C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rainwater tanks to be mandatory for big houses
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
City residents, particularly those staying in houses measuring one kanal or above in area, as well as offices of the same size should brace themselves to face administrative action if they fail to install a rain harvesting system within three months.

Interestingly, though officials say residents of old houses need not bother with this requirement, the order issued by the chief administrator’s office on October 16, 2008, stated otherwise. It said: “All buildings that are, or will be, located on a plot measuring one kanal and above shall have rain a harvesting system to recharge groundwater, installed as per the specifications given by the administration. All existing buildings shall install such a system within two years from the date of issuance of this order”.

The proven records of water harvesting as the biggest alternative to meet dwindling resources, particularly in the cities, are yet to find any commendable results in the City Beautiful. Experts, speaking at different forums, have predicted that over a period of time water harvesting could solve 40 per cent of the water problem in cities.

It is worth mentioning here at least 18 states have made rooftop rainwater harvesting systems mandatory for new buildings. The Karnataka government had even proposed to offer a 10 per cent rebate on water supply bills for those practicing rainwater harvesting.

The UT administration is desperately trying to get water out of the new works being carried out at the Kajauli water works, the main supply line for the city. The Punjab government has decided, in principle, to carry out the work on phases V and VI of the Kajauli water works, out of which the UT will get no share at all. However, at the same time Chandigarh has been offered to lay phases VII and VIII of the waterworks.

UT finance secretary Sanjay Kumar said: “After detailed deliberations, we had made it mandatory for all new buildings to have water harvesting facilities. In the case of old buildings a two-year period for installing this system was given, while it will be mandatory for all new buildings”.


l Availability of water supply in the city as of today is 285 lpcd (litres per capita per day) compared to the national norm of 150 lpcd

l Interestingly, officials say the new UT order doesn’t cover old residential premises. With most of the city area already covered and many buildings measuring one kanal and above, one wonders about the real implication of the UT order

Experts’ views

The potential of rooftop rainwater harvesting for a plot measuring 250 square metres for an average annual rainfall of 1,000 mm (assuming 50% of plot area as roof area) would be 125,000 litres per year. Assuming only 60 per cent of this potential could be stored, the quantity of water available in a year would be 75,000 litres/year. The quantity of water available for a day would be 250 litres ((75,000/365) per plot. Considering a family of 5 persons, the availability of water would be 50 litres for a person in a day. The average water requirement of a person is approximately 100 litres in a day. 



Monsoon may be late: Met
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The city has been witnessing high temperatures for the past two days. There has been no thunderstorm or rain, as predicted by the Met department for June 24 to 26.

With no signs of the heatwave abating, the maximum temperature today was recorded at 38.5 degree Celsius, 1.3 degrees higher than yesterday’s 37.2 degree Celsius. The minimum temperature rose from 25.4 degree Celsius yesterday to 29.0 degree Celsius, two degrees above normal.

To add to the misery, the monsoon might get delayed, according to Surendra Paul, Director, India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Known to be one of the most unpredictable weather phenomena, the monsoon’s date with the city and neighbouring areas of Punjab and Haryana was likely to be delayed by 4 or 5 days. Pre-monsoon showers would also give the city a miss, he added.

“It is difficult to predict the exact day on which the monsoon will arrive in the city. It depends on a lot of factors, such as cyclones and wind strength, but the monsoon has had only a few deviations this year. There should not be much difference between the normal date of arrival and the actual date of arrival,” said Paul. Last year, the monsoon arrived a day later than normal, on June 30, he added.

An IMD official said the exact date for the monsoon's arrival was yet to be ascertained. According to the IMD, the monsoon might be slightly delayed. “The monsoon may not arrive on June 29, but it will not be delayed much,” he said.

He further pointed out that the easterly wind movement right now was favourable in bringing the monsoon to the region. “The westerly winds have been circulating from Delhi to Bihar. Only the easterlies can push the monsoon in the opposite direction. Hence, we can just wait for the monsoon to arrive in the city,” he added.

During this transit period, when there was a change from one season to another, delayed activity by four or five days was likely. It was quite hot today. According to the IMD, the city might see a partly cloudy sky, with the possibility of thundery conditions or light rain during the next 24 hours.

Residents had to bear the brunt of the abnormal heat throughout the day. “Why can the weather department not predict correctly the arrival of the monsoon? When we are waiting for some relief in the form of showers, the sun starts shining bright, washing away all hopes for pleasant weather. The day was extremely hot, contrary to predictions of the Met department,” said Shruti Gupta, a government employee.

The Met office said the maximum temperature on Monday would be around 39 degree Celsius and the minimum temperature on Tuesday would be around 28 degrees Celsius. Humidity levels were recorded at between 65 per cent and 37 per cent.

The Met office forecast light rain or thundershowers at isolated places in Punjab and Haryana. Thunder squalls with wind speed exceeding 45 kmph could occur at isolated places in the two states, it added.



Staff & Money Blues
More depts for MC won’t be easy
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The transfer of more departments to the municipal corporation (MC) is not going to be a cakewalk, going by the ground realities in the respective work domain, staff availability and financial viability of the proposed change.

As per information, the Chandigarh Administration proposes to transfer all green belts, 18 sanctioned and three unsanctioned dispensaries, a polyclinic, Ayush hospital at Maloya and seven primary schools to the corporation. The administration will not give any supporting staff from its kitty. Sources said the administration was insisting on the corporation to create its own cadre for these departments within six months. Till then, the exiting staff arrangement will continue.

Officiating MC Commissioner PK Sharma said it was not possible for the corporation to handle these departments without the supporting staff. He said they had no information about the transfer of health and education department to the corporation. Earlier also on the issue of transferring of rehabilitation colonies to the corporation, the administration had shown its helplessness in providing staff and funds.

Sources in the administration said it had also been decided that the administrative staff would not be transferred with the departments in the MC, as there was already a crunch of staff in the administration. As a majority of employees in health and education department are on deputation, it was not possible to transfer them. Another reason was that there would be legal complications which may arise due to the issue of seniority in the existing department and a majority of the UT employees were not willing to get transferred to the MC.

On this, the corporation had sent a communiqué to the administration that as the corporation was already facing staff crunch, it would not be possible for it to handle additional responsibility of 16 colonies without funds and staff. Officers say the transfer was meaningless without matching staff deployment.

It may be mentioned that in December last year, the UT estate office had started the process of transferring all rehabilitation colonies to the MC. As per records, there were at present two colonies Mauli Jagran and Sector 52 which are under the corporation and the remaining 16 were being maintained by the UT estate office and Chandigarh Housing Board.

Sources revealed that according to an official communiqué received from the administration on April 1, the corporation had been asked as to whether it had recruited the staff for taking the responsibility of rehabilitation colonies to be shifted under its jurisdiction soon. But till date, no agreement had been reached over terms and conditions on this issue.



Moment to Cheer
City’s football team bring home trophy
Deepankar Sharda

Chandigarh, June 27
It was a proud moment for the city’s junior football team when they lifted the DR BC Roy Trophy in the final at Kolkata today.This was the first time when the local team won the top position in the 47-year-old event.

Chandigarh defeated host West Bengal in a tie-breaker by 6-5. “It’s not easy to play in Kolkata and also against Kolkata, but these young legs proved that they had worked hard to win the trophy,” said coach Tejinder Kumar.

It’s important to mention that Chandigarh team had lost their match against Kolkata by 2-1 in the quarterfinal stage of the tournament. Undeterred in their ambition, the team made a bold recovery by defeating Karnataka in the semifinal.

Rajib Ghouri of the host team netted the ball in visitor’s goal in the 43rd minute of the play. After chasing in the first half of the match by 1-0, Chandigarh team fought back in the second-half through the strike of Laltha Zuala in the 75th minute. The match remained one each draw at the stipulated 90 minutes.

The teams were allotted 30 minutes as extra time, which proved goal less. In the third minute, Sandesh Jhingani of Chandigarh team made exit after referee gave him the second yellow card. But the high-spirited Chandigarh team continued to play with 10 men. After the final whistle of the match, the match moved to the tie-breaker where the team got better of the host by 5-4 when Akashdeep Singh, Sumit Passi, Chinkash Tiwari, Gagandeep Singh and Shehnaz Singh converted the spot kick into goals.

“It’s team effort that did the magic,” said Tejinder.



Canada, Oz amend immigration rules
l Announce new occupation lists l Australia to again accept new applications 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Canada and Australia have announced major changes in immigration rules which are good for the prospective immigrants as well as old applicants who are in the processing queue.

Both have announced new occupation lists and Australia, which had stopped accepting new applications for the past four months, has thrown the doors open again, according to a press note issued by immigration consultancy firm WWICS here today.

Canada has come up with a new occupation in demand list, adding that occupations like primary production managers (except agriculture), adjusters and claims examiners, biologists and related scientists, architects, dentists, pharmacists and social workers while omitting some others.

However, Canada will now accept only 20,000 applications with a maximum of 1,000 
applications per occupation for those applying under the 
occupation list.

In addition, all federal skilled worker and canadian experience class applicants will now be required to send complete and comprehensive file, including IELTS result, to the Central Intake Unit at the time of filing the application in order to promptly get into the processing queue.

Meanwhile, Australia has come up with a new Skill Occupation List (SOL), which will come into effect from July 1, 2010.

Now, all major skilled professionals and trade persons were included in the SOL,Lt-Col BS Sandhu (retd), CMD, WWICS, said.


Heart patient needs help
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The family of Harish Sharma, helper at a tailor shop, has been trying hard to collect money for saving the life of the only breadwinner for the family. He has been lying at home for the last four months since a a mild heart attack.

“Last year, I started feeling uneasy and breathless, but avoided going to hospital, considering it a routine health problem. I did not want to go to the doctor and spend money on any small illness or taking leave. Four months ago, I started feeling acute pain in the chest,” he said.

“I was taken to the PGI, where doctors diagnosed me with angina pectious, requiring coronary angioplasty and stenting, for which Rs 1,70,000 was needed. It is next to impossible to shell out so much money with a meagre salary of Rs 3,500,” said Harish.

“My wife, working as domestic help, aids take care of our two children, who are BA students. Her employers provide accommodation at the servant quarters and pay her Rs 1,300,” he added.

You can chip in

Donations can be made through cheque/draft favouring the PGI Director. The patient’s name should be mentioned behind the cheque/draft. In case of queries, the PGI’s poor patient cell can be contacted at 2756006 and 2756930



Queen’s Baton to Reach Chandigarh on July 1
Security stepped up in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The Chandigarh Police has made elaborate security arrangements for the arrival of the Queen’s Baton in the city on July 1 and has deployed around 1,100 police personnel, both across it route and to guard the venue at the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium.

The police will impose traffic restriction on the route of the baton in the city and also around its venue at the cricket stadium when it is carried through parts of the city on July 3.

UT SP (Traffic and Security) HS Doon said there was a change in the schedule of the arrival of the baton, which was earlier scheduled for July 3. “The baton will now arrive in the city on July 1 and will be taken to the Western Command in Chandimandir area where it will remain until July 3,” Doon said.

Doon said the baton would be taken out in an open police gypsy from Dhillon lights point near Fun Republic at 3.30 pm. The caravan of vehicles accompanying the baton will pass through the Housing Board lights point, the railway lights point, the Transport lights point and then take a turn from the Sector 7 and 26 roundabout on Madya Marg and head towards the Golf Course turn and then move towards the High Court roundabout. From there, it will turn to the Rose Garden roundabout (Matka Chowk) before culminating at the cricket stadium at 4.30 pm.

“In order to minimise inconvenience to commuters, the roads will be closed to traffic only at the time when the baton is passing through them. We will not restrict the movement of ambulances or any other emergency vehicles,” said Doon, advising motorists to avoid the baton route in order to prevent traffic snarls.

The baton will be kept at the UT guesthouse in custody of the Chandigarh Police during the night before it moves to Una in Himachal Pradesh.

1,100 cops on guard

As many as 1,100 police personal will guard the baton route and the venue. These include 10 deputy superintendents of police, 26 inspectors, 110 non-gazetted officers, 860 other rank officials and 150 traffic policemen.

Traffic restrictions

Traffic will not be allowed on the section of roads leading to cricket stadium, including stretch from small rotary on Sectors 16 and 23, Matka Chowk, Hira Singh Chowk and from Gurdial Singh petrol Station in Sector 22, during the cultural programme and other events.



Police moves application to declare Sofat PO
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 27
The police has moved an application in the court to declare Ludhiana-based Dr Sumit Sofat a proclaimed offender. The application will be put up for hearing in the court after summer vacations in courts are over on July 1.

Dr Sofat is wanted by the police since July 19 last year when he allegedly staged a fake dacoity of Rs 33 lakh in Morni hills to frame a Ludhiana-based family in the criminal case. In the incident, Sofat’s driver suffered bullet injuries following which a case of attempt to murder was registered against him.

Dr Sofat was booked by the Panchkula police after he lodged a complaint in July last year stating that he was robbed of Rs 33 lakh by Ramesh Pashan and his sons belonging to Ludhiana at Morni hills.

Sofat alleged that Ramesh Pashan and his two sons Vinayak and Abhinav, with the help of their driver Ranjit and two other unidentified persons, attacked him and also injured his driver Nelson.

However, Ramesh Pashan claimed that he was busy in the engagement ceremony of one of his sons in a banquet hall of Ludhaiana on the same day produced evidence before the Panchkula police.

During investigations the police found that Sofat, who was in a dispute over a piece of land with Pashans since 2005, had allegedly staged the dacoity to frame them in the criminal case.

Following this incident Sofat allegedly tried to implicate Ramesh Pashan in a rape case at Dehradoon. With the help of a woman he lured a girl from Punjab and raped her in a hotel at Dehradoon.

The woman accompanying the girl identified the accused as Ramesh Pashan and a complaint against Ramesh was lodged with the Dehradoon police. Later, Doon police claimed that Sofat himself raped the girl to frame Ramesh. Three months ago his anticipatory bail was dismissed by Dehradoon court.



De-addiction centre proposed at civil hospital
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 27
A proposal is in the pipeline to set up a de-addiction centre at the civil hospital here shortly. Civil Surgeon Dr PK Shridhar said this while presiding over a function organised in connection with the International De-addiction Day by the health department at the civil hospital here yesterday.

He said drug addiction among the youth was increasing alarmingly and causing irreparable loss to society.

Seminars, exhibitions, declamation and poster-making contests would be organised at schools, colleges and government health institutes to raise awareness among the youth.

He appealed to NGOs and religious bodies to participate in the campaign against drug addiction.

District health officer Dr SP Surila said the day was being observed on the theme “Think Health-Not Drugs”.

He said drug addiction was causing a huge loss to the nation.

After the seminar, the participants took part in a rally, holding placards, banners and posters to convey the message.

They also raised slogans against the menace. The civil surgeon and others participated in the rally, which culminated at the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Phase I.



Now, MC to install designer gates
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 27
In a bid to settle a controversial issue, the Mohali Municipal Council has decided to remove all 39 security gates installed on various parts of the town and replace these with designer gates, which should match with the importance of the town ensuring that each new gate is manned by a security guard at night.

The gates installed by a private company on behalf of the civic body about eight months ago will be removed in phases and these will be replaced by designer gates. The work on this project will start soon after the design of the gates will be approved by the council authorities. The issue will be discussed at the meeting of the civic body in order to take suggestions of elected representatives to bring about more improvements.

President of the council Kulwant Singh said gates installed earlier were of sub-standard material and poorly designed.

The contractor had not even properly implemented the terms and conditions of the agreement as house numbers and names of councillors living in that area were not mentioned on these gates.

Amendments had now been carried out in the terms and conditions of the agreement with the contractor who had agreed to arrange security guards for these gates and improve their design as well.

Kulwant Singh said it would be discussed at the meeting as to which gate in each phase was to be kept open and which gates were to be closed at night. The closing and the opening time of these gates would also have to be fixed after proper discussion. Later, residents would be informed in this regard so that they were aware which gate in their area was open at night.

Most of the 39 security gates put up in various parts of the town earlier remained unguarded at night, defeating the very purpose for which these were installed. This had attracted lot of criticism and the matter was discussed at every meeting of the council over the past five months.

The plan to put up security gates was drawn by the former SSP of Mohali Jatinder Singh Aulakh and discussed at length at a meeting which was attended among others by former SP (City) Varinder Pal Singh, former council president Rajinder Singh Rana and former senior vice-president of the civic body Rishiv Jain.

As per the plan these gates were to be closed at night leaving one gate open, which was to be manned by a security guard who would be maintaining a register to enter the names of persons entering that particular area once the gates were closed.

The security guard was to be deployed after carrying out his police verification. 



UT Police has human face too

The Chandigarh Police with its logo “We Care for you” has shown it on ground as well on several occasions. Outsiders on city roads often mention the local police to be decent in handling them during enquiries, of course with exceptions.

This reporter has come across two occasions recently when the police personnel showed their human side. The first incident was late in the night last week when a youth, in an inebriated condition, hit his car with a road berm. The car stopped and the driver came out of the car and sat on the road. The reporter informed the police control room about the incident without revealing his identity. A PCR van reached within minutes and tried to inquire about the address of youth who even could not speak properly due to over drinking. The policemen, however, took his mobile phone and found the contact number of his father.

It was, however, a surprise for the people present on the spot that policeman was instructing the family of youth on phone to take away him away.

“The person on the phone on other end told me that father of the youth is in the hospital in serious condition,” said a PCR cop. He said: “it doesn’t look nice to increase the problems of his family at this time.” And one of the policemen was put on guard on the spot till relatives of boy came to take him away.

The second incident was a happy surprise for the reporter himself when his car broke down on the roundabout of Kisan Bhawan during heavy rains last week. One of the police personnel came out of a PCR van deputed on the spot and offered help. The policeman opened the bonnet, checked the wire connections and then pushed the car to start its engine.

And we are sure that many others in city might have experienced the same.

AK 47 still a hit

For the UT administration, the age-old AK 47 assault rifle is a latest sophisticated weapon required in combating terrorism. At least the administration says so as it announced in a press release on Saturday evening.

Factually speaking, the weapon, though still a favourite with security forces as well as terrorist though out the world, was designed during the World War-II.

Bank of good wishes

To foster the spirit and atmosphere of peace, harmony and cooperation, a unique bank titled “Billion Minutes Good Wishes Bank” was created by the Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya at Rajyoga Bhavan here on June 24.

This bank had also started operating globally on the same day, time and manner from June 24 to August 15. It would have no money deposits like other banks. Instead, it will have a daily global collection and deposit of people’s pledged good wishes minutes dedicated to the cause of world welfare and universal wellbeing.

According to BK Amir Chand, regional director of the institution, depositors in this bank would need to spread good wishes and vibrations daily for at least five minutes. In this manner over a period of 52 days, more than 1 billion minutes of good wishes will be collected, he added.

Electricity dept falters again

Perturbed by the recent media reports over the failure of the electricity department in maintaining the power supply after dust storms and strong winds, the UT electricity department showing announced that there would be no power supply on June 25 in the industrial area from 9 am to 3 pm. Impressed by the efficiency of the department, the industrial units announced a day off for their workers. Surprisingly, there was a regular power supply on that particular day and the industrial unit owners were irked as the day off caused them a huge loss.

Unique protest

In the era of information technology, youngsters have invented new ways to show their resentment for the price rise. Rather taking part in the daylong rallies, they prefer to show their resentment through Orkut or emails like “Aamdani athani kharcha rupeiya’.

(Contributions by Anil Jerath, Ramanjit Sidhu, Arun Sharma, Smriti Sharma and Aarti Kapur) 



Getting Healthier
Monitorable indicators up in UT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
To improve monitorable indicators under reproductive child health (RCH) in Chandigarh, a review meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Director, Health and Family Welfare, Dr MS Bains, here.

Professor and head of the community medicine department, School of Public Health, PGI, Dr Rajesh Kumar, said Chandigarh had shown remarkable improvement in monitorable health indicators such antenatal check-ups, immunisation coverage, institutional deliveries and breast feeding.

According to a press note issued by the UT health department, health indicators like institutional deliveries had gone up by 12 per cent while immunisation coverage had shot up by 20 per cent in the last three years.

Family planning methods were being adopted extensively as the contraception use rate in Chandigarh was 74.2 per cent till date, while the unmet need had decreased to 6 from 8.

The data on various monitorable health indicators had been collected by the health planning and evaluation cell, School of Public Health, PGI, and the Family Welfare Bureau.

Chandigarh being a healthy city, equipped with functional infrastructure of 42 dispensaries, three tertiary healthcare centres and two upgraded community health centres, had been catering to healthcare services of around 14 lakh people.

The District Family Welfare Officer, Dr Rajiv Vadhera, said the project focused especially on improving maternal and child health in slums and colonies, which housed the vulnerable population.

Nodal officer of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Dr Sangeeta, made the audience aware about the goals of this project and the new initiatives taken under the NRHM Chandigarh.

The project ‘Improving Monitorable Indicators Under RCH In Chandigarh’ was launched in 2007 in collaboration with the health planning and evaluation cell, School of Public Health, PGI.



62-yr-old killed in accident

Chandigarh, June 27
Ram Saveri, a 62-year-old resident of Sector 25, was killed after being hit by an unidentified vehicle in Sector 18 here yesterday.SHO of the Sector 19 police station said the victim, a domestic help, was knocked down by an unidentified vehicle in Sector 18.

She was seriously wounded in the mishap and was taken to Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector-16, where she was declared dead on arrival. The SHO said a case had been registered against an unidentified driver. The victim’s family had been informed at her native village in Uttar Pradesh. — TNS



Memory enhancement drug launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
A memory enhancement drug, developed by the Lucknow-based Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), was launched here today.

Head of CDRI's business management Rajendra Prasad told mediapersons: “The drug is being launched in the market in a capsule form under the brand name of “Memory Sure” by Zaar distributors for medical use.”

He said the drug contains a special bacosides enriched standardised extract of Bacopa Monniera, commonly known as “Brahmi’ (a herb), with an optimum concentration of bacogenins to produce the best cognitive enhancing effect. “Bacopa Monniera is an important ayurvedic plant used in India since Vedic times,” he said.

He said the result of the clinical trials conducted by CDRI/CSIR and have demonstrated the efficacy of the drug is significantly revitalising intellectual functions and also attenuating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children. “It also significantly improved memory scores in patients suffering from memory deficit due to Age Associated Memory Impairment (AAMI),” he said.

“This drug is natural and has no side effects,” he added.



De-addiction centre proposed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 27
A proposal is in the pipeline to set up a de-addiction centre at the civil hospital here shortly. Dr PK Shridhar, Civil Surgeon, said this while presiding over a function organised in connection with the International De-addiction Day by the health department at the civil hospital here yesterday.

He said drug addiction among the youth was increasing alarmingly and causing irreparable loss to society.

Seminars, exhibitions, declamation and poster-making contests would be organised at schools, colleges and government health institutes to raise awareness among the youth.

He appealed to NGOs and religious bodies to participate in the campaign against drug addiction.



International Day against Drug Abuse
‘Happiness Doctors’ appointed to reach out to masses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
On the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, awareness programmes were organised at various OPDs of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh.

Patients and public were apprised about drug-related health and social problems. Risks of HIV/AIDS after needle sharing were also highlighted. The occasion was also used to educate people about health hazards and social problems arising out of alcohol abuse and smoking.

Meanwhile, Yuvsatta volunteers, supported by the UT State AIDS Control Society, Chandigarh, organised a function at Bapu Dham Colony, Chandigarh, to mark the observance of International Drug Abuse Awareness Day by appointing “Women as Happiness Doctors” and spreading the message of healthy lifestyle amongst the masses at large.

Presenting appreciation certificates to women volunteers of Yuvsatta, Sandeep Mittal, deputy director, TI, State AIDS Control Society, said the selected 18 women associates of Yuvsatta would spread awareness about the de-addiction, along with counselling and medical services, at Bapu Dham Colony, Mani Majra, Colony No 4 and Daria village.

They would also motivate family members of drug addicts to deal with the affected person with love and care instead of anguish and apathy, he added.

Sharing his views on this occasion, Parmod Sharma, coordinator of Yuvsatta, said the aim of appointing special “Happiness Doctors” was to reach out to families of drug addicts with correct information to strengthen the relations of addicts to their family and community.



Jaspal Bhatti’s Spoof on Price Hike
‘Burn effigies, cook food’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Satirist Jaspal Bhatti, who won’t let any chance to go without highlighting the public dismay, today demonstrated in a novel way to protest against the shooting up of fuel prices, especially LPG.

He urged all Opposition parties and public to cook their food by burning effigies of the government. Accompanied by his wife Savita Bhatti and other members of the Nonsense Club, Bhatti said, “If the government could not give subsidy over LPG, it must announce sufficient subsidy on effigies. The government should promote effigy-making industry.”

“Thousands of protest-rallies are organised everyday across the country against the government policies or other issues, where effigy burning is an inherent part of proceedings. If we harness that energy for cooking and other household uses, we can beat the inflation to some extent,” he added.

People should do away with their gas-chulhas (burners), as it was impossible for the common man to afford a LPG cylinder for more than Rs 350 a cylinder, said Bhatti.

“Housewives should burn effigies of the prominent leaders for every-day cooking. You never know effigy of Murli Deora, the Union Petroleum Minister may generate more heat than LPG. Effigies of some over-weight ministers may be more suitable for cooking non-vegetarian foods,” he added.



Tributes paid to Punjabi poet Pooni  
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, June 27
Born to lead in the roles of a top-brass bureaucrat, poet with a real vision and an apostle of humility, Amrik Singh Pooni reigned in the hearts of literary lovers, connoisseurs and the common masses for over five decades.

Over 300 top academicians, scholars and readers from the Tri-city and Punjab converged at Randhwa auditorium to share his memories on the release ceremony of his book ‘ Aape naal turdiyan’, published after his sudden demise in April last.

Gyanpeeth awardee Punjabi poetry icon Surjit Patar eulogised Pooni as a progressive poet of deep self-introspection and aid his literary gems were an inspired recapitulation of the past and torchbearer of the future.

Chief guest SS Johl observed that Pooni had created new dimensions in all realms of literature and administration, while acclaimed critic Pritam Singh said he delved deep to bring classic dignity, incisive vigour, freshness of imagination and lucidity of expression in his poems. Earlier, poetess Manjit Indra read out the life and literary sketch of Amrik Singh Pooni, who rose from a humble background to the apex of his literary genius and the coveted post of Chief Secretary of Punjab.

Credited with eight books, mostly the anthologies of ghazals and nazams, Amrik hailed from a sleepy village of Jindowal near Nawana Shehar and used to work in his fields after losing his father at the age of seven, told Indra. He qualified for IPS and subsequently for IAS in the 1965 batch and the rest is history.

His classics like Kandiali Raah, Nange Paer, Pani wich lakeeran, Moye musma da madrasa, Rut ayae rut jaaye, Asur ton sur tak, Akheen vekh na rajjiyan, Akahan vala kya vechara and Aapay naal turdiyan would keep the new generation inspired, she said.

Amarjit Simgh Samra, novelist NS Tasneem, Baba Lali, Manmohan Deepak and Karam Singh Wakeel, too, spoke on the occasion. Principal Inderjit Kaur Vashisht and Iqbal Kaur Saund conducted the programme.

Earlier family members of the poet Amrik Pooni, including wife Parkash Kaur, sons Rana Gurjit Singh and KS Aulakh, his daughters, and extended family graced the occasion. 



Open House Response
CBSE grading has sound academic logic

Idon't understand what difference would it make, incase, my child scored 91 per cent or 95 per cent in his Class X. I am also amazed to see parents pushing their kids for more marks than what they had scored last time even while the children had dragged themselves to the verge of exhaustion. In the process, a large number of them remain only buried in their books. Without any extra-curricular activities, I feel they miss the joy of their innocent and free days.

If, admissions to Class XI are the only problem in the grading system, as is evident from the reactions in the general talk and even the media, the government needs to work on the front of streamlining the admissions than not continuing with an option of grading which attempts to ease children from the unnecessary pressure of scoring extra marks. The argument of children missing the battle for the top position in academics does not hold any merit because there are many other ways to check their acumen in the field. Debates, declamations, quiz and related activities offer ample opportunity to students in showcasing their academic merit, as well. There can be exercises based on classroom teaching which could goad them in searching for more study material than was available in the text books prescribed by the schools. This would be in the correct line of enlarging their academic vision.

Nandini Srivastava,

Sector 49, Chandigarh.

Experiment baseless

The Government seems to be experimenting mindlessly with the education system by introducing the grading system in CBSE. While, evaluation for classroom teaching is being talked as an important aspect of a student's final evaluation, there is no mention at all about strengthening the classroom teaching without which the exercise would mean nothing. Infact, our schools do not even have chemicals or other scientific gadgets, for practical.

We are continually reading about shortage of teachers in government schools and consequent bad results. So, I am not sure if the grading system had any relevance in that context.

Moreover, why should matriculation have grades and other classes have an evaluation system? We are facing problems in preparing a list for admissions to plus one. I hope the government streamlines the admission procedure to colleges incase a grading system was introduced in XII classes, later.

Bhupinder Singh,Mohali.

Being an average holds no meaning

The grading system in place for the grade X examination of the Central Board of Secondary Education holds no benefit for students except saving them the examination blues for a nail biting finish. This affects only the category of toppers because to the average students it did not matter how much they scored. Getting an admission in a reputed school for them would have meant the same rigour even if there were no grades.

There is a general feeling that grades without the internal assessment did not mean anything. This affected the admission process to higher classes. Internal assessment has the element of subjectivity. It is an established fact that there are repeated complaints about unfair marking in the practical examination of the university examination.

Schools without any infrastructural facilities, meaning no extra curricular activities, are often shown securing top grades. Importantly, even the internal marking would also be in grades so how would it affect the tabulation of the final merit. Still, there would be multiple toppers and the process would affect the admission process for higher classes.

For an effective grading system the board needs to set very high standards in the grading system which is possible only with a related change in the infrastructure in schools, teachers, laboratories, playing grounds and standards of classroom teaching. Till then, the CBSE should carry on with the marking system.

Jayanti Gaur,Panchkula

Matric is not the end of education

My girl is a much relieved person in wake of her result being declared under the newly introduced grading system. She was always among the toppers; however, she rarely stood first. She was always under pressure. She never talked about it, but, we knew about it.

Now she is ranked among the top ten in her class. She can sideline unnecessary burden of being the topper. She talked to me and said she

was interested in the medical course. With her grades showing that she was an above average student, I think she needed to concentrate more on entry into professional courses rather than class X marks. Parents are aware about the fact that marks in Class X, notwithstanding, majority of children attempting admission to professional courses in science or any other stream will have to go in for professional coaching. The classroom teaching is not central to preparing for the competitive examination which is a big contradiction of our education. However, the competitive examination is the reality for entry onto professional courses and marks in Class X do not have any meaning at all, at this stage.I think there are plenty of ways for the above average students so all students even with average marks should not have any problems with their admissions. Weak students always had problems in securing admissions even when they carried marks card instead of grades. I think grading is a very wise step towards easing the student pressure and making classroom teaching more interesting. In a way classroom will become more important as students will have to show their capability in classes, as well, to get best results.

At the same time, there is and will always remain a need for improving the classroom teaching, in first place.

Tejinder Singh Matharoo,Sector 48, Chandigarh

Unfair to toppers

The system of evaluation of marks by CPGA has its deficiencies as in the grades, there is no distinction between the holder of 91 per cent and 98 per cent marks. So the differentiation between student of high, medium and low IQ cannot be made. This is a gross injustice and discouragement to the student who faired well and is a topper.

This system pertains only to X class which makes it highly objectionable. It should be at XII level if at all the CBSE is bent upon enforcing it. Let the authorities concerned review it and revert to the old system wherein other curriculum, practical and internal assessment formed part of the result level.

Gurmit Singh Saini,Mohali.

Confused system

Since the CBSE Class X board will not be having any mandatory boards from the next academic year, the evaluation system introduced as CGPA this year will continue to confuse the students and parents.

It would be better if the old system which is quite simple, on the basis of which student's performance is evaluated, marks are awarded and division/merit indicated is retained.

I believe the perfect saying of John Deway that education is not preparation for life but education itself is life. To fulfill this objective, Government instead of conducting experiments in day come and day out, should make all out efforts to make the education a mission in India.

S.K. Khosla,Sector 40C, Chandigarh



12,000 aspirants appear in NET
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Almost 12,000 students appeared in the National Eligibility Test (NET) of the University Grants Commission (UGC) in Chandigarh today.The authorities set up 28 examination centres, which were located at Panjab University (PU) and various local colleges. About 350 employees were deployed by the PU to conduct examination.

The examination was divided into three papers, two objective and one subjective. A huge rush of students from across the region was seen at the PU and local colleges.

The National Educational Testing Bureau of the UGC had been conducting the NET to determine eligibility for lectureship and award of Junior Research Fellowship, ensuring minimum standards for entrants in teaching and research.

The test was conducted in humanities (including languages), social sciences, forensic science, environment sciences, computer science and applications and electronic science.

The examination was divided into two sessions of two hours-and-a-half each. According to officials, result were expected to be declared in April next. The test was being conducted twice a year.



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