C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PEC for masters programme with French body
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
If deliberations between heads of a leading French research institute and Punjab Engineering College are to be believed, the latter is interested in a starting a joint masters programme with the former.

To be instituted in collaboration with the ESIGELEC School of Engineering France, the programme will place a special emphasis on embedded technology and offer PEC students an opportunity to study in France and explore research options there. The PEC Director has said he will raise the issue in Board meeting shortly.

It is significant that Mr Cyril Marteaux from ESIGELEC who was in Chandigarh today had made the suggestion during his last visit to Chandigarh. He said talks were progressing well and a programme might actually become a reality soon. The programme in question would focus on Embedded Systems.

Mr Marteaux said the proposal for signing the agreement had now gained momentum as exhibited through the recent statement made by Prof Vijay Gupta. Professor Gupta, according to a press statement issued by Alliance Francaise (which Mr Marteaux visited today), said the joint masters in Embedded Systems with ESIGELEC would be an ideal platform to launch high potential international engineers.

Additionally, he mentioned that the proposal for the joint masters would shortly come up for Board of Directors' discussion during the next meeting.

Later , Mr Marteaux addressed PEC students to present to them various engineering specialisations and research options available in France. He also told them about ESIGELEC which ranks amongst the classical French engineering "Grandes Ecoles".



From Panjab University
25 writers attend workshop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
A two-day writers' workshop, organised by the Centre for Adult, Continuing Education and Extension (CACEE), started at Panjab University here today.
More than 25 writers from Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana are participating in it.

The workshop was inaugurated by Dr. C.L.Narang, an eminent writer and former Director of the NSS and Adult/Continuing Education, Panjab University. He advised the writers to take up themes related to the life of common people. He stated that people should be informed about the social evils prevailing in society like dowry, foeticide, drug addiction and the alike.

Dr Nahar Singh, Chairman of the Department of Punjabi Studies, Panjab University, said literature developed for neo-literates should sustain interest. Dr Sween, Director, CACEE, explained the objective of the workshop. She added that the writers would focus on the themes of population, environment, health, gender equality and personal hygiene for which the centre was making effort to develop material to be read by a large section of society.

The prominent participants and writers were Dr Gurdev Singh Gill, former Assistant Director, CACEE; Professor S.K. Deweshwar from Department of Punjabi Studies; Dr Sharanjit Kaur, Dr. Harbans Kaur Gill, Dr Swaraj Singh Sandhu, Professor Sulakhan Singh Meet, Dr Anil Sarwal from DAV College, Mr Siri Ram Arsh and Tanbir Bhullar.

Refresher course: A three-week UGC-sponsored refresher course in English on the theme, "The Text in the Classroom", commenced today in the Department of English. The course organised by the department with the support of the Academic Staff College, Panjab University, would have leading academicians from outside Chandigarh in addition to the local faculty delivering lectures to over 50 college/university teachers from India.

The inaugural lecture was delivered by Prof. M.L. Raina on the topic, "Reading a Literary Text in the Mass Cultural Context". He highlighted the distinction between reading as enjoyment and reading as mere consumption of the text.

Seminar: The Centre for Advanced Study in Geology, Panjab University, and Global Hydro-Geological Solutions are jointly conducting a one-day seminar on "Eco-Water Literacy: UN Water for Life Decade (2005-2015) tomorrow at the English Auditorium at 10a.m. The seminar will be inaugurated by Prof. Veer Singh, DUI, Panjab University. The seminar is being sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, under the "Rashtria Vigyan Avam Prodyogiki Sancher Parshad".

Rally today: Members of the Panjab University Non-teaching Employees Federation will hold a pension rally outside the administrative block tomorrow morning. The rally will include members of other employee unions also. According to a press note issued by Mr Dharam Pal Sharma, the president of the federation, there was a lot of confusion among university employees regarding the scheme and the doubts would be cleared during the rally. Also, the members would demand an extension in the last date for filing their options and providing a suitable mode to recover 40 per cent from the in service employees.



Students carry environment message
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
Students of the Gulmohar Eco Club of Maharishi Dayanand Public School, Daria, organised an environment awareness rally on the occasion of the World Forestry Day here today.

The president of the Indian Council of Environmental Education, Mr Ravinder Talwar, flagged of the rally. The rally was organised under the guidance of the club in charges Rajesh Kumar and Prabha Bhainsora.

As many as 150 students participated in the rally. Students walked through streets with placards and posters displaying the messages and urged people to grow more trees. They also told the villagers about the harmful effects of cutting trees.

Mr Ravinder Talwar appreciated the role of the club for providing environment awareness among the students and people of the surrounding areas.

The Principal, Mr Vinod Kumar, also explored the importance of environment awareness in the school and society. He thanked Mr Talwar, students and staff for their cooperation.



Story session at British School
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 21
A story-telling session was held at The British School here on Sunday. The story was narrated by Ms Navreet Kaur.
Face masks were distributed among students to help them associate with the characters of the story.

The Principal, Dr Christopher Martin Arden-Close, said: “the more varied and pleasant the atmosphere in our school, the better is the growth of basic brain pathways in children due to greater stimulation.”

Ms Parvinder Kaur, school director, said: “The aim of the session is to develop and hone their imaginative skills.”



Bharat Jyoti Award for Prof Johal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
Prof M.S. Johal of the Department of Zoology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, has been selected for the Bharat Jyoti Award by the India International Friendship Society, New Delhi, a non-governmental organisation.

The award will be conferred at a conference on “Economic growth and national integration” to held in Delhi on May 4.

The award will be in recognition of contributions made by Professor Johal in the field of fishery science, particularly freshwater fish diversity, conservation of freshwater endangered fish species, innovations in the use of fish hard parts as pollution indicators aquatic pollution and use of electron microscope in fishery research.



Seminar on disaster management held
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 21
Members of the Safety Circle organised a seminar on 'Disaster management' at Swami Ram Tirtha Public School here today.
Ms Shweta Kanwar told students about first aid and covered all aspects like first aid in burns, choking, heart attack, fractures, including practical training on artificial respiration and other life-saving techniques. Students got first-hand information about handling emergency situations. 



7 new Judges to take oath today
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 21
The seven lawyers whose names were recently cleared by the President, Mr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, for appointment as Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court will be administered oath tomorrow evening at 4 pm.

According to available information, a senior High Court officer, who had been sent to New Delhi to bring the warrants of appointment of the seven returned today afternoon, following which it was decided to hold the oath ceremony tomorrow.

All seven are practising lawyers. They are Mr Ranjit Singh Randhawa, Mr Vinod Sharma, Mr T.P.S. Mann, Mr Mahesh Grover, Mr Ajai Lamba, Mr Rajesh Bindal and Mr PS Patwalia. 



“It is warmer here… friendlier and better”
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
They just can't stop raving about India. And had it not been for its borders with Pakistan, they would have crossed over a 1000 times. They find it warmer here and friendlier and better…And there is no way they will mince words about how much they love this land, its kindness, its music and most of all, its film stars.

So they began raving from the word go — all of them from Bilal, the eldest, to 11-year-old Nayantara, the youngest, who loves John Abraham with all her heart. Singing the peace song, all 14 young visitors who formed the cast of Pakistani play "Bezubaan" presented at Tagore Theatre here this evening, rode into the hearts of the audience. And once they were done with their job, their mentors took over and talked about how difficult it was to bring them to India.

"The atmosphere has improved but not enough to inspire parents to send their children across the border. We had to replace the cast several times as children kept backing out till the last moment," says Ruksana Khan, the woman behind the play that voices concerns about a depleting wildlife and environmental wealth.

An old theatre hand, Ruksana was last in India for the presentation of "Bullah" and "Border Border", productions of Ajoka Theatre from Pakistan. Her husband Akil Kazmi,also a man of arts and theatre, was with her on both occasions. He is here this time as technical in charge for "Bezubaan", presented in Punjab with support from the state Ministry of Culture.

It is, however, significant that both of them are no longer members of Ajoka. They have now formed their own company called Punjab Theatre which promotes Punjabi language by presenting issue-based productions. Another heartening aspect of Punjab Theatre is its all-encompassing view.

Ruksana says, "We work with children and actors from all ages. When we split from Ajoka under pressure to translate our dreams into reality, we thought of starting a training module for children. Pakistan, as you know, has no theatre academies."

In fact, both Akil and Ruksana are originally from the National College of Arts, Lahore. While Akil is a professor in architecture there, Ruksana is a former student of textile. But nowadays she spends time nurturing her group with purposeful ideas. "We have projected various issues, including the state of teachers in Pakistan," says Ruksana.

The couple narrated many tales at the cost of offending the government. In no doubt about the bleak future of Pakistan's education system, Akil strongly voices a need for an overhaul. "It is rotten and regressive," says Akil, who also has a take on the peace process between India and Pakistan. "The issue has become a hostage of the Pakistani elite. They don't want the common man to talk about it or even feel it. They fear his power. They know if he crosses the border with the flag of peace in hand, their interests will be shattered. They can ill afford that."

As a man wedded to the arts, he can afford to speak the truth, even if it calls for trouble.



Pak youngsters shine in ‘Bezubaan’
S.D. Sharma

Artistic creations are sometime images of reality. Twenty young actors in the age group of seven to 17 years from Pakistan under the aegis of Punjab Theatre, Lahore, attempted to bring alive the agony, anguish of the animal world and also their aspirations through a sleek presentation of a musical play, “Bezubaan” at the Tagore Theatre today. The play brought to the city by Steel strips and Wheels Private Limited was rich in content and treatment which kept the audience glued to their seats.

Some well-known names in theatre arts in Pakistan contributed to the success of the play which includes playwright Shahdi Rassal, set designer Prof Arfan Ghani and Aqeel Qazmi, production designer of the play, “Bullah”. The directorial elegance Begum Rukhsana Khan infused life into the play.

The director unfolded the existential truths concerning human nature, eloquently juxtaposing the rampant evils of society by the anti-human forces. Rukhsana used the animal characters as symbols of classes in our society and the symbolism stretched to cover the apparent conflict of developed and under-developed countries. The dialogues had brilliance and so was the execution, especially by Ameil Ghani, Behwad Asad, Favad Ghafoor, Fahad Hazma. The musical strains by M. Aslam and Debashish Dhar were the lifeline of the play.

Earlier, an entrancing spell of a “pahadi hun” and a popular tune on the violin by Meeran Kazmi and a folk song by Zuheb Khan set the pace.

The chief guest, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa Punjab Minister for Cooperation, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, MP, Mr Baldev Singh Maan, MLA, industrialist R.K. Garg and Prof Rajpal, former secretary, Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi graced the function, which started one hour late.



India has edge over other nations in healthcare services, says expert
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
Mr Harpal Singh, Chairman, Fortis Health Care Limited and Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, today said India had a distinct advantage over other nations in healthcare services. An integrated health care market- if and when it becomes a reality -would be impacted by the emergence of a tri-polar world where along with the United States, India and China would form the second and third pivots of the new global order, he said.

Mr Harpal Singh who was chosen as the Punjab CII chief yesterday, recently delivered the coveted Friday Evening Discourse at the Royal Institution of Great Britain on 'Integrating Global Healthcare: Challenge and Promise'.

Sharing the various propositions he made as part of the historical lecture, Mr Harpal Singh today pointed out the process of globalisation of the worldwide healthcare sector had already begun.

"Universal health care is a highly desirable purpose and truly worthy of adoption. An integrated healthcare market would allow resources and competencies to flow in a manner that maximises the total output of health care services in the most cost efficient manner," he said, adding that this would happen inspite of the claim that health services are unique and therefore, cannot be traded in a manner similar to other services.

Mr Harpal Singh pointed out that the "sheer size" of Indian and Chinese competencies could potentially lead to a "clash" between the developed and the developing world within the next two decades.

"With the growing number of highly educated youth, knowledge is one such competency. The advantage of cost that we are offering across the entire spectrum of economic activity is another. Further we are demonstrating an ability to do things faster, and in many instances, better as compared to the global benchmarks and also the ability to scale up activity both on the demand and supply side," he said.

Dispelling the various altruistic notions that many believe in, Mr Harpal Singh was frank enough to state during his lecture that the move for global integration of the healthcare market will not be driven by the needs of the developing world but by the compulsions of the developed world.

"The double whammy of higher per capita costs of an ageing population and the fact of extended life spans of the general population are placing unbearable financial burden on countries and on companies that are typically used to enjoying dominance in global settings. This would be the major challenge that would determine the international agenda on healthcare," he added.

Stressing that innovation and technological developments are crucial factors that would significantly alter the world's ability to face global challenges in healthcare, Mr Harpal Singh was, however, quick to add, "However this time the factors influencing this growth would be more equitable distributed and somewhat significantly in the Asian world."



GMCH to have another chemist shop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, will soon have another chemist shop at its premises, bringing much needed relief to patients and their attendants who were forced to queue up for hours to buy medicines from the only chemist shop at the premises. 

While all formalities of allotment have been completed and the shop taken over by the allottee, it is likely to become functional by the end of the month, according to Dr Harsh Mohan,Medical Superintendent of the hospital.

At present, patients and attendants alike face a harrowing time awaiting their turn for buying medicines. In the absence of separate lines for those coming in with emergency cases as also women and senior citizens buying medicines from the in-house chemist is "more painful than the treatment".

"For even something as simple as a disposable syringe to any medicine asked in between a surgery, you have to stand in the queue. There is no escaping that. It's only mutual understanding that sometimes allows attendants to jump the line and get in front when there is some kind of emergency," rues Morinda-resident Satpal, whose father is admitted at the hospital.



Hepatitis lands Patiala villagers in city for protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
Hundreds of people from Babarpur village in Nabha subdivision of Patiala district today held a demonstration here in front of the office of the Director, Health Services, Punjab, urging him to send medical teams for the treatment of people suffering from hepatitis and certain other diseases such as cancer and arthritis.

Even children accompanied their parents from the village. In a memorandum submitted to the Director, members of the village panchayat stated that many persons had died in the village because of hepatitis and cancer. And there were a good number of people suffering from such diseases.

They said local teams of government doctors had conducted a survey in the village. However, the teams did not admit that any person died in the village because of hepatitis. They said the district health authorities were not extending adequate help to them in their hour of crisis.

“Certain patients of our village have got themselves examined at eminent hospitals in Ludhiana and elsewhere. Doctors of those hospitals have confirmed that they were suffering from hepatitis,” said a villager. Ten samples of water were collected from the village and five of those had failed the test.

Villagers have demanded that the entire population of the village should be examined and treatment be provided to those suffering from hepatitis and other diseases free of cost.

They also want doctors appointed in the 25-bed Civil Hospital at the village and action against district health officials who failed to provide relief to the affected people.



Active life can prevent diabetes, says doc
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
A lecture on diabetes by Dr Anil Bhansali, Head, Department of Endocrinology, PGIMER, will be delivered on March 25 at 3 pm in the auditorium of the Advanced Paediatric Centre at the campus to address some issues related to the disease.

While it is open to people from all walks of life, members of all associations and organisations have been requested to attend it.

Stating that diabetes is usually regarded as a less serious disease in view of its chronicity, Dr Bhansali said it should be remembered that the disease was a 'sweet killer'. It not only affects the eyes, kidney and nerves, but also predisposes for heart attack and stroke.

With the good blood glucose and blood pressure control along with active lifestyle, people can prevent or retard the progression of diabetic complications. 



Kanika leads in Chandigarh Open Golf
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
It was Kanika Minocha's day. Yes this 17-year-old Chandigarh girl returned a two-over card of 74 to take the lead on the opening day of the 14th Chandigarh Open Ladies Amateur Golf Championship on the lush course of the Chandigarh Golf Club here today.

Kanika started very well returning a par 36 inthe first nine. But two bogeys on the return nine saw her lose two strokes to finish with a card of 74. At the end of the first round Kanika was leading by seven strokes over her nearest rival, Parnita Garewal, who returned a card of 81. Just two strokes behind Parnita was Dimple Minocha, mother of Kanika.

The defending champion Preetinder Kaur had a bad round of 12 over par.

In the silver division young Tanya Anand started the day brilliantly, but faltered in the back nine. Another upcoming j unior Rabiya Gill played well and ended playing to her handicap.

Earlier the championship was inaugurated by young golf professional Gurbaz Mann.

The results:

Grewal Salver: Kanika Minocha 74, Parnita Garewal 81, Dimple Minocha 83.

Challenge Bowl (0-36): Kanika Minocha 72, Rabiya Gill 72, Dimple Minocha 74.

Ladies Challenge Cup (0-12): Nett----Kanika Minocha 72, Dimple Minocha 74, Pauline J.M. Singh 75.

Bawa Gill Trophy (13-24): Gross----Rabiya Gill 90, Madhu Brar 92, Tanya Anand 94.

Rani Jagdish Kaur Cup (13-24): Nett----Rabiya Gill 72, Dalbir Sahi 76, Madhu Brar 78.

Meters and Instruments Cup (25-36); Gross---Tina Jain 104, Bubbles 109, Simrit Wason 110.

Ell Ess Trophy (25-36): Nett----Tina Jain 74, Ekan J. Singh 79, Baljinder Mangat 82.

Lady Governor Cup: Gross----Madhu Brar 92, Dalbir Sahi 95, Harinder Sandhu 100. Nett----Dalbir Sahi 76, Madhu Brar 78, Harinder Sandhu 80.

Super Senior: Dalbir Sahi 76, Harinder Sandhu 80, Gurbrinder Johal 80.

Juniors: Gross----Preetinder Kaur 84, Rabiya Gill 90, Tanya Anand 94. Nett-----Raabiya Gill 72, Preetinder Kaur 76, Ekan J. Singh 79.



U-15 cricket trials on Mar 25
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The trials for the selection of the under-15 cricket team for the Chandigarh Cricket Association will be held on March 25 at 2 p.m. at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, here.

All players who are either studying or living in Chandigarh are eligible for the trials. The players must be below 15 years as on September 1, 2005. The players must bring a photocopy of the birth certificate or a certificate from the respective institute confirming the date of birth.

The team will take part in the inter-district tournament organised by the Punjab Cricket Association for the under-15 group. 



BBMB hockey tournament from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) will organise a six-day All-India Electricity Sports Control Board Hockey Tournament from March 23 to 28 at the hockey stadium, Sector 42, here.

As many as 12 board teams from all over the country will participate in the tournament.

It will be inaugurated by Er Sharat C. Mahajan, Member, Power, BBMB, at 11 a.m. on March 23 while Er Rakesh Nath, Chairman, BBMB, will be the chief guest at the closing ceremony. 


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