Saturday, June 3, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


New Estate Office scheme to 
check property-related fraud
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — Keeping in mind the rising prices of property that has lured several people into committing property-related fraud and trickery leading to disputes in cases of inheritance, the Estate Office has started a new scheme to issue public notices in newspapers before dealing with any case of unregistered will and inter state deaths.

With more than 80 per cent of residential property and almost all commercial property in the city being on a lease hold basis, the cases of fraud and trickery have been rising. Some of these properties have been sold out on General Power of Attorney (GPA) several times over, thus further complicating matters. In several cases the Estate Office authorities are faced with a situation where it becomes very difficult to know the facts.

Now the Estate Office has started a scheme under which persons approaching to get property transferred with unregistered wills are put on hold. The Estate Office issues an advertisement in newspapers informing about the claim and also invites objections, if any. This is being done in case of all unregistered wills. The simple logic is ‘’ if a person could make a will, he could have also got it registered. Thus the need to see all such cases with a keen eye to weed out any fraud’’, say officials.

In case the unregistered will favours a few of the legal heirs, the leftover legal heirs are asked to issue affidavits, saying that they are in the knowledge of the will. The chances of an unregistered will being ingenuine are very high , especially in cases where some of the legal heirs are dispossessed, say officials .

The second type of cases in which the Estate Office is issuing public notices is cases of inter state death. This means wherein a person had died with leaving clear instructions on how should be the inheritor of his or her property.

This also being a tricky subject invites several claims from all legal heirs. In case a person applies for transfer of property by deleting the names of the other legal heirs the Estate Office has no other way of finding out how many legal heirs the deceased left behind. It becomes even more difficult in cases where some of the legal heirs are living abroad, explained a source.

Cases have come before the authorities where brothers have concealed the existence of another brother or sister. In almost all cases the deprived person happens to have settled in a far away place. After the advertisements, persons deprived in the will have been responding. 


California university opens centre in city
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — The California State University of the USA is the latest to join the select band of foreign universities who have set up their distant learning centres in India.

The Indian centre opened here yesterday and will be run by the American Advanced Computer Solutions in rented accommodation in Sector 35-C here where courses like Data base Administration, Java programming, Web Masters and e-commerce, Multimedia and Digital Publishing, CAD, CAM and other certificate courses for professionals would be run.

Initially, the Chandigarh centre will admit 120 students in various courses. The strength of the students will be raised to 250 by the end of this year, says Mr Rajan Mittal, Managing Director of American Advanced Computer Solutions.

The California State University is one of the largest state universities in the USA. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune here yesterday, Mr Mittal said that before setting up its distant learning centre here, the California State University officials visited Chandigarh. The faculty positioned here has been appointed in consultation with the California State University.

The centre here has a laboratory and a classroom. Within the next three months, the centre proposes to have six class rooms and as many laboratories equipped with latest computers and servers.

Set up with an initial investment of Rs 56 lakh, the centre will soon be expanded to have much more facilities to accommodate bigger strength of students. The investment is expected to touch Rs 1.5 crore by the end of the current financial year.

Mr Mittal hopes that the centre would soon introduce Bachelor of Information technology, Master of Information technology and Masters’ of Business Administration courses.

The centre will conduct classes, provide an opportunity to students registered with the California State University through here, to have online guidance, teaching and training. Examination and certification, both online and at the centre, will be done. All certificates at successful completion of courses will be issued by the California State University and the courses have wide acceptability all over North America.

The University Extended Education programme under which the centre has been opened here is basically extension of online campus of the University based at Fullerton in the United States.

After courses, the centre and the California State University also promises placement of suitable alumni, both in the domestic job market here and also in the United States, depending upon the eligibility of the successful candidates.

Besides, the Centre will also facilitate admission of eligible candidates to various other Campus courses offered by the California State University at its Campus in Fullerton.

As a special gesture, the Indian Centre will also offer with each course a five-day personality development programme with top faculty available here so that the alumni of the California State University stand out from the rest and conduct themselves as professionals.

Mr Mittal said that fee for various courses offered by the centre is very compatible and is of assured quality education with universal acceptability.

The Indian Centre of the University provides classroom and laboratory facilities with all the software and hardware required. Initially the University Extended Education programme will provide curriculum for four certificate programmes. the California State University will also participate in the instructor evaluation and selection process and approve all instructors for the programmes.


Info centre to check sales tax evasion
By Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, June 2 — Concerned at the evasion of sales tax on the goods moving from Chandigarh to this township and other parts of Punjab through this town, the State Excise and Taxation Department has set up a new Information Collection Centre (ICC) near the YPS rotary adjoining the SAS Nagar-Chandigarh border.

The concern of the department can be gauged from the fact that daily the ICC is earning around Rs 10,000 mainly in form of entry tax on new vehicles and from the construction material coming in to the town from Panchkula and Chandigarh. Though set up to check sales tax documents of freight moving in and out of the state, the ICC post has in the past 12 days earned a revenue of about Rs 15 lakh.

Earlier the department had set up ICC posts at Balongi on the SAS Nagar — Kharar road and at Lakhnour on the SAS Nagar-Sirhind road. But due to absence of the ICC point at the entry points to this town bordering Chandigarh there was evasion of sales tax, said officials of Sales Tax Department. Still the evasion of sales tax was going on at least four other points along the SAS Nagar-Chandigarh border.

The issue had been taken by the Mohali Industries Association (MIA) with the Financial Commissioner, Excise and Taxation, Punjab. The president of the association said that the traders, industrialists and truck operators transporting freight to this town had to go all the way to Lakhnour or Balongi to get their sales tax documents checked and to enable the department officials to down load the information on their computers installed at the ICC posts. The vehicle operators carrying freight within the state were also required to furnish the details.

Meanwhile, the new ICC post had created a traffic problem on the busy Chandigarh-SAS Nagar road as trucks are parked on the busy road. There is no illumination or any signboard enabling the truck operators to know the location of the ICC post. The only sign of the ICC post are two tents pitched up on the main road dividing Phase 7 and 8.


Know the King

RECENTLY, a section of vernacular press has carried report of maltreatment being meted out to lions in Chhat Bir Zoo. They also published picture of a lion with injuries on its head. On the other hand, Dr Vinod Dharma, Director of the Zoo, has maintained that the injuries were the result of fighting of one lion with the other during the mating season. Since neither the reporter was an expert in animal behaviour nor the general reader knows much about wild animals, let us learn something about lion — the King of the Jungle — before forming any opinion in the matter.

Lion (Panthera leo) most probably orignated in Asia from where it migrated to Africa many ages ago. So much so, that now its name is usually associated with that continent. In Asia, only a limited number of wild lions, are found in Gir forest in India. Considered a symbol of power since times immemorial, it is a graceful good natured and lazy animal. A long stately mane hanging around its neck enhances its personality. The lioness is without the mane. The average length of a lion is nine feet and that of a lioness is eight feet, including the fail. Generally, the weight of a big male lion is about 200 kg and that of a big lioness is about 150 kg.

Lion is a very social animal. It is the only member of cat family, who lives and hunts in groups called ‘prides’. Lion is a warrior whereas lioness is a hunter. Usually lionesses do all the work, including hunting. The main duties of a male are procreation, controlling the pride; and fighting the other males who infiltrate into its territory. The ‘pride’ consists of one big lion (Head of the Family), lionesses of different ages adolescent lion, and cubs. When an adolescent lion becomes old enough to be a rival to his father in having sexual intercourse with some lioness of the pride, he is driven away by the father.

No mating period is fixed for lions. A lioness can come into heat at any time of the year. During his ‘honeymoon’, the lion is a fierce animal, who does not tolerate any kind of intrusion. Many a time serious fight takes place among eligible males. The mating bout may last from a few hours to a couple of days during which a number of couplings take place.

It is generally believed that a lion cannot climb a free. It is true in the case of a fully-grown lion. However, a lioness or a young male can easily get up a tree. With a few exceptions, animals possess strong individualities. So it is difficult to speculate what any individual lion would do in a set circumstances. The lion has got the instinct to chase anything that runs away, but if a man stands or sits motionless, it cannot spot him easily. Habitual of attacking in secrecy, it comes stealthily from the backside of its prey.

When a pride of lions hunts, it shows its intelligence and capacity to organise the things. When the prey is noticed, immediately the whole pride lies down. Then it is divided into two groups — one of hunters and the other of hawkers. They camouflage and gradually get nearer to the prey. Then the ‘hawkers’ show themselves. The frightened prey runs in the other direction, where the ‘hunters’ lie in ambush and kill the prey. With the exception of adult pachyderms, lions prey on all herbivores. But they will kill and eat monkeys, baboons, fish, and even rats in case they are very hungry. However, they’ll not kill animals of dog family.

In the wild, the number of lions in a particular area depends on the number of prey species viz easy availability of food. To check their number, Mother Nature has created a complex social system for them. Their slow rate of breeding and high rate of mortality among cubs and adolescents, together with fatal combats among adults do not let their population increase much.

— Thakur Paramjit 


Match-fixing case: notices issued
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — In the suo-motu match fixing case, Mr Justice N.K. Sodhi and Mr Justice R.C. Kathuria of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notices to the Union of India, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax and other respondents for August 28.

Earlier, Mr. Justice M.S. Gill had taken suo-motu notice of news items quoting the Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Mr Vishwa Bandhu Gupta, as saying that “somebody should be prepared to act” against cricketers involved in match-fixing.

Referring to a news report appearing in The Tribune on May 29, Mr. Justice Gill had observed: “A very senior officer, Mr. Vishwa Bandhu Gupta, Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, on live telecast on Jain TV stated that the match-fixing scandal be probed by the Income Tax Department and the Enforcement Directorate. He further stated that `with so much immovable properties, how can they go scot free. But somebody should be prepared to act’. Who is to act ? The only answer is the Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate”.

The Judge had added: “From the news items in the newspapers and from the interview of the Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, it seems that some one is stopping the departments from performing their duties”.Back


City set to host World Punjabi Conference
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — About 1,000 delegates from all over the world are expected to participate in the World Punjabi Conference which is due to be organiser here in the city this December. An interesting feature of the conference will be that personalities of the like of Lord Swaraj Paul and Mr Ujjwal Dosanjh will be honoured.

A team under the direct guidance of the council and its three akademies has already started with the groundwork on the project. The decision to organise the conference in Chandigarh was taken by the Punjab Arts Council people at their general body meeting held yesterday. The conference aims at bringing together the entire Punjabi fraternity which lies scattered all over the world and also to foster the spirit of Punjabiyat.

The officials concerned informed that delegates from USA, UK, Europe, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and African states will participate in the conference which will not be restricted to literary discussions but also will voice the opinions of people who have been successful in various walks of life.

Chandigarh has been chosen as the centre because of its centrality to the North. The Council has also sought the support of all four universities of the region.


Matrimonial disputes on the rise
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — The complaints pertaining to matrimonial disputes are on the rise followed by complaints against local cops and economic offences, as per data available with the public window system of the Chandigarh Police.

The centralised public window system, started some time back, is not only proving to be a big help for the people but is also an effective tool for senior officers to monitor the nature of grievances being faced by the people and plan accordingly. The offences are classified into 30 sub heads.

A perusal of the information available with the public window, ever increasing matrimonial complaints are being received. In fact every day one or two complaints are submitted to us and range from harassment, cruelty, alcoholism, addiction besides other sundry charges, says an official.

In the past five months alone, we received 123 complaints which were vetted and forwarded to either the respective police stations or the Crime Against Women Cell as per the gravity of the offence. Some of the allegations were not found to be true after investigations while certain complaints were withdrawn by the parties concerned, adds another official.

While one case was registered, 30 were filed for want of corroborative evidence, 31 were disposed off to the satisfaction of the complainants, 92 were pending investigation.

Similarly, the number of complaints against cops were also on the rise. The window staff received 102 complaints against their personnel as a result of which one case was filed. While 69 complaints were pending investigation, 32 had been disposed and 32 were filed for lack of evidence. The cases allegedly pertain to misbehaviour, taking bribes, intimidation or involvement in civil disputes.

In some cases departmental enquiries were also underway, police sources added.

Also on the rise are economic offences. As many as 108 complaints were received, out of which 82 are pending investigation. The cases largely involve cheating, fraud, non refund of money. A large number of cases are related to agro forestry companies who have duped people by promising large returns.

As many as 19 cases were registered in various police stations while 26 were disposed and seven were filed for want of evidence.

Other crimes which are on the rise include landlord tenant disputes, transaction of money, intimidation, cheating by travel agents and fraud.

On the other hand the department also receives suggestions, reminders, requests and notices regularly , which are acted upon promptly.


Indian system of astrology ‘outdated’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — Astrology is the road map of life. It gives you an understanding of your soul’s journey. However, it does not change your life pattern. These views were expressed by Ms Robina Virk, who practices astrology, palmistry and gemology in Canada. She has been in the city for the last few months to study more about vedic astrology, in terms of how it works and how it is different from the Western system.

A product of the local Government College for Girls, Sector 11, she happens to be the daughter of the tallest short story writer ( Nikki Kahni da Mahir), Mr Kulwant Singh Virk. Interested in astrology right from her childhood, she has today made it into her profession even though her parents had discouraged her from doing so. She recalls that her father had once told her, “Don’t get interested in astrology. Its the age of science and information and man has reached the moon.’’

Ms Virk is of the view that the western system of astrology is more accurate because the predictions are made by looking at the planets the way they are at any given point of time. However, the Indian system though equally powerful is old and has not made any adjustments in the planets. Comparing the two systems she observes that while the western system is all about information, the Indian system of predictions also has remedies which are scientific and logical. For instance, “you can move plants from one house to another to get different results and it works,’’ she adds.

She lamented that astrologers in this part of the country have not added the latest information available and that perhaps is the reason why most people who turn to astrology are not satisfied with the outcome. According to her, more educated people need to get together to do more research and thereby add to the information already available.

Astrology is an extension of spirituality and only people who are spiritual can do justice to this. Hence, people should not go and waste their time with people who do not have the right information available with them.

Ms Virk has during her stay here come to the conclusion that both systems of astrology have their good points and just need to be amalgamated for better results. Back in Canada she wishes to do her doctorate in astrology wherein she can blend the two systems to get the best of the two worlds. Her mission is to “help people, heal people in whatever way she can’’.

During her six months stay in India, she has delivered talks on astrology and related aspects in two Rotary Clubs in Amritsar focusing on why they should believe in astrology. She participated in a jyotish sammelan in Shimla two weeks ago and attended the deliberations of Indian jyotish, Vastushastra, Reiki-the art of natural healing etc. She also delivered a talk on depression and how the same can be treated through astrology and gemology.

Ms Virk also offered free consultation to people in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Delhi. She has collected a lot of literature available on these sciences during her stay here for her proposed thesis. Also on her agenda is a desire to translate some of her father’s popular short stories.


Khushwant Singh to release Virdi’s book
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — Eminent journalist Khushwant Singh will formally release “Battles on a Blue Steed”, a book by Chandigarh-based author and journalist Harbans Singh Virdi.

According to a press note by the Writers Foundation, publishers of the book, the new book has been written to coincide with the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of the Khalsa.. Mr Virdi has earlier written books on “Sikhs in sports”, “Sikh Olympians and Internationals” and “Warrior-diplomat — Jassa Singh Ahluwalia”.

The latest book will be formally released at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Chandigarh Press Club.


Problems commuters face
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — If one wants to commute locally on board a Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) bus, the biggest problem is of finding which bus goes where and arrives at a particular bus stop at what time. If one can manage to do that, the next task is to read the route number normally written on the bus.

And if an attempt is made to read the route number during night time then it can be the biggest problem on earth as the earmarked places on front or back of the buses are not illuminated. All bus queue shelters are so badly plastered with advertisements that the timetables have been hidden and there is no other way of finding about the timings. And orders written near the time tables to ban plastering of ads has had no effect.

The bus queue shelters have no lightning arrangements. At several places no bus queue shelters have been constructed at all, thus leaving the commuter first to find out, where the bus stop is. Then starts the quest to find which bus routes will stop at the place and where would the routes go and lastly the timings.

If the commuter happens to be a visitor from outside, then locating the bus stop is impossible as there are no written directions anywhere. Mr Tarun Kaushik, an agitated student from Delhi, who is here on a holiday says: ‘’ One can see the buses but finding a bus stop is impossible.’’ His experience is quite true as almost no bus queue shelters exist in several places in the city. The bus driver can just stop near a designated tree or a electric pole which is known to the driver and CTU authorities and only the regular commuters.

And wherever bus stops exist and the time table is somehow read and understood, the commuter still cannot board the bus as reading the route number , especially during the night is impossible.

Years ago when CTU created special earmarked spaces on the front and back of the bus the illumination used to be proper and the route number could be read easily. Now the illumination is gone and the numbers are not even readable. Even during day time the numbers cannot be read easily as the plates bearing the numbers are not in order. Some are slanting inwards while other are tilted.

At night time hapless old people, on seeing a approaching bus, ask fellow passengers about the route number. On several occasions the conductor or the driver are also consulted to know the route number.


Gurdial Singh to visit Press Club
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — Gurdial Singh, Bharatiya Jnanpeeth Award recipient and a known novelist, will be the guest of honour at the Ru-Ba-Ru function of the Press Club on June 5.

All regular and candidate members of the club can attend the function and the programme will be followed by tea. 


Samajwadi Party plans stir
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — To highlight the failures of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), the Samajwadi party will launch the “jan andolan” in all wards of the city.

The party MP, Mr Manawar Hassan, will launch the programme.

The president of the party, Mr Shivi Jaiswal, condemned the authorities concerned for giving proper water and power supplies to only VIP sector while neglecting the other sectors. He also criticised the authorities for adopting a go-slow attitude while rehabilitating the “jhuggi dwellers”.

While demanding the extension of the “lal dora”, he demanded pucca booths for the shopkeepers of the rehri markets.


Two injured in mishap
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — Two Patiala residents were injured when their scooter was hit by a car in Sector 17 here today.

According to police sources, Karamjit Singh and Karanjit Singh, were injured when a car, CHOIV 1662, hit them near a parking lot in the Sector. Both were admitted to the General Hospital. The driver of the car, Faridkot resident Sukhwinder Singh, has been arrested. A case under Sections 279 and 337, of the IPC has been registered.

Eve-teaser held: The police arrested Sunil Kumar, of Sector 22 on the charges of eve-teasing, from the Sector 14 market, following a complaint. A case under Section 294 of the IPC, has been registered.

House burgled: Buterla village resident Srikant Sharma reported that someone had stolen two gold rings, a gold nose pin, a colour TV and Rs 5,000 from his house while he was out of station. A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Three arrested: The police arrested Manoj, Rajesh and Ram Sarup, for apprehension of breach of peace. A case under Sections 107 and 151 of the Cr PC has been registered.

Thief caught: The police arrested Suresh Kumar, of Mohali while he was fleeing after stealing the scooter of Kuljit Singh, a resident of the same township, from near the Kisan Bhavan Chowk in Sector 35. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC, has been registered. .

Purse lost: Mr Subash Chander, of Sector 29, reported that he lost his purse containing Rs 1,210, besides identity cards and some essential documents, while on his way home. Further investigations are on.



7 held for stealing diesel engines
From Our Correspondent

LALRU, June 2 — The local police has arrested seven persons — Phool Chand, Barkha Ram, Jeet Ram, Mahinder Singh, Rattna Ram, Darwara Singh and Bagartha Ram — for steeling six diesel engines from the fields in Jarot village. These engines were used by villagers for irrigation purpose.

Earlier, Mr Bhadu Ram, President of the 11-member Village Harijan Society, lodged a complaint with the police that some persons of the same village had stolen the engines. In his statement, Mr Bhadon had stated that the persons had approached him for the membership of the society but were refused. In retaliation they committed the crime, he had alleged.

After registering a case under Section 379 of the IPC, the Lalru police has arrested the culprits and recovered the engines from their possession.


For your eyes only
By Amandeep Kaur and Ruchi Bhandari

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — Today’s fashion conscious teenager may be fickle while following the latest fashion trends but when it comes to trendy contact lenses, they keep abreast of the latest contacts worn by heart-throbs like Karisma Kapoor, Rani Mukherjee and Hrithik Roshan.

Although confined to the gliterrati some years back, they are the in-things for the common person on the streets. Easily available and in an age where looking “perfect” is at a premium, it is no wonder that they open a whole new world to look stylish, sensuous and in vogue through a variety of alluring colours.

Glossy brochures beckon the uninitiated ones; voila violet for a gaze that’s deeply seductive, trendy topaz blue for the sparkle of precious jewels; gloria green ocean for a reflection as mysterious as the ocean; gorgeous green a new shade of envy, and in addition a wide range of fascinating colours like belle blue, greta grey, helluva hazel are available off the shelf at leading opticians.

“Contacts have charmed people, especially youngsters, with the promise of adding that additional iota of glamour to their eyes. Besides enhancing one’s beauty, coloured contact lenses really make a person more gorgeous.” asserts Gulnar Sahi.

Greater affordability has ensured greater reach. Prices of lenses are within the reach of youngsters. “I wear lenses very often as they are affordable (costing between Rs 950 to Rs.2500 ) and are compatible with my lifestyle,” comments Amita, a teenager.

“Colourful contact lenses have the capability of hypnotising those who dare to look deep into your eyes. They are so cheap that I can purchase lenses matching with my colourful dresses,” chuckles Rashmin, a young college student, with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes.

“Changing contacts regularly is the best way to keep your eyes healthy. Ordinary contact lenses are generally worn for over 500 hours before they are replaced — no wonder that your vision tends to get blurred and lenses become more and more uncomfortable over times.” advises Mr Lakhbir Singh, a contact lenses specialist.

Mr Harjit Singh, owner of an optical store in Sector 17 says, “Quality coloured contact lenses are purchased not only by girls, but boys also add an enviable touch to their expressive eyes.”

Depending on your visual needs and lifestyle, one can replace lenses six-monthly, quarterly and even monthly. According to one of the eye-care specialist, “It is harmful to wear coloured contact lenses while participating in sports, including water sports, and if a person is allergic to pollen, he must get his lenses replaced more often during high pollen-count season.

He further adds, “If our body naturally produces protein that builds up in the lenses, one may experience better long-term comfort and sharper vision by using fresh lenses more often.”

Whatever be the reason, colourful contact lenses serve both the purpose of adding a spin of magic to your eyes and vision correction.Back


Certificates given to participants
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — Certificates were given to the participants in the direct trainer skills course today at a valedictory function in the Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition in Sector 42 here.

The four day course was sponsored by the Department of Personnel and Training in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism. It was attended by participants from different hotel management and food craft institutes, besides hospitality and tourism industries.

Mr M.K. Khanna, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Chief Executive Officer, National Council for Hotel Management, New Delhi was the chief guest.


Rally by Punwire employees
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, June 2 — The Punjab Wireless Systems Employees Union today took out a rally and demanded that the move of approaching the Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) to declare it a sick unit be withdrawn. The employees alleged that the agenda item at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the shareholders was passed without their consent.

The agitating employees on way to the local office of the Assistant Labour Commissioner (ALC) to submit their memorandum blocked the traffic at the PTL lights for about 15 minutes. While addressing the participants at a rally in front of the ALC office, the leaders of the union said due to irregularities committed by certain officials, the employees were suffering.

The union leaders said the decision to recommend the company to the BIFR for registering it as a sick unit was a one-sided decision of the management forced on them.

Demanding payment of salary to employees since September 1999, the leaders said it was an unfair labour practice and it was illegal not to pay salaries under the Industrial Dispute Act. Starting operations at the earliest, the employees sought quick action against those responsible for the fate of the company and a thorough probe into the irregularities by the CBI.

The union has submitted a copy of the memorandum to the Governor of Punjab, Chief MInister of Punjab, Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana Court, and other senior officials of the Punjab Government.



Computer institutes woo students
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — In the fast changing world of computer education the government-run Regional Computer Centre, here which started 22 years ago seems to have been left behind, as private institutes have apparently raced ahead with better packages and attractive fees for their courses.

The RCC is competing with companies which started operations in Chandigarh much later. These include the NIIT, Aptech, Tulec, Software Technology Group, Wintech and may other institutes.

The mushrooming of such institutions was bound to happen as school and college education has incorporated the use of computer in a big way. However, somewhere down the line, the RCC has seemingly failed to keep up with the trend. “Actually this is the problem with most of the government-run institutions,” says Rajesh Gupta, a computer professional.” Big private institutions have the compulsion to change fast, whether it is the technology or upgradation of staff. After all their survival is at stake. Companies like NIIT and Aptech must have opened hundreds of centre all around the country. RCC can boast of just four.”

Mr Rohit Singla, Additional Director of RCC, refutes this, saying ‘’ RCC may not have grown in number but we have grown tremendously as an institution. Our centres in Delhi, Jalandhar, Shimla and Lucknow, unlike others, are more than just ‘one-floor-affairs’. On any given day, more than 500 students come to us.”

Initially the RCC got a lot of help by way of grants and other facilities. Now it is a totally self-sustaining organisation. The RCC has strict outeria for enrolment and not everybody is enrolled,” claims Mr Singla, adding that for specialised courses RCC first holds appreciation courses. Only when a student manages to clear the initial test following this course with a minimum of 60 percent marks does he or she become eligible. We don’t mind even if the seat goes empty.

Mr Singla also refutes that the RCC has not managed to keep up with the changing times.” We started with VAX 8650, which, at that point of time had cost more than Rs 3 crore. Today it is obsolete and not more than a mere piece of junk.’’

According to Mr Vikram Paul of the Aptech Computer Education, private institutions take care of the changing world of computers quite effectively. Especially, in a place like Chandigarh where even smallest career decision of a child is taken care of by the parents, it is very important to keep ahead of times and competition.

Mr Singla agrees with the fact: “It is not as if we at the RCC are not aware of the changing trends and competition. Competition is always welcome. We also have contemporary courses in Web enabled applications and E-commerce.” He says that the RCC at present has more than 120 computers, each of which has Internet connectivity and technical staff.’’

Last year, the RCC bought 900 books worth Rs 2.25 lakh. Which private institution can boast of similar facilities. More than 2,500 students pass out from our institution every year.

But can a government-run institution hope to catch up with the competitive fees structure and loan facilities offered by private institutions. For similar courses in Java, Mr Satnam Sabarwal, Business Manager of NIIT claims to charge Rs 6000, whereas the RCC takes Rs. 8,500. Singla contradicts this saying that eventually, if one goes by the hour, it works out to be same.” We work five days a week, Monday to Friday. The cost, more or less ,works out to be the same. As far as discount goes, it is a government-run organisation. I can’t give a discount, even to my own child.”

Institutions like NIIT and Aptech claim to have placement after a particular course finishes and claim to have tie-ups with may companies of the region. RCC’s bosses counter this.


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