C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Maths Dept students for re-exam
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, April 26
Alleging that the paper of “Probability and mathematical statistics”, held by Panjab University here today, had been leaked to students of Government College, Hoshiarpur, M Sc II students of the Department of Mathematics, Panjab University here, demanded a re-exam.

The students claimed that after the examination, when they got in touch with their batchmates in Hoshiarpur, they were told that the question paper given in examination halls today had been, a few days ago, circulated to them as assignment by their subject teacher. Out of the 20 questions in the assignment, 18 of these were common to the question paper.

In an application submitted to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, the students, led by the president of the University Science Students Association (USSA), demanded an inquiry into the paper leakage and appealed for a re-exam in the paper. They said the VC had assured action against the guilty.

Earlier, the students sat on a dharna outside the office of the Vice-Chancellor, armed with the assignment sheets given to students of Government College, Hoshiarpur.


PU to call experts to solve MA (Eng) syllabi row
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, April 26
The controversy over the deletion of options from the syllabi of MA English kicked up yet another row at the meeting of the Academic Council here today, following which the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, decided to have the matter examined by experts from outside the university.

“I will constitute a committee of experts from outside Panjab University to deliberate and give their recommendations in the matter. Let them examine what is essential and what is not,” he said after hearing arguments of both sides.

Pitted against each other, the chairperson, Dr Manju Jaidka, supported by Dr Aneel Raina, defended the combining of two options of linguistics, while Dr Pushpinder Syal along with Dr Santosh Gupta spoke against the change, stating that combining the two papers did not “make sense”.

While the Council passed the syllabi of MA I and the first two papers of MA II, a decision on Papers II and IV, in the eye of a storm, has been held back. In the arguments before the House, Dr Santosh Gupta and Dr Pushpinder Syal pointed out that the papers on linguistics were central to teaching English. “Without linguistics we cannot afford to train future teachers. While linguistics is a science, literature is an art. There is no way the Board of Studies can combine the two papers of Theoretical Linguistics and Applied Linguistics,” Dr Gupta said.

Referring to a meeting held yesterday to resolve the crisis in the department, Dr Syal added that she had been forced to agree that there was no problem in combining the two papers in question. “I was not heard on grounds that I was a ‘lone voice’ and that decisions were made democratically. The committee arrived at the decision that the two papers could be combined and that was the end of it,” she maintained.

Also, a letter was circulated to all members at the meeting of the council. The letter mentioned that the committee had taken into account all objections raised against the change in syllabi and considered these in the light of suggestions made by Prof N.K. Oberoi, a former faculty member of the university, before arriving at the conclusion that nothing was wrong with combining the two papers.

However, it failed to mention what were the suggestions of Professor Oberoi in the matter. Taking this up, the Dean, science faculty, Prof R.D. Anand, said the two options had been combined despite the fact that there was tremendous response for the same.

Later, Dr Jaidka, defending the change in syllabi, stated that the matter had been referred twice to the Board of studies and discussed over and over again at the meeting of the faculty. “Nobody had any objection to it especially when we have done it for other options as well. If we take this up, faculty members with specialisations in options deleted from the course will also demand that their option be offered,” she explained.

Dr Raina said the syllabus had been framed keeping the UGC-NET examination in mind.

During the course of discussions, a member pointed out that MSc (IT) which did not have a UGC-NET test, was not being recognised in other universities and colleges. Professor Pathak said the course was equivalent to any other MSc of PU and that, recently, the UGC had allowed students MSc (IT) to take their UGC test with students of MSc (computer science and applications). A circular to this effect would be circulated to all colleges shortly.


School board team to probe missing answersheets
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 26
The Punjab School Education Board will send a team of employees to Beas to check and report to the board the status of inquiry into the answersheets that went missing from a school there.

As many as 1400 answersheets of Class VIII examination have gone missing from Government Senior Secondary School, Beas, where these answersheets had been sent for making. According to Mr Khushbir Singh, in charge middle cell, 800 Hindi subject answersheets and 600 Punjabi subject answersheets have been reported missing from the school. The school Principal, Mr Narinder Singh had lodged an FIR in this regard. Mr Narinder Singh said since the answersheets had been corrected, and award lists received in the board before these got lost, thus, the incident would have no effect on the declaration of results.


When students, Army guarded LoC
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 26
For 14 students of Yadvindra Public School here, a seven-day trip to the Line of Control (LoC) was an experience which will not be easily forgotten. On an invitation from Pinewood School in the Rajouri sector of the LoC, these students, which comprised seven boys and seven girls, shared a week with the Army guarding some of the most sensitive posts on the India-Pakistan border.

“We volunteered to go to the LoC. And enjoyed every bit of experience,” gushed Gurleen, one of the lucky 14. The 14 students, accompanied by two teachers, Mrs Jyotsana and Lieut Col Ramesh Pathania (retd), left for the trip on March 27 and were back on April 2. “We had hired taxis and went to Akhnoor first, then Chammb, followed by Rajouri and ended with a visit to the Poonch sector,” said Simran.

The girls — Simran, Kanika, Alisha, Ramandeep, Prabhjot, Ishani and Gurleen — and the boys — Komalbeer, Mukul, Salil, Prayaas, Rishabh, Nikhil and Harkirat — were all praise for the soldiers. “They are so brave and full of grit. It is a hard life up there but every soldier follows the routine with courage and discipline,” said Salil. “We have come back enlightened. We now try to be disciplined and brave. All of us want to join the Army. The girls have decided to marry Army men if they are not able to join the Army,” added Alisha.

But discipline and grit is not all that these 14 have learnt. “When we saw that at those heights people have to stand in queues for hours for water and wait endlessly for electricity, we decided not to waste what is so easily available to us here,” said Prabhjot.

“It was practice firing that we enjoyed the most. It was a 219 kg weapon. Three of us could barely lift it. We fired it at the Pakistanis,” said Mukul. “We travelled in a 3-tonne Army truck also,” added Nikhil. “The students of Pinewood School presented a cultural programme for us. We were really touched. I wish we could go there again,” said Rishabh.

“The soldiers told us that the least that we can do for them is pray. After all it is for us that they are all facing such hardships,” said Ramandeep. And what is the one lesson they all learnt? “Life is a struggle, but struggle you must, to succeed,” they chorus.


Kids celebrate India’s unity in diversity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Showcasing of the tradition and modernity marked the annual day celebrations of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Air Force high grounds, here today. The theme of the celebrations was India’s unity in diversity. Tiny tots presented a programme portraying their plight in classroom. Meritorious students were given prizes by the guest of honour, Ms Maneesha Khandeker. Gp Capt P.P.Khandekar, who was the chief guest, lauded the role of the school.

The Principal, Ms S.K.Bhatia, read out the annual report. Ms Kanta Sikri, the coordinator, hosted the function.


Lecturer selected to NAAC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Dr Dalip Kumar, a lecturer with the Government College for Girls, Sector 42, has been selected as member of the peer team of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), an autonomous institution of the University Grants Commission.

The agenda of the NAAC was to assess and accredit institutions of higher learning with an objective to helping them to improve the quality of education. Dr Kumar has been called for an orientation programme to be held at the Commonwealth Youth Programme Asia, Chandigarh.


Highlighting problems of women, youth
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, April 26
Its difficult to say which side of Anees Jung is more potent - her pen or her imposing personality. Author of bestseller “Unveiling India”, Anees Jung can drive home her point as forcefully as she can turn the tables at a press conference to her own advantage.

In city to take part in a book-reading session for her latest book “Beyond the Courtyard”, a sequel to “Unveiling India”, Anees Jung talks about the problems of women and youth. “My book is not a pretty book, but it addresses the crucial issues like female foeticide, dowry and rape and adolescent problems,” she says.

“India is shining, but it is shining only in a few pockets in India,” she attacks as she makes herself comfortable in the coffee Shop of Hotel Mountview. “Go to the rural India where a woman does not have the courage to speak her mind or an adolescent is looking for sympathetic listener to unburden herself” says Anees Jung whose extensive research work for her book had taken her to all the nook and corners of the country.

Anees Jung has dedicated one chapter on the problem of female foeticide in Punjab in her book “Beyond the Courtyard” that opens with a touching sentence,’ she is unsafe in her mother’s womb as she is in this world’. The writer is going to visit Fatehgarh Sahib and those families whom she visited 20 years ago for the base studies of her “Unveiling India”and then recently for its sequel- concentrating this time on the offsprings of the mothers she interviewed earlier.

According to Anees Jung, nothing much has changed in the past so many years. “Only cosmetic changes have come in Punjab. More girls are attending schools now but when it comes to decision making, woman has little say” she says. Another factor is the norms of family planning, it has achieved its target but at what cost ? Female foeticide has gone to that extent that now Punjabis have to get brides from other states,” she continues.

Pointing at another major change in Punjab she has noticed in the recent times, the celebrated author says — “When I came here as M.S. Randhawa’s guest last time, I used to see Punjabis working proudly in their fields, a sight which is entirely replaced by migrant labourers working in those fields now.”

What are the solutions to all the problems? “As an author I can just highlight the issues but I am not here to give solutions,” says Anees Jung. “Solution has to emerge from the society itself, a society which has conditioned women to be submissive to their menfolk and a society where a man’s primary role is to drink alcohol, impregnate women and bully over them,” she laments.

Author of several books, including “Unveiling India” ,”Night of the New Moon”, “Seven Sisters” and “Breaking the Silence” and a columnist for major newspapers in India and abroad, Anees Jung has one more passion in life — to make youth studies acceptable at university level. “Like Women’s Studies Centres, universities can open up Youth Studies Centres,” she says. “No political parties have addressed youth problems till date and it is high time that the real issues are tackled soon, instead of feeding their imagination and dreams through glittering commercials,” she adds.

The author is going to interact with the students of Shivalik Public School, Sector 41, in the morning and take part in another book-reading session at the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10 at 3.30 pm.

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