter’s birthday.

Glads, roses, carnations, zebra, orchids and rare flowers like Birds of Paradise are all in demand. And flowers grown in Chandigarh are supplemented by supplies from distant Bangalore and Pune. “Business has never been so good”, says Mrs Veena Gupta, who along with her husband, Gynendra, are among the leading florists of the city. They were among the first to enter this business more than a decade ago. “It has its ups and downs. By its very nature, flower business is fragile and unpredictable due to the vagaries of weather and also because of the fact it is a highly perishable commodity”.

When the husband-wife team started their flower venture in Chandigarh, there was hardly any demand for flowers in the city. “The demand was confined to occasions like weddings or some parties only”, recalls Mr Gupta. But the scene has changed in recent years. Aided by a growing awareness and rising disposable incomes, the flower culture has spread like never before. The growing demand for flowers has prompted many to take to the cultivation of flowers in and around Chandigarh. Several villages surrounding Chandigarh, including Maloya, Mullanpur and Sohana and a few others have taken to growing flowers to cater to the rising demand for the flowers. The number of flower growers now exceeds 35.

Many florists of the city have also taken land on lease in the surrounding villages to grow flowers to supply to the growing clientele in the city as well as elsewhere in the country. Mr Gupta himself has taken about 8 acres of land in a village near Chandigarh. As Mr Gupta puts it, the movement of urbanites like him from the city to villages to grow flowers is actually “traffic in reverse”. “Farmers have been bemoaning the fact that their young ones, after studying in schools and colleges, prefer to work in offices in the cities rather than toil in their fields. But urbanites like us see opportunities in growing flowers in the villages and selling them in cities.”

Even a one-acre farm growing flowers can yield an annual profit of up to Rs 1.50 lakh but only after three years. “Don’t look for a profit in the first year because you will have to invest a lot in the beginning,” says Mr Gupta. “One acre of land is available on lease for Rs 15-18, 000 per annum or more depending on its location and facilities like tubewell. You will have to hire a few farm hands at a salary of Rs 2000 or more per month to raise the plants. Then there is the expenditure on fertilisers and insecticides.

“Expenditure will be halved in the second year and returns will begin from the third year”.



Towels with cartoons attract kids
Tribune News Service

Some Chinese towel designs available in the market
Some Chinese towel designs available in the market. — Tribune by photo Pankaj Sharma

IF it is on the Cartoon Network, it will be on your child’s towel. To the immense pleasure of your seven-year-old, his towel has Pokemon, Tom and Jerry and even He-Man for company. And for the daughters, there are Barbies, Cinderellas and Snowwhites to choose from in towels.

Welcome to the brand new world of children’s towels, more popularly called the Chinese towels, which have flooded the city markets. Available in a single standard size of 24’’ by 48’’ for a standard rate of Rs 100 each in most markets, these towels have found a place in every household.

“The unique thing is that these towels, unlike the traditional ones, are very colourful. And the colours are fast. The towels which we had in India earlier with bright colours used to have a problem of the colour fading after a few washes. But these towels are good, ’’said a housewife, Mrs Ravinder Kaur.

“I have bought a set for my children though I have a hunch that these towels are too thin to be very good as far as the soaking quality is concerned,’’ said a buyer at the Sector 35 market.

Quality, however, is not the reason that these towels are selling. ‘‘It is the design and variety which makes them different. Moreover, Indian markets are still not open to the idea of separate towels for children though towels for children have been available for over a decade,” said Mr Manjit Singh, owner of a cloth shop in Mohali.

“I specially bought these towels for the swimming session of my child in school. They look good and smart,” said Mrs Manisha Sharma, a city resident.

Indian markets have been offering bright colours in towels for years now but to have cartoons on them is a new thing. Earlier, towels were just either white or light pink for women and dark blue or green for men. Now, the variety available in colours and designs is mindboggling.

Other than the colour factor, there are towels with small embroidered motifs, bands, laces and ribbons. “Fancy designs are not seen in the limited weave possibilities of a pure cotton towel. But the moment you add a synthetic component to it, the soaking ability of the towel goes down, but there are many more printed designs to choose from,’’said an employee at another shop in Mohali.



Learning to make friends with science
Tribune News Service

Children attend a scientific literacy session of CEVA.

FOR some time now, a group of committed children, parents and teachers from the city have been learning to make friends with science. Banking on the expertise of a local NGO in treating science not as a set of lofty principles taught in classrooms but as a way of life, these neo-literates in science are discovering a new way of looking at the world.

Behind this enhanced vision of science is the Centre for Education and Voluntary Action (CEVA), which has been making science easy under its Department of Science and Technology, Government of India-funded project, “Development of Science and Technological Literacy in Chandigarh”. The project recently entered another vital phase, in which CEVA would develop learning situations to endear science to people.

Trained by Karen Haydock, a UNESCO expert involved with the science movement in India, members of CEVA are building up banks of scientific experiences, activities and experimentation techniques. Easily understood, each activity is a result of collective thought and questioning.

As Harleen Kohli, a resource person with CEVA, says, “Less and less children are taking up science because it is no more exciting for them. Even at homes, parents discourage children’s zeal to experiment. If a child is playing with water and straw, they scold him, thus denying him a wonderful scientific experience which could have kindled his curiosity. He would have discovered for himself what happens when wind is blown through a straw. But parents would rather have their children cramming some science book. We are here to break this cycle of rote by unravelling the wonders of science.”

Spirited kids attend CEVA’s scientific literacy workshops, in which they learn about several scientific concepts, from Archimedes principle to thermal equilibrium. The welcome difference from the classroom is that the learning happens not through books but through a set of specially evolved community theatre techniques.

Participation in one such theatre exercise, designed by CEVA’s resource persons, threw up interesting details. The activity was inspiring children to devise their own means of communication in a situation where they were separated by a certain distance. Handicapped, the kids headed straight for the charts lying on the activity table. They joined charts together to create a tunnel that could then route the sound waves. Another set of children created telephone sets out of match boxes. Using thread as the carrier of sound, they made their own discovery, experiencing the magic of science.

Explains Anuradha Bhasin, another resource person, “We use community theatre to design activities to explain flotation, buoyancy and other principles. It works well. The best part is that the knowledge of science thus acquired stays forever.” Ravi, another CEVA member, has made a 14-minute film on CEVA’s Scientific and Technological Literacy (STL) project in Chandigarh.

To strengthen its bank, CEVA opened another cooperative session today at State Library, Sector 34, where the participants discussed the value of science process skills. Through activities, they developed skills to react to scientific situations like why does a napkin soak water and how can tap water be measured. Interestingly, many parents and children are regulars at CEVA’s scientific literacy sessions.

Many participants, including school teachers, have become effective science communicators and are imparting scientific literacy further to children not only in private and government schools, but also in slums. They have discovered a simple route to scientific learning. As suggested by Einstein himself, “The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of experimental skill.”



‘Gyro Jet’ launched
Tribune News Service

MATTEL Toys (I) Pvt Ltd has announced the launch of the latest toy from its Hot Wheels brand, Gyro Jet. The Gyro Jet takes off like a helicopter and transforms into a hi-flying plane !

Gyro Jet is a propeller - driven toy that is launched with a pull cable device. Kids can control the action; the faster and the more skillfully the cord is pulled, the higher and farther the Gyro Jet flies.

Speaking about the launch, Ms Nanette D’Sa, of Mattel Toys, said, ‘‘Gyro Jet is a unique offering from Mattel’s. The Gyro Jet has all Hot Wheels’ characteristics of speed, power and performance with un-rivalled attitude.’’ The toy is priced at Rs 499.


Yamaha Motor India’s ‘Enticer’ received the Business Standard Motoring ‘Bike of the Year 2003’ at an award ceremony organised in Mumbai recently. The bike was given the award owing to its good looks, unprecedented performance and overwhelming customer response that proved that Enticer had already won the hearts of many bike aficionados across the country.

Enticer is an amalgamation of attractive styling, fuel efficiency, and superior engine performance and continues to hold the torch of the Yamaha tradition of providing the customer with products that not only meet their requirements but also offer world-class technology and style at affordable prices.



Bars no bar for extortionist
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 24
An undertrain, O.P. Saini, has allegedly been extorting money from behind bars.

Saini, who is currently lodged in Burail Jail in connection with the murder of Kiran cinema’s manager, Harjinder Singh, was today booked for allegedly demanding extortion money from three Dadu Majra shopkeepers. He has been booked under Sections 386 and 387 of the IPC. Satpal of Ram Darbar, an accomplice of Saini, has also been booked in this connection.

According to the police, Satpal used to pass the instructions and threats of Saini to the gullible shopkeepers, Mr Madan Lal Thukral, Mr Mange Ram and Mr Inder Kumar. The police said the first telephone call to the shopkeepers was made on November 18 and the shopkeepers were asked to meet Saini in the jail or face dire consequences.

On November 22, Mr Thukral and Mr Inder Kumar met Saini in the jail. Saini allegedly demanded Rs 2 lakh from each of them but they expressed their inability to pay the amount. Later, Saini decreased his demand to Rs 1 lakh each and also agreed to take the money in instalments of Rs 50,000.

The money was to be given to Satpal and the deadline was November 25. Mr Mange Ram had also paid the first instalment of Rs 50,000.

Yesterday, the three shopkeepers reported the matter to the Sector 39 police. Actiing on their complaint, the case was registered.



Bail plea refused in flesh trade case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 24
The UT police today opposed the bail applications of the two women arrested in the flesh trade racket in a local court. The bail application moved by Sashi and Feroza came up for hearing in the court of UT Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr Tejwinder Singh, who after hearing the arguments, reserved his order for tomorrow. The two along with three women were arrested by the UT police for their alleged involvement in the flesh trade racket from Kajheri village.



Czech dancers recreate Gothic era
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The Mimi Fortunae, a dance troupe from the Czech Republic, gave a commendable performance at Makhan Shah Lobana Bhavan here this evening.

The ensemble gave a show of dances and the dance titled the ‘Mirror of the Ages’ pertained largely to the Gothic and Renaissance eras.

The first dance performance was titled ‘The Gothic Tavern’ which portrayed “ lively entertainment of poorer town classes and their joys and worries. The scenes pertained to courtship and fierce bickering, fear of wars among lords and seeking pleasure in wine and love”.

The performance was followed by a classical dance by Somnia, a tiny tot, which was applauded by the audience.

The Czech ensemble also performed ‘The Light Irony of the Renaissance”. The dance evoked the atmosphere of the past which centres around the life of noble ladies and their ‘knights’.

The ‘Noble Ball Dances of the Renaissance” evoked an atmosphere of the ‘royal balls’. The Celtic Ritual Beltine pertained to the prehistorical period of the Czech Republic. It depicted the period when the best warrior was chosen to be the king.

A lively ‘bhangra’ performance had the audience swaying to dhol beats.

The local Ghungroo Musical Club in a press note said the Indo-Czech music and dance festival would be organised till November 28. Tomorrow the dance will be performed at the same place. The group has a performance at Sector 6, Panchkula, on November 26 and the closing performance will be at Art Gallery Museum, Amritsar, on November 28.

The Mimi Fortunae dance theatre was founded by Hana Smickova-Latalova in 1985.



Aesthetics merge into the mystical
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
It is all about creation. Creation of life, of forms, colours, patterns, ideas. The exhibition that opened in the Fine Arts Museum, Panjab University, yesterday, is aptly titled ‘Fertility’, and it’s creator is city artist Ashok Gulati who works in New Delhi. There is a wealth of mythological imagery in Ashok's work: the Shivlinga, the crescent, and the Ganesha. Though the female source of creation is depicted graphically in many of his paintings, there is hardly a hint of erotica in the rendering. As we enter the exhibition hall, we see a series of Ganeshas. Ashok does not restrict the theme of fertility to the human biological level. He goes beyond it and extends it to the animal kingdom, the plants and even inanimate objects for he sees the entire creation as nothing but a manifestation of fertility. A series shows fertility in the sea. After all life is supposed to have begun there, and the predominant colour is blue.

A closer look at the works shows that Ashok lets his ink flow spontaneously on paper while maintaining a judicious control over it. “I just love to see the way ink behaves on paper,” says the artist. “I see the whole process as extremely fertile, because one thing leads to another and many unexpected and surprising images are born. My work is all about conception, birth and growth. Without fertility, there can be no growth, no life, nothing.”

And this growth is a reflection of his own growth as an artist. After finishing his diploma in graphic art from the Government College of Art, Chandigarh, Ashok moved to Delhi and set up a design studio, which he now runs along with his wife. He is also an industrial photographer.

Does his photographic experience have any bearing on his painting? “No, not at all. I switch off the bearing of a photographer when I paint. The process is totally different as far as I am concerned. Although photography and painting are both art, the medium is totally different, and hence the creative process is also different. I would call it intuitive transition from one medium to another.”

Although there is a series of monochromes, one of the striking features of the works is the vibrant colours. Some paintings are predominantly yellow, some red, some blue, and some green. The colours are almost fluorescent and that is because Ashok buys dyes and then makes his own ink, and quite often he makes his own dyes from fruit and vegetables.

Technical and aesthetic reasons aside, Ashok says, “I paint, because I love painting. I am on a totally different plane when I paint. It is a plane on which the aesthetic experience becomes a mystic experience.”

Earlier this year, he held an exhibition which was sponsored by the Hungarian Cultural Centre, New Delhi, and he is finalising the plans to hold an exhibition in Bangalore for Karnataka Chitrakala Parishad.

The exhibition will be open till December 5.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |