C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Students rake their brains to prepare reports on moon landing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
In the backdrop of India working towards launching a mission to the moon, a competition organised by the Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI) here today presented school students' perceptions on how such a project can be executed.

Titled Moon Landing : From Vision to Reality, the competition required five-member teams to research and prepare a report on the technical, logistic, administrative and physiological aspects of a moon landing as perceived by them.

What was remarkable about the competition was that the teams came out with different ideas and methods to carry out the moon-landing mission. They were allowed to use basic material from published literature on the subject and the Internet, but were not allowed to directly copy down the material, except for certain technical drawings or pictures. The teams had to give an audio-visual presentation on their report before a panel of judges

The team from Apeejay School, Jalandhar, was declared as the winner, with the team from St Johns High School, Chandigarh, coming second. Others teams who made it to the finals were from Air Force School, Pathankot, R.D. Khosla DAV School, Batala, and Ryan International, Faridabad. As many as 19 teams from schools in Punjab and Haryana had participated in the semi-finals.

"We had explored all information available in book and on the Internet and formed a 'hybrid' space vehicle," Mohit Thukral from the wining team said. "We also incorporated the use of materials that we presume would have a greater use in the future," he added.

"We have also suggested space innovations like conception of an inter-planetary super-highway, use of thermo-nuclear energy, commnication through lasers rather than radio of infrared and the introduction of a bio-suit for cosmonauts which has just three layers instead of the 13 layers for a convectional space suit," Valleri Agarwal of the team added.

The idea behind the competition was to generate interest among students in the upcoming field of space technology, as it is they who would be at the helm of affairs when projects like moon landing and other space programmes at present in their infancy, become a reality a few years down the line.

Air Officer Commanding No.3 Base Repair Depot and chairman of the society's Chandigarh chapter, Air Cmde R.K. Srivastava, gave away the prizes. The society's vice-chairman, Wg Cdr D.P. Sabharwal (retd), who conducted the competition, said the participants had shown enormous capability for research and gather pertinent material from diverse sources.



Library expert shows concern over poor reading habits of students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
For Prof HR Chopra, the journey from a small clerk to being a president’s nominee for the selection board of university librarian, has been a learning experience. With no regrets in life despite facing various trials and tribulations, Professor Chopra who retires in February as the Chairman and Professor of the Department of Library and Information Sciences, Panjab University, feels that a lot still remains to be done.

Recollecting incidents from his long tryst with Panjab University where his career began as a library clerk in 1961 who would perform the minor technical jobs, the Professor has seen the campus grow and glow and even change for good and bad, both in a number of ways.

With the feeling of nostalgia getting better of him, the teacher to many and guide to more than a dozen Ph. D scholars, Professor Chopra fondly recollects the times when he did his BA, MA and the postgraduate diploma in library sciences while continuously working at the PU library. “I began my career from the Panjab University and I am happy that I am retiring from same institution”, said the proud Professor.

Brooding over how the university has changed over the years, Professor Chopra tells you that with passage of time work ethics have faded and the functioning style of various departments has also changed. Professor Chopra also expressed great concern over the poor reading habits among students in the university. “Hardly 20 per cent of students in PU go to the library or read other books,” informed Professor Chopra.

Having attended more than 12 international and 75 national and regional conferences and seminars, the Professor also has 150 research papers, nine books and several visits abroad to his credit. The Senate of the University of Sheffield (England) also granted him the status of ‘Research Fellow’and is also the recepient of various awards and fellowships.

As for his own department, Professor Chopra does recognise the need to upgrade the syllabus and facilities in view of the changing times.

Also there is a dire need to make such courses more visible and also market the public libraries so that more and more people frequent the place.

With plans to continue working even after retirement, Professor Chopra finally credits all his success to none other than his better half, who, he reveals, has been the driving force and the biggest moral support in his life.



Aeronautical society to organise competitions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The Chandigarh chapter of the Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI) will be focusing its activities on students during the year. Several events involving students have been planned in this connection.

This was brought out during the chapter's annual general meeting (AGM) here yesterday. Besides various competitions on aviation related themes for school students, workshops and lectures would be organised at the college level. It was also resolved that in addition to generating awareness on career opportunities in the aviation sector, the AeSI could initiate career counselling for students. A national-level seminar on trends in aviation was also mooted.

Air Officer Commanding No.3 Base Repair Depot, Air Cmde R.K. Srivastava, was elected as the chairman of the chapter during the AGM, while Wg Cdr D.P. Sabharwal (retd) and Mr R C Sharma, Director of the Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness, were elected as vice-chairmen. Former AOC 3 BRD, Air Cmde S.P.S Virk, was nominated as a special invitee.

Seven members of the society were appointed as members of the executive committee.



Involve students in peace process, says Pak team
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 9
Delegates of a goodwill team from Pakistan visiting India today said that students of schools, colleges and universities should also be involved in the process of improving relations between the two countries. The inclusion of the younger generation would give a major boost to the outcome of these efforts.

These views were expressed by Mr Ahmad Shafiq, Director, College of Tourism and Hotel Management, Lahore, Mr Farooq Khan, Deputy Chief Executive, Trust for Voluntary Organisation, and Mr Bilal Naqeeb, Regional Head, Punjab Strengthening Participatory Organisation, during their visit to Chandigarh College of Hotel Management and catering Technology, Landran, here.

They said since the younger generation did not consist of hardliners, it could play a much better and effective role in enhancing goodwill and friendship between these two countries. Welcoming the suggestions of the delegates, Mr Satnam Singh Sandhu, chairman, and Mr Rashpal Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary of the college, extended an invitation to Pakistani students to India.

Mr Ahmed Shafiq emphasised on the need for softening visa conditions between the two countries, setting up of a visa centre each in Amritsar and Lahore and issuing visas on a priority basis to descendents of persons displaced due to the 1947 Partition.

He said the visa procedure should be simple and senior citizens, journalists and well-established persons of society should be issued visa freely.

He remarked that the efforts put in by state governments for improving relations had a positive outcome. Grants had been given for the development of Nankana Sahib generously.

He said Nankana Sahib should get the same status as Amritsar city. He said efforts were required for the growth and development of our mothertongue, Punjabi.

Mr Farooq Khan, an agriculture expert accompanying the delegates, appreciated the post-Partition progress in the field of agriculture in Indian Punjab.



Magic show

Mohali, January 9
A magic show was organised at Shemrock Senior Secondary School, Sector 69, here in aid of Red Cross by magician J.K. Samrat from Ropar.

He showed interesting tricks to students and in return got a good response. Samrat put a playing card into an empty pencil box and the card was changed into a 10-rupee note. Then he put different loose ribbons in the magic bag and they came out as one piece out of the bag.

Samrat ended the show with colourful flowers made out of a newspaper. TNS



Elementary teachers hold peace march
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Members of the Unemployed Elementary Teachers Union today staged a peace march with their mouths gagged from Sector 17 to Sector 22 here today.

They were demanding regular recruitment of teachers as promised by the Punjab Government.

State president of the union Jaswinder Singh Sidhu and Ranjit Singh Bath said the government was not allowing them to protest in the state, hence they had been left with no choice but to protest in the city.

They said they would hold a rally on January 13 during the Muktsar Maghi Mela.



PU research scholar honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Ms Purnima Parashar of Panjab University has been honoured with the Best Poster Award in the section of Anthropological and Behavioural Sciences at the 93rd Indian Science Congress held in Hyderabad from January 3 to 7.

She is pursuing her PhD research at the Department of Anthropology, 
according to Dr Indu Talwar, Chairperson, Department of Anthropology.



Teacher comes to school drunk
Payal Pruthi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
A volley of abuses, commotion and finally the arrival of the police. Monday morning at Government Model High School, Sector 26, witnessed all this as Tarsem Lal, Work Experience teacher, came to the school in a drunken state and started hurling abuses at the school principal, Ms Manjit Kaur.

The entire school was a witness to the incident. The situation got difficult and the school principal had to summon the police.

Interestingly, this is not the first time that such an incident has taken place in the school premises. Ms Manjit Kaur said on December 7 too, Tarsem Lal, who was on duty for the December tests, had misbehaved. He was asked to go on leave and he joined back on December 22.

The police took away Tarsem Lal who was medically examined. According to police officials, reports confirmed consumption of liquor. Tarsem Lal was released after the requisite undertaking by his relatives.

It is, however, learnt that no action is being taken against Tarsem Lal because the authorities feel that he is going to retire in March next year.


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