C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


4,500 appear in CAT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Around 4,500 students appeared in the re-examination of the Common Admission Test (CAT) for admission to Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other allied institutions here today. No untoward incident was reported at the examination centres.

The all-India test had been cancelled in November, last year, after question papers were leaked. The Central Bureau of Investigation had busted a nationwide racket involved in the leak of question papers of the IIMs with the arrest of some persons.

Compared with the number of students who took the last year’s test, there was a drop of around 10 per cent in today’s re-examination. Rumors of another paper leak and complaints of delayed schedule were reported to be the main reasons for a low attendance at the re-examination.

It was the last all-India entrance test for admission to management institutes for the new academic session.

Students who appeared in the test lamented that the mathematics section was comparatively tougher this time.

It may be mentioned that the decision to cancel the last CAT was taken by the Union Human Resource Development Ministry. The IIM, Ahmedabad, the coordinating body for the examination, had found that the leaked papers matched the original ones. All 150 questions were found to be the same.

The CBI had arrested four persons, including three doctors, for their involvement in the leak of question paper.



Kuldeep Singh is new SGGS College Principal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Dr Kuldeep Singh has been appointed Principal of the Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, Chandigarh. He will take over on March 1 when the present Principal, Mr P.S. Sangha, who joined in December 1994, retires.

The selection committee headed by Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, that met here on Saturday had rejected all the five internal candidates.

Dr Kuldeep Singh (42) is at present Principal of Sikh National College, Qadian. That institution is also run by the Sikh Education Society, like the SGGS College.

Talking to TNS, Dr Kuldeep Singh said after graduation from M.M. Modi College, Patiala, he obtained master’s degrees in political science and public administration from Punjabi University, Patiala, and later did M.Phil and Ph.D from there. He joined as lecturer at Sikh National College, Banga, in 1987.

The Principal-designate has to his credit five books. He is also known for making the Qadian college stand on its feet. Having joined there as Principal in October 2000, he raised Rs 20 lakh through donations and gradually built up the requisite infrastructure and also introduced new courses.

Dr Kuldeep Singh was the Jalandhar district secretary of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union in 1994-95 and is at present general secretary of the Principals Association, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.



Lack of interest in sciences worries expert
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 15
“Indian industry is reaping more benefits from the academia than it is giving back. In the end the industries benefit in monetary terms from what scientists do but they (the scientists) are getting all this virtually for free, ”said Professor Goverdhan Mehta, Director, Indian Institute of Science, (IISc) Bangalore.

In Mohali to deliver the foundation day lecture at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Prof. Mehta, a Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar awardee talked to The Tribune about his work and the future of science.

Reiterating that industries had to be more actively involved in the academic process, Prof. Mehta, however, warned, “Whatever interaction we have with them all intellectual property rights related issues have to be settled upfront. At the IISc, we are interacting with over 400 industries worldwide, including the leading players in the field”.

Agreeing that the number of students taking up basic science at the graduate level had fallen considerably, Prof. Mehta suggested that the universities and colleges offering science courses should attract students, employ younger faculty and provide a better study environment. “There is a need to broad base science research facilities in India. With the opening of dedicated institutes for research, the universities have given up research,” he said.

Other than being the head of India’s leading science institute, is also the top organic chemistry scientist in the country. Specialising in the synthesis of natural products, Prof. Mehta’s team recently succeeded in synthesising in their lab, a molecule, ‘Ottelione’ the structure of which had puzzled scientists the world over for the past three years. “We had two completely divergent structures available and only one of these could have been right. In fact just when we started another structure of the same molecule was also put forward. In the end we at IISc were able to synthesise the absolute molecule in its active form, proving one set of scientists right and other wrong,” said Prof Mehta.

Prof Mehta pointed out that this molecule had, in fact, been first discovered by an Indian scientist in a commonly occurring plant, who isolated it for its medicinal qualities in the seventies but nothing was done on it. It was later rediscovered by the Chinese in the late 1990s and patented by the French in 2000. “It is this mistake we have to avoid. We missed the bus then. Drug discovery is a continuous process and a scientist should take even the simple observations seriously,” he added.

Talking about the current focus of his work Prof Mehta said, “We are working on molecules that will inhibit neuro degeneration in the human body. Broadly we are working on those molecules that are believed to slow the cognitive ability of a human being with age. At the IISc, a lot of work is also now being done on the development of vaccine against rabies. Our three major initiatives there are on nanotechnology, genomics and applied mathematics”, he said.



Aspirants appear for brainiest child hunt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
The hunt for India’s brainiest child saw hundreds of children from the region being quizzed in the city today for 45 minutes on general knowledge, films, sports, politics and science.

Those selected would get a chance to appear on “India’s Child Genius”, a new 27-episode TV quiz show to be aired on Star World. As many as 300 kids aged between 10 and 13 years appeared in a written screening test at St John’s High School, Sector 26, here. Around 500 students from across the country appeared in the test, said Mr Chitrajan Aggarwal, one of the organisers of the event.

At the venue there was a mad rush of parents trying to ensure their wards sat in the test. Many complained of not getting the admit cards. “Every parent appeared eager to test the luck of their wards”, said Mr Aggarwal.

In the run-up to the final contest there would be 16 preliminary and 15 zonal rounds and 12 semifinals. The country has been divided into four zones. 



367 children vie for titles
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, February 15
At least 367 children from Chandigarh, Mohali and the township participated in a talent hunt competition organised by Satluj Public School, Sector 2, here today.
According to the school director, Mr Pritam Singh Serai, the participants were up to 10 years old. They took part in painting, dancing, catwalk, fancy dress, rhyme and poetry recitation competitions. The competition was open to all children.

The participants were given prizes and certificates, while special trophies were given to winners of top five positions in each category.

Health and dental check-up of the participants was also conducted by Dr J.S. Batth and his team of doctors.

Apart from parents, certain prominent personalities of the area were also present during the show. The results: Solo singing: Simran Handa and Shreya; Solo dance: Sagar and Ankita; Painting: Akriti and Shashank; Fashion show: Medni and Somia; Fancy dress: Bhumika and Garvita; and Poem: Kiran and Ruchika.



Orientation programme for students
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 14
An orientation programme for the students of Class X of Ajit Karam Singh International Public School (AKSIPS), Sector 41 and their parents was organised here today. Tips were given to both the students and the parents in view of the forth-coming board examinations.

The Class IX students gave a "good luck" party to the outgoing Class X students. Students performed dances, and skits on the occasion. 



Bishop Cotton reunion
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, February 15
Members of the Old Students Association (north chapter) of Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, today held its annual reunion at a club in Zirakpur and discussed various issues.

More than 150 “Cottonians” — members of the association — along with their families assembled at the venue and recollected their time spent at the school. Certain members flew in from abroad especially for the meeting.



Hamara School
50 years of excellence in education

Shishu Niketan was conceived by its founder, Ms Suchinta Khorana, to be a modern learning institution for students from the middle-income group in order to develop competent, confident and enterprising citizens to the country. It has been the school’s endeavour to provide a wholesome experience to its students, spanning from high-tech educational concepts to sports to value-oriented education.

About the school: Shishu Niketan was established on April 13, 1953, with just two students. The school now has a spacious and imposing building in Sector 22-D, Chandigarh, with about 5,000 students on its rolls in all its branches put together.

The history of the school speaks volumes of its unparalleled success in both academic and non-academic fields. The zenith of achievements has borne fruit due to the single-minded devotion, vitality and innovative style of its founder director Suchinta Khorana. Her conviction to provide the best of educational facilities juxtaposes value-oriented education with high-tech educational concepts of computers, multimedia.

Academics is the main forte of the school, which sees the school’s students bagging top ranks in various board examinations every year. Almost equal emphasis is laid on sports that enables school’s students to hog limelight in various state, national and international events. Active participation in cultural activities ensures promotion of values like self-expression, confidence and discipline.

The main school was established in Sector 22-D, Chandigarh, in 1979. The school’s branch at Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula, was started in April, 2000. Its second branch was started in Sector 43-A, Chandigarh, in January, 2004. Plans are afoot to commission school’s next branch at Mohali.



Learning should be activity based

Education has to be formative in character and not merely informative. The fundamental aim of education is, therefore, physical, intellectual, emotional and ethical integration of an individual into a complete person. Mahatma Gandhi had once remarked that the brain must be educated through the hand. Those who do not train their hands and go through the routine rut of education lack music in their lives.

It has been my endeavour through out my life to create a warm, welcoming and secure atmosphere where children feel valued and to provide a stimulating environment for the same. The ideal school is a second home for the students. Further, the teaching-learning process has to be activity based.

Today, a major challenge to education stems mainly from the knowledge explosion, the revolution in communication technology and the changing patterns of work and learning. It is not merely globalisation of economy, but globalisation of values, style of living etc. This has been made possible by rapid advances in communication technology. To remain alive, education must, therefore, constantly question its objectives, its content and its methods. The most important thing today is concept formation and growth of capacity for theory building rather than possession of vast amount of information.

In the age of rapid changes, which are overtaking us, the school is the only hope. It clearly stands for preparing children for facing the future with necessary upbringing in order to promote human values while making progress. We must, therefore, strength this institution.

Education’s basic aim still is preparation for life and this very definition implies futuristic role of education. The curriculum should be designed in such a way that it develops those skills and attitude that will enable us to continue learning throughout our lives. If this does not happen, we will become illiterate in this modern world.



Shopping fest in city mooted
Ruchika M. Khanna

The denizens of City Beautiful can strike off their annual tour to Singapore or Dubai, especially during the shopping festivals organised there. An annual gala shopping fest, on the lines of the Singapore Shopping Fest, could soon be a reality here.

The Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (Citco) is considering the setting up of a business advisory committee, with representation from the traders as well as UT officials, to give a final shape to the proposal. It is proposed that the cultural extravaganza-cum-mega shopping festival will be as lavish and feisty as the ones held in Singapore and Dubai, so as to bring the city on the world tourism map, besides promoting local trade.

The proposal has been mooted by the Jewellers Promotion Council, Sector 17, which feels that a shopping festival will be also net in revenue for the Administration. Mr Subhash Kataria, one of the patrons of the council, says that with Hong Kong now being a part of China, the tourist rush to South Asia has been diverted to the city. He says that the city is neither a famous tourist destination, nor does it have a rapid industrial growth to boast of. By and large, trading is the main commercial activity in the city, and a shopping carnival, could benefit the Administration as well as the local traders.

It is proposed that the cultural affairs departments of all states in the country could send their cultural troupes during the celebrations. Each state will be allocated a separate space for setting up a pavilion. The 10-day festival to be held in April, as part of the city’s golden jubilee celebrations, is being seen as a test run for the proposal of an annual shopping festival.

The traders have proposed that on the pattern of the famous foreign shopping festivals, the one to be held in the city will be exempt from sales tax, custom duty and excise duty, or rent for using the grounds in Sector 17. The hotel industry in the city will also benefit from the proposal.

It is learnt that a meeting of prominent citizens of the city from all walks of life, including those who have been involved in the evolution of City Beautiful, will be called shortly to discuss the issue and set up the advisory committee. They will be sent on a study tour to the Singapore Shopping Festival in May this year.

Mr Kataria says that the upgradation of the Chandigarh airport would also help attract foreign tourists to the festival. 



“Sainya Bhai Kotwal” is best play

A three-day theatre competition organised by the North Zone Cultural Centre concluded at the Government Polytechnic College for Girls in Sector 10 here today. About 22 groups from Haryana and Himachal Pradesh took part in the contest.

“Sainya Bhai Kotwal”, a play presented by the Nistha Sanstkriti Manch won the first prize. “Hinsa Permodharam” by the Nahan-based STEPCO Society was declared the first runner-up followed by “Saristi Ka Akhri Adami” presented by the Active Monal Cultural Society from Kulu.

In the individual category Rajesh Bhanot who acted as a hawaldar in “Sainya Bhai Kotwal” was honored with the best actor award while Bhawani Bhagal was the runner-up. Renuka Gautam was declared the Best Actress for her role in “Saristi Ka Akhri Adami” and Kumari Monika was adjudged the second runner-up.

The award for the best stage setting went to “Saristi Ka Akhri Admi” and the award for best make-up went to the Sublok Cultural Society for its presentation “Gadhe Ki Barat.” Cash prizes of Rs 5100, Rs 4100 and Rs 3100 were given to the first second and third groups while eight prizes of Rs 500 each were given to best actor, Best actress, best stage setting and best make-up respectively.

Dr Yogesh Gambir, Dr Surinder Sharma and Mr Ravi Bhushan Sood were the judges for the event. OC



A face to watch

When she was a little girl, she wanted to be an air hostess so she could fly to distant countries. Things rarely go the way you want them to; sometimes you achieve more than you originally aspired for.

And that is what seems to have happened to city lass Urvashi Chaudhary. Last week she got a letter that made her jump for joy. It was from the Gladrags magazine, telling her that she had been short-listed for the Mega Model Contest 2004. The next day she got another letter with the news that she had been selected for verification of semifinals of Femina Miss India. What more could an upcoming model ask for?

But, Urvashi is not entirely new to modelling. She has done over 10 ramp shows and bagged a number of titles such as the Best Catwalk of Miss North in June 2003 held at Chandigarh; second runner-up in Miss J&K held at Jammu on January 5 2004; 1st runner-up Princess North India this January.

She has also done still ads for Nova Cycles, and was shot for a calendar for a car accessories firm, Excel. She was chosen the face of the month by fashion magazines like Fashion Bloom and Sahki. She has about half-a-dozen video albums to her credit that include Dhol Punjabian Da with Sunil Pinta, Yoban with Hardev Mai Nangal and Dil Wich with Rajinder. Currently, she is working on three video albums with different singers.

Tall, slim and beautiful, Urvashi also has a good voice and is fluent in English, Hindi and Punjabi. She has acted in 48 Hours, a play by Sankalp Theatre Group.

Frank and honest, Urvashi admits she has been an average student. “One cannot be good at everything. I have found my vocation in modelling, acting and similar activities and I try to perform as best I possibly can.” Among her hobbies are music, Punjabi folk dance, salsa, jive, reading, travelling and soccer.

Modelling being a very hectic activity, most girls get flustered, but Urvashi somehow remains very cool-headed. She owes her success to her mother and father Vinod Chaudhary, and mentor Arvind Prashar Jolly. Handling success is one thing, but how does she handle failure? “I don’t feel sad at all when I fail, because failure is part of being success. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, why should that make me sad?”

Urvashi is not sure she wants to be an air hostess anymore, but one thing is sure, with the kind of success she has been meeting of late, she is sure to go places.

Text and photo KD



Tips for managing stress

Heart attacks resulting from stress kills one Indian every 30 seconds. Suicide rates have doubled by 60 per cent worldwide and 121 million people the world over suffer from stress-related depression. These were some facts shared at the seminar on stress-related disorders and their management by Dr Mukesh Batra, Chairman and Managing Director, Dr Batra’s Positive Health Clinic Ltd.

The seminar at Baba Makhan Shah Lobana Bhavan, Chandigarh, was attended by people from all walks of life. Understanding stress, its causes, symptoms, medication, and management were some of the topics discussed at the seminar. This seminar on “Stress — a modern killer” is part of a series of seminars dedicated to the cause of creating a better understanding of stress-related disorders and the debilitating effects that it has had on society over the last couple of years.

Dr Batra, one of the pioneers of promoting homoeopathy, has taken it as a challenge to eradicate the growing menace of stress related disorders. He said there were two types of stress: eustress — is the high one experience when one gets a raise, buys a house or becomes a parent. It brings out the same physiological changes in the body as bad stress i.e. increase in the heart rate and a raise in blood pressure. Eustress if misused, can lead to distress,.

Speaking at the event, Dr Batra said, “Stress can be managed either through conventional medicine, homoeopathy, diet and nutrition, relaxation techniques, or a change in one’s perspective. Unfortunately, conventional medicine has some known side effects. When anxiety is treated with a sedative, it can lead to addiction. Similarly, when depression and hypertension are treated with anti-depressant and anti-hypertensive, respectively, they often lead to bronchitis and impotency.”

“Homoeopathy has a credible answer and teaches one how to cope with stress” he added. “Homoeopathy is the only system of medicine, which recognises the human being as a combination of the mental and the physical, and hence provides holistic healing — physical, mental, psychological — to a variety of stress-related problems such as insomnia, hair loss, chronic headache, chronic backache, anxiety and anxiety.” TNS



Local artist gets admirers in Pakistan

The digital painting of Malkit Singh, which was bought by the authorities of national Museum, Lahore
The digital painting of Malkit Singh, which was bought by the authorities of national Museum, Lahore. Malkit Singh recently visited Lahore during the World Punjabi Conference. — Tribune photos

For an Indian painter, exhibiting works on Pakistani soil and drawing a positive response from visitors and critics across the border is a matter of pride. No wonder city-based Malkit Singh is more than satisfied with his recent trip to Pakistan as part of the delegation for the World Punjabi Conference held in Lahore between January 29 and February 1.

Famous for the vibrancy and power of his digital paintings, Malkit Singh managed the rare opportunity to exhibit 35 of his art works in Falttee’s Hotel, Lahore during the course of the conference which was attended by Punjabis from all over the world. Back home to Chandigarh, the painter revels in the fact that his exhibition was heavily visited and appreciated. Not only that, one of his works was even purchased by the National Museum at Lahore.

Titled Man, Painting and Machine, this work explores the mad scramble that marks the progressive times in which we live. It formed part of his exhibition at Lahore which was called, Exploratory Vision -I.

Narrating his Pakistan experience, Malkit Singh, who has earlier worked as an artist for the PGI in Chandigarh, said, “The fears in our hearts are unfounded. The Pakistanis are warm and receptive. I gave lectures in art at the National College of Art, Lahore, where I my thoughts were well regarded. I donated one work to the college Principal, Prof Sajida H. Vandal. Some students also bought my paintings.

“As far as art preferences of Pakistanis are concerned, most like the styles of M. F. Husain and Satish Gujral. Interestingly, I hardly found any Pakistani woman in a burqa. Also there was hardly a mention of Kashmir. The trip was worthwhile, in that it helped me clear doubts and enrich my thoughts for further execution on the canvas.” TNS



Naval band regales Army men

A scintillating performance of Indian and Western music was presented by the Naval Symphonic Band Concert for Army personnel at Chandimandir cantonment near here today.

The 95-member band under the baton of Commander P. G. George, Navy’s Director of Music, gave two performances, one for JCOs, jawans and their families during the day, and the other for officers and their families in the evening. The band had visited Chandimandir during the same period last year.

The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen J. J. Singh, Chief of Staff, Lieut-Gen P. K. Grover and Navy’s Chief of Material, Vice-Admiral Parvesh Jaitly were among those present.

A number of retired officers were also invited. Prominent among them were former GOC-in-C, Southern Command, Lieut-Gen Depinder Singh and former Chief of Staff, Western Command, Lieut-Gen H.R.S. Mann.

The local chapter of the Naval Foundation, an association of retired navy officers, hosted a dinner for the band members and other officers associated with it at the Shivalik Officers Institute in Chandimandir last evening. TNS


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