Thursday, August 1, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Most seats filled on first day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
The three engineering colleges of the city received an overwhelming response to admissions in the general category of the 85 per cent UT pool at the Punjab Engineering College auditorium, here today.

Nearly all seats were exhausted on the first day of admissions to this category and counselling and admissions carried on till about 8 pm as officials worked overtime. The Principal of the Punjab Engineering College, Dr Baljeet Kapoor, oversaw the entire process.

Counselling for the 18 vacant seats would be held tomorrow. These include 15 seats in metallurgy and two in civil engineering in PEC while one seat is vacant in the Chandigarh College of Architecture. Admissions closed at AIEEE rank of 13412, the last student being admitted to the civil engineering course at PEC.

Students thronged the admission venue in large numbers accompanied by parents and waited anxiously for a call. Elaborate arrangements had been made at the college to ensure there was no confusion.

While students were allowed entry only after their ranks were called, their certificates and documents were first checked and crosschecked before they were allowed access to the admission tables. Spaces were allotted to the three colleges and fee was collected as soon as a nod to admissions was given.

In the evening, after admissions closed, students who failed to secure a seat returned dejected while a few of them failed to get a subject of their choice and had to reconcile to second preference.



UGC team to visit PEC
Upgradation of college to deemed university
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
A team of the University Grants Commission (UGC) will visit Punjab Engineering College (PEC) on August 24 and 25 for a final inspection before the college is given the status of a deemed university. Sources said all papers had been submitted to the UGC and the Administration is hopeful of getting the status.

A letter from the UGC — a body under the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development — was received by the Chandigarh Administration today. The letter contains details of the visit.

Once the UGC is through with the inspection and gives a nod, PEC will be at par with other universities.

The new status will improve the quality of education at the college with higher level of technological inputs for students. The budgetary allocation from the Central Government will remain the same thus there will no fee hikes or additional expenses. More autonomy will be allowed to the college in taking decisions relating to academic, financial and planning matters.

The Chandigarh Administration will retain some control over PEC and a society will be formed for that porpose. Service conditions for teachers and other staff will remain unchanged.

In the last week of May, the MHRD had decided to upgrade PEC. A team of the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) had also visited PEC and sent its report. The new status will also mean more money for research as PEC will now be eligible for UGC grants.

The upgradation would come into force from the session commencing July 2003 as there was hardly any time left to sort out details for the functioning of the deemed university, sources said. It may be recollected that the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), has been taking personal interest in the matter.


PU Senate ‘anguished’ over govt’s decision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
Members of the Panjab University Senate in a memorandum submitted to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, today expressed “anguish and concern’’ over a communication received from the HRD Ministry, Government of India, conveying the refusal to honour enhancement of age of superannuation of teachers from 60 to 62 years.

The university Senate had passed the same at its meeting held in March 1999 in pursuance of the UGC notification on pay revision conveyed in December 1998. It maybe mentioned that the Senate had proposed the amendments in regulations as directed by the UGC.

The university had been directed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to allow teachers to serve up to 62 years in response to a writ petition. Expressing dismay over the turning down of the UGC guidelines by the government, the memorandum states, “We, the members of the Senate, could never imagine that the amendments in regulations pending consideration with the Government of India would not find acceptance.’’

The Fellows of the university have appealed to the government to review its decision adding that the decision would create an academic vacuum since the university was not prepared to meet this unforeseen situation.


PU results, interviews
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 31
Panjab University has declared the results of M.E (environmental), M.E. (chemical), P.G. diploma in Health, Family Welfare & Population Education and B. Pharmacy (fourth year).

The copies of the result gazettes would be available at the Panjab University Main Enquiry Counter during office hours for personal consultation by the candidates only.

Meanwhile, the interviews and admission of regular candidates for M.A. (II) English would be held on August 8 at the Department of English, while the test and interview for M.Phil. (Punjabi) would be held on August 1 at 10 a.m. The interviews for the diploma course in translation (English to Punjabi) and certificate course in functional Punjabi is scheduled for August 8 at 10 a.m.

Due to there being less than 15 applications the test and interview of M.Phil (Guru Granth Sahib Studies) would not be held on August 1.


RIMC exam on Dec 1, 2
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
The entrance examination for admission to Rashtirya Indian Military College (RIMC), Dehradun (UA) for the July 2003 term will be conducted at scheduled centres on December 1 and December 2. Application forms and prospectus can be procured from the Commandant, RIMC, Dehradun, by registered post against payment of Rs 225 through a bank draft in favour of the Commandant, RIMC, Dehradun.
Applications in duplicate, from residents of Chandigarh must reach the Zila Sainik Welfare Office, Sainik Rest House (UT), Sector 21-D, Chandigarh, latest by September 30.

Only boys are eligible to apply and candidates appearing for the test should not be born earlier than July 1, 1990, and not later than January 1, 1992. 


Stay on PU teachers retiring age
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
Taking up a petition filed by 38 Panjab University teachers, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed that the Union Government letter declining approval for enhancing the age of retirement from 60 to 62 years will not be given effect till the next date of hearing.

Issuing the directions, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar and Mr Justice S.S. Saron, also directed that the services of the petitioners will not be terminated on this ground. The Judges also directed the respondents to pay the salary for July. The salary for August would be subject to the decision of the writ petition, they added. In their detailed order, the Judges observed that the interim orders were being passed in the interest of education and teaching fraternity.

The petitioners had sought directions for quashing a letter issued on July 23 vide which the Union of India had refused to accept the regulations framed by the university enhancing the retiring age from 60 to 62 years. They had also sought directions for permitting them to remain in service till the age of 62, in accordance with the recommendations made by the University Grants Commission.

They had also contended that Panjab University’s proposal had been rejected in spite of the fact that the age had been enhanced and UGC recommendations had been accepted and implemented by the Central Government for all central universities.

Counsel for the petitioner had added that the questions of law arising out of the petition were whether Panjab University was a central university and as such it teachers were entitled to continue till the age of 62, and whether the order against the enhancement was illegal, arbitrary and liable to be quashed.

Plea against Chohan quashed

Mr Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel of the High Court today quashed a complaint filed against self-styled “President of Khalistan” Jagjit Singh Chohan. The complaint had been filed by the General Secretary of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee’s legal cell, Jagmohan Singh Saini.

Seeking the quashing of the complaint, Dr Chohan had earlier claimed that the same was filed for attaining political mileage and publicity. Quoting the Supreme Court, counsel for the petitioner had added that the allegations regarding the demand for the creation of “Khalistan” was no offence. Giving details, counsel for the petitioner had stated that, as per the complaint, Dr Chohan had discussed the formation of “Khalistan” with the complainant. The story, he added, had no iota of truth.

Pay cut to PSEB employees stayed

Taking up a petition filed by an Assistant Lineman, a Division Bench of the High Court today stayed the operation of an order passed on July 22 by Under-Secretary (Finance) whereby it was directed to deduct 25 per cent carry home salary of all Class I to III employees and 10 per cent salary of Class IV employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board for July and August.

The Bench, comprising Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar and Mr Justice S.S. Saron, also fixed August 7 as the next date of hearing.

In his petition, Mr Krishan Lall Bhardwaj had alleged that the board was running into losses because of faulty policies framed by it. The policies included supply of free electricity to agricultural and other sectors. However, instead of reviewing its policies, the board had passed impugned orders directing the deduction of salary of its employees.

Orders reserved in Judges’ work case

A Division Bench of the High Court today reserved orders on a petition filed by a city-based advocate challenging the withdrawal of work from three High Court Judges.

Arguing before the Bench, comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Ms Kiran Anand Lall, an Additional Solicitor-General appearing on behalf of the High Court and the Chief Justice claimed that the petitioner, Dr Surya Parkash, had no right to file the petition and work could be withdrawn from Judges. The petitioner, on the other hand, submitted that he had the right to challenge the orders. After hearing arguments for over two hours, the Judges reserved orders in the case.

Claiming that the impugned orders were issued in violation of the provisions of the Constitution, and the Judges (Inquiry) Act of 1968, besides the law laid down by the Supreme Court, the petitioner had contended that “the Judges, neither alone, nor banded together, could place sanctions on a Judge”. Under the Constitution, the only action that could be taken against a Supreme Court or a High Court Judge was “impeachment and for that purpose a procedure had been prescribed”.


8,000 advocates ineligible to vote in Bar Council poll

Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, July 31
As many as 8,000 advocates from Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana will not be able to cast their vote in the forthcoming elections to the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana as they have not deposited the required advocate welfare fund.

As the deadline for depositing the fee expired today, the defaulting advocates will not be able to exercise their franchise. The amount was required to be deposited with the office of the Bar Council by about 4 pm today.

Sources revealed that out of about 35,000 members of the Bar Council in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, only about 25,000 have been found eligible to cast their vote in the election as they have cleared all their dues, including the welfare fund, within the stipulated period.

Sources added that after the scrutiny of records pertaining to preliminary electoral rolls of the advocates, the Bar Council found that the there were serious lapses in certain applications submitted by the advocates.

Giving details about discrepancies in the application forms sources said in many forms, submitted for the change of address and place of practice, signatures have been forged.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the Chairman of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, Dr Anmol Rattan Sidhu, said the welfare fund, which the advocates have to deposit with the council, ranged from Rs 660 to Rs 1,000.

Mr Sidhu added that he had verified from some of the applicants who are known to him whether they had opted for any change of place of practice or not. But they showed their ignorance regarding any such form having been submitted in the office of the Bar Council and regarding change of address.

Mr Sidhu informed that all the applications received by the council should be treated as cancelled for the change of address or place of practice.

A fresh process of change of address and change of place of practice whould be started on August 5 and will continue till August 26.

All such applications should be countersigned by any of the members of the Bar Council or a Judicial Magistrate, otherwise it would not be accepted by the council.

The intimation of this decision has been sent to all members of the Bar Council as well as secretary and president of the Bar Association in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.


Tehsildar gets bail
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 31
A local court today granted bail to an accused, Gurnam Singh, Tehsildar with the UT Estate Officer, who had been arrested by the UT Vigilance Department under the Prevention of Corruption Act. He was granted bail on furnishing a bond for Rs 25,000.

As per the prosecution, Gurnam Singh had allegedly demanded Rs 5,000 from two persons for facilitating conversion of their commercial property from leasehold to freehold.

PPCC’s reply: The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) through its counsel today filed a reply in a defamation complaint filed against the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, by Mr Sukhbir Badal, son of a former Chief Minister of Punjab.

In his complaint under Sections 499 and 500, IPC, filed before UT Chief Judicial Magistrate C.L. Mohal, Mr Sukhbir Badal had claimed that the advertisements had wrongly conveyed that former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal had mortgaged the state’s interest in the SYL canal, besides the future of Punjab farmers, in favour of the Haryana CM in lieu of a gift of 22 acres in Gurgaon worth Rs 500 crore (during assembly elections).

Giving details, he had asserted that the advertisement had shown Haryana CM Om Prakash Chautala handing over an allotment letter regarding 22 acres in Gurgaon to the former Punjab CM while he, in return, was passing over a mortgage deed concerning “SYL water”.

Claiming that the contents of the advertisement were false, malicious and contrary to the facts on record, he added that the same was issued to mislead the public in the hope of getting votes and to lower Mr Parkash Singh Badal esteem, to defame him, and to damage his saviour-of-farmers image.

He further alleged that despite being called upon to desist from issuing such false advertisements, the PPCC President had clearly stated that he would continue with the practice. Capt Amarinder Singh had publicly owned responsibility for these advertisement, the complainant had added.

Bail plea: A bail plea moved by an advocate, Arun Madan, allegedly involved in a forgery of Supreme Court orders was today dismissed by a local court. As per the CBI charge sheet, Arun Madan had been booked by the CBI under Sections 420, 466, 468 and 471, IPC, under the directions of the Supreme Court. The CBI had alleged that Arun Madan either himself had forged the order of the Supreme Court or had procured from some other sources. The CBI had submitted a charge sheet against the accused on December 12, 2001. Later the CBI had issued a notice to the accused a number of times but he failed to appear.


A Taiwanese in love with Sikh philosophy

Pai-Chuan Tsai, councillor in the Council of Aboriginal Affairs, Taipai City, Taiwan, and a professor in Shin-Shin University, is determined to know everything about Sikhism and Sikh philosophy. Born in Buddhist parents and himself a Christian missionary (baptised 24 years ago), Tsai feels that the teachings of Guru Nanak and the other Sikh Gurus have a depth to transform your entire being ‘and leave you a chastised personality.’

Commenting on Sikhism, the Taiwanese told this correspondent, “This is the youngest and one of the most modern practical religions that preaches equality of mankind and dedicated love for the Almighty.”

The professor of religion admitted, “I came to know about Sikh philosophy from a brochure (booklet) of Sikhism published by the secretary of the Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Bangkok, Jathedar Satinder Pal Singh, after which there was no looking back. I have been researching Sikhism for the past two years. The Sikh philosophy, particularly the teachings of Guru Nanak, have fascinated me so much that I felt a strong urge to visit all Sikh religious places in Punjab,” he asserted.

He started from Taipei and reached Bangkok on July 12 this year, discovering a lot about Sikhs and Sikhism. He came to Punjab with Prof. Charanjit Singh, lecturer in history at Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, who was especially deputed for the purpose. Prof. Charanjit Singh accompanied him on his visits to almost all gurdwaras in Amritsar.

Tsai was all praise for the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Jathedar Joginder Singh Vendanti, who arranged a car for him to visit all historical and religious places of the holy city. The professor commented, “Never in my life can I forget the magnificent beauty of the Golden Temple and nor can I meet such devoted pilgrims anywhere in my country or the world. I visited Gurdwara Cheharta Sahib, Gurdwara Bir Sahib, Goindwal Sahib, Tarn Taran Sahib, Khadoor Sahib, Baba Bakala, Sann Sahib and Gurdwara Saheedan.

“It’s a rare example that at Khadoor Sahib a guru like Amardas served Guru Angad Dev for a period of 12 years. At Baba Bakala, the devotion of Guru Teg Bahadur for 26 long years was enough to move me to tears,” said the Taiwanese.

The professor further said, “On the second day, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee arranged a trip for me to Anandpur Sahib and Fatehgarh Sahib. At Anandpur Sahib, I saw a vast congregation coming for ‘darshan’ regardless of the distinctions of caste, creed, religion, sex and race.”

He felt that the idea of ‘langar’ was entirely novel and good. “The openmindedness with which people partake ‘langar’ without ill-will in their hearts, has really amazed me,” said Tsai. Commenting about his country he said, “Although Sikhs are spread all over the world, very little is known about them in Taiwan”.

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