C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Trust not to adopt victim
This is backtracking, says HS
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Contrary to the earlier perception that the Delhi-based National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disability would “adopt” and take care of the Nari Niketan mentally challenged rape victim and her unborn child, it now turns out that it is now merely offering to provide “assistance” to the UT administration in this regard.

In what may sound as a curt response, the Trust chairperson, Poonam Natrajan, who was in the city today to meet the victim and also UT officials, expressed surprise at the administration’s interpretation of its assurance to the apex court and said, “What is the issue? Why should we take the girl? Can’t the administration take care of the nutritional requirements of the pregnant victim and provide pre-natal care to her in Chandigarh.”

In the same breath, a visibly upset Poonam told The Tribune, “Let the UT administration give an affidavit in the court that they are incapable of taking care of the victim and her child and then only we’ll take her with us.”

Mocking at the UT administration’s stand, convener of the Disabled Rights Group (DRG), Javed Abidi, who is a member of the committee formed by the Trust to draw out a roadmap for the girl’s future, said, “Don’t women get pregnant in Chandigarh?”

Reacting sharply to the Trust’s stand, Home Secretary Ram Niwas said, “They are backtracking from the main issue. We are fully capable of providing best health care and other facilities to both the victim and her unborn child but we cannot be surrogate mothers.”

Maintaining that they had given no assurance to the apex court about adopting the victim, Poonam, while handing out copies of the judgment, said, “We had only stated that the Trust is willing to look after the interests of the woman, including assistance with child care.”

She said the UT administration was wrongly interpreting this assurance and unnecessarily creating a deceptive scenario by saying that the Trust had promised to adopt the girl.

“The apex court had stated that best medical care facilities should be provided to the girl but nowhere it has been said that this should be done by the Trust,” she said, adding that it’s obvious that this responsibility lay on the administration since the victim was here.

She also questioned the administration’s adamant stand of “boycotting” the

meeting called by the Trust on September 22 in New Delhi to discuss this issue and said that the meeting was held in the absence of the UT officials.

Insisting that they were not backtracking from their commitment, Poonam said they will formulate an “assistance package” for the victim and her unborn child. She said a detailed “roadmap” and the assistance package would be put forward to the UT administration on October 1.

Earlier, the chairperson, along with other members of the committee and UT officials, visited the victim at GMCH-32 where she’s admitted. They also visited Ashraya where the victim had been earlier staying.

Poonam and some members of the committee also took exceptions to the fact that the victim was being kept in “isolation” at the hospital. “She should be kept at Aashray on the ground floor along with others in normal environment,” she said.



City bears brunt of power, water shortage
Problem likely to persist 
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The city is bearing the brunt of the ongoing power shortage in the region, which has had a direct impact on the water supply as well. Officials concede that the problem of four-five hour power cuts and irregular/low pressure water supply are likely to continue for more days. The cuts had become more pronounced during the past one week.

Official sources confirmed that the UT was currently drawing approximately 140 mw power against the requirement varying between 180-240 mw.

Different areas are facing power cuts ranging between four to eight hours. Areas which faced cuts for more than six hours earlier this week included Sectors 39, 44, 45, 36, 38, 40, 48 and 51, besides other sectors.

Residents in different parts of the city are complaining about water scarcity and low pressure supply. The water supply on the floors above the ground floor has been affected as is evident from complaints from a cross-section of city residents. There are also complaints about lack of supply during the afternoon hours.

Ritika Ghosh, a resident of Sector 46, said, “Our house on the second floor is not getting proper supply for the past one week and our neighbours are facing similar problems. Our area is also getting irregular supply during afternoon hours.”

It is worth mentioning that the UT has no independent source of power generation and has to purchase power from other states.

Confirming the decreased power supply in the UT, an official said “as the rainfall this monsoon was not good, the reservoir of the hydro-generating plants like Bhakra and other hydro electric projects could not get filled to the optimum level, the resultant of which is that the projects are not generating power to their full capacity. Therefore, the shortage of power has brought down the power share of the UT”.

A press release said “the UT has no power generation of its own and is solely dependent upon the central generating projects. It is, therefore, an appeal to the public to restrict their demand and to use electric power more efficiently, optimally and only when need arises to tide over the situation”.

Krishan Das Gupta, a resident of Sector 18, said “power cuts are unfortunate. However, we should consider ourselves very fortunate compared to residents of the neighbouring state of Punjab, where the cuts are for more than 10 hours at places.

At the same time, the department has also said that keeping in view the forthcoming festival season, preventive maintenance of electrical equipment /lines on a day-to-day basis is being taken by the Electricity Department.



Purchase power of college principals withdrawn
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
In a significant move, the UT administration has stripped city college principals of all their purchase powers following widespread complaints of alleged mismanagement of funds.

According to the decision, to be notified next week, principals of government colleges will now not be able to make any purchase at their whims and fancies.

The principals desirous of buying furniture, utensils etc for hostel or cabinets, boards or screens for departments will have to send an intent to the Director Higher Education (DHE).

The DHE will make a purchase committee comprising the principals of other colleges who will buy the stuff. To further ensure transparency, a separate inspection committee comprising some other principals would be made that will scrutinise the purchase.

“I was getting a lot of complaints against some principals for mismanaging funds on the pretext of buying stuff for colleges. In some cases, the quotation or even the tender process was being ignored and contracts were being given and purchases being made from one particular place only,” said Education Secretary Ram Niwas.

According to him, it shall also help in making quality purchase at the lowest rates and breaking monopoly of a single enterprise.

“The purchase of one college runs into several lakhs and I think we shall be able to reduce it by this. Moreover, we shall also be able to deal with the regular allegations about principals favouring a selected few by purchasing stuff from them,” added Niwas.


Generate funds, Sibal tells varsities
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Urging the academia and governing bodies of the universities to permit students to have a say in matters concerning them, Union Minister of Human Resource and Development Kapil Sibal today visited the Panjab University to inaugurate the academic block II of south campus, Sector 25.

Addressing a key issue, the Minister, who was on a swift visit to his alma mater, made his stand clear on the requests to the central government made by various universities for financial aid. “Every University and institution is asking for grants and financial assistance. Rather, they should become self-sufficient and generate funds for themselves now.” He said a meeting of Vice-Chancellors and principals would be called in this regard.

Sibal also challenged the head of institutions to think out-of-the-box and come up with integrated, innovated courses like two-year course in law combined with another two-year course in engineering. “Panjab University should design courses for ordinary masses as well. The courses should cater to the demand in the market,” he asserted.

Sibal also said his visit has been an effort to create grounds for a dialogue between the government and the academia. “All the stakeholders should be involved in the progress. Industry interface with the students is a must. The private companies should be invited to the campus to enable students to solve the problems they encounter,” pointed out the minister.

Meanwhile, the attempts of VC RC Sobti to get grants fell flat. Replying to the VC’s request for a grant of Rs 121.8 crore, during his speech, the minister urged the universities to not expect monetary relief from the centre. Notably, Rs 121.8 is to be paid to the PU teachers as arrears, since the new pay scale was to be implemented from 1st January, 2006. Taking on the issue of intellectual property rights, the minister also said India’s primary strength has been the human resource. “Foundation of any society depends on the knowledge generated in the education sector. In India, only 12.4 per cent children reach the college level from schools. This figure is disturbing,” he said. 



Lt Gen visits Dagshai Army School
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
General Officer Commanding 2 Corps Lt Gen Chetinder Singh visited the Army Public School, Dagshai, today. He was briefed about various school-related issues and future plans by principal Col AK Maini (retd).

The General went around the academic block and inspected science laboratories, art and craft room and computer labs. He also visited the boys and girls hostels and the dining hall, according to a statement issued here.

General Chetinder emphasised on character building and asked the students to be punctual, truthful and respectful. He further added that there should be greater interaction between teachers and students, and the school library should have additional children’s books and magazine to inculcate the habit of reading among young minds. 



6 sweetmeat shops raided
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

A doctor, along with officials of the heath department, takes samples of sweets from a shop at Daria village
A doctor, along with officials of the heath department, takes samples of sweets from a shop at Daria village. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Chandigarh, September 26
City residents should be cautious while purchasing sweets during the festive season as reports of spurious milk products have started pouring in.

Keeping in view the rise in the consumption of sweets during the festive season, a team of local health authorities led by Dr Rajesh Dhir, Dr Balbir Sing and Dr Gajneja besides three food inspectors and posse of cops raided six sweetmeats units in the mithaiyan wali gali at Daria village today.

The team checked the quality of “khoya” and other items being prepared in the dusty and unhygienic environment of the village located opposite the railway station and took samples with them.

While giving the details of the raid Dr Dhir said they had visited Aggarwal Sweets, Chandigarh Sweets Bazaar, Jai Maa Sweets, Om Sweets, Shri Krishna Sweets among others and collected samples of milk cake, “barfi”, “dhoda”, “shakarbari” and Gujarati mix and milk from these units. One of the manufacturing units had even cleaned the machinery after being tipped off about the raid to be conducted by the health authorities, he added.

Dr Dhir said these manufacturing units also bought “khoya” and other milk products from the neighboring states such as Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in view of the hike in the demand of the sweets during the festive season. He said they had been keeping watch on these units so that they could be restrained from bringing adulterated “khoya” and other products from outside the city.

The health authorities found foul smell emanating from the wastewater accumulated near the main gate of Aggarwal sweets and the dust everywhere as streets were being re-laid. Insects could be seen in “gulab jamuns” and “rasgoolas” prepared by Chandigarh Sweets, they added.

The authorities also raided a manufacturing unit in house No 390 D near a gurdwara at the village and took samples of milk cake with them. He said the reports of the samples were expected after one-and-a-half month. Actions would be taken against those whose samples failed test. Heavy fines would also be imposed on them, they added. 



DPI (S) stripped of all powers
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
While it might take the police report to make things official, UT administration has stripped Samwartak Singh, the DPI (S), of all powers and ‘responsibilities’.

Though the police is yet to elaborate upon the role of Samwartak in the scam, the administration seems to have taken the step to combat the embarrassment brought to it by his alleged connections with the accused. Not only this, with no immediate replacement of his been found so far the Education department’s work stands stalled.

The phenomenon that started with the result of the written test being delayed till date has now spread to department’s other endeavors as well. The issue involving consent or consultation of an officer above the DEO are either being deferred or being referred to the Home Secretary himself. Even the tourism department seems to be sharing the same fate, as according to sources, Samwartak has not been included in any event organising or executing committees so far.

“Yes he has been stripped of all major decision-making powers. We had to take this step and exclude him of all major bodies or committees of the departments’ concerned. The routine work of any department is of course not affected but yes major decisions are being looked into by me, ” Home Secretary Ram Niwas added.

Though the administration for long maintained that they were waiting for the police report to take any decision, but the trouble started for Samwartak right from the day the main accused Jolly confessed being in touch with him. With his call records confirming the fact the administration immediately removed him from the chairmanship of the TGT selections and eventually withdrew all his powers.

Though, according to many, Samwartak is already on his way out; the home secretary maintains that any further decision depends on the police report expected next week.



Mayor’s Report Card
Full of controversies, no work
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

The Federation of Sector Welfare Associations expressed concern over the non-functioning of the corporation as service provider. Members viewed that rather than addressing the problems faced by residents, elected representatives are engaged over the tussle of power and the officials have brought the development works virtually to a standstill. PC Sanghi, FOSWAC chairman, stated that the Mayor had not even called a meeting for hearing the grievances of people

Projects pending

Mahila Bhawan project
Community centers in sectors 48, 49 and 52
Multi-level parking
Modernising seven “dhobhi ghats”
Two fire stations in southern sectors
Stadium, community center and park at Khajeri
Park at Hallo Majra

Chandigarh, September 26
With only three months left for Chandigarh Municipal Corporation’s Mayor Kamlesh tenure to end, she is all set to leave behind a legacy of “controversies and no work.”

Kamlesh, who assumed this office in January, spent most of her time arguing with the Municipal Commissioner and other officers over the issue of gaining more executive powers.

While she practically achieved nothing, almost all projects of her predecessors are still pending. She herself hasn’t initiated any big projects for the city.

Kamlesh may not be having a lengthy list of projects in her kitty but her tenure has an unending list of controversies. She had in February employed two persons for her camp office in Sector 24 and asked the municipal commissioner to pay their salaries from the civic body’s account. But, the municipal commissioner refused because as per the Punjab Municipal Act, which is applicable in Chandigarh, Section 71 B (1), only the commissioner had the right to employ or recruit any employee.

However, due to the imposition of code of conduct during general elections from March to May no controversy cropped up in the corporation’s functioning.

Her official vehicle Toyota Corolla (CH-01-G1-0057) met with an accident in June while she was going to Ahmedabad. The Gujarat tour, which would have put a burden of Rs 17,000 on the exchequer, cost the corporation Rs 80,000 or more for the week. Questions were raised as to how the mayor decided to take her official vehicle (after seeking permission from the adviser) for such a long trip when she had the option of travelling by air.

The Municipal Corporation’s house meeting which met in June, she had remarked, “I am powerless. Officers don’t listen to me. Calling them for discussion on the development works does not come under my jurisdiction”. Local Secretary Ram Niwas took up the issue and directed the Mayor and the Municipal Commissioner to resolve the issue amicably. But as it did not end up there, the UT administration intervened and constituted a committee to review and suggest measures for smooth functioning of the corporation.

Kamlesh declined to accept the report of the review committee in July. It was constituted by the UT administration for monitoring the working of the corporation.

Mayor’s brother, Jagdish, had extended his commercial premises on public land at Dadumajra in August. This news spread like a wildfire.

Mayor Kamlesh stated that most of pending were held up with the UT administration for the approval of the building plans. “I had on numerous occasions sent reminders to administration but nothing has been done so far,” she added.

While recalling the major projects, which she took up for the city is, Kajauli water works, phase V and VI and the proposal for setting up fire academy.

Former mayor Harjinder Kaur stated that the Mayor’s tenure was of ‘questioning and cross-questioning’ between the elected representative and the bureaucrats. In the past nine months entire system of the corporation has reversed and even the routine development works have been held up due to the tussle.

MPS Chawla, one of the nominated councillors, stated that the year could be termed as total failure of the Congress. He revealed that most of the councillors used to visit the Mayor’s office on alternative days. Now, it is every alternate month, which shows the confidence of councillors in her.



Session on swine flu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
On the second day of the national conference on paediatric critical care, award paper sessions, symposia and panel discussions were held.

A special session was held on swine flu (H1N1) pandemic.

The session was chaired by Prof Sunit Singhi, chief organiser of the congress. Dr Preutthipan from Thailand, who has a great deal of experience in dealing with cases of swine flu, discussed at length the profile of such patients.

She said in Thailand, approximately 15,000 patients had been affected by swine flu and of them 153 had died making the mortality only 1 per cent.

Most of the patients, who required hospitalisation had pre-existing serious underlying diseases, such as lung, heart, intestinal and cancers. Dr Niranjan Kissoon from Canada compared the current pandemic of swine flu with previous influenza pandemics. He discussed about the need for pandemic planning and the administrative steps that must be taken.

Dr Paula Lister from UK talked about various models for triaging patients.

The word “triage” means to classify patients according to disease severity at the point of entry into a hospital, so that appropriate levels of care can be provided. She discussed a number of statistical models of triage. She mentioned that triaging would be successful as long as the pandemic could be contained to moderate levels, however, it would be of marginally benefit once the health system became overwhelmed by the problem.

She said triage policies must be flexible, population-specific and context specific.

In the symposium on sepsis and septic shock, Dr D Bohn from Canada spoke about the steps of resuscitating patients with severe infections and low blood pressure. Dr Bohn dealt with the areas of consensus and controversies. Dr Rakesh Lodha from AIIMS, Delhi, discussed about the newer adjunctive therapies in sepsis.

A panel discussion was held on capacity planning in emergencies, disaster and pandemics. Dr Paula Lister moderated the session. The panelists were Dr S De Silva, Dr J Chinappa, Dr N Tsoi and Dr S Udani. 



Craft mela logo released

Chandigarh, September 26
UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas today released the logo of the first Chandigarh National Craft Mela here.

The event will commence with a classical dance performance by renowned Bharatnatyam dancer Devayani on October 24.

The other major attractions of the event would be qawwali by famous qawwal Fareed Sabri, a fashion show with traditional dresses, antakshri competition, Haryana Day celebrations, Punjab Day celebrations, Voice of Chandigarh, folk dance competition and orchestra competition.

It was decided that teams of NZCC would perform in an open mobile truck, which would be fully decorated with flowers and well equipped with light and sound. The truck will visit across the city to spread the feeling of festivity among the citizens. — TNS



Autos halt after malfunction at LPG stations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
A serpentine queue of mostly auto rickshaws could been seen at the LPG filling station in Sector 34 today evening as one out of the two nozzles were not functioning. To make the situation worse another LPG station in Sector 22 was not working.

Auto rickshaws had to wait for hours together for getting the gas filled in their vehicles. Presently, the city has approximately 500 LPG-run auto rickshaws, besides other vehicles.

LPG shortage could pose major problem if the number of such vehicles increases drastically. Though, the administration had banned plying of auto rickshaws on the city roads from August 31 onwards. But, the vehicles are still plying on the city roads following the High Court’s intervention.

Arjun Singh, a retired sepoy, said: “ Our driver is waiting for his chance for the more than an hour. I, too, am stuck at the ISBT in Sector 17”. 



Man dies of electrocution
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
A labourer died after getting electrocuted in Palsora village here today.The police said Kulwinder was trying to fix an illegal power connection at his residence when he came in contact with a naked electricity wire and received an electric shock.

Kulwinder was then rushed to the hospital where he was declared brought dead.

A case has been registered at the Sector 39 police station against owner of the house Keshav and contractor Darshan Singh. No arrests have been made so far.



Court Cases
Home Secy for prompt reply by nodal officers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
In order to streamline the timely submission of replies to various pending court cases by different departments of the Chandigarh administration, Home Secretary Ram Niwas convened a meeting here on Thursday.

Ram Niwas was of the view that whenever a department received any court case, the nodal officer should be asked to take up the matter in a time-bound manner.

He further directed the heads of department to brief the nodal officer concerned regarding the implication of the case they were going to represent in the court and hold them accountable if the court imposed a penalty or initiated action against the department due to any delay in reply.

Director (Information Technology) Manjit Singh Brar said the intra-website of the administration had a module for updating the status of pending cases of the departments, which could then easily be monitored by the legal remembrancer.



Swine Flu
Ambala student tests positive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Another patient was tested positive for the Swine Flu in the city today, whereas seven samples of suspected cases were colleted and sent for test by the UT health department. The student is stated to be in critical condition and is on ventilator.

HC Gera, UT Nodal Officer for Swine Flu, said a student of Chaman Vatika School in Ambala, who was admitted to Chetanya Hospital in the city, had been tested positive.

Gera said samples of seven more cases of suspected swine flu, which include three PGI doctors, an MBBS student of the Government Medical College and Hospital and a student each of KBDAV School and Ryan International School had been reported in the city today.

He said they had collected the samples and sent them for tests.



Workshop on role of health technology
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
A follow-up workshop on SIGNET project was today organised by the department of hospital administration and the SIGNET Group at the Government Medical College and Hospital-32. Prof Raj Bahadur was the chief guest on the occasion.

The workshop was attended by heads of the department and senior faculty members. The workshop focused on the streamlining of procurement procedures and role of health technology assessment. Other issues like overcrowding of emergency and OPDs were also discussed.

Prof Raj Bahadur said efforts would be put in to make the GMCH a leading medical institute. Dr Vipin Koushal, medical superintendent, dwelled on various issues related to procurement procedures.

A constructive work was done by faculty members and they came up with useful and practical solutions.

The workshop was followed by a panel discussion by experts in the area of procurement of medical goods. Members of the panel discussion were Dr Harvinder Singh, Deputy Secretary to Government of India, Pankaj Talwar, chief account officer, PGI, and Dr Vipin Koushal, MS, GMCH. They highlighted and shared their valuable experiences in the procurement process.



Shortage of water, power Councillors to protest on Sept 30
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 26
Flaying frequent power cuts and water shortage in Mohali, Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu today announced that municipal councillors would stage a protest wearing black gowns in Phase VIII on September 30 and burn an effigy of the Punjab government, which had failed to provide even the basic facilities.

While addressing mediapersons at a press conference, Sidhu said over the past five days, the duration of power cuts was being increased by the power board, making life miserable for residents. Earlier, cuts were imposed only during day-time, but residents now were having sleepless nights, because the power board had started imposing cuts even at night.

Water was also not being supplied to parts of the town since the past three days and he had received a large number of complaints from persons living in Phases from IX to XI and Sectors 70 and 71. A woman from Phase X told him last evening that she did not have even a drop of water in her house. It was unfortunate that residents of Mohali were not getting adequate water from Kajauli Waterworks, which was based in Punjab, while Chanidigarh was being given most of the share, he added.

The MLA appealed to members of various welfare bodies, political leaders and residents to join the protest for demanding adequate “bijli-paani” for Mohali.

Sidhu said the Mohali residents were leading a miserable life because the government had failed to provide the basic facilities even when the SAD leaders kept making tall claims regarding the development of Mohali.

He said the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority was more concerned about selling plots in the town rather than starting work in Phases V and VI of Kajauli waterworks, which would have helped to meet the water shortage of the town.

Later, in the evening, Sukhminder Singh Barnala told The Tribune that the water supply system had totally failed in Mohali. It was strange that if a breakdown happened at Kajauli, residents had to do without water because the department concerned had no reserves, which could be used for a day or two. The water supply position was quite bad as hardly any water was provided in Phase XI today and elected representatives had to bear the wrath of the people. Though the department had pressed water tankers into service, residents were unhappy as they had to stand in queues to get some water.

However, a resident of Phase X, Paramjit Kaur, said water was supplied at low pressure for about three hours in the morning and people had filled up whatever they could. Water tankers were also plying in the area and the position was much better than yesterday.



Seminar on police admn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The police administration course under the Centre for Emerging Areas in Social Sciences, Panjab University, in collaboration with the ICSSR conducted a one-day seminar on “Police administration: Emerging issues with special reference to north-western states in India” yesterday.

Dr KP Singh, IG, Haryana Police, delivered a keynote address and through some glimpses of the movie “Ankur” stressed that if the police would not ensure justice to people, the people would take justice in their own hands.

Prof RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said the administration of the police had gone a drastic change due to various scientific and technological advances at a fast pace. He further stressed on the need of prison management.



Heavy rush in trains
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Jam-packed trains and long waiting lists are the highlights of the trains during this peak season.

The festivals have left almost all trains, which connect Chandigarh to other cities, travelling with 100 per cent passengers. The Kalka-Shatabdi Express has already been seeing full bookings.

The Chandigarh-Lucknow Sadbhavna Express completed its journey with two additional coaches yesterday.

The passengers can book their tickets online for holiday special trains, which were introduced recently. The online bookings are open for the Chandigarh-Dibrugarh special, which leaves the Chandigarh station every Thursday at 3.50 pm.

The special train service has been extended to October 29 due to the increased passenger traffic.

Coming month, the train will leave from Chandigarh on October 8, 15, 22 and 29 and will leave from Dibrugarh on October 5, 12, 19 and 26.



Central Varsity Status for PU
Sibal puts ball in Badal’s court 
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Union Minister for Human Resource and Development, Kapil Sibal, today urged the Panjab University authorities to focus on humanities, rather than giving importance to technical studies only. The minister, who was on a brief visit to his alma mater, inaugurated the academic block II of the South campus in Sector 25.

He talked about the neglect of arts subjects in the contemporary scenario and recommended the introduction of new courses that were a blend of science and humanities. “ The basic knowledge of law can be coupled with technology. Universities and colleges should introduce courses that cater to the demands of the market,” he suggested.

Before addressing a gathering at the Law auditorium, the minister also inaugurated an exhibition at the Museum of Fine arts on “Panjab University: History and Heritage” after planting a sapling in the UIET campus, Sector 25, and inaugurating the new block.

Responding to the memorandum submitted by the Panjab University’s teachers Union (PUTA) and the Panjab University Campus Student’s council (PUCSC), demanding the Central status for the university, the minister dismissed the issue, blaming the delay on the Punjab Chief Minister. “ I don’t have a magic wand that I can solve this problem. There is no resistance from our side, it is for the Punjab Chief Minister to decide on the issue,” rued Sibal.

Meanwhile, Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti today confirmed the introduction of an “open credit system” and a dual degree system in the university. “The open credit system is on the verge of launch and the dual degree system is already being practised. The open credit system will prove to be of great help to the students,” he added.

The students will be able to access their detailed marks obtained in the examination through this system. Professor Sobti also assured the minister of the introduction of new innovative and integrated courses for the ‘ordinary masses’.

The vice-chancellor brought to light various issues related to the affiliated colleges. “ The vice-chancellors of various universities remain occupied with problems of the colleges. There should a solution for this, a system of residential and non-residential universities should be thought of by the government.”

The minister put down the request for grants raised by the vice-chancellor repeatedly in his speech. “Every university and institution is asking for grants and financial assistance. Rather, they should become self-sufficient and generate funds for themselves now,” pointed out Sibal.

He also said a meeting of vice- chancellors and principals would be called in this regard soon.



‘Career opportunities in security services increasing’
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 26
ITFT Education Group, Chandigarh, in association with the Chandigarh Management Association (CMA), celebrated the World Tourism Day today with an interface on “Upcoming strategies in security services.”

AR Talwar, principal secretary, home affairs, and Justice, Punjab, who was chief guest, said the security and safety were important, not only for the government organisations but for private establishments and services also. He said a large number of companies were strengthening their security and seeking services ranging from man, guarding to background checks for employees and espionage operations.

Writer and tourism veteran Pran Seth was honoured with life-time achievement award for his contribution towards tourism, and his autobiographical book, “Lahore to Delhi...Rising from the ashes”, was also released.

Students excel

Students of Chandigarh College of Pharmacy (CCP) captured five out of ten positions in the merit list of PTU's eighth semester examination.

According to a press release, students who bagged five positions in the merit list were Anil Kumar with 85 per cent, Amrita Arora with 83.2 per cent, Gurdeep Kaur with 83.2 per cent, Abhay Salwan with 82.2 per cent and Ruchika with 82.1 per cent marks. Out of the remaining positions, three have gone to each of government institute, Amritsar, and ISFCP, Moga, while SSCP, Badhani, and GPW, Patiala, have managed one position each.



9-hr power cut hits life in Mohali
Tribune Reporters

Mohali, September 26
Power woes of Mohali residents are increasing with each passing day.On Saturday, the power cuts went beyond nine hours, throwing normal life out of gear.“Ever since the power generation at hydel projects at Anandpur Sahib has been affected, the power supply to the city and neighbouring areas has been badly affected.

 If the hot and sultry conditions continue, the power demand will go up further and the duration of the power cuts would be further extended,” said sources in the Punjab State Electricity Board.

In the city, the cuts are also being imposed in early morning hours and during the night hours.

The sudden failure of water supply line from Kajauli badly affected the water supply for the second consecutive day. In wake of inadequate arrangement of water by the public health department, residents were seen ferrying water from unsafe sources. In Phase X, residents were forced to fetch water from a hand pump.

Sukhminder Singh Barnala, a resident of Phase XI, said the water supply system had totally failed in Mohali. It was strange that if a breakdown happened at Kajauli, residents had to do without water because the department concerned had no reserves, which could be used for a day or two. The water supply position was quite bad as hardly any water was provided in Phase XI today and elected representatives had to bear the wrath of the people. Though the department had pressed water tankers into service, residents were unhappy, as they had to stand in queues to get some water. A resident of Phase X, Paramjit Kaur said water was supplied at low pressure for about three hours in the morning and people had filled up whatever they could.

Coming to the rescue of the residents, Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu today announced that municipal councillors would stage a protest, wearing black gowns in Phase VIII on September 30 and burnt an effigy of the Punjab government, which had failed to provide even the basic facilities.

Sidhu said over the past five days, the duration of power cuts was being increased by the PSEB, making life miserable for residents. Earlier, cuts were imposed only during day-time, but residents, now, were having sleepless nights, because the PSEB had started imposing cuts even at night. Water was also not being supplied to parts of the town for the past three days and he had received a large number of complaints from persons living in Phases from IX to XI and Sectors 70 and 71.

It was unfortunate that residents of Mohali were not getting adequate water from Kajauli waterworks, which was based in Punjab, but Chandigarh was being given most of the share, he added. The MLA appealed to members of various welfare bodies, political leaders and residents to join the protest for demanding adequate “bijli-paani” for Mohali.

A demand to start work on the Phases V and VI of Kajauli waterworks was also made on the occasion.



Subscribers suffer as BSNL shifts phones
Phones go dead in phases X, XI
Tribune News Service
Employees of BSNL repair a damaged joint in Phase XI, Mohali.
Employees of BSNL repair a damaged joint in Phase XI, Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, September 26
Over 2,000 telephone subscribers in the Southern part of the city continue to be at receiving end, thanks to the lackadaisical attitude of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).

The subscribers, especially in Phases X and XI, are tired of making repeated rounds of the BSNL’s office to lodge complaints of dead phones.

Ever since the BSNL officials at Mohali hurriedly started shifting over 5,000 telephone numbers from the telephone exchange in Phase X to another telephone exchange in Phase XI here, the problems started surfacing.

As a result, a number of telephone connections have been out of order for various durations, ranging from 15 days to one month. JS Jaswal, a resident of Phase XI, lamented that his phone had been out of order for the last several weeks.

“Tired of replies of the officials, I have entered a protest note in the complaint registered at the Phase XI exchange,” he added.

The Tribune approached several such harried subscribers.

Enquiries reveal that since no senior official supervised the outdoor work of cable jointing, the untrained men of the contractor did not follow the proper procedure in jointing the cables after the crossover. As a result, a number of shifted telephone numbers had again gone out of order. The shoddy work came to lights when water entered manholes in Phase XI. The linemen found that jointing material had cracked open, resulting in phone going dead.

For the last few days, men are at work in Phase XI to join the cables. The evidence of the shoddy work done right under the nose of the officials concerned is still lying along the dug-up sites.



Politics playground of liars: Yograj 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 26
“Main tumhare liye goli khaa sakta hoon… Mujhe jisne paani bhi pilayaa hai main uska ehsaan kabhi nahin bhoola… Uski boohdi maa, uska haath mere hatthon mein de gayi thi pur woh mujeh chhod gayaa”.

These words coupled with an actor’s voice may sound like dialogues rolling out from a commercial Hindi movie but these aren’t. This is an election speech of cricketer-turned-actor, Yograj Singh, who now dons the caps of an INLD candidate for the constituency. Crisp theatrical dialogues in his husky and familiar, at least to Punjabi film watchers, voice and a ‘jadoo ki jhappi’ or a hug to anyone who comes near him is Yograj’s USP for garnering votes.

Yograj, who don’t show green pastures to the audience in his public meetings, however, don’t leave any chance to condemn the politicians. “Politics is a playground for liars and the crores of rebirths of humans mentioned in mythology are meant for the politicians,” said Yograj forgetting that he has already stepped into the same arena. Like in the Jind rally yesterday, he didn’t forget to term Om Parkash Chautala as his father and Devi Lal his grandfather. Yograj is cautious while making any big promises. I don’t make big promises, however, you would have the right to thrash me in public when you don’t find me with you at the time of need, he added.

His party workers on the other hand don’t lag behind promising an international cricket academy and stadium in the town before he addresses the meetings.

While Yograj’s own speech is all about his “sincerity” to friends and bitter memories about politicians, for his party men he’s only Yuvraj’s father. His own contributions to the world of cricket and Punjabi cinema notwithstanding his party men are talking about his ‘khoon’ (blood) that runs in Yuvraj. “He seems to be living under the shadow of his son”, said a youngster, Ritinder, who admitted that he came to the rally to get a snap clicked with the ‘celebrity’s’ father. There were many like Ritender, who come with their children for a photograph and Yograj didn’t disappoint them and even obliged many with a ‘jhappi’ as well as autograph.


Students less inclined towards research: Expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Stating that a career in research is not attracting talent, Prof VS Ramamurthy, chairman, Recruitment and Assessment Board of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) stressed upon de-bureaucratisation of research organisations and simplifying recruitment procedures.

“In the changed scenario of instant success and money, attracting bright young students into research has become difficult,” he said.

“The number of career options have also increased manifold over the years making students less inclined towards research,” he added.

Prof Ramamurthy was here to deliver a lecture at the Central Scientifics Instruments Organisation (CSIO), as a part of the CSIR foundation day celebrations.

He was of the opinion that retired persons could be a vital human resource by executing the role of mentors and hiring them for training and consultancy proved to be cost effective.

He said generation, dissemination and storage of knowledge required immense human efforts and hence in research, human resources were critical. Even the management of knowledge generating human resources is a unique task, he pointed out.

As part of the CSIR foundation day celebration, all CSIO laboratories were kept open for the general public. Over 600 visitors, including students, went around the research facilities and had the opportunity to witness live demonstrations of instruments developed at the CSIO.

Meanwhile, at the Institute of Microbial Technology, also a CSIR establishment, a technical lecture on “Atoms and molecules in a confined environment” was delivered by Prof N Sathyamurthy, director, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali.



Workshop on quantitative data analysis ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
A weeklong specialised training workshop on “Quantitative data analysis in social science research” organised by the ICSSR northwestern regional centre concluded today at the ICSSR Complex, Panjab University.

The workshop provided specialised training to around 30 scholars, who had already attended the basic workshop. It covered themes such as framing a research question, reading data from various sources, summarising quantitative data, describing variations, tests of significance and logic of regression.

The participants were also given hands-on practical on SPSS, a powerful and intricate software, extensively used for data analysis in social sciences.

Dr Pampa Mukherjee and Dr Kailash KK of Panjab University were coordinators of the workshop.

Professor Bhupinder Brar, director of the centre, and PK Saini, deputy director, expressed great satisfaction at the successful conclusion of the workshop.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |