C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PGI governing body meeting
17 faculty members denied promotion
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Discontent Evident

I am the victim as I took up causes of the PGI faculty when I was the secretary of the faculty association in 2008-09. I had locked horns with the administration over disparity in pay scales, career advancement scheme and abolition of sealing on promotions of faculty in the PGI.

— Dr Aditya Aggarwal

Boost for patient care

Meanwhile, the patient care at the PGI is expected to get a boost as the governing body has given approval to the selection of nearly 150 new appointments of the faculty

Chandigarh, April 22
Although it may sound strange, the PGI authorities think that at least 11 per cent of its faculty is not fit for promotion to the next level. In fact, the rejection of promotion to 17 faculty members out of a total of 155 at the governing body meeting in New Delhi yesterday has led to unrest among certain senior doctors.

Those who were not promoted as Professor from the post of additional professor are Dr Amita Trehan and Dr Jay Shree Murlidharan from the paediatrics department, Dr Aditya Aggarwal and Dr Vijay Goni from the department of orthopaedics, Dr GRV Prasad from the obstetrics and gynaecology department, Dr Sandhya from anaesthesia department, and Dr SP Singh from the oral dental sciences department. Fifty two additional professors were to be promoted to the post of Professor, it was learnt.

Moreover, Dr Yash Paul Sharma, head of the department of cardiology, and Dr TD Yadav, department of general surgery, who had appeared for the post of professor under direct recruitment, was also rejected. It is second time that Dr Sharma has been rejected from the post. Dr Yadav had to be promoted against the quota of other backward Classes (OBCs).

The result, however, left many senior doctors fuming over their rejection.

“I am the victim as I took up causes of the PGI faculty when I was the secretary of the faculty association in 2008-09,” said Dr Aditya Aggarwal. “I had locked horns with the administration over disparity in pay scales, career advancement scheme and abolition of sealing on promotions of faculty in the PGI,” he said, adding that “it might have been the reason behind my rejection for promotion to the post of Professor even as I was fulfilling the objective criteria of research, clinical, academic performance.”

Dr Yadav also termed his rejection as the outcome of departmental politics.

I am very much hurt. I had been working for the past 10 years, putting my heart in education, research and patient care. Ignoring me for promotion, the authorities have insulted me, he said.

PGI Director Dr KK Talwar could not be contacted for comments. Meanwhile, the patient care at the PGI is expected to get a boost as the PGI governing body has given approval to the selection of nearly 150 new appointments of the faculty as well. The new posts include professors, additional professors, associate professors and assistant professors in different departments. The selection process for this was going on for the past six months. In addition, there were nearly 100 cases of promotion approved at the meeting held in New Delhi.



Exam postponement SMSes do PU rounds
All messages fake: Varsity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
A series of SMSes, informing about the postponement of several exams or leaking of question papers, has upset both the Panjab University authorities and students.

The messages generally either talk about two questions which have been leaked, the site where leaked a question paper is available and indefinite postponement of some examination.

Going by the university authorities, this “dangerous” trend has created a frenzy, as many students either stop studying, get into the business of “selling” leaked questions or even fail to appear for examination, claiming a re-chance later.

“One such SMS was received by one of the residents of my hostel who shared it with his friends. It created panic in the hostel, with everybody running from pillar to post to either ‘buy’ the leaked question paper or ‘verify’ the next date of exam. When I was informed about it, I checked from the authorities and was shocked to find that it was a mischievous rumour,” said a warden of one of the boys’ hostels.

“I wish to clarify that all these messages are fake. The university examination system is leak-proof and in case of postponement, the students would be informed through a proper notice. There has luckily not been a chance of students skipping examination, but yes we are getting frantic calls from both parents and students who continue to verify the dates of examination. Such a nuisance hinders our examination system. What is more perturbing is that in case one of the questions mentioned in an SMS appears in examination, it will lead to an unwanted controversy,” said AK Bhandari, controller of examination, Panjab University.

The university has clarified that any postponement of examination will be communicated through official website www.puchd.ac.in <http://www.puchd.ac.in>.



Shatabdi engine de-couples from bogies
Hemant Kumar

Kalka, April 22
A major tragedy was averted when the engine of the Kalka-Delhi Shatabdi Express de-coupled here today.

Sources said the incident took place after the departure of the Kalka-Delhi Shatabdi Express 120006 at around 6.20 am. As the train reached Durga Colony, the main coupling of the electric locomotive opened and the engine de-coupled. The bogies covered more than 50m without the engine. The driver of the train applied brakes and the engine stopped.

The incident meanwhile triggered panic. The sources said the incident occurred due to the negligence of the carriage and wagon department. They said the coupling between the engine and train was not locked properly.



Woman bites traffic cop for stopping her car
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
In an unsual incident a traffic head constable was bit on his left hand by a 33-year-old female motorist when he tried to stop her vehicle for talking on her cellphone while driving. The impulsive act cost the woman, identified as Shilpi of Sector 37, dear with the police slapping a case of causing obstruction in the duty of a government official (under sections 332 & 353 of the Indian Penal Code) against her.

The incident occurred at the roundabout of Sectors 18, 19, 20 and 21 when head constable Om Parkash and constable Simarjit Singh signaled Shilpi to stop her car when they saw her using a mobile phone while driving.

The police said the woman began arguing with the traffic cops, telling them she had received a very important call from a clinic from where she was coming after checkup of her son. “She also couldn’t produce any vehicle document and didn’t even step out of the vehicle despite repeated requests by the cops,” the police added.

“When I tried to pull out the car keys after I noticed she was about to speed away she bit on my left hand,” said Parkash. By this time several people had gathered at the scene.

The police arrested Shilpi and took her to the General Multispecialty Hospital in Sector 16 for a medical checkup. However, she was later bailed out.



FY11: IT dept unearths Rs 658 cr concealed income
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The investigative wing of the income tax department, northwest region, which includes the city, has detected a record Rs 658 crore in undisclosed (additional) income during the fiscal year just closed (2010-11).

According to data compiled by the department, nearly 27 searches were conducted during which this undisclosed income was discovered. Sources said the Rs 658 crore concealed income that was unearthed was 10.6 per cent more than the disclosures of Rs 595 crore made in fiscal 2009-10.

“Our tax collections have improved significantly with the search operations as fear of prosecution is forcing more and more firms to voluntarily disclose their incomes and pay tax on it,” said an income tax official.

The official told The Tribune net direct tax collections for FY2010-11 was Rs 417.01 crore, 123 per cent more than the Rs 186.49 crore netted in the preceding financial year. “A majority of the firms whose premises were searched were into the real estate, pharmaceuticals, food processing, and civil construction sectors”, the official added.

While investigations into some cases have been concluded, others are still pending. The official said the listed entities searched by the income tax department include Surya Pharmaceuticals, Nectar Lifesciences, Oasis Group, Gurunanak Auto Enterprises, Mehta Builders, MG group, Zander group, and Best Food.

According to an official of the income tax investigative wing, pharmaceutical firms including Surya, Nectar and Parabolic Drugs surrendered Rs 50 crore of undisclosed income, the largest as a group.

Besides, three major builders in the city and its periphery including Chandigarh based Mehta group and Panchkula based MG group and Zander group, which have their establishments in Chandigarh, Mohali and Bathinda, surrendered undisclosed income amounting to Rs 23 crore.

Under income tax laws search and seizure operations are conducted when tax authorities have authentic information about a taxpayer who has undisclosed income. “The department can also search a taxpayer who has failed to respond to an income tax notice”, said a senior official.


Consumer Body’s take on Insured Stolen Vehicles
‘Untraced reports no reason for delaying payments’
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

‘Co should wait for a reasonable period’

Coming down heavily on the insurance companies, the UT Consumer Commission stated that the insurance companies issue policies after taking full premiums from customers but when the time comes to compensate them, they do everything in their power to delay or deny payments. “In our opinion, the insurance company should wait for a reasonable period (three or four months) for the recovery of the vehicle and if it is not recovered during the said period, they should promptly make the payment of claim to the complainant, whether untraced report has been received or not”, they stated.

Chandigarh, April 22
Next time when an insurance company harasses you by delaying payments of your claims on pretext of "untraced reports" not being submitted or forces you to complete the formalities of transferring the stolen vehicle in their name, don't forget to carry the copy of this news item to show them their duties.

In an order having far reaching consequences, the UT Consumer Commission has ruled that insurance companies cannot delay payment of claims on grounds of not receiving “untraced reports” or “transfer of ownership” of the stolen vehicle and have to complete the formalities of obtaining these themselves through their surveyors.

Coming down heavily on the insurance companies, commission’s president Sham Sunder and members, Jagroop Singh Mahal and Neena Sandhu, stated that insurance companies issue policies after taking full premiums from customers but when the time comes to compensate them, they do everything in their power to delay or deny payments. The commission, which upheld the decision of the UT Consumer Forum directing United India Insurance to pay Rs 4.50 lakh to a Faridabad resident for loss of insured vehicle, noted that forum was “soft” on the company.

The forum had ruled in favour of Vijay Sundram whose vehicle, insured for Rs five lakh, was stolen within 15 days of being insured. The company had offered payment of Rs 3.5 lakh. The commission dubbed such tactics as “unfair”.

The commission observed that though there was no such requirement of submitting untraced report to the insurance company by the complainant, they still asked customers to submit the same. They noted that in case the same was required, the company should itself procure it through their surveyors from the police station concerned or the court.

Directing insurance companies not to harass customers for furnishing untraced reports, the commission stated, “In our opinion, the insurance company should wait for a reasonable period (three or four months) for the recovery of the vehicle and if it is not recovered during the said period, they should promptly make the payment of claim to the complainant, whether untraced report has been received or not.”

Another direction issued by the commission was that the insurance companies should get the transfer of the vehicles done on their own, as it was not the duty of the complainant to do so. As per the Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989, the transferee (insurance company) to get the vehicle transferred in his favour, pay the fee and get the entry made in the copy of registration.



Realtor told to refund Rs 5.18 lakh with interest
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 22
Holding a Delhi-based realtor responsible for deficiency in service, the Mohali Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed JTPL Townships Private Limited to refund the booking amount of Rs 5,18,000 to a Panchkula-based complainant, Sneh Bhatia.

The realtor had offered plots at Mohali against plots booked at Karnal, Haryana.

Handing down the orders, the forum comprising BS Mehandiratta and HK Ghuman, president and member, respectively, directed the builder to pay simple interest at a rate of 15 per cent with effect from January 25, 2006, till December 12, 2010.

In a plea before the forum, the complainant had stated that she had approached the builder to book a residential plot of 200 sq yd at JMD Township in Karnal (Haryana). The complainant submitted application forms to book two plots along with an amount of Rs 5,18,000. As per the conditions in the application forms, the offer of allotment of the plots to the complainant was to be made within 12 months of registration of her application, failing which interest on the booking amount at the rate of 15 per cent per annum was to be paid.

During correspondence, the complainant stated that she was told that the name of the township had been changed from M/s JMD Townships Pvt Ltd to M/s JTPL Townships Pvt Ltd, following which she sought refund of her booking amount.

In the first week of January, 2010, the complainant received a letter from the realtor for converting the booking of the plot at Karnal to Designer Floors named “Flora” at Mohali. But the complainant declined the offer.

With the aforesaid allegations, the complainant alleging deficiency in service on part of the realtor sought direction to refund her booking amount of Rs 5,18,000 along with the simple interest and compensation for mental harassment.

After listening to the realtor, the forum ordered that simple interest at the rate of 15 per cent per annum and further interest at the rate of 9 per cent annum be paid along with the booking amount and Rs 5,000 as litigation costs.



Construction of New OPD block at GMSH
Extended deadline of March 31 expires
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Even as Home-cum- Health secretary Ram Niwas kept on repeating his claims of completing the construction work of the New OPD block of Government Multi Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, by December 31 last, the hospital administration has returned Rs 4 crore meant for purchasing of equipment to be installed in the building as the new deadline fixed for completing the work expired once again on March 31.

The work on the project, which include six-storeyed building meant to house Out -door patient of five departments, operation theatre and many more facilities had been started four years ago in 2006 with fixing the date of completion as July 31, 2009. However, failing to meet the deadline, the date of completion kept on extending delaying the project for over two years.

First the health secretary on April 29 in a press note issued stated that the work would be completed by December 2009. Then the date of completion kept on extending and during review of the health projects on September 18 last year it was stated that the new OPD block (estimated cost of Rs 14 crore) would be commissioned at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH) by the year end.

A visit to the building however revealed that while finishing work on the basement and first two floors was going on, the pending work on the upper four storeys would take at least six months before they could be handed over to the authorities for use.

Meanwhile, the authorities failing to get the possession of the building returned Rs 4 crore allocated to them for the purchase of the equipment to be installed in the building.

The labourers involved in the construction work said that lower floors would not be furnished before a couple of months. Though no one was ready to reveal the reason behind the cause of delay, the enquiries revealed that delay was due to delay in payments to contractors, delay in supply of drawings and cement to contractor.

Chief Engineer SK Jaitley, said the work at the site was being given final touches and it was expected that the building would be handed over to the hospital administration after three months.



Major fire erupts near Leisure Valley, none hurt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
A major fire broke out on Friday near the N-choe close to the Leisure Valley in Sector 10, burning a large swathe of the bamboo stretch there. When the intense fire reached the CITCO food joint, located about 300 metres away, employees called up the fire brigade. The fire began in the bamboo stretch at around 2:15 pm, later spreading to the food joint.

Fire department officials said as bamboo catches fire rapidly the blaze spread in no time. The roof of one of the huts of the food joint was razed but another was saved from being destroyed by the fire rescue team. Fire officials had a tough time putting out the fire and it took over two hours to bring the blaze under control.

According to a fire official the cause of the fire is still unknown. “There is a possibility that a passerby threw a burning cigarette in the dry leaves, which caused the fire to erupt in the bamboo stretch”, he added.

Leading fireman Didar Singh supervised the fire operations and three vehicles were sent to the Leisure Valley. “Due to the onset of the summer season there is dry grass near the bamboo stretch which blaze the spread. However, there were no casualties at the food joint as it was vacated by the fire team in time”, he added.

An employee working at the CITCO food joint said this was the first such incident in the last ten years when fire damaged the huts of the joint.

In another incident a major fire broke out at a tavern in Sector 46 on Friday night, causing a major loss of property and rendering 5,000 BSNL landline telephone connections dead since then. Fire department records show the incident occurred at about 8 pm when a customer noticed a fire in the tavern.



Poultry sellers to continue stir

Chandigarh, April 22
After one of the city-based meat associations called off strike yesterday, another group of the Chandigarh Meat Market Association today decided to continue the agitation.

Members of the association said they would intensify the stir if their demands were not met.Poultry shopkeepers had gone on a strike against the implementation of meat and bird slaughter by-laws in the city by the municipal corporation (MC) medical officer of health department.

President of the association Atul Sonkar today said they would not call off the strike until the MC withdrew the notification. “We also met MC Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh in this regard, but nothing has been done so far,” he added.

Complaining about the faults in meat and bird slaughter by-laws, shopkeepers alleged that the authorities had not made enough arrangements in slaughter house located at Industrial Area, Phase I. Shopkeepers added that on an average 14,000 birds of around 500 poultry suppliers were slaughtered everyday at various markets in the city. “In the MC slaughter house, there are only 40 butchers deployed on a day-to-day basis which is not enough as per requirement,’ shopkeepers added.They also protested against charging of Rs 5 per bird at slaughter house. They said the price, which was fixed by the authorities, was quite high, and made poultry products costlier for residents. — TNS



Kitchen expo kicks off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The 11th edition of CII’s Expo Kitchen and Beyond-2011 started at Himachal Bhawan here today. The exhibition on “modern kitchen concepts” was inaugurated by Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry, a Padma Shri awardee, and a renowned theatre personality.

Being held for the 11th consecutive year, the annual show on kitchen equipment and accessories, featuring varied options for healthier, more attractive and user-friendly kitchens, showcases a varied product portfolio. Attractive, convenient and time saving gadgets aim at making cooking a pleasure. “Around 34 companies have put up 50 stalls at the exhibition,” said Pikender Pal Singh, new regional director of the CII, Northern Region. With new participants like Jindal Stainless Limited and Elica, we believe that this show is one stop for all those who love to cook in a style, he added.”Designer fittings, elegant furniture, trendy picnic kits, consumer appliances like food processors, refrigerators, electric chimneys, gas ranges, water purifiers, toasters, microwave ovens, mixers, grinders, dishwashers, electric cookers, etc are some of the products that have been displayed at the exhibition.

The four-day fair will conclude on April 25.



Nagla denies cheating allegations
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 22
Denying the allegations of cheating and fraud, treetop protester Avtar Singh Nagla, today said he was being framed in an attempt to dilute his protest.

Nagla claimed that he had neither being convicted nor charged in any of the cases being highlighted by media. Nagla added that the police was acting swiftly on the complaints against him, while they were going slow on the complaints lodged by him.

He also indicated that they had no grievances, but it was a plot to project him in a bad light.

However, his protest entered in its eighth day today. So far, none of the top Punjab government functionaries have tried to resolve the issue by meeting him. Nagla said he had accepted money from people to work, but denied the allegation of cheating them.



Shifting of apni mandi to Sec 20 opposed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 22
Confusion prevailed over the shifting of apni mandi to the Sector 20 grain market, as farmers and vegetable vendors protested against the move of the Haryana Mandi Board.

The authorities maintained that apni mandi would be held in different sectors.

Farmers raised slogans against the shifting of apni mandi, stating that this would affect them badly as people residing in Sectors 18, 7, 8, 9, 6, 2 and MDC would not cover a long distance for buying vegetables and fruits.

According to sources, the Panchkula market committee had recently issued orders to various market associations that as per new schedule apni mandi would be held at Sector 20 grain market only and it would not allow anyone to hold these in the existing locations, including Sectors 15, 16, 5 and MDC- 5.

However, after facing acute criticism, the mandi board authorities had to lift the ban so that residents could avail the benefit of buying vegetables in Sectors 15, 5, 6 and MDC-5 and Sector 20.

Suman Lata, secretary, Panchkula market committee, said they had initiated the move of starting a permanent mandi in Sector 20 and added that apni mandis would be held as per existing schedule.

Meanwhile, the Resident Welfare Associations in the city while welcoming the move of setting up a permanent mandi have also urged the market committee officials to allow holding of mandis at existing cites in the city.

SK Nayyar, president, Citizen’s Welfare Association, said holding of permanent mandi at grain market was a good move, but these should also be held at the existing cites, as the new flyover had added another few kilometres to Sector 20.



Demolition drive at Dera Bassi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 22
The enforcement staff of regulatory wing of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) today carried out a demolition drive against illegal structures at Dera Bassi.

MS Brar, additional chief administrator, Mohali, said the structures were coming up in violation of the Periphery Act.

A team led by assistant engineer Sukh Pal Singh demolished around 10 structures near Janetpura, Haripur Kuda and Devi Nagar villages.

More demolitions are expected in the coming days.



St Xavier’s School
Students take out march to support principal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Alumni and students of St Xavier’s School held a march today at the Sector 17 Plaza, expressing their support to principal Mervin West, who is facing allegations of pushing Janvi, a Class X student from the third floor.

Over 70 students who gathered with their parents and teachers held placards urging Janvi’s parents to withdraw allegations, as it was also affecting the school’s image.

“I have been a student of this school for the last 10 years and I know that the principal though is firm and strict, can never do such a heinous crime. More than us, it’s the parents who know what is the reality then why are they blaming the principal and maligning the school’s image,” said a Class X student.

“What happened with the girl is unfortunate and we truly understand the plight of the parents. We all know the school authorities for a long time and thus cannot believe on such allegations. Teachers have full authority to correct students wherever they are wrong. We are also expressing our support to Janvi and her parents and wish her speedy recovery,” said Madhu Jain, an alumnus of the school.

Meanwhile, even as police officials visited the school today for the ongoing investigation, they claim to be waiting for CFSL report, which is believed to be key decisive factor in the incident.



Awareness rally to protect environment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
About 220 NCC cadets, including 170 cadets from the Chandigarh Naval NCC unit took part in the Earth Day’s celebrations today by organising an awareness rally from Sukhna Lake to their unit location in Sector 26.

The cadets carried placards and posters and raised slogans to spread the message of protecting environment. They also participated in various competitions like essay writing, poster making, quiz and games.

Col R Mall, officiating Group Commander, Chandigarh; Capt (IN) GM Singh, unit’s Commanding Officer; Cdr Lekh Raj, unit’s Executive Officer and other associate NCC officers were also present.

Cadets and unit personnel also planted saplings on the premises of Government High School, Daria, and attended to saplings sown earlier. Later, Capt Singh also gave away prizes to the cadets who scored top positions in various competitions.



RTE Case
Add all schools as defendants: Bhavan Vidyalaya
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 22
In a new twist to the RTE case, Bhavan Vidyalaya School moved an application in the court of Renu Rana, Civil Judge, District Court, seeking to add all schools of the town as defendants.

The counsel for the defendants’ school, Bhavan Vidyalaya while urging for rejection of the plaint on the ground that it was barred by law and as per Section 7 of the RTE Act, the Central government and state government have concurrent responsibility for providing funds for carrying out the provisions of the RTE Act. He also said necessary parties like the Central government, state government and district education officer (DEO) as well as DEO (elementary) were not impleaded necessary parties and added that it was necessary to implead all schools of the district for proper adjudication of the case.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner has also filed an application requesting to add the district education officer (DEO), Panchkula, as a defendant stating that for effective implementation of the RTE Act, the DEO is the necessary party, as she is entrusted with the work of controlling and regulating educational institutions in the district.

The court heard arguments on the maintainability of the case as public-interest litigation and adjourned the matter to April 26 for orders.



From Schools
Saplings planted

An environmental activist pedals around Chandigarh to spread the message of ‘Save Earth’ on Friday.
An environmental activist pedals around Chandigarh to spread the message of ‘Save Earth’ on Friday. A Tribune photograph

CHANDIGARH: “Prakriti”, the Environment Society of the PGGCG, Sector 11, celebrated World Earth Day on Thursday.

The celebrations started with the plantation of trees on the college campus by principal Achila Dogra and vice-principal Anita Kaushal. Thereafter, a field trip was planed to the Nepli forest where around 80 members, including students, teachers and non-teaching staff of the college participated.

A lecture-cum-workshop was organised with on “Forest fires and conservation of flora and fauna.

Saving planet from pollution

The Earth Day was celebrated at St Joseph ’s Senior Secondary School with fervour here on Thursday. Students of Class I and Class II participated with enthusiasm in collage-making and poster-making contests. Students were told about the importance of growing more trees, saving water, saving endangered species and were also explained how to save the planet from pollution.

Pool party

Kindergarten block of St Joseph’s Senior Secondary School was abuzz with splash pool activity. To beat the heat, children took a dip in the pool with floating balls, tubes, plastic ducks, turtles and arm puffs. Teachers taught them the principle of “float and sink” and a few swimming strokes, too.


Mohali: A two-day national conference on “Globalisation and Management Development” commenced at SAS Group of Institutions, Mohali, on Friday. Shakeel Qalander, member of the Prime Minister’s Expert Group on Job Plans in J&K, and former president, Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), was the chief guest.

Prof BA Metri, Dean, PGPM, MDI, Gurgaon, and Rajesh Narula, head, Investment and Services Marketing, Delhi Stock Exchange, were the key speaker and guest of honour, respectively. More than 650 students of MBA, MCA, BBA, BCA and BSc (IT) streams attended the conference. Dr JS Dhaliwal, chairman, SAS group, presided over the event.

The conference began with the lamp lighting ceremony followed by an inaugural address by Qalander who said in today’s highly competitive environment, the focus must be on maintaining quality. More than 40 research papers were presented during two technical sessions conducted during the conference.


Final year students of hotel management and catering technology of Sri Sukhmani Institute of Hospitality and Management, Dera Bassi, have been selected by TAJ Group of Hotels in Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Srinagar, and Surya Group of Hotels, New Delhi.

Investiture ceremony

Investiture ceremony of Gem Public School was held with a lot of enthusiasm. Oath-taking ceremony was led by Ishan Kumar (head boy) and Banmeet Kaur (head girl). Director HS Midha presented badges to all prefects and council members. Principal Divjot Kaur delivered a speech. The ceremony concluded with the National Anthem.

Earth Day

BASSI PATHANA: Representatives of various social organisations along with shopkeepers led by the Hindu Organisation celebrated the World Earth Day here on Thursday. Manoj Banda, secretary, Hindu Organisation, said members of the organisation cleaned the Municipal Park. He said besides this, they planted saplings. Members also took the pledge to save the earth. — OC

Good Friday observed

Patiala: Our Lady of Fatima Church, Patiala, today observed Good Friday. The church organised a special prayer to mark the day. Priest Father Henry said in order to commemorate the death of Lord Jesus Christ on the cross 2,000 years ago, they marked the day with a deep sense of devotion, fast and abstinence. “The significance of the crucifixion about 2,000 years ago was that Jesus Christ offered himself as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of humanity,” he said. As part of the celebrations, the Church enacted “The way of the cross”-the passion and death of Jesus Christ in a dramatic form so as to express the whole history of salvation.

‘Save fuel’

AMBALA: Chaman Vatika School celebrated Earth Day on Thursday. The day is a perfect time to take a step to protect environment. Schools principal motivated the children to instruct their parents to save fuel, save energy and save water. A large number of saplings were also planted by chairman Rajinder Nath, principal Michael D’Souza, vice-principal Suneeta Sharma and students on the school campus. — TNS



From Colleges
Awareness campaigns

MOHALI: The E Max Group of Institutions celebrated the Earth Day by organising various awareness campaigns against increasing global warming and other issues related to climate change. More than 100 students along with faculty members participated in the slogan writing competition. Four teams were formed under the guidance of Vibha and Kuldeep Kaur, which campaigned and educated farmers of the region about ill effects of burning husk of paddy fields. Farmers were told how the burning of leftover husk not only cause air pollution but also make soil unfertile. — TNS



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