C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Commerce, science seats in govt schools up
by 10 pc
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
From the new academic session, the UT Education Department has decided to increase the quota of seats in the commerce and science streams by at least 10 per cent in government schools. The addition would be done in a rational manner, depending upon the area-specific demand for the subjects, said a senior official of the Education Department.

To accommodate additional students, instructions have been issued to schools concerned to upgrade their infrastructure. The existing number of seats in the science and commerce streams in the government schools is 2,600 and 1,200, respectively.

The move to increase the number of seats for Class XI in the two streams has also been propelled by the rising cut-off percentage in the model and other schools. Last year, the cut-off percentage for commerce and science streams touched 71.2 per cent and 84.4 per cent, respectively.

The cut-off percentage for the two streams has been going higher in Government Model Senior Secondary Schools in Sectors 16, 33, 35 and 37.

The admission in the government schools is done through a centralised system.

A senior officer in the Education Department said over the years the demand for the two streams was not being met with the existing number of seats. Limited seats in private school in the city, offering the science and commerce streams, have added to the demand in the government schools.

Last year, the commerce stream was added to the schools in Sectors 8, 32 and 44.

Sources said a study conducted by the department two years ago had indicated that there was difference between demand and supply. All schools had all subjects, including those for which there were few students. So the department decided to rationalise the distribution of subject-wise seats in the schools. Accordingly, teachers were posted on the basis of demand.

In some schools, the quota of seats in the commerce and science streams were increased and in others reduced. Some were given vocational streams while others seats in the humanities stream. The same rational was being followed while increasing the number of seats from the coming academic session.

Mr D.S. Mangat, DPI (Schools), Chandigarh, said the cut-off percentage in the science and commerce streams was rising over the past few years. He said the increased seats would be distributed rationally as per the demand. To cope with the increasing demand, four new school buildings were coming up in Sectors 38-west, 52, 56 and Mauli Jagran. New blocks were being added at the schools in Sectors 16 and 18. A separate primary block was being constructed in the Sector 8 school, said Mr Mangat.



IT courses in city colleges from next session
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
As a part of the policy on information technology, the Department of Information Technology, Chandigarh, is starting short-term courses in city colleges.

These courses, being started with the help of the Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC), would start from the next session, said Mr Vivek Atray, Director, Department of IT, Chandigarh. The courses would be run with the active assistance of IT companies. A subsidised fee was being worked out for the self-financed courses.

Giving this information at an awareness seminar on ‘Soft skills for global work environment’ organised by SPIC under the aegis of the Department of Information Technology, Chandigarh, at DAV College here, Mr Atray said the course would be optional.

These courses would be specifically designed to enable the youth to gain employment in the upcoming BPO sector and other related areas in Chandigarh.

The other eminent speakers who spoke at the seminar were Ms Madhulika Tripathi, Director, Elquest, Ms Atia Noor, Director, Vision Unlimited, Ms Savneet Shergill, Wipro Spectramind, Ms Pramila Sharma, Hero Mindmine, Ms Parveen Malhotra, Career Expert, Ms Supriya Kapoor, Hewitt Associates, Mr S. Marriya, Principal, DAV College, Chandigarh, and Col D.S. Cheema, Director, Dept of Professional Studies, DAV College.

Mr Vivek Atray talked about the initiatives taken by the Administration to enrich the skill sets of the youth to cater to global work demands. Ms Madhulika Tripathi highlighted the key result areas expected from an ITES Professional. Ms Atia Noor stressed that there was a sound career path in the ITES industry and the opportunity of a faster growth with the growing Industry.

Ms Savneet Shergill from Wipro Spectramind enlightened the audience with their organisations work-culture and the skills they look for when hiring professionals. Ms Pramila Sharma discussed the common errors in the communication skills and the influence of regional accent on spoken English. Ms Parveen Malhotra provided information and insights on a wide range of popular and emerging career options. Ms Supriya Kapoor stressed the need for upgradation of HR in Chandigarh and the strategy to implement trainings for the same.

The seminar was well received and attended by principals from various colleges with their team, IT companies and around 200 students.



From Schools & Colleges
Prize distribution function today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The prize distribution function to honour the winners of various inter and intra- school competitions would be honoured at a function being held at Carmel Convent School tomorrow. The contests were organised by the school in association with the Department of Science and Technology to celebrate the National Science Day.

Mr M.P.Singh, secretary Department of Science and Technology, would be the chief guest and Mr Vivek Atray, Director, Department of Information Technology, would also be present on the occasion.

Farewell party

A get-together was organised by students of Class XI for the students of Class XII in the Pandit Mohan Lal Sanatam Dharma Public School here today. A cultural function was organised on the occasion.

Meanwhile, a colourful programmee was organised by the students of Class IX of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33, to bid farewell to the students of Class X. Sonika and Pranav were judged as Miss and Mr 33, respectively. The Principal of the school, Mr Karan Singh, wished good luck to the students.

The Department of Hindi, Panjab University, organised a declamation contest ‘ K.K. Grover Sadbhavana Bhashan Pratiyogita and A.C. Bali Smarak Bhashan Pratiyogita here today. As many as 25 students participated in the contests. The winners in two contests were: K.K. Grover Sadbhavana Bhashan Pratiyogita contest: Tripti Sethi 1, Shama Grover 2 and Ajay Kumar 3; and A.C. Bali Samark Bhashan Pratoyogita: Karan Bhardwaj 1, Jyotika 2 and Padmini Jain 3.

Orientation course

The Centre for Adult Continuing Education and Extension, Panjab University, organised a two-day orientation course on research methodology for research scholars for various department of Panjab University. Dr Kiran Preet Kaur from the department methodology.

Inter-college quiz

An inter college physics quiz was held at the Government College for Men, sector 11. Teams from various colleges of Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana participated in the quiz. The winners of the quiz are: first : Gaurav, Manpreet and Saurabh from S.C.D Government College, Ludhiana; second: Chandeep Singh, Manish Tripathi and Amandeep Singh from Government College, Sector 11, Chandigarh; and third: Sheetal Gupta , Jagjeet Singh and Rajan Chhatwal from Government Ripudaman College, Nadha

Inter-college fiesta

A three-day inter-college competition, organised by poetry recitation contest, concluded at the Government College of Education, Sector 20. Poems ranging from social to political themes were presented on the occasion. Dr Gupat, educationists, presided over the function.

As part of the festival, 12 competition was organised during the three-day event. In the recitation contest the winner were: first — Malinder Kaur from National Institute of Nursing; second — Sukhwinder from the Government College of Education and third — Tahira Kashyap from SD College, Sector 32.

In the singing contest, Roopa Dabra of the Dev Samaj College of Education, was the only winner.



Prof O.N. Nagi honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
Prof O.N. Nagi, head of Orthopaedic Surgery at the PGI, has been honoured with the prestigious “Late Prof B. Mukhopadhaya Memorial Oration” at the annual meeting of the Bihar Chapter of the Indian Orthopaedic Association at Saharsa, on February 22.

Prof Mukhopadhaya was the first professor of orthopaedics in India and founder secretary of the Indian Orthopaedic Association.

Prof Nagi, has to his credit more than 230 publications, published in international and national scientific journals. He is presently the president of the Indian Orthopaedic Association. He has also been entrusted the responsibility of organising the next national conference of the IOA at Agra as chairman of the organising committee.


Hamara School
This school provides quality education at low cost

A view of school classroomNAMED after the Eighth Guru of the Sikhs, Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Sector 40-C, Chandigarh, was started under the auspices of the Chief Khalsa Diwan, Amritsar, in 1986, with the futuristic vision for the social and cultural development of society. Imparting education, running free dispensaries and old-age homes is a way of life with the chief Khalsa Diwan started by great visionaries like Bhai Arjan Singh Bagadia, Mr Sunder Singh Majithia, Bhai Vir Singh, Bhai Jodh Singh and Bhai Sant Singh.

Due to the untiring efforts of the school managing committee headed by Mr Harinder Singh Giani, senior advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court, president of the local committee, Chief Khalsa Diwan, and the school management committee for the last 11 years, this institution stands as an imposing four-storeyed building with three well-equipped science laboratories, a computer room, an audio visual room and a library to provide excellent reading facilities to the staff and students. 

Going to the fair 
Sagneet Kaur IX-B

Snake charmer 
Gurpreet Kaur VII-A

It subscribes to all important magazines, educational journals and newspapers. The school has 40 fully furnished well-lit and ventilated class-rooms and a nursery corner for tiny tots of the school. The school also has well-maintained volley ball, basket ball, badminton and lawn tennis courts and a newly constructed ball badminton court, the only one in Chandigarh. Our students have been winners of ball badminton in UT. Two students of the institution have been awarded the Sports Authority of India scholarship, one student went up to the international level in the tug of war and won one silver medal. The school managing committee gave him a cash prize of Rs 1100. The school has been winning gold and silver medals for high jumps in inter school UT tournament for the last five years. Since 1997,32 students of the institution have represented UT in various streams of sports. The board results of the school are 100 per cent positive and many students have entered different professional streams.

The school management arranges money through donations for fees, books, stationary and uniforms for 21 needy students of the institution amounting to approximately Rs 1,02,000 per year, and provides free lunch to them as well. Besides this, 30 merit-cum-means scholarships are awarded each year. The school owes a lot to Mr Chandan Singh, a philanthropist and member-in-charge of the institution, who along with his family, has contributed in cash and kind for its betterment and kept the torch burning throughout the various stages of its growth.

A well-organised centre of value oriented education with an enlightened and secular approach to religion, the school provides an opportunity for growth of every child through instruction, counselling, encouragement and a balanced schedule of daily activities. Expert guidance is provided to them through workshops conducted on topics related to academics, language skills, personality development, time management and art and craft. About 180 students are members of NIE (Newspaper in Education).

Students participate in inter school music, divinity, dance, art and craft, essay writing, on-the-spot-painting, cartoon-making and slogan-writing competitions and win many prizes every year.

The school is an upcoming school of Chandigarh. The aim of the management is not to make profit but to provide quality education, value education serving to the needs of Intelligence Quotient, Emotional Quotient and Spiritual Quotient of the students. The fee structure is perhaps one of the lowest in Chandigarh so that quality education is not for the privileged but for all and this is possible only with the able work of a well-qualified and dedicated staff of 38 members.



‘Let us make our life more fulfilling’

IT is morning, a new day has dawned. Every new day brings new opportunities. We wish each other “Good morning” welcoming the new day with a smile of hope. We start our work with faith in the new day. Yesterday may have been a hard day, but certainly yesterday is the past, today is the present. It may be brightened or darkened, it may be a beautiful one or a dismal one, it may be one of gloom or full of gleam, all depends on us, on us alone. A little more spring in our steps, a little more cheer on our faces, a little more kindness in our words and behaviour will do the trick. A new day offers to us an opportunity to change our destiny. When we stand at the open door of a new day, far in the distance shines a light beckoning us, reaching out to us. We have to determine how we are going to live and strive to make the day purposeful and meaningful.

In the turmoil of today, when there is so much unrest, we all often wonder where the world is heading to. Sometimes, we ask ourselves — ‘Is the world getting better?’ Instead let us ask ourselves — ‘Are we getting better?’ Can we look deep into our hearts and answer this question in a satisfactory manner?

Most of us could do a much better job of living effectively if we start living an honest, unruffled and fuller life, Today is the only day of any importance in our lives. It is today that we live. To us tomorrow may look more favourable, better to work, better to express and better to take decisions.

The vital fact is that tomorrow is the future and ‘Today’ is what is really important. It is neither a spent yesterday nor an anticipated tomorrow. Hence, it is apparent that letting a day slip by, without living it, is tragic. Today is the most priceless possession we have. It cannot be replaced. It is extremely lost. So let’s get busy! Today, right now. Little by little, slowly, surely, patiently, unwaveringly. It is a long tiring pull, but let us keep at it, hour by hour, day by day and make our life more fulfilling.



Entries invited for art exhibition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
Repeating the ritual of organising exhibitions for artists from the region, the Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi has invited entries in various categories under the annual contest that invariably draws tremendous response.

The contest will not be open to artists from Haryana. It will only feature entries from artists belonging to Chandigarh and Punjab. Announcing this here today, office-bearers of the akademi said each participating artist could send in three entries in various categories of awards. The categories for the annual art exhibition are painting, drawing, sculpture and graphics.

The winner in each category will be awarded Rs 10,000.

Although the final date of the exhibition has not been announced yet, the last date for sending in entries to the Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi at its office in Punjab Kala Bhavan, Sector 16, is March 16.



Home Decor
A peep into an architect’s house
Chitleen K. Sethi

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. The house of Mr P.S. Chawla, an architect, in Mohali proves this ageold adage. What he designed in 1979 is a timeless marvel even today for every interior decorator.

Mr Chawla was a student of architecture when he helped design his own home in Phase 3B2 here. An outer brick built looks simple with a timeless appeal. According to the occupants it is easy to maintain.

The interior is the most eye-catching. Simple furniture designs are experimented and constant change is the best part of the drawing room. Single units of sofas are put together in the large square room.

“This gives us the freedom to frequently change the set-up of the drawing room. If the shape and size of the seating arrangement in a drawing room is retained for too long, it tends to get boring. So we simply shift single unit seats into any arrangement that we like. We have four corner seats to add to the curves in the room,” said Mr Chawla.

Equally thoughtful has been the effort that went into the designing of a central table. Designed by Mr Chawla himself, the table is a very simple cut wooden unit free from all sides with a central concealed support. The wooden base has a glass on top that serves as the table top. Both the wooden base and the glass top have enough space to keep magazines, decoration items and large crystal bowls.

But what Mr Chawla is most proud of is a bathroom that he has renovated recently. “Since the bathrooms were made many years ago there were not many good bathroom fittings available. Now, I have chosen some stuff to be put here,” he added. The bathroom has been fitted with a seethrough glass shank, apparently a latest rage in bathroom fittings.

Mr Chawla has also designed a very beautiful rocking chair. Built using a technique that cannot easily be copied, this rocking chair does not have the semi circular rocking supports but rocks instead on hinges places under the seat. The rocking chair can be converted into a study table and also into a sunbathing beach chair. Interestingly, the table top can also be shifted closer to the face for reading in both the directions. TNS



Morning Chatter
Why are inane questions so inane?

“Where do you live?” is a question that greets you every time you encounter a member of your species. The obvious answer would be “in my home.” As an after thought you would want to add, “one which is made of bricks, concrete and cement,” lest the person thinks you are co-habiting with a horse in a stable or with a dog in a kennel.

Now why would a person want to know where you live? Is it because of concern for your accommodation needs? If this is the case, would you like to tell the stranger that you were living as an unwanted guest in a cantankerous old aunt’s house and that she was desperately trying to get rid of you? And if you did, would his ‘concern’ translate into his offering you a room or at best bed space? Or is he worried that were he to come unannounced, you may be ill-equipped enough to even offer him a simple cup of tea? Surely, he couldn’t be so concerned about you; more so since you have just met.

Aha, then it is curiosity about where you live, for your civil answer to his nosey question has been “Sector X”. A moment’s pause and then he fires the next salvo, “Is it a rented house or your own?” Now, what could that possibly imply? Surely, whether it is rented or owned, it should not make a difference to what he feels about you. Maybe, he is trying to gauge whether you are worth speaking to at all. There are other people around to befriend and chat up, why waste time on someone who doesn’t quite match up?

If the civil exchange has to continue the conversation could take a turn to something of this kind, “Oh, what number are you in? Doesn’t so and so live there?” And after a long and inane conversation which revolves around people you are least interested in and/or discussing about sector layouts which don’t do anything to your sense of geography, you heave a sigh of relief when the ‘social interaction’ ends.

However, even after it you do ask yourself if this immense curiosity about where a person lives is some sort of a benchmark of his social status? Is it exclusive to this city or is it a universal query asked to fathom whether you are worth talking to or not.


Eating Out
Punjabi delights lighter on the pocket
Harvinder Khetal

Under a new arrangement of proprietorship of Sher-e-Punjab, the guests have a lot to look forward to. Like, a reduction of around 10 to 20 per cent in the rates of Punjabi delicacies.

A soup bowl costing Rs 35 or Rs 40 will now be yours for about Rs 5 less.

The murg dish for Rs 205 will come down to around Rs 175. Similarly, for veggies. The restaurant is already famous for its good but economically priced kukkad and veg dishes. No wonder city residents return there to savour tandoori snacks, dal makhni, butter chicken tikka masala, cheese tomato and refreshingly cold phirni.

This effort by the restaurateur, Mr Tajinder Sethi, is an attempt to woo clientele following his dissociation from their partner who now runs the other restaurant further down the street separately. “We do not have any branch in Chandigarh and Mohali.” This notice on the door of the Sher-e-Punjab restaurant in the Sector 35 lanes of hotels near South End makes the separation clear. A closer look reveals that the name of the eatery too has been changed. It has been prefixed with ‘Sethi’s’.

Mr Sethi says they have retained their old cook and staff. His father Ram Sharan Sethi has been in the line since 1969, when he set up the eatery in Sector 17. Oldies will recall Sher-e-Punjab at the place where The Gulatis showroom is today.

Sweet anniversary

Further down, a few shops away at Sundaram’s, there is another kind of allurement for guests. The South Indian eatery is celebrating its second anniversary.

A number of goodies have been lined up for foodies who visit them till March 24.

Ms Uma Maheshwari, proprietor and herself an expert in dishing out yummy tangy sambar, dosa, vada etc, says it is their way of thanking guests for making the venture a success right from the beginning.

As you take a table and are deciding upon the menu, you will be served with complimentary rasam and papad. Keeping in view the Punjabis’ taste for desi ghee, they are also offering dosas fried in pure ghee during the festive period. The sweet surprise has been reserved for the end. You will also get kesari bath free of cost. The suji-sugar-ghee piece embellished with pineapple and kaju is designed to make you go home smiling.


City models ready for test

Urvashi ChaudharyAs the much-awaited Chandigarh mega model and manhunt scanning draws closer, some young faces from the city have all the reason to smile. Among those who will feature in the high profile scanning, to be attended by Editor of Gladrags magazine Ms Maureen Wadia at Hotel Mount View tomorrow, are city-based Urvashi Choudhary, Bhagwant Thandi and Mohit Guglani.

Enrolled with JC Modelling Institute in Chandigarh, the three aspirants for the Gladrags mega model and manhunt contest to be held later, are keeping their fingers crossed. Urvashi Choudhary is already soaring high. Just 18 years of age, she has featured in a couple of video albums, apart from bagging few titles in the local beauty contests like the first runners-up title in Princess North India, 2004, contest and the best catwalk title in Ms Catwalk in 2003. A fan of Lara Dutta, Urvashi is hoping to win some titles this time around as well.

Mohit GuglaniBhagwant Thandi, for his part, admires John Abraham and hopes things will work out for him just as they did for John, who took the road to stardom soon after he topped the Glardags manhunt contest some years ago. 

Originally from Jalandhar, Bhagwant is confident about his selection after the scanning that will be held tomorrow. 

He adds, “This is the greatest opportunity I can get. I am ready to make the most of it.”

Mohit Guglani, all of 22 years, has long been hoping to take the ramp. Having completed his course in modelling, he has been modelling for some products locally. 

He is also undergoing a grooming session at his institute these days. TNS

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