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EDUCATION

New session begins, so does search for books
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Heavy rush was witnessed at bookstores on the opening day of the new session across the city today. Parents and students alike stood in long queues to wait for their turn to get books.

Like in the past, they underwent the dilemma of not finding the complete set of NCERT books from shopkeepers.

For Ashok Bakshi, an employee with an insurance company, the unavailability of books, especially of higher classes, has been a routine practice.

“Last year too we had to go through the same problem. But this time, schools have at least given us some relief by arranging books on their premises itself. And these are at a 10 per cent discount. So no hassles!”

Families had to wait for two hours on average to get books from shops.

There was a mixed response on the prices of books, though shopkeepers claimed that these had been hiked by around 10 per cent.

For Kulwinder Singh, a sub inspector (CRPF), who was at a Sector 31 shop to buy books for his two kids studying in Classes VIII and IV, parents have to be prepared for everything, be it hike in prices or unavailability of books. “You cannot help it,” he says.

R.K. Das, working with the Air Force, was happy that the day coincided with his payday.

“Fortunately, today I got my salary. So, I have bought whatever available here.”

Balwinder, an employee with the Archaeological Survey of India, was happy that he got the whole set of books for his daughter studying in Class V.

“At least I got the whole set. Price doesn’t matter, as it is a tedious process to go to other Sectors searching for the remainder of books.”

According to Shashi Bansal, the owner a bookstore in Sector 31, NCERT agents were somewhat responsible for the unavailability of the complete set of books.

“They do not send us the whole lot and hoard books or sell them on their own. The ultimate sufferers are parents and students.”

Surendra Sharma of another book store said: “We opened the shop at 9 am today and going by the rush it seems we will reach home around 11 pm. We are ready to pass on the discounts to the customers, only if NCERT offers us any.”

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St Stephen’s celebrates silver jubilee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
As a part of their silver jubilee celebrations, the St Stephen’s School, Sector 45, organised a cultural evening at the school premises, here, today. A skit ‘Wings of Fire’ was presented by the junior wing of the school, followed by a song and dance item. The senior students presented ‘Chunari Dance’. The school will hold a sports day on April 5. A rotary blood donation camp will also be organised on April 10 at 9 am.

A special part of the celebration will be the handing over of the silver jubilee flag by Lt. Gen. Daljit Singh, PVSM, AVSM, VSM Army Commander, Western Command, on April 11 at 9.30 am. An exhibition from April 17 to 20, followed by the Uday Singh Memorial Debate on April 21, is also on the agenda of celebrations.

Workshop for parents

An orientation workshop for parents of Classes IX and X students was organised at Shivalik Public School, Sector 41. Earlier, vice-principal of the school Gurkiran Nalwa read out a plan for the following year.

In the changing education scenario measures are required to address new challenges timely and objectively to enhance the student’s learning.

Keeping this in view, parents were apprised of the measures taken up by the school for child welfare. This was followed by a question hour where parents were provided solutions to their queries.

School counsellor Roopali Virk gave a session on adolescent problems and effective parenting.

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All students of chemical engg get jobs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Students of the department of chemical engineering and technology, Panjab University, have ample reason to cheer about. The cause, according to professor U.S. Shivhare (training and placement officer), is the excellent placements achieved by the department for the current session.

For the first time in the history of the department, 100 per cent placement, with multiple offers, has been achieved. Several reputed companies like Shell, Technip-Abu Dhabi, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Engineers India Limited, Bechtel, Fluor Daniel, Samsung Engineering, Lurgi India Limited, Trident Industries, Tata Chemicals, Chambal Fertilizers, DSCL Energy, DSCL Sugar, DCM-SR, Pepsi, Amrit Banaspati, Accenture, Infosys, etc., participated in the programme.

Professor Daljit Singh, chairperson of the department, mentioned that the highest offer of Rs 10.8 lakh (perks additional) has been received by Ankit Singal from Shell, while the average package is about Rs 3.8 lakh.

The chairperson also emphasised that his students have done very well in the GRE and TOEFL examinations and several students have qualified for admission to postgraduate programmes in prestigious universities abroad, particularly in the US.

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Placement drive at Landran college
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 2
Wipro BPO, which is a part of Wipro Technologies, held campus placements at Chandigarh Engineering College, Landran, near here, yesterday. Students of ECE, CSE, IT, ME, EE and MCA participated in the drive. The selected candidates will be given a package of Rs 1.81 lakh per annum.

Briefing the students, company representative Ahsan said having started in 2000, the company today had more than 16,000 employees and it provided services to various segments, including high technology ISP, telecom, retail, airlines, insurance and banking.

Welcoming the company representatives, CGC chairman Satnam Singh Sandhu and president Rashpal Singh Dhaliwal stated that 44 MNCs and leading Indian companies recruited their students who passed out in 2006. Not only this, 42 companies had recruited their students who were going to pass out in July 2007.

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UGC-NET forms available
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Forms for the UGC-NET Junior Research Fellowship and eligibility for lectureship have to be submitted to the coordinator, UGC-NET, professor Rupinder Tewari, department of biotechnology, Panjab University, here, before April 30, 2007.

The office will remain open from 9 am to 5 pm on all days of the week.

Candidates for the test must go through the guidelines of the UGC for eligibility and filling of the application forms.

The forms can be downloaded from the website - www.ugcnet.ac.in.

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45 receive certificates
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 2
In a function organised by Jan Shikshan Sansthan here today, Ajoy Sharma, additional deputy commissioner (development) Mohali, gave away certificates to 45 students who had successfully completed vocational courses in fabric painting and hair and skin care.

Speaking on the occasion, Sharma said the students should develop their competence to a level whereby they can make good quality products as per demand and satisfaction of the customers. Congratulating the students, Sharma further said vocational training programmes improve the chances of employment.

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COURTS
 

Army assembles first court martial against woman officer
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The Army today assembled its first-ever general court martial (GCM) to try a woman officer on charges of professional impropriety. The GCM, however could not proceed as the Judge Advocate, the legal adviser to the court, was not available as he was engaged in another court martial. The court, being held at Zirakpur, near here, will now re-assemble on April 11.

Orders issued by the General Officer Commanding 2 Corps, the GCM’s convening authority, have detailed Col Sanjeev Jose, commanding officer of an air defence regiment, as the court’s presiding officer, while Lt Col Harish Mitra from South-Western Command is the judge-advocate. The court has a woman officer, Maj Rita Taneja, among its five members.

The accused officer, Maj Dimple Singla who served with the Judge Advocate General’s Department, the Army’s legal wing, before being released on March 7 on completion of 10 years’ service, faces three charges. Sources said that one charge pertains to Section 69 of the Army Act (AA) read with Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, while the other two charges pertain to acts prejudicial to good order and military discipline under Section 63 of the AA.

According to the charge sheet, she had allegedly obtained Rs 10,000 from the defence counsel of Swr Rajeev Malik of an armoured regiment, when she was the judge advocate at his trial. She is also alleged to have improperly and without authority taken active steps to negotiate engagement of counsel for a NCO who was being tried by a court martial, besides asking the NCO’s defending officer, Capt Kumud Maini, not to divulge any information relating to the trial to anyone.

Terming the allegations against her as false and baseless, her defence counsel, Col S K Aggarwal (retd), that it was a conspiracy hatched by certain persons to defame her and spoil her career. He contended that evidence which has come forth in the summary of evidence does not substantiate the allegations.

Based upon the summary of evidence recorded in the case, the JAG Branch at Western Command had recommended administrative action against the officer. Sources said that Army Headquarters, on the other hand, was of the view that she be tried by a court martial.

This is the first time since women were inducted as officers in the Army in 1993, that a woman officer (other than the medical branch) would be tried by a court martial.

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CULTURE
 

Dadi Padmujee enthrals art lovers
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, April 2
The much awaited national festival of Indian Puppetry ‘Putul Yatra-2007’ opened at the Punjab Kala Bhavan premises, here today. The mega event organised under the aegis of the National Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, in association with the Punjab Arts Council, will feature 15 shows by acclaimed puppeteers of international eminence both in traditional and contemporary forms.

The gala opening item, in which 14 groups presented a joint cultural bonanza was indeed a spectacle to watch. Three local puppetry groups, including CEVA Drama Repertoire, SNP Puppet Theatre and Chandigarh Bhatt group, registered a significant presence under the direction of Dadi Padmujee.

The puppetry festival is open till April 8 while the exhibition on puppetry will be on view from April 3 to April 15 at the same venue.

National award winning puppeteer Dadi Pudumjee weaved a blend of traditional and contemporary puppet forms in rod, glove and string.

The Mehar Chand group provided melodious music support to Basket Bhangra, Heer Ranjha, and Milking Cows staged by G.S. Channi's CEVA dramatic repertoire.

Besides Anurupa Roy's ‘Ram’ fighting with a sword, and Puran Bhatt's ‘Anarkali’ won applause. Later, master puppeteer Dadi displayed his adroit skills of the realm while presenting theme based ‘Simple Dreams'.

Earlier, Kiran Bhatnagar, deputy secretary, National Sangeet Natak Academi and Prof Rajpal Singh, secretary general of Punjab Arts Council, welcomed the guests. Director Shaktipada Goroi , Kolkatta will stage ‘Krishan Radha Milan’ at 6.30 pm, while Mahipat Kavi will present ‘Andher Nagri Chaupat Raja’ at 7.30 pm at the same venue tomorrow.

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Expert throws light on multiculturalism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The ICSSR North-Western Regional Centre organised a special lecture on “Immigration, citizenship and multiculturalism in a liberalising nation” at the ICSSR complex, Panjab University, here today.

Prof Sunera Thobani, Centre for Women Studies and Gender Research, University of British Columbia, Canada, in her lecture stated that respect for diversity and cultural pluralism became emblematic of the Canadian national character with the adoption of multi-culturalism as state policy during the tenure of Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

Former honorary director of the ICSSR, North-Western Regional Centre, Swarnjit Mehta in her presidential remarks complimented the speaker on having so adroitly brought out the subtle nuances of multiculturalism.

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