C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Old boy relives history he created 
at Lawrence School 
Was chosen first Indian head boy because 
he handled a pillow fight well

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
His eyes brim with memories of times well-spent; his heart nearly skips a beat.

All it takes to perk up Gurbans Jasinder Singh’s life at 78 is a mention of Lawrence Royal Military School, Sanawar, where he used to be a special boy - one whose name was to go down in history.

As the legend of a school celebrates it Founders’, its first Indian head boy chooses to stay away and pay a warm, personal tribute to his alma mater. “I wish I could explain in words the connection I have with the school,” says the grand old man, who took charge as the school’s head boy in 1949. The change of guard was sudden and surprising; never had there been a 
tradition of Indian head boys at Sanawar.

Jasinder was writing history by taking over as the school prefect from his English friend Chilmaid, who was moving to Australia, vacating a crucial position.

“I had never expected the honour. During the vacations of 1949, my father received a letter from T.C. Carter, the-then principal, asking him to send me back at the earliest so that I could take over as the school prefect. Carter even explained why he was choosing me. I had once, successfully, handled a “violent” pillow fight amongst boys at the hostel. Carter mentioned the episode in his letter and also how he had been impressed with my “moderating” skills. He thought I could do well as a manager of the schoolboys,” recalled Jasinder, in an interview with The Tribune today.

He was, in any case, a hard-to-ignore boy, as he would strut around the campus whole day, jumping, playing games and winning matches for the school. Captain of the school hockey and football teams, vice-captain of its cricket team and a top athlete, Jasinder, in those years, came first in the famous Hudson Run, the School’s cross country, and broke the half mile and mile record that had stood for 
several years.

Even now, the athlete in Jasinder lives on, as he enjoys his life as a progressive farmer. Based in Ludhiana, he spends most of his time nurturing his nursery of trees like poplars and eucalyptus.

For an ex-Sanawarian, agriculture sounds a strange career choice, but Jasinder says he was committed to farming from the word go.

“I always knew I wanted to do that. I came from a family where land was worshipped. It was my duty to enrich it with my skills. Never give in - our school motto - guided me through my days of struggle as a farmer. I am comfortable now,” says Jasinder, holding out a photograph that reveals another aspect of his association with Sanawar.

The picture shows one of Jasinder’s forefathers Gen Gulab Singh, the commanding general at Jamrodh Fort in the NWFP and Sir Henry Lawrence, the founder of Lawrence School, together. “They were pictured in the early 1850s. I still cherish the snap as much as I cherish the fact that “yaar”, a term I used to address friends, became part of the English boys’ vocabulary at Sanawar. They loved using it and I loved hearing it from them. Those were sunshine days,” says the man, who sent his son to the same school, living by the saying: “Want to make a man of a boy - send him to Sanawar.”



PU Notes
PU, govt sign pact on human development report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
A memorandum of understanding for the preparation of the district human development report on Hoshiarpur was signed between Panjab University and the planning department, Government of Punjab, on the campus today.

Planning department secretary Satish Chandra, on behalf of the government, and vice-chancellor Prof R.C. Sobti and population research centre director Prof Mohinderjit K. Teja, on behalf of the university, signed the memorandum.

Special secretary planning Tejveer Singh, ESO, Punjab, director Urmiljit Khosa, UNDP project specialist (research) Rishi Kochhar and staff from the ESO were also present.

The state human development report was released in November 2004 under project “Strengthening state plans for human development”, funded by the UNDP in association with the planning commission, Punjab.

As a follow-up, district human development reports for two districts will be done and extended to other districts of the state.

Extension lectures

In continuation of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the university, the department of Guru Nanak Sikh studies has initiated a series of extension lectures. Eminent scholar from Delhi University Prof Jagbir Singh delivered the inaugural lecture here today. Speaking on “Guru Granth Sahib symbol of Indian heritage”, he said the Granth was not only an important religious epic but also a humanistic and social document, which needed to be constantly analysed and reinterpreted.

Social activist Manu Bhalla was the guest of honour.

Prof R.C. Sobti later released Dr S.S. Bhatti’s book “Guru Nanak’s Bani: Revelation, Mysticism and Creativity”.

Youth festivals

The department of youth welfare has planned 12 zone-level youth festivals for 176 colleges affiliated with the university. For Chandigarh-A zone, the festival will be held at SGGS College, Sector 26, from October 16 to 19; and for Chandigarh-B zone at Dev Samaj College for Women from October 18 to 21.

For Ludhiana-A zone at SCD Government College, Ludhiana, from October 15 to 18; and for Ludhiana-B zone at Ramgarhia College for Girls, Ludhiana, from October 30 to November 3.

For Muktsar zone at Bhag Singh Khalsa College for Women, Kala Tiba (Abohar), from October 30 to November 2.

For Moga-Ferozepore-A zone at Govind National College, Narangwal, Ludhiana, from October 28 to October 31; and for Moga-Ferozepore-B zone at Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, from October 12 to 15.

For Hoshiarpur-A zone at BAM Khalsa College, Garhshankar, from October 23 to 27; and for Hoshiarpur-B zone at GGDSD College, Hariana, from October 30 to November 2.

For educational colleges A-zone at GTB Khalsa College of Education, Dasuya, from October 27 to 30; for educational colleges-B zone at SDS College of Education for Women, Lapon, from October 26 to 29; and for educational colleges-C zone at Dev Samaj College of Education for Women, Ferozepore city, from October 31 to November 4.

The inter-zonal youth festival will be held at DAV College, Abohar, where winning teams of the zonal festival will participate.

Poetry fest

Department of Punjabi, (school of Punjabi studies) will organise a “Poetry Festival of Both Punjabs” in association with the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature and Haryana Urdu Akademi at the law auditorium on October 6 at 7 pm.

This is part of the series of functions being held to celebrate the diamond jubilee year of the university. Haryana Governor Dr A.R. Kidwai will inaugurate the festival.

Fifteen Urdu and Punjabi poets from Pakistan like Kiswar Naheed, Abbas Tabish, Asghar Nadeem Syed, Akhtar Sheikh, Dr Syed, Akhtar Hussain Akhtar, Rakhshand Naveed and Saleem Kasher apart from prominent poets and writers from India like Santokh Singh Deer, Jagtar, Jaswinder and Manjit Indra will be present.

Besides, prominent Urdu poets like Shararyaar, Wasim Brelni, Muzaffar Hanfi and Ashraf Sahil will participate in a mushaira.

Moot court contest

The university institute of legal studies (UILS) finished third in the 12th Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition held at Jammu from September 28 to 30. It was organised by Surana and Surana International Attorneys, Chennai, the law school, University of Jammu and Stetson University in Florida.

The UILS team was represented by Ashish Bansal, Harpreet Sudan, Saurabh Garg and Sujanjyot Singh. The competition comprised 24 teams from top law colleges.



School board to get autonomy once again
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 4
The Punjab School Education Board will again be made autonomous and a three-member committee will be meeting the Punjab Chief Minister to get the relevant act amended.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Board of Directors here today. The chairman of the board Dr Dalbir Singh Dhillon will head the committee and the other members will be MLA Virsa Singh Valtoha and chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda. The committee would meet the CM to get the Punjab School Education Board Act (2005) amended.

It was also decided at the meeting that the rules about passing the examination in science subjects at the matriculation level would be amended. According to the new rules, a student securing 33 per cent marks in theory as well as in practicals would be declared as having passed. Earlier the pass percentage was fixed at 30. It was also decided that the contractual appointments of ETT and C&V (drawing) for the Adarsh Schools of the board would be for the entire session.

The salary of employees working on contractual basis and as seasonal staff would be released as early as possible. For this purpose, a committee would be formed to take up the matter with the government. It is pertinent to mention here that the audit department of the government had objected to the salary.

The board of directors had also delegated the powers to the chairman of the board to constitute establishment committee, regulation committee, finance committee and teacher welfare fund committee for the welfare of board employees.

It was also decided that the chairman of the board could take appropriate decisions regarding appeal in case an official of the board was punished.



3 likely to be sworn in as HC judges 
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh October 4
Three District and Sessions Judges are expected to be sworn in on Monday as judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court following their elevation.

The sources in the high court assert a formal communique regarding the appointment of Punjab’s Legal Remembrancer Mohinder Pal, Ludhiana’s District and Sessions Judge Harbans Lal and District and Sessions Judge-cum-Registrar (Vigilance) Sham Sunder was received today.

Even after their elevations, the shortage of judges in the high court would continue as the number would increase from existing 33 to 36, against the sanctioned strength of 40 and recommended the sanctioned strength of 52. The situation is expected to improve in the coming days with the clearance of four more names. Elaborating, the sources assert that advocates R.K. Jain, Rajesh Garg and K.S. Ahluwalia, along with Amritsar’s District and Sessions Judge K.C. Puri are likely to be elevated.

The development is significant as the shortage of judges was forcing the over-burdened judges to work till late in the afternoon, besides leading to an increase in the pendency of cases. As per a report released by the Press Information Bureau in 2001, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had the second highest number of dowry death cases in the country.

As many as 842 such cases were awaiting disposal when the report was released. The Rajasthan High Court, with 926 cases, topped the list. To solve the problem of the increasing vacancies of high court judges, the ministry of law, justice and company affairs had reportedly written a letter to the states of Punjab, Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh to initiate the process of appointing judges at least six months before the retirement of the sitting ones.

The high court had also recommended the constitution of a special cell for chalking out a programme to list old cases on a priority basis. A committee of three judges had also suggested that “two officers of the Punjab and Haryana Superior Judicial Service may be appointed for the purpose”.

The committee had further suggested that the cases pending before the subordinate courts, in which the high court had issued stay orders, “may be listed for hearing on a priority basis before all Benches on Fridays”. Two Benches could be left out of the process for deciding urgent bail matters after hearing the arguments, the committee had further suggested.

It had also requested the judges “not to give fresh dates for Fridays so that old cases could be taken up for hearing”. The authorities had also been directed to prepare “a consolidated list of cases in which proceedings had been stayed by the high court, but cases were still pending before the subordinate courts.”



SBI fined for wrong debiting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
The State Bank of India was directed to pay Rs 22,500 to a complainant for wrongly debiting the amount from his credit card.

The bank had earlier made a request to the consumer forum to file a reply and evidence on July 10. After this, the case was adjourned twice.

The president of the forum, L.R. Roojam, stated: “It is surprising that a bank like the State Bank of India which is extending SBI card facility to the public has not filed a written statement to the complaint to defend its case from the records.”

Trilok was sent a copy of the purchase slip of Rs 22,500 by the bank. He told them that his signature did not match with the one on the purchase slip. He also sent a photocopy of the credit card through fax to the authorities concerned but the matter was not resolved.

The forum said: “We are satisfied that the bank has wrongly debited the amount of Rs 25,500 to the complainant’s SBI card, even though he has not made any purchase. This is an established case of unfair trade practice.” 



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