C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU in quandary over vocational courses
Swarleen Kaur

Chandigarh, March 31
The Panjab University authorities are in a quandary. They continue to fund and run those vocational courses which have practically became non-existent and have no takers for the past four years. The centre of vocational studies, set up in 1998, in the university had started four employment-oriented courses — bee-keeping, silviculture, mushroom culture and fisheries.

Prof K. K. Dhir, a former chief coordinator of vocational centre, said, “During its initial three years these attracted good response. The UGC, following the guidelines of the Central Government, had asked the university to start the venture. There were 20 open and 15 paid seats in the department.

Mr Ravinder Kumar Kohli, prof-cum-Coordinator, Centre for Environment and Vocational Studies, Panjab University, has a rather different version. “These courses drew a poor response from students as no steps were taken to ensure its proper implementation.

The much-needed infrastructure required to run these courses and provide training skills to students was not set up and so there were no takers from 2001. “I feel that these courses have no chance of students’ participation in our university as they come here for higher studies required for white collar jobs,” he said. Moreover, the basic infrastructure to run these courses like pond, agriculture land, dairy facility was completely lacking, he added.

He said the university need not go for such kind of vocational courses which do not arouse the interest of the students.

Commenting further he said in 1999 the academic council set up the centre for environment science, which was merged with this department.

“At present there are two courses in environment studies— M.Sc in environment science and Ph.D, which has been introduced this year. The funds granted to the centre are being spent on these two courses”, Mr Kohli revealed.

The Vice-Chancellor, Mr K.N. Pathak, has kept a decision on these courses in abeyance. He is likely to call a committee meeting which would take a decision shortly, he added.

This issue was raised by Mr Ashok Goyal, Senator, at the last meeting of the Senate. He had questioned that if these courses were not running then where were the funds, over Rs 36 lakhs going.

“Vice-Chancellor Pathak was caught unawares on the issue”, Mr Goyal said.



Economists discuss patent laws, seeds
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
A seminar on the theme of “Agricultural crisis-seeds and patents laws” was organised at the ICSSR Complex here today.

Prof G.S. Bhalla, an economist, cautioned against the marginalisation of 75 per cent of farmers in India due to the “wrong policies” pursued by the Central and state governments.

Advocating the need for public-funded research in agriculture, he demanded the strengthening of the agricultural sector.

Dr Vandana Shiva, a scientist, denounced the monopoly formations in seed patenting, especially by a corporate monopoly, Monsentto, in the USA. She expressed her disagreement with the passage of the Patents Bill in Parliament and asked for a new amendment on seeds and all life-forms so as to protect Indian farmers from exploitation by monopolists in the patenting of seeds.

Prof Harbans Singh Sidhu called for public campaigns to resist threats to Indian agriculture.

Relief for private candidates

The Vice-Chancellor has allowed private candidates of music (vocal/instrumental/tabla) and dance both at the graduate and postgraduate levels to appear in the practical examinations of 2005 only, as per previous practice, without submitting any certificate from the Head of the University Department of Music/Principals of Colleges affiliated to Panjab University for having attended the practical classes, as per a press note issued by the Controller of Examinations PU. 



Tiny tots get a vibrant induction at Rai School
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
The environment was vibrant with smiling faces during an orientation programme for tiny tots at Rai School, Sector 48, here today.

The little ones attended the programme with their parents and some of them had the first feel of school.

The induction started with colouring of the pavement by parents and their wards to depict the school of their dreams.

The children came up with some brilliant imagination which was quiet enlightening even for the grownups.

Students with their parents were informally introduced to the class teachers and activity teachers of pre – primary wing. There were fun activities, which included story-narration by teachers through which the little ones were acquainted with various concepts, manners, etiquettes and morals.

There was an action rhyme session where all children were encouraged to participate.

The headmistress Mrs Punam Dogra expressed that as there was enough of assertiveness in today’s world so the need of the hour was to inculcate strength of character.

Ms. Roopan, a primary- wing teacher, highlighted the important of love and patience while handling children.

Ms Upasana, another primary teacher, threw light on the scheme of curriculum of Rai School.

It provides scope for improving all types of behaviour in an integrated manner. 



Concern over growing aged population
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
The ICSSR North-Western Regional Centre organised a lecture on “Ageing in India in a comparative perspective” at the ICSSR Complex, Panjab University, here today.

Dr Jacob John Kattakayam, Professor of Sociology and Director, Academic Staff College, University of Kerala, Trivandrum, spoke about the changing profile of the population worldwide and in India. He said the rate of growth of the aged population in developing countries like India was faster than the growth of the general population.

Speaking on the future trends of the increasing aged population, Prof Kattakayam said whereas in the 1990s the age profile of the population could be represented in a typical pyramid form, by 2025 it would get flattened at the top.

“Another two generations down the line, the population profile acquires regular shape and by the turn of the next century the profile is likely to acquire the share of an inverted pyramid signifying very little population growth at the bottom but a burgeoning aged population at the top, “ he maintained.

He said these changes had great consequences for society since it would mean fewer number of younger people extending economic support to a very large aged population. Apart from the economic consequences, he was of the opinion that the social and psychological, besides medical consequences could not be ignored.

Prof M.K. Teja, Chairperson, Department of Sociology, Panjab University, highlighted that ageing of a population was an inevitable consequence of the process of demographic transition and created an imbalance in the age structure over a period of time.

The lecture was followed by a discussion in which Prof S.R. Mehta, Prof Raj Mohini Sethi, Prof K.C. Kaistha, Dr Neeru Kang, Dr Kumool Abbi and Dr Rani Mehta participated.

Prof S.L. Sharma observed that though increasing life expectancy was a positive trend, if the increased age made life miserable, it became a serious sociological concern.

Refresher course concludes

The three-week refresher course at the English Department, Panjab University, concluded here today. Fortytwo teachers from various countries participated.

The theme of the course was “Revisiting the classics” and 25 resource persons, all scholars from local and other universities, delivered lectures. The valedictory address was given by Prof Susan Friedman of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, USA. 



Seminar on RFID
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
A seminar on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), was conducted by Infosys Technologies Ltd. Mohali at UIET, Panjab University, Chandigarh, yesterday.

Employed by the US Defence Department, this technology is capable of achieving new innovations. As such, giant corporations like TESCO , HP and Motorola are looking forward towards this technology to achieve new heights, said a press note.

Explaining the technology, engineers from Infosys said it is based on EPC (Electronic Product Code) and uses wireless technology operating within 50 KHz to 2.5 GHz frequency range. It helps in detecting the position of the items at any point in time.

Prof. B.S. Sohi, Director UIET, lauded the efforts of the Training and Placement Committee for efficiently arranging and managing the seminar. Dr Gurdeep Singh, Training and Placement Coordinator, while welcoming the team of Infosys hoped that they would play a crucial role in shaping the future of IT in Chandigarh. 



Hamara School
Grooming to realise potential

WITH over three decades in the field of education, Modern Ways Model School has nurtured and groomed thousands of children and made them responsible and well-rounded individuals.

The philosophy of the school is “Children epitomise hopes, dreams... the future”. Just like the skilled hands of a potter, the school moulds a child with the cooperation of the parents resulting in a person groomed to realise his (or her) true potential as an individual.

The school was established in 1969 in a small cottage of Sector 28-D with a few students and five small classrooms and now has come up with a building at Sector 29-C in two acres with 22 spacious classrooms, laboratory, library, modern nursery section and is still growing.

Pentium-based computers have been installed with a music system. Fourteen more classrooms will be added in the next academic session. The present school strength is 800. Computers are a part of regular curriculum. The school is recognised by the Education Department.

A new section for little children, “Modern Kids”, has come up in the school building with all new furnished nursery. Here children come to play and learn but forget that they are far from their homes. The lovely surrounding, music and toys make the child more attentive and active. It is a second home away from home.

Ms Raj Sachdeva displays a true understanding and empathy for the common man, having served the nation for the cause of education for more than 50 years. Her spirit, courage and vision still continues to guide the activities of the educational institution she fathered.

The school has been successful in giving the students a strong foundation in academics, which has helped many of them to launch themselves in successful professions. In order to encourage excellence in academics, periodic tests are conducted. The school gives maximum stress on education so that the students get best out of the teacher in a short time. The school has been recording 100 per cent result in the middle standard examination since the past three decades.

The school keeps small students: teacher ratio to make sure that no child is left behind and there are no back-benchers. The school is an activity-oriented, English medium, child centered and ultra modern institute with moderate fees.




CHILDREN are the most precious assets of a modern country. They are the foundation of our society. Every child is talented and there is just a need to support the talent and nurture it. If the foundation is strong and the work in that direction is done with sincerity and dedication, none can lack behind. Being strict with children for the cause of education and discipline does not mean that the teacher is not having any concern with the students but it shows that how much pain the teacher takes for the children. There is an urgent need to enforce discipline and national character among the children. The strict education system of the past three decades has made India a big brain bank of the world and we are afraid what will happen in 10 years from now when all NGOs are against any disciplinary action. May God bless India.



Senior advocate questions Bar Council authority
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 31
Senior Advocate S.P. Gupta, amicus curiae in the contempt case against former Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana M.C. Munjal, has questioned the authority of the Bar Council in issuing notice to him for alleged professional misconduct.

Some days ago, Mr Gupta had been issued a show-cause notice on a compliant allegedly sent to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court by one of his clients in 1998.

In his reply submitted here today, Mr Gupta has also asked how a complaint apparently sent to the Chief Justice reached the Bar Council.

He has also pointed out that the show-cause notice was issued in the name of Mr N.S. Sitta, ‘hony secretary’, who is now not even a member of the Bar Council, leave apart being its secretary.

The complaint on which the notice is based has no date and is not signed, a fact brought out in Mr Gupta’s reply.

In his reply, Mr Gupta has stated that being a designated Senior Advocate, he does not fall within the purview of the Bar Council and hence it cannot take cognizance of the complaint.



Ex-postmaster's plea dismissed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
A full Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has ruled that Extra-Departmental Branch Post Masters (EDBAM) are holders of civil post, but their service can not be considered as qualifying service for the purpose of benefit of pension.

The orders was passed after an applicant moved the tribunal seeking directions to the Postal Department to consider his service as EDBAM after his promotion to Group D post for the purpose of pension and other retirement benefits.

The applicant stated that after his promotion, he superannuated on January 30, 2003, on attaining the age of 60 years. He pleaded that the department was not considering his service as EDBAM for considering his case for pension and other retirement benefits. 



She voices women's concerns through theatre
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Anuradha Kapur For Anuradha Kapur, this year's Sangeet Natak Akademi award winner, theatre is nothing less than an enchanting expedition. Challenging stereotypes in theatre presentation and instruction, Anuradha has created vibrant new spaces which can inspire and awaken the drowsiest of audiences.

For now, she is concentrating on the Shakespearean classic "Romeo and Juliet", a production she staged a decade ago for the National School of Drama (NSD) where she is now teaching art and direction. The latest project involves students of the Department of Indian Theatre, Panjab University, which Anuradha Kapur is visiting for a week.

In a conversation with The Tribune last Sunday, the reputed theatre director talked about the charms of viewing theatre as a visual medium. It is the director's fascination for the visual aspects of theatre which led her to collaborate with famed visual artists across India. There is not a single production of Anuradha Kapur which does not captivate audiences' attention with the flourish of its illustrations.

Said the director, "I have worked with many artists, including Neelima Sheikh, Vivan Sundaram and Arpita Singh. Every time I have employed art to strengthen my production I have been faced with the challenge of bringing the many elements of theatre and art together. My attempt is to project the visual as a parallel to the narrative. In my productions, the elements appear to be in consonance with one another. They are not in competition."

Using art and other bold visual elements, including absorbing sets, Anuradha has been voicing varied theme from the stage.

Her forte is western drama which she used to teach at the NSD until some years ago. Talking about the nuances of Shakespeare, Anuradha said, "Shakespeare's plays have all ingredients of a masala movie.

The idea behind staging Shakespeare is to shed that extra baggage which follows the very mention of the classic. I want my students to enjoy the playwright, not worship him."

That's one reason why Anuradha has chosen to direct "Romeo and Juliet" for the students at Chandigarh.

Apart from directing classics, she has also been engaged with voicing women's concerns through theatre.

"That's, indeed, my running interest. I have always been interested in finding voices for women characters and representing them on stage," said Anuradha. No wonder one of the most reputed productions of Anuradha Kapur has been the one she created on the life of a female impersonator in Gujarat. Another famous one combines two stories of Vijay Tendulkar who talks about the violence of city life.

But everything apart, Anuradha's last production that brings alive the sordid tales of the Gujarat carnage, places her in the coveted league. This production easily passes off as one of the finest theatre exercises that portray the crude realities of contemporary times.

Admits the director, "Talking about the challenges of modern world is one of my primary concerns as a director. I have also been working with fiction writer Geetanjali Shri, who helps me polish my scripts by participating in the productions." 



New Release
‘C U at 9’, a bold thriller

Another bold movie "C U at 9" opens today at Fun Republic, Manimajra. The title is a definite attention grabber. Designed as a multiplex film, this sex flick has already generated a lot of interest among the viewers. This is a thriller with bold scenes.

A new name has been added to the list of bold beauties of Bollywood glamour world. Shweta Konnur, a South Indian beauty hits the silver screen through director Marlon Hoden's "C U at 9". Isaiah play the lead role opposite Shweta.

The movie is a mystery with bold kissing scenes and takes you by surprise completely. It is Bollywood's yet another Hinglish (Hindi and English) movie.

Written and directed by Marlon Hoden, the movie presents the concept with a cleverly woven mystery. Mahesh Limaye is the cinematographer. Tapash Relia has composed the music. The target audience is obviously youth. The chemistry, the two lead stars share is the mainstay of the film. On the whole "C U at 9" is evidently a multiplex movie targeting a very select audience. — DP



An evening dedicated to Ghalib
S.D. Sharma

Ghazals from Mirza Ghalib rendered in the mellifluous voice of Manu Kohli and his literary prominence were brought alive through the renditions by Anees Azmi at the Tagore Theatre on the concluding day of the Urdu drama festival organised by the Haryana Urdu Akademi.

Anees employed all skills of a litterateur, and orator in his marathon presentation of letters of Ghalib written to various persons in the Weekend Theatre New Delhi’s presentation “Ghalib ke Khatoot”.

Though the magnificence of the rich treatise of letters unfolding the myriad moods of Ghalib was a pleasure for the Urdu-knowing die-hard fans of Ghalib, there were many who felt that the dramatic portion should have been more.

The concluding presentation from the Parsi-style theatre group, Delhi, was significant in view of its rare shows in the region. The group staged a popular play, “Yahudi ki Ladki”, written by Agha Hashar Kashmiri under the direction of Ahmed Anjum Dehlavi.

It is the love story of a Yahudi girl and a Roman prince in the backdrop of atrocities committed on Yahudis. The unique presentation style kept alive the interest of the audience.

The potent dialogues were brilliant and actors were adept at dancing, singing and acting. Most of the actors belonged to one family which appeared to be a constraint for the director to limit his choice of suitable characters.

Anjum Dehlavi, Naresh Gill, Tarun Guha Rukhsana, Faqir Mohammad Chand Begum, Rukhsana, Kahkshan, Shenaaz, Tahira and Fatima formed the cast. Pandit Romesh Sahil and Massart Hussain scored the music.



Hasrat Memorial Award for Soz

“The poets and litterateurs are the national treasure and Sukhpalvir Singh 'Hasrat' was one such writer blessed with intuitive wisdom and imagination", said Vipin Pubby, Resident Editor, The Indian Express, while paying tributes to the poet at a function held at the Punjab Kala Bhavan under the aegis of the Punjabi Sahit Kala Kendra, Mohali.

He lauded the kendra for instituting the annual award in his name. Rightfully awarded the National Sahitya Academy for Literature Hasart enriched the Punjabi literature with his creative contributions, opined the chief guest Manmohan Singh Kohli while sharing his association with the legendary poet.

The kendra presented the maiden "Hasrat Memorial Award" to eminent writer of over 50 books, Professor S. Soz of Patiala. The award carried a citation, memento and cash prize of Rs 10,000, sponsored by Ms Sharninderjit Kaur, wife of the poet, and his family.

She had edited a book "Beete Di Bukkal Chon" comprising of unpublished poems of Hasrat, which was released today along with another book "Dhiyan Waris Diyan" penned by Prof Soz.

Kendra president Rajinder Singh Bhasin, G.S. Arif and Sham Singh also paid tributes to the legendry poet. OC



Mixing music their passion
Swarleen Kaur

Being a disc jockey (DJ) means more than spreading fun at a party. It is also about having a positive attitude towards life. Meet 22-year-old DJ Naveen Sharma, alias Nash. Every night you can see him mixing music in a hotel in Sector 35. The psychedelic lights pamper his passion.

Making couples dance is something which makes him happy. A sum of Rs 6,000 at the end of the month keeps him going. A BA final year student in SD College, Naveen is proud of his vocation and intends to continue it for some more years.

“When you are 23, you do not feel like taking pocket money from your parents,” says Natin, a BA final year student in Sri Guru Gobind Singh College. He is also a DJ in a hotel. He thinks it is a good profession.

One does not need much expertise in mixing music. A lot of youngsters are aspiring to be one. Almost all major hotels have their own DJs. For a lot of guys into music, it is a good opportunity as DJs earn between Rs 3,000 and Rs 10,000. At private parties, the returns are handsome. If a DJ is popular in the market, he can earn up to Rs 50,000 a day. However, for many it remains a part-time job.

Prabhloch (18) has opened up a studio to give tips to upcoming DJs. He also conducts private parties.


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