C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


GCG-42 to have first eco-friendly park
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Much has been said and done for saving our environment. Now, the same has caught the fancy of the Chandigarh administration, which is all set to develop a first-of-its-kind ‘eco-friendly park’ in collaboration with the department of horticulture at the Government College for Girls, Sector 42.

The proposed park, which will be developed at an estimated cost of about 10 lakh, will have a water fountain, garden benches, ground cover, flower beds, including ornamental flowers, grassing, trees and shrubs.

A unique feature of the garden is the proposed huts for the students to sit in and a water body measuring 60 by 20 square metres. The garden will also have lights to illuminate the entire area.

The college will be the first one to have such a park. Until now, only a few schools are said to have such parks on their premises.

“The idea is to provide the students a serene and calm environment where they can sit and relax. Students usually tend to go out of the campus when they have time between lectures. With the park being developed, students will now have a place within the premises where they can spend their free time,” said Inderjit Kaur, principal of the college.

“Not only will the park add to the beauty of the college, but will also encourage the students to study in the park, if they wish to. The park will be very beneficial, especially in the winters”, said Nindru Bal, vice-principal of the college.

Even the hostellers can benefit from the facility. They will have a place to stroll in, without having to go out. Later, the feature of instrumental music will also be added to the park, a horticulture department official said.

The park is expected to be ready by the end of this month.



Termites gobble up PU’s greenery
Rajay Deep

Chandigarh, July 22
Severe infection coupled with a termite-attack. Trees on the Panjab University campus are falling prey to this and the authorities seem disinterested. A large number of infected trees are awaiting proper treatment even as the authorities await their fall to begin action.

Termite, commonly known as white ant, is the most destructive pest, which poses threat to trees, timber and all structures throughout the world. It has laid siege on the green cover at the campus, putting these trees at great risk.

The most affected tree-belt crying for help is in the B-block of the staff residential colony of the university. Many trees have lost leaves due to the lack of a proper protection policy by the department concerned. Ironically, though the infection has taken many months to spread, the horticulture wing continues to turn a blind eye to this trouble, threatening the green cover.

One of the residents of B-block at the campus said, “I have been noticing this problem in the area since long. I am well versed with the callous attitude of the department concerned.”

“I have seen many trees in the campus suffering because of termites attack since the past couple of months,” said Ram Parkash a resident of the staff colony. The fact that the trunks of the trees are being sapped and devitalized by the pest, the resident can trace the trouble but the officials are ignorant, is really unbelievable.

When contacted chairman of the botany department I.S. Dua, he said: “I am aware of the fact that many trees on the campus are being eaten by termites but on the same hand we are trying our level best to solve the problem. Some of the trees have been treated by using various kinds of pesticides.” “The problem is in the notice of the concerned authority and we have treated the plants and tree. The main problem is, when a tree is treated, the pest shifts its place and attacks the other tree,” said Walia reader of zoology department.



Ur mobile can be ur teacher too
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 22
Your mobile could soon well become your teacher.

More than 20,000 teachers in Kenya are undergoing a special in-service training through the mobile sets. Lectures, tests, discussions are all being conducted through their mobile phones. Those connected to the Net through the mobile are also sending in their response sheets and queries through it. Welcome to the brand new world of mobile learning.

As the man behind it all, John Traxler from the University of Wolverhampton, UK, prepares for his first lecture at Microsoft Seattle this weekend on this topic, he is on a flying visit to the Chandigarh Engineering College, Landran, for an international conference on the subject tomorrow.

A reader in mobile technologies for e-learning at the School of Computing and Information Technology, Traxler believes mobile learning has immense scope for a country like India where mobile usage in rural areas is on the increase and is already widespread among the students.

“The aim is to turn the mobile into a useful tool for education. In case students are not on an interactive mode using mobiles, various education agencies, including government universities, can use it for student support, counselling and answering frequently asked questions. Vital information can be broadcast through mobiles like cancellation of lectures, postponement of examinations, schedules of lectures, daily headlines. And in case these students are on an interactive mode then they could be send questionnaires, quizzes, surveys etc,” he said.

Mobile learning projects have been implemented in a big way in UK and South Africa other than Kenya. “Blue tooth technology is being used by universities to send messages across closed groups. Within a closed discussion group the mobile is also used to hold seminars. Earlier the mobile learning system was used in a small way privately by individual teachers, but now it is part of the government-led mainstream teaching system,” explained Traxler.

“Every college student these days has a mobile. Instead of allowing the mobile to be used destructively, mobile learning can turnaround the technology from being misused to being used for education,” added Jasbir Singh, principal lecturer, Overseas Development at the university.

“Mobile technology is not just about using mobiles to receive and send information. It is being used in Kenya to manage schools. Data regarding the functioning of the schools is send through mobile systems to Nairobi. A similar thing can be implemented in any country though specific challenges thrown up by each setting have to be met,” said Traxler.



Project to check school dropouts
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
The credo it has given to itself is “potential unlimited”. True to this statement of belief, the Hamari Kaksha project truly deserves accolades for their commitment towards the underprivileged children.

In Hamari Kaksha, the students and teachers volunteered to join hands to bring a decrease in the rate of school dropouts.

Anuradha Sharma started this novel project for personality development of underprivileged children. Later, Sarita Tewari joined her in this noble mission.

Becoming a part of this project today were two volunteers from the USA, Judith Findlay from George Washington University and Shannon Stone, an English teacher.

About the project, Anuradha said: “Under the programme, we focus on those children who are the first generation school goers belonging to economically and socially backward families. These students are on the brink of leaving school, the so called dropouts, failures, repeaters and backbenchers. They remain so because of having no direct support to formal schooling.

“The methodology is very simple and basic, both practical and theoretical. Our method involves acting and mine workshops, puppet shows, art and games classes, and the outdoor activities like visits to museums, zoos, cycling excursions are undertaken regularly,” she said.



Students learn basics of mutual funds
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
The department of economics and commerce of GGDSD College, Sector 32, organised a lecture on mutual funds to equip the students with the fundamentals and current market status of investment avenues and mutual funds. Munish Sabharwal, branch head and area sales manager with the SBI Mutual Funds delivered the lecture.

In his lecture, he enlightened the students on different investment avenues available in the financial market. He even threw light on the saving fundamentals and informed them about mutual funds as investment mode.



Teaching students to serve humanity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
In town, to conduct an orientation programme, J.C. Chaudhry, the managing director of Akash Institute said our endeavour should be to inculcate a sense of discipline among our students, besides academic and professional achievements.

Chaudhry, the recipient of President’s “Dr Radhakrishnan award” stated that it could be termed as failure on the part of the teachers if they produce doctors with no human feelings.

“The students should be taught to serve the suffering humanity unconditionally,” he advocated.



From School & Colleges

FRESHERS’ PARTY: A freshers party was organised at the Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42, here on Friday. Nearly 350 persons gathered for the occasion. The juniors put up a cultural programme, consisting of dance items, skits and songs. Principal of the institute Naveen Kumar Nanchahal welcomed the students. Later, the freshers introduced themselves to the audience.

CELEBRATIONS: A programme on environment was held at Saint Soldiers School here on Friday. “If you want to flourish, nourish me” was one of the messages spread by the students. The toddlers of the pre-primary wing participated enthusiastically in a fancy dress competition on this theme. Kids attired as trees, mother earth, flowers, butterflies, caterpillars and other animals could be seen running all.

APPOINTED: Roopinder Ghuman took over as the new principal of Ashmah International School, here, on Sunday. The brief ceremony saw the presence of faculty members and advisor of Ashmah International J.S. Kesar.

CLASSES: The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali, will begin classes for its integrated master’s programme on August 16. This has been decided during the first meeting of its board of governors held in Chandigarh. Since the campus of the institute is not ready, the institute has started functioning from a transit campus at the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration, Sector 26, Chandigarh. The first batch of 37 students has been admitted.

Orientation: An orientation programme was marked by enthusiastic welcome and introduction for class XI organised at Gian Jyoti Public School here today. The event was aimed at orienting more than 250 newly enrolled students in medical, non-medical and commerce streams at plus one level.

FUNCTION: The annual prize distribution function of the Junior Wing (III rd-VIII th) of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 15, was held, here today. In the ceremony the students were conferred upon with prizes for their accomplishments in various fields. The C. Subramaniam award for character was awarded to Dakshi Agnihotri of class VIII Sundaram. The founder chairman, Kulwant Singh, former chief secretary, Haryana, and members of the managing committee were also present. — TNS



History of theatre relived
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Never before has the history of Hindi, Punjabi and English theatre in Chandigarh come out so clearly and openly. Thanks to Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi and Abhinet, which organised a seminar on the subject today, the evolutionary aspects of language theatres came in for an interesting discussion, to which prominent theatre practitioners’ added great value.

Interesting bits were shared including the fact that Hindi theatre first appeared in Chandigarh with the staging of Jagdish Chander Mathur’s “Konark”. In his exposition of Hindi theatre in Chandigarh, famous writer-actor-director Atulvir Arora painted a now happy, now sad picture, hoping for the resurgence of purposeful theatre, of the like of Kamleshwar’s “Kitne Pakistan” and “Adhoori Awaz”.

“I still remember how those stories blossomed on stage,” said Arora, cherishing good old days when people like Kamal Dutt and Shyam Sunder Davra made contributions to Hindi theatre movement. He hammered the point that regional theatre had its own body, which lent it a distinct identity.

This point later became the core of discussion with Neelam Mansingh, one of the observers for the seminar, throwing valid questions at the audience: “Do great writers belong to regions? Are works of art not supposed to be able to locate themselves and yet cross over? In my view, there is nothing like Hindi, Punjabi or English theatre. At the end of the day, every practitioner finds himself grappling with the same basic issues.” Arora, however, made a “poetic” argument: “Every play has a soul, and if it has a soul, it will have a body,” he said.

From Hindi to Punjabi - the discussion flowed easily, with Sahib Singh of Adakar Manch, Mohali, reproducing Punjabi theatre in totality. His presentation was loaded with bitter truths that engineered the fall of ticketed Punjabi theatre in Chandigarh. He blamed Kamal Vidrohi’s cheap indulgences at Tagore Theatre for the problem. “It was because of Vidrohi that Chandigarh Administration annulled the ticketing practice,” said Singh, also referring to a minister in the Punjab government who wrapped up Punjab Drama Repertory Company, labelling is as useless.

Earlier, Singh paid tributes to the likes of Balwant Gargi, Gursharan Singh, Harcharan Singh, C.S. Sindra and others, who contributed greatly to Punjabi theatre by constantly refining their production contents. The sorry state of English theatre in Chandigarh was at the heart of Nonika Singh’s presentation. She spoke of how English theatre had yet not managed to break free of the “elitist” label, and of how Chandigarh had no exclusive English theatre production house.



Of music, poetry & architecture
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture. And talking about music is even tougher. But S.S. Bhatti, a former head, Chandigarh College of Architecture, managed quite an exposition on the mighty subject last evening. For an hour and more, he spoke on music, its origins, its texture and what’s more - its architectural nuances and he spoke well.

Presenting his first programme at the M.S. Randhawa auditorium in Punjab Kala Bhavan that he also designed, Bhatti made a laborious attempt to make people understand something they are trained only to feel. At times, one found it hard to grapple with the deep technicalities the famed architect drew and the interesting, new definitions he proposed, “Poetry is the architecture of sound and sense; music is the edifice of sound; rhythm is the principle common to all forms of creativity” and many more.

The very subject of his talk was intriguing. It read: “Bazm-e-Ghazal; Performance and exposition of architectonics of poetry and music”.

Needless to say, the initial curiosity at the event sponsored by Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi stemmed from the word “architectonics”, which Bhatti described as the systematic knowledge of all disciplines. Soon he was imparting the knowledge of poetry and music to all and his research in the field came handy. He seemed to have studied his subject well. No wonder he made interesting observations about his discipline such as architecture is the mother of all arts.

“Baba Vishwakarma and not Brahma, Vishnu or Mahesh created this world. It is Vishwakarma who created it. That’s why we call him the celestial architect. Architecture, although placed fifth in the list of 64 fine arts in India, is the mother of all arts as it can use the elements from all,” Bhatti said.

Poetry, interestingly, is the first of listed fine art and the most gratifying of all, too. But to Bhatti, it’s also the language of prophecy. “All prophets are poets,” he said, hammering the musicality of poetry. He then spoke of ghazals and metres (chhands) and of how ghazals made of similar metres lent themselves to varied tunes. To make his point, Bhatti presented some songs, but he was not his best when it came to rendering.

He held the audience interest, nevertheless, interspersing his long, serious chat with some short, crisp jokes. Over with jokes, he returned to the theme, which was too complex to be understood as one plain truth. By the end of it all, one could say only this much - it was an evening about some music, some poetry and loads of architecture.



More poems from Manjit’s repertoire
Tribune News Service

Manjit Indra
Manjit Indra

Chandigarh, July 22
Writer’s Club today organised a discussion on the latest anthology of poems by Manjit Indra, assistant director, DPI (Colleges), Punjab.

Famous for her socially-relevant poetry which often puts conservationists to discomfort, Indra, with her new collection “Alakh”, takes forward the line of thought she adopted in her last work.

“This is a natural progression from ‘Tu Azad Nari Hai’, my last poetry collection in which I denounced extramarital relationships and built a case for marriage and the need to preserve its sanctity.”

“Alakh” is an interesting creative pursuit, in the sense that it features poems emanating from men’s hearts, but recited by a woman.

“If Shiv Batalvi could so beautifully paint a woman’s picture through his verse, why couldn’t I paint a man’s?” said Indra, whose book was discussed at length by speakers, including Harkishan Singh Mehta.

Mehta said love, sex and marriage were at the heart of Indra’s new work. Other speakers included Sukhdev Singh from Panjab University, Bhupinder Singh Sehgal, Sri Ram Arsh, Raja Jaikrishan and Nirmal Dutt, all engaged in creative pursuits in some way or the other. Indra, for her part, wrote this book to complete the thought process she started with “Tu Azad Nari Hai”.



Book on Maharaja Dalip Singh released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Punjab advocate-general H.S. Mattewal released a book, ‘Maharaja Dalip Singh Cheated Out’, at Punjab Bhavan here today. The book has been penned by Avtar Singh Gill, additional district and sessions judge (retd).

The book is the fourth and last in the series covers the turbulent period in the Sikh history following the demise of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and tragedies that befell on his son Dalip Singh and the Sikh empire.

The author, while addressing a gathering of intellectuals and bureaucrats, revealed how he got interested in the pursuit of the Sikh history and credited God for being able to harness his passion.

The book carries a forward by S.S. Johal, a former vice-chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala, and starts with the revolt forced on Diwan Mulraj, the governor of Multan, by the British.

“With his legal acumen and disposition, the author knows the difference between evidence, hearsay and fiction. He has painstakingly collected the wealth of information and visited Pakistan twice for the purpose,” Mattewal said while congratulating Gill for his labour of love.

The book is essentially a story of disloyalty, treachery and betrayal of trust by Dalip Singh’s own kith and kin. It mentions the grisly murders where even the children were not spared.

It also reveals how the British became the sole guardian of the person and property of the infant Maharaja Dalip Singh, and how they took both, including the famous Kohinoor.



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