From the Schools
Jewellers down shutters
Nerves overwrought, eyes tired and face full of worry creases. Tension is palpable and the whole atmosphere is edgy. It’s not a scene from a cheerless arty flick. It’s something that happens to students at annual intervals.
It’s examination fever — the anxiety about faring well in examination and doing better than others, who are also leaving no stone unturned to do better than you. With the CBSE examination for classes X and XII already on, examination blues have peaked up.
“I get butterflies in the stomach when exams approach. I feel tense and my mom gets even tenser. My play activities are curtailed and I have to follow a regimented routine,” says Srishty, a student of Saint Joseph Convent School, Cantt Road. And she’s just in class III. For those in classes VIII, IX, X, XI and XII, the going gets even tougher.
They know they have to slog it out come what may. “It’s not the question of doing well. You have to do sufficiently well to surpass your classmates. You have to fight for each quarter of a mark. If you are a topper, a difference of one or two marks can relegate you to fourth or fifth position,” says a class X student.
Parents, on their part, find the examination time equally gruelling. Their social activities take an automatic break and some of them spend a considerable time chalking out the last-minute-study- plans for their wards. “These days the competition is cut-throat. You cannot afford to let your child take his studies casually. If your child is in junior class, you have to make sure that he gets his concepts clear. And if he is in IX or X, you can only keep your fingers crossed,” says Ms Sunita Kak, a young professional.
Interestingly, during the examinations, parental expectations, too, peak up. Many parents, in their over-zealousness and anxiety, push their child to work harder and yet harder, and score well in all subjects. Aptitude, interest, ability and intelligence are all conveniently forgotten.
“All parents expect their children to get either the first position or the second one. It’s not only illogical but also highly unimaginative. There are individual differences and some children are good at science, while others have an aptitude for English. And pushing a child beyond his abilities may be counterproductive,” says Dr Parminder, a lecturer in Government College of Education here.
Experts say examination days are the days during which it is imperative to remain focused and stress-free. Unfortunately, it is at this time that tension among students reaches its peak. “We often get cases of children suffering from anxiety during exams.
These children are in pretty bad shape. A series of counselling sessions both with parents and children does take away some tension. But it is important for parents to realise that their undue expectations can lead to children playing truant. Sometimes, children may even develop serious psychological complications,” says Dr Sudeep Bhangu, child counsellor, who works with a city-based child helpline.
Often on the ‘E-Day’, children lose their appetite. Some study well through the whole night, gulping down tea and coffee concoctions liberally. Others pop memory pills to ‘enhance’ their recall ability. Constant reminders by parents to ‘come out with flying colours’ further builds up the tension.
“It’s as if the children are fighting against time and they have to do their best under immensely ‘draining’ circumstances,” says mother of a school-going boy. Most experts suggest that children should maintain regularity and routine in their study hours all through the year.
“Balanced parental control is a must. There is no point in making your child almost a nervous wreck when the exams approach. A better option is to monitor your child’s academic progress all through the year.
The stress graph of children reaches its peak during the examination days. Sometimes, children who are under continuous stress can take it no longer and they fall into depression,” says Dr Parminder, adding that counselling sessions for children and parents could be of help.
Sports achiever rues govt indifference
Ms Babita Meena is a sports achiever par excellence. She was the winner of the best athlete award in the recently concluded inter-polytechnic sports meet conducted by the Punjab Technical Institutions Sports (PTIS). An alumna of the Government Polytechnic for Women, Ladowali Road, she is also the record holder in 800 mt race.
She was also adjudged the best volleyball player of the team. She was a silver medal holder in athletics in the open games of Punjab that were held in Ludhiana in the year 1999.
However, despite her outstanding achievements, the 21-year-old athlete is dissatisfied. After completing her diploma from the polytechnic, she was hopeful of getting a good job on the basis of her achievements in sports. But to her dismay, she was not given any credit for her achievements for the simple reason that the technical board does not give any gradation to its sports stars.
Ms Babita says she wishes that she gets a good job soon. She wants to continue her sports career, too. As of now, she’s keeping her fingers crossed.
‘Cultural education be made compulsory’
From trees in their lushness to twigs in their starkness, and temples in their magnificence, every little facet of life inspires Dr Prabha Atrre, a vocalist and composer from the Kirana gharaanaa. And when she's not busy with her music, she lets her thoughts meander into words that find expression in her books. Her latest, yet-to-be-seen-on-shelves book, Along the Path of Music, gives a glimpse into the lives of classical music maestros and their contribution to music.
Unlike many other artistes who embrace creative waywardness as a way of life, Dr Atrre has been leading an almost austerely synchronised life. A science and law graduate, she did her doctoral thesis on ‘sargam’. She worked as assistant producer with the All India Radio, chaired the music department of SNDT Women's University, Mumbai, and authored five books in Marathi and two in English.
She had numerous teaching stints abroad. Her Swaramayee Gurukul at Pune is an ode to guru-shishya parampara. A number of awards, including Padma Bhushan and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, have come her way.
"Though I am not against any genre of music, I think a thorough grounding in classical music is necessary to be a good musician," she says. Her own training under Sureshbabu Mane and Padma Bhushan Hirabai Badodekar, both exponents of the Kirana Gharaanaa, tuned her to the nuances of the classical music.
Interestingly, Dr Atrre hails from a 'non-musician' family. It was sheer chance that propelled her towards music, she says. More than three decades ago, she penned her first composition, and till date, she has sung only her own compositions during her performances.
She rues that classical music is often given a short shrift by most people. There is lack of interest among masses, partly because classical music continues to have that hallowed aura without actually striking a responsive chord. "Cultural education, including the appreciation of classical music, should be made compulsory in schools," suggests this Mumbai-based vocalist.
Dr Atrre was in the city for two days to give lecture-cum-demonstration at BD Arya College, KMV College and Sant Baba Bhag Singh Institute of Engineering and Technology, Khiala village. She had been invited by the Jalandhar chapter of SPICMACAY.
From the Colleges
A three-day inter-polytechnic youth festival for girl students organised by the Punjab Technical Institutions Sports (PTIS) concluded at the Government Polytechnic for Women on Sunday.
Students from nearly 40 polytechnic institutions of Punjab participated in the event. Contests for various cultural, fine arts and literary items were held. The team from the Government Polytechnic for Women clinched the overall trophy, while the host team was declared the first runner up.
The festival was formally inaugurated by Mr Narinderjit Singh, Director of Technical Education and Industrial Training. Mr Naresh Nagpal, Additional Director of Technical Education, and Mr Baljit Singh, Principal, gave prizes to the winners.
Seminar on network
A seminar on "Network security and its implementation" was organised by the Postgraduate Department of Computer Science and IT of Doaba College on Tuesday.
Nearly 100 delegates from different colleges participated in the day-long seminar. In his keynote address, Dr I.K. Sharma, Director, Ministry of IT, New Delhi, said a secure computing platform was created in network security so as to help the users perform the actions they were allowed as per the security programme environment. He also highlighted the role of digital structures in modern times.
Nancy Kapur of the Apeejay College of Fine Arts was adjudged the first in the paper reading contest organised by the physics department of Guru Nanak Dev University during National Science Day celebrations held on Monday.
Meritorious students of the CT Institute of Management and IT received medals from Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, during the annual convocation of Punjab Technical University held last Friday. Taniya Chawla and Rishika Bawa got a gold medal each for standing first in BCA. Pareena Bawa got a silver medal for standing second in MCA. Akshita Singh received a certificate of merit for standing 9th in the university.
A US Embassy sponsored workshop on media ethics was organised at the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Regional Campus of Guru Nanak Dev University on Friday.
On the occasion, Mr Bob Richards, Director of Public Affairs Division of the embassy, Dr Shakuntala Rao, visiting Fulbright senior lecturer and associate professor of the Department of Communication, State University of New York, Plattsburgh, and Dr Navjit Singh Johal, reader, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Punjabi University held an interaction with the local media persons and students from the campus.
From the Schools
Eklavya School conducted a workshop on the campus of the junior school at Model Town on Friday.
Mr Shailendra Gupta, Principal of Eklavya Institute of Teachers' Education, began the workshop with a quote, "Children enter the school as a question mark and leave it as a period." He said good teachers never 'covered' the syllabus, they 'uncovered' it. 'Uncovering' took place when students started asking questions, he said.
The workshop was focused on strategies to promote thinking and questioning habits among children through discussions, activities, audio-visual clippings. It covered the aspect of handling the responses of the children. During the workshop, colouring competition was held for the pre-primary children and card-making competition for organised for the students of classes I to VI.
A workshop on "Children are like fixed deposits" was conducted by Dr Neelam Sodhi, gynaecologist and Director of an NGO, Ashirwaad. A poetry recitation and a rangoli contest were held. Ms Kuldeep Singh of Mama's Pride School was the judge.
The pre-primary wing of Police DAV Public School, PAP Campus, celebrated its annual day on Saturday.
The function began with the lighting of lamp by Mr D.R. Bhatti, ADGP, PAP, and Dr Rashmi Vij, Principal of the school. The audience were left spellbound by the dramatisation of the story "Snow White and seven dwarfs". The other attractions were modelling, fancy dress show and singing of Vande Matram and Mera Bharat Mahaan. The principal presented the annual report of the school and Mr Bhatti lauded the efforts put in by the students.
Lawrence International School, GT Road, organised a seminar on "Role of parents and teachers in education".
In the morning session, many parents participated in the seminar and interacted with the resource person, Wing Commander J.S. Bhalla, about various problems faced by parents, teachers and students. The parents showed a lot of interest in the newly set up science laboratories in the school.
The afternoon session was meant exclusively for the teachers. During this session, educational material was given to the teachers. Mr J.R. Gupta, Chairman of the school, presented a vote of thanks. Mr G.S. Bajwa, Principal, was also present on the occasion.
Management, staff and students of MGN Public School, Adarsh Nagar, have collected a sum of Rs 2 lakh and donated it for the rehabilitation of tsunami victims.
Last Tuesday, Mr Jarnail Singh Pasricha, Secretary, MGN Education Trust, Mr R.S. Mehta, Principal of Adarsh Nagar branch, Ms Jaspal Gill, Principal of Urban Estate branch, and Ms Inderjeet Kaur, Principal of Kapurthala branch, accompanied by four students, presented the cheque to Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, at New Delhi.
Prof J.P. Mahindru and Dr Manpreet Bedi, teachers of national fame, have joined NBS Gurukul from this session.
Prof Mahindru is the author of Modern's abc of mathematics book series. As an expert, he has delivered lectures on the subject in all major cities of India and abroad and has counselled a number of students.
Wanna savour mouthwatering panjeeri or moti chur ladoos? You need not look around much. Lovely Sweets situated on Nakodar Road has as many as 160 sweets and 70 namkeen items to offer.
Manufacturing sweets for the last 43 years, Lovely Sweets is a known name in north India. Displaying sweets with price range from Rs 40 per kg to as much as Rs 600 per kg, the shop gets all kinds of customers, including those from lower middle class and well-off families.
The shop, however, is most popular for its panjeeri that comes in two variants, one made out of moongi dal and the other made out of wheat flour. While the wheat flour panjeeri has lots of dry fruit, moongi dal panjeeri comes with pistachio nuts in little quantity. Out of the two, there is more demand for wheat flour panjeeri, though it is more expensive.
Be it some marriage, birth of a child, lohri or any other auspicious occasion, panjeeri sells like a hot cake. Of the 300 men working in the sweets shop, nearly 15 employees are engaged only for panjeeri. While some sieve the flour, others churn the butter and prepare the required ghee. One chef cooks panjeeri, and others arrange it in trays and pack it. The panjeeri is prepared in parts all through the day, using 30 kg of flour at a time.
Much of panjeeri prepared in the shop goes for distribution in government schools of Punjab as mid-day meal, said Mr Naresh Mittal, owner of the shop. He said every week, government employees from a district come to procure the panjeeri for the schools falling in their area. However, since the government rates are quite low, this panjeeri is a bit different, as it is made using dalda oil without any dry fruits for garnishing, he added.
Moti chur ladoos of Lovely Sweets is the second thing in demand. The yellow ladoos have nice orange and green dots. Burfi made of fig is another unique item in the shop. The most expensive item, however, is pistachio burfi that is olive green in colour.
Having successfully implanted special endovascular stent graft without any operation on a patient suffering from thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysm, the heart specialists at Tagore Heart Care Centre claim it to be the first case in north India.
Stating this, Dr V.P. Sharma, senior cardiologist, said since no surgery was done in the case, the patient recovered very fast and was discharged in four days. Open surgery for the disease was not only very difficult but also had high mortality rate, he said. The recovery would also have been slow, as in such cases the patient remained under supervision for at least 15 days, he added. Dr Sharma said the disease was common among males above 65 years of age, particularly among chronic smokers.
Protesting against the non-fulfillment of their long-pending demands, the All-India Federation of University and College Teachers' Organisations has decided to hold a protest rally to the Parliament on March 10.
Stating this in a press note, Dr V.K. Tewari, national secretary, said that the government had been giving them assurances since September 1998 over issues such as restoration of parity for DPEs and librarians, implementation of career advancement scheme from January 1996, third promotion for senior teachers and restoration of professorship in colleges. But, he alleged, nothing was being done to implement any such demand.
Dr Tewari said he had held a meeting on Tuesday with officials of department of higher and secondary education and UGC but nothing conclusive emerged out of it. He said he was told that problems of women teachers were under consideration of the Dr Armati Desai Committee. He said since the talks with Finance Ministry and HRD Ministry had failed, it had been decided that the rally be held outside the UGC office from where members would proceed towards the Parliament.
AIDS awareness classes were organised at the CRPF Group Centre here last week. Eminent doctors from the city delivered lectures on AIDS and its prevention. The awareness programme was organised with the help of Jalandhar District AIDS Society, Civil Hospital. Mr S.S. Gill, ADIGP and Station Commander of Group Centre, CRPF, said that though the incidence of AIDS was low among the CRPF personnel, yet there was a need to create awareness about AIDS.
The Punjab and Chandigarh College Non-Teaching Employees' Union held a meeting of the executive members of the union from Panjab University, Punjabi University and Guru Nanak Dev University to condemn the alleged anti-employee policies of the state government.
The union has decided to go on strike on March 11 and March 21. The members also decided to support the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers' Union in connection with the long-pending demands of the teachers.
A musical rendezvous was organised by the Sangeet Sankalp, Jalandhar branch, on February 27. Classical vocalist Rucha Sovlay, tabla players Sanjay Deshpande and Jayadev, sitarist Pawan Sitara presented classical music on the occasion.
(Complied by Minna Zutshi)
The A.N.R. Motors Pvt Ltd held an impressive ceremony at the launch of Innova, a 3-row seating passenger car of Toyota, at The Heritage, GT Road, on Saturday.
Mr Gupta said the customers could choose from two models of the car, Toyota D-4D diesel or VVT-I petrol engine. The car features ivory look shades, redwood-like grain finish panel, adjustable steering wheel, newly developed 3-row air conditioning, bottle holders for passengers.
New 3-wheeler launched
Dada Motors organised a party at the launch of a new model of three wheeler of Bajaj at a hotel on Thursday. Dada motors is an authorised dealer of the company.
Jewellers down shutters
Reacting to the imposition of 2 per cent excise on branded jewellery in the recent budget, the Jalandhar Jewellers' Association organised a protest march on Thursday. The shopkeepers kept their shops closed for the day. The call for the march was given by Mr Ram Lubhaya Ahuja, president of the Punjab
Meanwhile, Mr Gian Chand Khanna, president, Jalandhar association, flayed the government for its "discriminatory policies". Criticising the Finance Minister's decision, he said that the shops would remain closed for three days in protest against the excise imposition.