C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


IT should not be limited to seminars alone: Rodrigues
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
Less than 24 hours after the Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh promised to pump in Rs 200 crore for developing Mohali as an IT destination, the state Governor-cum-UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues, today said Chandigarh already had enough to offer to the Information Technology (IT) giants. Other speakers insisted that the government should encourage local entrepreneurs and adopt steps for taking IT to the man on the street.

Addressing the gathering on the concluding day of the two-day mega conclave on IT, the Governor said, “We promise no money, no special incentives, but offer all that we have, including better infrastructure and a responsive administration without bureaucratic hurdles”.

In a straight-from-the-heart speech, General Rodrigues said the objective of the IT should not be limited to seminars. The benefits should percolate down to the masses. Asking people not to be mesmerised by the level of achievement attained by the US and China, he said the need of the hour was to leverage “our existing capabilities and knowledge to make the difference in the lives of the people”.

The Governor said, “There is nothing we as a nation cannot do. We simply lack confidence. And we have to come to terms with our capabilities.... We have the best human resource available and a wealth of knowledge; the need is to exploit our talent fully”.

He added that there was no reason why “we could not compete with the rest of the world in the field of IT, or in other sectors of development by introspecting and putting our act together”.

Asserting that there was an imperative need to find Indian solutions to Indian problems, General Rodrigues said our problems, besides hurdles in the development of the IT sector, could not have Americal solutions. Before venturing into new areas, we must focus on upgrading the existing organisations and educational institutions.

He made a forceful plea for combining optimally the existing infrastructure with innovative entrepreneurial and management skills, supported with efficient marketing to remove the barriers and bottlenecks in the existing system.

Adviser to UT Administrator Lalit Sharma said, ‘’Chandigarh’s experience of IT growth will have its own flavour. We are not emulating the experience of any other IT destinations — neither Bangalore nor Hyderabad”.

He added that they were successfully taking IT services to the masses through Jan Sampark and e-sampark kendras. He said, “The coming of big IT companies to the city only shows that they have voted for Chandigarh as an IT destination.”

Listing out the facilities available for the development of the IT, he said, “The city has the best electricity distribution system and further rationalisation of power tariff and energy reforms is under way. To cater to the ever-growing transportation needs of the residents, the Administration is implementing a mass rapid transport system in about 18 months.”

Mr Sabeer Bhatia of the Hotmail fame said the government, instead of offering incentives to bigger companies, should encourage a number of small local entrepreneurs to come here.



Punjab, UT Haryana to tie up for IT ventures
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
In an important development, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh have decided to set up a coordination committee to woo investment in the information technology sector and iron out irritants in the official work related to the sector.

The development is important in the context that the Haryana Government is coming up with a special economic zone(SEZ) for an IT Park in the adjoining Haryana town of Panchkula. Punjab is already housing the Software Information Technology Park in adjoining Mohali. Under the existing circumstances, it was unwise to think of development in any adjoining area in isolation by all the three governments.

The seniormost Principal Secretary (Information Technology) of one of the three governments will be the chairman of the coordination committee. The members of the body will include the secretaries of IT from respective governments and the Directors of IT.

Mr S.K. Sandhu, Finance Secretary of the UT, confirmed the coming together of the three governments on regional development in the IT sector. He said it was unwise to think of overall development in any field under a changed economic scenario. It has been unanimously decided to carry out joint promotional programmes for the entire region.

Mr Sandhu said there were certain official matters handled by respective state governments which need to be smoothened out to ensure a work environment of greater freedom for the IT sectors. He was of the opinion that the 
coordination committee will handle the cases related to IT which will reduce the time gap in decision making.

Mr Sandhu said there were certain inter-state matters which needed to be settled in a major venture. “For example, the upcoming IT park in the city is located at Kishangarh which borders Panchkula. It will be unwise if we did not secure the cooperation of the neighbouring states to look to issues like the housing, health, education and entertainment of potential workers settling in the adjoining area of Haryana”, he said.

He said one of the natural developments associated with the coming up of technology parks was coming up of ancillary units. It was quite predictable that units will come up in the neighbouring areas.

It is felt that human resources development approach was needed to have an integrated look. A joint strategy on placements can be very beneficial for placements of students of two engineering colleges in the city and the ones in the neighbouring states.



City offers congenial environment for IT growth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The Governor of Haryana, Dr A.R. Kidwai, said today that the city and its neighbouring satellite towns of Panchkula and Mohali offer a congenial environment for study and research which could benefit the IT industry.

He was speaking at the valedictory function of IT conference here. He said Haryana was exporting software worth crores of rupees and it was one of the top most IT destinations in the country.

“The celebrations started with this conference must be speeded up since our region has been slow. China and Eastern European countries are already ahead. In the new revolution, involving globalisation of society, all countries are making use of technology for their development.”

“India has the advantage of skilled manpower and is definitely ahead of others not only in IT or ITES but also in biotechnology as applied to agriculture and medicine, automobile, pharmaceutical industry, and has wherewithal to compete in the global market.”

“Nearly 140 MNCs have set up office in India to make use of India’s talent. India is strategically situated for the export of its products to Africa and South East Asia. In 2020, India will be one of the three major economic powers of the world.”

“The time is now to take advantage of this opportunity and this would be the secret of the success in economic development. Our challenge is to make India a prosperous and economic power so that we can attain a position of excellence in the world.”

Later, the Governor gave away mementos to Mr Sanjay Tyagi of the STPI, Mr Ajay Tewari, president, TiE, Mr Rajan Vasudevan, secretary, Chandigarh IT Club, Mr R.K. Nangia of Punjab Infotech, Mr Sandeep Kapoor of Hartron, Mr Vaibhav Mittal of the Department of IT, UT, Mr Anil Prashar of the SPIC, Mr Sanjay Sinha, general manager, Cyber Media India Ltd, Mr Sanjay Rastogi of Quantum Communications and Mr Anil Malhotra, GM, Taj Group.



Haryana dismisses ‘lack of visibility’ at IT Conclave
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
It was Punjab followed by Chandigarh all the way at the three-day ”e-Revolution 2005”. All through the mega event, Haryana was conspicuous by its absence. Whether the state was basking in the glory of Gurgaon’s Rs 7,300-crore business or it was plain lack of interest was not clear, but marketing was certainly not on Haryana participants’ minds when they came for the show.

While Punjab and Chandigarh were busy “selling” themselves as IT destinations of the future, Haryana seemed to be missing from all the IT action happening at the Taj. Even as officials of the Punjab Government and the Chandigarh Administration “worked upon” delegates from reputed companies to rope them in, Haryana had a sole representative in the MD, Hartron, Ms Keshni Anand Arora.

The event, in conclusion, was essentially being seen as an out-and-out a Punjab Government show with Capt Amarinder Singh hardselling Mohali as the new turf for IT companies. Chandigarh, too, was in the league of “netting” a few big names.

However, through all of this, Haryana watched from a distance. All remained quiet on their front——no announcements, no plans barring day one when the state’s IT Secretary, Mr P.K. Chaudhery, announced the creation of an IT corridor in Panchkula.

Punjab’s IT Secretary, Mr N.S. Kalsi, was there all through with his team, UT’s IT Director, Mr Vivek Attray, as also his entire “crew”, saw it through to the end. The UT Administrator and Punjab Governor, Gen S.F. Rodrigues, Punjab’s Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, UT Home Secretary, Mr Krishan Mohan, IT Secretary, Mr S.K. Sandhu, were all there.

However, the only representation Haryana got was at the time of the inaugural session with Mr P.K. Chaudhery making a presentation; another one by Ms Arora on the last day; and the concluding session which saw participation from the Haryana Governor, Dr A.R. Kidwai.

“We don’t hijack events; that’s not our style. I think the lack of visibility, if at all it was there, can be attributed to the fact that our Chief Minister could not make it to the conclave despite trying hard while his counterpart from Punjab did,” an officer from Haryana said. 



City to be hotbed for e-revolution
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
“e for ear”, “e for express”, “e for equal” and, finally, the e for “e-revolution” which rocked the city for three days. The man behind these one-liners with pictures which caught everybody’s attention at “e-Revolution 2005”, Mr Sanjay Rastogi, Chief Executive of Delhi-based Quantum Communication, says, “The job was easy after Chandigarh’s IT Department gave us a blueprint of exactly what they were looking for. We only weaved a text around their requirement and inserted some pictures.”

And where did the revolution come from? “Just like “Operation Flood” was a milk revolution, information technology is taking over practically everywhere, in all fields. This isn't short of a revolution, so the term e-revolution. We worked around this and more, taking pictures of the common man using technology,” he maintains.

Since the entire world knows Chandigarh through its Rock Garden, Quantum chose this creation of Nek Chand to symbolise the city and its folk. “During the selection of pictures related to the two themes of ‘IT-ITES: emerging opportunities and challenges’ and ‘ICT for Society, the future of ICT’ we zeroed in on the Rock Garden to represent Chandigarh. A picture of a variety of people from all walks of life was picked up to showcase the fact that IT and its benefits have to percolate down to the last man,” he explains.

They took the concept of city sectors to project the coming up the IT sector. “The Information and Communication Technology industry is coming up in a big way and it would virtually add a sector to Chandigarh, widely known for its planned sectors, making it the new hotbed of the e-revolution. That’s what we projected in our depiction of the e-revolution,” Mr Rastogi stated.

It took nearly a month to get the entire thing organised for the show. And, on all three days, the posters and collages, the colour choice and designing, the selection of text and pictures invited a lot of attention and appreciation as the three days of the mega event rolled by. 



New web portal to be guiding light
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The last session of “e-Revolution 2005” at the Taj focused on “Shared services: ethics and Moral of technology”, here today. Mr. Pradeep Gupta, CMD Cyber Media India Limited, provided an overview of the technological changes that the common man will be encountering. “The IT industry will have to look into the entire gamut of processes, products and people as e-governance shapes up the country’s landscape,” he said.

Even the city would have a different lifestyle and workers with an altogether new mindset in the next few years, said Dr Vijay Rattan, Department of Public Administration, Panjab University. He said that according to a UN study, nearly 50 per cent of the world population will be covered by ICT services by 2015.

Mr Piyush Gupta, General Manager, Knowledge Management from NISG, Hyderabad, emphasised the need for the state governments to build capacities and capabilities within the organisations to implement egovernance. There is a growing need to learn from each other. The Government of India, he said, was setting up a major web portal ‘eGovWorld’ in next few months which would become storehouse of knowledge on the subject for all stake holders to derive their learning from.

He, however, suggested that the effective implementation of e-governance would be possible through major changes in the mindsets of the people, identification and recognition of change champions and change agents, and allowing them freedom to bring about desired transformation in delivery of services to the people.



CM’s announcement on IT Industry hailed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 16
The Mohali Industries Association (MIA) has welcomed the announcement of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, of spending Rs 200 crore on providing infrastructural facilities in Mohali in order to attract the IT industry to the town.

The newly elected president of the association, Mr Balbir Singh, said at a press conference here today that the association would extend full cooperation to the government in this regard. He said the association’s theme for the year would be “Competitiveness for global business”.

He said the small and medium-scale industrial units in the town were unable to utilise the IT system to upgrade themselves. Seminars and training programmes would be organised to help them in this regard. Small-scale units faced problems to market their products. There was a need for a permanent display centre so that units could showcase their products. Help would also be provided to such units to market their products through an assistance marketing cell.

Mr Balbir Singh demanded that one representative from the industrial sector should also be made a member of the Municipal Council in order to pursue problems related to the area. He lamented that even when octroi, collected from industry, was the main source of income of the civic body, not much attention was paid to the problems being faced by industrial unit owners. Roads were in bad shape and supply of water to the industrial area was inadequate.



Hawara’s police remand extended till July 20
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
A local court today extended the police remand of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) chief and the main accused in the Beant Singh assassination and the Burail jailbreak cases till July 20.

Meanwhile, the two alleged ‘human bombs’ — Kamaljit Singh and Paramjit Singh — who were arrested by the Chandigarh police late last night, were remanded in police custody till July 26.

Hawara and other alleged militants were produced in the court amid tight security. The prosecution demanded the police remand of the accused saying that more recoveries, apart from the RDX and two mousers seized from their possession, were yet to be made from them.

On the other hand, the counsel for the accused, Mr Arvind Thakur, alleged that the accused had been implicated by the police. The slapping of sedition charges under Sections 121,121-A and 123 of the IPC against them was far-fetched and the charges were imposed to deny bail to the accused, Mr Thakur added.

Earlier, on July 8, the counsel for Hawara had argued that since all offences had been found to be bailable, there was no question for the prosecution to seek police remand.

The district Courts complex was virtually converted into a fortress with scores of policemen stationed at strategic points, inconveniencing the litigants.

Hawara, along with two other accused in the Beant Singh assassination case — Paramjit Singh Bheora and Jagtar Singh Tara — and other accused Devi Singh had ‘tunnelled’ their way out of the high-security Burail Jail here on the intervening night of January 21 and 22.

Hawara was arrested by the Delhi police last month while the other three accused are still absconding.



Passing Thru

Krishan Mohan
Krishan Mohan: Amritsar-based former captain of Punjab Ranji cricket team and presently working as coach of the Punjab Cricket Association in Amritsar. 

Can you give a brief outline of your major achievements?

I was captain of the Punjab Ranji team in 1989-90. I was also the member of the Punjab team which created history by winning the Ranji Trophy for the first time in 1992-93. Besides these, I also was a part of President XI in 1992-93 and have won the reputed Wills Trophy. I made over 2000 runs and have taken 80 wickets in first class cricket. My best performance was in the Ranji Trophy tournament in 1992-93, where I made 410 runs with the average of 51 runs and took 17 wickets.

What changes do you find in the first class cricket in India over the years?

Definitely, there is lot of improvement in it. The new ‘plate’ system in first class cricket, in which teams have been divided into two groups, offers quality competition as the players of the same caliber are competing against each other.

—Akash Ghai



Rodrigues congratulates Press Club
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), congratulated the president and members of the Chandigarh Press Club on the occasion of its Silver Jubilee celebrations, a press note said here on Saturday.

General Rodrigues said the ‘Fourth Estate’ was an important institution in a socialistic and democratic society, as it disseminates information to the people and helps in moulding public opinion. It acts as a vital link between the people and the government and also as a watchdog of the society. He said the responsibility of the press had been enhanced because of complexities and fast growing technologies of the 21st century. He appreciated that the members of the club had played a positive and constructive role in meeting the aspirations of citizens, besides highlighting their problems and grievances.

The Governor further said the journalists, in real terms, were instruments of change and at the same time had a lot of responsibilities towards the society at large. He expressed the hope that the members of the club would continue to follow our democratic traditions while performing their professional duties for the common good. They are the custodians of the “ Right to Know” and this duty must be exercised judiciously, with commitment. 



50 lakh youngsters jobless in region, says study
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
An estimated 50 lakh youngsters are jobless in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh. The number increases every year with 1.5 lakh graduates passing out annually from the universities and colleges — at least this is what a research on employment scenario in the region conducted by the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends (ITFT) says.

The report asserts that several factors such as rise in the population, stagnant economies, poor quality of education, high percentage of school dropouts, especially after 10-plus-two, have accentuated the unemployment problem over the years in some of the northern states.

The problem has been further compounded by low employability of the educated youngsters, under employment and non-availability of the right type of skilled work.

Besides this, there is also a dearth of new courses, concepts, technological skills and training modules in sunrise disciplines or vocations which are in step with the changing times and needs. Offering solutions, the ITFT has submitted a blueprint to Punjab’s Governor and the state Chief Minister for generating one lakh direct jobs in different segments and as many entrepreneurial ventures in the state.


Levy fee for hoardings, plead MC staff
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 16
The issue of “illegal” billboards on all major intersections in the township came up for discussion during a meeting of municipal council officials and HUDA officials today.

HUDA officials and municipal councillors led by MC President, Mr Tarun Bhandari, met the HUDA Administrator, Ms Neelam P Kasni. The MC staff asked the Administrator to allow them to collect fees for all boards that had come up in areas under the municipal council.

It may be noted that giving a complete go- by to rules, huge billboards on all major intersections have come up. Though the billboards on roads (in Sector 5) which are still being maintained by HUDA have been allowed by the latter, the companies which have put up these boards elsewhere have reportedly not sought permission from the municipal council.

Discussions on the transfer of extension fee and building plan fee collected by HUDA, to the MC was also initiated. Each year, the MC is supposed to get Rs 3 crore from HUDA under this head. However, HUDA says that it is spending this money each year on development of roads and other maintenance works. Though several meetings have been held between the MC and HUDA officials to sort out the issue, MC has not received money from HUDA. Other than this, the MC demanded that all nine Community Centres in the township be transferred to the MC. These centres are maintained by HUDA and the latter collects the fee for renting out these centres. The MC House had also passed a resolution that these centres should be transferred to MC. 


Three bombs found
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 16
Three projectile bombs were found by the police from the Ghaggar river bed in Sector 28 late last night. It is believed that the bombs could have swept away into a nullah in Chandimandir, which later merges into the Ghaggar.

The bombs, one of which is live, were spotted in the river bed by a passerby. He informed the police and a team was rushed to the spot. The team recovered the bombs and hid them in a tree planter for safety. A constable was deputed at the spot and the Army authorities at Western Command headquarters, Chandimandir, were informed.

SHO of the Chandimandir police station Prerna Puri visited the spot. In the morning, the police requested the Army to send a bomb disposal squad.

However, it was only in the evening that the squad reached the spot. The SP, Dr R.C. Misra, was also present when the squad arrived. The Army authorities reportedly told the police that the bombs could have been swept away into the nullah flowing in the cantonment area.

The team said since the bombs were rusted, there was little fear of explosion. However, the bombs would be diffused tomorrow morning.



Rains displace rail track, repairs on
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 16
The good monsoon this year has displaced the plinth under a small section of the railway line near Sector 19 here. As a result, the railway line was slightly displaced. Trains crossing this point would suffer a slight jerk.

Work to repair this displacement was undertaken by the Railways today. Sources say that the displaced tracks were noticed during a routine inspection in the morning.

Though the rail traffic was not disrupted, the repair work continued from 9.30 am till 6 pm. The trains were merely asked to reduce the speed as they passed over this stretch.

However, as a result of the repair work undertaken along the level crossing between Industrial Area and Sector 19, the road traffic was disrupted.

The level crossing remained closed all the while and commuters had to use a longer route through Baltana to reach Sector 19 from Industrial Area.

The Railways had built this new level crossing in December 2003 by putting an additional plinth under the railway track.

But because of the rains this year, the plinth was displaced, said a senior Railways official at Chandigarh. He added that this was normal repair which was undertaken from time to time.



Unsuitable clothing led to jawans’ death: ITBP chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
Hot and humid weather conditions as well as unsuitable clothing were the prime factors for the deaths of Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) personnel. They had died following massive heat stroke a few days ago. The incident had occurred during a training run at the ITBP’s Basic Training Centre in Bhanu near here.

Stating this while speaking to mediapersons at the centre, the ITBP Director-General, Mr S.K. Kain said the preliminary observations of the investigation conducted into the incident revealed that the personnel were wearing clothes of synthetic material, which was unsuitable for hot climate.

He added that the personnel were also not acclimatised to the weather conditions. He said in future due care and precautions would be taken. Further, more facilities, including better diet, would also be made available to ITBP personnel deployed in far-flung and difficult areas, Mr Kain added.

The Director-General said that the ITBP was making use of Border Security Force’s helicopters for maintaining certain forward posts, but was finding coordination with its sister organisation difficult.

Earlier, Mr Kain reviewed an impressive passing-out parade of the 179th and 180th batches, which saw 237 recruits being formally inducted into the ranks of the ITBP after a gruelling 44-week training course. The parade was commanded the constable Ashok Kumar of the 21st Battalion.



Photo exhibition on AIDS awareness
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 16
The Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, has put up a photo exhibition on AIDS awareness at DC Model Senior Secondary School.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Financial Commissioner, Health and Chairperson of Haryana AIDS Control Society, Ms Urvashi Gulati.

Speaking on the occasion, she stressed on the need for generating awareness regarding HIV AIDS among school, college and university students.

Dr Happy Jeji, Field Exhibition Officer, DAVP, said that such exhibitions helped increase awareness levels, which was a key factor in countering the deadly disease. Dr Sushma Madan, Director-General Health Services, Haryana, Dr Aditya Chaudhori, Project Director of Haryana AIDS Control Society, and Dr Satbir Chaudhary, Civil Surgeon, Panchkula, were also present on the occasion. 



Salman Khan’s effigy burnt

Panchkula, July 16
Members of the BJYM today protested against the disclosures on tape of conversations between actors Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai, establishing the former’s links with the underworld. The activists burnt an effigy of Salman Khan near the Sector 10 market. TNS



Two killed on highway
Our Correspondent

Lalru, July 16
Two persons, including a woman, were killed in separate accidents on the busy Kalka-Ambala highway, near here, today.

The body of a 32-year-old man was found under mysterious circumstances adjacent to the ITI, this morning. Some passers by noticed the body lying along the road and informed the police.

He was later identified as Mahesh Kumar, a labourer, who was working with an industrial unit. Mr Mahesh Kumar was a daily wage worker.

In another accident, Ms Poonam (30), a resident of Manji Sahib Gurdwara, near Ambala, was knocked down by an unidentified vehicle on the highway near Jharmari village. The critically injured was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, by some passersby.

The doctors referred her to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, after her condition deteriorated. The injured succumbed to her injuries while was taken to the hospital.


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