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From Schools & Colleges
National Science Day observed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
National Science Day was observed at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, here today. An exhibition of projects on dinosaurs, genetic engineering, and fermentors was also held on the occasion. Varun Sood, Geeti, Gunbeen and Abhinav were given the prizes.

Eoxygen, a multi activity programme was held at the Guru Gobind Singh College for Women. Seminars, quiz and on-the-spot software development were the main highlights of the programme. Mr Deepak Sayal, Additional Director of CDAC, was the chief guest. The results, seminar :

Jasleen 1, Kunal Sehgal 2 and Mohit Rai 3; on-the-spot software development contest (for post-graduate students) — Himanshu and Parveen; (for under-graudate students) — Gayatri Ahwalia and Arti Mahajan; IT quiz — Manpreet 1, Gaurav Sharma 2 and Surjeet Kaur 3.

Inter-college contests

The Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, held inter-college competitions to mark National Science Day. The contests were held in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology, Chandigarh. About 100 students from 15 colleges of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh participated in poster-making and essay-writing contests.

A debate on ‘science, the boon for enlistment of society’ was also held.

Mr G.S. Bains, project director, department of Science and Technology, Chandigarh, gave away prizes to the winners.

The results: writing (English): Nayan Jot 1, Sarika 2 and Puranjeet Kaur and Ity Sharma 3; Hindi: Preeti 1, Sandeep 2 and Aarti Shukla 3; Punjabi: Sukhpreet Kaur 1 and Navdeep Kaur 2; poster-making contest: Arsh Deep Saini 1, Anu Eappen 2 and Archana 3; debate: Amanpreet 1, Surinder 2 and Tripti 3.


Lectures mark National Science Day
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 28
The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) here today celebrated the National Science Day. The celebrations were aimed at increasing scientific awareness in the community in keeping with the main objectives of the science and technology policy.

In his inaugural address, Mr J.S. Bhatia, Director-in-charge, highlighted the recent technology for the students, teachers, engineers, scientists, managers and administrators. In the forenoon session, technical presentations were made. Mr Sunit Khetarpal spoke on PARAM Padma super computer which was launched by the CDAC. Mr Rakesh Sehgal highlighted the importance of cyber security to run the business in a secure manner.

Mr Deepak Rana, PRO-CDAC, informed the participants about the entrepreneurial, financial and technological aspects so that they could initiate a career of their own in information technology. As many as 200 professionals attended the forenoon session.


Sparkles at Hansraj School
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 28
The pre-primary wing of Hansraj Public School organised Sparkles, a series of competitions, on the school premises here yesterday.
According to a press note, contests in poem recitation, patriotic song and bhajan singing one-minute game and mono-acting were the highlights of the function.


Munjal is Bar council chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
Punjab’s Additional Advocate-General C.M. Munjal has been elected Chairman of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana. Earlier, he was the honorary secretary of the council. Mr Rajmohan Singh has been appointed in his place.

The election was held following the submission of resignation by former Chairman Mukesh Berry. Mr Brij Mohan Vinayak, an Amritsar-based advocate, has been elected vice-chairman of the council.

Mr C.M. Munjal (centre) with other Bar Council members after the elections in Chandigarh on Saturday.


Film Review
Nana returns with ‘Chhappan’
Rama Sharma

NANA Patekar returns to form after a long gap in Ramgopal Verma’s “Ab Tak Chhappan”.

Holding up the film almost single-handedly, Nana (Sadhu Agashe ) is a police inspector who kills hardcore criminals in fake encounters.

Intense and natural, Nana does his job ( killing 56 criminals ) while camera seems to follow him candidly.

The thriller gains momentum after the first half when Sadhu's wife is shot by an underworld don. Forced to quit the job by ACP Soochak, Sadhu is left alone to fight the underworld-politician-criminal nexus.

Bereft of songs, humour or romance it does not has universal appeal. Fantasy, a staple diet for mainstream cinema, has been flung out of the window here.

Verma has justified encounter killings. He needs to be reminded that one who fights a monster has to take care lest he becomes a monster. The film completely misses this point. 


Zee TV Antakshari auditions in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
Auditions for the Zee TV programme ‘Antakshari’ will be held at Bal Bhavan, Sector 23, Chandigarh from 10.00 a.m. to 3 p.m. between the age group of 16 years to 30 years.

This is for the first time that the recording for the programme will be held in Ludhiana from March 12 to March 17.


Time is precious, so is your watch
Geetu Vaid

Five pointers on restoring and keeping heritage watches

1. Get to know as much about the watch as possible. The more you know the more you will value it.

2. Try to use it from time to time. A watch keeps better with use than lying unused.

3. Get it serviced from a good source for the first time and get it cleaned and checked every 3-5 years.

4. Use with care. A waterproof watch does not mean that you can swim with it. Similarly a shock proof one does not mean that you can drop it.

5. Insist on using original parts and batteries. Cheap substitutes can often damage a good watch irreparably.

Time is precious and so are the watches that stay with us through good times and bad times. Remember your first watch or the one given to you by your grandfather along with a story of how and from where it was bought, or the one that was gifted to you by a dear one on a special occasion? Each one is associated with a fond memory and has an emotional link. But another hard fact is that over the years most of us push these into the dark and dusty recesses and corners where these lie unused and forgotten. Many do not realise the heritage value of watches. As with limited edition prints, a watch of supreme excellence is also limited and will increase in value. There is a universal appeal and excitement in owning a piece of history and your heirloom is just that.

This is what motivated owners and lovers of antique watches in and around Chandigarh to get together to form the Passion-For-Time-Watch Heritage Club, the first of its kind in the country, last year. The club was started by a small group in the city. But it picked up soon and was successful in holding an exhibition of 60 heritage watches within two months of its birth. Now it is going national with members from Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore.

According to Mr Yasho Saboo, president of the club, “heritage watches are 40 years old or more. They are collectors’ pieces and worth a lot of money, especially if they have historical value or they have technical complication or are unique in some way. Last year in an auction in Geneva, Switzerland, a Patek Philippe platinum world time watch was sold for SFR 6.60 million (approximately 25 crore), an all time record”.

Since long expensive watches have been passed on from one generation to another. While this is more true for men women too have owned and bequeathed special watches. In India we do not throw things and cherish them as part of memories of persons and times past. Besides having antique value watches are also repositories of strong emotions like wedding, graduation, grandfather-to-son-to-grandson traditions. So there is a whole treasure trove of watches in our country just waiting to be discovered, he says.

The club already 35 members from the city and its surrounding areas. Members are from all walks of life. One member, a retired school principal, has an 18 k gold pendant watch circa 1900 with an enameled portrait of Guru Nanak Dev; another, a school teacher, owns a Titoni-Cosmos 88, circa 1940, that was passed on to her by her parents; a retired Army Colonel owns a special model of Omega- Hologeria Centrale-Addis Abba that he bought from Congo in early 1940s; an industrialist with a Jaeger LeCoultre circa 1940 and an Omega 18k pocket watch circa 1940 passed on to him by his grandfather; a piece of history is a watch that was gifted to a member of the royal family of Gwalior by Ms Jinnah and another that was worn at the time of the formation of Bangladesh. The oldest watch that was displayed at the exhibition was an 18k Benson pocket watch circa 1895.

Appraising the value of antique watches is one of the most important services that the club aims to provide. As with any old object appraisal is not definite as it is principally based on perceived value. However, there are certain guidelines that one can follow to arrive at a fair market price. The club will associate with the data-banks of the brands to make the assessment as correct as possible. The club is also looking at a possibility of creating a web-based market of antique watches.

“Watch collecting is a fast growing hobby and also a business. India saw lots of watch restorers prosper after buying old watches and selling them at huge premium,” says Mr Saboo.

Another factor that has made watches unique collectibles is the intricate workmanship with which they are put together. Many of the watches which were assembled with extreme accuracy and fine workmanship continue to be reliable timepieces even today. Also unlike jewellery these can not be recast. This makes watches unique heritage items.

Watch auctions are held regularly in Europe and USA and from prices fetched by some watches even 50-70 years old show how valuable old and rare watches can be.

The club has 80 antique watches and is planning to hold a week-long exhibition from March 29 at Ethos, a watch retail store in the city. All those who own watches 40 years or older can become members of the club for free just by filling a membership form.

If this has triggered a bout of nostalgia then revive that emotional link with time by taking out that forgotten Rolex and who knows you may discover that you own a precious heritage piece.


Women entrepreneurs make a mark

This time whispers were a little louder at Whispering Willows Country Resort. As entrepreneurs from the region gathered here to sell their exotic wares, the apogee of spring, coupled with beer and barbeque added to the ambience of Vanity Fair 2004.

The unique exhibition focused on women entrepreneurs from all over the North, who brought an array of personal and home accessories. From exotic rugs, wooden and silver furniture, to diamond and precious stone jewellery, and from health food to chocolates, or Indo-Western dresses to the essence of Punjab in phulkari, the exhibition was all about the basics of today’s trendy lifestyle.

The sleek Mercs, Octavias, and of course, Ambassadors with red beacons were parked all around the venue. Women in chiffons and crepes, with the their diamond jewellery, Gucci handbags and Ralph Lauren shades, walked arm-in-arm with their male companions, who too were noticeable in their Pringle sweaters and Woolrich sweat-shirts over chinos. This was an exhibition extraordinaire — more of a social do with only the cream of Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali and Patiala walking in for either striking the best deal, or for enjoying the barbeque by the pool side.

Many first timers were also present in the exhibition. Like Japneet’s Wraps’ R Us which offers designer packaging, Laxmita Bakshi with her collection of ethnic wear, trio of Neerja, Meenakshi and Monica with their exclusive hand printed and embroidered home linen, have just forayed into their own business.

Old-timers like artist Neenu Vij, with her breathtaking collection of paintings titled, The View Point, in a green corner on bamboo easels; Poppy Harika from Patiala, who is out to sell traditional phulkaris, potlees and patarees; or Rami with her intricately carved silver furniture and silver home accessories, were also present and caught everyone’s eye with their exclusively crafted wares.

Gurbax Singh with his imported drapes in sheer and home linen, Mr M.S. Judge with his vast collection of wash basins, tables, chairs in glass and Ms Kavita Sethi of Buds and Blooms, with her collection of imported synthetic plants and flowers, also attracted the visitors. TNS

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