C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rayat College issue comes under fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Attesting of examination forms of students of Rayat College, Ropar, by the Chairperson of the Law Department, Panjab University, and their taking the examination at the university came under fire at the recent meeting of the Senate held last week.

Senator G.K. Chatrath alleged undue concessions were being given to Rayat College, a private institution offering a number of courses, since former faculty members of the university were employed at the college.

Mr Chatrath said the Vice-Chancellor had passed written orders stating that the forms of students appearing for the law examination from the college, which affiliated to the university, should be attested by the Law Department Chairperson. He maintained the college did not have regular and approved staff despite having 100 seats for the course.

He maintained the students were made to take their examination at the university itself since the college did not have an approved centre of its own.

Clarifying the stand of the college, Vice-Chairman of Rayat College, said that the approval to the Principal and staff of the college was still pending and that the university had given them time till January 31 to fulfil various conditions.

“Our college was only a month old when the students were supposed to take their first examination. Since three or four authorities are involved in giving their sanction, the Vice-Chancellor suggested that the director of the college should sign the forms and get these attested from the Chairperson of the Law Department.

To save students from unnecessary harassment, we found this solution. The approval for our Principal and staff is in the pipeline,” he stated.



Agitations, elections dominated PU campus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Agitations and elections dominated the better part of the year at Panjab University. The hosting of the Indian Science Congress (ISC), setting up of a dental college on the campus and beginning of the five-year integrated law course were among the high points on the campus this year.

The year began on a promising note with the university attracting scientists and researchers from all over the country and abroad during the three-day ISC where papers of on-going research were presented. An NRI from Canada, Dr Harvansh Singh Judge, provided finances to the university for setting up a dental college on the campus. He also willed his entire property to the university in a rare gesture. The five-year law course in which students were admitted after Class XII was also started.

The run-up to the examinations proved to be a tough time for examinees. The Examination Branch, in the first-of-its kind experiment decided to dispatch roll numbers of students through a courier company which did not reach the students and came back to the department. Resultantly, the usual last-minute scurrying around for roll numbers followed and the students were put to a lot of inconvenience.

With the beginning of the new session, the chronic problem of non-availability of forms plagued the university. Even before the students were in their classes, it was election time. The session began with elections to the Panjab University Teachers’ Union followed by those of the non-teaching employees, the Class IV employees and other associations. The Senate election, held once in four years, was also held in August and September in four phases. In these elections, the Chatrath group bagged the maximum number of seats. Next in line were students’ body elections which threw up a mixed result and office-bearers from different students’ organisations assumed office.

With that also began the spate of strikes by students. Some demanded mercy chance, others demanded golden chance for re-appear examinations. Protests by students for condoning the shortage of lectures stretched on for nearly a fortnight. The university had to resort to writing applications to parents seeking their cooperation in dealing with the students. Finally, the Senate decided that lectures of students would be counted from the day they sought admission rather than the day the session began. The pension demand by university employees, teaching and non-teaching, also gathered steam with various campus organisations beginning a sustained campaign to press for its early implementation. Token strikes, rallies and hour-long protests were organised by employees.

An employee of the Chemical Engineering Department, Bachan Singh, attempted self-immolation in the department. He later succumbed to his injuries. An inquiry into financial irregularities was going on against him.



PU staff hold rally on pension issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Teaching and non-teaching employees of Panjab University held a protest rally outside the office of the Vice-Chancellor here today to appeal for early approval of amendments to the Pension Scheme, 1991, passed by the Senate at its last meeting.

Thanking members for approving the amendments recommended by the Amendment Committee for the 1991 pension scheme, the general house condemned the selection of an “outsider” against the post of the Deputy Registrar at the cost internal candidates with lots of experience.

They appealed that the university should fill vacant posts of Deputy Registrar from among internal candidates on seniority-cum-merit basis. The members also appealed to the authorities to regularise daily-wage earners who had been employed with the university for over 10 years.

They appealed to members to join a mass rally to be organised on January 3 in the Administrative Office of PU and on January 12 at Matka Chowk to demand early implementation of the pension scheme.

The rally was addressed by the PUTA president, Prof Ronki Ram, who is also the convener of the joint action committee of the teaching and non-teaching employees, Prof Anirudh Joshi, Prof P.P. Arya, Mr Dharam Paul Sharma and Mr Jasbir Singh.

Signature campaign: The Students Federation of India organised a signature campaign on the campus to urge the authorities for a rollback in the hike of admission and examination fee, and hostel charges here on Wednesday.

They also sought the withdrawal of increased rate list of mess and canteen charges, construction of additional hostels, providing Internet facilities, provision for imparting basic training in computers, sports facilities on Sundays and in girls’ hostels.

The signature campaign will continue till December 24 when a delegation of the SFI would meet the Vice-Chancellor and submit a charter of demands.

Work assigned: The Vice-Chancellor transferred the entire work of the section dealing with the honours school courses as also the re-evaluation branch to the Joint Controller of Examination here on Wednesday, to speed up examination-related work. An office order in this regard was issued by the office of the CoE.



Senators talk of priorities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Stating that the principle of rotation in the elections to various bodies of Panjab University united them, eight Senators today said their main considerations were making the university more viable for higher education, introducing of pension scheme for employees, improving the examination system and solving problems of affiliated colleges.

The statement, signed by Dr Deepak Manmohan Singh, Mr Satya Pal Jain, Dr Satinder Dhillon, Dr A.C. Vaid, Dr Tankeshwar Kumar, Dr R.K. Sharma, Mr S. Marriya and Dr Manoj Kumar added that in the recent elections to the Syndicate, the Senators representing different sections of society had given a befitting reply to those who were dragging the office of Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor into unnecessary controversy.

They sought support from all concerned for taking the university to greater heights irrespective of their political and personal considerations.



Training programme for maths teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
A six-day programme for master trainers in mathematics for DAV primary and secondary maths teachers being organised by the DPPI was inaugurated at Navodaya Leadership Institute, Sector 25, Chandigarh, here by Dr C. Prakash, Vice-President of the DAV College Managing Committee.

The DPPI is an organisation of the DAV College Managing Committee. Mr M.L. Sharma, Deputy Director, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, Mr S.K. Sharma, Director, Navodaya Leadership Institute, Mr C.M. Sharma, Principal, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, and heads of DAV schools in Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab were present on the occasion

Fiftyfive teachers from Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Chandigarh and Uttaranchal are participating in the programme. Mr M.M. Sharma, a former Assistant Director, Education, Directorate of Education, Delhi, is the resource person for the programme.

In his inaugural address Dr C. Prakash briefed delegates on the objectives of the policy of coordinated decentralisation, which aimed to make each school an in-service centre so that in-service training of teachers became an ongoing process. He equated the policy of coordinated decentralisation to the Vedic education system, which put the onus of learning on the learner by making him embark on the journey of self-learning.



DPS celebrates annual day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
A bedecked campus of Delhi Public School (DPS), Sector 40, today welcomed the visitors on the occasion of first annual day celebrations of the school. A huge pandal had been erected in the school campus as the school auditorium was under construction.

The function began with the students staging a play 'Tom Sawyer' dedicated to the underprivileged children. Dr A.R. Kidwai, Governor of Haryana, was the chief guest on the occasion.

The school authorities faced anxious moments when the school Principal, Ms Sunita Talwar, became unconscious for a few seconds while going to read the school report. However, she regained consciousness and went on to read the report. The Principal might have been exhausted while making preparations for the annual day function", said a parent.

Dr Kidwai in his speech lauded the efforts of the students and the staff for presenting a colourful programme.

The Principal in her speech highlighted various achievements.



Inquiry sought against CBSE official
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Demanding a fair inquiry into the allegations of sexual harassment against the regional officer of the CBSE, members of the Mahila Sangharsh Committee today staged a demonstration outside the regional office of the CBSE in Sector 32 here today.

Members of the committee said the truth should be brought before the public. According to information, employees of the regional office did not join the demonstrators. The members of the committee left after raising slogans against the regional officer.

It may be mentioned that around 11 women employees had a few days ago alleged that the regional officer harassed them. However, later some of the complainants had withdrawan their statements later.

A two-member committee from the CBSE headquarters, Delhi, had recently come to Chandigarh to probe the allegations. The committee has yet to give its report to the chairman.



WTO to play crucial role, says Kidwai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
The Governor of Haryana, Dr A.R. Kidwai, said today that in the age of globalisation and modernisation, the World Trade Organisation could play an important role. The young generation would be the main beneficiary once the 28 agreements were implemented by developing countries.

He was speaking at the 25th convocation of the Dayanand College of Communication and Management, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Sector 27, here today.

He said reduction in subsidies in the field of agriculture would help the developing countries achieve their aim of making farmers happier.



X’mas functions at schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
St Xavier’s School, Sector 44, organised Christmas-cum-annual prize distribution function here.

A Christmas tree was put up at the school entrance. The playgroup children danced to English music. Senior girls performed a Bengali dance. The cultural evening ended with a bhangra performance. Prizes were given to deserving students.

Speaking on the occasion, Principal Ms N. Shawney, congratulated the winners.

At Vivek High School, students of Class VIII decorated the Advanced Paediatrics ward at the PGI. School students decorate all four floors of the ward every year to bring smile on the faces of terminally ill patients. The decorating activity will continue till December 23. Santa Claus will visit the ward and distribute gifts and sweets to the children tomorrow. The next day, students of the school will visit Prayas to share Christmas spirit with the not-so-fortunate children.

At Aanchal International School, Sector 35, senior students sang carols. Students of the junior wing welcomes Santa Claus. Around 100 students participated in a fancy dress competition.

Students of St. Mary’s School, Sector 46, celebrated Christmas by singing carols. The programme began with a prayer by the chairman of the school, Father Saji Yohannan. The principal, Mr Joseph A. Manohar, addressed the students.

Christmas was also celebrated at Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, Sector 45. Students distributed clothes and sweets to under-privileged children of Sector 25.

Poster-making contest

An inter-school poster-making competition was held at St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, here on Wednesday. The topics for the contest were water and sanitation, health and nutrition, soil and cover management, environment, biodiversity and empowerment of people.

NSS camp

A 10-day NSS camp began at Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, Dr Ms Bains, programme coordinator, NSS, Panjab University, inaugurated the camp.

Another 10-day NSS camp was inaugurated at GGDSD College, Sector 32, by Dr A.C. Vaid on Wednesday.



Students dance with Santa Claus
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 22
Students and staff of Sri Hemkunt Public School, Sector 71, here today celebrated Christmas and New Year on the school premises. Students danced with Santa Claus. They also sang Christmas carols and staged skits.

The school hall was tastefully decorated with Christmas tree, stars, bells and balloons. Santa Claus distributed sweets and toffees among the students. The school Director, Dr G.S. Bhalla, delivered speech on the teachings of Jesus Christ.



Students meet DC
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 22
Students of Government College here met the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neelam P. Kasni, and complained that some hooligans were harassing them outside the college gate.

The students alleged that some miscreants, who were not students of the college, stood near the main gate of the college every day and created a nuisance for them. They indulged in eve teasing, and if any male student of the college protested, they attacked them with weapons.

Many a time they had been seriously injured in clashes with them, but no action was taken. The students alleged that whenever they had taken up the matter with the college authorities, the latter had washed their hands off on the pretext that the incidents had taken place outside the college premises.

The Deputy Commissioner promised them help and asked them to meet the Superintendent of Police, Ms Mamta Singh, who too promised to take action against the miscreants.



Euphoria casts a winning spell
Aditi Tandon

Hindi rock dominated SJOBA’s (St John’s Old Boys Association) winter fest as the “euphoric” melodies of Palash Sen set the note for celebrations at St John’s tonight. Amidst extravagance and style, the lead singer of Euphoria Dr Palash Sen managed to strike incredibly earthy melodies, the ones that typify his music best.

If Euphoria’s concert were any canvas, “Dhoom” was its leitmotif. With abandon to mark his style, Palash led the team of eight musicians into a rocking spree, even as the gathering thirsted for more of his vibrant music — the one that recalls the ghats of Benaras. In fact, Euphoria shot their first-ever video of chartbuster “Dhoom pichuk” in Benaras, the place of Palash’s belonging.

Walking into hotel Piccadily this afternoon, Palash had looked rather listless until the reference of music recharged his slumbering veins. As we talked to the steward of Euphoria which is the first Indian band to have performed at UN General Assembly’s Central Hall, we realised there was more to him than met the eye.

“As a band, we are competing only against ourselves. It’s quite a challenge to spin melodies and make a difference all the time. That’s why we sing not of great aspirations but of common people who travel in buses, fall in love, attends simple weddings, far away from the opulence which Karan Johar can afford in “Kal Ho Na Ho”. We will shortly release another album,” says the singer.

As the forerunner of rock in India, Palash has redefined the musical styles to suit Indian sensibilities. His songs are about men and matters, as basic as they can get. The richness of Benaras is most palpable in his videos as he explains, “My father belongs to Benaras and my mother hails from Jammu. I have always lived on small pleasures, which reflects in my songs like “Mail ri” and “Dhoom”. These songs mirror my aspirations. They are my best creations as I have written their lyrics, and made their music. It is to ensure the sense of belonging that I write my own songs.” The singer, however, feels rock bands in India cannot progress until they extricate themselves from that English-singing mode.

“We have succeeded because we packaged our music for our own people. We are working hard to bring repute to live music in India. We have some 15 shows lined up,” says the singer who is least amused by films and reality shows. “I would rather keep a distance from Bollywood unless offered meaningful roles like the one in “Filhaal,” he says. Even the remix trend in India does not find Palash’s favour as he runs down many videos as “pornographic”.

For his part, , however, Palash can sleep easy as long as he has Euphoria to experiment with. His music allowed him the opportunity to play alongside “Junoon” in the Indo-Pakistan peace concert and compose a song for the Indian Olympic Association. He does not aspire for more. After all, this orthopaedic surgeon also has a clinic to attend!



Printmaking workshop gets under way

The printmaking workshop of Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi, started at Government Art College, Sector 10, today with printmakers assembling to lend shape to ideas.

An annual feature, the workshop will conclude on December 26 when the college authorities will display the works created during the camp. Among those attending the camp are printmakers who regularly work at Garhi Studio of Lalit Kala Akademi in Delhi. For the present camp, the artists will work in the mediums of etching and lithographs.

The camp is being held in collaboration with CITCO. Most of the artists, including the seniormost Uttam Basak, are going in for figurative works that lend an instant expression to thought. Among others at the camp are Manikant Chowdhary, who completed his MFA and BFA from Baroda, Shweta Raina and Uttam Basak from Santiniketan, Kolkata, Anu Gupta from Delhi Polytechnic, Somnath Singh from Delhi Art College and Vishwajit Mandal from Jamia Milia Islamia.

Representing Chandigarh are Nirmal Parkash, Rakesh Bani and Monika Rana. Also attending the workshop is Yogendra Gupta from Jammu. TNS



Satinder Kanwar — poetess of the masses
S.D. Sharma

Satinder Kanwar
Satinder Kanwar

“Years went by Years will come, You are my love Until death to come”. Satinder Kanwar Kohli’s entreaty for love is the opening couplet of poem ‘Silver Jubilee’ that won her the ‘Golden Poet’ Award for 1990 in Las Vegas. Born at Rawalpindi (Pakistan), educated in Delhi and now settled at Birmingham after 20 years of stay in Toronto, Kanwar was blessed with a peculiar emotional sensibility and the vision of a poet. Claiming to be an established poet of Punjabi origin in the alien land Kanwar, is exuberant about her poetic passion, especially her latest publication ‘24 Carat Handbook to Golden Gates’ dedicated to the beloved memory of Princess Diana.

In a face-to-face interaction with local poets and litterateurs, organised by the Writer’s Club at Uttar Complex today, she said penning romantic couplets brought her popularity while being a student, but for graduating to the poetry of thought and intellect, she was guided by her family members.

Equally versatile in crafting sonnets on varied themes in English, Hindi and Punjabi, Kanwar has completed literary works like Literary Graffiti, Shei-Tantic Verses (trilingual), ABC of life.

All her poems, broadly categorised as psychology, spirituality, romance, nature, contemplation, remorse, oppression, have lifted the poetic standard to a sovereign level.

Interaction on Punjabi play

The Kendri Punjabi Rangmanch Sabha and the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademy organised an interaction on Punjabi play Tapash written by Devinder Daman.

The play was read out by Daman before the august audience. The play deals with the tragic plight of the fertile land of five rivers and its peace-loving folk being subjected to terror of tyrants and invaders for centuries.

Weaved in the rustic ambience, the play mainly juxtaposes the atrocities on the innocent Punjabis in the recent times, which the writer feels was more agonising as the rulers and the governance are a part of our very own society and not any Ahmed Shah Abdali, Babar or the British.



Kanika acting in Telugu films

Chandigarh-based Kanika Ashok came into the limelight with the Paris modelling assignment for a retail store in France. Now she has found a foothold in the Telugu film industry where she is playing the lead role opposite famous Telegu actor Raja under the banner of Jagan Cine-Maa.

The cast of the film includes Rajeev Kanakala, Raghubabu, Kondavalasa, Vllam Narsimha Rao, Duvvasi Mohan and Meenakshi Lakshmi.

The film will be released in the third week of January. The film is being extensively shot in Australia, Malaysia and in Hyderabad. OC



Gita Jayanti celebrations

The local chapter of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) celebrated Gita Jayanti at Hare Krishna Dham, Sector 36-B, Chandigarh here on Wednesday with religious fervor and enthusiasm, according to Nand Maharaj Dasa Prabhu, President, local unit of ISKCON.

The programme started with the recitation of “Shlokas” by devotees from Srimad Bhagavad-Gita at 5 pm followed by a discourse, and sankirtan. The sankirtan programme which started on December 1, will continue till December end. December is called “Gita Jayanti maas” as Lord Krishna delivered the sacred message of Srimad Bhagvadgita to Arjuna on the battlefield at Kurukshetra during this month.

Devotees distributed thousands of books containing the sacred message of Srimad Bhagavad Gita across the country today. OC


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