C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Workshop on IT begins
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 22
A two-day workshop on social empowerment and information technology was inaugurated by Prof Y.K. Alagh, founder-president, Institute for Development and Communication (IDC) and former Union Minister for Power and Planning, here today. While giving his views, he analysed the role of information technology in India’s trade and local growth as compared to rural growth.

He gave a view that improvement in technology helped in the green revolution and increased agricultural production. He suggested that state governments played a bigger role in the information technology sector so that society could be helped in empowerment.

Mr Nirmaljeet Singh Kalsi, Director-cum-Secretary, Information Technology, Punjab, highlighted the four mantras of the new millennium—connectivity, convergence, internet and networks. He emphasised issues like universal access and control, awareness, education, training and skill development, industry and labour, power and decision making, the right to information and communication.

Dr Pramod Kumar, director, IDC, said information technology should remove restraints in terms of access, usage and control and in other words, e-governance, e-commerce and e-learning should refrain from efficiently exploiting images, information and world views to reinforce existing hierarchy.

Mr Ankur Malhotra of Quark Media, Mohali, said rather than layering existing technology infrastructure in convergence with various socio-economic groups, each new technology had created a self-contained island of data and functionality. He emphsised the need for decentralisation of technological infrastructure, skills and capacities.

Mr Shastri Ramachandran, Associate Editor, The Tribune, and Mr Prem Kumar, former Resident Editor, The Indian Express, Chandigarh, made a critical analysis of information technology users and social empowerment. They were of the view that information technology was basically confined to urban elites in developing and developed countries. They made a critical comparison between rural and urban information technology access, role of media and advantages and disadvantages of information technology.

Among others who participated in the workshop were Prof G.S. Bhalla, former member, Planning Commission, Dr Manorama Sharma, Professor of History, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, Ms Nandini Sahay, Asia Media Information and Communication, New Delhi, Mr Rajan Kashyap, former Chief Secretary, Punjab, Dr Manjit Singh and Dr Sherry Sabharwal of Panjab University.



Stone of dental institute laid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Dr Anbumani Ramdoss, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, laid the foundation stone of the Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences on the Panjab University campus, Sector 25, here today.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Ramdoss observed that a majority of the population was afflicted by dental disorders and hoped that the institute would provide a pioneering service in research and serving the rural poor. He was happy to note that the institute would take care of the one thing that was lacking on the campus, a dental institute.

He saluted Dr Harvansh Singh Judge, the NRI who had donated money for the institute, and willed his entire property to the university. He appreciated Dr Judge for his noble gesture of donating all property and money for welfare and observed that it was a rare act. He hoped that others would emulate Dr Judge. He complimented Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, local Member of Parliament, for his contribution and hoped for more contribution from the MP LAD Fund.



Schoolchildren save 2.50 cr in a year
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Small savings are on the upswing in Chandigarh where a total of Rs 114.85 crore were collected against a target of Rs 90 crore under the various small savings schemes in 2004.

Mr M.K. Malhotra, Regional Director, National Savings Institute, Chandigarh Centre explained the significance of the “Sanchayika (savings) day”.

He said the Sanchayika scheme has been introduced in 87 Schools in Chandigarh in which more than 52,000 students saved from their own pocket Rs 2.50 Crore during last year

The annual small savings day was celebrated today at Government College of Education, Sector 20. Mr Arun Kumar, DC Chandigarh was the chief guest at the function.



49 schools to be shifted out of residential areas
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 22
Almost 10,000 students studying in 49 schools being run in residential areas in Mohali would have to shift out. Following the recent Punjab and Haryana High Court orders that all schools running in residential premises be closed down by the end of the current session, schools are now faced with a problem of making alternative arrangements for these students.

According to a survey conducted by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), as many as 49 schools with a total strength of 9511 students were running in unauthorised locations in Mohali. Another nine schools had been closed down following action by the authority and resumption orders in 12 other cases had been given.

The survey recorded that over 3500 of these students were studying in pre-nursery to kindergarten and another 3400 were studying in classes I to V. Over 1400 students were in elementary classes from VI to VIII and another 780 students in Classes IX and X. Over 200 students were studying in Classes XI and XII.

While one of these schools, Nav Jyoti Public School, Phase II has been running since 1979, many other schools like Senior Sapling School, Phase 3B2, Le Corbusier Convent School Phase 3B2, Sacred Dales Public School Phase V, Binny Public School Phase IV, Paragon Public School Phase I, Rising Sun Public School Phase 11, Lawrence Public Senior Secondary School, Industrial Area, Manisha Niketan Phase VII, Green Wood Public School, Phase VII and Paragon Senior Secondary School, Phase 10 were established in the 1980s. However some schools like Kids Village Phase II came up as late as March 2003 and the latest to open was Irving Hall Foundation School in Sector 11 this year.

Earlier, the High Court had ordered PUDA to form a committee to consider the feasibility, viability and justification of running schools in residential areas. It is learnt that the committee in its report had recommended that schools should not be allowed to be run in residential areas.

The largest among these schools is Lawerance Public School with a student strength of 1672 students while the next largest is Paragon Public School Phase 1 with a strength of 600 students. Mohali Public School Phase 10 has 480 students while Yeoman Public School Phase I has over 350 students. Navjyoti Public School Phase 2 has over 320 students. Schools with over 200 students include Senior Sapling School Phase 3B2, Jeevan Jyoti Public School Phase I, Mount Carmel School Phase 11 and Paragon Senior Secondary School, Phase 10.

The maximum number of unauthorised schools were running in Phase VII including Guru Harkrishan Public School, Preet Model School, Playway Foundation School, Shemrock Angels, Guru Nanak Public School and Spring Valley Public School.

Sapling Public School, Dashmesh New Preparatory School, National Public School and Bright Star Public School were among the schools running in phase 3A, 3B1 and 3B2. Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, Saint James School with over 250 students were running in Phase IV and V.

A host of such schools were functioning from phase I and II including Vidya Niketan High School, Shemrock Innocent and Cambridge School. Schools like Bright Public School and Lawrance Public School were running from industrial area while Grand Public School was running from a hospital site.

Mohali’s new sectors 9, 10 and 11 have their share of schools running in residential premises including New Jyoti Public School, Pinewood Preparatory School, Saint N.S. Public School, Spring Dales Public School, Shimla Public School, Kiddies World Preparatory School, Petal Public School, Ramgarhia Public School, Mount Carmel School, Mohali Public School and Saint James Convent School.



Super Singer hunt today
Tribune News Service

Channel V veejay Gaurav
Channel V veejay Gaurav is in Chandigarh to host the Samsung (V) Super Singer auditions which will begin at Hotel Mountview, Sector 10, on Thursday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, September 22
Channel V today announced the launch of Samsung (V) Super Singer auditions in the city. After conducting auditions in Delhi, the channel will now focus on Chandigarh before moving to other cities like Kolkata, Hyderabad, Indore, Cochin, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. In Chandigarh, the auditions will be held at Hotel Mountview, from 9 am onwards. The aspirants will be auditioned on a first-come-first-served basis.

Channel V Honcho Head Mr Amar Deb, who was in the city with Indipop singer Adnan Sami, announced the hunt while mentioning that the channel was looking for a golden voice that had the potential to melt gold. Justifying the “heavy phrasing”, Mr Deb said the channel was on a lookout for the one who could be groomed as the next singing sensation of India. “We have chosen Adnan Sami as a judge because of his long-standing career as a music composer and singer. He will zero in on those candidates who have a spark to make it big in the world of music.”

For his part, Adnan Sami admitted he was shouldering great responsibility. “We are looking for a trained voice. There will be a list of seven songs and the aspirant can be asked to sing any. Training in Indian classical music is not mandatory, but I feel someone who has that training will certainly have an advantage over others. Our idea is not to have someone who can sing and move on. The idea is to have someone who can stay and evolve. Versatility will be valued during the auditions tomorrow.”

To be anchored by Veejay Gaurav, tomorrow’s auditions will end with Channel V shortlisting some aspirants who will then take the final audition day after tomorrow. The finalists will then be required to attend zonal finals in Jaipur and Delhi.

Assuring that the hunt was not run-of-the-mill marketing gimmick, Mr Deb said the channel would make sure the selected singer gets established in Bollywood. “We are here to offer a platform to budding singers. We will save the winner the struggle of going about selling talent.”

“We will work on a music album with the one who is selected. Besides doing the seven songs of this album the winner will also get to playback for one Bollywood film,” said Adnan Sami.


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