C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


B. Com (II) results declared
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
Panjab University declared the result of B. Com (II) examination held in April, here today. The result gazette will be available at the new enquiry office of the university for consultation and personal enquiry on all working days between 10 am and 4 pm. The result will also be available on the university website www.puchd.ac.in from 10 am onwards from tomorrow. No telephonic result enquiry will, however, be entertained.

Meeting: Mr Gyula Krajczar, bureau chief of Nepszabadsag, a Hungarian daily, called on the Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Prof K.N. Pathak, today. He evinced interest in academic programmes, history and standing of Panjab University for the benefit of his countrymen.

Mr Krajczar said the Indian Ambassador to Hungary had extended invitation to mediapersons to visit India and explore possibilities of exchange programmes. He informed that prior to that the Prime Minister of Hungary had also visited India for strengthening ties, mutual trade and other programmes. He said that he would also visit Hyderabad and Agra.

Panjab University, known for its global recognition, has evoked interest amongst educationists in his country, he said. The Vice-Chancellor presented him literature of university and shared information of mutual interests.

Rescheduled: Panjab University will hold the BAMS third professional examination scheduled to be held from May 28, at Shri Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College. The examination has been postponed till further intimation.

Invited: Prof B.S. Ghuman from the Department of Public Administration, Panjab University, who is also principal investigator, SHARP, and two other team members Dr Dhian Kaur, Chairperson, Department of Geography, and Dr Ramanjit Kaur Johal, a lecturer, Department of Public Administration, are visiting Canada in June on the invitation of their Canadian research partner, the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD), Winnipeg.

The team members will get training on participatory action research relating to the area of livestock and environment interaction. The team will also make a presentation of field-based study report titled: ‘Livestock and Environment Sustainability: Experience of the Indian Punjab’. The team members have also been invited by the head office of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) at Calgary to participate in a workshop on Indo-Canada Research: Opportunities and Challenges to be held on June 14, in Ottawa.


200 B.E. graduates awarded degrees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
As many as 200 graduates were awarded B.E. degrees in eight different disciplines of engineering at the 33rd annual convocation of Punjab Engineering College here today.

Various medals were also awarded on this occasion to the students for their outstanding performances in different fields of engineering. The Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Prof. K.N. Pathak, was the chief guest. Addressing the convocation, Professor Pathak said the engineering education all over the world had undergone a paradigm shift in its philosophy, curriculum, teaching-learning process, the structure and its management.

He exhorted the young engineers to come forward to set up companies that hire, grow and make profits in order to mould the system of engineering in the direction of entrepreneurship which would be better for the growth and prosperity of the nation as a whole.

The Principal, Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Dr Baljeet S. Kapoor, presented the annual report of the college and highlighted the excellent performance of the students in academics, sports and other extra-curricular activities. He also mentioned about the infrastructural developments and the IT facilities that have taken place on the campus which were being strengthened continuously.

Dr Kapoor also expressed gratitude to the industries that had expressed faith in the graduates of the college by imparting training and recruiting them through campus interviews.

Those awarded at the convocation were: Tarun Deep Kaur- Administrator’s Gold Medal for overall outstanding performance during 1999 to 2003 (Electrical Engineering); Narender Kumar — Advisor’s gold Medal for overall performance in sports during 1999 to 2003 (Computer Science and Engineering); Smita Garg - Miglani Memorial Gold Medal (computer science and engineering); Tarun Jain - Kalpana Chawla Memorial Award (Aeronautical Engineering).

Gold medals for standing first with Honours in Panjab University went to Tarun Jain, Sandeep Gupta, Smita Garg, Shuchi Bhandari, Dheeresh Pathak, Anshuman Bhatnagar, Prashant Dheeraj and Anirudh Chaudary.

Silver medals for standing first in the Major project went to Damini Puri, Manuj Bhatia, Sarthak Mahapatra, Ritvik Sahajpal, Rohit Kumar, Navdeep Singh, Amit Bandlish, R. Shankaran, Sachin Singh, Anirudh Chaudary and Manik Somani.


ICSW felicitates students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
The first batch of pass-outs of a garment-stitching course and computer course was felicitated by the Indian Council of Social Welfare at a function held at the National Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, here today.

While students who had completed the computer course were awarded certificates and a cheque for Rs 3000, sewing machines were gifted to students enrolled for the garment-stitching course at ICSW.

The wife of Punjab Governor, Ms Shobha Verma, the chief guest at the function, and Dr Ranjana Malik, the guest of honour, gave away the prizes to the first-batch of passouts from the two courses.

Students of “Khushee”, a slum school run by ICSW, presented a skit on environment protection. Manish and Preeti, students of this school, were given gifts to appreciate their effort.

Among a large number of dignitaries present at the function, Ms Kamlesh, Mayor, and Ms Kamlesh Gupta, Chairperson of the Chandigarh Social Welfare Advisory Board, were also present.


Rajasthan boy wins 4 awards in Japan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
Winning laurels at the international level consecutively for six years is no mean achievement for a student in his teens. But Tushar Khandelwal from Rajasthan has done this. The 16-year-old student of St Mary’s International School in Tokyo won four awards for his intellectual assets and creative talents this year.

Grandson of social activist Triloki Das Khandelwal, Tushar is currently studying in Class X. He has been awarded the Certificate of Recognition by the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary School Principals for his performance. He has also received Certificates of Recognition for his brilliance in algebra and oratory abilities. He was also the recipient of the awards for outstanding achievement in algebra and geometry in 2002 and 2003, respectively.

In 1998, Tushar was the only Indian student whose paintings were selected from over 9000 entries for display in museums in Japan.



Automated guided vehicle project completed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 26
Students of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Bhaddal, today completed a project on the creation of an “automated guided vehicle”.

Exploiting the capability of micro-controllers to measure and monitor real-time variables like pressure, humidity, temperature and noise, the project had been undertaken by Bhavana Sharma, Kamaldeep Singh Toor and Pamilpreet Kaur of final year instrumentation engineering, under the guidance of Mr Jitendra Virmani, lecturer.


NSUI flays fee hike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
The National Students Union of India (NSUI) has condemned the fee hike imposed by the Chandigarh Administration in city colleges. An emergency meeting of the state executive body was held today to discuss the issue of fee hike.

The NSUI activists said that fee hikes had become frequent and education was getting out of reach of the poor. The president of NSUI, Nitin Goyal, announced that the hike would not be tolerated at any cost and they would not hesitate to launch an agitation to get this decision of the Administration reversed.


Law students seek grace marks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
Students of the sixth semester of the Department of Laws, Panjab University, have complained that two questions in their Paper V-D (Law of Intellectual Property) held on May 22 were out of syllabus. They have submitted a representation to the university authorities seeking grace marks.

They have claimed that question numbers one and eight were out of syllabus and there was no teacher at the time of the examination to address their queries. Meanwhile, a fourth semester examination of Department of Chemical Engineering, scheduled for today was postponed on account of handing out of wrong question papers.


Usha made member of Lok Adalat
Our High Court Correspondent

Usha GuptaChandigarh, May 26
Member of the Panjab University (PU) Senate and former Principal of MCM DAV College for Women Usha Gupta has been appointed Member of the Permanent Lok Adalat at the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

According to information, Ms Gupta took over her assignment yesterday.

She remained in the teaching profession for over 36 years and retired as Principal last year.

She was also a member of the Syndicate and Board of Finance of Panjab University and was also a nominated member of the Super Bazar Advisory Committee. In her new assignment, she would work with Justice AL Bahri, Chairman of the Lok Adalat.



Contest for Rafi award on June 6
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
The Yaadgar-e-Rafi Society will hold a contest to select the best male and female singer of the region at DAV College here on June 6 at 8 a.m. The male singers will sing Rafi songs and the females Lata numbers.

The winner in each category will be given the award and the first and the second runners-up will be honoured with trophies.

These awards will be given away by Sunil Dutt at the society’s Rafi Nite Function in November. More details can be had on 0172-2654685 or 98147-07714.


Home Decor
A royal home
Ruchika M. Khanna

The living room and dining room are separated with an exquisitely painted Himachali palanquin.This house retains its royal elegance while showing off modern leanings. Kutlehar House, the city abode of erstwhile rulers of the Kutlehar state in Himachal, is a heady mix of Himachal traditions and modernity.

The living room and dining room are separated with an exquisitely painted Himachali palanquin. — Tribune photos by Manoj Mahajan.

Himachali artefacts and equipment for modern day living have been beautifully blended in this house in Sector 23. The facade may not look very promising with its cemented exteriors, but interiors exude warmth.


Constructed almost two decades ago, when the scion of the state, Mr Rupendra Pal, was studying in the city. The two-storey house is a replica of British style villas. Constructed on a 800 square yard plot, the house is divided into two blocks - the main block for the family and the adjacent block for the secretarial staff, guests and study for children and Mr Rupendra Pal.

Informs Mr Rupendra Pal, “This house was designed by my mother Kamal Deiji. Just like in the old days, when the main building used by royals was separate from the building meant for guests, secretarial or domestic staff, she ensured that the family’s living space was independent of the staff or the guest rooms.”

The main block thus comprise of two living rooms, dining room, kitchen and pantry on the ground floor, with the bedrooms, a meditation room and a family den on the first floor. The interiors have been done by Mr Rupendra Pal himself and the house has on display several rare artefacts collected over the centuries by royals of Kutlehar, and crafted by artisans of the state.

A beautiful kaleidoscope of colours in the form of ‘alpana’ right in front of the driveway leads to the foyer- which in turn has been done up with exotic plants and several water bodies. A huge marble staircase winds its way to the top floor before the foyer opens into a huge hall. The hall is divided into a living room and a dining area with a Himachali hand-painted palanquin with a stone-sculpted human figure resting in it and bright red curtains with rich gold weave. On one side, a magnificent wooden fireplace creates emphasis with Ashok laths used by the ushers of the King and spears perched on top of the mantlepiece with a huge portrait of Mr Rupendra Pal’s grandfather in the middle.

All along the walls of this living room, as also the staircase, family photographs, in black and white, add life to the room. This living room is done in comfy sofas and a home-theatre system adds a touch of the modern. One of the most exquisite features of the house is the use of water bodies (at least three lotus ponds and miniature water falls) in this room. “In Himachal, especially in Kutlehar, we have a lot of streams. The sound of water gushing gives a feeling of deja vu about home in Himachal,” says Mr Rupendra Pal.

The formal dining area on the other side is simple, the only elaborate thing being a part of a silver seat and a Belgian glass on one side. Crockery, exotic designs and shapes stare from huge cabinets running along the entire length and breadth of a wall.

The formal living room is done up in neutral colours, with red (which Mr Rupendra Pal calls the colour of life) bringing relief to the eyes and adding warmth to the room. Furniture in silver, wildlife trophies (deer and tiger trophies) and other family heirlooms adorn the area. Silk sarees in crimson, embellished with zardozi work have been hung like tankhas on one side.

The monotony of the sitting arrangement is broken by using a number of tables in between the sofas. Adorned with family photographs, oriental artifacts like vases and jars and of course gold-embroidered coastals, all speak of class. The Indian way of keeping flowers in a room by tying it into torans has been used. A intricately painted ‘suhaag pitari’ in leather has been placed strategically under a glass table for adding colour.

The drawing room is a mix of modern with traditional Himachal artifacts on display.

A huge marble staircase winds to the top and walls are decorated with family photographs and photographs of other royals. 


Indo-Nepal royal alliance uncovered
Aditi Tandon

Gautam Sher Jang Bahdur RanaLast year Timeless Books released the first ever coffee table book on the Ranas of Nepal. Written by three aristocrats who trace their lineage to the royal Rana family which has roots in India, the book broke records as the first 1500 copies were sold within the first year of publication. The demand was so huge that the next set of 2500 copies also vanished from the shelves as soon as it landed there. Now “The Ranas of Nepal” may enter a third edition and one of its authors was in Chandigarh today to tell us why.

Gautam Shamsher Jang Bahadur (SJB) Rana is highly conscious of his lingering name, just as he is of the royal Ranas’ sense of exuberance. In fact, every Rana is essentially SJB. For convenience they use an acronym. As the conversation wandered from the length of names, it obviously rested on the book that reflects strong affiliations between Nepal and Indian nobility.

Gautam explains, “Not many people know that the Indian royalty is closely related with the Ranas of Nepal. In fact, the Ranas belong to Udaipur in Rajasthan. They migrated to Nepal in 1301 and ruled for 105 years. They were clever rulers and knew the strategic importance of forging alliances with a developing India. But more than in any other field, they chose to strike alliances in matrimony. Many women from Indian royalty have been wives to Ranas who have, in turn, given their daughters in marriage to Indian rulers.”

Interestingly Rana rulers preferred to call themselves hereditary prime ministers. Gautam himself is the great grandson of Chandra Shamsher, the last PM of Nepal, which went under the rule of the Shahs in the 1950s. The other two authors of the book released last year are Prabhakar SJB Rana, now a prominent businessman of Nepal and Pashupati SJB Rana, a politician married to Madhav Rao Scindia’s sister Usha Raje Scindia.

Spanning the 19th and 20th centuries, the book offers a striking insight into the history and customs of the Ranas, besides portraying them as reformist rulers. It also reveals the squalor of rule at times, admitting in the last chapter that the rule had become outdated. Says Gautam, “In every spell of rule there comes a time when the need for change gets the better of rulers. The Rana regime collapsed as winds of change blew through Nepal. Unfortunately things did not change for good. Nepal went from the frying pan into fire.”

No wonder the Hindu kingdom is yearning for a change yet again. With the Maoists leading the movement for liberation, the royalty may once again suffer a setback. It has already lost much of the respect it enjoyed. In such a scenario writing a book that lauded another line of rulers could have been dicey. But Gautam disagrees, “I never felt democracy suited Nepal. Also I think the nobility is still respected. People now just want a figure head. Moreover, Nepal is too small and too illiterate a country to accommodate democracy.”

Besides an author, Gautam is also the force behind Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust in Nepal. He recently converted the cowshed of his ancestral Baber Palace into shops constructed in the old system of mud and mortar. A virtual architectural museum, the complex is high on the tourist priority list. UNESCO has now funded Gautam to write a book on the evolution of the Mahal. Gautam is also working on organizing an exhibition of Punjabi phulkari in Nepal, besides planning the launch of Louis Vitton in Chandigarh shortly. 


Mega model show fails to impress

Govind and Harpreet, Mr & Miss Mega Model 2004The locals too want their share of the glam pie. So we had some aspiring glam dolls and poster boys stamping on the ramp, showing off their not-so-impressive vital statistics in typical street fashion. As many as eight female and 14 male contestants vied for the “Mr and Miss Mega Model” titles.

Govind and Harpreet, Mr & Miss Mega Model 2004

The show was organised by Citi Entertainment Network and Western Star Group at Tagore Theatre on Wednesday evening. The three-hour beauty contest consisted of five round-traditional, casual, sports, black and white and a question-and-answer session. While the traditional round saw the women sporting sarees and lehangas and men in bandgalas and kurta pyjamas, the sports round saw the gals in minis, shorts and desi versions of Polo sport pyjamas and guys in taekwondo gear.

The drama went on for three hours, with several dance groups performing on the ramp. Dance performance by two children — Neha and Ishaan — stole the show.

The question-answer round exposed the ignorance of the contestants.

Manpreet Brar, Nidhi Aggarwal and Harbans Albela were the judges.

Harpreet and Govind were crowned Ms and Mr Mega Model, respectively, while Rashmi and Meenakshi were the first and second runners-up. Amongst the male contestants, Gurjit and Tarun were adjudged the first and second runners-up. TNS



Zee prepares city for big break

Bikers add zing to the road show organised by Zee Network on Wednesday to promote ‘Zee Big Break’ auditions in city.In the run up to the much-awaited auditions for ‘Zee Big Break’, Zee TV today organised a road show in the city. Meant to pass on details about the first-of-its-kind talent show in the country, the show featured bikers giving away information on when and how to approach the big day.

Bikers add zing to the road show organised by Zee Network on Wednesday to promote ‘Zee Big Break’ auditions in city. — A Tribune photograph

To be organised at GGDSD College, Sector 32, on June 2 and 3, the auditions will culminate in the selection of two boys and two girls each for the mega finals to be held in Mumbai later.

Mr Himmat Sandhu, Vice-President, Zee Network, said the show was being organised in 20 cities of India. “We will have 80 finalists who will go through a rigorous audition schedule in Mumbai. The final two winners will get to act opposite Sunny Deol, Salman Khan and Preity Zinta.” A special film would be made to accommodate the winners. The rest of the finalists would also feature either in Zee serials or in Zee news telecast.

As 16 college boys covered hot spots of the city on their bikes, Mr Sandhu said famous film-maker N. Chandra was expected to grace the panel of judges during the final round of audition which will be held on June 4 at the same venue. Zee is expecting about 6,000 youngsters for the audition in Chandigarh.

Just before the auditions, Zee will also organise a truck-mounted display to popularise the event among the youth.

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