C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No computer teachers in government schools
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 22
Government schools in Panchkula have computers but no computer teachers, thus computer education remains a distant dream for students.

Other than 12 Government Senior Secondary Schools here, where computer science is offered as an optional subject under the D2R scheme by the government, in collaboration with HARTRON and Tata Infotech, computers provided in the remaining 31 schools have hardly been used. In D2R scheme, the computers and instructors are provided for by Tata Infotech and HARTRON in six schools each, and computer education is provided only in these schools.

It is estimated that over 120 computers worth almost Rs 30 lakh remain unutilised in these schools. Most of the 26 government high schools in the district where computer education was introduced under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), do not have computer teachers.

The scheme provides that the schools can themselves employ a computer trainer on contractual basis by paying a monthly honorarium. However, most of these schools were unable to hire regular instructors. Thus computer education was taught for only a limited period, and not throughout the session, as envisaged under the SSA. Certain schools chosen for computer education in rural areas have no electricity during school hours thus classes cannot be held.

Similarly, the Class Project scheme could not take off because of the unavailability of teachers. Under this scheme, five government senior secondary schools in Sector 7 and 15, Pinjore, Kalka and Raipur Rani, were chosen for computer education. Each school was provided with four computers, but since there are no teachers, the computers are lying covered in classrooms, while students are learning their lessons in the old way.

A visit to various schools in the district revealed that even those students who had been learning computers for almost two years were able to do little more than switching on or switch off the computers. Asked if they knew how to use Microsoft Word or any other basic programme after a year of learning, the students drew a complete blank. At Government High School, Sector 17, Jyoti, a student of Class VII, says that there has been no computer instructor in the school for the past three months, so they have not learnt anything in the second year of computer training.

The Education Department officials, while admitting that computer training in schools needed to be improved, say that they were now giving a computer training module of 14 days to at least one teacher in all government schools, so that students can become computer literate. “Teachers are being trained at the two district resource centres- District Institute of Education and Training and Government Sarthak Senior Secondary School, Sector 12- A. Custom made CD’s are provided to them as teaching aids, and teachers are taught how to use these on the computer,” informed a senior official.



Law college without Principal
Swarleen Kaur

Chandigarh, August 22
The Rayat College of Law, affiliated to Panjab University, in Railmajra, Ropar, is without a regular Principal since its inception which is affecting its functioning. Though the college has increased the number of seats for the law courses, but it has failed to appoint a regular head. The college is being run by the Rayat Educational Research Trust since 2004.

When a Panjab University inspection committee, formed by the Vice-Chancellor, Mr K.N. Pathak, inspected the college for the first time, it pointed out several flaws in the set up.

After making various recommendations, it resolved to inspect the college again after three months.

The committee recommended that all vacant faculty positions should be immediately filled. These included six vacant posts of lecturer in law, two of lecturer in English and one each in political science, economics and sociology.

The committee said the college library should make urgent purchases of certain books costing Rs 3 to Rs 4 lakh.

The committee also emphasised the urgency of constituting the governing body in accordance with the university rules. At present the college is headed by the Director, Prof Bal Krishan.

Clarifying the position, Prof Krishan said:” We have already appointed faculty members.”

Regarding the vacant post of the principal, he stated that the post was advertised four times but a suitable candidate could not be found. “We plan to again readvertise the post soon and are in touch with a few prospective candidates”.



Barnala exhorts scholars to explore Gurbani
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 22
A two-day national seminar on ‘’400 years of Sri Guru Granth Sahib” began at Panjab University campus here today.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, Governor of Tamil Nadu, said it was the only Granth which had been given the status of a Guru.

It was also the most secular granth as sayings of all saints and fakirs had been incorporated in it, he added. He said a research should be undertaken on how the ‘bani’ was narrated and compiled.

Scholars need to work on its several unique aspects, he stressed.

Prof Amrik Singh, former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, in his address observed that the Granth had a social history with an objective to sublimate.

Prof Ved Vyas, Member Secretary, Indian Council for Philosophical Research, stated that religious thought was superior to science. He said there were many lessons to be learnt and emulated from the lives of Gurus.

Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University said the university planned year-long celebrations to generate ideas which would help enhance spiritualism.

The programme had begun with recital of ‘Gurbani.’ A set of translation of Guru Granth Sahib in English and Roman Scripts by Prof Darshan Singh, former Chairman, Guru Nanak Sikh Studies, was presented to Mr Surjit Singh Barnala.



Class X supplementary exam result declared
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 22
The result of supplementary exams of CBSE Class X has been declared. The Education Department, Chandigarh Administration, is conducting counselling for the candidates who have passed the supplementary examination.

The candidates who are interested to seek admission in Class XI and want local migration can collect the admission forms from Government Model Senior School, Sector 23 ( GMSS-23), from tomorrow onwards. They submit their forms with attested copies of requisite testimonials till August 29 up to 2 pm at GMSS-23.

The eligible candidates are required to attend the counselling as per the following schedule: On August 29 those who have secured 40 percentages and above can seek counselling at GMSS-23 from 9 am to 2 pm.

The remaining successful candidates - at GMSS-23 from 9 am to 2 pm.



Government College-46 gets award
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 22
The best state award has been given to Government College, Sector 46. The college represented Chandigarh in the National Integration Camp organised by Government College, Nahar in Rewari district from August 14 to 20. It was held at Shri Geeta Ashram, Darauli, under Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Mr Sahib Singh, programme officer, NSS, along with 10 NSS volunteers, including five girls, participated. In all, teams from nine states took part. The college team was declared the “best state team” and Ashutosh Saroch (NSS volunteer) was declared “best camper”.



Swami opens workshop

Chandigarh, August 22
Dr H.M. Swami, Director-Principal of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, today inaugurated a two-day workshop on “Adolescence and contraception” here. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Swami said there was a dire need to discuss safe sex practices and make adolescents aware of the responsible behaviour so that they could lead a happy life. Dr Sonia and Dr Anita, who were involved in a study conducted by the Department of Community Medicine of the GMCH, said about 50 per cent of the college girls in Chandigarh had some knowledge about the different types of contraception. It was surprising that about 33 per cent of the girls were getting involved in sexual activity. — TNS



Computer programme

Chandigarh, August 22
A fresh batch comprising 60 senior citizens who have enrolled in a computer programme was introduced today at DAV College, Sector 10, here. This programme was inaugurated by the Principal of the college, Mr S. Marriya, and he hoped that more organisations would come forward to support this initiative of the college. — OC



Beant Singh trial: Special CBI Judge frisked
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
For the first time in the history of the Beant Singh assassination case, the Special CBI Judge conducting the trial at the high-security Burail jail was frisked by jail staff here today.

Apart from the frisking of the CBI Special Judge, Mr M.M. Sharma, the trial, which resumed today, had many firsts to its credit. It was for the first time since the trial began over nine years ago that the official car of the Judge was parked outside the main gate of the jail.

With a view to break the impasse between the defence counsels and the jail authorities, the Judge had ordered on August 20 that all cars, including his own official vehicle, would be parked outside the jail.

On August 17, two defence counsels, Mr A.S. Chahal and Mr S.S. Bawa, were booked by the police for allegedly intimidating the jail staff. Their vehicle was allegedly denied entry into the jail premises.

Today Mr Sharma was frisked by the jail staff with a metal detector. The CBI counsels, Mr Rajan Malhotra and Mr R.K. Handa, were also frisked. Later, the defence counsels, Mr A.S. Chahal, Mr D.S. Chimni, Mr Arvind Thakur, Mr N.S. Minhas and Mr T.S. Sudan, were frisked.

Meanwhile, Jagtar Singh Hawara, chief of the Babbar Khalsa International and main accused in the case, confided to his counsel that he was being kept in solitary confinement. This was in violation of the directions of the Supreme Court in the D.K. Basu and Charles Sobhraj said Mr Thakur, bringing the matter to the notice of the court.



No bail for persons booked under Section 506, IPC
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which is a non-bailable offence in Chandigarh, is being misused with impunity by the police.

Though a bailable offence in the rest of the country, yet this section had been made non-bailable in Chandigarh through a special notification issued by the Chandigarh Administration.

Mr A.S. Chahal, a noted criminal lawyer and counsel for Jagtar Singh Hawara, main accused in the Beant Singh assassination case, and another lawyer, Mr S.S. Bawa, were booked by the Chandigarh Police.

In a majority of cases, the police just added this section with a view to denying the right to bail to any arrested person. “It has become a tool in the hands of the police to implicate innocent persons,” alleged Mr Arvind Thakur, a human rights activist.

Even in the insurgency-hit states in the North-East and Naxalite-dominated Andhra Pradesh, this particular Section is bailable.

This is no justification for making this section non-bailable, Mr Thakur claimed demanding that the notification making it non-bailable should be withdrawn immediately.

Not to talk of ordinary suspects, even senior citizens, are not spared from its Draconian power. A senior citizen, Mr Tarlok Singh, father of Navjot Singh, an undertrial in the Beant Singh assassination case, was arrested under Section 506 of the IPC just to harass him. How can a 70-year-old person criminally intimidate the CRPF personnel posted at the Burail jail, asked an advocate of the District Court, Mr T.S. Sudan.

However, another noted criminal lawyer, Mr AS Sukhija, said that the state had certain powers to issue a special notification on any Section. There was difficulty in getting bail at the initial stage under the section.

However, the booked persons usually got bail when it was proved that there was no criminal intimidation, he added.

This special notification, is extended every six months. Over the years, the Chandigarh Administration has failed to see its misuse by the police.

Undertrial’s father in custody

A local court today remanded Tarlok Singh, father of Navjot Singh, an undertrial in the Beant Singh assassination case, in judicial custody.

A case under Sections 186,189,504 and 506 of the IPC was registered against Tarlok Singh on August 11. However, he was arrested by the local police yesterday. He was reportedly charged with intimidating CRPF personnel of Burail jail here, where his son is currently lodged.

Tarlok Singh, a retired bank official, had repeatedly complained to the UT administration against the “vindictive attitude” of the jail staff. He had alleged that his son was being discriminated against by the jail authorities.



Police remand for suspect in bid to rape case
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, August 22
Troubles have only deepened for Jaspreet Singh, alias Raj. Even though the police is yet to answer several questions regarding his equation with the girl who had jumped from his Sector 61 house to save “her honour”, the cops have booked him for attempt to murder and other offences.

However, the police produced Jaspreet before a local court today and he was remanded in police custody for one day.

Though senior police officers are tight-lipped about the entire issue, sources in the police headquarters say that the alleged victim’s story does not inspire much confidence.

They add that any other girl would have taken her brother in confidence before going to the house of the boy “who was harassing her”. Or else, she would have taken the help of the local police.

But in this case, the girl dared to go to the boy’s house all alone. This is not all. The sources say that the gap between her reaching the house and the attempt to save her “honour” was about an hour.

However, the SHO of the Sector 36 police station, Inspector Jagbir Singh, categorically denied it saying that it was about 15 minutes.

Refusing to divulge the details, the sources say that in all probability they were arguing for 15 minutes or so. “Under normal circumstances, she should have screamed and shouted at the boy before leaving the place,” they assert. Even the 15-minute story dose not hold much water.

The sources assert that the boy has claimed previous acquaintance with the girl. They add that the boy was only making advances at the girl, but she panicked, to which the SHO said that even though they were acquainted with each other, the victim objected to the advances made by the suspect and jumped in a bid to save her honour.

The victim jumped from the third floor of the house of the suspect in Sector 61 on Sunday afternoon when the latter allegedly tried to outrage her modesty.

She was admitted to a hospital with a broken leg and other injuries. The victim told the police that she went there to teach a lesson to the suspect after he did not resist from making calls to her on her phone.

After taking the girl inside his room, the suspect allegedly bolted the room and tried to rape the victim and she jumped to save her “honour”.



Capturing hues of Pash’s poetry

The Roopak Kala and Welfare Society staged a Punjabi play ‘Mein Ghaa Haan’ at the Tagore Theatre today in association with the Chandigarh School of Drama. As solo theatrical performances are a rarity in the region, the elite city audience relished the captivating performance by acclaimed actor Ms Sangeeta Gupta. The play, based on the writings of revolutionary Punjabi poet Avtar Pash and scripted by noted actor Rana Ranbir, turned out to be peerless production under the directorial elegance of Dr Atamjit.

A humanitarian and resolute reformer ‘Pash’ was a poet of conscience who fought for the rights of the credulous masses, articulating their pain in his poetry. Dr Atamjit had delved deep into the profound depth of the poetry of Pash for its vivid dramatisation. Moods varied from grief , nostalgia, dismay and revolt as the play progressed to see Sangeeta bringing alive the poet’s protest against anti-human forces, social evils, metaphysical dogmas and anti-human prejudices.

Sangeeta, with an immaculate dramatic narration and eloquent stage movements spelt magic keeping the audience glued to their seats. Her mastery over Punjabi dialect augmented the level of performance, structured in the pastoral ambience.

She demonstrated the courage and conviction of the legendary poet seeking resurrection of an ideal society and governance when terrorism had assumed threatening dimensions.

Sangeeta, the acclaimed actress of 15 TV serials, 35 plays and assistant director of four feature films, an alumnus of the department of Theatre and Television had staged this play 17 times seven years ago. “But today’s performance and appreciation was very satisfying, she said. The chiaroscuro effects by Jaspal Singh and soothing music by Vevel Sharma, Subhash and Deepak enhanced the level of production.

Earlier, Dr Sahib Singh while speaking about the achievements and sacrifices of Pash maintained that Pash and his poetry were immortal and no one knew his terrorist killers. Thespian Gursharan Singh and Parampal K. Sidhu, chief guests paid tributes to Pash and honored the artists. OC



Maqbool’s new album

Punjabi singer Maqbool released his sixth album “Ecstasy” recently. The album has nine songs, penned down by Varinder Mann, Lal Padhiawala, Satti Khokewalia and Maqbool himself.

The title track of the album ‘Mitran De Vehre Bhangra pave...’ is a racy one and especially close to Maqbool’s heart.

As he tells, “The title song has to be the best. The rest are soft, romantic melodies which we have all grown up listening to. Some have a folk touch too.”

The album has been released by Tips Music and has been produced by Kulwant Randhawa.

Known as a good stage performer Maqbool has tried promoting Indian folk music through his music. He has shared the stage with other top singers of Punjabi.

Pinning his hopes on the new album, the singer says, “Sameer Khanna has shot the video of the track ‘Mitran De Vehre Bhangra pave ...The video has been aesthetically done and I hope it appeals to the music lovers.” TNS


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