C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


C-Toss to throw up job opportunities
Swarleen Kaur

Chandigarh, August 14
The Department of the Information Technology of the Chandigarh Administration has an ambitious plan to promote the Chandigarh -Training on soft skills (C-Toss) programme in city colleges and schools.

To further tone up the programme, the services of the Society for Promotion of Information Technology (SPIC) will also be called in, according to Mr Vivek Atray, IT Director.

Last year, the programme was launched in eight colleges. However C-TOSS nearly flopped in two men’s colleges—— Government College, Sector 46, and DAV College, Sector 10. The reason attributed to the failure was the agencies concerned could not run the programme efficiently with the result that it attracted few students. This time, the administration has tied up with new agencies to energise the programme. Interestingly, the programme proved fruitful in girls’ colleges.

At the school level, C-TOSS was running only in six government schools last year, but this year the administration will initiate this programme in 20 more schools.

To sustain the interest of students, suitable changes in the syllabus will be made to make it more professional.

In all ,12 companies will impart the training. The administration will lend infrastructural support only while the responsibility to provide the remaining paraphernalia will be that of the companies concerned.

The maximum duration of the course is four -and -half -a months and a student has to pay Rs 4,000 for the course.

The students will receive a certificate after the completion of the course. There is also a proposal to introduce the course at Panchkula and Mohali.

The programme is intended to give students the much-needed skills to compete in the technology-savvy age. With Chandigarh emerging as the IT destination, there will be a lot of opportunities in the field of Information Technology. C-Toss will provide a training ground for the students and it will help in shaping their career too.

It will also boost their communication skills besides supplementing their knowledge.

Mr Atray said, “This course not only will help the students in the field of information technology but it will be useful in other fields also . We have recently signed a MOU with DELL and the company will help in designing the syllabus in a more professional way”. 



Villagers resent teacher’s transfer
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
Villagers of Perch village are up in arms against the Punjab Education Department for transferring a woman teacher in the mid of the session from Government Elementary School in the village against the policy of the department.

They allege that in the last week of July, Ms Gagandeep Kaur, regular woman teacher at the single-teacher school, “managed” to get transferred to Government Elementary School, Badmajra (Kharar). Another woman teacher from Government Elementary School, Nayagoan, Ms Saroj Kataria, has been posted in her place.

As per the guidelines issued by the department, a teacher can be transferred out from a single-teacher school only if there were at least two more teachers in that school.

Demanding a probe into the manner in which the teacher had been transferred from the school, members of the village panchayat said instead of taking action against the teacher for not taking regular classes during the past one year, the department had given her “plum” posting at a school at Badmajra near Mohali. An officer in the education department said the transfer orders had come from the office of the DPI (Elementary).

Ms Kashmir Kaur, sarpanch of the village, said, “During last year when teacher Gagandeep Kaur remained on leave, the department kept on making temporary arrangements, which affected studies. On some days, students returned home without attending classes as the teacher concerned did not turn up”.

In an exemplary case of insensitiveness towards school education in rural areas, the Punjab Education Department has “failed” to post a teacher at Government Elementary School in this village.

Members of the gram panchayat of the village said there were over 70 students in the school. “The well-connected teachers have ruined the career of out children; take a simple test of what they have learned to know the truth. Before the light of curiosity to learn gives way to despair and the village produces school dropouts, the department should act”, plead the villagers.

Irritated, the villagers approached the local MLA, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, who referred the matter to the District Education Officer (DEO), Ropar. In the last week the sarpanch had told The Tribune that the DEO visited the school to inquire into the matter. Rather than talking to the members of the panchayat the statement of a student was taken, she added. The DEO, Ms Bashwinder Kaur, was not available for comments.



Schoolchildren celebrate Independence Day
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 14
Students of Saint Soldiers School, Mohali, celebrated the 59th Independence Day here today. Soaring spirit of patriotism came alive as students from playgroup to Class XII celebrated the Independence Day.

Juniors induced a festive mood in the audience with a rejuvenating performance. Parul of Class I and Gursagar of Class III enthralled everyone. This was followed by a skit by class III, IV and V students in which the Britishers were termed as guests, who refused to go back to England.

Nursery students presented the entire freedom struggle in accordance to their level of understanding. The kids of play group and pre-nursery sang melodiously praising the Tricolour. Class I and II students recited patriotic poems and songs followed by a famous dance number “It happens only in India”. The finale was a hilarious parody presented by Class III, IV, and V students, giving a reality check into post Independence India where a whole group of politician struggling hard for the chair.

In the seniors’ function, the students of Sahibzada Fateh Singh House enthralled the audience with mesmerising dance performance. They made the children aware of their fundamental rights through a skit.

The programme ended with a message from the Principal, Mrs V. Tiwana, who gave the little ones tips on how to become good citizens. The guest of honour, Chairman, Karnail Singh Brar, presided over the function and appreciated the effort put in the future citizens of the country being nurtured at St Soldiers.

The week-long Independence Day celebrations at Sanjay Public School, Sector 70, here concluded with a cultural show. Varied activities marked the day.

Many patriotic songs and dance items, highlighting the diversity of the Indian culture and traditions, were performed by jubilant children. The students enacted a play “Hum Azad Hain”, portraying the sacrifices of freedom fighters.

Students spent a day with under-privileged children. The students distributed sweets and tri-coloured balloons among them. They tied friendship bands on their wrists. They gifted them clothes, books, stationery and toys.

Students dressed as freedom fighters such as Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Kamla Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi and Subhas Chandra Bose gave lectures.

Mrs Reena Sethi, Principal of the school, said,” This drive has been launched to educate the under-privileged children on national issues. We need to bring these economically weaker section children into the national mainstream and make them a part of our celebrations”.

Students of Genius Public School, Sector 69, here celebrated Independence Day with gaiety and patriotic spirit. The celebration was marked with singing of songs, “I Love My India”, depicting love for motherland and “We Shall Overcome”.

They danced on a Punjabi number “Rangala Punjab”.

They danced on well-choreographed patriotic song, “Hundustan Ki Kasam” and decked up in green, saffron and white coloured suits. A student of Class IV delivered a speech in English paying tributes to the heroes of the nation who laid their lives for the cause of freedom from British rulers.

Students, attired in white kurta pyjamas, sang “Hum Hind Ke Dushman Ko Duniya Se Bhaga Denge”.

Students of Saint Xavier’s High School, Mohali, celebrated the 59th Independence Day with patriotic fervour. The celebrations were initiated with inspirational speeches followed by spirited recitation of poems and singing of patriotic songs.

A fancy dress competition was organised in which the tiny tots of Nursery and Class I came dressed up as freedom struggle heroes.

Ardhman of Class I, dressed as Zakir Hussain, Aryan of KG as young Bhagat Singh and Gursimar of nursery as Subhas Chandra Bose were declared the winners. Garima was given a consolation prize.

A drawing competition was also held. Tanveer Singh was declared the winner.

‘Facta Non Verba’ was visible during the Independence Day celebrations in conformity with Doon International School’s motto, which organised the event to tell the ‘saga of struggle for Independence’ in an innovative and instructive way.

A group of 55 students presented the saga with episodes starting right from Jhansi ki Rani’s resistance followed by Jallianwala Bagh massacre, agitation against the Simon Commission, Quit India Movement, Dandi March, the trio’s (Bhagat, Rajguru and Sukhdev) hanging, scenes from Indo-Pak Partition and lastly Independence. Dances and dramas on the themes of national integration were presented.

During his speech, the Chief Guest, Mr M.L. Sharma, SDM, Mohali, praised the function.



Cultural bonanza marks I-Day show
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, August 14
‘Shaheedon ki chitaaon par lagenge har baras mele , Watan pe mitne walon ka yehi baqi nishaan hoga ..’ The rendition of the couplet from a less-known revolutionary, Teeka Ram ‘Sukhan’, induced an unusual patriotic fervour and spirit of nationalism at the Tagore Theatre on Sunday. As many 250 student artistes , drawn from six schools presented a memorable cultural bonanza on the eve of the 59th Independence Day.

The programme, organised by the Chandigarh Administration, depicted the diverse culture of the region through musical items and dances.

Students of GMSSS-16 gave a majestic start to the programme with ‘Tum samay ki ret par chhodte chalo nishaa’. In the scintillating Rajasthani dance ‘Choodi chamke nagino…’ GMSSS-47 students displayed verve and vitality, winning applause.

It was indeed educative for many to see the struggle for freedom brought alive on stage in various sequences by Moti Ram Arya School students .

Earlier, children of GMSSS-20, attired in elegant costumes, presented a soulful qawwali reiterating their love for motherland in ‘ Seechenge jeevan dekar azaadi apne desh ki..’.

The traditional ‘holi’ dance , with matching vocal support charmed many while the Bhangra by GMSSS-32 boys provided the grand finale.

Chief guest Lalit Sharma, Adviser to the Administrator of UT, lauded efforts of staff and students and announced a reward of Rs 31,000 for the participants.



1,200 students to participate in I-Day function
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 14
More than 1,200 students of various schools in the township will participate in the Independence Day celebrations to be held at the Government Senior Secondary School, Phase 3B1, here tomorrow.

Parliamentary Secretary Sadhu Singh Dharamsot will unfurl the National Flag on the occasion. Social workers, blood donors, artists and students will be honoured by the chief guest during the function.

The police has made foolproof security arrangements for the day. The venue was thoroughly checked with electronic gadgets. There will be no traffic diversion around the venue of the Independence Day celebrations.

There will be around 150 police personnel in and around the venue. Mr Varinder Pal Singh, Superintendent of Police, said the venue had been thoroughly checked twice today. Special nakas had been laid and police personnel were keeping a tight vigil in the town.



Dutt Vishesh students celebrate I-Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
Students of Dutt Vishesh School, Sector 26, Chandigarh, have celebrated Independence Day with nationalistic spirit and fervour. The students of Playgroup enacted the famous Dandi March to the delight of the audience.

The senior students staged a play depicting the story of India and its independence struggle. The play was interspersed with patriotic songs.

Students dressed up as national leaders like Rani Laxmi Bai, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh and explained the significance of freedom in today's context.

Patriotic poems were also recited and songs sung for the occasion. The celebrations ended with an invocation for peace and unity.



Koshish launches technology carnival
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
The Koshish Master Trainers’ Club launched its annual technology carnival. The carnival was held at two venues Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, and Stepping Stones, Sector 37. Mr Vivek Atrey Director, IT, Chandigarh Administration, presided over the function. As many as 250 students from about 25 schools of Chandigarh , Mohali and Panchkula participated in the event.

The objective of the carnival was to encourage students and schools to integrate technology with school curriculum by expanding and extending their conceptual knowledge about computers.

The four events: slogan writing, poster making, showcasing students power point presentations and quiz, were based on students, understanding and application of the concepts of MS Word, MS Power Point, paint brush. The themes were water pollution, grow more trees, pollution and environment, save forest, pollution and ecology.

At the closing ceremony, Mr Atrey, gave away the prizes and lauded the efforts of the Koshish core group for the sustained attempts to raise awareness about use of technology in education.

Speaking at the inauguration of the event at Guru Nanak Public School, Ms Sarita Manuja, senior core group member of the Koshish said, “Koshish has come a long way since 2002 when the organisation was launched. The concerted efforts of all core group members and a partnership with the administration have lent enormous credibility to the forum”



Army commander faces disciplinary action
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
An Army Court of Inquiry (COI) has held the Western Command Military Intelligence (MI) commander blameworthy on 29 counts of embezzlement of MI slush funds, misappropriation of unit finances and personal misconduct, it is learnt. The said colonel, who was the Commanding Officer of the Western Command intelligence unit, was removed from the command and attached to a different formation.

The COI, presided over by Brig Sanjeev Madhok, Commander of a mechanised infantry brigade at Beas, has recommended disciplinary action against the officer, sources revealed. This entails that he could be tried by a general court martial for his alleged acts of omission and commission or face administrative action.

The findings and recommendations of the COI, which concluded this week, have been sent to Headquarters 11 Corps at Jalandhar for review and issuance of further orders in the case. The orders for the COI were issued by Major-Gen Deepak Anand, on the directives of the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command.

During the COI, the officer maintained his innocence and alleged that he was being framed. He claimed he was being made a victim of circumstances and had been put into this predicament due to personal and professional rivalries of some senior officers. As CO of the MI unit, it was his responsibility to keep a check on unlawful activities by military personnel.

Sources reveal that among charges levelled against him is embezzlement of MI secret funds, which are used to maintain sources and fund intelligence operations. Though exact details are not available, informed sources put the amount embezzled at Rs 25 lakh. Besides the MI fund, he is also alleged to have misappropriated his unit funds on numerous occasions.

Sources said the officer was alleged to have unauthorisedly kept a private car, impounded by the MI in some case, for his own use. He had sent the car to Delhi, along with two army personnel to ferry a civilian known to him. On the way the car met with an accident and the two jawans were injured.

He had also collected money from his unit personnel for donation to the tsunami relief fund. The money was forwarded through some private organisation and the officer obtained a receipt in his own name rather than that of the unit. This receipt was later used by him to avail tax benefits, it is alleged.

He has also been charged with not obtaining proper permission from the requisite authorities for a recent visit abroad, thereby violating provisions of the Army’s instructions on contact with foreign nationals. He has also been charged with sexual misconduct, in the sense that he was having an affair with a married woman. A lady officer had also charged him with sexual harassment.



Book on Gen Dyer released

“He was not a bad soldier but his politics was lousy.” That’s how Nigel Collett chose to define General Reginald Dyer, Indian history’s most infamous man. He was speaking at the release of “The Butcher of Amritsar”, a definitive account of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, set in the context of a biography of Reginald Dyer, a man whose attitudes reflected many of the views common in the Raj.

Published by Rupa & Co, the book was released by Punjab Finance Minister, Surinder Singla at a function held at the CII, Sector 31, here on Sunday. Adding that he faced no opposition in England while writing the book despite it being a controversial subject, Collett said, “When the Jallianwala Bagh massacre happened, the British overwhelmingly supported Gen Dyer. He was neither disowned nor punished for the act.”

Complementing the author on the depth of research in the biography after releasing the book, Mr Singla said there were a lot of lessons to be learnt by India’s politicians and administrators from the book.

The Director of the Institute of Development and Communication, Mr Pramod Kumar, stated that the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy “was not an aberration but a consequence of the logic British Raj”.

Speaking in the contemporary context, Mr Kumar was of the opinion that perpetrators of crime must be punished, be it the anti-Sikh or the Gujarat riots. He stated that the security forces should not become instruments in the hands of the ruling classes.

The book release was followed by lively debate on the book and on various perspectives of the tragedy in relation to the Indian freedom struggle. The author was joined by the others in the discussion.

Kapish Mehra of Rupa & Co said, “We have had the privilege of publishing the work of many distinguished authors. Nigel Collett’s account of one of the most important events in the Indian history is a milestone publication for Rupa & Co.”

“The Butcher of Amritsar” tries to understand the reasons that drove Dyer to act without orders and against all rules. The book attempts to understand the man from the monster. Apart from a few private papers, voluminous traces of his career remain in the public records, mostly written by Dyer himself.

Many of these have now been published for the first time. They reveal a man of many contradictions; one with a violent temper feared by his contemporaries but who had an extraordinary rapport with his Indian soldiers who adored and adulated his name long after his disgrace.

He was a regimental soldier with an unusual talent as an inventor, but an officer so lacking in political skill and judgement that his command in Persia had to be recalled by the British Government. TNS



Khadi exhibition at Panchayat Bhavan

A state-level Khadi Gramodyog exhibition began at Panchayat Bhavan, Sector 18, here on Sunday. Showcasing products of the Gramudhyog, the exhibition had nearly 30 stalls and was inaugurated by the Punjab Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal. A special rebate of 25 per cent on cotton, woolen and silk khadi is the highlight of the exhibition, which will continue till August 29.

After the inauguration, the Khadi Federation members led by its secretary, Mr K.K. Sharda, presented a demands charter to the Deputy CM. They sought revival of the rebate by the Punjab Government on khadi items.

“Over and above the Central Government rebate, the state government too used to give us 5 per cent rebate which we would pass on to the customer. This was changed to a lumpsum amount of Rs 5 lakh later before finally being withdrawn. The late chief minister of Punjab, Mr Beant singh, had moved a proposal to restart the rebate since the weavers also benefitted from it. However, with his assassination, the file was shelved. We want the Congress government to reconsider our demand,” he said.

Khadi and village industries institutions from Punjab and Chandigarh are participating in the exhibition. While there are six stalls of khadi institutions, products of the Khadi Gramudhyog including darris, khes, towels, readymade kurta pyjamas, woolen lengths, jackets, carpets, gowns and silk sarees, assam tussar silk are on sale.

Artistic wooden furniture, aggarbati, fruits and vegetables preservation products, paper products, leather garments, ladies purse, herbal products, mehandi stalls have also been put up.

The exhibition has been organised by state office of the Commissioner for Khadi and Village Industries, Chandigarh, in association with the Punjab Khadi Gramodyog Institution Federation, Chandigarh. TNS



Vidushi crowned Ms Fresher

Hostel students of Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26 here held freshers’ nite yesterday in the college hall to welcome new students. Students especially from Manipur, Jharkhand, Uttaranchal, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab presented their cultural programmes which drew-applause of the audience. Traditional dances, songs and skits of various states were presented at one platform.

Ms Vidushi of BA-I was crowned Ms Fresher, Samriti Kanwar of BCA-I - became first runners up and Ruchi of B.Com I - IInd runners up. Monica of BA I was adjudged Ms Charming, Bhanu of BCA I- best model, Shrikriti- Miss All-Rounder, Parneet of B.Com - best folk dancer, Shivangi Bhagat of B.Com III - Best Actress, Punjabi Gidda was adjudged the best folk dance.

Mr S.S. Reikhy, Income Tax Consultant, was the chief guest. He appreciated college activities and donated Rs 50,000 for the college hostel.

Dr (Mrs) Harinderjit Kaur, principal of the college, thanked the chief guest, management committee and the students who participated in the programme. TNS


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