C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Symposium on ‘Atom for Peace’ begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
A three-day symposium on “Atom for Peace”, conducted by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai, and hosted by the National Centre for Human Genome Studies and Research (NCHGSR), Panjab University, began at the Golden Jubilee Hall on the campus, here today.

Beginning with a welcome speech by Dr Rajnikant Mishra (NCHGSR), an introductory and brief overview of symposium was given by Prof. Tapas Mukhopadhyay, Director, NCHGSR.

Organised to create awareness about science, the symposium presented a unique platform, particularly to the students, not only to interact with the distinguished scientists working in the area of radiation physics but also to help to know the implications of radio-isotopes in modern day life.

The next session included lectures on “Natural and artificial radioactivity and measurement delivered by Dr Sarbjit Singh, (Radiochemistry Division), B.A.R.C., Mumbai, and Dr Veena Sagar (Fuel Chemistry Division), BARC, followed by lectures on research and power reactors : nuclear energy in India by Dr P.V. Varde (Research Reactor Service Division), BARC, and advances in biosciences by Dr R.N.Pandey (Nuclear Agriculture and Biotechnology Division), BARC.

Mr R.K. Sharma, Head (Media relations and public awareness) BARC delivered a lecture on Radioisotopes in healthcare and industry: Spin-off technologies of BARC. The vote of thanks was presented by Prof M.P. Bansal, Department of Biophysics, PU. This scientists-students meet will continue tomorrow and would be followed by the scientists-farmers meet from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Problems of research discussed

Social science research problems are not properly linked with problems of society, polity and economy. This missing link undermines the relevance of social science research to society. Most of the social science research problems are selected on the consideration of being simple and easy propositions rather than addressing to unanswered and semi -unanswered social questions by the earlier researchers.

Social reality is very complex and multi-dimensional. Thus the social scientists, while selecting and formulating research problems, should go beyond the traditional boundaries of social science disciplines. The inter-disciplinary approach to the selection and formulation of research problems is the most suitable approach to deal with the fast changing contours of social reality. These were among the conclusions of a panel discussion organised on the second day of the training programme on “Research problems: identification & formulation” organised by the ICSSR North-Western Regional Centre, Panjab University, here today. The panelists included Prof S.L. Sharma, Prof Swarnjit Mehta, Prof Indu Banga, Prof.SC. Vaidya and Prof B.S. Ghuman.

Earlier, Professor B.S. Ghuman, Director of the Training Programme, spoke on “Research hypotheses: formulation and testing”. He said research hypotheses should be clear, specific and value free. Dr Rajesh Gill, while speaking on research design, opined that social reality is changing over time and space and thus the researcher has to prepare the research design in such a manner that the changing character of social reality is comprehended by him.


Programme to attract youth to science begins at CSIO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
The CSIR programme on youth for leadership in science (CPYLS) for attracting young and brilliant minds in the science stream was inaugurated at the Centre for Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), Sector 30, here today. Students from Haryana are participating in this two-day programme.

In his inaugural address, Prof Y.S. Rajan, Scientific Advisor, Chief Minister, Punjab, mentioned that students should primarily imbibe the habit of learning basic sciences before venturing into any other discipline. He said they should keep an open mind with changing times and have the confidence in themselves to achieve their goals. He added due importance should be given to mathematics and economics to reap the benefits of science.

While welcoming guests, Dr R.P. Bajpai, Director, CSIO, emphasised the need for a career in science, which, he gave fulfillment besides providing many opportunities for self-growth and contribution to the human society. He said in the present age, boundaries between various science streams were becoming fuzzy and science had become a global affair. He motivated the students to excel in life.

During their two days stay at the CSIO, students would be taken around various labs the CSIO to give them a feel of how a research and development workplace looks. He said the students would also get an opportunity to closely interact with researchers in the various laboratories where experiments had specially been set up to help them understand basic principles of how things work.

A multimedia science quiz competition would also be organised for the participating students. Popular science lectures by scientists of CSIO have been arranged for the students to inspire and motivate them to develop a scientific temperament.


UGC package for PU Biophysics Dept
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
The Department of Biophysics, Panjab University, has recently been awarded a financial support of about Rs 35 lakh under the Special Assistance Programme (SAP) of the UGC. The Chairperson of the Department and Coordinator of the project, Dr S.N. Sanyal, informed that the department had been identified by the UGC to work in the area of Membrane Biophysics.

In a statement released here today, Dr Sanyal pointed out that the department was the only one in India imparting education in Biophysics, both on undergraduate and Postgraduate (Hons) levels, besides offering opportunities in Ph.D and post-doctoral research.

The department is actively engaged in frontier areas of biomedical research like bio-informatics, bio-molecular modelling. development of radio-pharmaceuticals, membrane transport, neuro-toxicology, carcinogenesis and biophysical study of bones.


Chakwal school students shine in talent search exam

Chandigarh, April 6
Students of Chakwal National Senior Secondary School, Jkurali, have won 10 positions in a national level science talent search examination 2004, conducted by the Unified Council. The Principal of the school said Amrit Pal Singh and Roop Kamal, who secured fourth and seventh positions, respectively, in the examination were awarded a cheque for Rs 500, an appreciation certificate and other prizes. Eight other students got prizes. As many as 43 students of the school participated in the examination. TNS


Raipur Khurd students shine

Chandigarh, April 6
Government High School, Raipur Khurd, has performed well in Class VIII results. School in charge Rajewant Kaur has said a total of 42 students appeared for the examination of which 39 have cleared the examination. Of these 40 per cent have secured first division. TNS


High Court
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 6
Taking up a public interest petition filed by Mr Bhushan Lal Singla of Barnala, in which he has prayed for registration of a case against top officials of the state-owned PUNSUP and inquiry for supplying grossly underweight wheat in bags to the public as well as supplying poor quality wheat, the High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the state government, Punjab DGP and PUNSUP.

In his petition, Mr Singla has alleged that the wheat being supplied by PUNSUP, apart many-a-time being unfit for human consumption, is also grossly underweight. He has also alleged that sometimes the bag contains as much as 15-20 kg less in a 90-kg bag. Saying that despite the fact that he has brought the issue to the notice of the authorities as well as reports that the Punjab Vigilance Bureau was seized of the matter, no action has been taken against the persons responsible.

Taking up the PIL, a Division Bench comprising Mr Chief Justice BK Roy and Mr Justice Surya Kant fixed May 12 as the next date of hearing.


Fitness Trail
Iron-rich foods must in summer
Renu Manish Sinha

In our series on minerals this time we will discuss the minerals required by our body in small amounts. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is usually between 2 mg to 30 mg.

A balanced diet is the most sensible way of getting a sufficient quantity of these minerals, asserts Dr Neelu Malhotra, Diet Consultant, Silver Oaks, Mohali.

These minerals, though needed in small quantities, nevertheless govern many vital functions of our body connected with metabolism, reproduction, the immune system etc. These include iron, copper and zinc.

Iron is the superstar among minerals as it purifies the most vital of life forces — the blood. Iron is necessary for production of haemoglobin. It is a component of complex protein haemoglobin which transports oxygen to various tissues of body. Nearly 70 per cent of iron is present in haemoglobin and the rest is stored in liver, spleen and bones.

In absence of iron cells cannot take oxygen or eliminate carbon dioxide. Iron is excreted through bile, stools and sweating. It is advisable to take iron-rich foods in summer to compensate the loss.

The RDA is 10 mg for men and 15 mg for women.

Sources: Green leafy vegetables, including fenugreek leaves, spinach, coriander and mint leaves, cauliflower and turnip greens, til seeds, millets, black gram, soy bean, raisins, dates, black currant, figs, dried prunes, mutton liver, eggs, walnuts, almonds etc.

Iron deficiency: It can be caused by severe blood loss, malnutrition, infections etc. Blood loss could be due injury to blood vessels, internal bleeding or heavy menstrual bleeding. Repeated pregnancies, prolonged breastfeeding and heavy sweating can also cause iron deficiency, says Dr Malhotra.

Difficulty in absorbing dietary iron, lack of gastric hydrocholoric acid, which is necessary to liberate iron for absorption, can also decrease iron content in body, she adds. Iron deficiency can cause anaemia

Symptoms: Loss of appetite, pale skin, weakness, irritability and lowered resistance to disease etc.

Excess of iron: It can happen due to blood transfusion or taking supplements without medical guidance.

Tip: Iron is absorbed better in presence of vitamin C. Dietary iron taken from animal sources (liver, meat, chicken etc) is absorbed easily by body. While excess of calcium, presence of phytates (in cereals) and oxylates (in vegetables) can hamper iron absorption.

Copper, along with iron, is vital for production of haemoglobin. It stimulates growth of red blood cells. It is required for formation of melanin pigment and bone development.

Sources: Shellfish, betel leaves, arecanuts, mushrooms, nuts and seeds, whole grain cereals, legumes etc.

Copper deficiency: It can happen in severe malnutrition cases, nephrotic syndrome (kidney-related problems), cases and in anaemic persons.

Symptoms: Pale skin, low body temperature, demineralisation of bones.

Excess can cause hepatitis, renal malfunction and neurological disorders.

The RDA is 2 mg

It is present in liver, muscles, bones, teeth, hair and blood, while small amounts of zinc are present in tissue and bone cells.

Zinc helps in action of at least 25 enzymes needed for digestive and metabolic action. Zinc plays an essential role in formation of DNA and RNA. Zinc is needed for healthy skin, hair, proper healing of wounds, successful pregnancies, male sexual maturity and fertility.

The RDA is 12 mg for women and 15 mg for men. The RDA for pregnant women is 23 mg.

Sources: Seafood, meat, poultry, eggs, cereals, nuts, oilseeds etc. Deficiency results in growth failure, anaemia, loss of hair and dermatitis (scaly and dry skin).

Tip: Consuming zinc in excess of its RDA either through diet or supplements can decrease body’s supply of copper, and increase risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.

Its absorption from food is hampered if calcium supplements are taken with the meal. Also phytates (in pulses) can hamper the absorption of zinc.


Kashmiri delicacies a treat for Patialvis
Gurvinder Kaur

Touted to be one of the most exotic cuisines of the country, Kashmiri delicacies have since long occupied pride of place in a gourmet meal. And when specialist ‘Wazas’ (Kashmiri cooks) are brought in to serve you a slice of Kashmir’s authentic ‘Wazwaan’, the occasion is not to be missed.

Little wonder then that on entering the venue of the Kashmiri Food Festival currently underway at Patiala’s Garden Resorts you have to wait your turn to be served. A team of five cooks headed by chief chef Altaaf Khan who have set up an open kitchen in the hotel lawns are all set to provide you the flavour of authentic Kashmiri `Wazwaan’, meaning a feast or daawat. The Wazwaan is a seven-course meal which is a must at every grand Kashmiri occasion.

Every cuisine has particular spices and flavours which dominate the cooking style, as far as Kashmiri food is concerned. Freshly ground whole spices, especially Aniseed, both whole and powdered along with cinnamon and asafoetida, lend it a distinct taste. The cuisine is non-vegetarian and dishes made from ‘Maaz’ (mutton) form its mainstay. Chef Altaaf explains that Tabak Maaz - an integral part of Wazwaan is one delicacy that calls for rave reviews from food lovers all over the world. Tabak maaz is roasted mutton chest pieces which have been boiled earlier in milk and whole spices.

Another two must haves at the Wazwaan include the goshtaba and the rista, both of which are curried meatball dishes. While the first is curd-based, the second has an onion-tomato flavour to it. The Kashmiri seekh kabab is refreshingly different from the regular seekh kabab so popular in Northern India. Extremely luscious and liberally seasoned with pieces of almonds and cashew nuts, the kebab almost melts in your mouth.

Though Kashmiri cuisine has little to offer to the vegetarians, its ‘Chaman’- cottage cheese in a tomato based curry- is a culinary delight and so is the ‘Ali Yakhani’, the latter made from the humble bottle gourd. Altaaf fills you in, “The word `Yakhani` actually means a white gravy made from two essential ingredients - curd and small ‘Pran’ onions which are peculiar to the state of J & K and which lend the Yakhani its characteristic flavour. These onions can cost anything from Rs 50 to Rs 500 a kg depending upon the season. It is a little disturbing to see the word being used so loosely here. In most hotels the word is used to denote a soup”.

The breads accompanying the main dishes are, however, another ball game altogether. Usually ‘Girda’ (a small roti made in a Tandoor), ‘Lavasaa’ (akin to a Naan) and the ‘Bakarkhani’ (very crisp roti) are the traditional breads eaten by the Kashmiris. However, as the taste is yet to catch on here, the good old naan and tandoori roti remain the favourites.” Even the Kashmiri ‘Kawa’ (milkless tea) prepared in the traditional copper kettle ‘Samawar’ is not very popular here,” says Altaaf adding,” but come next time and you shall see how things pick up even better”.


The strong spirit behind the frail stature
Ruchika M. Khanna

Dr Suchet GoindiDo not be taken in by her frail, ageing frame or short stature. In the past, she has wielded a lathi and Rampuri chhura (knife), browbeating a mob into submission with as much elan as she taught the nuances of philosophy. Given a chance, she will still stand up to any wrong around her and tactfully handle the situation, without the use of force.

It is for no reason that Dr Suchet Goindi is a woman of substance. Being the daughter of “Sialkot Gandhi”, Mr Bhagwan Singh Goindi, she believes in practicing and professing Gandhian values, especially among the youth.”The future generations have to be taught the relevance of Gandhian thoughts and philosophy, so that they can be builders of a truly democratic nation,”she says. On a private visit to the city, the lady spoke about her work in promoting Gandhian philosophy, working for the amelioration of rural women.

Dr Goindi has served on the State Education Committee of Uttar Pradesh and was on Women’s Advisory Council of Allahabad University, her alma mater. In her second innings, post-retirement, she is serving a second term as Chairperson of Womens Committee on Higher Education. Besides, she is involved in the “Azadi Bachao Movement” against the MNCs ruining India economically and culturally. “Women have suffered more because of the advent of these MNCs, which believe in presenting women as commodities, and use them for selling their wares.”

And this is not all. She is on the enquiry committee of Allahabad University, has uncovered cases of embezzlement and of sexual harassment. Being a patron of the Servants of the People Society, Allahabad Chapter, she organises camps for youth, asking them their problems and offering them solutions. Along with her older sister, Dr Santosh Goindi, she is also involved in awakening rural women of their educational and social rights.

Being the daughter of Mr Bhagwan Singh Goindi, the Gandhian philosophy is her religion and this former Principal of Banda Government College in Uttar Pradesh has been fighting a long battle for preserving Gandhian values and inculcating these principles in youth. So she does not mind walking upto a youth smoking on the road and asking him to put off his cigarette because smoking is harmful.

Having taken up teaching as a career, Dr Goindi has always been associated with the youth. With a doctoral thesis on aesthetics and ethics in Greek philosophy with special reference to Plato, Dr Goindi could have gone anywhere in her pursuit for academic excellence. But she chose to be in her home state, Uttar Pradesh, and began teaching in Benaras Hindu University. She later took up a government lecturer’s job at Kashi Naresh Post Graduate Government College, now in Bhaduri.

It was in 1976 that the Uttar Pradesh Government set up the first Government College for Women and she was sent there as the founder Principal.”There was a lot of opposition to setting up of a girl’s college and goondaism in Rampur was at its peak. But I managed to stand by my belief of providing education to women and thwarted all attempts by goonda elements to disrupt the normal functioning of the college,” she recalls. The fire in her eyes, as she narrates the incident, proves that given a chance, she would repeat this, and more forcefully. TNS


Arif Zakaria moves away from controversial roles

Arif ZakariaArif Zakaria has always been famous as a performer. From “Chunauti” in which he commanded a huge fan following to “Campus” in which he graduated to play a professor, Arif has always managed to cast a spell as far as sensible, mature acting goes.

Straddling both cinema and television, the actor, went on to court instant fame when he accepted the challenging role of a eunuch in Kalpana Lajmi’s ‘Darmiyaan’. He still remembers how his mother detested the very thought. For his part, however, Zakaria, who was on his way to Manali for Anil Sharma’s film, “Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo”, said he got lucky with the role after Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan refused to oblige Kalpana.

Wedded to controversial cinema since then, Arif did not mind being reminded of the many challenges he faced while playing the eunuch. “When you are a man and you have to portray a woman’s emotions, it can get terribly difficult. It was no ordinary role, but once I accustomed myself to its demands it fell in place. Also after the success of ‘Bandit Queen’, one was convinced that the audience was looking for novelty. However, now that the role is over, I am looking forward to newer roles, in lesser controversial films. The idea is to taste the best of both the worlds.”

The first one in this line of non controversial films is the latest Anil Sharma film in which Zakaria has a song sequence, to be directed by choreographer Ganesh Acharya. Acharya was also with him today. TNS


Creative and enterprising
Monica Ahluwalia

Creative and enterprising. These are the words to describe the two young girls, Sunpreet Kaur and Harjot, who are all set to organise an exhibition-cum- sale of handicrafts in Patiala. Handmade paper products and candles are the speciality of these two friends, who started this passion of giving life to lifeless things like paper and wax. Their aim is not only to earn money but also to create awareness about environment as well. That is why they are using eco-friendly paper for their products.

What started as a hobby is now a passion for both of us, smiles Sunpreet. Armed with degrees in fashion designing and interior decoration from NIFD, the two friends decided to make things related to home decor and this joint venture came into existence. “In the beginning we use to gift handmade products to our friends and relatives, who inspired us to start our own business of handicrafts,” informs Sunpreet.

The two friends have a terrific range of handicrafts, candles, photo frames, photo albums and decoration pieces. You can lay your hands on candles ranged between Rs 20 to Rs 100. Photo-frames made of bead are prized between a range of Rs 125 to Rs 250. In addition to this, you can also buy traditional ‘shagun’ envelops for just Rs 10.

These two friends have done a short-term course in art of candle-making and hand-made paper products from Mumbai. Each candle is handcrafted and then its beauty is enhanced with glitters, flowers, beads, says Sunpreet. “We are also planning to organise summer workshops,” she added.


A world of creativity

The maturity of thought belie their age. Ready to step into the world of creativity, final year painting students of Government College of Art have come out with exhibits for their annual group show titled “The Fourteen Essence”, which is going on in the college hall in Chandigarh’s Sector 10.

Exploring difficult subjects like human relationships, various shades of life, nature’s beauty, students have experienced with colours and forms in different media — from acrylic to oil, to lithographs to etching and photography and installations.

The exhibition which was inaugurated by Mr S.P. Singh, managing Director, CITCO, on April 3 showcases works of 14 students — Surbhi, Shweta, Gurdeep, Smridhi, Manpreet, Harawal, Deepika, Vidushi, kavita, Hardeep, rahat, Kanchan, Ritu and Mal

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