C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Neutralising power play
Punjab sends panel of 7 DSPs to Admn
More to follow from Haryana, Central Govt Will bust strong UT DSP lobby
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The UT Administration’s attempt to clip the wings of the powerful lobby of Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) of the Chandigarh police has moved a step closer to reality with the Punjab Government sending a panel of seven DSPs to be posted on deputation to Chandigarh.

With separate panels for the post of DSP from Haryana and the Central Government also expected shortly, the efforts of the UT Administration to get efficient officers from other states and check large-scale “groupism” may finally be successful.

The Administration had invited panels comprising DSPs from Punjab, Haryana and the Central Government to tide over the acute shortage of DSPs in the city and project a more humane and less-tainted face of the police, sources said.

At present, there are 10 DSP-level officers in Chandigarh. Of these, at least three DSPs are allegedly tainted with Jagbir Singh and Satbir Singh reportedly named in the booth scam while Vijay Kumar was named for his alleged shoddy investigation in the kidnapping of five-year-old Khushpreet from Burail in December last year.

With Chandigarh growing by leaps and bounds in recent years, there is an acute shortage of DSPs in the city. With several cases regarding promotions from Inspectors to DSPs pending in court, even routine policing is suffering due to staff shortage. To top it all, several DSPs are burdened with dual or triple charges. These include Roshan Lal, who is handling Police Control Room (PCR) and Communications, Jagbir Singh (Operations Cell, Police Lines and Recruit Training Centre) and Ashwani Kumar (Indian Reserve Battalion and women and child support unit).

Earlier, the UT Administration had mooted a proposal to the ministry of home affairs (MHA) to send DSP-level officers on deputation to other union territories on the pattern of civil servants. The proposal seemed to be an offshoot of the Administration’s efforts to end groupism and lobbying at the middle level. However, nothing came out of that proposal and it seemed to have been successfully blocked by the powerful DSP lobby in the city.

Why DSPs from other states

n To check large-scale factionalism among UT DSPs

n Lack of talented officers among UT cadre

n Pending court cases for promotion to DSP rank

n Acute shortage of DSP-level officers

n To put a dent in the strong DSP lobby alleged to have developed vested interests



Alert Mohali cops act swiftly
Cornered, kidnappers abort plan; free chemist
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 28
A Punjab Police constable was among the five kidnappers, allegedly all drug addicts, who kidnapped a chemist only to abort the crime after being quickly thwarted by the Mohali police. But the incident was not without some lessons for the police as the accused attempted to camouflage their escape under the very nose of the police.

For, soon after aborting the kidnapping, the accused chose to park their car on the premises of the Phase VIII police station in an attempt to evade the police even as the police frantically searched for them in the town. The incident occurred on the night of April 26 when Amandeep Singh, a chemist, was kidnapped in a red Maruti car (CH 03 F 3200) from near his shop.

Soon after the incident, the kidnappers called Amandeep’s brother and demanded a ransom of Rs 50,000. The police managed to trace the call that was made from Phase VIII. Realising that they had been cornered, the kidnappers set the chemist free and drove their car straight to the police station. Just as they were walking out, an alert policeman raised the alarm after seeing one of the accused walking away from the police station.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) GPS Bhullar credited the police with Sonu’s rescue from near Amb Sahib gurdwara and also the arrest of the kidnappers. The accused have been identified as constable Ripudaman Singh, who was earlier posted at the Phase VIII police station, Mohinderpal, Rajinder Singh and Arshdeep Singh. All have been remanded in two-day police custody.



Conversion fee policy flawed: HC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has found fault with the way Chandigarh Administration is charging conversion fee for changing industrial plots into commercial.

Disposing of a bunch of petitions by Neera Goyal and others, Justice Ranjit Singh asserted: “Number of petitioners through these writ petitions have approached this court to challenge the action of the Union Territory, Chandigarh, in enhancing the conversion fee of industrial plots to that of commercial.”

On July 14, 2008, the Administration took a decision that the applications, received complete in all respects before December 17, 2007, and remained undecided, would be allowed conversion at the rate as applicable on December 17, 2007, and thereafter conversion rate shall be calculated by taking into consideration auctions of the last three years.

The petitioners pleaded that the conversion scheme was notified on September 19, 2005, and conversion fee was fixed at Rs 20,000 per sq yard which stood extended till March 18, 2008. Once the respondents accepted the applications, their action in reconsidering the conversion fee would be illegal, arbitrary and mala fide.

The judge said: “It is the date of notification which would be material and not the date of decision on the applications which are submitted. Last three auctions would have to be counted from the date of notification and not from any auction that may have been held.

“If the auction which was held on December 17, 2007, falls within the purview of the three-year period from the date of notification, this would certainly be open to be taken into consideration.

“The writ petitions are accordingly disposed of. The conversion fee payable would be calculated on the basis of auctions held during the last three years from the date of respective notifications and not that all who had made applications irrespective of the date would have to be charged the same fee.”

The Administration had notified a scheme called the Chandigarh Conversion of Land Use of Industrial Sites into Commercial Activity/Services in the Industrial Area, Phases I and II, Chandigarh Scheme, 2005. 



AIEEE online test finds few takers
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
A mere 178 candidates out of a total of 6,000 from the city have opted for the pilot run of the online All India Engineering/Architecture Entrance Examination-2011 (AIEEE) notwithstanding the fact that Chandigarh has the country’s eighth highest literacy rate and in spite of the UT administration’s efforts to make it the next IT destination. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had expected at least one-third of the candidates to apply for the online exam.

This, however, appears to be in keeping with a countrywide trend considering that only 4,904 students have registered for the online version of the exam in contrast to 1.1 million aspirants who have opted for its traditional mode.

“It comes as a surprise for us because the city, which falls in the jurisdiction of our Panchkula division, is a union territory whose residents not only enjoy high literacy but have remarkable IT proficiency levels. Chandigarh is probably the country’s fourth city where every second school going child has access to computer education. We expected a good response from here but are a bit surprised at this lukewarm response,” commented a senior CBSE official in New Delhi.

Interestingly, while according to some the response may put a dampener on the board’s plans to switch to a complete online examination in a year or two, CBSE officials are of the view that the tepid response is because this is the first time they have embarked on holding an online exam and also because most students are comfortable with pen-and-paper-based exams. Besides, aspirants would be apprehensive of making the shift.

“It’s just the initial hiccup. We set up one centre in the city and still got a response that is quite encouraging. Success of an examination is not measured by the number of applicants but by the way we conduct it, which is expected to be smooth. We faced some initial difficulties with CAT (Common Aptitude Test). But subsequent success has proved that a computer-based test is the future," said RJ Khanderao, CBSE regional director (Panchkula division).

The board will conduct the AIEEE test on May 1. Both the computer based (CBT) and paper-based tests will be conducted simultaneously across the region between 9:30 am and 12:30 pm. The score shall be the basis of admission to various National Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Information Technology, deemed universities and a few state-run institutions.



SHO to face inquiry in theft case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Senior police officials today marked an inquiry into the conduct of Inspector Sri Parkash, Station House Officer of the Sector-26 Police Station, and Satguru, a Sub-Inspector for mishandling a theft case.

It has been alleged that the SHO, along with a Sub-Inspector, imposed soft sections on a theft accused, who was nabbed by residents.

The departmental inquiry has been marked by UT SSP Naunihal Singh. The incident dates back to March 18, when a shopkeeper caught a thief red-handed. Mohinder Singh, owner of a grocery store at Sector 26 Grain Market, was sleeping at his shop when he heard some noise on the first floor past midnight.

As he went upstairs, Mohinder saw a thief trying to open a cupboard. When caught, the thief attacked him with a cutter and tried to flee. Mohinder raised the alarm and chased the thief, who was later identified as Manoj.

The accused entered into the Police Lines, Sector 26, and scaled the wall of a few houses and hid himself behind a wall. Meanwhile, Mohinder had summoned all those residing nearby and managed to catch the thief.

The PCR was called and the thief was handed over to the Sector-26 Police Station.

However, the police arrested the accused in a case of loitering and later released him. “It came to the light that the thief who also attacked the shop owner before fleeing was released by the police. A routine departmental inquiry has been marked against Inspector Sri Parkash,” said the SSP.


Anti-encroachment drive at Motor Market 
Over 60 challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Enforcement wing of the municipal corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) today carried out a major anti-encroachment drive 
around Motor Market in Sector 48-C here.

The drive was led by Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach. Encroachments were cleared from the municipal land being used by mechanics for repairing two-wheelers and four-wheelers. Several cars and scooter unauthorisedly parked on the municipal land were removed and taken away by the enforcement staff. Over 60 challans were issued to violators.

Illegally parked vehicles are a source of nuisance for residents and passersby with a large number of vehicles being repaired on the MC land and roads by mechanics.



Pilots’ strike
Flight cancelled, passengers stranded

Chandigarh, April 28
Air passengers from the city had a harrowing time at the Chandigarh airport on account of the strike by pilots of Air India today.

The airline’s only flight from the city to Mumbai stood cancelled, leaving at least 60 passengers stranded at the airport.

The airline’s strike entered the second day today. The airlines operated its flight to and from the city yesterday.

As many as 100 passengers were booked on the cancelled flight, which was scheduled for departure at 2.50 pm.

While some claimed refund, between 35 and 40 passengers showed up at the airport, hoping to board the flight.

Meanwhile, Air India officials and ground staff accommodated maximum passengers with other private carriers, including Jet and Kingfisher. Taxis were arranged for others.

Confirming the cancellation, Air India officials at the airport claimed that maximum efforts were being made to avoid inconvenience to passengers.

However, on the status of the flight tomorrow, they refused to divulge anything, but said an alternative action plan would be ready in case the flight did not take off.

In a double whammy for stranded passengers, the fare hike by other private airlines caused further inconvenience.

Unable to find any information on the status of his flight to Chennai, passenger Raman Ahuja arrived at the airport an hour ahead of his flight at 2.50 pm.

Hit by a strike by pilots, Air India had decided not to take any fresh bookings till further orders, airline sources said. — TNS



VN Singh accident case
‘Accused NRI may flee’
Complainant wants passport impounded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The complainant in the accident case involving the death of veteran art and museum expert VN Singh today moved the district courts, seeking directions to the Chandigarh Police to impound the passport of the accused NRI, Baljot Singh. The application was moved in the court of ACJM Preeti Sahni. The next date of hearing 
was May 12.

The complainant, Nishal Anand Singh, VN Singh’s son, stated in the application that the passport of Baljot Singh should be impounded as there was an apprehension that the accused had the intention to get rid of criminal liability and could flee India to escape trial.

“The act and conduct of the accused proves his intention because the accused, despite repeated requests of the police, has failed to hand over his passport in original till date,” stated the complaint, moved through counsel 
MS Jindiala.

Earlier in February, Baljot Singh Gill, accused in the death of VN Singh, failed to get any immediate relief from the Punjab and Haryana High Court as the court directed him to move a fresh application in the trial court for restraining the Chandigarh Police from impounding his passport. Earlier too, a Chandigarh district court had dismissed his application in this matter.

VN Singh, nodal officer with the Le Corbusier Centre, passed away on December 10 last. He sustained serious injuries after his scooter was hit by a car at Sector 7 on November 28 last.



‘Every 10th death caused by tabacco’
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 28
The use of tobacco may kill 10 million persons by 2020, said Laxmi Kanta Chawla, Health Minister, Punjab, at a workshop organised in connection with the national tobacco control programme here today.

The minister said there was a need for various social organisations to help in controlling the increasing use of tobacco among various sections in the society. One out of every 10 deaths in the world occurred due to the use of tobacco. There were about 1 billion men and 250 million women using tobacco in the world and if this usage was not checked, 10 million persons could die in the next nine years.

Showing concern about the younger generation in the state which had got hooked to drugs, the minister said there was a need to work together to route out drugs.

She said even the use of tobacco was harmful. Tobacco was mainly used by persons belonging to the economically weaker section, who spent nearly 10 per cent of their income on it. Use of tobacco led to various kinds of life threatening diseases.

Chawla said the Tobacco Control Act, 2003, was implemented in Punjab under which a ban on smoking at public places had been imposed.

Sale of tobacco products was even banned in an area of 100 metres of educational institutions. Civil surgeons from various districts were also directed to spread awareness regarding the use of tobacco.

The minister said action was taken against 2115 persons for violating the Tobacco Control Act, 2003, and Rs 2,09,381 was imposed as fine till March 2011.



Bhatti’s corruption parody evokes protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The ace comedian Jaspal Bhatti today invited controversy over the way he was protesting against corruption at the Sector 17 Plaza here today.

The chairperson of the Global Human Rights Organisation Arvind Thakur raised objections against him for using Gods and Goddess to prefixes standing for corruption.

Thakur said: “This was not the first time Bhatti had courted controversy. In 2004, we had him tender an apology after he had played with our sentiments saying Bipasa Basu and Mallika Shrewat should be made to dance in front of the rain God.”

However, Bhatti’s partner Savita Bhatti said: “No apology was tendered. Why is there no reaction from this section of opponents when the television and other mediums are screening serials like ‘Gunahon ka devta’ and others.”

She said: “I don’t think anyone can question the secular credibility of Jaspal Bhatti. We have just tried to speak against corruption and have not named any God or Goddess. The gentleman, who opposed our rally today, was only seeking free publicity. The intention is not lampooning Gods, but to project the larger issue of corruption.”

A press note issued by Bhatti stated that “When Anna Hazare’s nationwide awareness against corruption will be kicked off from Varanasi, Jaspal Bhatti’s ‘Corruption Devta’ will be present there. Jaspal Bhatti is taking a diety of ‘Corruption Devta,’ along with him to put across his point. He says: “If the menace of corruption is not stopped, the day will come when we will have to have a ‘temple of corruption’ in every state.”

The release added that ‘Corruption Devta’ was given a warm send off here at Sector 17 before it left for Varanasi, Sultanpur and Lucknow. Sweets were distributed, dhol was played and onlookers shouted slogans ‘Corruption Devta Zindabad’.”

Bhatti said: “I am going to demand the land from Mayawati for raising such a temple in front of the Secretariat in Lucknow. Those who are indicted in corruption cases, pay obeisance at this temple regularly for 11 days and offered 11 per cent of their black money. Then they would be acquitted of the charges against them by the grace of devta.”



Nominated councillor seeks vision document 2030
Tribune News Service

Amrit Bolaria
On her canine comment : It was a simile; one was called a dog. The metaphor was raised on account of irresponsible discussion and brickmanship being indulged in by councillors, who had, on an earlier occasion, resorted to physical contact and abuse of the time of the House. — Amrit Bolaria

Chandigarh, April 28
Bringing the functioning of the municipal corporation (MC) under the scanner for various acts of omission and commission, nominated councillor Amrit Bolaria today pleaded for the preparation of vision document 2030 for the MC for Chandigarh’s holistic development.

Giving a blueprint for the city’s development, Bolaria batted for an increased role for experts through the process of outsourcing to envision, plan and implement various projects.

“Individual have to become less important in the working of the MC. The better the technology, the better the systems work. People will simply not matter once the systems take over,” she said.

Alleging that decisions were mostly reflex actions and not out in a visionary or even practical mode, she asserted that committees formed by the MC were not performing and the House allocated a lot of time towards internal bickerings.

“There is no efficient corporate style of audit. By the time the report from the CAG comes in, the Mayor and officials change, defeating the very purpose of the audit,” she said, adding that the audit should be a quarterly affair.

Lamenting that the citizens who were wise and educated did not find a voice in the planning of the city, particularly zoning laws, she said there was no pubic redress system and councillors were no responsive to the needs of citizens.



Exploitation of workers laid bare
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, April 28
Young artistes of City Entertainment Theatre Group presented a short Punjabi play “ Strike ” at Sector 17 here today.

The play was staged to mark the World Labour day falling on May 1.

Written by Baljinder Darapuri and directed by Gaurav Sharma, the play depicted the exploitation of factory workers by wealthy and influential industrialists. Falling to their ill-designed motifs, innocent workers invest their best earn profits only to find the promises of employers fake. However, industrial workers take on factory owners to secure justice. The music and songs by Vishal Verma formed the play’s lifeline.



Protest by pharma employees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Employees of the pharmaceutical company Abbott India from Punjab observed a one-day strike against the company’s unethical practices here today.

The workers also demanded for appointment letters to sales promotion employees as per the SPE Act, 1976.

Rajesh Juneja, Convener (Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and J&K), All India Abbott Employee Union, said their demands included stopping forceful conversion of medical representatives, territory business developer and territory executives to the post of therapy business managers and settle the pending charter of demand due for the past one year.



Slew of sops for Mohali residents
Tribune News Service

After much delay, work on relaying of roads in parking lots of Mohali has taken off. Tribune lensman Vicky Gharu captures the progress of work in a Phase 3B2 parking lot.
After much delay, work on relaying of roads in parking lots of Mohali has taken off. Tribune lensman Vicky Gharu captures the progress of work in a Phase 3B2 parking lot.

Mohali, April 28
Mohali will have a 48-acre Nature Park in City Centre (Sector 62). This was decided at a meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal to review the progress of development works being carried out in the town.

The Deputy CM also sanctioned projects worth Rs 113 crore.

Reviewing the progress of the ongoing development projects, he said renowned landscape planners would be engaged for planning the Nature Park at a cost Rs 3 crore.

On the persistent demand of residents for mini stadia in the town, the Deputy CM sanctioned Rs 46.5 crore for the construction of eight mini stadia. These, apart from a cricket stadium and an upcoming AstroTurf hockey stadium, would help nurture sports talent at the grass-roots level. A seven-nation tournament will be organised at the upcoming hockey stadium.

The shopping street of Mohali starting from the Phase VII market going through 3B1, 3A and Phases IV and V is set to get livelier with the sanctioning of Rs 8 crore for the widening of the shopping corridor. Sukhbir has asked GMADA to complete the work by September.

To ensure the smooth flow of traffic and safety of pedestrians, Rs 2 crore had been sanctioned for the construction of foot overbridges on shopping streets. The work on the foot overbridges would also be completed by September.

Instructions were issued to ensure the working of all 24 tube-wells during the summer, besides uninterrupted power supply for the town.

A decision on four-laning of road from the SCL to Lakhnour village and construction of 600 EWS housing facility was also taken.



Govt urged to work towards eradicating rabies
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 28
Veterinarians here yesterday urged the state and central governments to initiate a national programme for eradicating rabies on the lines of the polio eradication plan.

Eminent veterinarians from North India also passed a resolution in this regard during the annual function held in Sector 1 to mark the World Veterinary Day.

Addressing the gathering, Dr KL Kumar, general secretary, Animal Husbandry Retired Officers’ Association, said prevention at the animal sources was the key to dealing with a prevalent and perennial disease like rabies.

He said upstream control of rabies infection in dogs, including the control of stray dog population, should rank high on the agenda of the state and central governments for efficient prevention of both human and animal mortalities.

He said there was an immediate need for initiating a national programme like polio to eradicate rabies.

Chief guest Dr HS Sandha, director, Animal Husbandry, Punjab, assured the delegates from Punjab, Haryana and Delhi of taking up the matter with the Punjab government in this regard.

He later conferred lifetime achievement awards on octogenarian members.



Uncovered manhole
Rights panel seeks report from MC
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 28
Taking cognizance of report “Open manhole poses risk to life” carried in these columns on April 26, the Punjab Human Rights Commission (PHRC) has sought a report from the executive officer, municipal council, Zirakpur.

It was highlighted that an uncovered manhole had been posing a threat to the lives of residents of Himmatgarh Dhakola village.

The residents had claimed that motorists often failed to notice the manhole in the dark, leading to small accidents.

To make matters worse, streetlights were also not functional at many places in the locality. The commission after consideration has registered a complaint in this regard.

The commission has sought a report from the executive officer on the matter before June 9.



BJP protest over tax levy on May 2
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 28
The state unit of the BJP will stage a protest march here on May 2 over the recently imposed taxes, including house tax, by the Haryana government.

This was stated by BJP leaders here today. BJP state unit president Krishan Pal Gurjar will lead the protest.

Addressing mediapersons at the party office in Sector 2, senior leaders RL Kataria, Gian Chand Gupta and KS Singla said people felt cheated with the imposition of taxes.

The government had imposed new taxes, including fire tax and sewerage tax, besides reimposing the house tax and hiking VAT from 4 to 5 per cent, they added.



Govt schools a hit with class XI students
No mandatory attendance leaves ample time for tuitions
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Gone are the days when students would vouch for the “brand value” of a school. Come class 10 board results and many aspiring students of the city’s “elite” schools have been lining up to secure admissions in otherwise “mediocre” schools. Reason: There is no compulsion to attend classes regularly, giving ample time for attending coaching institutions to prepare for the highly competitive engineering and medical entrance exams.

Despite being prohibited by the Central Board Of secondary Education (CBSE), several city schools, most of them government run, continue to allow admissions to class 11 students in the science stream.

These schools, most lack proper infrastructure and suffer from a staff crunch, are in huge demand as they allow students to skip normal classes to attend tuitions and that too without being hassled about the requisite attendance. While two to three private schools in the city have become popular for providing this “service”, it are the government schools that “rule the market”.

“If you analyze the number of enrollments in government schools you’ll be shocked to find the ratio of applicants in the science stream for class 11 jumps four times, primarily because a majority of state-run schools wrap up their class 11 and 12 science classes latest by 1 pm with regular attendance not being mandatory. This is not just confined to lesser known schools but even the top ‘model’ schools do adjust good students,” said a senior UT education department official.

Interestingly, parents who only a dozen years earlier would have run from pillar to post to get their children admitted to nursery class in a “reputed” school are suddenly not bothered about the school brand for class 11. The reason: It is both practical and pragmatic to prepare students for competitive examinations rather than for the board exams that they feel serve no practical purpose.

“At the end of the day what matters is performance of a student in the entrance examinations such as, for example, IIT JEE, CBSE PMT and AIEEE apart from several others. My daughter studied at Sacred Heart School till class 10 but then I shifted her to a local school that was known for accommodating students and having a large number of entrance exam toppers to its credit. She had to attend classes only once a week and her teachers would mark her attendance on all other days. She was able to attend all tuitions and eventually got through the all India premedical test. The same would have been difficult had we stuck to her old school,” said Ruminder Deep Kaur, a private school teacher residing in Sector 35.

Commenting on the issue, Aparna Shah, a career counsellor, ascribed this trend to deficiencies in the existing school education system. “A school education isn’t enough for any competitive exams and tuitions are indispensable. Things have changed now. Earlier the name and reputation of the school would be a prestige issue, but it hardly matters now. Today if your child is pursuing the science stream in a good school, people consider you mad for allowing him to waste time. I still remember what all I had to do to get my son admitted to nursery class in Vivek High School. But now when he has graduated from class 10 he wants admission in a local government run school even though things are miserable there. The reason is that he wishes to prepare for the IIT entrance exam and needs to skip attending daily classes in school,” she says.



Registration fee of non-affiliated schools to be reduced
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 28
In a sequel to the April 16 decision to allow about 2.5 lakh students enrolled as private students with 20,000 non-affiliated or non-recognised schools to appear as regular students with the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) for the academic session 2011-2012, the State Education Minister today decided to reduce the one-time registration fee for such schools from Rs 20,000 to Rs 13,000.

The decision was taken at a meeting held between representatives of private schools and Punjab Education Minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan at the PSEB headquarters here today.

Under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, students enrolled with the non-affiliated schools had been denied permission to appear in the board exams. As a result, the associations of the affected schools were consistently taking up the issue with the state government. The schools had been given time till 2013 to get themselves affiliated with government agencies.

The Minister had decided that all such schools which were earlier termed as academies would now be termed as associate schools and their students would have the option to sit in the semester exams as regular students or through the open school system. Prior to the ban on such schools, around 2.5 lakh students used to annually appear in Class X senior secondary schools exams as private students.

Apart from this, students of Class IX and X can apply for registration with the PSEB till May 20. Rules and regulations were also finalised during the meeting. 



Transparency in Senate proceedings
10-hour deadline given to panel to suggest ways
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
In what has left Panjab University Senate and Syndicate members surprised, Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti has given 10 odd hours to a three-member committee constituted today to give suggestions for making Senate and Syndicate proceedings more transparent and accountable.

A letter, which landed on the doorsteps of some members at 5 pm today stated that there had been certain remarks that the Syndicate/Senate proceeding were not prepared up to satisfaction of the members. As a result of which a three-member committee comprising GK Chatrath, Rabindernath Sharma and AS Bedi had been constituted to suggest ways to make things more accountable and transparent.

“The committee should submit its suggestions before the next Syndicate meeting,” read the letter. However, while the Syndicate is scheduled for April 30 (Saturday), one of the key members AS Bedi is in Hoshiarpur and the other two are yet to agree upon a time.

“ We had decided to confirm previous minutes before each meeting so what else does he want? As far as accountability and transparency on minutes is concerned, how can you expect to solve the issue within 10 hours, while our numerous letters and discussions haven’t done anything. Making a committee is no solution or answer to our problems.

Moreover, how can only three fellows one of whom is out of station solve a problem that ails 60 others?” said a senate member. The committee was formed today following The Tribune’s report highlighting the fact that irked over consistent discrepancies in the PU Senate/ Syndicate meetings, fellows had demanded videography of meetings, but eventually agreed on getting previous minutes confirmed before the next meeting,



Project Jagriti takes off

Chandigarh, April 28
Project Jagriti, an ambitious endeavour of the Bharat Prakarsh Foundation and UT education department to inculcate and nurture reading habits among schoolchildren, was inaugurated by DPI (S) Sandeep Hans today.

As per plan, basic libraries will be set up in 10 government schools, where a total of 3,000 odd Hindi story books will be provided to students in their classrooms as the project envisages that these books kept in a classroom rather than a library will motivate children and increase their curiosity. Every Saturday a teacher will read out stories to students and encourage them to read those under her supervision.

Books will also be issued to students for reading at home and a library register will be maintained for thepurpose.

“This will help strengthen a bond between a teacher and a student,” said Sandeep Hans. The Bharat Prakarsh Foundation has been working in partnership with the Chandigarh administration for the past three years. — TNS



PTU introduces executive MBA programme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Punjab Technical University has launched an industry-linked executive MBA programme in partnership with Gian Jyoti School of TQM and Entrepreneurship in Mohali.

Lauding the efforts of PTU’s Gian Jyoti School of TQM, Suresh Kumar, principal secretary, technical education, Punjab, said the programme was an important step in Punjab’s initiative of developing the region as a veritable knowledge economy and taking it to the next level of excellence by empowering its working professionals in various industries and businesses.

“The executive MBA is seen as an important development for enhancing managerial and leadership capabilities of working professionals, but more importantly, contribute to bringing competitive advantage to their organisations,” said Keshav Sachdev, former managing director, DCM engineering, during a talk on “Developing Competitive Advantage”. 



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