C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mohali faces water shortage
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 26
While the peak summer season is yet to set in, Mohali has been already reeling under a severe water shortage.Against the present demand of around 24 million gallons per day (MGD), the availability of drinking water is only 14 MGD. The figures are for the area falling within municipal council limits.

This signals tough times ahead. With the shortage of 10 MGD of drinking water daily, residents of several locatities have already started feeling the heat.

“We are getting very little water supply in the morning and evening. The pressure is generally low and it does not reach the second floor,” said Verran Wali, of Phase VII here. She added that the water supply in the area was for about five hours a day.

Surinder Singh of Phase X lamented that most people had motor pumps or boosters fitted to water supply lines, which affected the supply to other houses.

He added, “We get very less supply in the area and the pressure is always very low. The motor pumps and boosters deteriorate the situation further. What will happen in the coming days?”

Those who lived on upper floors, especially on the second, faced a difficult situation. “There is no motor pump at our house. We fetch buckets of water from the lower floors,” said Roshni.

She stayed on the second floor of a rented house at Phase IIIB2. She added, “It is no less than torture every morning and evening.”

As per the public health wing, which executed work on behalf of the civic body, about 80 more tubewells were needed.

At present, there were 31 tubewells. The district had been getting 13 MGD of water from the Kajauli waterworks.


Civic body begins action

To give a bit of relief to residents, the municipal council has sought Rs 10 crore from the government to instal about two dozen tubewells. “A letter has been sent to the Principal Secretary, local government. We have sought Rs 10 crore,” said JC Sabharwal, municipal council Administrator. The matter would be discussed soon, he added.



Chaos reigns supreme at new DEO office in Sec 19
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
There was chaos at the new DEO office in Sector 19 here today. The first day at the new office was a nightmare for both employees and the public and official work came to a standstill.

DEO office staff lamented that there was no provision of drinking water and the fans and air-conditioners were inadequate.

The installation of computers hardly helped, which led to inconvenience to the public. People had to return disappointed.

“I did not know that the office had been shifted. I went to Sector 9. I had to get some pension formalities completed. I then went to the new office. It is on the first floor and there is no lift or ramp. I have acute arthritis. I braved my way through the rush. To my shock, the official refused to do my work as his computer was not working,” said a 75-year-old Sector-33 resident.

“I came to get some certificates attested. There was no drinking water. An employees told us that drinking water was available only till around 12 noon. I rushed to the market for a water bottle. There were only a handful of fans. A majority of the people were not at their seats. I waited till 5 pm, but my work was not done,” said 22-year-old Suman Kumari.

Employees blamed the education department high-ups for the inconvenience. One of them said, “We are paying a price for the power struggle between DEO Ram Kumar and Deputy Director (Schools) Chanchal Singh. There are 40 employees. They were earlier in eight rooms, including two spacious halls. Now we are squeezed in six rooms. The building also houses the adult education department.”

“Air-conditioners have not been shifted so far. A majority of fans have been taken for repairs. There are only two washrooms. There is no proper arrangement for drinking water. Neither have all records been brought here, nor have computers been installed. We do not understand the urgency behind shifting us to the new building the day before the hearing of a public interest litigation,” the employee added.

The shifting was ordered months ago, when DEO Chanchal Singh was elevated to Deputy Director (Schools). He continued working, with a majority of powers entrusted with the DEO’s office.

The shifting was recommended on the pretext of better efficiency and space shortage. Many blamed the power tussle between Chanchal Singh and Ram Kumar for the inconvenience. 



Not selected for MFA, topper in BFA returns roll of honour to college
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Disappointed at not being selected for a masters course in fine arts (MFA) at the College of Arts here after topping in the bachelors course (BFA) in 2011 from the same college, Neha Mahajan today returned the roll of honour awarded to her in the recent convocation to show resentment.

Neha was denied admission to the MFA course, following which she had even approached the high court, but failed to get relief. The BFA convocation was held on April 20, when received the roll of honour for excelling in academics, besides her degree.

Applicants had to go through interview for admission to the MFA course. Those achieving the maximum marks were admitted.

Neha said the college refused her admission despite being a topper, which was a dishonour. “There is no admission criteria at the college. Selections are made just on the basis of interview,” she said.

She asked how a mere interview could decide the total merit for admission when a student had put in years of hard work in examinations and laboratory work, for which she was awarded by the university itself. The student claimed to have been victimised by the college, stating that she, along with seven others, had complained about a computer teacher not taking classes during the final year. All eight students did not get admission to the MFA course.

“The principal asked me to give in writing that I want to return the roll of honour. He refused to accept it, following which I left it at the college,” she said.

When contacted, college principal DS Kapoor said students were selected by an eight-member committee, of which four were eminent artists in different fields and four from the college. “There are only 10 MFA seats and students from across the country apply for the course. All things are taken into consideration by the committee and not just the roll of honour,” Kapoor said.



CHB housing scheme to be delayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The 2008-Special Housing Scheme floated by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) for UT employees is going to be delayed once again. The reason being that the CHB has received a single tender for appointing consultant to get environmental clearance. To avoid any controversy, senior functionaries in the CHB are not in a mood to approve the single tender.

Without the environmental clearance, work at the site cannot be started. After appointing the consultant, the entire process to get clearances takes at least a year. It will not be out of place to mention that it took a long time for the CHB to get environmental clearance for the Sector 63 housing scheme.

Under the scheme, floated five year ago, around 4,000 flats have to be constructed at Sectors 52, 53 and 56.

In the last board meeting, the board had approved to increase the cost of the flat with a decision to increase the number of flats from four storeyes to six storeyes. Sources in the CHB said while on the one hand, the scheme is being delayed inordinately due some reason or the other, the board has started refunding the application money to the unsuccessful employees who have not shown any interest in getting the flat. There are around 80 such applicants.

Meanwhile, the successful applicants under the scheme have decried the inordinate delay in issuing of allotment letters. The employees have lamented that despite the draw of lots in November 2010, no allotment letter has been issued and the cost of construction has gone up. Many employees have taken loans to fund the cost of their flats.

Some of the employees are about to retire and it will be difficult for them to bear the increased cost of the flat after their retirement. While trying to compare the housing scheme floated by PUDA and GMADA, the CHB have even failed to start construction of the flats. 



Night challaning picks up in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
With the traffic police continuing its challaning spree even at night, 333 challans have been issued by police control room vehicles after sunset.
As residents lost sleep over the increased number of incidents of snatching and late-night brawls, the PCR was empowered to do night challaning.

A total of 60 PCR vehicles in 30 pairs were on duty at main roads and roundabouts. Ten PCR motorcycles in five pairs were on patrol inside the city to chase such violators.

An SI or an ASI used to challan violators. While initially the drive was from 12 midnight to 4 am, it was extended till 8 am.

DSP Roshan Lal said PCR vehicles were deployed in front of schools, parks and residential areas early in the morning, besides horizontal and vertical outer roads such as those from the Faidan barrier to the paddy mandi roundabout, the Zirakpur barrier to the Sector-25 roundabout, the PGI roundabout to the Badheri roundabout, the Sector 4-5-8-9 roundabout to the Mataur barrier, the Sukhna Lake to Colony No. 5, and the Fun Republic to the PGI roundabout in the wee hours.

The drive was initiated on the night of April 19. The police claimed that no untoward incident was reported then and it planned to intensify the drive.



Eight-year-old sodomised
Five minors, 19-year-old arrested from PU campus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
In a shocking incident, five minors and a 19-year-old youth have been arrested for sodomising an eight-year-old boy at the quarters for class-IV employees on the Panjab University (PU) campus today.

The accused also made an MMS of the boy, which they circulated and uploaded online. The police arrested 19-year-old Vijay, along with five minors, aged between 14 and 17 years.

The victim and the accused were children of class-IV employees of the university and resided on the campus. According to the police, the victim studied in class IV of a private school at Sector 24.

As per the complaint of the boy’s father, the incident occurred on April 11. His son was playing outside the house.

Six persons known to him in the neighbourhood took him to the house of one of the accused on the pretext of giving him marbles to play.

The accused then sexually assaulted the boy and made an MMS. They also threatened him of dire consequences. The MMS was circulated and that was how the victim’s parents got to know of the crime.

Inspector Gurmukh Singh said the five minors were arrested and sent to a juvenile home. Vijay would be produced in court tomorrow, he added.

“We have seized the mobile phone and investigations are on,” he further said. A case under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was registered at the Sector-11 police station. 


Admn demands Rs 80 lakh
Shifting of underground cables coming in way of overbridge at Sector 17
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

The underground cables that are coming in the way of the overbridge at Sector 17 in Chandigarh.
The underground cables that are coming in the way of the overbridge at Sector 17 in Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, April 26
The UT Administration has decided to demand Rs 80 lakh from the Municipal Corporation for shifting underground cables from the way of overbridge in Sector 17.
At a recent meeting between the senior officials of the engineering and electricity departments, the proposal was discussed in detail and it was decided that the UT Administration would seek money from the MC.

A senior official of the administration said that the underground wires in question supply power to the Sector 17 commercial establishments and hence, would be shifted in phases. He added that there were 16 to 17 feeders (cables), including both high tension and low-tension cables, linked with Sector 17 power sub-station. The electricity department supplies power to all the commercial establishments of Sector 17 through this sub-station.

He further added that the MC would construct a trench along the site and the electricity department would shift these cables in the trench.

To be constructed from Anand Theatre to KC Theatre, the overbridge will be built at a cost of Rs 12.46 crore. The bridge, which will be 22 feet wide, will be dual carriageway and have pedestrian walkways on both sides. The construction of the bridge is a part of the proposal to make Sector 17 vehicle free. It was also a part of the proposals of the creator of the city, Le Corbusier.

Recently, 60 trees were felled despite the opposition from environmentalists. Thereafter the construction work began in March.

The stretch of road has been closed till December. There was opposition from one section of the traders. The traders claimed that it would affect their business. It will have the facilities of 40 booths, two toilets on the ground floor. Two lifts, having a capacity to carry 13 persons each to offices in second and third floor.



Demolition drive in Attawa village
Tribune News Service

An illegal structure that was pulled down during the drive at Attawa village in Chandigarh on Thursday.
An illegal structure that was pulled down during the drive at Attawa village in Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, April 26
The UT Land Acquisition Collector today carried out a demolition drive in Attawa village here.
The demolition squad led by the police removed the structures that had come up on about two kanals of acquired land. The occupants had raised structures on the acquired land.

The owners of the land had already taken compensation for the land. On the other hand, Brij Mohan and Shiva Rattan, occupants on the land claimed that LAC demolished structures beyond the acquired land.



Draw of lots for liquor vends today

Chandigarh, April 26
The UT Excise and Taxation Department has received 13 bids for allotment of 82vends, both IMFL and country that could not be allotted in the last draw of lots held on April 20. The draw of lots will be held tomorrow.

In the last draw of lots, the department could not dispose of 37 per cent of vends during the opening of financial bids for allotment of liquor vends under the new Excise Policy 2012-2013. Not a single bid was received for 82 vends out of the total 215 vends, both IMFL and country that were advertised for allotment.

A substantial increase in the licence fee and excise duty by the UT was said to be one of the main reasons for the poor response. On the other hand, the department has registered an increase of 15 per cent in the revenue — TNS



Nurses’ demands met
No disciplinary action against those who went on mass casual leave
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
After a round-table meeting between the PGI administration and nursing welfare association today, the management gave green signal to the demands tabled by the association. In fact the authorities have assured the association that no disciplinary action will be taken on the nurses who went on mass casual leave yesterday in protest.

Reverting the orders of withdrawing nurses’ allowance from their salary, the authorities assured the association that the amount, which was deducted from their salary would be given to all the employees in the next two months.

In fact the childcare leave will be given to the woman staff as per the 43 (C) 1972 rules of the Government of India. Association president Lakhwinder Singh said that the authorities had sent a proposal to the Government of India to re-designate the sister grade 1 and 2 as nursing officer and senior nursing officer.

Accepting the demand that the staff will get monthly special-area allowance as per the Sixth Pay Commission, the authorities said that Rs 300 would be given as allowance from January 2012. For filling the post of the chief nursing officer, which is lying vacant from the past five years, the authorities informed the association that the had advertised the post recently and if no suitable candidate was selected by the department, the recruitment rules for the post would be reframed by them.

No deduction in allowance

Reverting the orders of withdrawing nurses’ allowance from their salary, the authorities assured the association that the amount, which was deducted from their salary would be given to all the employees in the next two months.



Chandigarh Traffic Police provides reflectors to 1,063 rickshaws
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
As many as 1,063 cycle rickshaws in city now have reflectors, thanks to the Chandigarh Traffic Police, which has initiated a novel campaign to paste stickers on these rickshaws so that they are visible in the dark and accidents can be avoided.

As per Byelaws 29A of the Chandigarh Cycle Rickshaw (Regulation and Control) Bye-Laws 1960 fixing of reflectors at the rear, front and on the wheels of the cycle rickshaws are mandatory. Accordingly, the Chandigarh Traffic Police began a campaign for fixing of reflectors/tapes at the rear of the cycle/cycle rickshaws for one week (from 18-24 April, 2012).

As part of the campaign, the police pasted 198 stickers on grain market roundabout on Arpil 18, 180 stickers at ISBT, Sector 17, 150 stickers at the Sector 15 market, 100 stickers at the Sector 22/23 light point, 160 stickers at the Attawa Chowk, 155 were pasted on the rear side of the cycle rickshaws at the ISBT, Sector 43 roundabout, and another 120 at the Sector 25 roundabout.



Residents’ protest forces GMADA officials to put off demolition
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 26
A protest by residents of Akal Ashram Colony at Sohana forced the team of Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to postpone its demolition drive against illegal constructions in the colony here this afternoon.

The protesters claimed that they were not issued notices. However, GMADA officials refuted all allegations claiming that all formalities had been completed. Terming the constructions in the colony as illegal, an official said it was the government land on which the houses had been constructed illegally.

Earlier, the GMADA team could only raze a boundary wall of one under-construction house following which the residents gathered and started raising slogans against the authorities.

The head of the team postponed the drive after consulting his seniors.

“They have been given one week’s to remove the encroachments,” said the official.

While the residents alleged that they were authorised owners of the plots as these had been registered with the government, but still GMADA was forcing them to vacate the land.

Harminder Singh Kalra, president of the Akal Ashram Colony, said, “The plots have been in our possession for years and these have been registered in our name. Moreover, we were not served with the notices. If GMADA wants the land, we must be allotted land somewhere else,” he said.

The colony, which is being termed as ‘illegal’, is spread over six acres.



Kachcheri Complex sans facilities
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 26
Advocates, notaries and other officials, who have been working in Kachcheri Complex at Phase I have urged the authorities to provide civic amenities here.
In a demand letter to the Mohali Deputy Commissioner, Varun Roojam, the Bar Association stated that the complex lacked drinking water and toilets.

“One can see garbage strewn in and around the complex,” said an advocate.

Commenting on the issue, the DC said he would look into the matter. “Though it’s a makeshift arrangement to smoothen the work, I will do the needful.” 



Sainik Rest House may pay tax
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Municipal Corporation is not only going to rescind the exemption of service charge on the UT Sainik Rest House, but is going to impose it. In fact the authorities are also going to recover the pending service charges, which were withdrawn in 2010 after the approval at the general house meeting. The proposal is going to be tabled for approval in the coming general house meeting scheduled for April 30.

In the proposal, the department concerned recommended that the house should reconsider the decision taken in 2010 for the exemption of the service tax on the Sainik Rest House and also allow the tax branch to recover the pending amount from the management of the organisation.

In September 2010, the MC house had approved that the Sainik Rest House should be exempted from the service tax and the department concerned withdrew the notice served to them for payment. In February 2012, the tax branch of the MC conducted a survey on the premises of the rest house and found that it was being used for commercial activists, whereas an office had been set up on the first floor of the rest house. On the basis of which, the department concerned recommended that as per the MC tax Byelaws 2003, the rest house came under the ambit of service charges.

In 2010, the House Tax Assessment Committee had deferred the issue of exemption of property tax and directed the department concerned to inspect and prepare a report.

The department while drafting the report referred to the MC Byelaws 2003 in which there is no provision under which the authorities can exempt the payment of service charges and property tax from any government building.

In this regard the department also pointed out that for the recovery of the pending service charges, the tax branch had also sent a notice to the senior superintendent of post offices and station master of the railway station, which wass pending since 2008.



Light rain, thundershowers likely to lash region
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Services

Chandigarh, April 26
Unpredictable weather conditions will continue in the tricity for the next four to five days in view of the persisting western disturbance over north Pakistan and neighborhood.

However, there will be no major change in the temperature even as light rain accompanied with thundershowers can lash the region in the next couple of days.

The weather office said that upper air cyclonic circulation over Rajasthan and neighborhood in lower levels persisted resulting in unpredictable weather in the region.

Surinder Pal, director, Chandigarh Meteorological Department, said that the region could witness light rain or thundershowers in the next two days. However, there could be heavy rain on April 28 and 29, which would continue further for the next four or five days.

Meanwhile, the city has recorded maximum temperatures of 34.2 degree Celsius, two degrees below normal, while the minimum temperature was recorded at 22.4 degrees Celsius. The maximum humidity was recorded at 58 per cent.

In Haryana, Rohtak remained the hottest with maximum temperatures at 36.7 degrees Celsius while Patiala in Punjab recorded the maximum temperatures at 35.6 degrees Celsius.



Musical ode paid to nature
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, April 26
Vidushi Vasundra and Kalapini Komkali, wife and daughter of Pandit Kumar Gandhrav, paid a veritable musical ode to nature on the second day of the ongoing Chandigarh Arts and Heritage Festival at the Tagore Theatre here today.

After a brief alaap of raga ahir bairav, the duo commenced the recital with arun aake kiran which later melted into soulful recital bhanwar mann goleyo. Kalpini kept interacting with the audience while explaining the significance of raga shiv bhatiyar. After a bandish in bhim plasi aaayo rang faag, the duo turned to lighter folk depicting the festive spirit of Holi. The avid singers doled out bhajans like rutt ayai bolley, misn kaise aaon balam, dham prre se and many more. Kalapini displayed versatility explaining and emoting the moods besides doling out akaar and bol taans. JK Singh conducted the festival. Home Secretary Anil Kumar was the chief guest and lauded CSNA chairman Kamal Tewari for the sleek show. Bureaucrats Sarban Singh, VK Singh, DK Tewari,

Tanvi Garg and PK Srivsatava sat through the programme. There will be another slide lecture “Landscape after Battle-Nature in Transit by Johny ML (a visiting professor at National Institute of Design) in Government Museum & Art Gallery at 5 pm on April 27. The evening will be unveiled by “Uncharted Seas”, a dance performance, by Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company on the same day at the Tagore Theatre.



Dharna by BJP activists
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 26
Toughening its stand for the first time over the fly menace in Barwala block in the district, the Bharatiya Janata Party today staged a dharna outside the office of Deputy Commissioner as the latter was not present in her office.

Led by state BJP secretary Gian Chand Gupta and former vice-president of Panchkula MC BB Singal, the party workers had gone to the DC’s office to submit a memorandum with regard to the fly menace being faced by the residents of Barwala as there are a large number of poultry farms in the area.

City Magistrate urged the BJP leaders to handover the memorandum to her but they told her that they would submit the same to the DC only.

Later, the DC arrived at about 3 pm and accepted the memorandum from the BJP leaders.

Earlier, while addressing mediapersons, Gupta said all officials were required to be present in the office from 11 am to 1 pm to listen to public grievances.

Gupta alleged that some of the officials of the administration were hand in glove with the poultry owners who in order to earn money were not taking effective steps to deal with the fly menace. He said Hyderabad had the largest poultry farms in Asia but there was no such problem as the poultry owners were sprinkling chemicals in and outside their farms to deal with the fly menace. He said though the district administration had issued directive to farm owners in the region to deal with the situation effectively, nothing had been done so far. 



Make youth tech savvy, says Patil
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil presided over the first Annual Corporate Summit of the All -India Technical and Management Association held here today. He stressed upon the need to empower the youth in the fields of science and technology along with art, culture and spirituality, which would help them in becoming responsible citizens and would create a healthy society.

He said, “We need to understand that education is a continuous process from cradle to grave. And to provide education to one and all, various NGOs, individuals, and the society must step in.”

On this occasion, he also honoured Dr Baljeet Kapoor, Vice-Chancellor designate, and ad interim director general of Emax Group of Institutions for his special contribution in the field of science and technology and his outstanding contribution in the field of technical education in the last four decades.



Mayor to organise patch-up lunch for councillors today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Municipal corporation Mayor Raj Bala Malik is organising a patch-up lunch for all the councillors tomorrow. Today, councillors across all parties got an invite from the Mayor for a lunch tomorrow to discuss the bottlenecks, which they were facing during their routine works in the MC.

Sources in the Congress said that there was resentment among the party councillors after the first media interaction by the Mayor in which neither the Senior Deputy Mayor nor the Deputy Mayor was invited. In fact, the senior party leader was also not informed about the press meet. The sources said that at a meeting conducted by party president BB Bhel recently, the issue of lack of coordination between the Mayor and the party councillors was taken up. The councillors felt that the Mayor did not consult them on any issue.

In fact, senior party leader and councillor Subhash Chawla in protest against the attitude of the Mayor’s did not attend the Finance And Contract Committee meeting held yesterday. He also did not speak in the last general house meeting.

Even the BJP and SAD councillors resigned from all the sub-committees alleging that the Mayor was biased in distribution of the committees. The councillors also suggested that there should be frequent interaction between the councillors and the Mayor.



Make Chandigarh a state, says Janta Dal (United)
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Janta Dal (United) has demanded the creation of Chandigarh as a state and neighbouring areas of Punjab and Haryana should be included in it.

In a letter to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister, the Janta Dal party said that the future of the UT was in doldrums, as it had become a bone of contention between Punjab and Haryana. While the two states had not contributed in any way to the UT, the residents were being deprived of their democratic rights.

The worst affected were the UT employees who were left with no promotion avenues as those on deputation filled the top positions. The party has proposed that an area of 30 kilometres be included in the UT boundary.



CTU bus timings revised

Chandigarh, April 26
To improve the bus service between Sector-43 ISBT and the Chandigarh Airport, the CTU has revised the bus timings.

As per the schedule, the bus will run from Sector-43 ISBT at 8 am, 9.40 am, 1.40 am, 3.40 am and 5 pm and from the Chandigarh Airport, the bus will run at 9.20 am, 11 am, 3 pm, 5 pm and 6 .25 pm. — TNS



tricity scan
Chandigarh scan
Training programme

The CII, Haryana, organised a training programme on “Communication and Presentation Skills” at the CII Conference Hall, with an objective to acquaint industry with the skills in role playing and self-presentation, healthy human relations through communication and improving professional atmosphere. The workshop touched upon parameters such as emotional and social expressiveness, regulating inappropriate emotions, public speaking and team motivation. The training programme was conducted by Amit Mathur, a trained and certified quality management expert. The emphasis of his training was on self-assessment, thought provoking exercises and a better future direction through various visualisation and training techniques.

Convocation at PGI

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare and president of PGIMER Ghulam Nabi Azad will preside over the 32nd convocation of the institute on April 28. About 382 students will be conferred degrees. PhD degrees will be awarded to 28 students. They will be given gold, silver and bronze medals for outstanding research and academic excellence.

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day was celebrated by the office of Principal Accountant General at Audit Bhavan, Haryana, here on Thursday. Dr Puneet Bedi, principal of MCM DAV, was the chief guest on the occasion. The event was attended by many successful and professionally empowered women of the department and tricity.

Rally by UT employees

UT employees under the banner of UT and MC Employees Sangharsh Committee on Thursday held a massive protest rally and demonstration near Government Press, Sector 18. They were protesting against the allotment of flats to unsuccessful employees under the self-financing housing scheme and implementation of complete Punjab scales and rules, including recruitment rules to the UT employees.

92 units of blood donated

As many as 92 units of blood were donated in a camp organised by the Canara Bank Officers’ Association here on Thursday in collaboration with the department of transfusion medicine of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

Mohali scan
Open session

Vodafone Mobile Services in collaboration with TRAI recognised Citizens Awareness Group held an open session for mobile subscribers in Vodafone circle office at Industrial Area in Mohali where consumers shared their insight with their business partners. Vikram Bains, Circle Nodal Authority, customer support head, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, said interaction with consumers was a must.

Salad-making contest

Ashmah International School, Sector 70, organised different activities to make youngsters more conscious about their health here on Thursday.

Salad-making competition, healthy tiffin competition and declamation contest were held. Teachers spoke on nutritious and balanced diet. — Tribune Reporters



Another blunder by PU
A question goes missing from the Hindi paper of BA-III examination
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
It seems that there is no end to the goof-ups made by Panjab University while setting question papers. After committing the mistake of publishing the answers alongside questions in the botany paper recently, the question paper of BA (III year) Hindi exam conducted today turned out to be of 84 marks, instead of the supposed 90 marks.

Students of BA (III year) appearing for the exam in all the PU-affiliated colleges were surprised to see that one question was missing from the question paper. On verifying the question paper, the students discovered that the total marks of the questions were only 84, while they had to be of 90 marks.

The university also received various complaints from different examinations regarding the issue.

This is the second blunder that has been detected during the ongoing undergraduate exams in colleges and the mistake has raised serious doubts over PU’s examination system.

Earlier on April 19, the BSc (I year) students appearing for the botany examination in all colleges were surprised to find that the answers to a 10-marks fill-in-the-blank question printed in the question paper itself.

One of the BA (III year) student said that the missing of one question led to confusion among the students as they thought the examination is being conducted for 84 marks only.

When contacted, PU Controller Examination AK Bhandari said that the university had received information regarding the error after which it has been decided that the remaining six-marks missing from the question paper would be divided and adjusted in different questions. “The marks of each question would be increased to adjust the missing six-marks and the evaluation would be made out of 90 marks only,” Bhandari said.

Students, however, complained that increasing the marks of the questions after the examination was over is not justified as they had attempted the questions according to the marks written in the question paper. 



NHRC role significant, says expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Centre for Human Rights and Duties, Panjab University, invited Dr SK Jain, Senior Research Officer (Training), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), New Delhi, to deliver a talk on the working of NHRC.

Jain maintained that ever since its inception, as mandated by the Act under which the NHRC has been established, the body has played a significant role in spreading human rights literacy throughout the country. Each passing year has immensely added to the pivotal role being played by the commission in this regard. Commenting on the importance of setting up the commission, Dr Jain said that in the initial years of its formation, NHRC used to receive only a few hundred complaints; but the number now is more than ten lakh per year.

“One of the best possible approaches to protect and promote human rights was to generate awareness among people about their rights and duties and also to sensitise them to respect human rights of others,” he said.



CBSE to test spoken English from 2013-14
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
For the students of CBSE schools speaking correct English will now be as important as writing it.

The board in its latest circular has asked its schools to train their students in speaking and listening skills for improving their diction and communication. The board has proposed a formal testing of these skills through Formative Assessments (FAs) in English at the secondary and senior secondary levels from the academic year 2013-14. The board has emphasised the importance of communication skills and the need to be integrated into the school English language curriculum.

“In today’s world, where national and international boundaries have no real meaning, the English language has acquired the role of a crucial medium of communication. It has become the language for the knowledge seeker as we move towards a knowledge-based economy,’’ states the circular.

For this purpose, the CBSE also plans to develop a group of examiners to be involved in testing of speaking and listening skills in English. “Over the years, we have seen that the quality of English communication has deteriorated amongs students because a majority of schools confine the study and evaluation of the language to textbooks, exams and projects. We, therefore, think that formal tests are important,” said one of the board officials.

It may noted that Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) does provide provisions for improvement of these skills through group discussions, debates, public speaking etc. However due to lack of formal assessment, a majority of schools skip these activities, confining students to mugging of text books. As a result, even the top scorers in subject are generally not very good speakers.

“The language has to be viewed holistically. Students should not be good just at reproducing text book-based answers, but should also be good speakers, poets and writers, and this can only be achieved through a more scholastic approach towards the subject,” said CBSE Regional Director RJ Khanderao.



PU holds event to mark World Intellectual Property Day

Chandigarh, April 26
The Centre for Industry Institute Partnership Program (CIIPP) of Panjab University celebrated World Intellectual Property Day at the PU Campus here today.
Panjab University Vice-Chancellor prof RC Sobti, who presided over the function, spoke on the major breakthroughs in science and shared that most were based on ‘accidental incidents’ which were carefully analysed by scientists.

Dr Neelima Jerath, Executive Director, Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST), Chandigarh, shared the immense efforts and contributions of the council in promoting awareness about Intellectual Property (IP).

Dr Rakesh Tuli, Director, National Agro-Biotechnology Institute (NABI), Mohali, emphasised the need for promoting innovations and encouraging industry oriented research.

Dr Parikshit Bansal from the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education (NIPER), focused upon “Translation of Research into Industrial Products” and shared his personal experiences of translating grass-root innovations from India into worldwide technology breakthrough products.

Dr Rupinder Tewari, Honorary Director, CIIPP, and also the organiser of the function, informed that innovations were the key to economic growth and progress and the time had come for researchers to not only focus on publication of papers but also upon how their work could benefit society.

A manual on IPR entitled “University Manual of Intellectual Property Rights” was also released. The manual has been published by the CIIPP in association with the PSCST and financial support from the Industry. — TNS



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