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EDUCATION

AIFUCTO suggests alternative policy for higher education
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 6
Referring to the Report on Higher Education submitted by the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) under the chairmanship of Sam Pitroda to the Prime Minister in November 2006, as “divisive”, AIFUCTO (All India Federation of University & College Teachers’ Organisations) today released their alternative policy on higher education in Panjab University today.

It is an unofficial document but one that “belongs to the people, the teachers, students and other stakeholders in the system of higher education,” says Dr V.K. Tewari, general secretary, AIFUCTO.
“While the mantra today is inclusive education, yet the way higher education is developing, people are being excluded from it,” he said. He advocated strengthening of education by keeping it within the ambit of public domain instead of ‘leasing’ is out to private players and excluding all those who could not afford private education.

The alternative policy suggested by them was preceded by a critique on the NKC’s report as the AIFUCTO is demanding a national debate before the implementation of the report.

“We have sent our alternative policy to the President, the PM, the UGC chairman and the planning commission but nobody has responded with our request for a discussion,” said Dr Tewari.

He said a survey done by the Association of Indian Universities which revealed a shortfall of 3.3 lakh teachers in higher education. “How are we to meet this demand unless we make higher education accessible and affordable to all,” he asked.

Elaborating, Dr Tewari said the problem lay in the report inviting private capital in the expansion of higher education. “Degree granting power is very significant. We fear that degrees will be sold in a big way by private universities,” he said.

However, while private universities and colleges were being derided for their “profiteering” role in higher education, it was also concluded that the government had withdrawn from its responsibility in providing quality education to its citizens which is why private players had also benefited from coming into the education sector.

The meeting was attended by PUTA president Dr A S Ahluwalia and Secretary, Professor Manjit Singh and fellow R N Sharma.

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Teachers hold protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 6
In the second phase of its agitation, the teachers working in the non-government aided colleges of Chandigarh struck work after the second period in support of their long-pending demands and to express solidarity with the teachers who have offered themselves for the court-arrest on the ‘Teachers Day’.

In the morning, teacher’s representatives led by Prof S.S. Hundal and Prof Anil Sarwal, president and vice-president of PCCTU respectively enquired about the well being of their members at Burail jail.

Prof Rakesh Mehta, president Chandigarh District Council said, “Providing adequate grants to the aided colleges for the timely disbursement of salaries is the moral responsibility of the Punjab government.” He added that agitation would be further intensified if the Punjab Government does not agree to the legitimate demands of the teachers.

Teachers of the aided colleges of Chandigarh would cease work again on September 7 after the second period and assemble in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office at Sector 17 where the teachers who courted arrest yesterday would be brought from the Model Jail, Burail for the hearing before the Executive Magistrate”.

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Election fever grips students, PU poll uncertain
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 6
Though the exact date for the students’ polls at Panjab University and city colleges this year has not been announced still most of the colleges are doused in the election frenzy.

While almost all colleges have prohibited sticking of banners and posters on the campus walls, it seems students care two hoots about the orders.

For students, posters still seem to be a big hit when it comes to campaigning for their favourite candidates. Though at DAV College, Sector 10, most of the students have found exceptional ways to show their support.

Students including girls can be seen roaming around with party stickers on their notebooks, arms, handbags and even clothes. Similar sights can also be seen at other colleges.

Interestingly, though girl students form a major vote bank for the students’ elections every year, the trend has always been on the contrary.

The boy's canvass for their candidates extensively while the fairer sex prefers to be mere audience.

While rumours regarding the date of elections go on, it would be only decided after the hearing of the PIL on September 12.

On the other hand, if the experts are to be believed, the elections can be held only after September examinations. 

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900 students participate in rally
Tribune News Service

Panjab University boys rolled out
Panjab University boys rolled out  

Girls chose to be pre-poll observers
Girls chose to be pre-poll observers

Chandigarh, September 6
It was a show of strength aimed at making heads turn and PUSU’s (Panjab University Students’ Union) car rally served its purpose. Despite no word yet on when the elections to the students’ council will be held, the student organisations are leaving nothing to chance. Today’s car rally was organised as a ‘runner’ to the elections.

The rally started at around 12 noon from hostel no. 1 and ended at the students’ centre where PUSU president, Abhishek Puri, addressed the students. According to PUSU activists, the rally included scores of cars and motorbikes with about 900 students of various departments participating in it.

All the senior members of PUSU were present there with ex-president, Rupinderjit Singh Mann, also addressing the students and asking them to give PUSU their full support. Puri then urged the students to choose the right candidate or else otherwise PU will suffer badly.

Puri also submitted a memorandum to the vice-chancellor Prof R.C. Sobti requesting him to look into the demands of the department of mathematics, signed by the students of every class. It stated that there should be three internals instead of two (present format) for the honours school, as was the case in the previous years where best of three were considered for merit. Puri further mentioned about the need for the opening of a placement cell in the mathematics department and also asked for the department to start the M Phil course.

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PU Notes
New course in pedagogical techniques started
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 6
Teachers Day was celebrated at the Institute of Educational Technology and Vocational Education on Thursday. Dr Malvinder Ahuja, the chief coordinator of the Institute highlighted the significance of Teachers Day to the students. The Institute of Educational Technology and Vocational Education, has been recently set-up in the University. Offering a BA (hons) in Education it is meant to provide specialised training to the young scholars in the latest pedagogical techniques and strategies and shall equip them to deal with the basic objectives of education in future. The course has been introduced this year only.

Lecture delivered

Prof N.K. Ganguly, director-general, Indian Council of Medical Research delivered a lecture on ‘Public Health Interventions and the Health of the Country’ on Thursday for the students of masters in Public Health programme. Prof Ganguly stressed on the significance of public health interventions in bringing out substantial change in the health scenario.

Foundation stone

The vice-chancellor, Prof R.C. Sobti laid the foundation stone of the extension block of the boys’ hostel at Swami Sarvanand Giri Panjab University Regional Centre, Hoshiarpur on Wednesday. This has been planned keeping in view the increasing strength of students of Engineering, Law and MCA. Also present at the occasion were Dr V.S. Sohi, director, UIET, Dr K.K. Sharma, deputy registrar, VC office and Dr Jarnail Singh among others.

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Bhavan Vidyalaya principal gets national award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 6
Recommended by Central Board of Secondary Education, prinicipal of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Chandigarh, Meenakshi Mohindra received the National Award from the President of India, Pratibha Devi Singh Patil, for contribution to teaching in 2006 at New Delhi yesterday.

The school in addition to excelling in annual results runs literary classes for slum children and a special cell for mentally challenged children.

Similarly, B.S. Dhillon a teacher from Kendrya Vidyalaya No. 2, Chandimandir Cantt and Narinder Singh, principal, Government Senior Secondary School, Kharar (Mohali) also received the awards.

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From Colleges

Chandigarh
launch: Xplora Design Skool (XDS) launched its Global Design campus in Gurgaon in collaboration with British Columbia Institute of Technology, Canada on Thursday. Announcing the collaboration at a press conference organised, Preeti Dhariwal, managing director of the Xplora Design Skool said, “Under the collaboration with BCIT students from all across South East Asia will get an opportunity to study at Vancouver, Canada.” The students can enroll in for a digital animation course of one-year besides a postgraduate diploma in animation, multimedia, web specialisation. — TNS

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Custodial Death
Seal CFSL record, orders HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 6
Taking up the Manimajra custodial death case, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the sealing of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) record in the matter.

The Bench, comprising Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice Rajive Bhalla, also reserved orders in the case and suggested the respondents to consider the feasibility of compensating the young widow or any other family member.

At the very onset of the case, the judges also questioned a junior scientist with the CFSL regarding certain observations in the report. The Bench, on the last date of hearing, had raised serious questions over certain observations made by experts in the CFSL and post- mortem reports.

In her petition against the UT administration, UT SSP, SHO of police station Manimajra and others, petitioner Phoolwati had contended that on July 11 her son Anil Kumar was taken away by the police in connection with a case.

The next day they were informed by the police about his death in an accident. Petitioners stated that the family had come to know that during the investigation he was brutally beaten by the police. Holding one sub-inspector Narender Singh responsible for the death, the petitioner had claimed that a concocted story about the victim's fall from a building was narrated.

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Punjab files affidavit in HC
Leaders not holding govt office not to appear in ads
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 6
The department of information and public relations, Punjab, has proposed an amended advertisement policy suggesting that no photographs of political leaders, who are not holding any government office, shall appear in advertisement or display.

This was submitted in an affidavit by director (information and public relations) A.S. Bains in response to a public interest litigation by advocate H.C. Arora. The petitioner had sought directions to the states of Punjab, Haryana and the union government to recover the expenses incurred on the advertisements inserted in newspapers on the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi on August 20, 2005.

The affidavit also said the contents of advertisement shall be in conformity with the Punjab and Haryana High Court orders. It added that the photographs of national heroes, freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives, or other prominent personalities and religious gurus may be used for display advertisements.

The High Court, in its order on July 18, 2006, had observed that advertisements which had photographs of Sonia Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi had absolutely no concern with the administration in Punjab and Haryana though undoubtedly they reflected the leadership of the ruling Congress.

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