C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Engineering college signs MoU with IBM-Rational
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
Swami Vivekananda Institute of Engineering and Technology, Banur, has entered into collaboration with IBM-Rational to impart software training in IT and computer science.

SVIET is the first institute in Punjab to sign the MoU with IBM-Rational.

According to Mr Manmohan Garg, CEO of the trust managing the institute, the collaboration with the IBM would give the edge to students studying in B Tech (Computer Science) over their counterparts in other engineering colleges as the certificates for this course would be granted by IBM-Rational. This certificate would be in addition to their regular degrees awarded by PTU. Every year, IBM-Rational would shortlist students for the training and the course fee would be paid by the institute.

Mr Garg stated that IBM-Rational professionals would be associated with these IBM certificate courses. certificates would be helpful to the students while looking for jobs in India and abroad. SVIET would admit the first batch of students this year.

Initially, the college would offer B Tech courses in computer science and engineering, electronics and communication engineering, information technology and mechanical engineering. SVIET has got permission to admit 60 students in each of the B Tech courses.


Advisory council of engineering college holds meeting
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 7
The Advisory Council of Chandigarh Engineering College (CEC), Landran, in its meeting held at Chandigarh yesterday planned various academic and other activities for the year 2004-05. A number of issues, including placement of students, industry-institute interaction, providing more incentives to the students excelling in academics and sports were discussed.

Placements opportunities for students were discussed. The importance of overall personality development was appreciated.

To achieve the target of 100 per cent placements, the institute plans to reinforce its existing training and placement cell. Experts from the human resource development departments of various industries will be invited to deliver lectures and guiding the students.It also plans to establish a close liaison with the industries to develop a meaningful industry-institute interaction.

It was decided that all students securing more than 80 per cent marks in PTU exams would be given cash prizes. Those excelling in sports and extra-curricular activities would also be awarded. It was also decided that the Institute would strive to get the number of seats in the existing disciplines increased.

The council consists of Dr Baljeet S. Kapoor, Principal, Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Chandigarh, Dr B.S. Sohi, Principal, PUIET, Chandigarh, Dr J.K. Arora, former Professor of PEC, Mr Perminderjit Singh, Assistant Professor, PEC, Dr B.S. Pabla, Professor, NITTTR, Chandigarh, Dr Navneet Arora, Dr Joginder Kaushal, former Director, of Punjabi University, Patiala, and Dr Satinder Kaur Dhillon, Principal of the Dev Samaj College of Education, Chandigarh.

The council congratulated the institute for having been awarded ISO 9001:2000 certificate in recognition of its quality standards.


632 admissions on day four
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
As many as 632 students were admitted to various courses in the general category on the fourth day of counselling for admission to Class XI at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, here today.

All seats in the commerce stream in four schools have been filled.

The cut-off percentage for admission in the commerce stream was 62.6 at GMSSS-18, 62.2 at GMSSS-46, 60.8 at GMSSS-21 and 62.8 at Government School, Mani Majra Complex.

In the science stream, the cut-off percentage GMSSS-18 was 62.4, and 61 at GMSSS-16. Out of the total of 632 students, 311 were admitted to commerce, 100 to science,132 to humanities and 89 to vocational streams.


All seats filled in Army law institute
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 7
The Army Institute of Law (AIL) has completed the admission process for the academic session 2004-05. The All-India Law entrance test was held on April 23. A total of 898 candidates appeared in the test. The admission of 188 short-listed candidates was held from July 5 to July 7. There are 80 seats in all, out of which 64 seats in the Army category were filled on the first day of the admissions. The seats in the Punjab category and the All-India general category were filled today.

A large number of candidates and their parents were disappointed for not being able to make it to AIL. A waiting list has been put on the AIL website.armyinstituteoflaw.org which shall be updated daily.


Interview schedule for M.Ed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
The schedule of interview for MA Education (Part-I) and MEd courses run by the Department of Education, Panjab University is as under:

The interviews will be held in the Department of Education, Arts Block No. II, Panjab University according to Prof S.C. Gakhar, Chairperson, Department of Education.

Class Date of interview
MEd (gen) July 8
MEd (guidance & counselling) July 8
MEd (educational technology) July 8
MA Education (Part-I) July 9

Timings: 9 am



High Court
Notice issued to UT Administration
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 7
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday stayed the dispossession of some residents of village Kajehri by the UT Administration. Passing this order, a Division Bench of Mr Justice J.S. Khehar and Mr Justice Viney Mittal also issued notice of motion to the UT Administration for August 24.

In their petitions, Mr Chand Singh and 53 other residents of Kajehri village have prayed for the quashing of the notification issued by the Land Acquisition Officer on May 4, 2000, through which the land on which their houses were built was to be acquired.

The petitioners also sought quashing of all subsequent proceedings undertaken by the UT Administration in pursuance of the impugned notification. The petitioners had stated that they had purchased small plots of land and built houses. However, the UT Administration issued the notification to acquire the land.

Meanwhile, another Bench of the High Court stayed dispossession of some residents of Mani Majra by the UT Administration.

Taking up the petition filed by Mr Bhim Raj Gupta and 17 other residents of Mani Majra, the Bench adjourned the case.


Sumangal holds hope for dying Patiala gharana
Gurvinder Kaur

Chandigarh, July 7
The Patiala gharana of classical music which has all been written off by music buffs the nation over because of an almost complete decline of the gharana in its place of origin may yet see a major revival, thanks to talented artists like 16-year-old Sumangal Arora whose passion for music may herald better times for the ‘Shahi’ gharana.

At first glance, Sumangal looks like any other teenager. A few would suspect that the boy whose tryst with music began at the tender age of five hides an overpowering passion in his bosom the likes of which few care to nurture in the world today.

The young singer practises for three years every day. He has established himself in the region as a classical vocalist of reckoning even at his age.

Student of plus two (medical) at the Modi College, Patiala, Sumangal has numerous feathers in his cap. He has won numerous inter-state competitions held by the North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC) and has been awarded a scholarship by the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training. The latest laurel for him is a gold medal won in the prestigious Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan held in Jalandhar last December. The young artist also performed at Sheesh Mahal during the Heritage festival held at Patiala this February.

The fact that Sumangal belongs to a family of musicians has been a constant source of motivation to him besides the encouragement provided by his parents in his musical pursuit.

Two of his great grandfathers — Chandan Ram Charan and Dr Ganga Arora — have been hailed as great musicians of their times and Sumangal has received much of his formal training in music from his grandfather Dev Krishan Arora. At present he is training under Ms Surinder Kapila and Shamsher Singh Karir, besides doing a degree course in music from the Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh.

Nowadays the budding vocalist is busy composing music for lyrics of bhajans written by his great grandfather Charan. He has already set to music nearly 25 compositions of his ancestor. “My family has stood like a rock behind me all these years.

In fact such is the dedication of my father, Dr Ram Arora, towards my devotion to music that he is ready to face any obstacle blocking my way, says Sumangal.


Simple Amisha didn’t want to be actress
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, July 7
Reed-thin girl draped in a maroon phulkari dupatta, standing outside a hotel in Panchkula, looks familiar. But even before you realise that she is Amisha Patel of “Gaddar” fame, she sits in a car and zooms away. Before leaving, she remarks casually, “I had no intention of entering the enchanting world of glamour. Never wanted to become an actress. Destiny got me here”.

Fate and fortune, you realise, must have had a major role to play in her success. Though she is extremely attractive with sharp features, unlike so many actresses — flashing smiles on the silver screen — she does not have airs. In fact, she looks quite different in real life.

The reason behind her “other plans” initially in life are not hard to see. The Gujarati girl was a gold medalist in economics and studied in Boston. Academics was top on her priority list. “But fate had something else in store for me,” says Amisha who was in Panchkula for a corporate giant’s dealers’ meet. “I was attending a wedding when Rakesh Roshan spotted me. His offer took me by surprise, but I accepted it. Soon after, I got my first break in ‘Kaho Naa Pyar Hai”.

From “Kaho Na Pyaar Hai” to “Gaddar”, it has not been a very long journey for her. “In ‘Gaddar’, I played the role of 16-year-old girl turning 35 before the movie ended. It was quite a tough role with different shades but I took the challenge. After working hard for playing two different roles in one movie, I was satisfied with my performance”. She does not give herself the credit for the film’s success. “It was not my hit, it was the film industry’s hit,” she smiles.

What about the changes in her attitude after giving one hit after another? “Oh, I have become more responsible over the years. That is all I have to say”.

Wasn’t acting hard without any experience? “Well, I have my role models. My ideal in acting has always been Madhuri Dixit. I admire her not only for her looks, but also for her diverse talent”, she says. Her forthcoming ventures are ‘Elaan’, ‘Vada’ and ‘Mere Jeevan Saathi’.


Fitness Trail
Making pregnancy a wonderful experience
Renu Manish Sinha

A few cautions

  • Any exercise should be taken up only after medical advice. You should let your gynae know if you want to continue or begin exercises.
  • No new strenuous exercise should be taken up.
  • Avoid getting overheated.
  • Avoid jerky, bouncy or high impact movements. Quick direction change can strain joints and muscles, which are susceptible to injuries as both joints, and muscles are lax during pregnancy.
  • Never exercise to point of exhaustion.
  • Drink enough water or fluid to stay well hydrated before during and after workout.
  • Reduce intensity of workout in late pregnancy by 25 per cent. Modify routine as needed.
  • Stop workout and see a doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle weakness, premature labour, vaginal bleeding, irregular or rapid heartbeat. The heart rate should not go beyond 140 beats per minute during or after a workout.

PREGNANCY can be a wonderful time for some women and not so wonderful for others. But one thing common among all pregnant women is weight gain or bloated appearance. Hence many women become lax about their appearance during pregnancy. Eating to their heart’s extent (under the garb of eating for two) and stopping exercise or physical activities are a few things many indulge in.

However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has recently issue new guidelines recommending that in the absence of any medical complication, pregnant women should undertake at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise on most, if not all, days of week.

However, any exercise or physical activity should be taken up under your gyaneacologist’s advice, warns Dr R.S. Bedi, a Chandigarh-based gynaecologist. There are a few common factors and problems, which affect every pregnant woman, says Dr Bedi. These include increase in weight, laxity in abdominal muscles, leg cramps, especially during second and third trimester, difficulty in breathing and walking and above all backache. With an increase in weight the centre of gravity of the body shifts and it is difficult to walk, adds Dr.

But specific exercises have been devised as a remedy to check all these problems, says Dr Umesh Jindal, a Chandigarh-based gynaecologist.

A 10 to 12 kg weight gain is normal, avers Dr Bedi. However, she cautions against excessive weight gain, which can bring with it a host of problems. So exercise should be started as early as possible, says Dr Bedi. A brisk walk is the best form of exercise a pregnant woman can do. However, its intensity can be reduced in later stages.

For women who had a fitness routine before pregnancy can continue with it, including low-intensity aerobics, swimming, though diving is prohibited as it can put the foetus at risk, cycling on a stationery bike etc, says Dr Bedi.

Laxity of abdominal muscles is another problem. Dr Bedi suggests a few exercises to tone abdominal muscles. Lie on the bed move your legs as if cycling in the air. However, this should be done at a slow speed, cautions Dr Bedi. Another exercise she recommends is sitting ‘in air’. Stand against a wall; slowly slide down as if you are sitting on an imaginary chair.

Backache is another common problem, says Dr Jindal. Pregnant women suffer from lumber lordosis posture when curvature of spine is altered because of weight of the foetus and centre of gravity too come forward. Since most joints and muscles are lax during pregnancy backache is common occurrence.

Dr Jindal suggests a simple exercise called pelvic tilt to correct the posture. Contract abdominal muscles and tilt the pubic bone a little upwards and forward. During the tilt the abdominal muscles should go in and back-muscles move out. This tones both abdominal and back muscles.

Leg cramps are another common problem. Dr Bedi recommends leg and other gentle stretching exercises to counter cramps. Lie on the bed on your left side. Gently raise right leg to 45°. Repeat with left leg.

Laboured breathing is another problem faced during pregnancy. Dr Jindal recommends relaxation and deep breathing techniques to check this problem.

During deep breathing chest expansion should be maximum, says Dr Bedi. Then you should breathe out slowly, she adds.

There have been no long-term surveys to study the effect of exercise on the labour process, asserts Dr Jindal. But exercise definitely helps in making the labour process easy, she adds.

Squatting, she says, can make the whole process easy, as it tones pelvic muscles. But it can be difficult.

Women from lower socio-economic strata and from the farming community do have an easy labour, adds Dr Jindal.

The benefits of exercise can include short labour process, faster recovery after the delivery, prevention of varicose veins, leg cramps, blood clotting and improved general health and outlook, avers Dr Jindal.

So if you are already active, don’t let pregnancy cramp your style. If you are not, it is a great time to start.

Yogic point of view:

Yoga expert Meenakshi Sud says that yogic science says that a woman should assure active and decision-making role on how she wants the birth environment and not submit passively to professionals.

“Yoga can help a pregnant woman to see a pattern and a meaning in child birth, to reach out and make it her own experience and not something done to her by outsiders and thereby understand the reality and uniqueness of birth as an expression of her own personality”, says Meenakshi.

Yoga techniques, especially relaxation and breathing techniques, can help a pregnant woman relate better with her body. These techniques help her during labour, especially breathing techniques.

Through yoga it can be learnt to breathe in a relaxed and rhythmic manner. The way in which a pregnant woman breathes is closely connected to the rhythm to which her body adapts during the labour process. If she succeeds in harmonising her breathing with contractions she will be able to keep ‘in tune with labour instead of it being a series of painful sensations.

Meenakshi, a mother of two children, says during the birth of her first child she submitted passively the professionals attending her and it was a difficult and painful time. But the second time around, she had an easy time as breathing techniques helped her during the labour process.

Sarika, a student of Meenakshi, carried on with a 60-minute yoga session till her eighth month though certain asanas were modified to accommodate her growing belly. She says her labour time was just three hours and even doctors were amazed at the ease with she coped with whole process all due to her breathing techniques. She says just an hour before the labour she was doing kag asan, which tones pelvic muscles. Shavasana is a basic asana for relaxation techniques, says Meenakshi.

Relaxation or destressing is one of the most important aspects during a pregnancy. A yoga student will learn how to relax where she doesn’t passively submit to a state of relaxation but where she actively ‘strips of tension’ as she consciously moves her awareness through her body, says Meenakshi.

Some other friendly asanas recommended by her are Baddhaconasana, Bhardwajasana, Trikonasana, Sarvangasan etc. Plus all asanas that stretch leg muscles.


Bad tele-women make good TRP
Minna Zutshi

Rolling eyes hysterically, curling lips in frenzied fashion, condescending a smile that freezes into a sneer - the scheming, plotting, vicious tele-women never seem to tire of their vengeful stance. And surprisingly, the average woman never seems to tire of these glamorous women who revel in being bad! Is it sheer bad that keeps eyeballs riveted to these soaps?

“It’s the bad juxtaposed with the good and noble that sustains interest in these serials. For every evil grin of Pallavi, there’s the cool, cascading laughter of Parvati,” sallies Ms Veena Madkan, a bank employee, adding that, “It’s interesting to watch the emotional see-saw of beautiful people, albeit on television only. At least this kind of voyeurism is better than a spiteful gossip session.”

Interestingly, it’s not the reality check that’s important. The soaps can stretch credibility to its seams and take the viewers merrily along. “Sometimes, a storyline is as unconvincing as a yarn of a three-year-old. Moreover, it’s amusing to have a grandma who can pass off as a woman in her early thirties, or a mother who appears to be the younger sister of her son. And then that dead-coming-alive ploy - it’s just the case of a story playing truant, of course in connivance with the scriptwriter, director and producer. But we have to admit it’s a make-believe world. Things are fine so long as the entertainment quotient is high,” says Ms Nithima Sood, a pharmacy student, whose idea of relaxation is to watch a mix of tele-serials.

Women with an eye for style-check find soaps just the right choice to scout for chic designs. It’s another matter that yards of rustling silk and slinky backless outfits may not be wearable by normal standards. “The dresses and the accessories of the bad, sassy women may not be copied as such but we can incorporate a bit of these in our own wardrobe for a dash of pizzazz,” says Ms Monica Kapila, a teacher. Her afterthought: “The soaps tug not only at our heartstrings, they tug at our shirtsleeves too!”

For all talk about the serials being regressive, there are some like college student Neha Walia who vouch for the cultural score of the soaps. “Though I am not a regular viewer, still I think the serials have brought certain forgotten aspects of our culture back.”

These soaps may not be favourite with feminists who have long-winding grouses. They include stereotyping women without any deference to age, glorifying self-effacing women who like to talk themselves out, and giving sartorially challenged women either a massive inferiority complex or a gigantic superiority complex depending on the tele-actor whose style they want to emulate.

But, for an average woman, the story is different. The tele-serials are nice cathartic experiences loaded with neat entertainment. And who knows the feminists may be barking up the wrong tree - the popularity of the mean, menacing tele-women may have something to do with the good girl next door secretly envying the wicked woman with a mind — however, ethically challenged — of her own! — TNS


Eating Out
Enjoy wholesome dimsum
Harvinder Khetal

Currys has gone Chinese. This restaurant and bar of Hotel Piccadily, situated in the heart of City Beautiful (Sector 22), on Wednesday launched a Chinese food festival as a run-up to going Chinese full time. The festival will be on till July 17. And after that, you will have the choice of digging into noodles and momos and chopsuey straight from the regular menu.

As you settle down in the plush environs of the eatery that reveals itself through an ornate door, the earthy hues orange and brown highlighted by soft lamp lighting have a soothing effect. Though the comfort zone unsettles a bit later with the air-conditioner switched on at a very low temperature and the chilled cocktails and mocktails from the bar only make matters worse.

Perhaps, you should go in for a bowl of heart-warming exotic soup. Pick from a combination of shrimps and prawns or fish and meat balls mildly blended with spices into a thin broth. Vegetarians can opt for button mushrooms or the vegetable mee foon variety.

For starters, try mushrooms stuffed with finely diced veggies or minced chicken served with the yummy garlic sauce. The dimsums are a wholesome choice because of their being steamed (not fried as in Wanton momos) and the filling of nutritious veggies or, if you prefer, chicken. Honey crisp cauliflower with cheese and chef’s special steam chicken are also good.

The main course comprises a whole lot of exotic sumptuous preparations in a range of sauces (hot garlic, szchwan, black bean, plum ginger, red wine). Pamper your taste buds with authentic prawns, shrimps, chicken, pomfrets, fish, lamb steamed, fried or stewed to perfection. Complement with rice or noodles.

Top with little sips of the fragrant jasmine tea or go in for sweet date pancakes or apple and banana toffees.

Remember to ask for your 30 ml of liquor given free of cost during the festival period. With an order of a prawn dish, you get Scotch and with others, whisky. There is Coke and Pepsi for teetotalers.

Romantic songs of Hindi movies, both old and new, and ghazals rendered by their new singer enliven the atmosphere at night, specially if the request for your number is on air. Make do with piped music during lunch time.

The restaurant was renovated about six months ago when it opened its doors to a newly refurbished interiors offering mouth-watering Lucknowi delights dished out straight from the open glass kitchen. And, at a price catering to the middle class, in a change from its earlier higher bracket.

In keeping with its aim of wooing the common man, Curry’s proposes to introduce cards for regular customers that will entitle them to discounts on the bill. The concession ranges from 15 per cent to 25 per cent and the women and couple kitties stand to gain the maximum with a 30 per cent cut in their rate, besides a gift and maybe, a complimentary ticket to a movie at Piccadily cinema.

So, happy eating.

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