C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU to award Doctor of Laws to PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The Panjab University syndicate met today and approved the conferment of an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) upon Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the inauguration of the diamond jubilee celebrations beginning October 1, for which Dr Singh will be present.

The syndicate meeting today also took a decision to form a committee to look into the problems dealing with internal assessment that have arisen in three separate incidents. It was decided that these will be dealt with as per the rules of the university and a committee would examine these issues.

It would deal with lapses made by the faculty of the Department of Correspondence Studies for failing to dispatch the internal assessment / practical assessment of some B.Com.I students, problem in marking of sessional work of M.Ed students in the Department of Education as well as the case of rectification on awarding internal assessment marks to a student at PURC, Ludhiana.

It also took note of the problems arising in three colleges with regard to retirement dues on account of encashment of unutilised earned leave and contributory provident fund on total salary. With reference to DD Memorial College for Women Ludhiana, MCM DAV-36 and DAV-10, the syndicate has directed the colleges that they should implement these within a month otherwise action would be taken. Letters will also be sent to all colleges to ensure these benefits are provided.

In case the colleges do not supply requisite information to PU (Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology Sector 26, Dev Samaj College for Education Sector 26 and National Institute of Nursing Education, Sector 12) pertaining to the number of students and faculty members and whose students faced the problem of not being allowed to sit for their exams in April next year, has been deferred.

With regard to the variation in fees charged by various departments apart from the tuition, laboratory charges and development funds, it has been decided to make the fees uniform from the next academic session 2008-09.

The syndicate also decided to form a one-man committee under Prof J C Bansal to look into the imposition of fine on students, who have not deposited their examination fee on time and which are pending for several years now.

As for the university land in Panipat, it has been decided to dispose and the best bid would be looked into.

There were several approvals of appointments, including Prof A K Bhandari, Department of Mathematics as advisor (examinations), Prof R.K. Gupta, Department of Correspondence Studies as Advisor (Finance); Professor Paramjit Kaur Tiwari, Department of Zoology, as dean student welfare (women) and dean alumni relations; and Prof Manjit Singh, Department of Sociology, as director, centre for the study of social exclusion and inclusive policy. Ph D degrees for 16 students were also approved.



Govt schools open to ‘Savera’ kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
In a noble gesture, the UT education department has come forward to help the mentally retarded inmates of ‘Savera’by offering them admission in government schools or to adjust them in the existing ‘special’ institutes running in the city.

Savera, the Mohali-based organisation, had approached the education department as they were being compelled to vacate their existing place. They had demanded that they should be rehabilitated at some separate premises considering it as a special case.

DPI (S) S.K. Setia informed that Savera inmates approached them for a separate accommodation for running an exclusive education centre but the department has some reservations about it. “Instead, we have offered them admission in government schools. As a special case, we have given them relaxation in cut-off percentage and they will be adjusted on a priority basis.”

The education department, in the wake of showing their limitation in providing exclusive space for establishing a separate school, also proposed to admit their children in the organisations already being run, like ‘Sadhna’ in Manimajra, ‘Prayas’ in Sector 38, Bhavan Vidyalaya, Special Cell, Sector 27, and Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children in Sector 32.

“We are also committed towards the welfare of these special children. They have been given many options to choose from. They can either join any of the special institutes already being run for their exclusive education otherwise, they are welcome to get admission in mainstream government schools. I can assure that their admissions process will be done without demur,” added Setia.

As per policy of the Ministry of Human Resource Development too, such ‘special’ children should be imparted education in the mainstream so that they can be absorbed and assimilated in the society.



Notice served on edu dept official
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The education department has served an explanation notice on one of its officials for showing negligence in performing duties.

Due to this lapse, about 50 applicants for the posts of Hindi master/mistress turned up at GMSSS-23 on September 8 at 10 am to fill up their forms but found the school locked, as nothing of the sort had been scheduled on the said date. The official had intimated wrong dates to the Employment Exchange regarding filling up of the forms for the posts and this caused great inconvenience to the applicants.

DPI (S) S.K. Setia said, “The concerned official has been asked to explain the negligence which caused trouble to the applicants. I deeply regret the error in communicating the date causing great inconvenience to the candidates who received letters from the Employment Exchange to fill up their forms and deposit them in GMSSS-23. There was no fault on the part of the Employment Exchange because the official of the education department designated the date which was a close day.”

Meanwhile, Setia informed, “As soon as I received information about this lapse, Chanchal Singh, deputy DEO, was deputed to look into the matter and necessary arrangements were made”.



Talented trio do family proud
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
A chance to be with the best and to reach out to opportunities is what each of us wants. That is exactly what these Sachdeva siblings have managed to achieve.

Meet the talented trio - Gyanda, Shimal and their brother Shouvik Sachdeva, who all have, to their names, the distinction of clearing the prestigious National Talent Search Examination (NTSE).

Gyanda, the eldest among them, is a product of Sacred Heart School. She qualified the exam in 2000. But this was not all. She was chosen for the Singapore Airlines Youth Scholarship a year later.

Thereafter she joined Cornell University, New York, for bachelors’ degree in business management and at present, she is pursuing her masters’ at Stanford University. “Believe me, I was even afraid of going to the milk booth which was just a few yards away from our home. But after qualifying the NTSE exam, a sense of confidence was instilled in me and thereon there was nothing that could stop me. My parents encouraged me at every step and I flew to achieve my dreams”, expressed Gyanda, who was in town on a holiday.

Shimal (18), who passed Class X examination in 2004 from Carmel Convent, found a dual opportunity knocking at her door. She was selected for the NTSE scholarship and got a call from the Singapore Government for the prestigious SIA Scholarship Award. At present, she is studying in the University of California, Berkeley.

The very talented Shimal had been honoured with distinction in 1997 International Competition for School (Mathematics). But, hold on, there is more to come. Shouvik, the youngest one, has lately qualified the NTSE exam after Class VIII and is now pursuing his studies at the Lawrence School, Sanawar.



College teachers submit demands to syndicate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The members of the MCM and DAV College Employees’ Unions held a rally in front of the administrative block of Panjab University and submitted their case regarding retirement dues on account of encashment of unutilised earned leave and contributory provident fund on total salary to the syndicate members today.

They regretted that a month had elapsed since the last syndicate meeting and both the colleges - MCM DAV and DAV College continued to brazenly violate the statutes of Panjab University.

Addressing the rally, Prof S.S. Hundal, president, Panjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union said it is high time the university asserts its authority over the mismanagement in the colleges all over the state. He urged the VC to take tough measures to get the employees their due.

R.K. Anand, secretary of the union, said, “It is now three months since Panjab University had issued letters (dated 14.06.07) warning the two colleges about imposition of penalties if they do not follow PU statutes within one month but both the colleges have chosen to completely ignore the directions/ reminders/warnings of  the PU.”



NGO moves NHRC over teachers’ harassment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
An NGO, Global Human Rights Council, today moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) against the UT administrator, UT education secretary and director, public instructions (schools) for alleged violation of the human rights of teachers serving with the UT administration.

The complainants, Arvind Thakur and other office-bearers of the NGO, averred in the petition that they had received a number of complaints from the teachers serving with the UT administration which painted a bleak picture of human rights violation.

The complainants alleged that the teachers faced humiliation, mental torture, insult and agony because of respondents, excluding the administrator, whenever some student made complaint to them. The teachers faced harassment in the shape of transfers, suspension etc and that too without any investigation.

The NGO alleged that teachers were afraid of raising voice against the respondents lest they be dismissed from service. Recently, a principal of a Government Senior Secondary Model School, Sector 33, Chandigarh, had faced humiliation only because he dared to call a student, who had broken a switch board in the school.



Teachers given functional portage training

Chandigarh, September 13
The fourth Training Workshop for Enhancement of Development of Children for CDPOs, supervisors, teachers and volunteers to implement portage training in anganwadi centres of the city was held at Karuna Sadan yesterday.

The workshop was jointly organised by the Indian National Portage Association (INPA) and Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB), Chandigarh.

This training programme was conducted as a part of a project entitled ‘Impact of Empowerment of Disadvantaged Mothers through Rural Camps, Self-Help Groups, Functional Literacy of Nutritional Education and Portage Training on Enhancement and Development of Young Children with Developmental Delays’ and is funded by the Central Social Welfare Department.

In this programme, the CDPOs and supervisors were given functional portage training which helps in improving the intelligence level of mentally retarded, developmentally delayed children or those with low IQ. — TNS



Pre-Poll Car Rallies
HSA joins the bandwagon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Car rallies continue to rule the pre-election roost at Panjab University and whether student organisations manage to garner huge numbers or not, the noise factor ensures that they make their presence felt among their fellow students.

The Haryana Students Association (HSA) took out a car rally today with an aim to be the cynosure of the students’ eyes, what with the other organisations having had a head-start through the week.

However, what marked this rally was the number of ‘Mahindra Pick-ups’ used to ferry supporters to-and-fro. Interestingly, the cars seemed to have been brought in just for the rally, characterised as they were, without numbers plates on them.

However, the bonhomie in the air could not be missed as the dholak played on in one of the pick-ups and supporters shouted their enthusiasm out loud.

While this rally lacked the sheer numbers of the earlier ones held during the last two weeks, the supporters of HSA cannot be discounted.



PU Notes

RESULTS: Results of the following examinations held have been declared: M.E. instrumentation and control IInd spell and 2nd semester, April 2007, B.E. (chemical) (regular) 2nd semester, February 2007, B.E.(chemical) special exam, 1st semester, February 2007.

APPOINTED: Anil Mangla has been appointed secretary of PU campus unit of NSUI. The appointment was made by Nitin Goyal, president, NSUI, Chandigarh. Anil is a 3rd year student of the department of chemical engineering and technology.

TOPPED: Dippy Aggarwal has topped the masters of computer science and applications (MCA) examination held in April/May 2007 by securing 3218 out of 3900 marks. — TNS



City advocate on cyber law panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Ashwinie Bansal, Centre’s senior counsel in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, has been appointed a member of the panel in an international cyber law dispute by the World Intellectual Property Organistation (WIPO).

Bansal has already decided six similar international intellectual property disputes during the past six years. The dispute is between the two international companies namely Snofi-Aventis of Paris and Domain Specialists of Calgary, Canada.



Lording over odds - the ‘Aparajita’ way
National Theatre Fest ends with Hindi version of the classic Bengali text
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Rohini Hattangady enacts a role in ‘Aparajita’ at Tagore Theatre
Rohini Hattangady enacts a role in ‘Aparajita’ at Tagore Theatre on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Vinay Malik

Chandigarh, September 13
‘Aparajita’ is for stage what ‘Devdas’ is for the big screen - relevant beyond the limits of time and space. So when Mumbai-based theatre director Jayadev Hattangady promised something new with his version of Nitish Sen’s ‘Aparajita’, the audience at Tagore Theatre watched intently.

Needless to say, the hall, tonight, had its share of undisciplined visitors, who refused to switch off their cell phones. But for their obstinacy, the concluding show of the week-long National Theatre Festival, organised by Haryana Cultural Department, North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, and North Central Zone Cultural Centre, Allahbad, would have been even more enriching.

Living the character on stage was Rohini Hattangady, Indian theatre’s finest actress and Jayadev’s better half, who instilled Aparajita with fresh life. The play was about old, familiar, tales of gender disparity and brutalisation, played out for a seemingly-liberated audience, which is not so liberated after all. No amount of empowerment has, after all, altered the truth that women, as objects of exploitation, remain favourites, as ever.

In today’s case, Aparajita played the traumatised one, shaping up on stage as the symbol of exploitation. From maternal to matrimonial home, prejudice follows her right through, denting her faculties for self defence. In this sense of lost courage lies the resurrection of Aparajita, who is invincible, in name and spirit.

Jayadev’s sparse settings and symbolic props add strength to Shyama Jain’s Hindi translation of the original Bengali text by Nitish Sen. “Props of toys are meant to depict characters that Aparajita talks about while she waits for that one life-changing phone call on stage,” said Jayadev, the director, who has presented

‘Aparajita’ 50 times over. The phone call is meant to be from one theatre producer Aparajita hails as her saviour, until she realises things are not what they seem.

Yet, unfazed by desertion and darkness, she draws strength from what her maid Bhanumati once told her: “Never tolerate the brutalisation your man heaps on you. Listen to what your heart has to say. Be what you are…”

The story, finally, celebrates an oppressed Aparajita’s zeal for life and dignity. Married off in haste into a home that disrespects women, she first finds herself torn between what she is and what she ought to be. Expected all the time to please her promiscuous man, she leads fractured lives, only to be turned out of her house. It’s not until all doors behind her close that she finds the courage to open a new one. It’s beyond this last door that she finds light.

Walking over the debris of past life, Aparajita finally arrives at the destination she always desired for herself. Here, in this new place, she makes no compromises over existence, not even for the sake of theatre she so wanted to do. Here, she is the master and not the slave...



Industry never gave me my due: Rohini Hattangady
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Parallel Indian cinema would have never been the same without Rohini Hattangady’s versatile charms.

First appearing on the scene in the late 1970s, she set the space of performance on fire, taking both theatre and films to heights that seemed impossible to attain.

No wonder she soon became the only Asian to ever receive the British Academy of Film and Arts (BAFTA) best actress award for her potent portrayal of Kasturba in Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi”.

Back home, Govind Nihalani’s “Party” fetched her the national award.

“Arth” and “Agnipath” followed with their share of glory. Through later years, too, the rain of triumphs continued….

And yet, Rohini is sad about the quality of harvest she reaped.

“They (the film industry) never gave me my due. The memorable roles are few and far between. I can’t count many expect those in “Arth”, “Saransh” and “Agnipath”. It took the producers 10 years to offer me “Chalbaaz”. For most part of my career, they were scared to detour from the laid-out path,” Rohini said here today, reflecting on her journey through cinema.

As an actress of many faces, she naturally suffered.

She still does, and hopes new-age directors Madhur Bhandarkar and Ashutosh Gowariker would find characters she can live.

“I have worked with Madhur earlier. He assisted Ram Gopal Verma on “Raat”. Gowariker is also more than an acquaintance. Somehow, I have not got to work with them,” says Rohini, who leads a parallel life for theatre, her first love.

It was theatre that introduced her to Jayadev Hattangady, her partner of 33 years.

Together they graduated in 1974 from the National School of Drama, he with the best director award; she with the best actor award.

Surprisingly, the two never had a clash of interests bitter enough to mar their marriage.

“We never talk shop at home. We don’t even know what the other is doing. Finally, it’s about talent, humility and confidence, the three elements which have sustained our marriage,” says Jayadev, who has barely seen Rohini’s films except “Gandhi” in which he assisted Attenborough with the dubbing in Hindi.

Even as director, he has worked with Rohini only in five plays out of the 40 he has done so far.

His best has been “Aprajita”, which was staged in Chandigarh today.

“I like to put it this way, Rohini is popular; I am famous,” says the man whose contribution to theatre is as significant as that of Rohini’s to films.

Together, they run Kalashray, a centre for research, education in arts and talent encouragement in Mumbai, which works with the underprivileged and develops tools for powerful communication.

Under the aegis of Kalashray, Rohini regularly returns to do theatre, which, she says, keeps her rooted.

“The directness of theatre, its ability to polish skills and its vastness is what attracts me the most. It’s a fantastic medium, which brings you closer to life. Films, on the other hand, are larger than life and fanciful. Both mediums have their riches and I steal time to indulge in both,” says the actress, who shares the league with the likes of Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil.

Never mind some milestones that passed her by.



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