C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Opinion poll supports govt’s stand on IIM fee cut
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
In light of the controversy involving fee cut in IIMs, PRAHAR, a non-commercial organisation, in an opinion poll conducted among students in Chandigarh has revealed that professional higher education needs to be made more accessible for middle-class students. The poll was also conducted in Delhi and Lucknow.

Conducted among 1,000 students, belonging to families with a monthly income below Rs 40,000, the poll indicated that greater accessibility, lower fee and government intervention was required. Mr A. Raj, a member of the executive committee of PRAHAR, while releasing the result of the opinion poll, said respondents had demanded that the government should go for a long-term solution.

He said 70 per cent of the respondents considered accessibility to institutions of higher education a major problem affecting career options for students. While 71 per cent said the fee cut of the IIMs by the government was the right move, 26 per cent argued that rich students could continue to study abroad or pay higher fee in private institutions within the country.

In the poll, 61 per cent of the respondents sought that the fee for MBA courses should be between Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 per annum.

Queries on the impact of entry of foreign universities and other issues related to the IIM fee controversy was posed to the respondents.

The respondents have basically sought that there was need to simplify the entrance procedures, rationalise the fee structure and increase in the number of seats.



Panel to monitor functioning of private schools
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 4
A special committee will be constituted to regulate the fee structure and the quality of education of private schools in the township. This was stated by the Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, while talking to mediapersons at Ajit Karam Singh Public School, Phase 11, here today.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh stated that while government schools had some system of control and regulations, similar controls did not exist for private schools. ‘‘We have to make sure that the quality of education, being imparted in these schools matches the exorbitant fee that they are charging. Moreover there should also be a check on qualifications of the teachers employed in these schools,’ ’he added.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh exhorted the private schools in the townships to have a human dimension to their otherwise commercial ventures. ‘‘I have appealed to all schools to adopt at least one orphan child and cater to all his needs including education,’’ he said.

An appeal to this effect was made by him at the school function, which was accepted by the Executive Director of the school, Mr Jasdeep Kalra. Mr Bir Devinder suggested that the school should adopt a child whose parents, who were both working in the Punjab School Education Board, had died in an accident recently.

The school celebrated one year of the International World Literacy Decade today. A host of competitions for schoolchildren were organised the winners given prizes by Mr Bir Devinder Singh, who also announced that Mohali would also host a baby show on the pattern of the Chandigarh Administration.

Among those who won prizes today included Sukveen, Jaskaran, Twinkle, Manjot, Kartika, Agampreet, Harjit, Ekamjot, Kiranpreet, Harnoor, Manvinder, Rahat, Sarov, Sandeep, Manvinder Bableen, Akanksha, Gursheen, Ishita, Dipakar, Kirti, Gurleen, Navya, Naveen, Hargobind, Chamandeep, Shirin, Harjot and Ankita.



Two more govt schools for Mohali

Mohali will have two new Government Senior Secondary Schools from the next year. While one will an exclusive school for girls, the other will be co-educational. The municipal council will take up the construction of one school while the other will be constructed by PUDA. This was announced by Mr Bir Devinder Singh today.



Session begins at Doon School
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 4
The first academic session of Doon International Public School, Sector 69 here was inaugurated by Punjab PWD Minister Pratap Singh Bajwa here today. The school, affiliated to the CBSE will enrol students from Pre-nursery to Class VII.

Principal Punita Nehru said the school had 500 students and the admissions were on. ‘‘The school is both day-boarding and residential with separate hostel accommodation for boys and girls. We will hold special orientation workshops for the mothers of our students,” she said.



Hamara School
The aim is to transform average child 
into nation’s asset

THIS has been the motto of C.L. Aggarwal DAV Model School, Sector 7-B, Chandigarh. Right from its inception in 1955, the institution has been heralding an awakening among the masses, uplifting them from the dark dungeon of ignorance and illiteracy. This institution of knowledge serves a common platform for teachers, students and parents to interact and grow through shared experience. This school is a part of the Dayanand Anglo Vedic College Trust and Management Society offering ample opportunities to ‘DAVians’. Under the powered vision and unimpeachable integrity, sincerity, dedication, devotion of the connoisseur of merits, Ms Pramila Dhar, the institution has been humming and pulsating with a new life. According to Ms Dhar, sincerity and hard work never go unrewarded. Whereever you are and whichever work you do, excellence should always be your watchword. Our school aims at imparting sound academic, pedagogic, ethical and moral education bases on the tenets of Arya Samaj to make the students ideal citizens of tomorrow.

It is an English medium, co-educational institution providing its scholars a safe, caring, responsible, stimulating and inspiring environment with rich natural beauty.

“Where’er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade,

Trees where you sit shall crowd into a shade.

“Where’er you tread, the blushing flowers shall rise,

And all things flourish where you turn your eyes”.

As we are heading towards the 21st century, it is desirable that we chisel every facet of the child’s personality to achieve the sparkle of excellence in our school. We can confidently transform the average child into an outstanding student.

Our Principal, Ms Dhar, is pragmatic in her approach and exhorts the parents to lend a helping hand to run the affairs of the school. We put emphasis on the fine blending of eastern lore and western learning of science and technology. Havans are performed to infuse among the students lofty ideas of Vedic culture worthy of uplifting and leading the students from ‘Darkness to light’. The school has been showing cent per cent results besides being quantitative and qualitative.

Our school enables the students not only to learn something but also to bring out what is already within them, to flower into a complete and graceful being, so that when they walk down the path of life they are capable of reaching out to the stars and the moon and even beyond. We teach the children the art of introspection as only after a meticulous cutting does the diamond attain perfect shine. We instill in the students courage to dream because if you can dream big, you can achieve big, too. Bake your dreams in the heat of your hard work, grit determination and keep your eyes fixed on the stars. We believe that literacy is a lamp that glows to wake the illiterate people. Our school endeavours to provide an open sky for the flight of the creative urge of our budding students. Our school maintains an individual report of each of its child to have a systematic record of their academic as well as non-academic progress.

Under the magnanimous guidance of Ms Dhar, students have been performing exceeding well in various inter-school competitions like debates, declamations, literary activities, music, drama, science and sports events, skating, karate, gymnastic, badminton and kho-kho. ‘The winner never quits and the quitter never wins’ has become the motto of our champions. Our shining stars have also won medals in various events. Expert guidance is provided to the students through workshops conducted each year to keep the child busy and away from mischief. The environment club is actively undertaking activities to uplift the environment. The club organised a tree plantation drive and also planted saplings.

Due to the untiring efforts of the school managing committee headed by Mr A.L. Bahri, Chairman, and Mr Ravinder Talwar, Manager, this institution stands right at the top. The school has a well equipped computer room, music room and a library. It subscribes to all important magazines, educational journals and newspapers.

One must remember that it is better to light the candle than to curse the darkness and one must remember that a little darkness cannot hide all the light, but, a little light can remove the darkness. So let us all work hard to educate the nation and light the torch of literacy.



‘Excellence is in the air of our school’

THE five-letter word ‘Excel’ is an amalgamation of diligence, grit, determination, devotion, sincerity and strategy. A person has to really put himself on fire. To excel may be difficult, may be challenging and it could be awesome sometimes, but it is very much possible. Once it touches you, it transforms you.

It has been our endeavour to create a warm, welcoming and secure atmosphere for the students that will engender excellence in every sphere of life. Budding minds need congenial environment to bloom. If they feel comfortable in the school, they’ll be able to put in their best & will excel in every field. Excellence is in the very air of our school. You can see it in the focussed attention of the pupils, intently listening to their teachers. You can feel it in the enthused discussion of students. Excellence had been our tradition, it has been our practice, and it is our goal. We love it, we live it and all who join us make it a lasting value of their lives.

The amenities in our esteemed institution are impeccable and the whole team worked like a well-oiled machine to the satisfaction of the students and their guardians. Our school can boast of having made a small dent in the academic & non-academic field since we live in a fast changing times where we cannot remain cocooned with our own academic precincts.

It is gratifying to apprise you all that our institution has ultimately turned out to be a dynamic & influential educational institution. The all-round brilliant performance shown by the students of the school in board examination or medals in sports has made the school a force to reckon with in the region.

The roots of hard work are bitter but its fruits are sweet. There is no treasure in this world that cannot be captured by hard work.

“The heights of great men reached & kept,

Were not attained by sudden flight

But they, while their companions slept,

Were toiling upward in the night”

The aim of education should be to create awareness, develop skills according to the potential of the individual and train the minds for unveiling the mysteries of nature for the benefit of the mankind. All our activities should be directed in such a manner so as to develop creative, constructive and competent citizens.



The ‘Saigal of South India’ immortalises K.L. Saigal

P. Parameswaram Nair, the "Saigal of South India", presents timeless Saigal songs during the K.L. Saigal birth centenary celebrations
P. Parameswaram Nair, the “Saigal of South India”, presents timeless Saigal songs during the K.L. Saigal birth centenary celebrations organised at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Malkiat Singh

The highlight of K.L. Saigal’s birth centenary celebrations organised at Tagore Theatre this evening was the presence of Mr P. Parameswaram Nair, popularly known as the “Saigal of South India”.

Another interesting aspect of the show was the coin release ceremony during which the chief guest, the UT Home Secretary Mr R.S. Gujral, released three silver coins to commemorate the memory of the singer. The coins of 10 gm, 20 gm and 30 gm denomination each have been brought out by an NGO, the Environment Society of India (ESI). They would later be sold through the ESI office in Sector 11.

On the musical front, Nair held the audience in sway. In the city on special invitation from the Chandigarh Administration and the ESI, both partners in today’s unique celebrations, Nair brought the memory of K.L. Saigal alive by striking melodies, immortalised by Saigal himself. It was thus by Nair’s soulful presence that the routine celebrations acquired a truly distinct flavour in which it became easier for the audience to remember and respect K.L. Saigal.

Most of the listeners were enamoured of the fact that Nair could render Saigal’s songs so well and also that he actually took the pain of coming to Chandigarh all over from Kochi in Kerala just to grace the occasion. For his part, Nair was excited to be in the city and also to sing Saigal’s songs.

Explaining his passion for Saigal’s music, he said, “There has been only one K.L. Saigal — not before him, neither after him. I feel very fortunate to be here this evening to participate in this great event. I have always sung Saigal and sung only him. Now his style of music makes me famous. In a way, my whole life is a tribute to him. Also, I wonder why some people dismiss Saigal’s unique genre of music. He was too outstanding and innovative for his times. Some day perhaps everyone will understand the soul behind his music.”

Having said that, Nair began today’s presentation with the legendary Saigal song, “Madhukar Shyam Hamare to...”. He then went on to sing “Madhuri Murat...” He, however, discontinued after there was some problem with the musical instruments. Nair was followed by Dr Betty Nangia from Panchkula who took the affair of melody further by presenting “Babul mora naihar chhuto hi jaye...”. The other singers included Hajra and party, Anita Sharma, R.S. Chopra, Radha Chopra, K.S. Suri, Aditya and J.S. Grewal.

Earlier, the organisers also screened a special film on Saigal. Titled “Raga Gao Raga”, the documentary spanned the film career of Saigal, reflecting his pure classical base. It brought to light those films in which Saigal sung in ragas like darbari, mian ki todi, mian ki malhar, kafi, bahar, shankara, deepak and gandhar.

Later during the year, ESI plans to organise more functions to mark the birth centenary year of Saigal. These will include light-and-sound programmes on the singer, a film festival, poetic symposium and a quiz contest. Musical evenings at Sukhna Lake, Sector 17 Plaza, Rose Garden, Rock Garden and southern sectors of Chandigarh also in the pipeline. TNS



Morning Chatter
The silence you can hear
Taru Bahl

Shah Rukh was mesmerised with its “open spaces.” Amitabh Bachchan commented on its “expansiveness.” Juhi Chawla sat on cement benches at Sukhna Lake, shooting for Gurdas Mann’s film, and said, “As you see fairy-tale Kasauli lights from this end, you don’t really have to act to feel romantic, for the entire ambience of the place makes you soak in the aura which a person in love carries with him.” Zohra Sehgal in her inimitable style said, “Here, silence speaks.”

Different words but a similar response that Chandigarh as a city, with its well laid out sectors, flowerscaped roundabouts, tree-lined boulevards and symmetrical conformance to residential layouts, has a calming effect on most visitors. The greens on trees are brighter, spared as they are from noxious pollutants which muddy and dull their otherwise rich and multi-hued tones. They seem grand as there is space for them to grow, flower and actually take positions.

You find yourself taking diversions so you can encounter a particular gulmohar or a laburnum, the sight of which instantly lifts the spirits and fills the heart with serenity and hope. Even if it seems eccentric, you take an occasional rickshaw ride, giving the puller a Rs100 note telling him to take you on a rocking ride across town. The cityscape then comes alive, expanding your vision, your ability to observe, absorb, assimilate and stay resolute. You don’t miss the air-conditioned comfort of your car for unlike the car’s limited screen vision, your eyes can now take in a much vaster expanse. It reminds you of the underlying message of the path-breaking book, “Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”

The tiniest of garden patches or terraces allow you to look up at a clear patch of sky with stars which twinkle bright, giving you the feeling that you own that exclusive piece of sky. You remember how in Delhi you had to actually drive 5 km to find a place from where the Karva Chauth moon could be sighted. No garden or terrace in your residential area allowed you to have an uninterrupted vision of the sky, cluttered as it was with discordant notes of urbanisation, construction and haphazard growth.

When friends from Mumbai or Delhi come visiting, you never feel guilty or ashamed that the city, apart from its Rose Garden, museum and man-made lake, has nothing really to show as part of a historical or cultural tour. You know that a gentle ride around the town is enough to give them a feel of the place. The kind of gardens that people maintain or the neat facades and entrances to their homes speaks for the inherent grace that the city has. Rushing from one meeting to another here is still not as stressful as it is in other metros for distances are short and traffic still manageable.

Yet, having said that, city residents are well aware that the generous barrage of compliments from outsiders is essentially due to the fact that they hail from cities where civic infrastructure has virtually collapsed. If Chandigarh has still to retain its silence zones, we have to act in a socially responsible way and contribute in arresting the deterioration that can well rob the city of its unique flavour.



Making fashion statement through schoolbags
Monica Sharma

Bugs Bunny accompanies Ateet Sharma to the school every day. Like a faithful pet, he sits next to him while the Class II student constructs complex sentences and solves sums. As the buzzer announces time to go home, Bugs Bunny bounces on his back, happily. In case you do not know, Ateet’s favourite cartoon character lives on his schoolbags.

Yes, you have guessed it right. Bags with cartoon characters are hot favourite among schoolchildren these days. Costing anywhere between Rs 300 and Rs 600, the bags are “selling like hot cakes”, as children get ready to join new classes. Rahul, a student of Class III, has just purchased one after five days of convincing his parents.

“Girls prefer Barbie bags, while boys go in for ones with Popeye — the sailor man, Mickey Mouse or Tom and Jerry,” claims Ramesh of a Sector 7 bag store. “Some even buy two bags and take them to school every alternate day.”

No wonder, go to any stationery or kids’ shop in the city and you will finds bags in baby pink with Barbie and Walt Disney characters on them. Or else, you will find Pooh swimming in a pool. Then there are ones with Pokemon characters.

“Gone are the days when shoes made fashion statements,” says Principal of DAV School, Sector 15, Rakesh Sachdeva. “Now students show their attitude through schoolbags. The expensive, the better.”

Explaining the trend, she says, “Nowadays, schoolchildren know what they want, as cable television has increased their level of awareness. Manufacturers are also catering to their needs by flooding the markets with stuff they need. Parents, meanwhile, are ever willing to oblige.”

She adds: “As a large number of parents in the city are working and have little time to spend with their little ones, refusing them becomes next to impossible. Little wonder, they buy new bags every year even if they are expensive.”

Sanjeev, who also runs a shop in Sector 7, says: “City residents have also become brand conscious. They want to buy good things even if they cost more. Most of the bags with cartoon characters are actually good and sturdy, as they are made of imported material.”

He adds: “Bags, made of imported tetron cloth, are finely stitched with synthetic thread. They even look better compared with the local ones. That is why they are enjoying a kind of monopoly. All the way from Mumbai, the bags are increasingly being preferred over the ones manufactured locally.”



A nursery for young gymnasts
Arvind Katyal

Gymnastics centre being run in the vicinity of DAV College, Sector 10, has been nurturing young talent, thus taking the form of a nursery of gymnastics in the city. Thanks to the UT Sports Department and the Sports Authority of India for deputing a coach for this centre and the college management for sparing their indoor hall exclusively for this sport.

More than 50 trainees, both boys and girls in the age group six to 12 years, regularly attend the training being imparted by SAI coach Rajinder Sharma. The coach said the basic idea was to provide thrust to the tiny tots whose muscles were in developing stage. Acrobatics has also been introduced in a big way at this centre and the trainees for the first time gave demonstration in the last Senior National Gymnastics Championship held at Mohali in December.

While describing various achievements of the centre, Mr Sharma said its team has been continuously reaping rich haul of medals in the inter-school and inter-college gymnastics meets for the past four years. It won in all 68 medals in the session 2003-2004.

Sharma said few of their boys like Laxman Gurung were adjudged all-round best gymnast in the inter-college meet and also captured silver medal in the All-India inter varsity Meet held at Kurukshetra. Another trainee of this centre Vikram Gurung won a gold medal in the National School Games held in Kolkata last year. Munish Sharma, also a trainee, won bronze medal in the all-India-inter-varsity meet. Sharma said Vidhya has brought laurels by winning a bronze medal in the National School Games in rythmic gymnastics event. She was also declared all-round second best gymnast in the UT state championship. Another talented boy of the centre, Dhan Bahadur, was declared all-round best gymnast in the inter-school meet.

Mr Sharma said the DAV College management was extending all possible help and now this centre was one of the best centres in the city. They plan to hold Sunday aerobic lessons for the trainees besides imparting coaching in general gymnastics, rythmic gymnastics and acrobatics. In near future, besides the summer coaching camps, they plan to invite the gymnastics trainees from the Lawrence School, Sanawar.



Funky furniture is the in thing

A funky glass bar table adds a dash of elegance and brightness to the room
A funky glass bar table adds a dash of elegance and brightness to the room.

Funky lifestyle is really in. And not just in the clothes designed by fashion designers for ramp shows. The home interiors are also getting funky. If you are still stuck up with the heavy upholstered furniture for your drawing rooms, or the ornately carved chairs for the dining room, you are simply not keeping up with the latest trends. The wrought iron furniture is now popular in a big way, as is the funky glass and ceramic furniture. Glass tables, glass shanks for bathrooms and bar tables in ceramic — that sparkle in bright colours — are attracting a number of people.

The wrought iron furniture — we are not talking of garden furniture — adds elegance to the rooms. From the trendy furniture to period designs — four post beds or the Louis XV couches — the wrought iron furniture is a big draw with city residents.

The “flower-powered” tapestry (with floral prints) or the chequered prints are passe’ , and in are natural fabrics - raw silks in neutral shades or plain fabric in a riot of colours is also preferred, says Sanjana Singh, a city based interior designer.

She says that as living spaces get squeezed, such furniture emerges as the best alternative to the heavy wooden furniture. “ Not only does the glass and wrought iron furniture require less space, but is more suited to the urban lifestyles — which makes it very popular,” she says.


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