C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


India priority in education, says British Council head
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
As director of the British Council in India and Sri Lanka and as minister for cultural affairs at the British High Commission in India, Rod Pryde believes that education is the key in its relationship with India. “This is not based on what the UK wishes to promote and strengthen but what works for India. For, cultural relations are all about mutuality and not push,” he says.

It is with respect to the work that the British Council does with English and education that Pryde is here in the city to speak with the governments of Haryana and Punjab. He talked at length about India and its position in the global scenario. “In terms of resources, India and China are our priorities and India will remain very much on top of our dream,” he said.

While the council is known for its work in libraries, arts and sciences around the country, Pryde admits there is much that can be done in the field of education. “There is a huge hunger in India and we have not done much to satisfy that. The important point is to keep reinventing what one does to stay relevant, to look at what we offer and to do it bigger and better,” he smiles.

In 2005, in a joint initiative between the two countries, the British Council launched the UK India Education and Research Initiative. “With significant sums of money coming in, this is a massive drive to create noteworthy links between education and the resources available,” explains Pryde. With corporate support pouring in for joint research work, collaborations and technical exchange programmes, there is a tremendous thrust in this area.

But efforts are also underway at a more basic level. The Haryana Government has expressed its desire to work with the Council in the field of primary English. This would translate into teacher training and in reading, writing and training materials as well. “This is one of our main objectives. We have a body of expertise on hand and we want to develop that so that they can be deployed to contribute to India’s requirements in the field of English,” elucidates Pryde. The first stage in this endeavour will be ready by September and involves bringing over a team of UK trainers.

The idea is to go beyond just libraries in the smaller centres, but there is a definite thrust for India which cannot be applied to Sri Lanka for instance. “Where there is synergy we will develop it but certainly not force it. But the eye is definitely on India and it is important that we respond to it,” he says.

“There is a sense of being alive, quite like an intoxicating cocktail,” he says about living here, and he is determined to leave a positive mark before he goes on to tackle yet another country.



Creating awareness on environment issues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
Panjab University is determined to record its place in the annals of environmental activism. It has been just over a week since professor of geology, Arun Ahluwalia, has been appointed as the point person for the university’s Environment Outreach Programme and an action plan is already in place.

“Our mission is overall awareness of environmental issues among the students, staff, teachers and their families by adopting more practical and motivating methods,” said professor Ahluwalia.

Tips to save environment

  • Walk or cycle around the university and the city instead of using a car.
  • Keep city smoke free not just from tobacco but also minimise emissions from fossil fuel consumption.

These include regular and interactive film and slide shows on campus and in the city, creating environment wall magazines in departments, hostels, schools by encouraging students to participate, launching garbage collection drives from around the canteens and the students centre and holding sponsored poster and declamation contests among students on various issues, which will also include attractive prizes as incentive.

“The aim is to create volunteers across the PU campus who will become a part of a self-sustaining effort at environmental conservation and informal education,” explained Professor Ahluwalia.



Students excited as colleges reopen
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
Finally long wait for the fresh pass outs of school students is over. The colleges across the city are back to their usual buzz of activities. It was a mixed bag of students for the new academic session. While many of the students have been planning for the D-day since months now there were others who were apprehensive to come to college.

Young boys and girls were seen strutting across the campus with poise and confidence, attending orientation programmes, noting down time-table and looking for lecture halls.

Sakshi, a BA-I student at Government College for Girls, Sector 42 was excited to get freedom from wearing school uniform. “I was waiting for this day ever since my final exams got over,” she coos standing amidst her new gang of friends.

At the college gates, there were some students who arrived accompanied by their parents at least for the beginning many others came all the way driving down from as far as Mohali. Rahul, a BA (I) student at Government College, Sector 11 said, “My parents specially bought me a Pulsar bike as I am a college goer now.”

The activities at the colleges varied from interacting with the seniors, munching snacks in college canteens to getting familiar with the campus. “With so much on offer in the canteen itself there is no worries for lunch at all,” exclaims an exhilarated Tanupriya of BSc (I) at MCM DAV College, Sector 36.

It’s the beginning of a new life for these young college goers with big goals set in their eyes.



From Schools & Colleges
Programme on peace

Swami Sachidananda Bharathi of Dharma Bharathi Ashram visited Chandigarh as part of Desh Vandana 2007, an All-India Peace Pilgrimage started by him. The staff and students of St. Stephen’s School, Sector 45 got an opportunity to listen to and interact with Swamiji. The programme on peace was organised by Gerald John Mathias, Bishop of Shimla and Chandigarh Diocese.

This Missionary of Peace advocated a programme called ‘Skip a meal a week to feed and help a poor child’. The motto of this movement is ‘Begin With Self, Begin Today, Begin Small’.


The joint counselling for JET entrance test conducted on May 27 for admissions in diploma courses at Government Polytechnic for women, Sector 10, Chandigarh college of Engineering and Technology, Sector 26 and SGGS College of Pharmacy in Chandigarh concluded on Wednesday by the State Board of Technical Education, Sector 36, Chandigarh.

The counselling was held for the students falling under the 85 per cent quota in the UT pool. All the 19 seats in architectural assistantship, 25 in civil engineering, 18 in computer engineering, 32 in electrical engineering, 19 in electronics and communication engineering, 39 in mechanical engineering, and 20 in production engineering were filled at Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, Sector 26.


The new academic session for the students of BSc (hotel management and hospitality administration) began on Monday at the Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management catering and Nutrition, Sector 42, Chandigarh. The National Council for Hotel Management, New Delhi conducts the joint entrance test for the said course on all India basis. This year at the counselling in New Delhi, 161 students opted for the institute and out of that 140 students have taken admission in the three-year degree course. The principal of the institute, Navin Kumar Nanchahal gave a presentation on the existing infrastructure, academic achievements, and activities in the institute, students’ activities, rules and regulations to the newly joined batch of students. — TNS



PU Notes
Developing global perspectives among students

EduCare India in association with Centre for Adult, Continuing Education and Extension, Panjab University conducted a programme on developing global perspectives amongst students and the youth in India at the Golden Jubilee Hall on campus on Wednesday. Opening the session, Baljinder S Bhullar, chief project director, gave a presentation on Project Global PEACE and i.e Worldwide (internship and exchange worldwide) program. The event coincided with opening ceremony of Project Worldwide of AIESEC Chandigarh, an associate support project of Global PEACE, an initiative of EduCARE India. Ten student interns from USA, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan are participating in the programme were introduced.


A competition of school students was conducted highlighting the role of advertising and media in community education. Thirteen teams from various schools of Chandigarh region participated in the event. The panel of judges consisted of Hassan Stirfau, Co-ordinator, commonwealth Youth programme Asia, Dr Supriya, Director of Health Services, Haryana, and Suman Gupta, Project Director, Drug Awareness & Counselling Centre.

The first prize was won by team from Ryan School with their campaign on female foeticide, the second prize was won by the team from St Maries covering the topic of global warming and the third position was taken by the team from Sutlej School.


The dates for second counselling for various categories have been fixed as follows: Counselling for SC/ST and all other reserve categories for BA LLB (Honours) Five-Year Integrated Course, B Pharma, BSc (honours) and MCA will be held on August 8 at 9 am at the Law Auditorium. Counselling for General category for BA LLB (Honours) five-year integrated course, B Pharma, BSc (honours) and MCA will be held on August 9 at 9 am at the Law Auditorium. Counselling for NRI/Industry Sponsored category for BA LLB (honour) five-year integrated course, B Pharma, BSc (hons) and MCA will be held on August 10 at 9 am at the Law Auditorium.

Seats created

The Panjab University has created seats for the wards of Kashmiri Displaced Persons for admission to various courses in the Educational Institutions for the academic session 2007-08.

The candidates who appeared for CAT entrance test conducted by IIM Kozhikode, Calicut on November 19, 2006 and have already applied for admission to MBA course to UBS are advised to apply on the plain paper along with attested copy of Kashmiri Migrant certificate issued by competent authority. The candidate should mention their CAT Regd. Number and UBS form number and should apply by July 25 to Chairman, UBS, PU, Chandigarh. Those candidates who have already applied under Kashmiri Migrant category need not apply again.


The results of the following examinations held in April/May 2007 have been declared:

Bachelor of Laws, 5th Semester, MA-I (Psychology), MSc (2 Year) Botany, Master of Science in Home Science (Food and Nutrition), 1st Semester, December 2006. The students are advised to see their results in their respective Departments/Colleges/University Website.



Luring slum children to join schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
With an aim to bring the children belonging to slum areas into the mainstream of study programme under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan, a meeting cum training programme on cluster level was conducted at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 45, here, today.

The programme was held under the chairmanship of area councillor Vijay Rana and was presided over by B.P. Mauriya (councillor). About 20 ward level committee members attended the meeting. Brahmjit Kalia, ex-DEO and Tarsem Lal, coordinator, SSA level, gave a detailed report on SSA’s objectives. SS Bhardwaj, vice chairperson, ward no 13, demanded to build the pre-fabricated structure at the slum areas of the city only. “This will help in generating interest in the people living there and the children themselves would be tempted to go to school,” he said.

Later, the principal Sham Lal Sharma highlighted the efforts of the education department for providing quality education and vocational courses.



SOPU issue resolved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
The committee set up under Justice (retd.) S.K. Jain to look into the confrontation between the president of the students’ organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) Harpreet Singh Multani and chairman, department of Law, Shashi K Sharma resulted in a resolution yesterday.

At a meeting, attended by Professor V.K. Bansal, professor Emeritus, DSW Naval Kishore and Dean, faculty of Law G.C. Garg the matter was resolved with Multani tendering an unconditional apology to professor Sharma.

It may be recalled that SOPU activists had protested against Professor Sharma’s refusal to admit a student into the department who is an offender under Section 307 of the IPC and is allegedly absconding.

Matter had reached ahead when PUTA had received a representation from the faculty of Laws, duly signed by 21 teachers of the department seeking ‘immediate action regarding the incident of misconduct by a student in the staff room of the department of Laws on July 5.’

The signed memorandum was duly handed over to the vice-chancellor, Professor R.C. Sobti.



Credit card error: Bank told to pay relief
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
Getting a credit card turned out to be a nightmare for Shiv Dev Kumar. Though he did not use the card, he received bills of some other card.

He took the problem to the consumer court redressal forum-II has directed Standard Chartered Bank, Sector 9, to withdraw the credit card bill and pay Rs 10,000 as compensation to Shiv Kumar for causing harassment and mental agony. It has also been told to pay Rs 2,500 as litigation charges.

Shiv Kumar got a credit card issued from the bank in 2003 with a credit limit of Rs 77,000. He never used the card, but he received a bill of Rs 48,975 against some other card. The bill was for the card being used in Mumbai on September 23, 2003.

Shiv Kumar wrote a letter to the bank saying the said card was not delivered to him. However, nothing came of it. He received around five bills after this, the last one on March 7, 2004, for Rs 61,432.

He also received “threats” on telephone by bank officials for paying the bills. He got a legal notice served on the bank. He said the day the credit card was used in Mumbai, he was in his office in Chandigarh.

The bank said evidence was needed in the form of merchant establishments where the alleged transaction had taken place, verification of signatures, statement of people who has processed the card etc which was not available. It also claimed that the matter had already been investigated internally.

The bank said it had issued two credit cards to the complainant with a combined credit limit of Rs 77,000. On the basis of the internal investigation, the card was cancelled on February 12, 2004.

The complainant said if the bank had issued two cards, it should produce documents to establish it. Even the invoice bill produced by the bank was in the name of Harpreet Singh, he added.



Salil Bhatt spells magic
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, July 18
The Pracheen Kala Kendra organised a special classical music concert by the world acclaimed young Satvik Veena maestro, Salil Bhatt to mark the release of his

latest album “Slide to Freedom” Pracheen Kala Kendra here today.

The foremost disciple son of the legendary Grammy Award winner, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, young Salil opened up with the exposition of melodious raga' Bageshari.

Delineating the tranquility and equanimity of raga through a short alaap he moved on to present the jod and jhalla in an innovative style. He embellished the compositions in slow and fast tempo with a dazzling display of finger work and adroit mastery over the laya tal and perfect slide work.

Sail demonstrated an electrifying display of 'tans' and cadencial 'tihais' in the rhythmic patterns articulated on Tabla by Ramkumar Mishra of Banaras gharana. Amidst applause Salil concluded his recital with a Dhun in Raga Bhupali taken from his latest album "Slide to Freedom".

Director Pracheen Kala Kendra, ML Koser heralded Salil as the Leader of new generation of musicians of the world. With over fifty concerts abroad Salil Bhatt had been a pioneer in blending the tradition with modernity in all his musical creations like ‘Legendary Legacy', Revival of Gavti, In harmony, Swar Shikhar, Out of Shadows and the instant ‘Slide to Freedom'. With eight compositions the album is creating waves with rave reviews in the US and Canada, where it was recorded.



Live the Potter hype
Gayatri Rajwade

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
It is not just the excitement that bookstores and libraries are offering by placing the Harry Potter grand finale in your hands, they are also offering you a chance to be part of the Potter mania.

The release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” on July 21 is marked by wands and hats, rides and bats, discounts and freebies.

British Library, in collaboration with the UT tourism department’s society for tourism and entertainment promotion, is offering a “knight” bus tour to explore Potter mania and trivia in an innovative way.

The hop-on hop-off bus will start at “King’s Cross Station” at Hotel Shivalikview at 4 pm and halt at the “ministry of magic” at the students’ centre, PU, followed by “leaky cauldron” at Sukhna Lake.

The final destination will be “Hogwarts”, the British Library, where quizzes, discussions, magic shows and treasure hunts will be held.

The ride is open to all between the ages of 10 and 21 years. Those who wish to participate must either dress up as or carry Potter props like spectacles, wands or even a scar to be part of the ride.

For the young ones who cannot ride the bus, the British Library will be screening “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” at 2 pm on July 21.

Variety Book Store, Sector 17, will offer a 20 per cent discount on the book. Capital Book Depot in Sector 17 and The Browser Library and bookstore, Sector 8, have also floated some schemes.

According to the manager of the library, Bipin Kumar, “We gave some youngsters the responsibility because the idea is to involve young people and develop their creativity.”

While Bismark Singh will essay Professor Snape, Tanvi Monga will be Hermione, Sourabh Dua, Ron, Amitabh Nauharia, Voldemort, and Tushar Bhatnagar, Harry. 



For Potter fans

Chandigarh, July 18
For much awaited Harry Potter fans, Spice Telecom will be bringing him (Harry Potter) on to their mobiles. They will be launching Harry Potter games, wallpapers, animations, video tones MP3. A special Harry Potter link has also been introduced. According to an official press release Spice Telecom, CEO Prakash Nanani stated, “Harry Potter and the order of the phoenix, has been released, we have thus decided to bring to Spice subscribers many innovative and exciting GPRS based content around it.” — TNS



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