C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


12,000 take PMT (pre) exam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
As many as 12,000 students today took the CBSE PMT (Pre) Entrance examination which was held at over 20 centres in Chandigarh.

Several students from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh reached the city on Saturday to avoid any last minute tension. Some students and parents could be seen visiting the centres of examination allotted to them on Saturday itself to make sure there were no hassles in reaching the venue on Sunday morning.

Students could be seen visiting various temples and other places of worship early in the morning to seek divine blessings.

After the exam, students were anxious to cross check their answers and could be seen discussing these with parents and other students. Avriti Baweja, a student who had appeared for the same exam last year also, said she felt comfortable this year as her preparation was more coordinated and consistent. Pankaj Garg, another student, said the question paper was balanced and their competition oriented approach towards preparation had helped him a lot. Mohit Garg, who belongs to Barnala and who has been living in the city for the past two years preparing for the entrance as well as for the boards exams, said Chandigarh was a good place to get coaching for the entrance exams as compared to the remote areas of Punjab.

Anshu Singla, a student belonging to the city, said the paper was quite easy. Manish Sharma, a student from Ambala, who has been preparing for this examination for the past one year in the city, also said ‘‘the paper was easy, though the trend was a bit different this year. The paper setters had gone in for some sort of original framing of questions’’.

Even students of Class XI who are not eligible to appear for this examination take it in order to get a feel of things.

The question paper for this examination is multiple-choice type, consisting of 200 questions from physics, chemistry and biology subjects. The duration of the examination is of three hours. Each question carries three marks and one mark is deducted for each wrong answer. On an average, scoring 50 per cent marks and above in this examination is considered to be a ‘‘safe score’’ to qualify the prelims. Those who qualify the prelims take the main examination which is subjective in nature. This examination is scheduled to be held on May 15.



Kidwai inaugurates school
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 2
The British School was inaugurated by the Haryana Governor, Dr A.R. Kidwai, here today. The inaugural ceremony began with the lighting of a lamp by the Chief Guest. Appreciating the new concept of global education in the school curriculum and the richness of the school infrastructure, he said, ‘‘TBS provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to those parents in Mohali who want to provide their child with the best and want to see them on equal footing with children across the globe.’’

Mr Lawrence Fray, curriculum developer, Cambridge International Examination, while giving relevant information regarding school curriculum, said, ‘‘The school would help students to make a perfect beginning in the educational field. The skills of Cambridge curriculum have been synthesized with the context of Indian syllabi to meet the needs of national curriculum.’’

The presentation of the international curriculum of the school was followed by a speech by Mr K.K. Khandelwal, Director General School Education, who is also the Chief Patron of the school.

Dr B.S. Chavan, an experienced psychologist, who is also a board member of the school said, ‘‘The teaching methodologies, adopted by the school, will be innovative and practical to facilitate stress free learning.’’ The ceremony ended with a vote of thanks by the Vice-Principal, Ms Parvinder Kaur.



Poor response to admission in Nayagaon school
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Proximity to policy-makers has failed to turn around the fortunes of Government Elementary School, Nayagaon.

Located at a stone’s throw from the Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat, the school is “literally” dying a slow death.

From the new academic session, which began on March 1 with a strength of eight students, only two new admissions have been recorded in Class I. Of these, one of the students, has not turned up at the school for the past many days. Rest of the students from the previous class have been retained, as they failed to clear the exams.

Mr Manjeet Singh Kamboj, president of the Joint Action Committee, Nayagaon, said it was a serious matter. Despite three teachers, the new enrolment figure was a serious concern. He demanded a through inquiry into the issue.

Since the school serves as the centre for storing and distribution of food under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, the school staff remains busy in preparing food and serving it. Thus the teaching suffers. The spots items and books were locked in trunks, as there was no space.

Ms Usha Rani, school in charge, told this correspondent that there were 10 students. She said a lot of parents still thought that the new academic session began from April 1. “We would enroll more students,” she stated.

About the absence of toilets, Ms Rani said funds had been sanctioned for constructing a new toilet block. Ms Parveen , a former panch and member of the Village Education Development Committee, said she would inquire into the matter. She said the village panchayats had an important roll to play in keeping a watch on the functioning of the elementary school.

Enquiries showed that the glut of private schools was also responsible for the falling student strength in the school.



Resentment over allotment of park land to school
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The decision of the Chandigarh Administration to allot a park land for a private school in Sector 21-A is snowballing into a major controversy with the residents up in arms against the "arbitrary decision".

In fact, the top brass of the local unit of the BJP today joined hands with the harassed residents, fighting against the allotment under the banner of the Park Bachao Morcha to prevent the "attempts by certain NRIs and VIPs to purchase the land for financial gains".

Tracing the history of the open space, Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former local MP, informed that the land was allotted to a school and the Sewa Bharti in 1989. However, in the teeth of stiff opposition from the residents, the allotment was cancelled by the then UT Administrator. Since the land use was not changed by the “shrewd bureaucracy”, the same piece of land has now been allotted to another school, he added.

Dr JC Verma, convener of the morcha, said over the years the open space had been developed as a full-fledged park. The park is surrounded by 10-marla houses on the three sides and a parrot sanctuary.The land housing parrot sanctuary was governed by the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and no new building can come up in the vicinity, he claimed.

Residents asserted that there were already three schools in the sector and there was no need for a new school. Moreover, the open space is being used by the residents for various social and religious purposes. Besides, it is the only open ground in the Sub-Sector 21-A.

A former president of the Citizens Association, Sector 21, Prof AS Bhatia, expressed concern that about 25 trees would be axed if the school building came up at the site. This would disturb the ecological balance in the area, he added.



Commonwealth, PEC script a
bright future for slum women

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Supported by the Commonwealth, PEC’s ambitious micro-financing project in the slums of Janata Colony, adjacent to the PGI, is ready to enter a fresh stage. Already having disbursed a loan of Rs 1 lakh to empower slum dwellers financially, PEC authorities have now hit upon another interesting idea. This one will directly benefit women who have, in the past, been engaged with the pickle-manufacturing project supported by PEC.

After achieving the target of marketing 2000 kg of pickle manufactured by these poor women annually, PEC faculty and students have now decided to engage them in the production of trifla — a herbal product which has a huge market in the region.

Speaking to Chandigarh Tribune, Dr M.L. Gupta, in charge of the Commonwealth Youth Credit Initiative of PEC, said, “We have decided to strike a collaboration with the Arya Samaj Temple in Panchkula, which has been selling trifla for a long time to prospective consumers in the region.

"What we intend to do is produce a high-quality trifla by altering the temperature at which its elements are ground. In normal procedure, trifla is prepared by griiding amla, bahera and harar on a high temperature which results in loss of essential qualities of this herbal product. But we will get the women of Janata Colony to do the grinding manually so as to conserve the richness of trifla.”

The product, hence, prepared will be marketed through the Arya Samaj in Panchkula and the profit will be shared by women who are involved in this yet another “project of economic viability”. It is interesting to note that the initial survey with regard to trifla and its sale in Panchkula was done by students of PEC, who have been involved in several innovative projects that help assisting slum dwellers financially.

Due to the pickle-manufacturing project being run by PEC under its CYCI programme, at least 25 women of Janata Colony have become bankable. They have individual accounts in the State Bank of India branch at PEC and their earnings are directly deposited in these accounts. Dr Gupta said, “One of the objectives of the CYCI, which has been successful all over India, has been making poor women bankable and helping them take control of their lives”.

While the trifla project will soon be formalised, the PEC-supported pickle project is already generating a good income for women in the slum colony. At any given time, they have at least Rs 2,000 in their accounts. For those who wish to aid the effort here is some news — products made by slum women can be purchased from PEC’s Placement Cell. The proceeds go directly to beneficiaries.



514 graduates get degrees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The annual convocation was held at the Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, here today.

The chief guest was Mr T.K.A. Nair, Principal Secretary, Prime Minister.

Mr Bharpur Singh, secretary, Sikh Education Society, apprised the guest about the achievements of the Sikh Education Society. The Principal, Dr Harinderjit Kaur, welcomed the guests and read the annual report. As many as 514 degrees were presented to graduates.

The chief guest in his address congratulated the graduates and spoke on education and its role. He said good education is must for the development of the country.

The Principal in her address also congratulated the graduates. Members of the college management committee also graced the occasion. The president of the management committee, Mr Gurdev Singh Brar, thanked the chief guest for honouring the students.



From Colleges
PCCTU hails creation of post of Dy Dir (Colleges)
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Members of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU) have welcomed the decision of the UT Administration to create the post of Deputy Director (Colleges) and the appointment of Principal Pahlad Aggarwal on the post.

In a statement, Dr Jagwant Singh, general secretary, PCCTU, said the decision meets the long felt need of having an educationist in the administration of colleges in Chandigarh.

He said the move would certainly lead to better inputs for the decisions regarding college education and it would also ease some pressure on the DPI(C), Ms Rajji P. Srivastava, whose primary job is to perform the duty of Joint Secretary (Finance).

Dr Garg joins as Principal

Dr A.N. Garg has joined as the Principal of Government College, Sector 11, here. Dr Garg has a long association with this college as he has served here for 33 years as Lecturer in the Department of Commerce. He was the Head of the Department of Commerce from year 2000 to 2004. Dr Garg was promoted as Principal, Government College, Sector-46, on August 2, 2004.

MoU signed

The G.G.D.S.D. College, Sector 32, here signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University College of the Fraser Valley (UCFV), Abbotsford, BC, Canada. The MoU is an extension of the MoU already signed between Panjab University, Chandigarh, and UCFV in November 2004.

The partnership sets the stage for the university to deliver its four-year internationally recognised Bachelors of Business Administration Programme in collaboration with the college. Faculty would include both North American and Indian professors.

This joint effort of the two institutions would be a stepping stone in the path of furthering cooperation through educational, academic and cultural linkages, said the college Principal, Dr A.C Vaid.



Engg college holds alumni meeting
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 2
The first alumni meet of Chandigarh Engineering College, Landran, was organised here today.

A large number of students attended the meet. They shared their experiences as students of the college and then as employees of various companies. Most of the students said college days were the best days of their life. They expressed deep appreciation for the management and the faculty of the college.

Mr Satnam Singh Sandhu, Chairman, and Mr Rashpal Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary, honoured the students individually and asked them about their placements. The students informed not a single one of them was without a job. A colourful cultural programme , including songs, skits, jokes, games etc was organised.

Ranjit, Rohini, Harmeet and Arvind entertained the audience with their lively anchoring. Sandeep Dhingra, Arun Bhardwaj, Shruti Mitra, Vishal Kumar, Gaurav Sharma and Ram Jattan were given prizes for the items they presented. Dr G.D. Bansal, Principal, stated that the future image of the college was in the hands of its pass out students.



Cruising in sea of devotion with Anup Jalota
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, April 2
A soulful performance by the bhajan king, Anup Jalota, added to the spiritual fervor prevailing at the Mansa Devi shrine complex during the ongoing Navratra fair. Anup, sent a multitude of devotees in trance with a magical spell of bhajans at a devotional musical concert held here yesterday. The crowd kept on swelling as the soulful strains of divine music in the mellifluous voice of the singer wafted across the serene surroundings of the religious complex.

After a welcome by the chief guest, Mr K.C Sharma, IAS, Anup Jalota took the centre stage only to transport the audience to a divine plane throughout the devotional musical concert held at a specially set up stage.

He started his performance with a brief ‘‘alaap’’ before delving deep into the holistic colours of ‘‘Rang de chunariya..’’ He weaved the rich philosophical content into melodious devotional compositions like ‘‘Laagi lagan’’, ‘‘Main nahin maakhan khayo’’, ‘‘Jag mein sunder hain’’, Mann mein Ram’’, ‘‘Chadariya jheeni re…’’ and many more. The musicians who accompanied the maestro, included Himanshu Tiwari on Spanish guitar, Abhijit Banerjee on tabla, Anudurdh Jain on percussions and Piyush Pawar on santoor.

Earlier, noted kathak exponent Anuradha Sharma and her troupe presented a dance performance, including ‘‘Ganesh vandana’’ and ‘‘Vande matram’’.

Laughter champion Khyali Saharan too attempted some mimicry spells eliciting response though performing at an altogether different platform. Besides Mr K.C Sharma senior district officers, including Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh, Parveen Kumar IAS, SDM Virender Dahiya, City magistrate Vandana Disodia, were present on the occasion.



A humble artiste
S.D. Sharma

Anup Jalota, who is credited with over 4,000 concerts, 250 music albums of ghaza ls and bhajans, including 58 platinum and gold discs for record breaking sales even eclipsing the record set by legendary Elvis Presley, is a down to earth artiste. While talking to the Chandigarh Tribune he said,‘‘none of my accomplishments and achievements have inspired me more than my ‘Friendship Concert’ series being performed along with ghazal king Ghulam Ali in India Pakistan and the world over. Our endeavor to promote peace, harmony and mutual love has elicited a wonderful response which really rejuvenates us. We together improvise the concert repertoire by composing songs aimed at strengthening the bonds of love between the neighbouring countries.’’

Talking about the popularity of their concept and project he hummed a song composed by him ‘‘Udhar chaand hai Idhar Tiranga, Udhar hai Zamzam (holy water) Idhar hai Ganga…, aao milkar sur bikhrayen…’’.

Referring to the impact of western music he said ‘‘ our musical tradition is rich and western influence can’t rob it of its uniqueness’’. Technically analyzing it Anup opined that western music is not endowed with the sublimity to touch the heart evoking an appeal and thus had no lasting effect. Having produced two films he plans to make more while Music Today has released two of his albums from a planned set of five.

The Phagwara (Punjab)- born maestro gives credit for the foundation of his musical excellence to his father Parshotam Das Jalota, the acclaimed devotional music exponent. ‘‘The journey to success was not an easy one for me as I had to struggle a lot singing for a mere Rs 35 for a programme before getting established in Mumbai as a playback singer via the AIR chorus group’’, says Jalota narrating his very first experience of a performance at the age of seven before 10,000 people.



Gamut of emotions in verse
S.D Sharma

Poetry is the articulation of certain thoughts, inner urges tensions in an unique paradigm of words wherein the subtlety of expression, style and prosody reveal the potential of a poet. Some the leading litterateur of the city spoke about the versatility of Canada-based poetess Kuldeep Ahluwalia at the release ceremony of her maiden book ‘Andhere Samet Kar Dekho’ at Punjab Kala Bhavan today. The function was organised by Unistar Books and Kayanaat Arts.

Noted literary personality and playwright Virender Mehdiratta gave a comprehensive review of the vital conceptual approach, imaginative intensity and treatment given to the verses while commending the book. Poets Dr Madhav Kaushik, Dr Nirmal Dutt, Dr D.S Gupt and others participating in the deliberations offered critical appreciation of the book. Defining the concept of poetry Kuldeep reminds of a specific parameter in ‘‘Bna payee na koi ghazal, na rubayi, na nazam/Kalam se nikli aisi Alfaaz ki tugyani (deluge) kya ?’’ Kuldeep loved to be in solitude so as to have closer view of ‘life’ in its myriad manifestations. The city-bred Kuldeep Ahluwalia, who is now settled in Toronto, is an educationist, accomplished theatre artiste, radio announcer and a film artist. Her role in two documentary films and a feature film ‘‘Duur Nahin Nankana’’ in which she played the role of a Muslim girl, Shabnam, had been appreciated.

Dr D.S. Gupt compered the programme.


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