C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


9,000 to take AIEEE test
Payal Pruthi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Around 9,000 students from the city and nearby areas are getting ready to crack the AIEEE examination scheduled to be held on April 30.
With the option to choose from among more than 30 engineering courses, including architecture, through AIEEE, 17 examination centres have been set up in the city.

The Regional Officer, CBSE, Mr D.R.Yadava, said the examination centres had already been formed and the observers for different centres appointed.

He said three centres in Himachal Pradesh, including Shimla, Hamirpur and Dharamsala, had been set up. Other centres included Jalandhar, Bathinda, Srinagar, Jammu and Rohtak, he added.

The examination is conducted every year by the CBSE.

Meanwhile, students in the city are burning midnight oil and are busy with the preparations. Aditi, a class XII student, said after dropping a year and with a 40-day crash course, she was hopeful of getting admission to one of the reputed engineering colleges.

Rahul, another student from Karnal, also had joined private coaching classes in the city.

He said after a series of tests and doubt-clearing sessions, he was sure of securing a good rank in the examination that would help him choose an engineering branch of his own choice.

A large number of students from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and as far as Leh are also in the city to receive coaching for the AIEEE.

Stanzin, a student from a small village near Manali, said he had seen the banners of the coaching centres in his village and after contacting on the given numbers four of the boys joined a course here.

They stayed as paying guests in here. However, a number of students from the city taking the examination said Punjab Engineering College was their first preference.



PEC wakes up, renames hostel
after Kalpana Chawla

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Too little too late — nothing describes the response of Punjab Engineering College towards the memory of its most illustrious alumnus Kalpana Chawla more aptly than this. More than three years of her tragic death in spaceship Columbia, PEC woke up today to rename one of its hostels after her.

A brainchild of former Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Lt-General JFR Jacob, this idea saw the light of the day today. Even the college Director admitted that there had been an oversight in implementing the decision all these years.

The renaming ceremony was held here in the presence of Kalpana Chawla's father B.L. Chawla and sister Sumeeta Chaudhry, and her teachers with the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, General S.F. Rodrigues, presiding over the ceremony.

General Rodrigues performed the candle lighting and stone unveiling ceremony of renaming of hostel and went round the exhibition of Kalpana Chawla's pictures and books at the Himgiri hostel. An exhibition of works done by city- based artist Ravinder Sharma on her life was also put up.

A medley depicting the various milestones of Kalpana's life was performed on stage bringing alive her journey from Tagore Bal Niketan School and the Karnal flying club to PEC and finally, to the USA for higher studies after which she joined NASA.

Her years in the PEC were showcased in the booklet prepared by students. "Kalpana was the only female student in the aeronautical engineering course. She was a karate black belt and was referred to as ''yank'' by her classmates and had a heart of gold. She regularly paid the fee of a less fortunate batch mate. Always forthright in her manners and ready to take a stand on important issues, Kalpana won the respect of classmates. If ever the question of a future career was discussed, she would always point to the sky and say," I am going to fly". Kalpana was also the editor of PECMAG and a joint secretary of the Aero and Astro Club," states the brochure.

Recalling Kalpana as a student, the then head of the department, Prof V.S. Malhotra said: ''She was determined and focused and is the most appropriate model for the future of the country." Stating that it was an epoch-making event, Prof Malhotra said, "Not because a building was being renamed after Kalpana, but because by doing so we are taking a pledge to dedicate ourselves to create an environment so that in times to come many Kalpanas will spring forth from this college,"

Addressing the students briefly, Kalpana's father exhorted them to take care of the nation, nature and the environment. "These were close to Kalpana's heart and she strongly believed in preserving them. Don't be negligent with the environment but preserve it for ourselves and the future generations," he said.

General Rodrigues said: "The little girl, Kalpana Chawla, had set out a path for us and showed that nothing was impossible to achieve. She made a mark by her commitment, strength and confidence in a foreign land, without any substantial support and recommendations for any quarter. She pursued and ultimately brought glory to our Nation by succeeding in her mission, overcoming all odds and obstacles by her professional zeal. Her single minded devotion is an example for all of us." 



Engineering students score through creativity
Tribune News Service

Mohali April 28
The campus of Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Landran, vibrated today with music, laughter and dance on the occasion was the annual function of the college—Ojas-2006. Arshdeep Singh was selected Mr Gabru and Kriti Kamboj as Ms Mutiyar in this function.

The participants from Chandigarh Engineering College, Chandigarh College of Pharmacy, Chandigarh College of Hotel Management and Chandigarh College of Education, enthralled the audience with their colorful performances. Mr B. P. Chopra, G.M. Punjab National Bank, was the chief guest, while Mr Amitabh Moitro, AGM was the guest of honour.

The special attractions of the function were solo songs by Williampreet and Sudhir, solo dance by Ridhima and Varneek, group dance by Jagroop Singh and Aman with their groups, bhangra and skits.

The annual function commenced with solo songs by Jagroop Singh of MBA, Charanjit of ECE, Rajbir Rana, Shiv Shankar and Paramveer of BCA. Abhishek and Deepak, Aman and Jagmohan presented duet songs. In the folk dance performances, guided by Jasvir Singh and Ms Puneet Sandhu, the students brought alive the Punjabi culture thru their performance.

The show ended with prize distribution. The chief guest gave away the prizes to the students for their brilliant performance in academic as well as extra curricular activities. The 23 students who secured positions in the merit list of PTU were given cash prize of Rs 5000 each. All students who stood first, second and third in their respective classes as well as all those securing 80 per cent and more marks in PTU exams were also given cash prizes.

Mr Satnam Singh Sandhu, chairman, Mr Rashpal Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary and Dr. G.D. Bansal, Principal Chandigarh Engineering College, also spoke.



Need for developing child’s
learning skills: Mark Walker
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 28
There is a need for developing a child’s learning skills and make him into an independent learner. Classroom learning should be made more interactive and children should also learn from each other .

These views were expressed by Mr Mark Walker, First Secretary, Education Services, The British Council, New Delhi, at a seminar organised by The British School here today. He said stress had to be laid on how the knowledge was passed on to the “empty vessels”.

He said in the 21st century, knowledge and technology were moving at a fast pace. It was not only important to see what students learnt in schools but was also important to find out how they acquired their knowledge .

He said the BPO industry judged a student by English language skills he possessed. He said the British Council helped people in acquiring language skills efficiently. Great stress was laid on spoken English as this aspect was neglected in classroom teaching .

Mr Walker highlighted the importance of Cambridge Young Learners’ Examination and the Cambridge International Curriculum which offered a sound educational programme in an atmosphere which was challenging, stimulating and creative. It enabled students to exploit their full academic potential and adapt themselves socially throughout the world .

Mr K.K.Khandelwal, Director General, School Education, Haryana, who was also present on the occasion , said keeping in view the influx of IT companies in the region, the government had started “soft skill” projects in eight districts in the state . These would help students in improving their communication skills . He said there was also a move to start imparting knowledge on “soft skills” through Edusat which was not being done anywhere in the world . Mrs Parvinder Kaur, vice- principal of the school, said all-round education was being offered in the classrooms and on the playgrounds which had a richness of the Indian system and the breadth of modern education . 



30 students enrolled under Chinmaya Mission
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
As an initiative taken to help the needy and talented children receive proper education, 30 students of Government High School, Mauli Jagran, were today enrolled under the Chinmaya Mission.

Planned and implemented by Dr Singla, ex-Principal of Sector 11 Government College, students from classes IX and X not only received free books and stationery, but would also attend free classes in English and mathematics.

At a special function held on the school premises, Dr Singla said the aim behind such an initiative was to promote education and help talented children with meagre means fulfill their dream. He said once such a movement was started, the same children would act as torch bearers for others.

According to him, expert teachers would be paid Rs 200 per lecture and he would also hold classes. Special classes would also be regularly monitored and suggestions from the students would be sought.

Also present on the occasion were Mr P.G. Chawla, Deputy General Manager, Canara Bank, and Mr S.D. Kaila, founder president, Chinmaya Mission, who donated Rs 10,000.



Students join ‘save tiger’ campaign
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Students of many schools in the city have stepped in to save the tiger and the vulture from extinction.
Nearly 700 students from various schools, including St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, SD High School, Sector 24,  Government Senior Secondary School, Mani Majra, CL Aggarwal DAV Model School, Sector 7,  St John’s High School, Sector 26, and Yadavindra Public School, Mohali, have appealed to the Prime  Minister to take steps to protect these endangered creatures.

“The future of threatened species in the world can be improved if young minds are sensitised about their importance,” says Ramphal Sharma, in charge, eco club, Government Senior Secondary School, Mani Majra.

Geneva-based wildlife protection group CITES — the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species — has expressed concern over India’s lack of efforts to protect the tiger.

It is a treaty, administered by the United Nations Environmental Programme, whose 160 member countries agree to limit trade in endangered species.

From a population of more than 1 lakh in the 19th century, Asia’s wild tiger population has plummeted to an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 big cats. In India alone, official estimates place the population at 3,500 to 3,700.

Last year, the media highlighted that poachers had wiped out the entire population of the tigers at the Sariska Sanctuary in Rajasthan.

Similarly, the population of three species of Gyps vultures — white-backed, slender-billed and long-billed — are on the verge of extinction.

Ornithologists attribute their decline to a number of reasons. Studies conducted by the BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society) blame the veterinary use of diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug, for their decline. The source of diclofenac is the consumption of carcasses of animals administered this drug.

The nature’s scavengers play a very important role in cleaning up and preserving the environment.



SVIET first to tie up with British Council
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
In a step that would go a long way in improving the communication skills of the students, the Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology (SVIET) today signed an MoU with the British Council Division (BCD), New Delhi, for the University of Cambridge's Business English Certificate (BEC).

The MoU was signed between the Director-Principal SVIET, Dr C.S.Rao, and Mr Deep Adhikari, Head Examination Services (North India),British Council Division, New Delhi.

Mr Bipin Kumar, Manager, British Library, Chandigarh, and Mr Vivek Saini, Educational Information Officer, British Library, Chandigarh, were also present.

Mr Manmohan Garg, CEO of the SVIET, expressed pleasure for being the first engineering institution to sign an agreement with the BCD to make the BEC a part of value addition to the current curriculum of the B.Tech students.

It was envisaged to have Certificate for Teachers of English Programme for the B.Ed students of Swami Vivekanand College of Education, he added.

He added that the BEC was a test of English ability designed to meet the international business needs of users of English.

The programme would be for the betterment of communication skills in English language.

Research among employers in the information technology (IT) and the IT-enabled sectors in India has shown that while students are technically competent and have strong work ethics, they either have lower levels of communication skills or lack quality certification of their communication skills, especially of spoken English.



Students present cultural programme
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 28
An impressive culture programme presented by students marked the annual day and prize distribution function of Kendriya Vidyalaya No 1, Chandimandir, near here today.

A Hindi skit by the students of the primary section and an English play, ‘The Hour of Truth’ by the secondary sections were applauded. The students also presented various vibrant items, including Rajasthani, Haryanvi, and Western dances. The grand finals of bhangra enthralled the audience.

The chief guest, Maj-Gen. B.S. Sisodia, inaugurated the function. Mr S.S. Sehrawat, Assistant Commissioner, KVS (Chandigarh region), was also present. The students were given prizes for their outstanding performance in various activities besides studies.

Earlier Mrs Narnider Mohini, school principal, read out the school annual report.



Training course for liaison officers concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh April 28
The first-ever three-day training course for liaison officers of 10 local Colleges to work with the University Employment Information and Guidance Bureau, Panjab University, concluded at the ICSSR Complex here today.

The aim of the course is to orient the liaison officers for conducting guidance programme in their respective colleges.

About 20 teachers from various colleges of Chandigarh participated in this training programme. The valedictory function was chaired by Mr B.D. Budhiraja, Dean, College Development Council, Panjab University.

Mr L.V. Reddy, Senior Research Officer (Occupational Research) who conducted several such programmes even in various countries visited by him.



Goraya retires as DEO

Chandigarh, April 28
The District Education Officer, Chandigarh, Mr R.S. Goraya retired today.
Mr Goraya had joined as a Lecturer in Chemistry in a UT school on October 5, 1971. He was promoted as Principal in the same department on July 23, 1990 in the Government Senior Secondary School, Karsan.

He was also given state Award in the year 1992 and the National Award in the year 1993.

He was also awarded Best Sanchayka Award (6 times) for maximum collection throughout the country and a commendation certificate from Environment Department of Chandigarh.

Meanwhile, Mrs Kamla Bains, Principal, Government Senior Secondary School, Mani Majra, has been appointed a the new DEO with effect from May 1, said a note issued by the administration. TNS



Summer activities at Lawrence School

Chandigarh, April 28
As part of its annual summer activities, the Lawrence School, Sanawar, on Tuesday announced the annual school camps 2006, including a series of team-oriented adventure activities.

In a press note issued by the school authorities, the students this year would be participating in mountain biking apart from trekking and river rafting. As many as 600 school students and 50 staff members left for outdoor activities. TNS



Justice Jain given farewell
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association today organised a get together to formally bid farewell to Mr Justice D.K. Jain, Judge, Supreme Court of India.
Before his elevation to the apex court, Mr Justice Jain was the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In his address, Mr Atul Lakhanpal, president, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association, said Mr Justice Jain had played a very crucial role in making the judicial system vibrant in the region.

He also referred to the successful, year-long celebrations of the golden jubilee of the high court under the stewardship of Mr Justice Jain.

He hoped Mr Justice Jain would continue to maintain a strong bond with the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Justice Jain thanked the legal fraternity for its support to him during his tenure at Chandigarh.

He said he would always cherish the time he spent at Chandigarh and that he was fortunate enough to be the Chief Justice when the high court was celebrating its golden jubilee.

A memento was also presented to Mr Justice Jain on behalf of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association.

Acting Chief Justice H.S. Bedi, Judges, senior advocates, office-bearers of the Bar Association and lawyers were also present at the get together.



Hit & run case: Dhawan’s son acquitted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Vikas Dhawan, son of former Civil Aviation Minister and president of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch (CVM), Mr Harmohan Dhawan, was today acquitted by a local court in eight year-old case of hit and run.

The case of hit and run was registered on the basis of the statement of a Panipat-based lawyer who had stated that Vikas was driving the car of his father. During the trial, the counsel for the boy stated that he was studying in Switzerland at the time when the hit and run case was reported from the road diving Sectors 17 and 22.



Bengali theatre fest enraptures audience
S D Sharma

The first ever three-day all-India Bengali drama competition started with two captivating presentations of Bengali plays by the local teams today at the Tagore Theatre. The event organised by the Kalibari Chandigarh in association with the BSS promises a bonanza of Bengali drama to the art lovers in the city with five teams from Delhi, one from Shimla besides two from the city.

Set in the pastoral ambience with dominance of the zamidari system five decades ago , the opening entry ‘Chakh Bhanga Modhu’ juxtaposed the rich-poor divide with the latter subjected to torture and disparity.

The play presented by BSS Chandigarh, written by Manoj Mittra had been scripted for theatrical adaptation with major aberrations by KD Chatterjee and directed by S. Sanyal. Driven by impelling circumstances of poverty the family of snake charmers faces all eventualities, including hunger. The patriarch, Matla, failing to get food for them and feed them, especially her married daughter, brings home a cobra in a pot in sheer desperation pretending the pot contains ‘madhu’ (honey).

Meanwhile the family sees some recipe when chanced to treat the zamidar from a snake bite which proves to be short lived as the zamidar not only demands the interest on loan but ill treats Badami, the daughter and the latter kills him. Biswajeet Sen, S. Dasgupta, S Sanyal, Ashish Dey, Soma Das, Sumane Sanyal, Superiya Sanyal formed the main cast. Parveen Jaggi and Keshav Singh provided light and music effects.

The Kalibari, Chandigarh presented ‘Saasti’ (Punishment) a classic from Rabindra Nath Tagore under the direction of noted thespian Sandeep Chatterjee. The play, structured in an old orthodox rural society with abject poverty and struggle for mundane existence, dealt with the relationships. A small family dispute leads to the killing of Radha Rani by her husband Dukhi Ram with a sharp-edged weapon. In an unusual turn of events the younger brother of Dukhi Ram saves him by naming his wife as the alleged killer holding the concept of ‘blood is thicker than water’. Sacrificing an innocent woman seems to be far from reality but the actors held the audience in rapt attention during the play. G S Dasgupta, Surujit Bataobyal, Saswati Ghosh, Roy Choudhry, Piyush Nandi, Dr SN Sanyal, Shubodh and Ritik formed the cast.



Burning of leaves aggravates respiratory diseases
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Fire, heat and dryness — it is one deadly concoction our respiratory systems could do without as summer arrives in all its fury. Burning of leaves in the open, the complete absence of humidity in the air and the rising temperature, all contribute to aggravate problems related asthma, chronic bronchitis, respiratory infections etc sometimes even leading to pneumonia.

In the city the ban on burning of leaves goes up in smoke every day in every single street of the city even as officials of the Municipal Corporation and the Administration watch from the sidelines, like spectators, doing nothing to check the menace.

In fact, the staff, contractors and sweepers, entrusted with keeping the city clean, are not averse to the idea of adopting this short cut to cleanliness. This happens despite protests from residents who have to bear the brunt of the “smoking leaves”.

Digging a pit and giving the leaves a silent burial is just not their cup of tea. It seems a tedious task as compared to lighting a matchstick, maintains a sweeper. This shortcut might save them time but it’s certainly proving hazardous for city residents and especially for those suffering from asthma and other respiratory problems.

Doctors maintain that while little can be done to check the dryness in the air as also the rising heat, burning of dry leaves, rampant in the city, needs to be checked on a priority basis to bring down the number of patients with respiratory problems.

Explains Prof SK Jindal, Head, Department of Pulmonary Medicine at PGIMER, “Harmful gases, oxides of nitrogen and sulphur dioxide are produced due to burning of leaves. These aggravate asthma in patients and impaired respiratory defences while chronic bronchitis is long-term fallout of the burning leaves.”

With immunity low, background temperatures high, when residents are already inhaling hot moisture less air burning of leaves proves to be catalytic in the soaring number of patients reporting to OPDs at hospitals.

“Repeated coughing, chest congestion and sputum production are some of the symptoms of a respiratory infection which is usually triggered buy the pollution in the air and can aggravate further. The only answer lies in keeping yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water, having an inhaler within reach and avoiding smoke and places where dry leaves are burnt,” adds Professor Jindal.



200 donate blood at CRPF camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
As many as 200 volunteers, including senior officers and women staff, donated blood at a camp organised by the Central Reserve Police Force at its location in Hallomajra here today.

The camp was conducted by a team from the Rotary and Blood Bank Society Resource Centre, Chandigarh, led by its director, Col R.S. Shah (retd). It was inaugurated by the Additional Director General, Northern Zone, Mr D P Sinha.

A large number of CRPF officers from various establishments were also present on the occasion. The Chairman of the managing committee of Rotary and Blood Bank Society Resource Centre, Chandigarh, Mr Rajan Kashyap paid a visit to the camp.



Champion siblings
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Dhruv and Chaitanya Handa
Dhruv and Chaitanya Handa. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, April 28
“We had promised our grandpa to fetch gold medals, and we did it,” echoed Chaitanya Handa and Dhruv Handa, brothers who were elated over their success.
Chaitanya, 4, stole the show with two consecutive wins in the under-4 category in the two-day St Xavier’s Skating Carnival held at Skating Rink, Sector 10. His elder brother, Dhruv, is delighted to clinch a gold in the All-India Open Table Soccer Championship held at Saffron City School, Fatehgarh Sahib.

It all started just by chance that Chaitanya took to skating; little knowing that he is going to knock everyone out of his wit. The proud mother Priyanka recalls, “Actually, he just used to accompany me to watch his elder brother Dhruv zooming in the skating rink. One day, he expressed his urge to get into the rink. Considering his age, I was little reluctant to let him go into, but with little persuasion from skating coach, I allowed him.”

Chander Singhal, his coach from St Xavier’s Skating Academy, Sector 20, Panchkula, said, “At his age, when kids just start to cry on entering the rink, Chaitanya is always ready to take up the challenge with a motive to knock down his opponents.”

Just 20-day training in skating made him a fearless and brave hearted boy. This attitude of him makes him different and sets him apart from the crowd of usual kids. He bagged gold in the Panchkula State Skating Competition held last year.

Mr Singhal said, “It is his seriousness and devotion towards this sport that makes him a special kid and it is quite rare for a child of his age. He is very quick in learning the finer nuances of the sport. If he goes on with the same zeal, he will be a known name one day.”



Coaching Centre eves slam Sacred Heart
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The Coaching Centre-23 (CC) thrashed the Sacred Heart-26 team 6-0 in the girls' category while the St Baptist School-45 beat the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 30, 0-1 in the boys' group on the inaugural day of the UT State Handball championship today.

The tournament is being played at the DAV Senior Secondary School grounds, Sector 8, here.

The main contributors for the Coaching Centre-23 were Priyanka 3, Jasmeet 1, Shikha 1and Geeta 1 while the lone scorer from the St. Baptist School team was Vishal.

The other results:


Coaching Centre 42 bt CCGMSSS 10 (4-1)


GMSSS 46 bt DAV School Club -8 (8-3)

GMSSS-19 bt CC-23 (16-11)



Shahnawaz shines for Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Chandigarh has put up a target of 323 runs before Jalandhar in the finals of the ongoing Punjab State Inter-District Under-15 Tournament For Sushil Bali Memorial Trophy being played at PCA Stadium.

In today's match, Shahnawaz displayed splendidly and made a mammoth 132 not out.

The other main contributors for Chandigarh were Naveen (65) and Gurinder (59). The Chandigarh team was all out at the score of 322 for 7 in 95 overs. The main wicket takers for Jalandhar were Gurkirat and Pargat.

Gurkirat claimed three wickets at the cost of 70 runs while Pargat took two wickets for 95 runs. At the end of the day's play, Jalandhar team was playing at 30 runs at the loss of one wicket in 8 overs.

Brief Score:

Chandigarh: 322 all out in 95 overs

Shahnawaz ( 132 n.o.), Naveen (65) and Gurinder Singh (59) Gurkirat 3 for 70, Pargat 2 for 95.

Jalandhar: 30 for 1 in 8 overs. 


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