C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


 
EDUCATION


Varsity, colleges fail to fulfil mandate on teaching days
Private tuitions rule the roost

Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
Cocking a snook at the mandatory guidelines of the UGC, the Panjab University and its affiliated colleges have failed to meet the requirement of 180 days of mandatory teaching, if the number of non-working days is anything to go by. Also, the academic standard is going down day-by-day, as the lecturers are busy taking private tuitions.

The academic calendar for the PU affiliated colleges having annual/semester system of examinations for session 2007-08, mentions 183 teaching days but it includes examination days as well. However, the UGC stipulates that the number of actual teaching days in an academic year in the university, constituent or affiliated colleges of the university should not go below 180, excluding preparation days and examinations.

“In practice, due to vacations, functions and other engagements, the guideline may fall short of its fulfilment but there is a need of utilising the days that we have to the maximum if we really want our academic standards to perk up. Since the courses have now become interdisciplinary, sometimes certain seminars, workshops and lectures, which consume days, are more effective and go a long way in the overall development of the students,” said Ravinder Nath, PU senator.

On one hand, the university and colleges are not able to meet the mandate, on the other, teaching is in full swing at the homes of the lecturers.

Unlike the past few years where only the teachers of technical subjects used to take tuitions, nowadays even the lecturers of languages, fine arts and music are into it.

“Ever since the government has taken a serious view of the problem, the number of defaulters has gone down. Nevertheless, the offenders are still there and they should be penalised,” says a lecturer on condition of anonymity.

“In many cases, the students are compelled to take tuitions either by the teacher of the particular subject on the pretext of internal assessment or they are driven by the circumstances in the light of non-working days of colleges,” says a final year student who took tuitions during her first year.

When contacted, director, higher education, Raji P. Shrivastava said, “Definitely, it’s an unhealthy practice but no such case has ever come to my notice. There are occasions when the lecturers go to the university after college hours for special lectures but there is a clear distinction between special lectures and private tuitions.”

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From Colleges
Appointment of fee regulation committee hailed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The DAV College Teachers’ Union today welcomed the appointment of the Fee Regulation Committee by the vice-chancellor of Panjab University, Prof R.C. Sobti, which will bring uniformity and remove anomalies in the existing fee structure of private colleges. Thousands of students will benefit from the proposed rationalisation of fees/funds.

The matter was highlighted by the DAV College Teachers’ Union, which has been protesting against the excessive fees/funds being charged from the students in the college. The union had also urged the vice-chancellor to probe into the deployment of funds. College funds are not maintained under the aegis of the governing body of the college. Strangely, the governing body of the college neither has any funds nor any account in contravention of PU rules and regulations.

Under the circumstances, R.K. Anand, secretary of the union, referring to Gyan Jyoti Award given to the principal of the college yesterday, said, “The principal has no moral ground to accept any awards on behalf of the employees, teachers and students whose hard work has brought about the excellent results. The principal and the management are fleecing the students by charging exorbitant fees on one hand, and exploiting the employees on the other, by denying them even their statutory dues regarding contributory provident fund and leave encashment as per the PU rules and regulations.”

CONDOLED: In a statement here today, the president of the PCCTU, Prof S.S. Hundal condoled the sudden death of Bharpur Singh, secretary of the Sikh Education Society (SES). As a fellow of the Panjab University Senate, he always highlighted the teachers’ demands and stood for the healthy academic environment in the educational institutions. “His contribution to society will be remembered with reverence,” said Prof Hundal.

CONCLUDES: On the penultimate day of the 10-day NSS camp held at Government College of Education, Sector 20, the volunteers planted 30 trees of medicinal value including Neem, Amla, Behera, Arujun, Amaltas, etc. Volunteers took an oath of caring for these plants during the period of their stay in the college. In the afternoon session, volunteers visited Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity Home where they interacted with the inmates especially mentally retarded children. Volunteers distributed fruits and eatables there. The programme officers also conducted a relaxation and meditation session.

LECTURE: The 10-day long NSS camp came to an end at MCM DAV College with a “Cancer Awareness Programme” held in collaboration with Sahayta Cancer Sahyog Charitable Society, Chandigarh. The volunteers of Sahayta, Kulwant Kaur and Daman Mangat, a cancer survivor, delivered lectures on breast, cervix and ovary cancer, their symptoms, detection and treatment. They also held an interactive session with the NSS volunteers and dispelled their doubts and myths surrounding this disease. The volunteers pledged to spread the message of “early detection is the best prevention” among their peers and family members. The volunteers wore pink ribbons to signify that with early detection and prompt treatment, every woman has a chance of returning to the pink of health. Later, the volunteers also carried out a campus cleanliness drive.

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From Schools
DAV wins inter-school debate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
DAV Public School-8 walked away with the best team trophy and GMSSS-16 was the close second during the 10th Mahbub-Ul-Haq Memorial Inter-School South Asia Debate (regional round) held at Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, here, today. Tanvi Tayal of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Panchkula, was declared ‘best speaker for the motion’ while the ‘best speaker against the motion’ was bagged by Punya Mahajan from GMSSS-16. In order to honour, Dr Mahbub-Ul-Haq, the pioneer of human development programmes, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, UNDP and UNICEF organises this national inter-school debate annually.

PANCHKULA

Youth Fest: A two-day All India Mahatma Hansraj Aryan Zonal Youth Festival 2007 organised at Hansraj Public School, concluded here today. Schools from various districts of Haryana - Panipat, Ambala , Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Panchkula and Chandigarh, participated in various competitions. More than 600 students competed in various events - Ved Mantra recitation, light vocal (solo), devotional song (group), patriotic songs (group), qawali, classical vocal, dance, folk dance, skit, debate and declamation, quiz, card making and on-the-spot paintings and rangoli. The prize winners were awarded trophies and certificates. The first and second position holders will now participate in the All India Mahatma Hansraj Aryan Inter Zonal Youth Festival to be held from October 25 at DAV Public School, Kota.

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Peace camp concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The five-day long Indo-Pak Students’ Peace Camp organised by Yuvsatta, Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, KB DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 7, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, New Delhi, concluded today.

The valedictory address was delivered by Dr R.C. Sobti, vice-chancellor, Panjab University, who said projects like these were important because it was a movement aimed at mental integration. “We are here to synthesise our thoughts, coming from different parts of India and Pakistan,” he said.

Going back to the partition, he said the two countries had been created by the British for their economic and political benefit and we should not allow it to affect our relations today. He stressed on the fact that there were no cultural gaps between the Indians and Pakistanis and this was what both sides needed to focus on.

Dr Sobti also honoured principals of local schools and colleges whose students participated in this camp.

However, the poignant moment came during the opening session this morning when a young student, Kritika Gupta of KB DAV-7, when asked to comment on what her idea of peace is, said, “My understanding of peace before this camp was only a state of no war. But this camp has taught me and others, that the meaning of peace is far wider. Things like hatred, social injustice, and inequitable distribution of resources, arms race and segregation, all create conflict and stall peace. Peace should be made a common way of life and war should only exist in history books.”

The camp concluded with an invitation to all participants by Mubashir Mirza, chairman, Centre for Youth Development and Activities, Pakistan, to visit their country for the next Indo-Pak Peace Camp to be held from April 21 to 26, next year.

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Seminar on architectural trends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
To mark the birthday of Le Corbusier today and the formal inauguration of Chandigarh 54 years ago on October 7, 1953, the Chandigarh College of Architecture, as part of the Chandigarh Heritage Festival, is organising a seminar on ‘Chandigarh and the Changing Scenario of Contemporary Indian Architecture’ tomorrow at 5 pm at the college.

The speakers for the seminar comprise of stalwarts in the field of architecture and include eminent architects Hafeez Contractor and S.D. Sharma, Prof Arthur Ruegg from the Federal Institute at Zurich, Switzerland, and Suneet Paul, editor ‘Architecture + Design’.

The objective of the seminar is to introspect, deliberate and recommend future strategies for the growth of the city in the changing scenario of local and regional socio-economic changes at the micro and macro level.

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PU Notes

Chandigarh
Admissions: Last date to submit the admission forms in the department of punjabi (Arts Block-I), 1st floor, for MPhil (Punjabi) and MPhil (SGGSS) is October 10 by 5 pm for the candidates who have passed their MPhil entrance test with the following attested documents: Proof of date of birth, 10+2 DMC, BA Part I, II and III DMCs, MA I and II DMCs, entrance test result, character certificate from last institute attended, gap year affidavit (if any) and two self-attested photographs. Interviews for MPhil (Punjabi) and (SGGSS) have been fixed for October 15 at 10 am in the department. — TNS

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COURTS
 

Judge’s Murder
Statements of four recorded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
Statements of four witnesses in the Patiala judge murder case were recorded in the court of additional sessions judge Raj Rahul Garg here today.

Among the witnesses were two bank employees who presented the bank statement of one of the accused, Dr Ravdeep Kaur.

Also, the statement of Harbans Singh, who had retrieved the murder weapon, a sword, from a canal, was recorded. The accused had allegedly thrown the sword in the canal after committing 
the crime.

Sarvinder Grewal, another witness, identified Manjit Singh, another accused, as the person present at the crime scene.

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Cop denied bail in rape case

Chandigarh, October 6
Anil Kumar, munshi at the Mani Majra police station, was denied anticipatory bail in a rape case by a local court here today. Additional sessions judge Raj Shekhar Attri denied the plea after the DNA test of the accused came out positive.

The prosecution alleged that when the victim went to the police station in connection with her complaint, the accused took her to a room and allegedly raped her.

Defence counsel argued that the woman had lodged similar complaints against other persons and had been blackmailing them. TNS

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CULTURE
 

Bonhomie marks Indo-Pak poetry fest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
Indo-Pak bonhomie was reflected in a poetry festival organised at the Panjab University (PU) here this evening.

Organised under the aegis of the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature (FOSWAL) in collaboration with the Haryana Urdu Akademi and Panjab University, poetic genius flowed effortlessly at the bilingual festival as a discerning audience applauded.

Prominent among the Pakistani poets who recited their verses included Kishwar Naheed, Rakshanda Naveed, Arif Khaliq, Akhtar Imam Rizvi, Saeen Akhtar Hussain, Saleen Qaiser and Syed Akhtar Hussain Akhtar.

Eminent Indian urdu poets, including Azhar Mahmud Chaudhary, Akhtar Hussain, Abbas Tabis, Shakeel Zajib, Akhtar Sheikh, Manoj and Shehryar of "Umrao Jaan" fame besides Punjabi poets Santokh Singh Dhir, Jagtar, Jaswinder and Manjit Indra also drew applause.

Earlier, Haryana Governor inaugurated the festival while PU vice-chancellor Dr R.C. Sobti welcomed the guests. Deepak Manmohan Singh and K.L. Zakir also spoke on the occasion. Syed Akhtar Hussain Akhtar was awarded the lifetime achievement award of Rs 51,000 by the foundation.

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