C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


EDUCATION

PU set for revamp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
The inauguration of the ‘Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy’ at Panjab University today by the UGC chairman Professor Sukhdeo Thorat provided the perfect platform for the university to renew its request for Central University status.

Earlier in the morning, Professor Thorat also laid the foundation stone for the new girls’ hostel in South Campus, Sector 25.

Apart from the girls’ hostel the Centre for Emerging Areas, the Dental Institute, an institute for Business Management and even one for Fashion Technology is on the cards. Along with this is also planned a multi-purpose convention hall which will seat 2500 people and an examination hall which will seat 2000 students here.

While Thorat said Panjab University has the potential, but converting an existing university into a central one had not been discussed yet.

Also, with regard to funds for the golden jubilee celebrations, Professor Thorat said there were funds that would be made available to the university.

However, the general feeling of hope on the Central status pervaded the atmosphere at the Law auditorium where the function was being held. “There were 100 applications for the ‘Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy’ and Panjab University got it on the strength of their own work,” he said.

The function began with Professor Manjit Singh coordinator, Ambedkar Centre calling this the beginning of a new thrust in higher education. “This centre focuses singularly on the study of social exclusion so that it can provide definite inputs to policy makers,” he elaborated.

VC, Professor Sobti, in his welcome address stated that since the social and economic milieu was changing the university was also evolving, changing and adapting to meet the challenges head on.

He said in order to take this further CII had tied up with the university to launch training programs for SC / ST students at the cost of Rs 72,500 per program and that Infosys along with UIET was also getting into training the underprivileged classes.

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UGC chief links economy to education
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
Emphasising on expansion of quality education and more importantly inclusive education as a primary goal in education, UGC chairman Professor Sukhdeo Thorat spoke of the significance of measuring economic growth against the gross enrolment ratio (GER) of youth in institutes of higher education.

“Only 1 per cent of the total youth in the age group of 18 to 23 were enrolled in colleges and universities in 1950. Today that figure has reached 10 per cent but it is still not enough. The figure is as high as 55 per cent in developed countries,” he said.

What ‘inclusive’ policy entails

  • Approximately 350 districts to be identified where access to education is poor and universities to be built there with matching grants from the centre.
  • 16 central universities planned in states where there are none and 14 more “world class” centres planned.
  • To encourage quality faculty for universities and colleges, those doing PhDs and MPhils in central universities will be given Rs 5000 and Rs 3000 fellowships.

Thorat was speaking at the inauguration of the ‘Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy’, a UGC-funded centre, at Panjab University today.

Elaborating, Thorat said that we needed at least 25 per cent of our youth to go to colleges to achieve a “reasonable economic growth.” The aim is to provide education to everyone and more importantly to the excluded sections of society which include the SCs/STs, women and even Muslims whose ratio is a low 6 per cent. “Punjab despite being such a rich state has a very low gross enrolment ratio of SC/ST and the government has to work towards increasing the numbers,” he stated. Inclusive development, he elaborated, means relatively neglected bits of society will have access to education and the 11th Five Year Plan is focussing keenly on this aspect. Describing poverty as a primary ‘culprit’, Thorat said it was imperative that universities take the lead and implement the policies that the UGC develops to include the marginalised segments.

“The plan is to increase the GER from 10 to 15 per cent by the end of the 11th Plan. For that we are seriously looking at both expansion and the quality of education,” he said. Not only would new universities and colleges be developed, the existing ones should expand their facilities and departments and introduce new courses like ‘Emerging Areas’ by Panjab University to stay relevant and to attract students.

Professor Thorat said of the 18,500-odd colleges and approximately 350 universities, only a small percentage was really providing quality education. “The disparity between the existing structures of higher education can be bridged by highlighting quality and raising the quality of our teaching staff. Faculty is, in fact, the crux and core of higher education,” he stressed.

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Punjab to tie up with international
business schools

Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
Studying in an international business school may not be a distant dream in the future. The Punjab government is now to tie-up with leading international business schools in the USA and Europe to invite them to set up a branch in the upcoming knowledge city at Mohali.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has okayed the plan to invite international business schools which enjoy a sound reputation of having produced some of the best management brains. Letters inviting expressions of interest from business schools have been dispatched to the deans of these institutions, sources said.

If Harvard has been invited, so has been Wharton and Oxford, the government plans to cast a wide net in invite institutions, said an official while explaining the plans of the government.

The knowledge city at Mohali is to have four major institutions. Three of them will be central government projects, while the fourth one will be set up by the government. Among the central government projects, the Institute for Science and Research has already started functioning from the temporary location at the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration here. The other two are a nano-technology and a bio-technology institute.

The state government plans to create a niche by opening an international-level business school. This will be fourth major institute in the knowledge city, said the sources.

The funding of this is planned to be on the pattern of Hyderabad-based international business school. This is funded by leading companies of India. Since the companies are themselves the beneficiaries of well-rounded management students, they take keen interest in running the affairs of the ISB at Hyderabad. Punjab has also requested the Prime Minister’s office to convene a meeting of leading corporates to float the idea to have such an institute at Mohali.

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Day 2: Parents unrelenting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
The parents of students studying in Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 56, continued their protested against the school authorities, here today.

Around 200 parents agitated parents gathered at the school and burnt an effigy of deputy district education officer Chanchal Singh. They also raised slogans against the education department.

Chanchal soon reached the spot and pacified the parents, assuring them that more teachers would be hired at the school.

“We have already appointed a few more teachers at the school. The situation will gradually improve,” DEO Khushinder Sharma said.

The parents said they would lock the school gate if their demands were not met at the earliest.

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Schools & Colleges

Chandigarh
PARTY: Moti Ram Arya School, Sector 27, organised a freshers’ party to welcome the Class XI students. The Class XII students presented cultural items which were highly appreciated. Mohita and Vikram were adjudged Ms Fresher and Mr Fresher, respectively.

DECLAMATION: An inter-house declamation contest was held at Shishu Niketan Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 21. Rewant of Class IV bagged the first prize while Harman Kaur of same class and Mehak of Class V got second and third prize, respectively. The contest was held on the topic of ‘conservation of water’ for the students of classes IV and V.

QUIZ: To appraise students about the importance of environment, Sarvhitkari eco-club of the school conducted an enlightening and fun-filled quiz contest on Saturday at Sarda Sarv Hitkari School, Sector 40.

EXHIBITION: The students of St Joseph's Senior Secondary School’s, Sector 44, showed their creativity through ‘The Artistic Exposé’, the annual exhibition of the school, which was held on its premises, here on Saturday. A variety of projects, related to mathematics, science, social science, humanities, commerce and finance, were displayed. Students enacted scientists, including Newton and Edison and won appreciation for their mock epic - “The Mad Scientist Club".

RESULTS: Ganesh Nautiyal student of Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Pharmacy, Sector 26, has stood first in D Pharmacy, second year exam conducted by the Punjab State Board of Technical Education for the session 2006- 07. He secured 835 out of 1000 marks. Four more students Amrinder Singh, Narinder Kumar, Upkardeep Singh and Anuj Kumar have featured on the merit list too. 50 out of 59 students secured 1st division in the same exam. — TNS

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COURTS
 

Elevation to SC
Justice Sathasivam’s file awaits PM’s nod
Vishal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
The file regarding the elevation of Justice P. Sathasivam, second seniormost judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, to the Supreme Court, is with the PMO, awaiting nod by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Sources in the Union Law Ministry confirmed that law minister H.R. Bhardwaj had cleared the file on Friday, after which the file went to the PMO on Tuesday.

With the Prime Minister being busy, the decision on it has not be taken yet but it was expected shortly.

The sources revealed that Justice Sathasivam’s case for elevation had been unanimously approved by five senior judges of the apex court collegium.

If the file gets the PM’s clearance, it would go to the President for her approval following which the judge would be asked to submit his medical report. Finally, a warrant would be issued confirming the elevation.

He joined as permanent judge of the Madras High Court on January 8,1996 and the Punjab and Haryana High Court on April 20, 2007.

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CULTURE
 

Hardeep refreshes ‘Yadaan Piar Dian’ in melody
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
Gurdas Mann and Hardeep have one thing in common -- both entered the domain of folk singing via sports. A product of Sports College, Jalandhar, Hardeep was a national-level hockey player before he adopted singing as a profession 23 years ago. And since then, he has not looked back.

Born at Dakoha village near Jalandhar, Hardeep’s first cassette--Hardeep Night- was a chartbuster. Impressed by the range and tenor of his voice, eminent record companies like HMV gave him attractive offers.

His songs-- Hania ve hania; Tehro ni tehro; Piche ronda yar chadgi and Shashar Patiala de munde much foot gabru ne shone-- have been immensely popular. In fact, his folk song with regard to the Patiala and its youth has become a part of that town’s cultural history.

Replete with rural earthiness and lilting magic, he is coming out with a new album --Yadaan Piar Dian-- in the first week of August. All the eight songs have been recorded by MS Cassette company and visuals have been filmed by Babbar Production under the direction of Gurcharan Virk and Happy Aulakh. Hardeep has a long association with Varinder Bachan, a renowned name in the Punjabi music industry.

Many folk singers have sung in praise of the turban, highlighting its cultural and religious importance for Sikhs. In fact, following the ban imposed by the French government on the turban in its schools, it attracted the attention of folk singers and writers rooted in Punjab’s folk idiom. Hardeep’s song with a catchline- Dunia ch chha gai pag sardaran de- in his new cassette will make a lasting impact on the Punjabi psyche.

Other songs-- Jadon dur chala jaenga; Teri photo ne ravaya; Galla hundia Punjab --are equally impressive.

A believer in the purity of Punjabi folk singing, Hardeep has stayed away from element of vulgarity that has entered the singing arena of late. He has been selecting his songs with lot of care.

His association with eminent folk song writers such as Gill Surjit, Bhatti Bhariwala, Manjit Tiwana, Lal Lagoriwala and Raj Kakra have provided him opportunity to maintain high standards of folk singing.

“I did not become part of cassette culture rat race and have been trying hard to stay away from crass commercialism of folk singing. For me the maintaining of the Punjabi culture decency and purity comes before anything else,” he said.

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Bollywood stylist presents collection
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 28
Ace Bollywood fashion designer Vikram Phadnis showcased his latest "Royal Mist DemiGods 2007" collection at Antidote in Sector 26 tonight. The much-in-demand designer used six city-based male models to present his ensemble, specially crafted for Royal Mist Luxury Whisky.

Chandigarh is the third stop for Phadnis' latest line of contemporary men's garments, which he launched in Mumbai on July 25. The next halt for the designer's collection was Delhi, after which he brought it to Chandigarh.

Phadnis said his collection is typically meant for urban, forward-looking, adventurous youths.

"This line is all about a new-age mindset that reflects confidence, individualism and fashion consciousness of the young,” he said. He has been styling actors Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen and Vidya Balan.

Tonight's collection was presented in four sections. The first one was dominated by cream linen blazers with big motifs on the back, block printed with body-hugging blue jeans. A more formal collection came in the second round, with the designer presenting sherwanis, shirts and kurtas, mainly meant as party wear.

The third set of clothing was all black and vest-less, while the last round was all snazzy, as it came soaked in bright colours.

Hae said personally, he loved designing for Amitabh Bachchan. "It's a pleasure to style him," he said, sharing his experience of designing for stars in “Namaste London”, "Samal-e-Ishq" and "Lucky".

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Of poets & verse
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
It is time for poets to gather once again. Into its third gathering, “Poetry in the park” meets at Leisure Valley-II, opposite Government College of Art, to delve into the verses of poet Sahir Ludhianvi.

Shumita Didi Singh, who organises these monthly meetings, says it is a unique way to “listen to birds chirping and lyrical poems in verdant green gardens of the City Beautiful”.

Third in the series, which launched this May, all that the forum looks for is poetry lovers and poets where anyone and everyone are free to recite verses or express their views.

Bringing all of this together are Preetlari editor Poonam Singh and The Sunday Indian editor Nirupama Dutt who get together with artistes, teachers, poets, students, lawyers, police officers to celebrate the city and verse.

The last time on July 1, from early evening till sundown, the gathering attracted a steadily growing number of people into the charmed circle under a gazebo. Only a few present knew each other but all had their love for poetry in common.

The first gathering saw 15 people, the second 25. They were a motley bunch, a few walkers, a retired professor poet who is translating Wordsworth to Urdu, a government schoolteacher who loves to recite poetry, three editors also poets, a publisher, a few young school students, an ageing poet/trade-union leader, an active poet/retired policeman, a lawyer, a bank officer and even a film-maker and painter amongst others.

Everyone is invited at 6 pm to imbibe the spirit of the City Beautiful in an ambience made special by poems.

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