C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Central State Library school branches sans readers
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Books at the schools branches of the Central State Library are gathering dust for want of readers!

With an aim to make books easily accessible for students and the general public, the Central State Library, in 1990, opened two branches-one at the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 27 and another at the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 47.

When The Tribune team visited these two branches, it found that the noble purpose to widen the knowledge of school children and the general public, is apparently being defeated. One of the reasons, amongst many, for the scanty membership of these libraries is the fact that most of the students studying in these schools come from humble backgrounds. They take little interest in seeking membership or remitting the security fee (refundable) of Rs 150 per person.

When a correspondent asked one of the library attendants at the GMSSS-27 branch to show a General Knowledge book, the attendant replied, “Actually, I am not a qualified librarian. I am basically a store keeper. Though, I have been working here for quite a long time, no body has ever asked for this book.”

The principal of GMSSS- 27, Mrs Suman Chandana, when contacted, admitted that the opening of such libraries in these schools serves little purpose. Moreover, scarcity of space is an additional problem which the schools are facing.

“It is virtually serving no purpose of ours. I have not seen any serious reader coming to avail of the facilities. I have requested the DPI (S), Mr Ashwani Kumar, to get the library shifted to some other suitable place as we have no space in our school.”

“The enrolment of students has gone up with the passage of time. The number of sections in each class has also been increased and will go on rising from the next academic session. As we are facing the problem of space, we request the authorities to shift this library to some other place that will serve the interest of both the school as well as the general public,” said Mrs Chandana.

No employee of the Central State Library was present at the Sector 47 GMSSS branch during public hours to manage things there. After the school closes, the access rights for the libraries rests with the school chowkidar only. Sources further say that as not a single serious reader is seen in these libraries, anti-social activities also take place after the school closes.

The Principal of GMSSS-47 had already requested the department to shift the library to the Sector 47 Community Centre which possesses more space and will be more suitable for the general public to avail of its facilities.

Mr Raghbir Singh, In-Charge, Central State Library, said, “ It is not that the libraries serve no purpose. They cater to the students during their project work and during science fairs. Moreover, the library at GMSSS-27 has around 1600 members from the neighbourhood on roll. Most of these members come after school hours.”

“We also face problems there as the school gate closes at 2 pm and school authorities are not ready to open the gate after school hours for security reasons. They might be right in their own way but readers find it difficult to access the library. However, if provided with an alternate site, we will shift the library”, opined Mr Singh.

The DPI (S), Mr Ashwani Kumar said, “We have received some negative feedback on these libraries and are contemplating shifting them to some other suitable place”.



Workshop on electron microscopy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The 27th workshop on electron microscopy organised by the Sophisticated Analytical Instrumentation Facility (SAIF), was inaugurated by Prof R.C. Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, here yesterday.

SAIF is a DST-funded instrumentation centre. The centre, formerly known as RSIC (Regional Sophisticated Instrumentation Centre) was started in the early years of the Sixth Plan and offers services to the entire scientific community in India and abroad in terms of sample analysis and manpower training through its workshops and training programmes.

At the inaugural function, Prof T.R. Bhardwaj, Director, SAIF, informed the 16 participants representing various universities, research institutes, industries and colleges, that experts on Electron Microscopy will deliver lecture on the following topics: Working principles of electron microscopy, Applications of electron microscopes and Electron microscopy in Nano research.

The workshop will be for two weeks from January 8 to 20 and during this workshop participants will go to the Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI) in Shimla for advanced study of viruses and molecular biology.


Dr Damodar Panda, Reader, Department of Chinese and Tibetan, Panjab University, Chandigarh, has been selected as Professor of Chinese, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan. He is likely to join China Bhavan, the oldest department of Chinese in India, very soon. Earlier, he served as a lecturer in the Central University, Hyderabad.



PU panel report likely today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The fact-finding committee looking into the alleged fudging of facts by faculty members of the University Business School for better ratings met under the chairmanship of the Dean, University Instructions, Prof Veer Singh, here today.

The committee is expected to give its report tomorrow. The committee has gathered information from all Professors of the University Business School, many of who have remained heads of the department earlier.

The committee members have also taken into account the explanation of Mr Manoj Sharma who is facing the charges of compiling the faulty data which was provided to the various ranking agencies.



Students divided on dress code

Chandigarh, January 9
Members of the Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) have supported the decision taken by the Department of Laws that students dress up in black pants and white shirts for formal occasions in the department.

In a press note, Mr Vikas Rathee, president, INSO, said the move was a welcome step since it would inculcate and encourage professionalism among students in the department.

He appealed to the students of the department not to oppose the move.

Some members of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) today protested against the move demanding that a dress code should not be compulsory. Mr Abhishek Puri, PUSU president, said the dress code should be only for formal occasions.

He said the students were objecting being made to don the dress every Monday and Wednesday. TNS



PULSA office-bearers named
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Mrs Neelam Sharma was elected president of the Panjab University Library Staff Association during the general body meeting of the association held here yesterday.

Mr SS Bedi will be the vice-president, Mr VK Grover secretary, Mr Mritunjay Kumar joint secretary and Ms Navjeet Kaur treasurer.



ICICI backtracks on commitment to Gold Card holder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
A Panchkula resident has dragged a prominent private financial institution to court over the latter's denial in paying insurance sum following the accidental death of the former's spouse.

Mr Sunil Sharma, a resident of Panchkula, had got an ICICI Gold Card number 4477468141254008 made in the name of his wife Sunita Sharma. The card, besides giving other credit benefits to the holder, also entitled coverage of Rs 2 lakh in the event of accidental death of the primary cardholder.

However Mr Sharma, who lost his wife in a tragic mishap in August, 2006, on approaching the bank for the realisation of insurance payment, was shocked to find that the bank refused to honour the deal, saying that the policies had changed.

ICICI backtracked on its commitment, saying that it had withdrawn the facility and had 'informed' the cardholders about the same. When and how it did, still remains a mystery for a harassed Mr Sharma.

"This attitude not only reflects non-professional attitude but also tells a lot on the bank's inhuman and insensitive approach. How can a professional financial institution backtrack on a commitment after inking a deal with a client? We have so many players in the market and had I known that the Gold Card's insurance facility is just being used as a ruse to widen the client base, I would have never availed the facility," he says.

The local ICICI officials on being contacted agreed off-the record that the payment should have been made as per the deal.

"A few changes have been made on the Gold Card policies recently. However, those who held the cards before the terms changed continue to be treated as per the agreement inked earlier. I see no reason why the primary card holder's kin should not get the insurance amount due," an ICICI manager said while saying that further details should be had from their Hyderabad office.

Officials at Hyderabad could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.



Impressive Punjabi adaptation of Oedipus
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, January 9
After an impressive presentation of the Hindi adaptation of English play ‘Mouse Trap’, the Sandli Pairan Kala Kendra staged yet another Punjabi version of Greek play ‘Oedipus’ at Tagore Theatre to mark the culmination of the drama festival.

Inspired by ‘Oedipus’, the tragedy of fate, a classic creation of great Greek playwright Sophocles, Pali Bhupinder sculpted the play, which had simplicity and strength.

The overwhelming drama provided a lot of excitement, which gradually uncovered an explosive truth regarding the bold and dignified living and inner passions and necessity for sexual gratification of a woman.

The bold revelation through the powerful emotional spells by Manpreet Kaur got bared under the directorial assignment of young Gaurav Sharma.

The playwright had relied only on the thematic essence of ‘Oedipus’ and attempted to illustrate the protagonist’s concern for her mother. He becomes psychotic due to the terrible killing of his mother and reasons the social instability born out of unethical perceptions. Both his virtues and traits conspire with fate against him as he decides to give torturous death to the females to avenge his mother’s death. He rapes and kills the victim till a fearless woman, physically attracted to him, unfolds the mystery about her mother, who, too, had lust for love and sexual indulgence.

The play depicts two different time levels, which Manpreet and Virinder portrayed nicely but not without the matching support of light and sound effects by Parveen Jaggi. Master Gandharv too made an impressive emotional appearance. Regional director ICCR MM Sharma and Rajpal Singh, secretary general, Punjab Arts Council, honoured the artistes.



‘The Party’ shooting in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
If you happen to visit Copper Chimney in Sector 26 these days, you could witness a motley crowd comprising of young boys and girls, all clad in identical school uniforms-like outfits. The reason for this curious sight at the restaurant is actually the ongoing shooting of the film, “The Party”. Directed by well-known documentary director, Sunil Babbar, this film is his latest commercial venture after the huge success of his earlier flick’, Ants’, overseas.

In a tête-à-tête with the Chandigarh Tribune, Sunil spilled the beans on his latest venture. Unlike ‘Ants’ that dealt with human relations, ‘The Party’ is based on a true story.

“This film is about a school reunion party where all the old students are present wearing their old school uniforms and during the party an untoward incident happens with one of the students”. Interestingly, the film boasts of a single costume, location and night in the entire film.

The cast of the film includes ‘Khayali Saharan’ and ‘Pratap Faujdar’ of ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’.



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