C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CSIR foundation day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The Institute of Microbial Technology today celebrated the 64th Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) foundation day. A number of events were organised to mark the event.

A lecture was delivered by Dr Kanury V.S. Rao, Head, Immunology Group, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi, at IMTECH, Chandigarh.

Dr Kanury spoke on the topic “The dynamics of receptor-mediated signalling, elegance in chaos. He mentioned that the co-ordinate response of lymphocytes or cells to environmental cues such as growth factors and hormones was mediated through the activation of various signal transduction pathways. He added that such pathways were highly complex networks and the topology of such networks had revealed that the mechanisms which regulated the pathways were not well.

At a similar function held at the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), an “open day” was organised during which all labs of the CSIO were kept open for the public. About 1,000 visitors, including students from various schools, engineering colleges and the university, visited the labs and saw live demonstration of instruments developed at the CSIO and also got an opportunity to interact with scientists.

Prof Harsh Vardhan, a former Director of the CSIO, delivered the foundation day lecture and traced the history of the CSIR. He emphasised the importance of quality research and development of world-class instruments. Dr Pawan Kapur, Director, CSIO, also presented an overview of the on-going projects and future plans of the organisation.

The programme concluded with a prize distribution function in which the winners of various competitions held earlier as part of the CSIR foundation day and Hindi fortnight were awarded.



19 seats vacant at PEC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
It is almost criminal that a handful of seats in one of the best engineering institutions, Punjab Engineering College (PEC), are going vacant in various courses. This despite the fact that PEC seats are in great demand and interested students are keeping track of every seat falling vacant in this deemed university.

According to a circular issued by the office of the Director, PEC, to the Heads of departments, there are 19 seats which have fallen vacant in the past one month since the classes began. It adds that all students except one withdrew after 15 days of seeking admission.

However, despite the “vacancies”, PEC is in no mood to hold a third counselling to fill these seats. The Director, PEC, Dr Vijay Gupta, admits there are vacancies but is emphatic that there is no scope for new admissions at this point of time.

“We are eight weeks into the session. Taking in students now would only result in failures at the end of the session. We cannot admit anybody at this stage and a decision to this effect was taken well before the session began. New students will not be able to keep pace with the rest who have attended classes from day one. Also, this year we began the session late, after the second counselling, only so that there were no mid-term admissions,” he maintained.

On being asked if this decision to disallow mid-term admissions would be unjust for students, Dr Gupta added that the college would be more unjust in admitting them now, knowing fully well that they would fail in the examination.

However, interested students and their parents keen on a seat in PEC, do not buy this argument. They maintain that since this is the first year of PEC as a deemed university, the Director is too bothered about producing good results. “For his own interest, he is not allowing our wards a seat in PEC. Most of the candidates don’t even know there are so many vacancies. From what we know, the number of vacancies has gone up from 19 to about 30 in the past one month,” they maintain.

The parents are not averse to joining hands and going in for a public interest litigation to secure a seat in PEC if the need arises. “We will even move court if all other doors are closed on us. We have even represented to the Director to hold a third counselling. Let’s see what comes of it. Based on his decision, we will decide our future course of action,” they maintain.



PEC meeting on Sept 30
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The eighth Board of Governors’ (BoG) meeting of Punjab Engineering College will be held on September 30. The first meeting of the finance committee will be held on September 29. The BoG will discuss the proceedings of the finance meeting.

Also on the agenda of the BoG is to consider the amendments to the bylaws of the PEC society regarding the selection committee and that of the deciding authority for various appointments of PEC. The BoG will also discuss the follow-up actions on previous decisions taken at BoG meetings.

A sub-committee formed by the BoG in June to look into pending cases in various courts against PEC and regarding steps for their early resolution will meet on October 1.



Govt School-24 wins kids’ contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
A nursery rhymes competition marked the first day of the week-long state-level children’s competition which began at the State Institute of Education, Sector 32, here today. A total of 10 schools participated in urban category, 14 in the rural category and 15 in the model category.

The tiny tots proved that all good things come in small packages. They were beautifully dressed in different outfits as soldiers, butterflies, ballon seller, fairies and bridegroom.

Dr Harsh Batra, Director, State Institute of Education, presided over the function as the chief guest. She applauded the efforts of the participants and congratulated the winners.

The result of the urban category is as follows: Government High School-24 (I), GGSSS-18 (II), GHS-29 (III). The results of the rural category is as follows: GSSS-Manimajra town (1), GHS-Behlna (II), GHS-Dadumajra (II), GPS-Maloya Colony (III). The results of model category is as follows: GMSSS-46 (I), GMHS-29 (II), GMSSS-19 (II), GMHS-36 (III), GMSSS-32 (III).

Visited: The Army has set up a number of women empowerment centres under “Op Sadbhavana” aimed at providing vocational training and self-employment to women in computes, knitting, weaving, tailoring and shawl weaving.

A group of 37 women and three teachers are on a 10-day of various towns till September 30, according to Lieut Bhavani Singh.

They were in Chandigarh on Monday where they visited the Rose Garden, Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake and a number of other places.

Organised by Jawala Bn under the aegis of the Trishul Division, the group would also visit Dharamsala to meet his holiness, the Dalai Lama.



Painting contest by Child Welfare Council
Tribune News Service

Handicapped children take part in a division-level painting competition held at Bal Bhavan, Phase IV, Mohali
Handicapped children take part in a division-level painting competition held at Bal Bhavan, Phase IV, Mohali, on Monday. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Mohali, September 26
The Child Welfare Council, Punjab, organised a division-level painting competition at the Bal Bhavan, Phase IV, here today. Children from Hoshiarpur, Patiala, Ropar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Sangrur and Nawanshahr participated in the competition.

The children were divided into five groups according to their ages and two special groups were formed for handicapped children.

The paintings by these children were adjudged in the office of the council, and the first five paintings of each group have been sent to the Indian Council for Child Welfare, New Delhi, for selection in the National Painting Competition 2005.

The winners will be honoured at the Children’s Day function to be organised by the council at the Punjab Raj Bhavan, Chandigarh, on November 14, 2005.



School board panel undecided on book purchase
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 26
The Paper Purchase Committee of the Punjab School Education Board failed to take any decision regarding the purchase of paper for textbooks at a meeting held here today.

According to the amendments carried out in the board Act by the government, no paper for textbooks could be purchased by the board itself until a clearance in this regard was given by the government. The matter had to be kept pending as the committee had, so far, received no instructions from the government in this regard. The committee, however, cleared the purchase of paper for printing of notes for students of the open school and for the board magazine ‘Pankhariyan’.

The meeting was attended among others by Mr R. Venkatratnam, Special Secretary, Department of Education, Mr Parminder Singh, Assistant Controller, Department of Printing and Stationery and Prof Harbans Singh Sidhu, Chairman of the board.



Declamation contest on tourism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
As part of the World Tourism Day celebrations, the Tourism Promotion Society of Chandigarh organised a declamation contest at the Chitkara School of Hospitality on the “Role of infrastructure in promotion of tourism. Mr Man Mohan Singh, president of the society, presided over the function.

The winners were felicitated by Mr Man Mohan Singh. They got cash prizes.

The first prize of Rs 500 was bagged by Jatin Sethi, the second prize of Rs 300 was won by Pooja Iyer while Kishwar Kaur received Rs 200 as the third prize.

All three are first-year students of the school. Declamation contests were also held at the Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management and the Food Craft Institute by the society.



Gurmandar wins declamation on travel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The Food Craft Institute, Chandigarh, organised a declamation contest on ‘Travel and transport: propelling tourism industry dynamics’ in collaboration with the Tourism Promotion Society of Chandigarh today.

The judges for the occasion were Mr Deepak Ahluwalia, Comptroller, Punjab Raj Bhavan, Mr Arvind Malhotra, General Manager Tourism, CITCO, Mrs Tanisha Thiara, Trade and Investment Advisor, British High Commission, Mr Ankit Gupta, MD, Himani Hotels and Mr Charanjit Singh, vice-president, Tourism Promotion Society of Chandigarh.

The Principal Mr S.K. Saluja, welcomed the guests and appreciated the efforts put in by the Tourism Promotion Society in organising such educative and interactive functions on the eve of the World Tourism Day.

The turnout was enthusiastic and students spoke eloquently on how travel and transport was changing the face of the tourism industry. Mr Manmohan Singh, president of the Tourism Promotion Society, gave away the prizes to the winners.

The result of the competition: Gurmandar Deep Kaur - First, Manisha Bhola-Second, Sanjay Rautela-Third.



Website on essays launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
RedAlkemi, a Chandigarh-headquartered web development and online marketing company, today announced the launch of a unique website - www.thinkessay.com . The brainchild of an 18-year-old Indian student based in the US, Aseem Badshah, the objective of the website is to create a community where students can help other students with their academic work.

The totally free website has an exclusive essay section which allows students all over the world to view essays written by other students. Not only can students view other students’ essays, they can also rate the essays written by other students on a scale of 1 to 5. The best-rated essays are then listed on the home page of the website.

Along with the essay section, www.thinkessay.com offers valuable resources and a forum. In the resources section, students can view articles on how to write various types and parts of an essay, while in the forum section students can communicate with their peers and fellow students to ask questions and talk about related academic topics. Students can register free of cost on the website and also create their own online portfolio.

“I believe that students learn better when they communicate with other students, and view other students’ work. The website can really help a student who is finding it difficult to get started on an essay on any topic,” says Aseem. According to Chhavi Firani, Project Manager at RedAlkemi, “This is another unique example of how technology and the Internet is helping build knowledge all over the world. We are particularly happy that a young student had the imagination and the foresight to think of a community portal for students all over the world.”



‘Pro-Khalistan’ slogans during Beant trial
Hawara handed over cash, clothes

Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
High drama was witnessed at the high-security Burail Jail here today during the Beant Singh assassination trial with one of the accused shouting “pro-Khalistan” slogans and admitting to his role in the killing of the former Punjab Chief Minister.

According to sources, Balwant Singh, an accused charged with preparing the alleged human bomb Dilawar Singh, who triggered off a massive bomb blast in the Punjab Civil Secretariat on August 31,1995, raised the slogans during the cross-examination of the Chandigarh Police Inspector, Mr Nanha Ram. Mr Nanha Ram was one of the first police officials, who reached the blast site on that fateful day.

Refusing to cross-examine Mr Nanha Ram, Balwant reiterated that he was instrumental in persuading Dilawar to be the human bomb. He told the court of the Special CBI Judge, Mr M.M. Sharma, that he had no faith in the Indian Constitution and the judiciary and should be awarded exemplary punishment.

Meanwhile, Jagtar Singh Hawara, alleged Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) chief and the main accused in the Beant Singh assassination case, was provided with an amount of Rs 2,000 and clothes inside the court by his defence counsel, Mr Arvind Thakur. Hawara was given two T-shirts and two lowers of the track suit following a court order.

Earlier, Mr Thakur contended that it was the responsibility of the jail authorities to provide basic amenities to prisoners. The denial of the basic amenities to Hawara, who was only a suspect till now, amounted to violation of human rights, he argued.

The offer of Mr Thakur to provide cash and clothes to Hawara through the court had kicked up a controversy recently with the jail authorities ignoring the advocate’s request on the plea that the Punjab Jail Manual allowed only the blood relations to provide clothes and monetary help to undertrials.

Mr Thakur had moved two applications in the court, praying to deposit Rs 3,000 in Hawara’s account and provide some clothes.

Mr Thakur said he had moved the court to deposit cash and clothes in a transparent manner. Since the blood relatives of Hawara had stopped visiting him about seven years back, he needed clothes for the coming winter season. Similarly, money was required to provide him an extra diet and medicines as his lower abdominal area had developed problems.

It may be recalled that a defence counsel, Mr Arunjeev Singh Walia, was questioned by the local police for reportedly providing turbans and dry fruits to Hawara before his escape from the Burail Jail in January last year.

It was alleged that the turbans were used to dispose of earth from the tunnel dug up by Hawara and his accomplices for the sensational escape. Hawara and his accomplices are alleged to have survived on the dry fruits for several days after the escape. 



Non-bailable warrants against Major Singla’s husband
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
A local court has issued non-bailable warrants against Mr Ashish Pathak, husband of Major Dimple Singla, for failing to appear as a witness before the Court of Inquiry (COI) investigating into charges that the officer had demanded illegal gratification to influence a military trial.

Mr Pathak is a practising lawyer, while Major Singla is serving with the Judge Advocate General’s Department, the judicial wing of the Army.

The warrants are returnable by October 10. Earlier, bailable warrants had also been issued against him for not appearing before the COI despite repeated summons.

The Court of Inquiry was ordered by Headquarters Western Command, Chandimandir, where the officer was at present serving, after the brother of an Army jawan being tried by a court martial for murder, had alleged that Ashish Pathak, in connivance with his wife, had demanded Rs 2 lakh for influencing the trial in his favour. Major Singla had been the judge advocate in the court martial.

The Court of Inquiry, being headed by a Brigadier, is currently in progress at Chandimandir. Several witnesses have already deposed before it.



Rent Act case adjourned in Supreme Court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The Supreme Court today adjourned the Rent Act notification case for four weeks in view of the failure of the Chandigarh Administration to file a reply.

According to a press note issued by the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, certain members of the mandal, including Mr Kamaljit Panchhi, Mr Subhash Sethi and Mr Ramesh Aggarwal attended hearing in the Supreme Court in New Delhi today.

The stay on the notification issued by the Chandigarh Administration on November 7, 2002, continues, the press note added.



Mastering the art of living
Geetu Vaid

Vikram Hazra
Vikram Hazra

Appearances are deceptive it is said and an early morning chat with Mumbai-based Vikram Hazra proved it. It would have been easy to place the young and suave Vikram (despite his crisp white kurta-pyjama) in a boardroom meeting rather than in a satsang singing bhajans and as a spiritual guide to people.

This 35-year-old, originally from Bengal, is an Art of Living (AoL) volunteer and teacher who mesmerised hundreds in the city with his bhajans and talk on Sunday.

Looking beyond the veil of looks one unravels an earnest and sincere person who has devoted his life to a cause. He has been with the Art of Living for more than 11 years and has been a part of several service programmes of the organisation the world over.

What attracted a 24-year-old hip and happening journalist and media programmer to the AoL, we ask. “Curiosity”, pat comes the reply. “I saw my friends who were IIT graduates sing praises of the course and I was curious to know what made these techies go ga ga over it”, he tells.

“As I was into broadcast and print journalism, I wrote about AoL and did the basic course. What struck me the most, apart from the health-related benefits, was the change in attitude and perception which was actually nothing short of a miracle that changed my life. This made me establish a special bond with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and go deep into the AoL.”

Taking the spiritual path at the ‘ripe old age of 24’ was no escapism or shying away from responsibility or commitment. “In fact, a lot more commitment is required for voluntary work as you are accountable to yourself and this makes one more mature.”

Sharing his experiences through the AoL, Vikram channelised his flair for journalism through this work. He also does writing and editing work for the foundation publications and handles media works for the foundation.

He also brought the exuberance of youth to his satsangs making them more in tune with the Gen-X culture. “I love to play the electric guitar and sing bhajans, so it was but natural that when I sang it was to the accompaniment of guitar and the young loved it. Now one can see youngsters clad in jeans and T-shirts discovering themselves at the satsangs. Today’s youth are intelligent they don’t want to mess around with their lives by getting a high from drugs and liquor. So this kind of satsang, where they can sing and dance with abandon, gives them a high without any hangover”, says the modern age guru.

But he terms the urban centric view of AoL that associates it only with Sudarshan Kriya, meditation and singing bhajans in satsangs as a very myopic one as AoL is actually a global service project, he claims.

For the past four years Vikram has been working in the villages of the North-East as part of the Train the Trainer programme of the AoL under which chosen representatives from the village community are trained to impart education and generate awareness about sanitation and health-related programmes. Several such programmes are being run in different states and also in different countries all over the world.

“We at the AoL believe that the only permanent change is the one that comes from within as enlightenment comes from awareness. This awareness leads to the path of growth of community. For a nation to grow it is necessary to unite the minds of people,” he adds.

Apart from making a difference to the lives of people, irrespective of country and culture, how far has he travelled on the road to self-discovery and how has his life changed in the past 11 years, we ask.

“Teaching is also learning as the parallel path of self-discovery continues. I am now living with a sense of security. I don’t fear the future as I know that things will be taken care of and this gives me strength to move on and do good work with zest and enthusiasm. It is exciting to know that you are going to do something good tomorrow. There are so many people who get up in the morning with a vacant feeling, with no enthusiasm for life. The greatest gift that the AoL has given me is the knowledge that I am doing something that is making a difference in the lives of people somewhere and this gives me the energy to carry on.”

And what is the next destination of the new gen guru who is fresh from weeks of travel in the Gulf countries and Himachal Pradesh, “I am going home, I’ll have dinner with my parents today”, he says with a glint in his eye. He sure has mastered the art of living. — TNS



Chitre on talent hunt for Sagar Films
S.D. Sharma

THE region, particularly the City Beautiful, can boast of talent, both in performing and visual arts, said Shailendra Chitre, the creative head of Mumbai-based Ramanand Sagar Films.

He is in the city to hunt for promising actors.

Ramanand Sagar’s third generation — Amit Sagar and Shakti Sagar — is in the process of making a film on the 1971 Indo-Pak war, he says.

“My visit to the city is aimed at looking for potential artistes from the region, who cannot make it to Bollywood for auditions and related formalities,” says Chitre, a postgraduate in film-making from Boston University with years of experience in creative management in Hollywood.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Chitre says many aspirants, especially performing theatre artistes, are close to the specified parameters of eligibility for films and television serials.

Shortlisted fresh faces will be groomed and absorbed in various Sagar projects.

“As local talent has impressed me a lot, I intend to interact with more aspirants, including students of the Department of Theatre and Television, Punjabi University,” says Chitre.



Functions to mark World Tourism Day

Various programmes will be organised across the city on the occasion of World Tourism Day tomorrow. These will include morning raga at Sukhna Lake and Fragrance Garden at 6 am.

According a press note, warm welcome will be extended to tourists arriving at Chandigarh by the morning Shatabdi. Similarly, CITCO will arrange special picnic for senior citizens and free ride on hop-on-and-hop-off tourist bus for children.

The Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42, will organise a flower arrangement competition at 11 am and a demo on bakery and cookery at 2.30 pm. The Food Craft Institute, Sector 42, will organise tourist quiz at 11 am.

A tourism conclave and quiz on cinematic tourism will be held at hotel Shivalikview at 3 pm. Other functions will include the staging of play Chandigarh-Ki Sair at Sukhna Lake at 6 pm and an Indo-Russian cultural evening at Plaza, Sector 17, at 6.30 pm. — TNS



‘Page 3’ TV premiere on Friday

Sahara One is going to hold the TV premiere of critically-acclaimed film “Page 3”, winner of three National Awards, on Friday at 8.30 pm.

Directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, the film stars Konkana Sen Sharma, Tara Sharma, Sandhya Mridul, Atul Kulkarni and Boman Irani.

The film is about the world of showbiz and politics and captures the many aspects of human life and stories of horror and perversion behind glamour. — TNS


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