C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Counselling to engineering colleges to be hassle-free
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The counselling for admission to top engineering colleges of the country is going to be a hassle-free exercise.
With the National Institute of Technical Teachers' Training and Research (NITTTR) all set to conduct counselling from July 7 to 17, over 50,000 aspirants can breath easy as they will not have to move from pillar to post for admission to various engineering colleges.

Under this unique exercise, the candidates, who had appeared for the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE), will have to appear for counselling at the Institute's campus in Sector 26 here only. They will be getting admission to various engineering colleges, including the National Institutes of Technology (NITs), depending on their ranks, sources informed here today.

The admissions, the sources said, would be done at the state-level and national-level engineering institutes. On the basis of the performance of the candidate in the AIEEE, he is allotted a state and the all-India rank. The counselling under "one roof" will help the students and their parents decide the institute of their choice.

Terming the online system as "highly-transparent and reliable", Dr OP Bajpai, Institute Director, claimed that the new system would be less cumbersome, time-saving. He informed that since last year the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development had made it compulsory for all government engineering colleges and deemed universities to make admissions from amongst the students appearing in the AIEEE.

Earlier, the counselling for admission was quite a task with colleges holding their own counselling sessions at their respective institutes. This resulted in the wastage of precious time and resources of the candidates. Sometimes, the candidates had missed the counselling of certain colleges as dates of counselling of different colleges clashed.


Ayurvedic college fee row ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The week-long embroglio over the fee structure of the unaided Sri Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College, Sector 46, ended today as the college was asked to accept the fee of Rs 55,000 from students as had been mentioned in the prospectus.

At a meeting held today, Justice G.R. Majithia (retired), who is heading the committee to finalise the fee structure of the unaided colleges in Punjab and Chandigarh, directed the college management to charge Rs 55,000 from the students who had already been given provisional admission in the college by the centralised medical admission committee at GMCH last week. It was also conveyed to the college that the current fee structure was provisional and the new recommendations of the committee on the fee structure, which are expected within a month, would be binding on the college.

The Secretary, from Health Education, Punjab, Mr Satish Chandra, PGI Director Prof K.K. Talwar, Registrar of Panjab University Prof Paramjit Singh, Coordinator of the admissions Prof H.M. Swami, Vice President of the college Dr Naresh Mittal and Principal of the SD Ayurvedic College Dr Baldev Krishan were the other officials present at the meeting. The affected parents and students, who had been given admission in the college were also present to air their grievances against the college management.

It may be mentioned here that the entire controversy started when the ayurvedic college asked the students to deposit Rs 81,600 as fee at the time of counselling on June 30, which was way above the listed fee of Rs 55,000. The plea taken by the college management for charging the enhanced amount was its inability to run classes any lesser amount.

Meanwhile, when asked by Chandigarh Tribune of the schedule of the admission process in the college after the decision on fee had been taken, the Vice President of the college, Dr Mittal, said the management would have a meeting on Tuesday to decide the further course of action. “We have called the meeting of the management tomorrow and then decide the schedule for admissions,” he saidCC


Research scholars face hostel blues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Research scholars of Panjab University have never had it so bad during vacation time. With hostel messes and canteens closed, these scholars have had a tough time arranging for three square meals for themselves. Food-hunting, for them, has become a major exercise in this hot, humid weather and academics is on the back-burner.

With the hostel mess closed during vacation, the canteens behind the Law Department and the University Business Schools catered to the research scholars, providing them full meals at reasonable prices.

However, the recent auction of these canteens has upset their schedule. Now, the first thought on waking up is that of arranging a decent breakfast. The same is true for dinner time, before the scholars call it a day.

“I have been on the campus for seven years and have never had to go looking for food. This is the first time such a problem has arisen and no official seems interested in handling it. Our only hope is that with students returning to the campus, the mess service would start shortly, ending our woes,” says Lallan Singh of the Department of Philosophy.


Lieut-Col Sharma fails to appear before court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The GCM trying Col Anil Sahgal at Chandimandir will re-assemble tomorrow, as Lieut-Col B B Sharma, one of the witnesses sought by the prosecution, could not appear before the court today. Colonel Sharma also allegedly figured in the Tehelka tapes and his services were later terminated by the Army.

Prosecution counsel, Mr Arvind Moudgil, informed the court that the witness could not appear because of personal as well as certain administrative problems which had cropped up. On being inquired by the court, he maintained that henceforth all witnesses would depose before the court regularly.

Normally, court martial proceedings are held on a daily basis, but in the case of this GCM, which commenced on April 5, only 13 hearings have been held. In the past two months since the proceedings began, just one witness has been examined so far, when editor of tehelka.com, Mr Tarun Tejpal, deposed on June 8.


Are you ready to go underground?
Parbina Rashid

DOES the very thought of an underground parking conjures up images from Hollywood movies; in which the fair maiden, driving alone in those dimly lit parking lots, get mugged by goons? If you agree then you are certainly not ready for the Chandigarh Administration’s big plan to introduce underground parking in the city’s busiest shopping areas.

The much-hyped plans of multiplexes in sector 17 and multi-storey shopping centres in Sector 34, both boasting of underground parking facilities, seem to have divided the city residents into two camps.

While the architects working on both plans swear by Le Corbusier that underground parking is the only way out for the ever-growing traffic congestion in the city, the residents are still apprehensive about this new concept.

“There is a psychological fear attached with the underground parking,” says Mr A. Raghbir Singh of Sector 34. “It is not just the fear of getting mugged but also the darkness and isolation tend to repel people from entering such parking lots,” adds Mr Raghbir Singh while referring to the hardly used underground parking lots in Sector 17 and sector 8.

“We had a very unpleasant experience in one of the underground parking place abroad and it is still difficult for me to get into one,” says Ms M. Sen, a city resident.

“Their fear is justified,” says Prof Aditya Prakash, former Professor of College of Architecture and one of the oldest resident of the city. “The feeling inside an underground parking in general is not conducive to a man’s well being and if the existing ones are anything to go by, the dingy interior repels most of the people even from entering them,” he adds.

Prof Aditya Prakash who has come up with a unique plan of elevating all leading roads to a sector to segregate motorised traffic from un-motorised ones as well as the pedestrians, to make the city a “pedestrian’s paradise”, says “if roads are elevated, connecting those Central Business District zones, there will be ample of parking space on both sides of the roads which will save the administration a lot of money and headache in the long run.”

According to Professor Aditya Prakash, underground parking means round-the-clock electricity supply, high maintenance cost, security, flood preventive measures etc, which will make parking a costly affair for the people.

However, his plan seems to be a far cry from the line of idea along which the architect team is working on these projects.

“It is true that people have some kind of phobia when it comes to enter an underground parking, but this seems to be the only solution to tackle the ever-growing number of vehicles in the city,” says Mr Jeet Gupta, president of local architect association who is working on the Sector 34 project.

To overcome this problem Mr Gupta suggests infusing life in those underground parking lots by adding certain activities. “The parkings have to be designed in such a way so that cars flow in and out all the time, giving a sense of movement and life,” he says.

“There is nothing mystic about underground parking,” says Mr S.D. Sharma, veteran architect who is supervising the Sector 34 shopping complex. “Under-ground parking is very desirable and viable for the city and one the resident gets acquainted with the concept they will accept it wholeheartedly,” he adds.


Serials should not go on for ever, says Gul
Monica Sharma

Curly locks falling on her fragile shoulders, deep dark eyes smiling gleefully and dimples on her comely cheeks complementing her grin, city-bred former Femina Miss India Universe Gul Panag was here even before the announcement was made. As she made herself comfortable after addressing a gathering at the CII this morning, she spoke about something she is a veteran at — acting and television serials. “Serial on the small screen,” she said, “should not go on and on for ever”.

Once a model, then an anchor and now a budding film star — Gul asserted, “Serials on the television should continue as long as the message is vivid. One should just not allow the message to get diluted and the serial to go haywire”.

Flashing a warm smile, she said, “Kashmir — the serial I was acting in — continued for just 17 episodes, even though it was scheduled to be aired till the completion of 25 episodes”. She was now looking beyond serials and ramps, she added. “Right now I am busy acting in four films,” she said.

No, Gul is not finding it difficult because she has already worked in an art film “Dhoop” with Revathi and Om Puri. Her next film “Jurm” with Bobby Deol, directed by Vikram Bhatt, will be released in October. Till now, she was content doing music videos and anchoring travel and beauty shows on the television.

Besides acting, there is another thing Gul believes in. And that is working for a social cause — at least this is what she asserted. “Everyone has social sensitivity in him. That is the reason why they should all come forward to work for a social cause”, she said.

Citing her own example, she smiled, “When I was just a little girl, perhaps, in class VIII, I was involved in a garbage cleaning campaign in our area. Now I am generating awareness about AIDS and HIV”.

Talking about her journey on the road to success, she said she won the pageant at the age of 19. “It is not that I always wanted to participate in a pageant,” she added. “I was a topper throughout in academics as well as extra-curricular activities. But I was bored with my routine and opted to participate in the pageant just as a challenge”.

But her success in the pageant was not the end of hard work for her. “I always wanted to be sure about my future. So, I concentrated on completing my graduation,” she maintained. “I could have done a lot by just working in films that came my way, but I was not keen on it. I am generally a very satisfied person who does not run after money,” she added.


All set to take on the modelling world

Thakur Tarunveer City-based model Thakur Tarunveer is all set to make it big in the female-dominated modelling world. He has already clinched a couple of good assignments from a Delhi-based garment manufacturing company in addition to performing in a fashion show organised by IIT, Delhi. “It is difficult for male models to make a niche for themselves. However, I am an exception,” he smiles.

“I am keenly interested in modelling. I know it is a short-lived profession and so I am pursuing it as a part-time job till I complete my engineering degree,” says Tarunveer, who is doing BE(software) from Panjab University.

Regarding the secret of his success, he says, “To be a successful model, one should have the right looks, requisite talent, and good grooming. I have the looks and the talent, but for grooming I underwent training. In fact, I was trained with many boys for the Grasim Graviera Suiting contest.”

Flashing a warm smile, he says, “Modelling as a profession might look glamorous, but it requires a lot of dedication and hard work. Not only in the initial stages but afterwards too. Becoming somebody from nobody is difficult indeed, but it is still more difficult to hold on to the heights achieved.”

Chandigarh , he claims, is not the right place to seriously pursue a modelling career. “You may be tall and handsome with broad shoulders, brain and brawn, yet you may fail to secure fashion shows in the region. This is because the male model suffers utter neglect here,” he says.

Male models, he further claims, are used basically as props in most of the fashion shows of this region. So many organisers aim at making quick bucks for themselves without making proper payment to models, especially males. And some of the model-grooming institutes are no different.

In addition to modelling, Tarunveer is fond of sports and photography. “A professional attitude brings dividends — be it studies, sports or modelling,” he says. “Our city does not lack talent or looks. In fact, Chandigarh girls are among the best in India. But the aspiring models here lack the professional attitude so evident in models of Delhi and Mumbai,” he concludes. OC


Do you love me for my money?
Swarleen Kaur

Rohtash, studying in Government College for Boys, Sector 11, here is a son of a Ludhiana-based businessman. He is having a great time in the city. He has a chauffeur-driven car and a big house in Sector 44 which is always full of friends. Making friends for him is never a problem. He has lots of them, including many beautiful girls.

He is aware of the fact that most of them are fair weather friends. “I have still not come across a girl of my choice. If I am without money I am sure all of them would leave me.

Without moralising, it is a plain simple fact that money makes our social circle go. “Well, there is nothing wrong if our possessions attracts happiness whether in form of friends or anything else”, says a more experienced businessman, Mr Amritraj. Money implies more comfort and relaxed lifestyle.

What do girls think about it? We met some of them at a girls college. “I would like my hubby to be rich. For me happiness means fulfilling my dreams and desires. And money plays a big role in achieving these. There is nothing wrong in giving importance to money.

Two more girls—Nikita and Prerna—echoed the same feeling. “Though richness would not be my sole criteria to judge my man but it is definitely a significant parameter for a good lifestyle”, says Nikita. Prerna does not attach much importance to a luxurious lifestlye. She prefers to become independent rather than search for a well-off husband.“But having a rich partner is definitely an asset she would consider herself lucky if gets one”

Wealth brings its own troubles, feels Simranjeet. The only daughter of a lawyer couple, she says she hates the idea that she is loved because of her for money. “It is not easy to get a true friend.I detest the idea of someone marrying me because I am the only daughter of rich parents”. She does not mind someone valuing her because of money but I expect something more from my man. He should be able to understand me as a person and should be sensitive.


Chandigarh Club launches ‘operation damage control’
A.S. Prashar

Sunil KhannaThe Chandigarh Club, which has been in the eye of storm for a variety of reasons in recent months, has launched a major damage control exercise so as to reassure the alarmed members and mollify the UT Administration that has cancelled the lease of the club building for its alleged failure to clear dues.

The club has nearly 7, 000 members. These include past and present ministers of Punjab and Haryana, senior government and judicial officers, both serving and retired, besides people belonging to other sections of society. But a series of unsavoury events, including the controversy over the election of office-bearers and the resultant legal cases, alleged encroachments by the club management upon government land, cancellation of lease and an almost unending war of words between various factions of club members, has left them bewildered.

Mr Sunil Khanna, president of the club, says, elections and various issues raised during poll campaign in a social organisation like the club should reflect bonhomie and fellowship among members. “The club can attain greater heights not only by adding infrastructure and sprucing up facilities and interiors, but also by promoting a feeling of brotherhood among members. Differences, if any, which are bound to arise in any democratic organisation, are best settled within the four walls of the organisation and not by raising a public outcry in newspapers and courts of law. We on the executive committee of this club respect these differences and appreciate the concern of certain members. We invite these members to be a part of solution rather than being part of the problems facing the club,” he says.

As regards the controversy over the declaration of results of the election held on April 3, he says the issue is pending before the Company Law Board for which hearings have been fixed on September 6 and 8.

Turning to the issue of the lease deed of the club and payment of lease money, he says the club building and the land was leased to the club in 1958 at the rate of Rs 50 per annum. Subsequently, this lease was renewed and extended periodically till 1982 at the rate of Rs 8,320 per annum. However, the club lease was not renewed after 1982. The club has been paying the lease money to the Administration at the rate of Rs 8,320 per annum and they continued accepting the same till March 31, 2004. In July, 2000, the club received a letter from the Deputy Controller (F&A) Rents saying the rent of the Chandigarh Club had been refixed as Rs 25,02,468 with effect from April 1, 1993, and demanding arrears of rent amounting to Rs 1,75,17,276 up to March 31, 2000. The club forwarded a representation to the Administration against the huge increase in lease money following which the lease amount was reduced to Rs 12.96 lakh per annum. This left the club with no alternative, but to approach the court to “seek protection against the arbitrary and highly inflated demand”, he adds.

The matter is still pending in the court and the next date of hearing is July 14. As regards alleged encroachments, the club has already started removing these and sought time from the Administration to make alternative arrangements for running a kitchen.

Mr Khanna says he will like to assure all members that the office-bearers are tackling various issues faced by the club in the right earnest and with total commitment and are consulting legal and other experts to reach a favourable solution. He has sought cooperation, support and guidance from members in this regard”. Mr Khanna has also sent a letter in this regard to all members of the club. TNS


Workshop on acting ends

Theatre should be taught in schools as an optional subject. The UT Education Department should issue directions for the same as it had done in case of textile designing from this session.

This was stated by Pragati Trikha, 8, after receiving a certificate for participating in a 26-day acting and cultural workshop organised by the North Zone Cultural Centre, Kalagram, Mani Majra.

The workshop, which was conducted by Amala Rai and Suneel Sinha from Mumbai, concluded yesterday. Students from various schools and colleges in the age group of 5 to 25 years took part in the workshop.

Pragati is a student of DAV School, Sector 15, Chandigarh, and has played a role of a child artist in a Yash Chopra’s production featuring Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee as lead artistes.

Forty-three students were trained during the workshop and they staged a 90-minute play, Jaadu Ka Dweep. All participants were given certificates. The play was written by Lalit Mohan Thapliyal. TNS

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