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Oracle launches Technoschool
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
A new dimension was added to IT education in the city today with the launch of Technoschool, a facility set up under the workforce development programme of Oracle Corporation, the world’s largest information management software company with presence in over 150 countries and a turnover in excess of Rs 70,000 crore.

The workforce development programme is an initiative of the corporation to bring the benefits of Oracle curriculum developed by Oracle University, USA, to emerging IT markets like India at much lower cost.

“Oracle is the leading database worldwide, and Oracle technologies power 98 of the Fortune 100 companies worldwide. Further, Oracle database sells more than all other databases of the world put together. This large deployment of Oracle database calls for maximum requirement of Oracle skilled professionals, making Oracle one of the safest and most rewarding skills to be acquired for furthering one’s career”, claimed Mr Satinder Bedi, Team Head at Technoschool.

The Technoschool Centre will have Oracle-certified professionals teaching students using original Oracle University instructor manuals and presentation slides, and the students will also get original Oracle course books. The courses will be fully mapped to prepare students for the globally recognised Oracle certifications, namely the Oracle Certified Associate (OCA) and the Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) – for which Technoschool students will get 40 per cent discount on their examination fee.

Mr Bedi said: “We believe that the OCP certification will be a value addition for people looking to enhance their job prospects, and those aspiring to go abroad. With the region having nearly 15 engineering colleges producing more than 6000 students every year, most of whom struggle to find employment at the end of their engineering course, such a globally-recognised certification could come very handy in improving their chances of getting a suitable placement. The course will be equally suitable to students pursuing their MCA, MSc (IT) and BCA qualifications.”

“Technoschool is not just an academic institute. It is the high-end training division of an ISO 9001:2000 certified software company, which has the experience of the successful execution of a number of software projects. The experience gained from such projects is shared with the students – in fact, the whole learning at Technoschool will be project-centirc.

Another unique feature of the training will be that the Technoschool faculty has already executed a number of training assignments on behalf of Oracle India itself for some of the leading MNCs and Indian blue chips” claimed Mr Harpreet Randhawa, Director, Eon Infotech Limited, the company behind Technoschool.

The courses offered at Technoschool include the complete Oracle 9i developer track (OCP and OCA) and the complete Oracle 9i database administrator track (OCP and OCA). The courses range from a duration of two months to five months, with course fee ranging between Rs 8,000 and Rs 22,000.



PU to hold refresher course for economics teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
Panjab University will hold a refresher course for lecturers in economics in the first week of March. The decision, announced here today, comes after members of the Senate and the Syndicate approached Vice-Chancellor K.N. Pathak, for organising the course, mandatory for lecturers eligible for the senior selection grade.

“Organising refresher courses is the responsibility of the university. Lecturers should not be made to suffer and deprived of senior grades just because the university is not in a position to organise the course. They were giving the excuse of non-availability of a co-ordinator for the course in this case,” said Dr RPS Josh, a Fellow of the university Senate, who first took up the cause of the lecturers of economics in colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh.

The Department of Economics had announced the holding of a refresher course for December, last year, but later cancelled it without assigning any reasons.

This decision had not gone down well with lecturers of the subject, following which Dr Josh made representations to the university authorities. Failing to elicit response, the last representation he submitted was signed by members of the Senate and the Syndicate, urging the university to conduct the refresher course.

Chairman of the Department of Economics, M.R. Khurana, when contacted, said, “the decision to cancel the refresher course was taken by the council within the department. That is our internal matter. However, we had organised a course last year and are doing so again in view of the demand being made by lecturers.”

Interestingly, the decision to cancel the course was taken despite the fact that the grant sanctioned for the course by the University Grants Commission (UGC) was due to lapse at the end of next month.

The UGC has notified that every lecturer should attend an orientation and refresher course within two years of joining the profession. Those with Ph.D have the option of choosing either of the two for senior scale. For the selection grade, the lecturers are supposed to attend two more refresher courses within four years of their appointment, according to guidelines of the UGC.



Campus Notes
Engineering courses results declared
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The Panjab University today declared the result of the third, the fourth and the seventh semester of BE (production), the third, the fifth, the sixth and the seventh semester of BE (IT), the seventh semester of BE (electrical and mettalurgy) and the second semester of BE (chemical).

Enquiry regarding these results can be made from the University New Enquiry Office between 9 am and 5 pm on all working days. No enquiry on telephone will be entertained.

Awarded: Dean Alumni Relations M.L. Sharma of the Department of Botany, Panjab university, has been elected Fellow of the Punjab Academy of Sciences for his outstanding contribution to research and achievements in the field of plant sciences.

He has also been elected as a member of the Sectional Committee of the Section of Plant Sciences for the year 2004-05. The fellowship award was presented to Dr Sharma at the seventh Punjab Science Congress held at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, on February 9.

An expert in grasses and bamboos, Dr Sharma is a Fellow of the Indian Botanical Society and has completed a large number of major research projects funded by various agencies.

Seminar held: A family with its strengths and weaknesses and its possibilities in the future was the central theme of the seminar on “Family in contemporary India: changes and challenges” which began at the university, here today.

While some speakers held that it was an institution vital for socialisation of children, to others it was an oppressive and outmoded institution. Stating that the family was one of the most vulnerable institutions subject to rapid social change, the speakers observed that these changes had raised doubts on the relevance of families.



NAAC team visits Govt College
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, February 9
A three-member team of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) Bangalore, visited Government College, Dera Bassi, and heard teachers’ grievances besides taking a round of the college premises.

The team comprising Dr Naresh Chandra, chairperson of the council, Dr Ancy Jose, member, and Prof K.K. Bajaj, member coordinator, is on a two-day inspecting visit to the college for assessing the institute to grant accreditation.

The team also interacted with the college Principal, Ms Shakuntla, and different faculty members and employees of the college. Besides stressing on the need for search and publication, the members of the team also felt education system needs to be vibrant in this time of global competition.

They also urged the teachers to remain updating their knowledge constantly so that the students be given a dynamic and productive future.



Learning the musical way
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
Sun, flowers and cheery faces greeted visitors at the musical week celebrations on the Durga Das Foundation’s premises here today. The library, venue for the musical week of the Strawberry Fields kindergarten, was resonating with the notes of the piano being played by Shiela Bhasin.

Students of lower and upper KG had taken positions against the backdrop of a modified circus. Cut-outs of friendly looking elephants, kangaroos, rabbits and dogs greeted all. The event allows the parents to be a part of setting, to partake the strides their children have made in their musical journey.

“Music binds the school together” says the Director, Atul Khanna. Not only do we have a lot of rhythmic play and activity which uses music as a backgrounder but we also allow lyrics, tunes and instrumentation to explain general awareness concepts as also instil oral values. A daily activity was undertaken to identify songs, which are not so common. For pronunciation, diction, vocabulary building, sentence-construction, visualisation of events and developing a rationale of happenings around them, we use songs liberally in the daily lessons or in special events like our annual sports meet, he added.



Training programme for teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The first batch of teachers of Ananda International School returned from a week long training programme, organised at Aravali School in Gurgaon. The training programme focussed on different aspects of behavioural, attitudinal, academic and psychological development.

Ms Punia, a participant in the training programme, said, “apart from active interaction and exercises, we took on the role of observers, watching teachers at work, seeing students respond to their way of teaching and learning innovative ways of making the classroom experience interesting, fun-filled and one which discouraged rote learning”.

For Ms Kanika Kapoor, it was like seeing child-centered education at its practical best. Ms Poonamjit Kaur and Ms Anju Pande added, “we were made aware that mass testing could never be an accurate assessment and non-performance was often a result of faulty teaching and ill-designed tests, certainly not because of a flaw or shortcoming in the student.”



Festivities mark farewell function
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 9
Fun and festivity marked the farewell ceremony organised at Lawrence Public School here today.

Students came all formally dressed up for the function. The stage, too, had been decorated for the occasion. Students had a gala time dancing to the tunes of various songs. A cultural function had also been organised.

The party was organised for class X and XII by students of class IX and XI. The function started with a prayer by the school Principal.

The students went through an introduction round and by turns were called on the state where they told about their hobbies, experiences at the school and aim in life. A number of students said they had grown up with the institution and were feeling sad while parting. But a whole new world was waiting for them. The school has 108 students in class X and 110 in class XII.



Former SHO gets bail
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 9
Mr Pushpinder Kumar Yadav, Civil Judge-cum-Judicial Magistrate, today granted bail to a former SHO of the Sector 19 Police Station Babu Ram Walia and Manju Rani, an employee of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Madhuban, in connection with an NDPS case.

Pleading for Babu Ram Walia, the defence counsel argued that he had been “implicated” in the case.

Babu Ram Walia had seized 3 kg of smack packed in 30 pouches and along with Rs 18.5 lakh and $ 1,450 from a Nigerian national on May 25,2001. While two pouches were sent for testing at the FSL and remaining contraband was kept at the “malkhana” here after affixing seals by Walia.

Later, when the remaining contraband containing 28 pouches was opened at the FSL, two of the pouches were reportedly found tampered with.

A departmental inquiry conducted by an SP of the CID, Mr Rajpal Singh, had reportedly found Walia, who is now posted at Yamuna Nagar, and the FSL employee guilty.

Meanwhile, Manjit, a resident of Pinjore, who surrendered in a local court on Friday, was remanded in judicial custody today. He had allegedly slit the throat of Ms Neelam, a resident of Sector 14, last year.



Sculptors chisel poetry on stone at workshop
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 9
The creative ideas that germinated on January 30, the opening day of National Sculptors’ Camp at Leisure Valley in Sector 10, took final shape as 11 participating artists from different corners of the country packed their chisels and drillers on the concluding day of the camp here today.

Though the media for all participants was the same — black marble — it was amazing how creative minds converted the same stone into diversified forms. If Radha Krishnan S Radhalayan from Kerala created a fish over turbulent waters to symbolise the hurdles in life, then another artist from Vijay Rao from Mysore tried to create a spiritual aura through his Nag Stone in which the God of Fertility was chiselled to the finest texture in the backdrop of a pipal and a neem tree.

Featuring in between the two extremities, was Pramod Sharma’s “Sandwitch” in which this Bhopal-based artist successfully utilised the soft and the hard layers of the stone to enhance the beauty of his creation.

Jaipur-based sculptor Vipul Kumar took inspiration from the city architecture while Jagpal Singh from Jammu bridged the gap between the earth and heaven with his “Heaven Bridge” that has its roots in the folk culture of his native town.

Other creations like Sandeep Chakraborty’s bird form, Binod Singh’s animal form look intriguing while most thought provoking sculptures of all were S. Pal’s confined series in which the artist has depicted a man’s willingness to live in his own world.

The final outcome of the camp which was organised by the Government College of Art and sponsored by CITCO will be displayed at the Leisure Valley. “This is the first time that we have organised a camp at such a big level and the most attractive part of the camp was that because of its open locale, a lot of public could interact with the artists who worked here for 11 days,” said Prof Brahm Prakash, organiser and Principal of Government College of Arts, Sector 10.



Foreigners give Nek Chand’s creation a facelift

THE magnificent creation of Nek Chand has withstood the vagaries of nature, but is slowly succumbing to human vandalism in the form of graffiti. It is thus that members of the Nek Chand Foundation in United Kingdom have converged at the city to restore its glory.

The first batch of volunteers headed by Wilfrid Wood, sculptor and graphic designer, had arrived at the city three days back. After getting a feel of the place and surveying the damage done to the sculptors, ceramics and the concrete walls, the team is ready with its tools to begin the restoration work. The volunteers say that though this sculptors’ haven has been spared from the vulgar graffiti, they were dismayed to see the damage done by visitors.

Over the years, this creation of master sculptor, Nek Chand, has been vandalised by people who believe in the assertion of self, or of their love, in the form of graffiti. These sculptures, created from waste material, have put the City Beautiful on the world tourism map, and the place remains one of the favourite hot spots for tourists visiting the city.

With the infamy of this vandalism of Rock Garden reaching far and wide, the Nek Chand Foundation, which operates in several countries across the world, has decided to work and restore the creations here. The first batch of volunteers will be here for a month, and will be followed by members of the Nek Chand Foundation from USA, and later by volunteers from Australia.

The present batch of volunteers, Wilfrid Wood, sculptor and graphic designer, Rene Rice, stone mason, Abi Isherwood, curator, Iain Jackson, architect, Isabel Brunt, a fine arts student, and Holly Hall, editor with publishing house Les O Utiers are being assisted locally by the Creator Director of Rock Garden, Mr Nek Chand, and members of Friends of Nek Chand.

These volunteers say that they will spend time cleaning, removing graffiti, repairing damaged sculptures, recording , making surveys and plans. Wilfrid, who first learnt about Rock Garden while he was working as a designer with a magazine, Raw Vision, says that they will first remove the graffiti on sculptures, then on ceramics, and later on concrete walls and structures. Removing chewing gum from the sculptures and repairing the defaced structures will also be on their agenda. These volunteers will also be undergoing training under Nek Chand and will be working with craftsmen at the Rock Garden.

Rene Rice, who freelances as a stone mason in Bristol, UK, says that most of the material will be procured locally. He says that they have identified chemicals that do not harm the ceramics or sculptures, but help in repairing the damage. Abi Isherwood, who is a curator at Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, London, says that she would document the work done here and include it in a retrospective exhibition of Nek Chand’s work that will be put up in London in November this year.

Iain Jackson, an architect from Liverpool, is currently doing a thesis on Rock Garden, and will help as a surveyor. ForIsabel, who is the youngest member of the group, the month-long work will be a learning experience and she plans to sketch and make collage paintings of Nek Chand’s creations. Holly Hall, editor at Les O Utiers, will document the restoration work being done here to be published later. TNS



Nature captured in various moods
Parbina Rashid

DEEPIKA Gakhar’s ongoing exhibition “Parichay” at IndusInd Art Gallery has established her as an “artist of nature”. Guided by her fascination towards the elements of the nature, the artist has looked beyond its surface, capturing it in its various moods.

Economy of colour and well-defined strokes by this young artist has resulted in a series of landscape which bears names which are bit mouthful — “All that glitters is not gold”, “Nothing is beyond the painter’s eye”, “Everything with a purpose” and so on.

What makes her paintings interesting is the way the artist has related elements of nature with human emotion. “Look I have won” is one such painting that captures the joyful mood of a woman with earth and sky radiating warmth to complement her mindset.

Among her paintings in earthy tones, Surya Uday and Surya Asta are two that stand out for their bright vibrant hues. Another of her creations “City Scape” — a collage in paper, cloth and beads shows the madness and hustle bustle of city life where nature takes a backseat.

Besides experimenting with oil, acrylic and mixed media, Deepika has also tried her hand in glass painting. Here she has used enamel colours to create a range of musical instruments.

For Deepika who completed her MA in fine arts from Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, “Parichay” is her third solo exhibition. But the artist has taken part in a number of group shows all over the region. Deepika at present working at DAV Public School, Sector 15 as an art teacher.

Deepika has displayed about 15 of her paintings in the exhibition. The price of her paintings fall in modest range, starting from Rs 1000 to Rs 5000. The exhibition concludes tomorrow. OC



Upgrade mobiles for additional features
Manoj Kumar

THE latest fad among the youth is to buy a mobile handset with added features like built-in camera, multi-media messaging service (MMS), polyphonic sounds and mobile Internet. Dealers here claim that the city and surrounding towns are fast emerging as a major market for high-end handsets.

Like in the auto sector, mobile customers are upgrading from the entry level handsets. Mr Anil Sharma, Head of the Paras Sales Corporation, a leading showroom of handsets in Sector 35, said, “There is a craze among the city youth to buy handsets with built-in camera and Internet facility. The models in this range include Sony Ericson Z-600, Sony Ericson T610 and Nokia 6600 in the price range of over Rs 12,000”.

Another dealer said there was a heavy demand for Sony Ericson T 610 with features like MMS, four channel ring tone composer, games, built-in-camera, mobile Internet, java applications, infrared facility for fast data transfer and other features. The Z 600 model, which is very popular among the women, comes in a wide range of fresh colours and patterns and can be easily folded, he added.

Apart from other features, said a sales executive, the women looked for sleek handsets in bright colours like maroon, black, white and royal blue. Further, they preferred flip-top handsets unlike men who used to buy normal handsets in dashing colours.

The dealers admitted that the entry of Reliance with its Samsung and LG handsets had affected the local market of handsets marginally, and they were now focusing on replacement orders. In Chandigarh, about 7,000 new handsets worth over Rs 3 crore were sold every month, they claimed.

At the entry level, the customers were still buying Nokia 3315 and Sony Ericson T 100 models in the price range of about Rs 3,000. Said Ms Rashi Verma, a marketing executive, “I have just joined the job, so my first priority was to get a mobile instead of bothering about its features. But, soon I will buy new handset”. Alcatel and Motorola were other brands in the economy segment.

Mr Varinder Singh, a trader in Sector 22 market said, “Since I start feeling bored with my handset within months, I change it every six months. This time I have purchased Nokia 6610 for Rs 10,000. What I am enjoying most is the facility of FM radio in this handset. There is MMS and a range of pre-installed polyphonic ringing tones”, he added.



Valentine movies at Fun Republic
Harvinder Khetal

AT Xenon, the Fun Republic (FR) multiplex is celebrating Valentine movie week from February 8 to 14. Eight love stories are being telecast during the one-week activity.

Entry for the lady for the special movies is free. And if there is a group of two women, entry for one is free of cost.

Besides, Fun Republic is organising a message contest offering surprise gifts such as candlelight dinners at Fort Ramgarh, holiday packages to Manali, Mussoorie, Shimla etc, Pepsi and Airtel merchandise and lots more!

Keeping in mind the youth segment which frequents English movies, Fun Republic has also launched new English movies at rates of Rs 50 for silver and Rs 70 for gold. Catch the romance in the Valentine movies every evening at 7 pm. The films are entertainers like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Someone Like You, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Maid in Manhattan, Just Married, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Never Been Kissed and Titanic.

The red heart-shaped balloons on the pillars outside the complex and ticket counters lend an air of love. A special entertainment programme has also been planned for February 14. A dance troupe will be another attraction. It will perform on a romantic number from the ’60s (English and Hindi) every hour.

For two hours (6 to 8 pm) every day for a week, more exciting games and contests will be held outside the complex, where winners (couples) could win expensive gifts and prizes.

Valentine bash is a gala event for young couples of the city. It will include a laser show, refreshing dance party, dare-and-win games, best Valentine couple and many other contests with lots of gifts and goodies. TNS



Racing beauty on display
Arvind Katyal

A TAG Heur Formula I car was displayed in the city to coincide with the launch of TAG Heuer Kirim Formula I collection. The special guest on the occasion was none other than city-based international golfer Amandeep Singh Johl. He said, “It is nice that LVMH Watches and Jewellery people have chosen Chandigarh to be one of the cities for the launch of this formula collection.”

In a brief interaction with this correspondent, Mr Manishi Sanwal, Brand Manager, TAG Heuer, said Chandigarh was one of the key cities chosen for this special launch. He further said TAG Heuer had been a leader in luxury sports watches and chronographs since 1860. The Kirium Formula I collection comes in both a fine brushed steel bracelet as well as a natural vulcanized rubber bracelet and priced between Rs 89,800 and Rs 95,000. It is endowed with alarm and diary appointment functions, like it displays the time in a second time zone and features a perpetual calendar.

Mr Sanwal said the car which is without any engine would be on display in the Sector 8 showroom till February 15, after then it would be taken back to Delhi and later to Kolkata. He said at present film actor Shahrukh Khan is the brand ambassador but they would shortly also rope in a famous Indian sports person as another ambassador. OC



Enjoy ‘Maharaja ki daawat’

Mughlai and Chinese dishes will be served at the buffet luncheon at Moti Mahal
Mughlai and Chinese dishes will be served at the buffet luncheon at Moti Mahal, Sector 17, on Monday. — A Tribune photograph

THE choicest of Mughlai and Chinese delicacies, including starters and sweet dishes, are on offer at the buffet lunch at Moti Mahal.

It’s been a year since this Mughlai eatery shop in Sector 17, and has gained popularity for its authentic Indian and tandoori cooking. The restaurant today launched its “Maharaja ki daawat” buffet lunch. The lunch has been started keeping the burgeoning corporate clientele in the city, which likes to grab a bite at decent rates, says proprietor, Sanjay Ahuja.

The vegetarian buffet is for Rs 129 per head, the non vegetarian buffet is for Rs 149 per head. A mix of Indian and Chinese cuisines are on offer. The menu is wide, as it includes a soup, choice of six salads, two Indian non-vegetarian dishes, one non-vegetarian Chinese dish, two Indian vegetarian dishes, one Chinese vegetarian, dal, veg pulao, noodles, choice of breads, curds and three sweet dishes. The buffet will be open on all days, except Sunday, from 12 noon to 3.30 pm.

With this, the restaurant enters into the select category of eateries in the city that offers a buffet lunch. Says Mr Ahuja,“Even as the city is acquiring a cosmopolitan image over the past two years. Not many food joints have realised the potential of catering to the business executives, working in Sectors 17, 9 and 8. We thus decided to extend our delicacies to these corporates and at reasonable prices.” TNS


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