C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU students’ strike ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
The 13-day-long hunger strike by the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) and the students of U.I.E.T (University Institute of Engineering and Technology) at Panjab University ended today with authorities accepting the demands of the students.

A meeting was held today to discuss the issue and was attended by DUI, Mr V.K. Bansal, DSW (Women), Mrs Meenakshi Malhotra, Secretary to VC, Mr S.K. Sharma, Director (U.I.E.T), Mr Sohi and Amandeep Singh, president of PU Student Council and PUSU.

It was decided in the meeting that a special chance would be given to the affected students by re-conducting the papers.

Also it was decided in the meeting that the special extra-classes would be conducted to compensate the loss of studies of the students who were on hunger strike as they were unable to attend the classes.

Amandeep Singh, president of PU Student Council and PUSU, said, “We hail the decision of the authorities as it is in the interest of the students. It was a long agitation and nine students had been hospitalised till now and by this decision about 42 students will be benefitted”.



Board staff to boycott exam-related work
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 20
The Punjab School Education Board (Non-Teaching) Employees Association has decided to boycott work related to examinations in protest against the failure of the government to withdraw the amendments carried out in the Board Act.

Mr Gurdeep Singh Dhillon, president, said here today that the association was compelled to intensify the 23-day-old agitation keeping in view the rigid attitude of the government. He said work related to examinations to be conducted in March, 2006, was going on in full swing. But the association decided to boycott the work till the government withdrew the amendments to the Act.

He said the protest would go on till the board was given the copyright to printed books. If the work related to printing of books or examinations got delayed, the Punjab Government would be responsible for it.

Mr Dhillon said that officials of the board would also take part in the dharna tomorrow in support of the demands of the employees. Employees of other universities in Punjab and Chandigarh would also be holding protests in support of the association.



Row over Ph.D degree for YPS teacher
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
A controversy has kick started in Panjab University regarding the awarding of a Ph.d degree to Bhupinder Mann, a physical education teacher with YPS, Mohali. The reason for the controversy is the topic of his research-”Arjuna awardee Ajmer Singh-eminent physical educationist and sports promoter a case study.”

The PU Senate is debating whether to take action against Ajmer Singh who is accused of bungling a large amount of money from the PU Sports Department during his tenure as the Sports Director. The scam had rocked the university a few years ago and its report had also come up for discussion at the Senate meeting last month.

The preliminary report, which was submitted earlier regarding the scam, had found Ajmer Singh guilty. As he is retired, it is being decided what action to take against him. Kewal Singh and Gurpal Singh from the Sports Department, co-accused in the scam, had been suspended. The Senate has decided to serve a show-cause notice on them.

Though Bhupinder’s research has been cleared by three outside examiners and he has also cleared his viva, his research is expected to be debated at the Syndicate meeting scheduled for September 24. 



Cambridge diploma for teachers soon
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 20
“The British School will soon be providing Cambridge International Diploma to practicing teachers in Punjab and Haryana. The Cambridge diploma, stresses on application-based teaching in a competitive, domestic and international environment from October onwards. The school would also launch the Cambridge International Primary Programme for the primary students.”

This was stated by the Director of The British School, Sector 8, Ms Geetika Sethi, here yesterday, on her return from the three-day Master Trainer Workshop. It was organised by the University of Cambridge International Examination from September 12 to 15 in New Bombay. Thirtytwo participants from schools across India participated in the seminar besides Ms Sethi.

“The diploma helps teachers to become more reflective, responsive, resourceful, confident, capable and creative. With a number of Cambridge schools coming up in India, it is imperative that we train our teachers. The British School, Panchkula, will soon be offering in-house training to its teacher to improve the quality of teaching and learning, develop and apply professional skills and understanding, manage change successfully, enhance profile and achieve an international landmark,” she said.

Speaking about the workshop, Ms Sethi said, “It was conducted by Mr Bob Burkill, chief examiner of the Cambridge International Diploma, and aimed to hone the professional skills of teachers and not their academic qualities. This becomes all the more important since multinational companies lure NRIs to return to India and work for them. Thus there is a need for schools and teachers of international standards to cater NRI children.”

The diploma specified best practice in terms of performance standards, provide assessments that enabled candidates to demonstrate that they could meet these standards.

The Cambridge International Diploma would set global performance standards, assesses candidate against these, she maintained.



Training programme for science teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
A one-day training programme for science teachers on designing formulating a research project sponsored by the Centre for Development Council, Panjab University, was held at DAV College, Sector 10 today.

The Principal Mr S. Marriya in his inaugural speech said teachers should make use of the liberal grants provided by the UGC for minor and major projects.

Mr B.D. Budhiraja, Dean, College Development Council, PU emphasised on bringing awareness among young teachers for designing/formulation of a research project and sensitising them about ethical practices to be adopted.



HC asks CBI to probe suicide by cop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Panchkula, September 20
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today handed over the investigation in the case of “suicide” by Panchkula Head Constable Jaiveer Singh to the CBI. The Bench of Mr Justice Amar Dutt and Mrs Justice Kiran Anand Lall ordered that the inquiry should be conducted under the supervision of an officer not below the rank of Joint Director and it be finished expeditiously.

Head Constable Jaiveer had shot himself in the Sector 5 police station here on the night of October 10, 2003. A hand-written suicide note was recovered from him in which the deceased had allegedly accused senior police officials of the state, including the then DGP, Mr M.S. Malik, of harassing him by implicating him in false cases.

The suicide note of 38-year-old Jaiveer, who was posted as moharrar in charge of “maalkhana” in Sector 5 police station, was found tucked in one of his socks by a forensic team when the body was being taken for a post-mortem examination.

In his suicide note, Jaiveer said he was taking the step because of the harassment meted out to him by then DGP M.S. Malik and senior Haryana cadre IPS officers — M.S. Malik and Navdeep Singh Virk, then DSP Jagwant Lamba, then stenographer to SP, Yamunanagar, Mehar Singh, Head Constable Raj Pal and property dealer Hardeep Singh Jaggi.

The note also said that DGP MS Malik and AIG MS Malik had tried to implicate him in a case of embezzlement of Rs 95,000 from the “maalkhana” of the police station on October 9, 2003 .

Jaiveer had been transferred to Madhuban a few days prior to his death. He had handed over the charge of the “maalkhana” to Head Constable Krishan Kumar on October 9, 2003. Though the charge was handed over after the cash was counted, Head Constable Krishan Kumar complained to SHO, that cash worth Rs 95,000, stacked in two packets, was missing from the “maalkhana”. Jaiveer was summoned and he told the SHO that one packet containing Rs 26,695 had been handed over to the in charge of judicial “maalkhana”. The latter corroborated that the money had indeed been handed over to him. Jaiveer, however, felt humiliated and shot himself. 



Punjab Natak Akademi award for Pammi Bai
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 20
Paramjit Singh Sidhu, known as “Pammi Bai”, at a press meet organised by the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi at Punjab Kala Bhavan, said as a devout artiste and proponent of rich traditional folk arts of Punjab, he was committed to its propagation and setting up an academy at Patiala under the aegis of “Nachdi Jawani”. The akademi would impart training in folk musical arts, including folk singing, traditional instruments, script lyrics writing and related realms of folk art, announced Pammi with an unfliching zeal.

The akademi would bestow the “Best Folk Dancer award” upon Pammi Bai in recognition of his contribution to the folk traditions in India and abroad’ disclosed akademi secretary Rajpal Singh. He extolled Pammi Bai and Gurdas Mann who had never deviated from their mission to popularise the pristine glory of the Punjabi folk art and never falling a prey to the monetary allurements of the commercial and unethical trends.

Born in sleepy village, Jakhepal in Sangrur district, Pammi Bai, holding two postgraduations and degree in law and public relations, had brought laurels at the national and international level in various cultural meets. He learnt the nuances of folk dances from Ustad Bhana Ram and Manohar Deepak, who introduced bhangra in Bollywood with “Naya Daur”. Pammi had the glorious record of representing India as a folk artiste in 30 international festivals, almost in every country of th world.

Credited with over 12 musical albums and six Punjabi films and serials, Pammi is on the panel of many cultural institutions.

Prof Rajpal Singh said the Punjab Sangeet Natak awards for the year will be conferred on Om Puri (Films), Devinder Daman (Theatre), Lachhman Singh Seen (Classical music), Kashi Nath (Folk music), and Pammi Bai (Folk dances). The recipients will be honoured with a citation, memento, shawl and a cash award of Rs 31,000 on September 29.



‘Mujhe Rang De’ promises to be a laugh riot
Gayatri Rajwade

For these two beautiful women, the on-stage chemistry spills into their easy camaraderie off it as well. Looking peachy and completely unperturbed by the cups of tea swirling around them and the volley of questions fired in their direction, Bollywood actors Ayesha Jhulka and Divya Dutta spoke avidly about their love for cinema and theatre in particular.

In Chandigarh to stage their new play, ‘Mujhe Rang De’ which comes to the city, courtesy The Durga Das Foundation, The Tribune Group of Publications and Spice Telecom, Divya waxed eloquent about the ‘efficacy’ of the production. “You are 
going to laugh really hard but you are going to go through several emotional nuances as well.” This is only the second performance 
of the play.

Directed by Anant Mahadevan who also plays a pivotal role in the play (he comes into the city only tomorrow) and produced by Ayesha Jhulka’s production house, ‘Samesha Productions’, this promises to be a laugh riot focussing on a marriage threatening to collapse. Ayesha insists production is no cup of tea! “I have looked at every aspect of this play, so much so I know even Divya and Anant’s lines by heart!”

For Ayesha theatre is the more fulfilling than films and she wears the mantle of a stage artist with great panache. “You need to have a keera (bug) in your brain to do theatre. You need to give more time and there is no money. Films are the easy way out.” This is her third stint on stage, the first being the highly acclaimed “Purush” and the second a dance drama, ‘Prakriti’, both produced by her. She wishes she had done theatre before entering films. “There is so much to learn, so much confidence 
to be gained.”

However, for Divya this has been a homecoming of sorts. “I won the youth festival at Tagore Theatre 10 years ago and now I am back here. It is like the turning of the wheel of time.” This is Divya’s first foray into theatre and she essays the role of a typical Punjabi girl who moves to Mumbai with her husband and finds the going tough. The play hinges on her performance.

Both actors feel theatre requires much more vigour. “It is difficult for actors like us to sustain ourselves for two hours, especially when we are so used to delivering just four lines at a time and all those cuts and retakes in case of a mistake, “ believes Ayesha.

For Divya, films and theatre are two totally different mediums. “You are a good actor if you can conform to the requirements of the two and perform. For instance you need to throw your voice for theatre but it must not sound strained and the emotive quality must be evident too.”

They wave away the questions typifying the genre of the play. “Why does one need to define a play as a comedy or tragedy? It is a light play conveying a serious message in a humorous way,” says Ayesha.

“It is every woman’s story. In her life, there comes a stage where she totally forgets herself and needs someone to make her realise this. This is what ‘Mujhe Rang De’ is about,” explains Divya with her trademark warm smile.

However both agree, theatre, the energy levels, that special something that rubs on. With music composed by Nikhil Vinay, renditions by stalwarts like Sonu Nigam and Babul Supriyo and colourful sets the play promises to be a droll production designed to tickle your funny bone.

The play will be staged at Tagore Theatre on September 21 at 7 pm. TNS



‘Dil Dol Gaya’ — Mann explores folk love
S.D. Sharma

“The music piracy is the biggest challenge for the survival of the art and artist as well as the music industry and badly affects the sale of our albums despite our songs rated as super hits,” lamented Harbhajan Mann while interacting with mediapersons at Hotel Mountview on the release of his latest music album ‘Dil Dol Giya’.

Yet another musical bonanza of 10 Punjabi songs from the maverick Mann had been released world over.

Reigning supreme as an actor and established Punjabi singer abroad and in India, Harbhjan Mann has given a fresh dimension to the Punjabi cinema revitalising its popularity.

His films ‘Ji Aanyan Nu’ and Asan Nu Maan Vatna da’ depicted the socio-cultural issues concerning the immigrants and their families back home.

These films with potent thematic content, emotional treatment sans vulgarity, shot in the ambience of pastoral Punjab and foreign locales won appreciation establishing Mann as a proponent of ‘Punjabiat’.

Harbhajan, a sought-after singer at Punjabi community functions, during his school days in Canada discovered his aesthetic potential. He groomed under the tutelage of guru Karnail Singh and Ustad Shaikh Hameed at Toronto. But he has no formal training in acting and is a self-instructed actor.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, he said that the album ‘Dil Dol Giya’ has 10 songs on various moods set in the folk idiom like the love legend of Heer.

All the songs are penned by Babu Singh Mann with musical score by noted music director, Jaidev Kumar. The final mixing of the album, recorded in Mumbai, has been done in the UK for its qualitative production.

Harbhajan plans to portray the legendary Punjabi poet, Shiv Kumar Batalavi, in a Ravider Peepat venture while his Punjabi film under the direction of Manmohan Singh is already in the making.


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