C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Promotion in sight for UT school lecturers
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Lecturers of the city’s government schools, who were waiting to get their due promotions for a long time, are in for a bonanza this March. For, the Chandigarh administration has decided to promote the lecturers to the grade of principal/head of the institutions. It has already finalised the long-pending seniority list of lecturers. It is for the first time that promotions (62) are taking place on such a massive scale.

DPI (S) S.K. Setia said, “Around 70 promotions will be made by March. More posts are being created at different institutes and the things will be finalised in the next department promotion committee meeting.”

Sources in the education department said 31 lecturers would be appointed as principals and an equal number would be upgraded as vice-principals.

The administration is also working on the modalities to create new posts at the State Institute of Education, Sector 32, and at recently started vocational institutes at government schools in Sectors 19 and 44.

The education department has also chalked out a comprehensive programme to train these lecturers before they join their new assignments. These lecturers would undergo training at the Regional Institute of Teachers Training, Sector 32, and CBSE’s Teachers’ Training Centre, Ajmer.

Hailing the decision, J.S. Basota, head, Chandigarh School Principals’ Association, said, “There were lecturers waiting for as long as 16 years to get their promotions. They could not get better gift of New Year than this.”


In a significant decision, the administration is appointing around 537 regular teachers at government schools by February. These appointments will be made in two phases. The home science, music, DPE and fine arts teachers will be appointed in the first phase. The posts in the other streams will be filled up in the second phase. 



Staff Crunch
PU dental institute’s recognition in jeopardy
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
State-of-the-art Dr H.S. Judge Institute of Dental Sciences at Panjab University (PU) is plagued with teething troubles. In fact, mushrooming of private dental colleges in Chandigarh's periphery seems to have taken a toll on the institute with acute shortage of faculty at the senior level putting a question mark on the recognition of the institute from the Dental Council of India (DCI).

With pay scales in the public sector remaining stagnant over the years, senior teachers prefer to be on the rolls of the private dental colleges than teach at the institute. In fact, statistics speak for themselves. The institute has one professor against the sanctioned strength of four. The case of readers is no different as only seven readers are working against the sanctioned strength of 13, sources told The Tribune.

Though the authorities pay the scales of the Punjab government (slightly higher than the PU pay scales) to the teachers, yet attractive pay packages in the private sector ensured scarcity of readers and professors at the institute. For instance, professors and readers get a gross salary of about Rs 55,000 and Rs 40,000, respectively, which is peanuts as compared to the private sector which pays hefty salaries besides incentives to the senior faculty. Although the posts have been advertised at least six times, there have been no takers. With three new posts of professor and 10 of reader due in the next year, the response is likely to be no better.

Sources said the teaching could be seriously affected with the admission of a batch of 100 BDS students in the new academic session. Not only studies, the very recognition of the institution following the DCI inspection this year could be in jeopardy if the requisite faculty was not employed. Last year also, the union health ministry had bailed the institute out of crisis but it might not be lucky this time, the sources added.

A senior PU functionary claimed certain incentives, including out-of-turn housing on the campus, could go a long way mitigating the shortage of faculty. In fact, PU had constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the PGI director, Dr K.K. Talwar, to suggest measures to attract the senior faculty to the institute.

The Prof R.C. Sobti, when contacted, expressed helplessness in paying the senior faculty on a par with the private sector as the "government framework" did not permit this. However, the university would examine the recommendations of the Talwar committee giving extra incentives to the senior faculty, Professor Sobti added.



PU Notes
Students celebrate Lohri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Students of the departments of music, fashion designing and honours in education gathered to celebrate Lohri on the premises of the university’s old correspondence building here today. Professor Naval Kishore, dean, students’ welfare, lighted the bonfire and extended his best wishes to the students. Malwinder Ahuja, Sween, Dr Paramjit Singh Kang and Professor Saroj Gosh were present. Music students presented traditional Lohri songs.


The Centre for Swami Vivekananda Studies will organise a debate to mark the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda at the UBS auditorium tomorrow. More than 15 teams of students from different university departments and city colleges will participate. Swami Brahmeshananda, secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, will be the chief guest while Professor A.C. Julka from the department of economics will chair the session.


The Punjab Writers and Cultural Forum, Patiala, has honoured Prof Manohar Lal Sharma of the department of Gandhian studies and vice-president, Indian Society of Gandhian Studies, at a function. The forum also organised a seminar on relevance of Gandhian philosophy wherein Prof Sharma was the keynote speaker.



From Schools & Colleges
Fervor marks Lohri celebrations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
The principal, staff and NSS volunteers of IS Dev Samaj Senior Secondary School-21C here, celebrated Lohri with a difference - the group visited occupants of Old Age Home at Sector 15, Bal Niketan, Sector 15, and Mother Teresa Home, Sector 23, and distributed woollen socks, warmers, notebooks, sweets, milk and fruits etc. A small cultural programme was also organised on the occasion.

Vatika High School- 19: Students organised a bhangra show to mark Lohri. Principal Ramesh Kumar revealed the significance of the festival to students, which conveys a message of unity, integrity and brotherhood. President Sabina RI Singh conveyed her blessings to students.

KV High Grounds: Students began Lohri celebrations at the prayer ground with great enthusiasm. Principal S.K. Bhatia conveyed her good wishes to the staff and students. Later, popular folk songs resounded in the premises and tiny tots put up a Punjabi dance show.

Shishu Niketan Public School: Lohri was celebrated with traditional gaiety and fervour at the school. Tiny tots came to the school dressed up in traditional Punjabi dresses. Rural Punjabi couplets were sung around the traditional bonfire. Giddha was the next item to follow. Thereafter sweets were distributed among students.

Saupin's School: An activity session was conducted on the occasion and significance of Lohri was explained to students. A dance and song session followed and a bonfire was lit. Parents and guests enthusiastically participated in all activities.

Govt Central Craft Institute for Women: Students celebrated the festival with great fervour. Principal Rajan Dogra exhorted students and staff to fight against social evils like female foeticide and work towards uplifting the girl child through mass awareness and education programmes. This was followed by a cultural programme.



From Schools
Lohri atmosphere permeates Mohali
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 11
The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) organised a function to celebrate Lohri here toady. Dr Dalbir Singh Dhillon was the chief guest. Officers and employees of the board participated in the festival with enthusiasm. Ashmah International: Lohri celebrations were marked by exciting activities. Tiny tots dressed up in typical Punjabi dresses made the Lohri event look all the more colourful. A huge bonfire in the school playground set the tone for Lohri.

DAV Public Senior Secondary: Students danced to the tunes of Punjabi numbers to give Lohri, a true Punjabi colour.

Sri Hemkunt Public: Tiny tots of Nursery and KG classes presented poems and songs to celebrate Lohri.

Saint Soldier’s: A bonfire was lit to create an aura of festivity in the school. Students and teachers chorused the famous folklore 'Sundar Mundariye'.

Golden Bells Public: Teachers enlightened the students on the importance of Lohri. Poems and songs were recited.

Investiture: Yadavindra Public School, Mohali, today held the annual flag handing over and investiture ceremony for new school and house appointments. The newly appointed captains and prefects were handed over their badges and administered the oath of office by principal Dr Harish Dhillon. The appointments for the year 2008 include: senior school — head boy: Prabh Sahil Singh Chhina; head girl: Akshi Chawla; deputy head boy: Shubh Amrit Veer Singh; deputy head girl: Charanjyot Kaur Sidhu; sports captain: Mohammed Wasim (boys); Vasundhara (girls); junior school —- head boy: Ikrabdeep Singh Ghai; head girl: Avantika Garya.



Now, linguistic journalism on PU’s mind

Chandigarh, January 11
Panjab University has proposed to establish a separate department for linguistic journalism. Prof R.C. Sobti, vice chancellor, said he had constituted a committee to look into all aspects of the course right from formulating syllabus.

The committee will be headed by Jayanth Petkar from the department of mass communication. Other members include Dr Gurmeet Singh, Mohanmeet Khosla, D.S. Gupt, Amarjeet Singh, Dr Jagir Singh. The committee is expected to give its recommendations soon. — TNS



24-hr examination helpline launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
The Chandigarh education department has started a 24-hour examination helpline for the benefit of students, parents and teachers.

DPI (S) S.K. Setia said, “The students remain under stress during their examinations and due to this, they can't perform well. The helpline would help the students by providing guidance and counselling on preparation for examinations, concentration, sleep, appetite, relaxation, diet and counselling.” The department has included renowned counsellors and subject experts in the panel. The phone numbers of the counsellors and experts would be advertised by the education department in various newspapers.



Notice of motion issued to admin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Taking up a petition filed by city-based advocate H.C. Arora seeking directions to the UT registrar of societies to ask Consumer Forum to change its name, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion for March 13 to the Chandigarh administration.

The petitioner claimed that the name was misleading as it resembled the commonly used name for district-level Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum set up in the Union Territory. He added that it was in violation of the provisions contained in Section 4 of The Emblem & Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950, as read with item number 7 of the schedule attached with the Act.

Elaborating, the petitioner contended that the non government organisation, operating from Sector 11 Kendriya Sadan, was using a name which was misleading the public as two Consumer Forums, set up under the Consumer Protection Act, 1985, were operating from Sector 19.



Consumer Courts
ICICI Lombard told to pay claim, fine
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-II has directed ICICI Lombard General Insurance manager and branch manager to pay compensation of Rs 60,076 as insurance claim to Hind Motors.

On receipt of the amount, Hind Motors, where the car of the petitioner was repaired, shall release the vehicle in question to the petitioner, it added. The insurance firm was further asked to pay Rs 25,000 as compensation for physical and mental agony along with Rs 2,500 as cost of litigation.

The petitioner, Balwinder Singh, a resident of Panchkula, stated that he had insured his new car in 2006 with ICICI Lombard.

His car met with an accident on January 31, 2007. An FIR was lodged in this regard. The petitioner informed the insurance company, which sent the surveyor to access the loss. An estimate of Rs 95,000 was made by Hind Motors for car repair. He stated that the car was still lying with Hind Motors as the insurance firm was not settling the claim.

Balwinder alleged that he had suffered inconvenience due to absence of the car. He averred that his son was a heart patient and faced problems while commuting to the hospital for treatment. The insurance firm argued that the investigator in his report stated that the FIR was not lodged, so the claim was repudiated to the petitioner.



Panchkula audience get a dose of laughter
S.D. Sharma

Panchkula, January 11
Four stand-up comedians and finalists of the Star Laughter Challenge III and MH-I channel winners administered a heavy dose of laughter to the crowd at the Inderdhanush auditorium here today.

The event, presented by Airtel in association with The Wave, Rotary Club, Panchkula, and others, featured Sudesh Lehiri, Chandan Parbhakar, Rajeev Thakur and Sanjeev Attre.

The artists attempted to cast a humour spell through chaste Punjabi much to the displeasure of a section of the audience.

After a delayed start, Chandan Parbhakar from Amritsar opened up the laughter innings with his master pieces which won him the coveted honour in Laughter Challenge III. A mechanical engineer by profession, Parbhakar has now opted for comedy as his profession.

Sanjeev Attre, a student and finalist of MH-I channel comedy competition, was more articulate in delineating the impact of western culture, comedy encounter of film stars with Punjab police and conversations of a radio jockey with people from different genres.

Rajeev Thakur, sensing the pulse of the audience, spelt the humour in Hindustani as presented during his final show of Star Laughter Challenge. His acting skills helped him to embellish his items. Sudesh Lehiri, the senior most stand up comedian and an accomplished singer, imitated ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh, Mika, Harbhajan Mann before doling out his master hits.

The show was anchored by Rashmi.

City magistrate Yogesh Kumar was the chief guest while Chandigarh DPR Vivek Atrey and Manoj Godara were the guests of honour.



Kathak dancer dazzles audience
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, January 11
Known for revitalising the Indian classical kathak dance form through her research-oriented innovations, Bhopal-based danseuse V. Anuradha Singh delighted the audience at Pracheen Kala Kendra’s Baithak programme here.

Equally admired for solo performances in India and abroad, the exponent of the Jaipur gharana commenced her recital with Shiva vandana in raga jog portraying different incarnations of Lord Shiva which was followed by ‘chalan’ of her gharana.

She then moved on to present pure kathak constituents like aamad, upaj, thaat, parans, layakaris, impressive uthaans and other samples of virtuoso footwork.

Auradha was at her best as she brought alive the Sufiana ingredient of Amir Khusro's classic composition 'Phool rahi saron' and 'Aaj rang hai ri.’



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