CHANDIGARH: 15 August 2012: The Independence Day Celebrations got off to a colourful
start at Panjab University here today with the release of tricoloured balloons
simultaneously with the unfurling of the National Flag by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor
Following the inspection of the guards, he addressed the gathering in English, Hindi
and Punjabi. In his speech drew upon the glorious history of the nation and linked it
with that of the University. He drew the attention of the gathering to the fact that
right at this moment an alumnus of the University and a former faculty member, Dr.
Manmohan Singh, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India was also addressing the nation from the
ramparts of the Red Fort, Delhi. He said, “Panjab University has always made an immense
contribution to nation building”. Citing instances of other distinguished alumnus, the
Vice-Chancellor further said, “This Institution is larger than the some of its many
parts. It now has a stature uniquely its own. However, it constantly needs the
infusion of new blood, particularly the young students, to bring it to the core group of
the top 100 universities of the world”. He spoke of the involvement of entire
generations in building the stature of the University by making special reference to
Shri Ruchi Ram Sahni, who was awarded a Gold Medal in the first ever B.A. examination of
the University in 1884 and who went on to become a Professor of Chemistry; his son, Shri
Birbal Sahni, a Professor of Botany and his grandson, Shri Ashok Sahni, a Professor of
Geology. The Vice-Chancellor lauded Professor Ruchi Ram Sahni as the role model for his
contribution, not only to academia and his sponsorship of other academic stalwarts, such
as Professor Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar, but also his contribution to the nation as he was
just as actively involved in the freedom struggle.
Professor Grover exhorted the gathering to build upon past laurels as there was “a long
journey to traverse to enhance the confidence of the students and their parents and the
general public that we are seriously attending to our duties and responsibilities”.
The cultural programme that followed was an eclectic mix of patriotic dance and music
recitals by the University’s Department of Music, Ankur School, Sant Waryam Singh
Memorial School, Ratwara Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh Vidya Mandir, Ratwara Sahib and Bharat
Scouts and Guides. Ranging from songs that spoke of the need to maintain peace and
harmony to musical choirs that were a clarion call to give one’s all to one’s country,
the cultural programme kept the audience glued to their seats. The showstopper was a
dance drama on the theme ‘Save the Girl Child’. It started with a poignant plea by the
unborn child to her mother to allow her to live and culminated with the girl child
striding across the field depicting her success in different professions.
As per convention, the Independence Day celebrations were an occasion to honour the
meritorious service rendered by the following:-
Shri Manjit Singh, Security Guard; Shri Varinder Kumar, Security Guard;
Sh. Avtar Singh, Technical Associate, CIL/SAIF and Shri Bishan Singh, Sr. Assistant,
Accounts Branch (E&P Section).
They were given a monetary award, memento and a commendation certificate.
The function was attended by both the teaching and non-teaching staff of the University
along with parents of the participating studnets.