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Marketing Canada among Indian students
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Wendy Curtis
Wendy Curtis

Chandigarh, May 5
Effervescent with a smile that’s infectious. — that’s Wendy Curtis, International Director, Fanshawe College, Canada. She’s in the city yet again, her fourth time, marketing Canada.

Unlike her previous visits to scout for talent among students wanting to test the waters abroad, she was here to sign an agreement with Mohali-based Canadian Institute of International Studies for a three-year diploma in fashion designing.

From her heart and direct, comes this observation, “Canada’s population is declining. Our country needs to celebrate people who come to choose and stay with us. And, back home that’s exactly what we are striving for — providing visiting students a home away from home.”

Speaking to The Tribune on the sidelines of this contract-signing mission, Wendy adds, “Back home, the Indian students are seen as just fabulous, if I had to sum them up in a word. They are bright, enthusiastic and well-versed in English. Language is not a hurdle and they are game for a challenge. However, the best part is that they are very proud of what they are doing. And, we are happy to have them.”

Government-funded, Fanshawe College is the fourth largest, has a direct student-industry interface courtesy its teeming alumni. “They give us a regular feedback on the requirements of the industry and, we, in turn, change our academic modules to suit their needs. our courses are essentially industry-driven offering work experience for various time durations.”

Unlike India, colleges in Canada are not bifurcated into the government and private sectors. Instead, funding is all about performance and professionalism. “Our grants from the government are directly related to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These are dependent on a number of students getting jobs each year, their satisfaction with the faculty and course content, the infrastructure among others. Conducted by the government, the survey puts us at a position among the top four in the state,” she maintains.

Popular courses grabbing the attention of students and their parents alike are Corporate Communication and Guest Relationship Specialists. “Both these catering to the present requirements of the Canadian economy are getting tremendous response. Bio-technology, too, is hot as is fashion designing,” she states.

For her, a trip to India is a blend of business and pleasure. “The hospitality of the Indians just bowls you over. That’s why I keep coming back,” she winds up.



Fewer research scholars in PU this year
Entrance test makes PhD less popular
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
There has been a sharp decline in the number of research scholars in Panjab University this year. As against 147 research scholars working in the humanities departments — including all language departments, philosophy, music and fine arts, in 2003-2004 session, there are merely 13 scholars left in all these departments at the end of the session, this year.

Trying to explain the reason for this unprecedented decline (within the span of one year), the faculty says the almost 10 per cent decrease in number of research scholars is due to the introduction of PhD entrance tests in the university two years ago.

This has restricted the enrollment to PhD programmes only to those students who qualify the test. The test has a success rate of around 20 per cent, said faculty members.

“The introduction of PhD entrance exam in PU, which is on the pattern of UGC-NET exam, has definitely made a dent in the number of students who are enrolling for the PhD programme. While a few years ago practically anyone could enroll for PhD, especially those of languages like Hindi or Punjabi and get a doctorate, it has become tough for students now. Since the word on the campus is that this entrance is tough to qualify, many students do not even attempt to take the test, says Dr Cecilia Antony of Department of French and a member of the Senate.

While humanities are the worst hit, decline in number of PhDs in all PU departments paints a dismal picture. From 475 scholars last year, the number at the end of this session is 267, a sharp fall of more than 43 per cent.

This decline is a reflextion on the falling academic standards and the poor grasp of even the post graduate students in their own subjects. Under a system, which tests their skills, many buckle down or simply hesitate to compete — a point proved by the student organisations who were one in protesting against the introduction of the test.

“Though the test has helped in weeding out the uninterested students so that quality rather than the quantity of the research scholars can be maintained, but the outcome has posed serious questions on the standard of teaching at the MA level. Do students study nothing in the MA course that they fare so badly in the new system?” adds another Professor.

Meanwhile, criticising the university’s move of pricing the entrance exam’s forms at Rs 1,000, some teachers like Prof P.P. Arya of the University Business School (UBS), say that in the era of commercialisation of higher education, research scholars will be neglected. “On the one hand, PU is enhancing income by introducing popular courses, but no additional funds and incentives are being given to the scholars. PU should have a separate DUI (research) to improve the situation,” he says.



Pooja tops in Class X exams in dist
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 5
Pooja Saini, a student of New India Senior Secondary School, Sector 15, topped the Class X Haryana Board examination in the district with 84 per cent marks. She scored 504 marks out of 600. The results were declared, here today.

The second position was bagged by Neha Garg of Stone Brooke High School, Kalka, who scored 83.5 per cent, while Sarika of Agarsain High School, Raipur Rani, was placed third with 83.16 per cent, marks.

Of the 76 schools from which 3,634 students appeared in the examination, only two schools, Sarthak Government School in Sector 12-A and Noble High school, Kalka, scored a cent percent result. Seven students of New India made it to the merit list. In the sarthak school, 19 of the 22 students got a first division, while three students got a second division.

In Baldwala, all 12 students of government high school got a compartment, while the school at Tandog had 16.66 per cent result. At Bargodam, 25 per cent students passed the examination, while 30 per cent of the students got through in Kot.

While the government senior secondary schools of the district scored a pass per centage of 53.94 per cent, the private schools in this category scored 71.10 per cent. In the high school category, government schools scored 52.35 per cent against 78.28 per cent of private schools.

Meanwhile, accompanied by her parents, Mr J.S. Saini and Ms Asha Saini, the topper, Pooja, was all smiles at the office of the District Education Officer after her top position in the district was confirmed.

Pooja maintained that she had stuck to self-study and had not taken tuitions. “I knew I would do well but did not expect to top. This is amazing,” she added. Pooja wants to join the Indian Administrative Services. 



School holds prize distribution function
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 5
Annual prize distribution function of Kendriya Vidyalaya No 1, Chandimandir, was held here today. Chief guest, Col V.N. Money, Chairman Vidyalaya Management Committee inaugurated the function by lighting the lamp.

In his address, advised the students to work hard and stressed on character building. Principal Mrs N. Mohini presented the annual report. She highlighted the achievements of the vidyalay and announced the names of the students who have excelled in various fields. the chief guest gave away the prizes.

Jimmy Talukdar got first prize in academics, Vivek Rana was declared best footballer Kumari Pooja and master Sourabh of Class XII got rashtrya puraskar in scouts. The chief guest also congratulated the staff.

Tiny tots presented dance and songs. The English skit and Hindi Ekanki were appreciated.

Seminar: Students of Bhavan Vidhyalaya, sector 27, attended a seminar on “Career Pathway: Planning and Further Education”, here today. The seminar was run by Ms Namrata Pandey, Manager ‘The Chopras’ the leading Global Education Professional Consultant in India. The topics covered included eligibility criteria, university selection, IELTS, TOFEL, Courses, Visa Formalities. Around 250 students attended the seminar along with teachers.



Workshop for special children concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Srijana manch, a five-day workshop for special children being held at Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, concluded with a cultural programme and an exhibition, here today.

This workshop had participants from Savera, Nari Niketan, Pingalwara, Blind Institute, Missionaries of Charity, Bal Niketan, Bhawan Vidyalya and some individual members of the community.

Dr Jyoti Khanna, convener of this workshop, said that the children were trained in manual skills and they got an opportunity to learn music. Many skills like file making, hair band and friendship band making, preparation of wall hangings, clay modeling, marking the best use of waste articles were also taught.

The products prepared by these inmates from different institutes of children were displayed. The participants presented a group song.

Chief guest of this function Ms Madhavi Kataria, director, Social Welfare Department, appreciated the college for bringing smiles on the faces of these special children. 



Digitalisation project to go public today
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 5
The project to digitalise data of 34 villages of Majri block will be presented at a function being organised by the district administration, Punjab Engineering College (PEC) and District Town Planning Office at Shivalik Public School, Phase 6, here tomorrow.

The presentation will be made before the village sarpanches, lambardars and the prominent persons of the area.

Under the project, geographical maps of 34 villages have been digitalised by Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Chandigarh, for the Ropar administration as part of the Budhki Rao Watershed Project.

The revenue data was supplied by the administration and the aerial photography was done by the Town and Country Planning Department. The data was first digitised up to khasra detail and was later superimposed by aerial photography. The entire project was coordinated by the Ropar district town planner, Mr Gurpreet Singh. 



Khalsa college to develop centre of excellence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Khalsa College, Amritsar, with a legacy of 115 years has decided to develop a centre of excellence at Phase 3 A, Mohali.
Named Khalsa College Amritsar Centenary Bhavan, the centre would be spread in 2.5 acres and is expected to start functioning in the next academic session.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune today, the president of the college’s managing committee, Mr Satyajeet Singh Majithia, said talks were going on in the management as to the kind of courses that would be offered in the centre.

The building is expected to be completed in the next couple of months.



A clarification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Referring to the news item “Vice-Chancellor calls meeting” published on May 3 and the subsequent follow-up published on May 4, a spokesperson of Panjab University clarified that the Vice-Chancellor had constituted a committee on the matter pertaining to the diversion of funds to a non-existant course on March 25 after the issue was raised in the senate meeting held on March 20.

Subsequently, the convener of the committee contacted the chairman of the committee for suggesting a suitable date for holding the meeting. The chairman of the committee expressed his inability to give a date in the month of April owing to his pre-occupations and non-availability of some of the members during that month

On May 2, the convener issued a notice for the meeting, scheduling it for May 9, before the appearance of the news item on the issue. Incidentally, it is only the convener who in consultation with the chairman of the committee has to convene the meeting and not the Vice-Chancellor, the spokesman added.

The university maintained that the alleged misappropriation was yet to be looked into. The prima facie evidence established that there had been absolutely no misappropriation of even a penny.

As such, the findings of the committee will be made public as and when it is through.



From District Courts
Contractor refused bail
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 5
Additional District and Sessions Judge, Sneh Prashar, today rejected the bail application of Ranjit Singh, a co-accused in a case of corruption along with Sub Inspector Verender Kumar and Assistant Sub Inspector, Ashwani Sharma. He filed the application yesterday, which was rejected by the court today.

Ranjit Singh, a contractor is accused of being the middleman for the two cops. Mr Satya Dev, an owner of an industrial plot here had alleged that the two cops had raided his premises in December 2004, on the pretext of checking his bills. They had later demanded bribe of Rs 1. 50 lakh from him, through Ranjit Singh. While SI Verender was the Station House Officer of Sector 20, ASI Ashwani Sharma was the in charge of Security wing of the police

Remanded: Chief Judicial Magistrate, Gulab Singh, today remanded an accused in a rape case, Anil, in judicial custody. The accused is a resident of Kharag Mangoli here, and is accused of abducting a minor girl. They had eloped a few days ago and were caught by the police yesterday. A case under Sections 363, 366 and 376 of the IPC was registered against him on the complaint of the girl’s mother.



New Releases
A labour of love

Producer-director Harry Baweja and Ajay Devgan team up for the sixth time in Pammi Baweja presentation ‘Main Aisa Hi Hoon’ starring Esha Deol and Sushmita Sen. This is an emotional movie reportedly inspired from ‘I am Sam’ and the rest is very much of a Bollywood film. In ‘Main Aisa Hi Hoon’, Ajay Devgan plays a mentally challenged man for whom love really heals everything. This film opens today at Aarti, Ludhiana (2 shows).

‘Main Aisa Hi Hoon’ is a labour of love by director Harry Baweja who has offered for the audience some good and average movies and now, a different film. The star cast is unusual. Ajay Devgan plays a seven-year old trapped in a man’s body. The buzz is that it is one of the best roles played by Ajay Devgan. How the lead character survives in this cruel, harsh, adult world forms the crux of the story. Anupam Kher also play an important role. Sameer has penned good lyrics. Another melodious score by Himesh Reshammiya.

‘‘Main Aisa Hi Hoon’’ is the ninth movie directed by Harry Baweja. He has reportedly come up with his best. The rest is up to the audience to decide.

* * * *

Balaji Telefilms presentation ‘Kya Kool Hain Hum’ is an out and out sex comedy that stars Tushar Kapoor, Ritesh Deshmukh, Isha Koppikar, Neha Dhupia and Anupam Kher. It is a complete laugh riot and a thorough entertainer. It will make you laugh for 2½ hours, promises director Sangeet Sivan. Sameer has penned the lyrics for music director Anu Malik. ‘‘Kya Kool Hain Hum’’ will be released today at Neelam, Chandigarh, K.C., Panchkula and Fun Republic, Manimajra.

— DP



Rangoli, her ticket to Guinness Book
Aditi Tandon

Vandana Joshi
Vandana Joshi 

Thanks to Vandana Vijay Joshi from Nagpur, the Indian art of rangoli has finally made it to the world map. A Guinness Record holder for creating the largest rangoli pattern measuring 466 sq metre, Vandana Joshi is now dabbling in more challenging themes within the realm of rangoli — portrait art, being the first.

Initiated into the art as a child, Vandana did not have to labour very hard to seek training. In Chandigarh today on special invitation from North Zone Cultural Centre, the unassuming artist gave the credit of her success to her mother, who was a professional rangoli artist in her days.

“I began learning making rangoli as a child. Among us Maharashtrians, making a rangoli pattern at the entrance of the house is an invitation to good luck. I used to make a rangoli everyday. Mastery came with practice, and today I design professionally,” said the artist, who is in Chandigarh with her two sons and students — Ketan and Ajit. Vandana will be based at Kalagram till May 20. She is here to conduct a workshop in rangoli art.

About her inspiration and her best achievement — the 466 sq metre rangoli which she created at the Dinanath High School Ground in Nagpur — she says, “My work is strictly theme based. It can be mythological, spiritual, and even abstract at times. As a Maharashtrian, I am used to creating patters peculiar to our culture — like the story of Savitri and Satyavan and the typical designs which we make on the “mundan “ceremonies.”

That apart, Vandana Joshi is best known for her designs that blend rangoli patterns from all over India. “I spent a year sourcing these designs and presenting them in a unified format. The challenge here was to retain the character of every state and still ensure that finally the rangoli appeared as a wholesome piece, with several vibrant links. I use marble powder which is the finest,” she says.

Recalling how she broke the past Guinness World Record of largest rangoli created by Ranbir Kaur from England, Vandana said, “The earlier record was of a 17000 sq feet rangoli created in 48 hours. I was striving for a higher goal — one that no one could surpass. So I created a huge pattern from 6 am to 11.15 pm — in a record 14 hours. Now I work professionally, and I have many celebrity clients.”

Recently Vandana was at Kurukshetra for Geeta Jayanti Samaroh celebrations organised by the Haryana Government. 



CCA gallery pulsates with ‘photographic charm’

The Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) is back to its vibrant self. After eight months, the College Foyer Gallery is breathing fresh again — with a lot of colour, spirit and composition to fill its lungs.

On display are 64 frames, all sourced from different locations across the world, especially India. Put up by Garima and Rishi, both third year students of the college, the photo exhibition titled “Exposure” draws a parallel to an architectural show. And that is what the show is meant to do — serve as an extension of a budding architect’s style and show how he or she can “architecturally” think on the lens.

The college Principal, Prof Rajnish Wattas, has a better explanation for the concept of foyers gallery which he introduced about a year ago, “Photography is something very close to an architect’s work. It is about composing in a frame, just as an architect would compose with many elements in mind. He, like a photographer, would balance out colours, tones, would pay attention to the foreground, the background and then unleash his creative energy. I have chosen to promote photo exhibitions to help students relate with those elements of photographic art that quaintly resemble architecture.”

Not to forget that Prof Wattas has taken the lead by introducing the course of architectural photography at his college. CCA is the only architecture college in the country to offer this course.

As for the exhibits, they qualify best as landscapes and urban scapes, with some portraits here and there. The moments captured in the lens are breathtaking — be it the bustling Hardwar, the serene flow of the Ganges, the sheer grandeur of Singapore’s Star Cruiser or the tints of pearls evident in sea caves.

While Raj Rishi Garg has concentrated primarily on magnificent moments and structures outside India — Thialand’s Buddhist temples, Chinese floating island and Penang Island, Malaysia, Garima Gulati has seized the rustic beauty of Rajasthan, the mythological glory of Uttar Pradesh and the charm of Himachal in her camera.

Both the artists have paid attention to the play of light, as in architectural design.

The exhibition can be viewed at CCA foyer’s gallery from 10 am to 5 pm. TNS



Reflection of moods on canvas
S.D. Sharma

Panchkula based artist Shivani Sud has put up a mixed-media show of 65 elusive works of paintings titled “Imprints” at the exhibition hall of the Government Museum Art Gallery today.

The self-taught artist has attempted to portray her inner feelings on the canvas as she says with a smile: “I have simply painted my moods in varied hues to depict my emotions which are subject to change without notice. Besides, the panoramic views of hills and valleys of Shimla and the cradle of nature, where I grew, have been fascinating me to express its grandeur and beauty in all mediums of painting.”

Her passion for painting sparked to recognition during her formative years spent in the UK. Her works like “The walk of life” chronicles her childhood memories illustrated through the exquisite beauty captured in oil. Her love for nature has largely influenced her series of three creations “Garden of happiness”, “Window and the Gate’ and many more.

Holding all artists in high esteem, she rues many of them prefer to work on abstract themes ignoring the direct contact with nature and unfortunately the younger generation is falling prey to this concept.

“Chastity”, executed in acrylic depicts the purity of relationship and the oil painting “Friends” in which three diverse moods of women emerge through different patterns of colour treatment speaks Shivani’s versatility and promise.

Earlier, inaugurating the exhibition Padmabhushan Sardar Anjum complimented Shivani for the art works exuding the essence of life in all manifestations.

The exhibits are on sale and part of the money raised through this exhibition will go for the tsunami relief fund. The exhibition will be open till May 11 between 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.



Book released

It is imperative that the references of contemporary events and the socio-cultural life do figure in any of the Literary creations and the collection of short stories ‘Mein Saath Duungi’ by writer journalist Poonam Labana is no exception. The lucid stories are in close proximity with the present times’.

Opined Mr H.S. Hanspal, President PCC while releasing the book at a function today.

Chief Parliamentary Secretary Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi was a special invitee.

Editor Jagriti Sambad, Prem Vij read out a paper on the book while Dr K.C. Dubey of All-India Radio presided over the function organised under the aegis of Rachna Manch. TNS


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