C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


“Exemplary punishment” for erring college
PU orders MCM DAV-36 to discontinue B.Sc course 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
In what is being considered an "exemplary punishment" for an erring affiliated college, the Panjab University syndicate today decided not to approve the BSc course in Microbial and Food Technology being run by the MCM DAV College, Sector 36 here. The college had admitted 30 students to the first year of the three-year degree course last year without getting the course approved and affiliated by the university.

Since the university has decided not to either recognize the course or conduct examinations for the same, the move leaves the college with no other option but to close down the course with immediate effect and see how to save the admitted students from losing a year.

Syndicate member suggested that the affected students be admitted to other BSc courses, for which they are qualified, in the same college or other colleges. The course, if approved following the proper procedure, would be available in the college from the next session. These students, if still interested, would have to take admission in the first year of the course again.

While the university decision has put the future of the 30 students in jeopardy, it has made the university's position clear on similar cases in other colleges.

The course had been recommended by the Faculty of Science of the University on December 12, 2005. These recommendations had come up for approval during the syndicate meeting today. The agenda item stated that the approval be given "in anticipation to the approval of the academic council, senate and the Government of India since the college had already admitted students."

The Syndicate was to clear the syllabus, the courses and the fee structure of the degree. Interestingly however, in today's meeting all that the syndics knew about what fee the college had charged from the students was a statement of the Vice Chancellor that the fee structure for this course would be forwarded to the DPI Colleges for approval.

The matter was debated at length by the syndics. While all agreed that the college had shown utter disregard for university regulations, syndics differed on the issue if the admitted students should be made to pay for the folly of the college.

A syndic Mr Prabhjit Singh, General Secretary of the General Categories Employees Federation Punjab, pointed out that if leniency is shown to one college with a view to save the career of the students it would send a wrong signal to the other erring colleges. After much deliberations it was agreed that the college be "punished" for misleading the students.

It was also decided that the college be directed to either offer these students a seat in other BSc courses being run by the college or make arrangements for admission of these students at institutes where a similar course was being run. A syndicate member suggested that the college could tie up with the PGI where probably this course was being offered.

The syndicate also rescinded the system of issuing 'letter of intents' (LOIs) for granting affiliation to colleges for new courses or grant extension to existing courses to avoid their misuse. The decision to issue LOIs was taken by the syndicate in May 2005, following which a large number of colleges had reportedly started misusing these letters, admitting students to courses which had still not been granted affiliation. 



UT starts trial run of Jan Sampark centres
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Chandigarh Administration has started trial run of the Project Jan Sampark in the city. Adding on a number of additional facilities which are much more than merely accepting bills, the existing e- sampark centres are evolving a mechanism for an interface of the public with all departments of the administration and certain centre government agencies.

Mr Vivek Atray, Director, Information Technology, confirmed the development saying more than 50 Jan Sampark kiosks will be set up at different places in the city as a move towards brining official information right at the footsteps of the residencies of the localities. Certain important facilities available at the Jan Sampark centres will be answering queries regarding grievances pertaining to subjects of public utility and a large number of department of the administration.

The administration has made a list of departments to whom the questions can be directly addressed.

Sources said that the citizens are required to pay a token fee of Rs 2 per question. The departments where the residents of the city can pose their questions include education, health, Tourism, Police, industry, electricity and the agencies concerned with rural administration, besides those handling important wings of civic amenities under the Municipal Corporation.

The Jan Sampark centres are expected to maintain information regarding private agencies also and private practitioners related with looking after maintenance of gadgets related to basic amenities and general life like electrician, plumbers, cobblers, tailors, gardeners, caterers and others. The centres are also expected to provide information regarding the bookings in the administration’s places of tourist interest and hotels and guest houses.

The official said that a data bank regarding the services in the private sector will also be compiled at a later stage. “Our first aim is to monitor the trail run of the project for more than a month. We have been told that the Jan Sampark Project will be formally launched by the first week of March. We are learning of the possible loopholes in the existing system and try to make improvements”.

Public can currently apply for information at the e-Sampark centres located in Sectors 10, 15, 18, 23, 43, 48 and Industrial Area. Besides answering queries regarding the problems faced by the citizens, the Sampark Centres will also be keeping copies of forms from various departments for public utility. Residents complain that they have to a lot of running around in different departments to secure their forms. The Jan Sampark centres will be maintaining banks of all forms. 



Urban Estate: farmers oppose land acquisition
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, January 21
The proposed ultra-modern Zirakpur Urban Estate, to be developed by PUDA to give fillip to the planned development in Chandigarh's periphery, continues to face opposition from different quarters with farmers up in arms against the acquisition of their lands.

In fact, government officials, who had come for measurement of over 200 acres of land to be acquired in Nagla, Ramgarh Bhudda and Singhpura villages in the first phase yesterday, had to beat a hasty retreat following reported protest by the villagers.

PUDA had already issued notices under Sections 4,6 and 9 of the Land Acquisition Act for the acquisition of land for the creation of an urban estate on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway. The process for the creation the urban estate was set in motion in 2004.

However, the farmers opposed the move alleging that a majority of them were small and marginal and PUDA was bent upon "uprooting" them. Besides, they say that the compensation for the acquired land was "too less".

It is being argued that with Zirakpur bursting at seams, the inclusion of the three villages in the Nagar Panchayat was a matter of time.

If the villages are included in the Nagar Panchayat, private builders would step in to purchase the land at "exorbitant" prices.

The anticipation of higher prices for the land was fueling the farmers' protests, sources said.

On the other hand, officials highlighted that the haphazard growth had assumed alarming proportions in the township creating infrastructural problems.

The modern urban estate would cater to the housing needs of the vast population as there is hardly any scope for the expansion of the available space in the tricity.

The officials claimed that wherever PUDA had developed urban estates, the planning and the basic amenities had been better than those provided by the private colonisers.

Moreover, if the past record was any indication, the plots offered by the government agencies evoked better response among the general public and the NRIs than by small colonisers.

Meanwhile, Mr Sunil Bandha, General Manager of the Silver City, a PUDA-approved colony, said the planned development was the need the hour as the middle class people, who had missed the bus in the tricity, bought residential accommodation in Zirakpur.

The urban estate, if developed in a proper way, will go a long-way in meeting the housing needs of the vast population besides providing them with basic amenities.



Nod to Dhanas residents on area conversion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
The Chandigarh Administration has allowed residents of Dhanas village to convert the area earmarked for dairy purposes to their residential use. The interested dairy farmers are required to get a permission from the Estate Officer.

In response to the requests of various organisations and individuals, the administration has decided to allow them conversion of area meant for dairy purposes to residential use by getting prior permission of the Estate Officer and paying a lump sum conversion fee fixed on the basis of collector rate.

A large number of persons were unauthorisedly keeping milch cattle and carrying on with the dairy business in the sector grid thereby causing insanitary and unhygienic conditions. In order to help resettle such dairymen and in the interest of sanitation and hygiene, the Chandigarh Administration notified rules called “Chandigarh Milk Colony Allotment of Sites Rules” during the year 1975.

Persons who were keeping milch cattle in Chandigarh were allotted plots on a leasehold basis in Milk Colony, Dhanas. The plots varied from 5 marla to one kanal in size.

The various bodies and organisations of Milk Colony have sought the exemption from keeping the milk cattle as due to the old age, the allottees are unable to carry on with the daily business. The next generations largely have expressed their unwillingness to adopt the profession. Cow dung and filth are discharged into Patiala Ki Rao making the water filthy and polluted.

The presence of cattle in Milk Colony would also have serious impact on the proposed second Lake Project around Patiala Ki Rao. The area around Milk Colony has also been developed into an institutional and residential area hence it would be unsuitable for the Milk Colony to exist amidst it.



Area earmarked for ‘film city’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
The Chandigarh Administration plans to set up a ‘film city’ in the Union Territory.
The administration has earmarked an area, measuring 30 acres, for the project which may increase or decrease depending upon the final scope of the project, an official press statement said here today.

Admin’s spokesperson informed that the Administration had been involved in discussions with many companies and persons who had shown interest in undertaking this project.

Going by the huge interest displayed by some of the entertainment companies, it seemed the project was long overdue, he added.



Free blood service introduced for 21 thalassaemic children
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Minno loved children. Today, on her 78th birth anniversary, Mo Sambhi, her "soul mate", gave her the most extravagant of gifts at the most unlikely of places. At the Rotary and Blood Bank Society Resource Centre, Sector 37, Mo dedicated a free blood service for 21 thalassaemic children in Minno's memory, giving them a new lease of life.

Unable to attend the function, Dr Mohinder P Sambhi, an NRI now residing in the US and fondly called Mo, in his note read out to the gathering, said,"Minno is watching from above, giving her approval for the programme."

Ironic as it may seem, Mo and Minno had no issues and yet they have touched the lives of these 21 "unknown" lives thousands of miles away from their home in the most over-whelming of ways.

The free blood service will provide blood and transfusion to these children for the next three years.

However, the service won't end there. "It will be extended subsequently according to a message we have received from Dr Sambi.

It's a lifetime's commitment between him and the children," an official of the society said.

Among the benefactors of this selfless labour of love for "God's Chosen Children" is Sahibjeet Singh.

Three months' old, he's barely been long enough in this world to even recognise his parents.And, at this age when he's not even big enough to be held in wraps of blankets, Sahibjeet Singh underwent his first blood transfusion when the city was celebrating Lohri.

His mother is devastated. Her eyes well up with tears as she narrates,"Early in the month, we noticed he was unusually yellow and took him to the doctor, suspecting jaundice. The diagnosis of the doctor left us shell-shocked.

He was suffering from Thalassaemia on a major level. We didn't know whom to turn to."

Sahibjeet's father, Jaswinder Singh, a government employee, takes over from where his wife breaks down.

"The doctor told us of this free service and we needed the help. Dr Sambi's help is God sent,"he says.

Then, there's seven-year-old Inderjeet Singh and six-year-old Sandeep Kumar, who too, needed help. "It's an expensive treatment, difficult to afford for families coming from our wrung of society but we can't give up on our child, let him die in front of our eyes. Dr Sambi's help is a boon," maintains Manjit Kaur, Inderjeet's mother. Like her, there were other families which could not thank Dr Sambi enough for this gesture of his.

Recalls Dr Sambi's sister, 82-year-old Prakashwati,"They would often talk of giving away their wealth for noble causes. We are just glad it's being used for children in need.

The two, Minno and Mo, were a lovely couple and we miss her. Mo wanted to be here for the ceremony but couldn't come. We, his family, are here to stand in for him."

Later, the Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Gen. S.F. Rodrigues(retd), launched the “Minno Sambhi Free Blood Service for Thalassaemic Children”.

The Rotary and Blood Bank Society Resource Centre, assisted by three nursing homes, has jointly undertaken the responsibility to support this venture.

Speaking on the occasion, General Rodrigues called for the need of launching Mass Awareness Campaign to fight Thalassaemia besides providing supportive therapies to the children suffering from these disorders. "This benevolent act is a magical experience since they are rendering service to unknown Indians," he said. Accompanied by Ms Jean Rodrigues, the Governor went round the facility and the laboratories of the Blood Bank Society also.

Dr. K.K. Talwar, Director, PGI, said that the Blood Bank Society Resource Centre had been rendering great service for meeting the blood needs of society.

He said that there were about 300 registered patients of thalassaemia and they needed active support and participation from all quarters for meeting their regular blood needs.

Mr Rajan Kashyap, Chairman, Managing Committee of the Rotary and Blood Bank Society Resource Centre, stated that the society was meeting the blood needs of the hospitals of the region and 100 donors institutions were contributing to this movement.

Mr Satinder S. Gill, nephew of the philanthropist, Dr Mahinder Sambhi, Mrs Saroop Krishan, founder President of the Blood Bank Society, Mr M.L. Sareen, Dr B.N.S. Walia and Dr R.K. Marwaha also spoke on the occasion. 



Passing Thru

Richa Bajaj
Richa Bajaj, owner, The Glove, an HR consulting firm in Delhi.

What brings you to the city?

It is basically a business trip - exploring business opportunities in the Chandigarh. The area is coming up as an important IT destination.

I hope that I will soon set up a branch office of The Glove here. In addition, I wanted to enjoy PHL superlative hockey under floodlights.

As an HR consultant, what is your advice to the young readers?

India has today established itself as an important IT destination.

Corporates are on a hiring spree and are looking for the right talent. My advice to the youngsters is that this is a world of specialization. Being jack of all trades is fine but in order to walk up the ladder of success, you need to be a specialist. So every body should identify his or her core strength and work out on specialization area and I believe that strong fundamentals make a strong personality.

What did you like about the city?

It is a well planned city having very strong civic infrastructure unlike Delhi. But the element that strikes the most is the attitude of the people here. They are very warm and affectionate. I thoroughly enjoyed Lohri during my stay. The Rock Garden is an amazing place and a must-see for anybody who visits the city.

— G.S. Paul



Cong has not fulfilled any promise: Jain
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Mr Satya Pal Jain, former BJP MP and member of the National Executive of the party, demanded the Congress (I)-led UPA Govt. at the Centre to seriously look into the issue of phone tapping and also demanded that the people in the city receiving letters should not be harassed by the police. Instead, in-depth investigation should be conducted and action taken against those “sending the letters” not those “receiving it.”

Addressing a press-conference in BJP Office, Sector 33, today, Mr Jain said that during the last 20 months of its rule in the Centre, the Congress has not fulfilled any of the promises made during the last Lok Sabha polls like making Chandigarh Airport as international airport, giving of Class ‘A’ status to the city, balanced Rent Act for traders, Metro Rail, etc.

He accused the Congress (I) government of “sabotaging” Ludhiana-Chandigarh railway line project, which was sanctioned by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government. Instead of electricity driven engine, diesel engine will run on this track.

Referring to the charging of high capitation fee by certain private educational institutions, Mr Jain asked the local Administration to tell people as to what steps have been taken to implement the Punjab & Haryana High Court judgement dated 14-2-2005 by which the court had directed the local Administration to fix the fee to be charged from the students by their management thus putting a curb on capitation fee.

Mr Jain said that it appears that the local Administration has “bowed “ to the pressure of certain influential people. 



MiG-29 set for upgradation
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Two decades after they took to the skies, the versatile MiG-29 combat aircraft in the IAF service are in for a substantial upgrade, with a proposal with Russia expected to be “firmed-up” in three months.

The upgrade programme is aimed to increase the MiG-29’s range, enhance its target acquisition and tracking capability and improve the performance and life of its engines.

Inducted into the IAF in 1986, the Air Force presently operates three MiG-29 squadrons, No. 28, No. 47 and No. 223, In the recent past, the IAF also procured several additional MiG-29s to meet its operational requirements and replace attrition losses.

Later, maintenance and technical support facilities were set up at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Air Headquarters is in the process of finalising the specifications for upgrading the aircraft, according to HAL Managing Director, Mr K.P. Puri.

The upgradation project will be executed by HAL in collaboration with Russia’s RAC — MiG firm, the aircraft’s original manufacturers.

One of the most significant aspects of the upgrade process is increasing the MiG-29’s range, which will require structural modifications.

The size of its centre-line fuel tank will be increased, giving its fuselage a bigger “hump” similar to the naval ‘K’ version.

Also, bigger drop tanks are being designed for the aircraft. The increase in internal fuel carrying capacity is in addition to IAF’s earlier proposal of incorporating in-flight refuelling capability in the aircraft.

The IAF and HAL are also thinking about replacing the MiG 29’s RD-33 engine because of its low life, but at the moment they are going ahead with increasing its service life.

The engine’s total technical life (TTL) is being increased from 350 hours to 1250 hours and the time between overhaul is also being increased.

The TTL of new variants of the RD-33 is 2000 hours.

The MiG-29’s present airborne radar, meant to seek and track targets, is said to be “dull” and having limited range.

This is being replaced with a radar having greater range, resolution and accuracy, improving the aircraft’s target acquisition and tracking capability by around three times.



Dead couple identified, probe on
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
A young couple in their twenties, who had allegedly committed suicide by jumping into the Sukhna Lake after tying their hands together with a dupatta, has been identified.

While the boy has been identified as Amit (21), a resident of Sector 30, the girl has been identified as Sonia Verma, a resident of Kundanpuri, Civil Lines, Ludhiana.

She was a student of BA IInd year at the Khalsa College, Ludhiana.

Though the cause behind the alleged suicide could not be ascertained, police officers said the boy and girl got to know each other after a marriage in their family two months back.

The boy’s sister, Vandana, was married to Raj Kumar, brother of Sonia. Several missing links in the incident were still being probed by the police.

On January 12, Raj Kumar came to know from his sister’s friend that she had gone to Chandigarh to marry Amit. The family members said they were not aware about any relationship between the two. 



Role of historians highlighted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
“Historians are organisers of memories. When become creators of memories different social groups vie for controlling them. The government is usually the most successful in this regard. Then we call it censorship,” said Dr M. Rajivlochan of the Department of History, Panjab University, here yesterday.

Dr Rajivlochan was delivering a special lecture on “What historians do” at the DAV College, Sector 11, here.

“Better than censorship is to encourage historical research from diverse view points. But then the dilemma comes: should we privilege one view point over another? As a discipline it began in the 19th century. Since then historians have been trying desperately to prove that their art is actually a science.

“It is replicable. The only bit of history that is actually replicable is that which is strongly dependent on insights from philosophy, sociology and psychology. On its own it just remains a story, sometimes well-told,” he said.

Stating that anything to do with memory is within the realm of history, Dr Rajivlochan said history was about looking back into your past, immediate or distant, to figure out where you stand today and where you can possibly go in the future.

“History is a future-oriented discipline. Only those issues which concern the future are of interest to the historian. The past is merely an excuse in his/her hands. As a result, many times, historical research abandons issues without really resolving them simply because the contemporary vision of the future is not interested in it anymore,” he said. 



One time slot for 2 marriage parties!
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
It was confusion and chaos at Khukhrain Bhavan in Sector 35 here tonight with the management allegedly booking two marriage functions for the same time on January 22.

High drama was witnessed with both parties coming to pitch tents and make other arrangements for the marriage functions tomorrow. Vishal, who had booked the bhavan, along with 12 attached rooms for his sister’s marriage, said he was stunned to see the other party, which also had booking for the same day and 
time. Vishal had booked the venue about six months ago.

Tempers ran high with both parties demanding an explanation from the office-bearers for the faux pas. The manager of the bhavan, Mr Pritam Thakur, had a tough time in pacifying the agitating parties.The police also reached the spot.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Thakur conceded that it was a “clerical mistake” which had put both parties to inconvenience. He said the management had pleaded with both the parties to share the lawn.

Efforts were also being made book a nearby alternative site such as the Defence Service Officer Institute (DSOI) to accommodate one of the parties. The management would even arrange requisite rooms for the guests at a Sector 35 hotel, he claimed.

However,till the filing of the report, the deadlock continued.



Youth goes missing before marriage
Tribune News Service

Jaswinder Pal Singh
Jaswinder Pal Singh

Derabassi, January 21
Anxiety gripped the family and relatives of Jaswinder Pal Singh, a resident of Dera Jagadhari, near here, who went missing yesterday, two days before his marriage.

The would-be bridegroom Jaswinder, whose “baraat” was to leave for Ladwa in Haryana on January 22, left for Derabassi around 10.30 a.m. yesterday to do some shopping. Family members said that around 8 p.m. they received a message from his mobile saying “do not worry, I am alright”.

However, When he did not return, worried family members tried to contact him on his mobile, which was later switched off.

Jaswinder’s father, Mr Jagdeep Singh, informed that the family and relatives, who searched him the whole day, drew a blank. Later, they informed the police, which has launched search to locate the missing youth.

Though the family was worried about Jaswinder’s safety they are not yet blaming anybody for the disappearance.



Lt-Col’s cremation today

Panchkula, January 21
Lieutenant-Colonel Rajeev Bakshi’s mortal remains were brought to his hometown here late this evening. The body had been airlifted to Delhi from Manipur, from where it was brought by road.

The deceased had laid down his life while fighting ULFA terrorists yesterday. His name had been inadvertently mentioned as Lt Col Rajesh Bakshi in these columns.

The body will be kept at the Command Hospital, Chandimandir, overnight. TNS



Kalagram to be upgraded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
With a view to promoting art and culture in the region, a plan is under way to modernise and upgrade infrastructural facilities in Kalagram and Tagore Theatre.
Various issues related to the upgrading of the facilities came up at a meeting presided over by Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, here today.



Servant verification today
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 21
The police is going to launch a servant verification camp in the city on Sunday.



Case registered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Even as a delegation of the North India Overseas Association, Chandigarh, is in Kuwait to check the authenticity of the news reports about the working conditions of Indian workers there, the Chandigarh Police has registered a case of cheating against the general secretary of the association, S.S. Sandhu, for duping a Ludhiana resident on the pretext of sending him to Kuwait.

Mr Sandhu and Mr Randhawa are part of the delegation which has gone to Kuwait along with some mediapersons.

In the case being investigated by the crime branch, it has been stated that Hukamdeen, a resident of Rusiana village, Ludhiana, had alleged that Mr S.S. Randhawa and Mr S.S. Sandhu, both directors of SR International Services, Sector 44, had taken Rs 1,40,000 from his brother, Gulam Mohammed, who was working as a mason in Kuwait.

The complainant stated that the travel agent had got a bogus visa for Gulam. The case has been registered at Sector 34 Police Station.



Indica Xeta petrol car launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Tata Motors, the largest automobile company in India, today launched Indica Xeta, a new petrol car, here today.
Launching the car, Mr S. Krishnan, Head Car Group of the Tata Motors, said Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh were important markets for Tata Motors.

“We feel that with this new introduction packed with power and performance at a very aggressive price (Rs 2.96 ex-showroom in Chandigarh) will go a long way in further re-enforcing Tata Motors’ objective of providing exciting personal mobility solutions to its customers in urban and rural areas,” he said.

The technologically superior MPFI engine comes with a 32-bit micro-processor in Xeta petrol engine and supports 12 sensors, including a knock control sensor, which helps to reduce damage from the adulterated fuel and maintains the efficiency.

Mr Krishnan said the future belonged to mid-segment cars this category having a market share of about 45 per cent.


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