School sets eye on heritage status
Umesh Dewan
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, November 8
After the Kalka-Shimla Railway was bestowed the prestigious World Heritage Site status by the UNESCO, the Indian Railways is now planning to attain the same for the Oak Grove School, situated at Jharipani, a few kilometres from Musoorie.

“The executive director, heritage, of the Railways had visited the school a few days back. Now officials are in the process of collecting the requisite documents and other material to be submitted to UNESCO, proposing the Oak Grove School as a World Heritage Site,” said the school principal Anural Tripathi.

He said the documents would prove that no changes were made in the structure of the building ever since it came up in 1988. “Even the interior decoration of the school has not been disturbed. From time to time, expansion has been done but without upsetting the natural environs of the school, which is spread over area of 250 acres,” said Tripathi.

The East Indian Railways set up the school in 1888, after they acquired the Oak Grove Estate. The Oak Grove School was the product of coming together of three of the greatest gifts of 19th century - the Railways, Public School culture and the popularity of hill stations - all blending harmoniously in this institution.

The importance of the school can be gauged by the fact that the chief architect of the East Indian Railway was engaged in designing the first building for the boys’ school, which opened on June 1, 1888. During subsequent years the girls’ section and the junior school came up.

The school presents a picturesque study in Gothic architecture, the dominant rock form being sedimentary especially shale and limestone. “The most significant feature of the school building is that it is earthquake resistant and constructed in such a manner that it won’t require any major repairs for the next 500 years,” said a staff member from the senior boys’ section.

The Oak Grove School, affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi, is being run as a welfare institution for the families of Railways officials. The school also boasts of one of the most active alumni associations at place like London, Auckland, Melbourne, USA, besides in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune 
and Kolkata.

The school lays special emphasis on co-curricular activities. Debating, declamation, dramatics, quiz, music, art, painting, dancing, craftwork, needlework etc are wholeheartedly promoted amongst the students. Training in NCC, scouts and guides is also imparted. There are facilities for a wide range of indoor and outdoor games like hockey, football, cricket, basketball, tennis, table tennis, badminton, squash etc. A well-equipped health club and a swimming pool have also been built on the premises. 

Salient features of Oak Grove School

  • The school has a built up area of around 100 acres, which houses the three blocks, their respective dormitories, kitchen facilities, staff quarters for around 200 employees, hospital, auditorium, swimming pool, etc. A large part of the estate is under the cover of mighty Oak trees and other vegetation, which beautifully blends the school with its natural surroundings.
  • Around 35 well-qualified staff members are available at the campus to look after the needs of 550 students. The teacher student ratio is a healthy 1:15.
  • There are three separate science laboratories equipped with the latest apparatus to help students get a feel of scientific postulates. Computer teaching was introduced a long time back and at present the lab is provided with the latest systems.
  • The campus also houses a hospital under the charge of a qualified medical officer and a team of paramedical staff. 



Lawyers seek a sound roof
Of the three sheds, the condition of two is precarious.The oldest shed with a tin roof dating back to the British era should have been replaced by a multi-storey building
Raju William
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, November 7
Dilapidated sheds at the District Courts complex here continue to pose a threat to lawyers and litigants, but the government has yet to provide funds for construction of new sheds , despite several representations by the District Bar Association (DBA).

Of the three sheds, the condition of two is precarious.The oldest shed with a tin roof dating back to the British era should have been replaced by a multi-storey building.

Chief Justice of Uttarakhand VK Gupta laid its foundation stone this April but construction work could not take off in the absence of funds which were to be provided by the government. Its revised cost is estimated at Rs 30 lakh.

“We have submitted the construction plan to the Chief Minister but there is no response so far,’” said DBA secretary Prithviraj Chauhan.

Interestingly, a tree that fell on the shed’s roof a couple of months back has yet to be removed. “We work under constant threat of roof collapse,” said Yeshpal Singh Rawat, one of the lawyers.

The government has not initiated action on the Rs 1 crore announcement made at a function in the courts complex by previous Chief Minister ND Tiwari. Formalities for the release of the grant were nearing completion when these were inexplicably stopped after the change of government, said Chauhan.

He said Khanduri had failed to honour his commitment to a lawyers’ delegation that he would visit the Districts complex in September for first-hand knowledge about its condition.



Saurav hopes to have a ball in China
Vishal Thakur

Dehradun, November 8
For Saurav Rawat, life revolves around football. He is one of the bright footballers of Uttarakhand and is all set to represent the u-18 national team in the Asia Cup scheduled to be held in China.

His love for the game began when he was 12 years old. His brother Gaurav Rawat, who has played in the national team, is his inspiration.

Saurav got his first big chance in 2002 when he played for Uttaranchal Sports College in the Subroto Cup. The team did not have a good time as it crashed out in the league stage.

But 2003 gave some sweet memories to Saurav as his team did well to reach the semifinals of the Subroto Cup and his outstanding performance earned him the Best Player of the Tournament award.

He still cherishes his eight goals against some tough teams. “I scored three goals each against Chhattisgarh and Mizoram. Against Delhi, I scored two. Our match against Mizoram was crucial as we needed to beat them to get to the semis.”

Saurav will be attending his second national camp which will begin on November 10 at Agar. The u-18 team for the Asia Cup will leave for China on November 14.

Saurav likes to play an attacking game as is played by the Brazilians who are his favourites. “Brazil has a good attack and is capable of winning even if they are 10 down.”

Saurav hails from Pauri Garhwal and his father is an advocate. His ideal is Christiano Ronaldo. 



Hydrology institute providing yeoman service
Vikas Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Roorkee, November 8
National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), a premier institute in the area of hydrology and water resources in India, has over the years grown as a centre of excellence and continues to pursue research activities in hydrology with an emphasis on technology transfer and strategic research.

The Institute was established in 1978 as a research organisation at Roorkee. Since its inception, the Institute has carried out research studies covering almost all areas of hydrology, and has established contacts with national and international organisations of repute.

The Institute is now well-equipped to carry out field oriented studies with a team of 80 well-qualified and trained scientists with excellent academic background.

NIH has significantly contributed to initiation of the second phase of World Bank funded hydrology project. Keeping in view the contribution and performance of the institute in the first phase, the ministry of water resources has given a pro-active role to the institute in the second phase of hydrology project by entrusting the development and customisation of decision support system for water resources planning and management.

Notably, the studies and research carried out by the institute have received national and international recognition, resulting in publication of five books and 112 research papers in national and international journals.

Hydrology has grown as an interdisciplinary science after the launch of International Hydrological decade (1965-74) of UNESCO.

Realising the importance of systematic, basic and applied research in the areas of hydrology to solve complex field problems, the institute has been interacting closely with foreign organisations and agencies through international cooperation.

These projects involve scientific collaboration with Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Russia and USA.

The Institute has actively participated in technology transfer activities. With these activities, over the years the Institute has positioned itself as the premier organisation and centre of excellence for research and development in the area of hydrology in the country.



Taste the adventure

Being a sportsperson, I am very happy to know that new avenues are opening for adventure sports in the state. Uttarakhand has immense scope for sports like paragliding, parasailing, bungee jumping, mountain biking etc. However, till now, people here were familiar with rive rafting only.

But with the involvement of private parties and their interest in introducing adventure sports in the state, things are looking up. The state government should also motivate enterpreneurs and help in promoting more adventure sports in the state. Various events and competitions should also be introduced at the local and state level, which will attract budding sportspersons who want to make a mark in the field of adventure sports.

Sushil Kumar, Dehradun

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