Sunday, May 21, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Staff shortage in PEC to get worse
50 vacancies already; 17 persons to leave this year
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 20 — The crisis in Punjab Engineering College due to staff reduction will get worse when at least 17 more persons leave in the current session.

The premier engineering college of the region has seen accumulation of nearly 50 vacancies already. Enhancement of the retirement age for the staff is also being considered as per the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) standards.

The civil engineering branch has 34 seats for teachers. Eight of these are already vacant and at least three more teachers will retire in the year 2000-2001. The electronics engineering branch has 17 seats for teachers, six of which are already vacant. Two more teachers will retire later this year.

The masters degree course has six posts. "There is a need for 16," a senior professor said. Controversy is also on whether the Principal should be included in the selection committee or not.

A number of teachers said in 1997, the Administration had ordered that the Principal should not be not included in the selection committees for lecturers. They said the heads of departments were a better choice.

The college Principal, in a letter to the Home Secretary earlier this year, had said, "Till recently, the Principal used to be the ministerial representative for all the group 'A' posts of lecturers, assistant professors and professors, for selection through the UPSC."

The letter said in all engineering institutes of Punjab and Haryana, the Principal was an important member of the selection committee. "No professor is a member of the selection committee for professors of his institute. There are also no posts of the head of the department in the degree-awarding institutions of the country. This is merely an administrative arrangement to coordinate activities of the department," the letter said.

He has urged that the old practice of including the Principal in the selection committees should be reintroduced.

Teachers said they were worried over the falling academic standards due to these vacant posts. They said engaging part-time and temporary teachers was not a permanent solution.

The Chandigarh Administration has said that it will look into the matter at the earliest.

"The college, under the AICTE rules, is bound to follow its directions," a senior professor said. This means that the retirement age is 62 and the special extension till the age of 65. The PEC, however, has 58 as the retirement age (Punjab pattern). This was conveyed by the Administration to the Centre in July 1999. A provision of three-year service in the post-retirement period was included.


Telemedicine in PGI by month-end
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 20 — Doctors and patients at the PGI will now be able to use a futuristic technique to seek the opinion of experts stationed in big cities, including metropolitans, by using video-conferencing. The facility is set to start by the month end.

Initially, pathology and radiology will be the two departments to use the facility under the telemedicine project of Union Government. In the first phase three premier institutes of the country, namely the PGIMER, Chandigarh, Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute, Lucknow, and AIIMS, Delhi, have been linked through international subscriber digital network (ISDN). The work of setting up this Rs 9-crore project has been entrusted to the PGI, CEDT, Mohali and CDAC, Pune. The PGI, which happens to be the nodal centre will also be providing video-conferencing facility between these three institutes. India is the second country in South East Asia to adopt a telemedicine project.

Dr B.D. Gupta, Medical Adviser cum coordinator of the project, said this facility will enable doctors to maintain electronic patient records (EPR) and refer them to any expert in the connected hospitals for specialised treatment or seek medical opinion as regards latest techniques.

The facility will also benefit in medical training at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels and research purposes. Research too shall get a boost as the data stored can be accessed anywhere.

He explained that vital signs like blood pressure, body temperature, blood oxygen and X-rays will be first put on the computer and digitised for further transmission through any of these centres in real time. The entire text along with audio and video images will be sent in less than 3 minutes.

The equipment for telepathology, which has been imported from Germany and that of teleconferencing from Israel have already been installed in the Telemedicine Centre, PGI. The facility of telepathology will become functional by May-end after the process of linking the three Institutes is completed, said Dr Gupta.

To begin with, the doctors will be required to operate from the Telemedicine Centre, but subsequently, the facility will be made available to the heads of various departments in their offices or even homes through Local Area Network (LAN) .

In the second phase facilities will be extended for cardiology, endoscopy and surgery. Under this, medical colleges and major hospitals of the respective region will be linked. For instance, colleges in UP and Bihar will be linked with the SGPGI, Lucknow. Those in Delhi, MP and Rajasthan with AIIMS, Delhi, while the ones in Punjab, Haryana, HP, J and K with the PGI, Chandigarh. The facility will be subsequently extended to primary and secondary health care centres at the district level. In the second phase, sub-centres will be set up in 30 medical colleges of north India, to make them avail this facility, disclosed Dr Gupta. 


For jawans on border

Keeping in mind the high casualty and injury rate among jawans and officers of armed forces, a plan has been drawn up and sent for approval to extend the support of this project to cater to the forward areas along the border. This will enable doctors in Medical Inspection rooms in forward areas to seek opinion of the experts sitting in premier hospitals.

The US Army and the NASA are already using the technique.Back


Manmohan nominated to PGI body
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 20 — A former Union Finance Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, as been nominated to the 20-member institute body of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).

The body is empowered to take all key decisions regarding the functioning of this premier institute. Dr Singh is known to take keen interest in the affairs of the PGI.



PGI governing body meets on May 27
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 20 — The governing body of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) will hold a special meeting on May 27 to consider the recommendations of the Selection Committee for the post of professor of paediatrics (allergy and immunology). The institute body will also meet the same day to ratify the decisions.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed PGI to hold the meeting to consider the decision of the selection committee in recommending the name of Dr Suneet Singhi for the said post. The meeting which will be chaired by the Union Health Minister, Mr N. T. Shanmugham, will be held at the PGI. The court has further directed it to place on record the decision taken at this meeting by May 30.

According to Mrs P. Sahi, Deputy Director (Administration), the item pertaining to this appointment could not be considered in the last governing body meeting held on March 15, due to the stay granted by the court in its interim orders.

A writ petition had been filed by Dr R.K. Marwaha, Additional Professor in Paediatrics and Dr Surjeet Singh, Associate Professor of Allergy and Immunology, challenging the selection of Dr Singhi as professor.

The decision of the governing body in the matter cannot be given effect till further orders by the court.

Most of the other items on the agenda are either those which could not be taken up or were not decided upon in the last governing body meeting. This includes conversion of one post of professor of preventive dentistry to professor of orthodontics. Since the Department of Oral Health Sciences, PGI, offers post-graduate courses in orthodontics, it is important to have a senior faculty member in this field.

The modification of recruitment rules of dark room assistant and sanitary division, on the pattern of AIIMS will also be considered during the meeting, as they happen to be more beneficial to the employees. Nominations to the vacants posts in governing body will also be taken up.Back


Mika’s music sets pace
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 20 — Foot-tapping music was not the only thing driving the crowd mad at the Chandigarh Club tonight. The reasons were a little was Punjabi folk by Manpreet Akhtar of the Kuch Kuch Hota Hai fame blended with some heavy traditional bhangra beat by none other than the hottest star of Punjabi pop — Mika.

The show was more than a success, for this time, not just the youngsters but kids too were swept off their feet. As Mika doled out his latest number — Ishq Brandi, the entire audience seemed to have been intoxicated.

The performance began well in time, with Manpreet setting the pace with the melodious yet powerful Sindhi song — O lal meri pat rakhiyo bala jhoole lalan. She then gave the audience a real taste of Punjabi folk with numbers like Pichhe pichhe aunda, and then the latest number which has actually brought her to the centrestage — Kuch Kuch Hota Hai song Tujhe yaad na meri aaye.

While the audience kept shouting for Mika, the show was interspersed with two dance sequences, one on Pukar’s Que Sara Sara, and another on the Kaho Naa Pyar Hai medley. The local dancers completely fitted into the scene and kept the crowd in place. Mika began with Ishq Brandi and then sung Gud nalo ishq mitha. The show was going on till the filing of this report.


Brigadier facing court of inquiry
By Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 20 — A top officer of the Judge Advocate-General’s Branch (JAG) — the army’s judicial wing responsible for imparting legal advice in administrative matters to commanders as well as for dispensation of justice in the rank and file of the Army — is facing a court of inquiry on charges of fraud and falsification of documents.

The said officer, Brigadier A K Srivastav, at present Joint Judge Advocate General (JJAG) at Army Headquarters, is alleged to have changed the date of birth of his younger son, Lt Rohit Srivastav, an officer in the Army Service Corps, by filing a false affidavit in this regard.

The case assumes significance as it is not only the first of its kind in the JAG Branch, but the concerned officer is said to have been hauled up for misconduct several times in the past and that too in violation of rules.

Following orders issued by the Chief of the Army Staff, Gen V P Malik, the Adjutant General’s Branch at Army HQ, has vide its letter number B/29185/IV/868/DV-4 has directed Headquarters Western Command, Chandimandir, to constitute a staff court of inquiry to investigate the charges against the JJAG.

Maj Gen V K Bhaskar, Additional Director-General in the Engineer-in-Chief’s Branch at Army HQ, has been asked to head the court of inquiry, it is learnt. The finalised court of inquiry proceedings along with the recommendations of commanders in the chain of command, the Army HQ directive adds, are to be submitted by early June this year.

As per the allegations mentioned in the Army HQ letter, Brig (then Lt-Col) Srivastav submitted a false affidavit to change the year of birth of his son from 1975 to 1977. The boy thus got a two-year advantage and subsequently entered the Officers’ Training Academy in November, 1997.

Records of the Organisation Directorate at Army HQ state the year of birth of Brig Srivastav’s son as 1975, while the service record of Lt Rohit state the year of birth as 1977.

Brig Srivastav has maintained that the year of birth has been wrongly recorded as 1977 in his son’s matriculation certificate and that the error was noticed only in July, 1999. An application for rectification of the error has accordingly been put up.

Meanwhile, investigations reveal that Brig Srivastav had been awarded ‘’non-recordable censure’’ on two different occasions by the GOC 16 Corps for allegedly giving improper legal advice while disciplinary action was being contemplated against a Colonel and, in the other instance, for misappropriation of funds for printing of military law precis.

Documents available also reveal that Brig Srivastav had been “counselled” by the GOC Maharashtra and Gujarat area for alleged deception and misappropriation in procuring and running a bus for the Army Wives Welfare Association, maintaining accounts and managing funds, and, obtaining and maintaining a private telephone from regimental funds.

“What is significant here is that these lapses amount to moral turpitude, culpable negligence and corruption. The service regulations explicitly states that such offences are to be tried by court martial and will not be disposed of summarily or by administrative action as has been done,” a former JAG officer here explained.



Congress to continue stir on rollback: Chandresh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 20 — The president of the All India Mahila Congress Committee, Mrs Chandresh Kumari said today that the Congress would continue its agitation till the Union Government rolled back the enhanced price of various foodgrains supplied to poor people through the public distribution system.

Speaking to presspersons, Mrs Kumari said it was an excess committed by the BJP-led government and the Congress Party was committed to do away such an excess against the poor sections of society.

Criticising the Vajpayee government for its failure to give 33 per cent reservation to women in Parliament and state Assemblies, Mrs Chandresh Kumari said the Bill was being delayed under various pretexts to deny justice to women. She said that the Congress had decided to launch a nationwide women’s awakening movement from August 20, the birthday of Mr Rajiv Gandhi.

Among others who attended the conference included Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Capt Amarinder Singh and Chowdhary Jagjit Singh.



Salvinder Singh is in charge of gurdwara
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 20 — Mr Salvinder Singh, manager of the Phase 8 Amb Sahib Gurdwara, yesterday took charge of the Phase XI Gurdwara Singh Sabha a week after being appointed receiver of the gurdwara by the Administration. He took charge of the gurdwara after its locks were broken on the orders of the Administration.

Earlier, the Administration had imposed Section 146 of the Cr PC at the gurdwara, anticipating serious law and order problem due to the controversy relating to the elections of the gurdwara. Meanwhile, the group which was in possession of the management of the gurdwara has moved the Punjab and Haryana High court against the Administration.


Women pledge to follow Rajiv’s ideals
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 20 — A seminar on ‘‘Rajiv Gandhi’s dream of modern India’’ was organised by the All-India Mahila Congress at the Panchayat Bhavan in Sector 18.

Ms Chandresh Kumari, President of the All-India Mahila Congress, attended the function in which more than 500 women also participated.

The discussion revolved around how Rajiv Gandhi had visualised the role of women in his dream of modern India. The former Prime Minister’s idea of 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament was supported by Ms Chandresh Kumari. The ideals of late Rajiv Gandhi, whose death anniversary falls tomorrow, will be followed, the women resolved.

Among those who were present on the occasion included the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, President of the local Mahila Congress , Mrs Lalit Joshi and Mrs Pritam Arora, Vice-President of the All-India Mahila Congress.


Kala Nag expedition flagged off
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 20 — An expedition to Mount Kala Nag in Central Garhwal Himalaya, organised by the Chandigarh Adventures Association, was flagged off today by the Director-Principal of Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital, Dr V.K. Kak.

According to a press note, the four-member team consists of Mr Raj Kumar, Mr Ravinder Kumar, Mr Samuel Aurthur and Ms Megha Rawat. Mr. Ravinder Kumar has earlier climbed Mt. Kamet (25,547 feet), a pre-Everest peak.


Award for Tribune scribe
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 20 — Mr Raj Kumar Singh, Assistant Editor with the Dainik Tribune, has been selected for the Punarwas Pratibha Award under the category of best journalist — columnist.

The function to confer the award will be held along with “The pride of Indian award” function to be held on May 27.Back


Northern sectors go without power
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 20 — Several northern sectors, including the Civil Secretariat, remained drowned in darkness for a couple of hours yesterday, following a major breakdown in 66KV substations in the city.

According to sources in the Electricity Operations, trouble started from the Sector 39 66 KV substation, where a current transformer was damaged. As a sequel, there was a cascading effect, leading to disruption in distribution from the Sector 12 and Civil Secretariat 66 KV substations.

The worst affected were Sectors 2,3,4,5,7,8, 18 and 20, Secretariat area and few more areas. Efforts were being made to restore partial supply by opening one feeder late in the evening. The engineers were hopeful that after replacement of the damaged transformer, the supply would be normalised in the entire city by late at night.

For the consumers of northern sectors, this has been perhaps the first major breakdown of power supply during this year. While Southern sectors had a taste of a major breakdown last week after all five thermal generation units at Ropar abruptly stopped generation.



CHB has cancelled more allotments
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 20 — The Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Prof M.M. Puri, is not the only one not given a flat by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) for concealing facts. There are at least 14 more persons, the allotment of whose flats have been cancelled by the board in the past year.

Sources said the flats belonged to all categories — LIG, MIG and HIG. The allotment to most persons was cancelled as they had "furnished false information and had suppressed the facts".

The grounds on which allotments were cancelled, mainly comprised the submission of false affidavits which said the allottees and their dependents did not own any dwelling unit in city, besides the non-payment of instalments.

The allotments are cancelled under various provisions of the Haryana Housing Board Act, 1971, as extended to the UT, as amended, the Chandigarh Housing Board (Allotment, Management and Sales of Tenements) Regulations,1979, as amended, and the Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulation) Act, 1952, and rules and regulations made there under from time to time.

The sources said the amount paid by those whose allotments had been cancelled could be forfeited and legal proceeding could also be initiated as per these Acts.

Though most of these allottees approached the courts against the board's decisions, the Chairperson, to whom an application could be sent by the allottees, also had the powers to restore the allotments. This was usually the case when an allotment was cancelled on the basis of a complaint and the allottee was sure that he was right, the sources added.


Bus driver arrested for hitting, injuring motorcyclist
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 20 — The police has arrested the driver of a PRTC bus on a charge of hitting and injuring a local resident.

According to police sources, Charan Singh, a resident of Ludhiana and driver of bus (PB 11M 9882), hit and injured motorcycle (JK 14 4219) driver Jasdeep Dawas near the Makhan Majra turn. He was seriously injured and admitted to the Command Hospital.

A case under Sections 279 and 337, IPC, has been registered.

Eve-teaser held: The police has arrested Munish, a resident of Sector 27, on a charge of eve teasing from the Sectors 18, 19, 20 and 21 roundabout following a complaint by a resident of Sector 4, Panchkula.

Accused absconding: Mrs Bimla, a resident of Sector 55, has reported that Irsad, a roadside barber had tried to outrage the modesty of her minor daughter. The accused is absconding while a case under Section 354, IPC, has been registered.

Caught red-handed: Mrs Sheela of Mani Majra reported that she caught Kuldeep Rai red-handed after entering her house by breaking the lock on the main door. He was arrested and a case under Sections 454 and 511, IPC, has been registered.

Mobike stolen: Sector 15 resident Ajit Singh reported that his motor cycle (UHR 4100) has been stolen from his residence.

A case has been registered. 



Shopping carnival from May 28
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 20 — The proposed eightday-long shopping carnival in Sector 17 will now commence on May 28, according to the carnival organisers, the Samvad group. The carnival has been postponed because the organisers have not received the permission to hold the jamboree.

Ms Preeti Kohli, Chief Organiser of the show, today, said artistes like Hans Raj Hans and Sardool Sikander had been asked to perform in the city. “In the closing ceremony, Bhupinder and Mitali will perform. Besides this, groups like Electric Rage of Goa and Raga of the East were expected to perform. Only the dates have changed and everything else remains the same”, Ms Kohli said.

Shopkeepers in Sector 17 will offer discounts and customers making purchases more than a specified amount will get lucky-draw coupons. The top prize will be a car.

The concept is to create a “mega mall’’. The Sector 17 shopkeepers will not set up stalls outside the shops. There will be no stalls by outsiders. Major automobile, garment and the other manufacturers will set up exhibitions but will be allowed to sell unless from a shop in the sector. This clause was added after the Sector 17 traders said this way, anyone could set up stalls, harming their interest. 

MC conditions

THE Municipal Corporation has asked the organisers to pay Rs 8.15 lakh as rent for using the MC land in Sector 17 for the carnival. Rs 5,000 per day will be charged on May 25, 26 and 27, while Rs 1 lakh per day from May 28 onwards. The MC has asked the organisers to pay up the entire sum in advance by May 27. The use of the stage used for Plaza Carnival has been banned.Back


Yellow pages edition released
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 20 — After the popular Khalsa tercentenary issue in 1999, the seventh edition of Druckgrafen Yellow Pages was released here.

The edition includes information on tourist spots of Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab along with pictures and profiles of these places.

It also has information on education, industries, doctors, advocates, CAs, Union Government, city and the neighbouring states, besides various telephone numbers. In the business section, 250 categories have been included in the book.

Ms Ved Nanda, Director of the company, said businessmen, public and private sector employees, NGOs, government departments and housewives could use the information in the book.

Mr J.L. Nanda, Editor-in-Chief of Druckgrafen Yellow Pages, said editions would soon be published from Punjab and Haryana also.


‘Marketing needs innovations’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 20 — Concept of making, including retail, has changed tremendously during the past few years.

Talking to newsmen here yesterday evening, a Vice-President of DS Group of DS Group which runs Ebony in Sector 9 here, said marketing now needed innovations and promotions. Some of the major chains and stores rewarded their loyal customers not only with gold coins but also with TV sets, air conditioners and holiday packages.

The chains and bigger stores organise kids carnivals, book fests, meets with celebrities and other events, like hot air ballooning to make shopping as exciting as possible.

He said to reward customers, Ebony started an Elite Club in September. There are tie-ups with local restaurants, clubs and cinema halls to ensure that elite club members get a good deal at these member organisations.

Since the store is celebrating its first anniversary on Sunday, its Chairman, Mr H.S. Narula, an NRI based in London, will be here. The group has business presence in the US, UK, North Africa and UAE.


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