Wednesday, March 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Board to revamp examination system
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 26
The Punjab School Education Board decided to revamp its systems of examinations and evaluation at a meeting of the board members here today.

The Chairman of the board has been given powers to constitute a panel that would submit its recommendations in this regard within four months. This committee will have experts examining various flaws in the present examination system.

The panel will, then, give certain fixed parameters on various aspects. It has been seen in the past that discretions enjoyed by certain officials like the Chairman are not clearly described.

Mr Jagjit Singh Sidhu, Secretary of the board, said the committee would review problems faced by students at examination centres, besides rules for scrapping of examination centres and extensions of the last dates for submitting examination fee.

Another item on the agenda at the meeting was regarding the reconstitution of panels for academic council, establishment, unfair-means cases, examination and regulations. The Chairman has been given powers to constitute these committees. The board passed 16 agenda items.

Meanwhile, recommendations of the finance committee have also been approved at today’s board meeting. An income of Rs 66.21 crore has been shown against an expenditure of Rs 69.24 crore. The deficit has been shown to be Rs 2.72 crore. The main loss to the board is due to fee waivers to candidates of the SC and the BC categories. Rs 4.6 crore on this account is yet to be received from the government.

About Rs 1 crore has been kept for computerisation and Rs 3.73 crore for the Adarsh school run by the board. It was decided not to open any other Adarsh school as nine such schools, fully aided by the board, had become “a liability”.

Meanwhile, the finance committee of the Punjab School Education Board has decided to privatise the sanitation work in the new block of the board building in SAS Nagar. No new sweeper would be taken in after retirement of present employees, as an austerity measure.

Board to charge Rs 100 for re-examination
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 26
The Punjab School Education Board has decided to charge Rs 100 each from the candidates appearing for re-examination to be held in April. Around 5,000 students will have to appear in re-examination as some papers of matric and senior secondary classes were cancelled at around 60 centres in the state following complaints of mass copying.

Meanwhile, students opting for the optional subject of drawing and painting are being given another chance to re-appear. The last date to submit applications for changing option ended today. Confusion prevailed at the board headquarters as the format of the application was not clear to the applicants.Back



All new parking fees, passes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
The Finance and Contracts Committee of the Municipal Corporation introduced a car-parking-fee of Rs 5 here today, removing the Rs 2 slab on four hours of parking. It also decided to introduce free parking for government employees, multi-acceptability pass at Rs 100 for car-parking and a similar pass at Rs 50 for scooter-parking. The scooter-parking rate will now be Rs 2 flat.

The Rs 100 multi-acceptability pass for car-parking replaces the Rs 50 pass that is accepted in only one zone. Scooterists will now have to take a Rs 50 multi-acceptability pass.

Government and PSU employees, besides accredited press correspondents, will get free parking facility. The physically challenged will have a reserved space for them in parking lots.

The committee has decided not to charge any fee for parking of bicycles, rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and carts. The MC seeks policemen on deputation for managing parking lots and it will hold contractors responsible for vehicle thefts in parking lots.

The committee also debarred the previous contractor from making fresh bids and decided to sue him for various offences. It decided to keep underground parking lots, besides Bank Square and Estate Office parking lots free for employees.

The MC Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh said the underground parking lot in the office of the Deputy Commissioner, that was now being used as a record room, would be given to the contractor to be used after 6 pm as a paid-parking lot.

The committee said the MC House would frame bylaws to penalise violators of parking rules. It also decided to introduce an open auction route for contractors. The auctions will be held on various days for various lots.

The committee authorised the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, to finalise the sticker cost. There will be no concession in parking fee for government officials. The fee for mini-bus-parking will be Rs 10 and it will be Rs 20 for tourist-bus and truck parking.

In case a parking slip is lost, a car user will have to give Rs 24 instead and a scooter owner will have to pay Rs 10. 


GMCH in fix over technicians’ appointment
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
The authorities of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, are in a fix over the filling of five posts of junior technician, the interviews for which were held on September 13, 2001.

According to sources, the GMCH is not declaring the result of the interviews since the authorities are in the process of deciding about seven junior technicians who have been working with the GMCH for the past four years, but do not have a recognised diploma in operation theatre technology which is one of the main requirements for the post. And till a decision is taken about them, fresh appointments cannot be made.

In June 2001, five posts for junior technicians in anaesthesia were advertised. The minimum qualification required for the post was matriculation with recognised diploma in anaesthesia and operation theatre technology, besides one year experience in related field in a 450-bed hospital. On the date of interview, the candidates were, however, told that the administration of the hospital had come across some problems on the issue of the qualifications for the post and interviews had been postponed.

The interviews were finally held on September 13 and a total of 12 candidates appeared for these. At least six of them were employees of the GMCH who were working as operation theatre assistants.

Some outside candidates, however, complained that the GMCH was under pressure to fill the posts from among its own employees, with their own people, some of whom did not have a recognised diploma in OT technology. They said the OT technology diploma offered by the Mohan Dai Cancer Research Hospital, Ludhiana, was not recognised, but even then the GMCH was keen on promoting its own employees. They further alleged that the GMCH already had seven junior technicians, working for more than four years in the hospital, who did not have a recognised diploma.

Now the GMCH authorities say that they had asked for a clarification from the Department of Medical Education and Research, UT, regarding the status of diploma from Ludhiana. They were told that the diploma was not recognised. ‘‘But since the employees are now permanent, one cannot ask them to leave. But if we made a mistake once, we are not going to repeat it. So there is no question of taking anyone who does not have a recognised diploma again.’’ says Dr Raj Bahadur, MS, GMCH.


Wrong man turns out to be right one
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
A 1995-batch Punjab-cadre IAS officer, Mr Daleep Kumar, will soon join here as Joint Secretary Finance. The posting is considered to be a grooming ground for young IAS officers.

The UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), wanted to meet two officials on the Punjab panel — Mr Krishan Kumar of the 1997 batch and Mr Hussan Lal of the 1995 batch.

Mr Krishan Kumar missed the appointment, while Mr Hussan Lal came here with his friend and batchmate Mr Daleep Kumar.

As they arrived, the Raj Bhavan staff thought them to be the two officials on the panel. They mistook Mr Daleep Kumar for Mr Krishan Kumar. Mr Daleep Kumar had no time to clarify matters as they were quickly ushered in.

Mr Daleep Kumar impressed the Governor, who was later told that the officer he had liked so much was not the one on the panel.

General Jacob sought a supplementary panel of officials from Punjab to fill the post of the JSF. The new panel test had the name of Mr Tajveer Singh, who opted out after his posting as the Deputy Commissioner of Patiala.

The ACR of Mr Daleep was sought and, now, his name has been sent to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for appointment to the post. The post of the JSF had become vacant after Mr K.A.P. Sinha had been repatriated to his parent cadre of Punjab, following his posting as the DC of Gurdaspur. 


Humanising the cop — Kiran style
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
It is a public cause Dr Kiran Bedi, Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police, is pursuing religiously. This Delhi cop is on a mission of humanising the cold image of the cop, putting a heart where none existed and making a difference to the police image.

“Policemen are dangerous and dry. Training in self-restraint is a must for men holding guns. Without such training they are unsafe to have around.’’ Ominous words to describe the uniformed men entrusted with public security and especially so when they come from Dr Bedi, the woman cop.

She has taken on herself the responsibility of giving Delhi policing a human face and all it takes is just an hour’s meditation daily. Called self-policing, it involves channelising the thinking of the cops and influencing it to public advantage.

“This is the third kind of training, after indoor and outdoor. We call it inner-door wherein their conscience is awakened,’’ explains Dr Bedi.

“All it entails is an hour long meditation class every evening. For the purpose, we have tied up with Art of Living and Vipashana. Spiritual discourses and inner-self understanding form the core of these classes,’’ says the Magsaysay awardee.

Over 2,000 cops are being “humanised” under this exercise. While it is not compulsory for them to attend this camp, Dr Bedi claims the concept is gradually catching up and personnel of all ranks are taking to it seriously.

A slow take-off of the project is also attributed to the simultaneous training of all ranks of the police where a constable sits with an inspector oblivious of rank. “How can we segregate different ranks and train them separately when the whole purpose is to sensitise them and create a realisation that all are equal,’’ she asks.

And that’s not all: The Delhi police is all set to showcase to the world what these camps are about and how it has benefited their rank and file. “We will release a film titled “Self-policing” next month in the USA at the international seminar of Vipashana where these speeches and the impression on our force will be projected,’’ she informs.

The idea to use meditation to build up self-restraint and encourage instrospection came, not from the West but from the heart of Tihar jail where Dr Bedi used meditation techniques to soften the convicted.

“It bore satisfactory results and encouraged me to try a similar exercise with the men and it is certainly making a difference from the feedback I am getting,’’ she holds.


Indian royalty from British archives
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
More than a show which mirrors the majesty of Indian royalty in the backdrop of the British empire, this one is about a documentation of history. Curated by British freelance writer and translator Russell Harris, the ensemble which arrived in Art Folio today after travelling through Delhi and Jaipur, features the late 19th century images of Queen Victoria, as also of over 26 representatives of the Indian royalty.

Handpicked from the archives of James Lafayette, who had earned a royal warrant as Queen Victoria’s official photographer in Dublin, this one is the first ever exhibition of Victoria and Albert Museum, London in India. Comprising 30 portraits, officially taken by James Lafayette at the time of the visits of Indian rulers to Britain, the show was structured only about a year back.

A major chunk of the credit for this exhibition, which not only captures the magnificence of princely India but also reflects the styles prevalent in the Indian royalty, goes to Roli Books. This Delhi-based publishing house collaborated with the Victoria and Albert Museum to procure Lafayett’s negatives which were discovered from the top floor of his dilapidated studio years after his death. Talking to The Tribune about the genesis of the show, Ms Veena Baswani, chief editor of Roli Books Veena Baswani, said: “Though of great eminence during the early 19th century, The Lafayette Studio became defunct with passing years. It was only in 1980 when a new building was being constructed at the site of this studio that one of the construction workers discovered something shining in the rubble. It was a glass negative of Queen Victoria. Over 3000 negatives were discovered from the building, 146 being of Indian royalty.”

Among the 30 images being shown at Art Folio, the first one is that of Queen Victoria, which was the first to be discovered. It shows the Queen in court dress, looking into the image of King George. Wearing a stern look, Queen Victoria personifies the attitude of the British empire towards India. Informed Veena Baswani: “This has been one of the best sellers because Queen Victoria was the empress when India gained freedom. Also because she embodies all that the empire ever meant to India.”

The most brilliant compositions are those of Indian kings and queens. Where on the one hand hangs a portrait showcasing the earthiness of Maharani Sniti Devi of Cooch Behar, on the other hangs that of Maharaja Shri Sir Jitendra Narayan Bhup Bahadur of Cooch Behar. Also pictured are Sir Charanjit Singh of Kapurthala, the maharajas of Kolhapur, Udaipur, among those of other states.

Interestingly, the publishing house has also brought out two books titled Lafayette Studio and Princely India and Maharajas at London Studios. Said Veena Baswani: “The books are a part of our pocket art studio. They have been printed in Singapore and showcase some portion of India which the Victoria and Albert Museum houses. The negatives were procured from the Museum for the purpose of publication. They have been blown up for the present exhibition. Most of Lafayette’s negatives had been damaged. Some which are being shown also bear mutilation marks.”

The interesting part is that each portrait is the official portrait of Indian rulers, who used to visit Britain. The Queen used these pictures for the purpose of identification. For the Indian royalty too, getting official portraits was a great task, so much so that they used to carry along many outfits to ensure best results. Many pictures were later used for printing state stamps.

The show will be on view will April 6.


Beware! colours might turn you red, literally
Monica Sharma

Children buy water-guns for Holi from a stall in Sector 22, Chandigarh, on Tuesday. 
— A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, March 26
She turned red last Holi, literally. No, not after meeting a long lost friend on the occasion, but because of allergy caused due to some harmful ingredient in the colours. As a result, Neetu had to take medicines for nearly five days.

Her case, according to skin specialist and beauty consultants, is not an isolated one. Every year, after the festival of colours is over, a large number of residents are forced to check with the doctors following skin allergies which take “quite some time to cure, in some case not without the administration of antibiotics.

“Fortunately, in most of the cases, the effect of harmful ingredients in the colours is not permanent,” says a doctor practicing at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research. “But in some cases, it can result in serious problems”.

He asserts: “As such there is no way for a resident to know if the colour he is buying is harmless because they all look the same. The only possible precaution he can take is that the stuff is brought from a known source”.

Giving details, he asserts: “One should be careful not to buy lose colour from streethawkers. The chances are that the colour may not be of a very good quality and may cause rashes or other allergies. You can always buy packets from the provision stores and other shops in the city”.

Regarding the harmful elements in the colours, he reveals, “In some cases, powder after grinding bricks is mixed in the dye. When rubbed on tender skin, the particles can cause rashes followed by infection. This is not all. Sometimes carbon obtained after break opening the dry torch cells is also added to the colour”.

The problem, he asserts, does not end here. “People sometimes tend to apply silver, white and even black paint on the face, besides colour mixed with grease or oil. This too can cause allergic reaction,” the doctor reveals.

In case of emergency, the “victim” should immediately wash his face with a mild soap and a lot of water till the harmful elements are removed. “After this, the person should apply a thin layer of mild antiseptic cream or even moisturiser. He can also swallow an anti-allergic tablet”, says the doctor. “If the problem persists, the victim should not take chances. He should at once consult a dermatologist for appropriate remedy”.

He concluded: “Holi is time for everyone to have fun. But in the process each one of us should ensure that the other person is not harmed because of our carelessness or negligence. Buy good quality of colours and make sure you do not spoil the fun for anyone”.


IA flights rescheduled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
Indian Airlines has rescheduled its flights on the Delhi-Chandigarh and Chandigarh-Leh sectors from March 31, Mr B.P. Nautiyal, Station Manager of the airline, announced here today. The Leh-Chandigarh-Leh flight on Wednesdays would now arrive here at 8.55 a.m. and depart for Leh at 9.30 a.m. The Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar-Delhi flight on Thursdays and Saturdays would arrive here at 11.55 a.m. and depart for Amritsar on its way to Delhi at 12.35 p.m.


Defence tech spin-offs benefit disabled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
Spin-offs of technology developed indigenously for defence applications are fast finding applications in the field of helping the disabled. The Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) here has come up with several hi-tech aids for the visually handicapped by applying concepts used to develop gadgets for the armed forces.

Technology used by the CSIO to design and fabricate head-up display (HUD) units for combat aircraft, particularly the indigenous light combat aircraft, has been relied upon to conceptualise a “micro fibre optic HUD” as a lip-reading aid for the deaf.

Some of the concepts and aids are being highlighted at the national seminar on instrumentation technology for the disabled being organised by the CSIO. Several papers have been presented in this regard.

An electro-optical instrument, the HUD is installed above the instrument panel in an aircraft’s cockpit and superimposes vital flight parameters on the pilot’s view of the outside would without having to change his line of sight and visual accommodation.

The fibre optic HUD conceptualised for the deaf uses a miniature optical system that can be worn like a conventional eyeglass over one eye. A portable speech analyser can extract various features from a speaker’s voice, enabling the wearer to see a coloured pattern representing the speech features. The image is generated by a miniature display generator controlled by a micro computer.

Similarly, the CSIO’s facility for the developing of state-of-the-art aspheric optical and electro-optical instrumentation, inaugurated a few months earlier by the then Vice-Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal S. Krishnaswamy, is being used to produce special aspheric lenses for the visually impaired.

The facility produces different types of surfaces for helmet-mounted display systems, wide-angle optics, infra-red optics for scanners, X-ray optics and colour picture tubes. A large number of scientists from the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the Indian Space Research Organisation as well as industrial and scientific institutions attended the inauguration and the associated seminar.

Aids for the visually impaired developed here include a plastic aspheric lens to correct near vision. Lenses of two powers, 16D and 20D, have been developed. Compared with spherical glass magnifiers, aspheric plastic magnifiers can be used as single-lens spectacles, offering light-weight, better correctional aids at low cost.

The design and development of tele-microscopes using plastic aspheric-lenses as “low vision aids for far vision” is also being taken up in the near future. Tele-microscopes offering magnification with a high degree of performance have not been manufactured in the country so far.

The proposed tele-microscope will cater to the requirement of vision for reading/writing from near distances as well as using the same lens for reading from an intermediate distance like a blackboard in a classroom.

The third project involving aspheric lenses is the development of a hand-held illuminated reading aid. This particular low vision reading aid constitutes a plastic aspheric magnifying lens of the prescribed power housed in a hard plastic casing, illuminated uniformly by a suitable light source powered by a small dry cell. This aid will help low-vision persons in reading text comfortably and attending to other tasks without being affected by varying levels of illumination.


Public being denied due benefits’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
Mr R.P. Malhotra, president of Samadhaan, a pressure group for social justice, has urged the UT Administration to adopt a pragmatic approach for giving a people-friendly service.

In a statement issued here on Sunday, Mr Malhotra said the benefits of the Administration’s policies had not reached the common man because of red tape. He said several people-friendly changes in building bylaws had been notified recently, but violators still had to pay penalties to get their buildings regularised. However, the Administration, in violation of its own bylaws, had permitted a number of liquor-vend kiosks to come up at many strategic sites in the city, he said.

A recent amendment in the rule to facilitate the purchaser to surrender a property purchased in government auctions after paying a surrender fee has been interpreted by officials concerned to mean that the amendment is not for those who have purchased any property before this notification.

“This is like harassing previous bidders as the law gave discretionary powers to the officials concerned before the amendment,” Mr Malhotra said. He said there were numerous examples where policies notified after a long time had been made applicable retrospectively to fetch more revenue. Rule 8-C to charge unearned profit from defence-quota plots had been made applicable retrospectively after more than 10 years of allotments.

The much-awaited Chandigarh Apartment Act was yet to become a reality, even after a notification. “As per rule 7 (2) of the Chandigarh Apartment Rules 2001, any permission for subdivision shall not amount to regularising of any violation of any building bylaw even if the violation conforms to the Apartment Act. Though the Act allows partitions after paying Rs 20 per sq ft of the covered area, existing partitions are regularised only at the payment of a composition fee.

“Notification for charging fee for permitting partitions in commercial showrooms was issued in 1993, but all those who owned properties before this received notices for resumption. The allotment letters authorise owners to let out the premises fully or partly,” he said.

“A notification of December 2000 that allowed additional coverage on second floors of marla houses is yet to be implemented because the Planning Department is yet to prepare drawings in this regard. About six months ago, the Administration came up with a proposal for the transfer of leasehold commercial property through sale deed without charging unearned profit, but there has been no further action in this regard,” he said.

He said yearly subscription for procuring the Administration’s notifications had been steeply increased from Rs 50 to Rs 800, which was unjustified. “The Administration should either publicise important notifications in local media or roll back the increase.

He said violations, conforming to the provisions of building bylaws amended from time to time, should be considered regularised. Responsibility for the non-performance of duty on part of the allied departments should be fixed.

A follow-up cell should be constituted to update the Administrator on implementation of amended policies. Policies that give relief to people should be made applicable retrospectively to all allottees. The notifications of amendments in bylaws should be simple and clear, he said.


‘I appeal to BSNL to do justice’

My telephone (No.263167) remained dead for 23 days from July 20, 2001 to August 8, 2001. I lodged complaints at telephone exchange building at Phase IV and at telephone nos. 198 and 672198. I had written letters in this connection to the SDO (dated August 29, 2001) and to the Accounts Officer (dated October 23, 2001). What is more, I had also deposited four telephone bills after the formal complaints and letters. However, I have not been refunded till date the rebate in the rental for the period in which the BSNL has not provided services.

I once again appeal to the BSNL authorities to provide me rebate and do justice.


Police harassment

I am a retired person and I cannot drive fast. My maximum speed is always 50. On March 15, 2002, at about 12 noon, when I was proceeding towards Chandigarh from Mohali, at 3B2 Crossing, a traffic police squad stopped me for having crossed the traffic signals. Frankly speaking, the speed was not more than 40 as I had just started the car. The police constable demanded Rs 200. As I am a high blood pressure patient, I cannot face police harassment and run from court to court. I had no alternative but to pay him Rs 100. The police then let me go.

I would like to bring to the attention of the authorities concerned that many old people like me must be suffering from this kind of harassment by the traffic police. Who will come forward to stop this?

RAM LAL, Mohali

Laudable step

The report that the authorities are planning to start formal teaching of traffic rules to school children in Chandigarh is a step in the right direction. However, the proposal will have to be implemented with sincerity and earnestness. To ensure that this endeavour does not get blighted, it is essential that the schools engage teachers who are themselves well versed with good and safe driving practices and traffic rules. Unfortunately, most vehicle users, including the members of the traffic police, seem to be ignorant of several important aspects of traffic rules.

It is also necessary that in order to supplement this laudable effort of the schools, the powers that be take prompt measures to replace the present casual attitude of issuing licences by a responsible system that respects the existing rules in this regard. Suffice it to mention that the necessary driving tests required for the purpose need to be strengthened and honestly conducted.

DAYA KRISHEN, Chandigarh

PU exam reform

I was happy to note that Panjab University has decided to show answersheets to candidates desirous of seeing their papers of the final examination (B Sc Honours). The suggestion to show the original paper to the first examiner to make the evaluators more accountable, in case of difference of marks due to revaluation, merits consideration. The candidates are at present given a photocopy of the marked answersheet, on payment of the prescribed fee, so that they could decide before applying for revaluation, whether less marks had been awarded to them in the first instance.

It will, however, be desirable if accessibility of answersheets to students taking the entrance examinations is made possible so that the examination system becomes more user-friendly and transparent. A Himachal Pradesh University in Shimla does display the answer key on notification of the result of PMT entrance examination but making the answersheets accessible to the students would be a welcome and wiser step.

Let us hope that the universities in northern India would take the lead in line with the University Grants Commission’s communication for ensuring transparency in the evaluation system.



Ex-servicemen deserve better healthcare
Pritam Bhullar

Finding the ad hoc arrangement of providing medicare to ex-servicemen at military hospitals unsatisfactory, the three service chiefs have been requesting the government for the last two decades to make a provision for them on the same lines as is in existence for the Central Government retirees. Mercifully, the government agreed to sanction a new scheme under which the ex-servicemen and their families would have been entitled to treatment of all diseases at the designated hospitals and the expenses thus incurred were to be reimbursed to them.

That the “scheme” which was to be issued last year has not materialised so far is piquing the ex-servicemen. Most of them say “we never went to a hospital during our service but now in our old age when we need treatment, what we get is far from satisfactory. The government seems to have completely forgotten our sacrifices for the country”.

Ruing the government apathy, Brigadier Mohinder Singh (Retd) president, Indian Ex-servicemen League, says: “The ex-servicemen are only 4 per cent of the Central Government pensioners, Hence it looks strange that 96 per cent pensioners have been provided full medical cover, including their dependents, but the ex-servicemen do not get even the basic medical facilities. The government provided full medical cover during their service when only a few needed it, but now when they need it most, the issue is being evaded”.

Slide in armed forces

The Indian Army is not only the fourth largest but also one of the best armies of the world. Will our Army continue to retain its good name as here-to-fore? Most veterans are skeptical about it because of the reason that its leadership is deteriorating fast. Undoubtedly, it is the leader who makes or mars an army.

Unless the leaders command respect from their troops, they (troops) will hesitate to sacrifice their lives on the orders of their leaders. Sadly, the senior officers in the armed forces, barring only a few, are setting a bad example in discipline, integrity, uprighteousness and loyalty and this malice is adversely affecting the rank and file. If this rot is not stemmed immediately, it will weaken the edifice of the defence forces.

The greed of every senior officer to “snatch” the next rung in promotion by hook or crook has surpassed all imaginable limits. Not only that, most of them also have been bitten by the turn-rich bug. No doubt, the bait for these undesirable practices is thrown by maverick politicians. But then, should our senior leaders be lured by it?

The Indian Army has had the good luck of having some really upright Generals. The late Lt-General S.D. Verma who emerged larger than life in soldiering and resigned in 1961 over some differences with the then Defence Minister, Krishna Menon, wrote to this writer in August 1992: “A lot of senior officers you mention in your article, were time servers and anxious to get promotions. As long as politicians keep a finger in the pie, the Army will go down and down”.

Kargil Committee recommendation

The Gujarat riots remind one of an important recommendation of the Kargil Review Committee which seems to have been swept under the carpet by the government. Why? Because in India any recommendation that, irrespective of its advantages, goes against the grain of the bureaucrats and politicians cannot be accepted.

The recommendation is that the colour service term of the Army personnel should be reduced from 17 to seven or ten years and the personnel thus released should be sent to paramilitary forces. The committee felt that the transfer of Army manpower to paramilitary forces will strengthen their potential to tackle internal unrest and counterinsurgency more effectively. This will result in reducing the overuse of the Army for these duties.

The implementation of this recommendation will enhance the efficiency of the paramilitary forces so much so that they will be able to measure up to their task. Besides, three more advantages will accrue from it: one, a jawan who is sent home in his thirties from the Army, will be able to serve in the paramilitary forces up to his late fifties; two, he will be serving in the paramilitary forces on half of his pay as the other half, in any case, would have been given to him as his pension had he been retired from the Army; three, this will reduce the pension bill considerably.

Will politicians and bureaucrats change their rigid stance on this issue for the good of the country?


The hand behind beautiful faces
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
On her third visit to the city, Bharti Taneja, a beautician and cosmotologist, talked about the elements that enhance the face value. Handing over expert advice to over 200 participants in a seminar on beauty organised in a city hotel Bharti herself looked as fresh as ever.

Known for a holistic treatment through the latest techniques in the world of beauty, Bharti has long been associated with the world of glamour. The skill of her deft hands has made her the woman behind the faces of many successful actresses and models right from Madhuri Dixit, Jaya Pradha and Aishwarya Rai to Shikha Swaroop and Namrata Shirodhkar.

Bharti today talked about the latest in the world of face fashion. ““The fantasy make-up, which involves body painting, is in vogue. The Fashion TV splashes pictures of models with painted bodies all day. Although the fashion is now picking up, we had it almost eight years back. But when we use this technique on Indians, we take care of their cultural background. Where a model can go in for bold motifs, an average Indian woman would like to have sober ones, which enhance her beauty,” she said.

Apart from being the beautician who started computer hairstyling in India, she was also the one to successfully use gold facials. Using indigenous products manufactured under the name of Body Soul, Bharti also introduced India to the concept of water-proof make up. At Alps, she runs a full fledge kids parlour, which was the first of its kind to be opened. Interestingly, she has doctors on rolls, who offer advice on diet and nutrition to compliment beauticians’ role.

When asked to comment on the Indian skin tone, Bharti said, “Yellow tones predominate Indian skin tone. So we use a lot of yellow tones, instead of using pink tones, common abroad. Also we use a lot of powders and pancakes during summers. Another difference is that we traditionally have deep set eyes. So we don’t require to work on them.”

A familiar face on most leading beauty shows, Bharti has now ventured into clinical cosmotology. The beautician also gave away certificates who attended the seminar.


No facilities for women cricketers

Woman cricketer Ruchika Chawla has done well in the inter-university tournament, but, unfortunately, the city does not have a team for the Rani Jhansi Trophy. Punjab and Haryana do not accommodate the city woman cricketers, Ruchika says.

This BA final year student of the MCM DAV College, Sector-36, says “Women cricket in the city is doomed as colleges are only interested in winning inter-college tournaments and after that there is no coaching facility available for woman players.” 


Maintain communal harmony’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
Congress leaders have urged the people to ignore rumours allegedly being spread by the BJP and Sangh Parivar and honour country’s thousands-year-old culture of peaceful co-existence.

The call came out of the “Sadhbhawna seminar on communal harmony and national integration” organised by the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) held at the Valmiki Bhavan in Sector 24 recently.


NRI’s ‘murder’ becomes ‘suicide’
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 26
The case of the death of a 28-year-old NRI, Harvinder Singh, whose body was found hanging from a ceiling fan under mysterious circumstances in the house of his in-laws on March 22, today took a new turn with the police converting the case of murder into a case of abetting suicide.

Earlier the police has registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC against his wife and mother-in-law, Satinder Kaur and Sukhvinder Kaur, respectively. The Station House Officer of the Phase 1 police station, Mr R.S. Sohal said investigation had revealed that the wife and the mother-in-law had forced the NRI to commit suicide. The two had reportedly been pressurising the NRI to transfer his property in their name.

Sources in the police said the victim was the owner of a flat in the Ivory Towers in Sector 71, 40 acres of land in his native village and had around 15 lakh in his NRI account, apart from the share in the family property. The two women were granted anticipatory bail by the District Sessions Judge, Ropar. However, the family members of the victim claimed that the suspects had been saved by the police.

Meanwhile, the police is still awaiting the postmortem report of the victim from the Phase 6 Civil Hospital. Sources in the hospital said the autopsy report had revealed that these were no injury marks on the victim’s body and the death was due to strangulation. 



Woman’s body found
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
The body of a 35-year-old woman was found in Burail village here today. The police believe it to be a case of suicide. According to the police, the body was discovered by neighbours who later, informed the police. The husband of the deceased is absconding.

The deceased, identified as Pushpa, had been married to Sanjay, a tailor by profession, about 3-4 years ago. He is said to be an alcoholic. The police was recovered a sari from the spot which they believe was used by the deceased to hang herself. The body was lying on the floor with a pillow under the head, leaving the police to believe that the body was found hanging by Sanjay, who cut it down, but on finding her dead ran away from the spot.

The police has also recovered a suicide note from the spot. A case has been registered.

Rs 1.5 lakh stolen

A local industrialist, Sanjeev Modi, has reported that his servant has absconded with Rs 1.5 lakh from his house in Sector 15 yesterday. According to the police, he had arrived at his newly purchased house in Sector 15 on Sunday and had brought the money in a brief case. He left for some work and returned around mid-night. The next morning he found both the servant, Mohan Yadav, as well as the money missing.

Sources said the servant had been employed recently, although he had worked with the complainant earlier also. The accused belongs to a village in Uttar Pradesh. The police has registered a case.

Cyclist injured

A resident of Kajheri, Anjani Kumar, was injured after his bicycle was knocked down by a Maruti car near the Sector 45 kerosene oil pump. He was admitted to the PGI, while the car driver fled from the spot. A case has been registered.

Caught red-handed

A resident of Mani Majra, Kuldip Singh was caught red-handed while trying to steal two cameras, a gold kara, three watches and Rs 390 from the house of Jaswinder Singh in Sector 20. He was handed over to the police and a case has been registered against him. In another case a resident of Bapu Dham Colony, Madan Lal was caught red-handed while trying to steal two plastic cans from the Transport Area. A case has been registered.

Eve-teaser held

A resident of Mani Majra, Brij Mohan Singh, was arrested from the Sector 19 market for eve-teasing. He has been booked under Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code.

Car stolen

A Sector 38 resident, Naveen Aggarwal, has reported that his Maruti car (CH-01-E-1646) was stolen from his residence. The police has registered a case.


Scooterist dies

A scooterist died on the spot while his brother, who was riding pillion, sustained serious injuries when a car (HP-15-3141) hit the scooter (HR-49-1548) which they were going on the Shimla-Panchkula road neat HMT colony in Pinjore. The deceased has been identified as Sahin, a resident of Bitna colony in Pinjore.

Car driver sped away from the scene and a case under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered at the Pinjore Police Station on the complaint of Mr Bahadur Yadav, father of the victim.

Three held

In a case of creating nuisance on public place under the influence of alcohol, the Panchkula police has arrested three persons, Ajit Kumar, Rakesh Kumar and Chetak Kumar, all residents of Surajpur.

They were creating nuisance at Surajpur bus stand after consuming liquor on Monday afternoon. A case under Section 160 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against them.

Thief held

The police has arrested Narotam, a resident of Indira Colony in Sector 16 for committing robberies in this vicinity. The accused reportedly used to enter the houses and shops after breaking their roofs.

A press note issued by Mr Manoj Yadava, SP, said the accused have confessed committing two robberies — one at a grossery shop at Majari Chowk on the night of March 16 and another at a shop near Shiv Temple in Old Panchkula last year.

Two booked

Two residents of Chandi Mandir — Subhash Gupta and Amit Kumar — have been booked for constructing structures in violation of the Punjab Periphery Control Act, 1952.

In his complaint to the police, Mr Harbansh Lal, Assistant District and Town Planner, said the duo raised structures without the permission of the District Town Planning authorities.


3 killed in mishaps

Three persons died in three accidents in the town in the last 48 hours. In a hit and run case, an unidentified cyclist, trying to cross the median, was killed after being hit by speeding vehicle at Madanpura chowk late last night. According to sources in the police department, the victim was rushed to Cheema Hospital in Phase IV immediately but was declared brought dead. Sources added that the body had been sent to Civil Hospital in Phase VI. A senior police officer, when contacted, claimed that efforts were on to identify the victim and trace the driver of the vehicle.

In another case an unidentified woman died after being hit by a motorcyclist in Phase 3B 1 here today. The motorcyclist, Aditya, has been booked by the police under Section 279 and 304 A of the IPC.

In another case, Laxamni Saini of Phase XI died when the tractor trolley he was driving turned turtle at Sohana yesterday.

MC employee assaulted

An employee of the enforcement staff of the SAS Nagar Municipal council was assaulted by shopkeepers of Phase X when the enforcement staff had gone there to remove encroachments from public places in front of the shops. According to the information available, around eight employees had gone on a canter to perform their duty when a shopkeeper got hold of one of the employees and assaulted him. In the ensuing moments other shopkeepers gathered at the spot forcing the enforcement staff to make a hasty retreat. A complaint in this regard has been lodged with the Phase VIII Police Station.


249 pirated VCDs seized
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, March 26
The police has arrested Ashok Kumar, a Pinjore-based trader, for selling and renting out pirated VCDs. During a raid conducted at his shop, the police sized 249 pirated VCDs from there.

The accused has been arrested under the Copyright Act on the complaint of Mr Sumit Sukhija.


...and now cola with a slice of lemon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
Famous cricketer Harbhajan Singh inaugurated Pepsi A-ha, the country’s first lemon cola by Pepsi here today. The product, cola with a slice of lemon, that has already been launched in Delhi was subsequently launched at Bangalore today.

“This summer Pepsi has lined up a series of innovations in Punjab—in products, packaging and categories that will offer the customers a wide choice”, said Mr Sandeep Singhal, vice-president, marketing, while addressing a press conference here today.

Among the major initiatives will be a series of musical concerts across the county and a “Pepsi banjaa staara contest” a musical talent hunt in Punjab.

The company has chalked out special plans for this summer which will include massive advertising and consumer campaigns.

While the performance by Adnan Sami , famous Indi-pop singer, will be a part of the live concerts to be organised by the company, other performers will be Roger Waters of Pink Floyd at Bangalore on April 13 and Ronan Keating and Deep Purple at Hyderabad and Mumbai, respectively.

Explaining the advertising campaigning by the company, Mr Singhal said these are based on four platforms — cricket, music, movie magic and hanging out. “The idea is to build up a special bonding with our customers especially the youngsters”, he said.

The much talked about advertisements by the company featuring Fardeen Khan and the other one of sumo wrestlers have helped make the brand even more popular, he said. About the “business thanda matlab...” advertisement, he said it is healthy advertising which helps increase competitive spirit.

Other recently launched advertisements for this summer include the one featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar together, another featuring Harbhajan Singh (to co-incide with the Pepsi Banjaa Staara Yaar contest) and one featuring Amaanat fame popular TV actress Pooja Madan.

The company has also started a consumer campaign nationally where consumers will find a series of photographs of Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar under the flip side of the crown. One can collect these crowns and those having a certain number of the crowns will receive autographed memorabilia of the two icons. A van promotion in Punjab has also been started .

Pepsi A-ha will be available in 300 ml glass bottles priced at Rs 10 and 500 ml PET and cans at an introductory price of Rs 15. The same product (cola with a slice of lemon) called Pepsi Twist in other countries has been quite successful internationally, he said.

Mr Kewal Singh Dhillon, Chairman, Dhillon Group of Industries, was also present on the occasion.

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