Monday, November 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU to probe ‘forged’ admissions
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
Panjab University has decided to probe the details of cases of admissions secured on the basis of “forged” documents in all undergraduate courses in affiliated colleges.

At least 25 cases pertaining to different classes have been detected. The cases have been submitted to a special committee under the chairmanship of Dr Deepak Manmohan. Other committee members are Mr Rajinder Bhandari, Principal Harmit Kaur, Principal A.C. Vaid, Principal A.S. Dua and Dr Sodhi Ram, Controller of Examination.

The cases have been detected earlier, however, the committee is expected to go into the details of the problem and attempt measures to check the problem at the stage when such candidates present themselves for admissions. Interestingly, all the cases under question belong to different colleges located in the Ludhiana region of the university administration.

Of the total, two cases pertain to Guru Nanak National College, Doraha; eight to Kamla Lotia SD College, Ludhiana; four to Guru Nanak Girls College, Ludhiana; six to GTB National College, Dakha; and one case each to Arya and SCD colleges in Ludhiana.

It is pertinent to mention that the University Calendar (Volume II) clearly mentions under Regulation 1 on page 17 that a candidate seeking admission on the basis of “false representations relating to a previous examination not actually passed by a candidate” shall be disqualified for “three to five years from appearing in any examination as may be decided by the university”.

Senior sources in the examination branch said the modus oprendi in majority of the cases was similar. Candidates under question submitted provisional marks-sheet on a paper that was similar to the university certificate. The problem arose when the detailed marks cards (DMCs) were scrutinises. The officials detected difference between marks on the two certificates. Sometimes the nature of result (‘pass’, ‘fail’ or ‘compartment’) was also found to be different.

The official said there was a possibility of the forms of provisional certificates being smuggled out of the university’s Administrative Block, although the same could be printed anywhere. The documents were without any serial numbers, which were added only after their submission to the university.

A senior fellow pointed out that “besides punishment to the guilty in the cases under deliberation, the university seriously needs to deliberate on the issue in total perspective. It is worthwhile to mention that all the cases under question belong to Ludhiana region, so there is a possibility that the source of such documents located in the same area. If need be, the university needs to seek assistance of the investigation agencies in tracking down the source”.

University sources said in majority of the cases the discrepancy in certificates was detected at the level of the colleges. So, the committee is expected to go through all the relevant details and suggest measures to control the menace instead of punishing only those under question and allowing the practice to continue. The university will also look into possibility of certain cases having gone undetected.



Woman found dead; husband held
Our Correspondent

3 killings in 7 days

  • 19-year-old Bharti found dead in her Sector 38 residence on November 24.
  • Manager of Kiran and Jagat cinemas shot dead by two persons in Sector 21 on November 20.
  • An unidentified man in his early forties found done to death in a pit along the dividing road of Sectors 48 and 49 on November 17.

Chandigarh, November 24
A newly married woman, Bharti (19), was found dead under mysterious circumstances, with marks of “strangulation” on her neck, in her Sector 38C residence (HNo 2446) here today. The woman is suspected to have died last night. The police came to know about the death this morning when relatives of the victim learned about it and raised the alarm.

Going by the prima facie evidence, the police has arrested Sudesh Kumar under Section 302 of the IPC. A team from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) also visited the scene.

The accused reportedly told the police that Bharti had committed suicide. The police, however, believes it to be a case of dowry death. Sudesh will be produced in a local court tomorrow.

It is noteworthy that the accused did not make an attempt to escape and was arrested from the scene. The police suspects that Bharti died sometime last evening.

Ms Chanda, the maternal aunt of the victim who stays in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, came to know about the incident in the wee hours today when Sudesh Kumar called her up to say that Bharti had committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan.

However, the police said there were strangulation marks on the neck of the body and Sudesh’s claim that she had hanged herself from fan was a “lie”. Deposits of dust were found on the blades of the fan and had she hanged herself from it, marks would have been found on the blades. The body has been sent for a post-mortem examination.

Ms Pantu, the mother of the victim who stays in Amb, Himachal Pradesh, told this correspondent that last evening she had called her daughter up at her residence but was told by Sudesh that she was asleep.

She added that her daughter used to complain about her husband’s misbehaviour. He allegedly used to beat her up after consuming liquor. He had also been allegedly demanding more dowry. “We are not rich. Even then I gave goods and other items worth Rs 80,000 as dowry”, claimed the mother.

The victim’s family hails from Gujarat and runs the business of selling dry fruits. The accused is also in the same business.


Body of missing property dealer found
Our Correspondent

Naya Gaon, November 24
The mystery shrouding the disappearance of a Naya Gaon based property dealer, Gopal Singh (48), was solved after his body was found floating in a canal near Ghnour village in Patiala district yesterday. Police sources said that circumstantial evidence suggested that he had committed suicide.

Gopal Singh had gone missing on November 5 from the village and the following day, the police had found a suicide note, his clothes, shoes, mobile phone and some medicines along a canal in Ropar district. Mr Vikram Singh, the only son of Gopal Singh, had identified the handwriting on the suicide note to be that of his father. On the basis of the note, a case of abetment to suicide has been registered by the Ropar police.

The body was today handed over to the aggrieved family after post-mortem. Gopal Singh was cremated in Naya Goan village.

The body was detected at around 4 pm yesterday by the Patiala police which, in turn, informed the Ropar police. Gopal Singh’s body was identified from the marks of an operation on his stomach which was performed on him a few days before he went missing.

Sources said as per the suicide note, Gopal Singh was under tension because of a property deal involving Rs 3 crore.

He had reportedly entered into a deal with two Panchkula-based persons and paid a huge amount of money to them.

But they were neither returning the money nor giving the land for which the money was said to be paid.

Meanwhile, Mr Manjeet Singh Kamboj, president of the Joint Action Committee Naya Goan, has demanded that those persons who have been named in the suicide note be immediately arrested.


Manufacturers cry foul
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
As the date of implementation of security number plates for all vehicles — March, 2003 — approaches, local manufacturers of number plates are preparing themselves for the developing scenario. Some manufacturers have even tried to meet the challenge by manufacturing these plates as per the laid down specifications.

Mr Shiv Shankar Tantia of Asia Utch Pradyogiki Plates, Mani Majra, claims that he has successfully manufactured high-security registration number plates, but officials at the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), New Delhi, are creating hurdles in the way to get licence. While they are not ready to disclose the accurate specifications, Germany-based Erich Utsch AG, a licence holder, is allegedly pressurising him to withdraw from the race. He alleged that the CRRI was asking his firm to deposit a sum of Rs 7.35 lakh for providing designs and testing the prototypes of the plates. It is to be noted that another local manufacturer of security number plates had recently alleged that the Centre and UT Administration were creating hurdles by manipulating the tender conditions for security plates.

Incidentally, Mr B.C. Khanduri, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, in his recent visit to the city had made it clear that the ministry was in favour of the entry of maximum number of players in the market to benefit the consumers, provided domestic players could manufacture plates according to the laid down specifications.

Mr Tantia claimed that the German firm had recently issued him a legal notice for using its trademark. He wondered how could he violate their patent of trademark when the German firm had not got a patent in India. Further, he said the spellings of ‘Utsch’, the trademark of the German firm in other countries were different from his trademark, ‘Utch’, word derived from Hindi language.

He said he was ready to provide security plates with chromium hallmark and other specifications at a price of Rs 500 to Rs 600 against Rs 1,200 quoted by foreign players. He urged the Centre to provide a level-playing field to the domestic players.

He further alleged that the officials of the German firm were offering to sublet their licence for the city if he withdrew from the race of licence. Referring to Mr Khanduri’s commitment for providing a level-playing field to the domestic players, he demanded intervention of the Central Government to direct the CRRI to provide the specifications to all the desiring candidates at the earliest.


IT park project main attraction of UT pavilion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The Chandigarh Technology Park, a prestigious project of the Chandigarh Administration being set up at Kishangarh village here, is one of the major highlights of the UT pavilion at the ongoing India International Trade Fair (IITF) at New Delhi.

It is worthwhile to mention here that the UT Administration has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Infosys Technologies Limited. As per the MoU, Infosys would set up a Rs 100 crore Software Development Centre at the CTP. The CTP would provide state-of-the-art infrastructure to the IT and the IT Enabled Services Companies to set up their facilities. The CTP is spread over an area of 111 acre and comprises large anchor plots, sub-anchor plots, built to suit sites and ready built space. It provides ideal setting for IT companies to set up their facilities.

Chandigarh, the City Beautiful, has been participating at the India International Trade Fair ever since its inception (1982-83) which has emerged as an important forum to project the all round development of the country and most effective platform for business interaction. It is one of the most important and largest international expositions organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation, New Delhi. The theme of this year Trade Fair is “Services Export and Tourism”.

The city provides clean atmosphere and pollution-free environment and any ideal location for precision agricultural, domestic, electrical and electronic industrial units. These units manufacture a wide variety of products ranging from agricultural implements like spades to high precision hosiery and knitting machine needles from earthware and Terracota items, stainless steel kitchen equipment from simple wooden furniture to much sophisticated wrought iron steel furniture etc.

The Chandigarh industry has created a niche for itself in both the Indian as well as the overseas market with an annual turnover of nearly Rs 600 crore. Nearly 20 units are exporting their produce to the developed countries of the world earning foreign exchange worth over Rs 60 crore every year.

The Department of Tourism has also put up a pavilion highlighting its features and facilities so as to depict the tourist spots of Chandigarh which will entice tourists to visit the City Beautiful.

The Industries Department of the Union Territory, Chandigarh, has been providing various facilities for the growth of industries. It is providing assistance in the following fields: Assistance for Imports and Exports; training to budding entrepreneurs and unemployed youth; price preference of 15 per cent to SSI units and 5 per cent to large scale units; making raw material available; single window facility for power connection; organising entrepreneurship development programmes; financial assistance under the Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojna; managing a handloom estate at Mani Majra; providing facilities to the potters at Mani Majra and providing loans through UT Khadi and Village Industries Board, Chandigarh.

This year about 29 industrial units of the city have displayed their products at the ‘Chandigarh Pavilion’ which has been constructed in an area of 300 sq. mtrs.


Number of north Indians in merchant navy declining
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
Lack of awareness in this part of the country about the merchant navy as a career has led to a steady decline in the number of persons from Punjab-Haryana-Himachal region coming out to sea to join as officers.

“In the early sixties, more than 25 per cent of the persons joining the merchant navy as officers were from Punjab region”, said Capt H. Subramaniam, Principal Emeritus, L.B.S. College of Advance Maritime Studies and Research, Mumbai, in an interview with TNS here today. “Over the years, it has declined to negligible figures”.

Capt Subramanimum who is here at the invitation of the Merchant Navy Officers Association retired from government service on September 30, 2002, after putting in 34 years of meritorious service, including 12 years as head of three famous maritime training institutions of the country.

Capt Subramaniam said that Punjabis were second to none in the world as seafarers. After initial reluctance, foreign shipping companies too had begun to prefer Indians as sea men because they were intelligent, reliable and hardworking. As a matter of fact, merchant navy officers from this party of the country were contributing nearly Rs 14 crore to the economy of the region every month.

He noted that the steady decline in the number of people from Punjab-Haryana-Himachal region joining the merchant navy had led to a peculiar situation in the merchant navy. People from UP-Bihar were now dominating those joining the merchant navy as officers. And this was despite the fact that UP-Bihar were about as landlocked states as Punjab-Haryana-Himachal belt.

In order to correct this imbalance, the Merchant Navy Officers Association of Chandigarh has decided to take upon itself the task of creating awareness about the merchant navy as a career option for the youth of the region. The association is composed of about 2,000 merchant navy officers with Capt P.S. Chimni as its president. Other office-bearers include Mr Navneet Bakshi as Vice-President, Mr V. Kaushik as General Secretary and Mr F.C. Saidha as Treasurer.

Till now, the association was confining itself to social activities only. It has now decided to widen its horizon to include professional activities as well. With this in end, it will organise the first-ever professional seminar called North Sea 2002 on ‘Merchant Navy — Meeting the Challenges” here on November 28. It will be inaugurated by the Governor of Punjab, Lt-Gen JFR Jacob (retd) while Mr D.T. Joseph, Director-General of Shipping and Secretary to the Government of India, will be the chief guest.




MEDIA managers of the Congress government headed by Capt Amarinder Singh in Punjab must be breathing easy on somehow ensuring that there was no interaction between the Press and the AICC president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, during her visit to Chandigarh on Saturday.

Any meeting between the two would have surely led to media persons asking the Congress President about her views about the manner in which the Amarinder government handled the situation in the run-up to the recent elections to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee during which hundreds of Akali workers were rounded up throughout the state ostensibly to maintain law and order. The Congress President has already obliquely made her disapproval known on this subject. Her interaction with mediapersons at Chandigarh would have ensured that her views were put on record. This is just what the government’s media managers were dreading.

The Congress chief had only two engagements in the city: addressing a meeting of the Congressmen from Punjab and Chandigarh at the CII convention hall and the other a rally of ex-servicemen from the region in the Sector 46 stadium. The only chance for the Press to meet Mrs Gandhi was at the CII convention hall. Therefore, before the arrival of the Congress chief, word was spread that the meeting of partymen at the CII convention hall was not really open to the Press. Instead, the Press would be well advised to head straight for the venue of the rally.

At a dinner hosted by the adviser to the Chief Minister, Mr B.I.S. Chahal, on Saturday night at his residence in Sector 2, it was repeatedly emphasised that there would be no press briefing by the Congress President. Therefore, pressmen should head straight for the ex-servicemen’s rally. But the confusion was confounded by the fact that the Punjab PCC chief, Mr H.S. Hanspal, had issued passes to several newsmen allowing them entry into the CII convention hall. A large number of pressmen therefore did go to the CII convention hall, giving anxious moments to the government media managers. But the delay of one and a half hours in the arrival of Mrs Gandhi in the city robbed media persons of any chance to meet the Congress President.

Not for women

The Senior Superintendent of Police has received a complaint from women vehicle users that several of employees of the parking lot contractors in Sector 17 have been ogling at women. “They look towards women drivers in a vulgar manner”, says the letter with copies sent to the Governors of Punjab and Haryana, Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and also to the Mayor.

The complaint says that by 9 p.m. employees of the contractor and also some outsiders sit at one place and consume liquor. No one is there to check them. Since Chandigarh has a large concentration of women drivers, it is quite common for single women to drive home after late evening duties. Such activities infuse no confidence in society.

Fauj ready to lead

On the issue of amendment to the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, Brig Sant Singh (retd) twice Mahavir Chakra awardee and councillor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, was in full support of the amendment carried out by the Chandigarh Administration. The law now brings tenants and landlords on an even keel. The Brigadier had a list of important points in favour of the amendment as he attended a meeting of the property owners. Also in the meeting were other former Armymen. Landlords present in the meeting joked with the faujis to be prepared to lead yet another battle which is to prevent the Chandigarh Administration from withdrawing the notification. The old eyes lit up but this time the battle is with pen and paper in hand and of mobilising more and more people.

Conference for gifts

The Bank of Rajasthan recently organised a programme as part of its silver jubilee celebrations at Rajasthan Bhavan. Among others, the seminar was addressed by Governor of Rajasthan Anshuman Singh and Minister of Tourism, Cultural Affairs and Industry, Punjab, Ashwani Sekhri. The function was duly covered in the media. However, the bank management decided to organise another press conference in a school the very next day.

Among others, Mr Surinder Singla, Adviser to the Punjab Government, also attended the conference. Though the same press statement was handed over to the journalists, but with a difference. This time, they were also given a second envelope as well having gift cheques for Rs 201 each, not from the Bank of Rajasthan, but from J & K Bank.


The competition among the newspapers and TV channels has made the job of public relation agencies very difficult. They are no more able to “handle” the media in a proper manner through “decent means”.

Recently, a local PR consultant lamented that despite his best efforts, he could not “kill” a negative story, telecast against his client from a reputed TV channel. He was sorry that though he had successfully “managed” the story on alleged violation of environment and forest laws, at the local level, he could not stop its telecast from Delhi. However, the same agency is now trying to project the “free community service” of his client in the media.

Celebrity for sale?

Some “smart” companies have devised noble methods to promote their business— use the name of celebrity and collect funds from innocent public.

A Delhi-based company, which claims to be running an institute on small-scale units, has reportedly collected Rs 5,000 each as registration fees from hundreds of SSI units of Ludhiana, Mandi Gobindgarh, Mohali, Chandigarh and Panchkula, besides other towns, to consider them “for the national awards to recognise their contribution.”

One of the participant, disclosed that he was shocked when he found that little known entrepreneurs were called for the award ceremony. He could not believe that a former Governor of a North-Eastern state was the chief guest. He said:‘‘ Entrepreneurs were called randomly without any rhyme or reason. Though the organisers had no credentials, but they used the name of a former governor to collect lakhs of rupees as registration fees.’’


Jazzy B greeted the gathering present at the Chandigarh Press Club during the release function of his cassette “tera roop” with a lot of humility. In fact, the pop singer was in full form to put the so-called guardians of Punjabi culture to rest, with his style. So whichever question came his way, the answer weighed heavily on the listeners.

First of all, the scribes tried to catch him on the wrong foot stating that his videos were laced with obscenity. The singer humbly admitted his mistake, pointing towards the video of his latest album which has no obscene number. Secondly, came the satire that his voice reflected Kuldeep Manak’s style. The singer again admitted,: “Yes, he is my idol. I never do anything without seeking his blessings.”

Third came the question as to why Jazzy cashes in on the feminine beauty and why are the lyrics of his albums all about women. This was when the singer chose not to humble himself. He counter questioned the scribe, “If the songs should not sing praises of women, whose praises should they sing? You let me know. As far as I know, there is no life without girls. I have no qualms about admitting that!”

Hero(ine) worship

Poetry surely is rejuvenating. Especially when it comes from women of worth. During the all-India trilingual poetic symposium which was attended by 10 poetesses of Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi, the gathering was absolutely smitten with the style of rendition by the ladies.

While everybody was enjoying the verses, one elderly man seemed to be enjoying better than everybody else. And he was so much taken in that he became very vocal about the entire affair. When one of the poetesses implored the audience to applaud whenever they liked any recited verse, the elderly gentleman got up in his seat and declared, “Aap hame in taali bajane ko kehte hain. Kya aap nahi jaante, aapke lafz dil mein chubhte hain...”

The second vague situation arose when renowned Urdu poetess Dr Naseem Nikhat was reciting her ghazals. When she questioned the audience on whether they understood the meaning of her poetry, the same gentleman got seat again and declared, “Hum to behosh hain. Humse kya puchhte hain aap?”

On this remark, Dr Naseem retorted in her Lucknowi style: “Nahim nahin, aap behosh mat hoiye, nahin to aap par paani chidakna padega (please don’t faint otherwise we will have to sprinkle water on you). Aur aap to jaante hain shaayaron ke paas paani nahin bas ashq hote hain... (And you know that poets only have tears to share, no water). Isliye aap sirf taali bajaen to bhi chalega (So it would do if you just clap)!”

The hall burst into applause!


Dr Suman Kumar, a Panchkula-based ENT and allergy specialist, has been invited to China by Guangxi Medical University, Nanning. He will be there from December 1 to 6 for promoting academic exchange and cooperation in the field of allergy and infection of the nose.

Dr Kumar attended the seventh Asian Research Symposium on Rhinology in Bali, Indonesia, from February 15 to 16, where he presented a paper on the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Nearly 400 experts from different countries attended this symposium.

— Sentinel


‘Starry airs’ chill fans’ enthusiasm
Kareena, Saif in city for shooting of LoC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
It was a day laced with hectic activity at a farm near Zirakpur, where the entire unit of J.P. Dutta’s latest film “LoC”, dawned for the shooting of some of the significant sequences in the film, that draws its base from Kargil war. In presence were stars of the order of Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, who evaded the insisting fans on the one hand and the never-budging mediapersons on the other.

After camping at Hotel Mount View yesterday the team of the film moved to the shooting location towards Zirakpur, where several fans of Kareena and Saif tried hard to catch a closer glimpse. The stars were, however, unobliging till the end and it seemed they were just not looking for any sort of pre-release publicity. Some of the evasiveness of Kareena Kapoor (who even tried to shoo away a lensman who was trying to click a photograph and Saif Ali Khan, also stemmed out of security reasons. Kareena, in the very manner of her own sister Karisma, avoided fans with persistence.

Chhote nawab Saif, who has rediscovered himself with “Dil Chahta Hai” (for which he won the Filmfare best comedian award), was also not very forthcoming to talk. In fact, he, along with co-star Kareena, was making every effort to avoid the mediapersons.

Only the Director J.P. Dutta later talked a bit about “LoC” (Line of Control), which is a film from his heart. No wonder he has been working hard to add truth to its making. Everybody knows the fact that loss of life has also occurred during the shooting of LoC in the heights of Kargil where environmental conditions were too adverse for people to even survive.

The Director, however, went on with the shooting of the film which finally underlines the spirit of Indian unity, the strength and determination of Indian soldiers, who saved the nation’s prestige. Talking high of the Indian Army, which forwarded full support to him during shooting of the film, Dutta did not choose to reveal many details of the film.

Already being rated a highly-promising film as it has been shot at the most authentic war locations at the heights of Kargil in Kashmir’s Ladakh district, LoC is nearing completion.

A Major chunk of the film has been shot in Kashmir, while some sequences will be shot in Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh also. In line with the Chandigarh sequences, the first round of shooting took place at farms near Zirakpur, where a lot of fans converged to have a look at the stars, who chose to be in their “starry mantles”.


Call meeting, demand society members
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
A section of members of the local Universal Cooperative House Building Society today accused officials of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies of failure to call a general body meeting of the society despite a due notice was given to the department on October 14.

“As many as 50 of the 186 members of the society asked for a general body meeting through a communication to the society on September 28 and a subsequent letter to the department on October 14,” said the convener of the action committee of the society, Mr Rajesh Goel, while addressing mediapersons today. He said the department was supposed to act on the notice within 30 days as per the relevant act but nothing had happened.

Another member of the action committee, Mr Vijay Wadhera, alleged that the management of the society had refused to give him the list of members, show audited accounts and had not ever called the meeting and not held elections since the society was formed.

Mr Devinder Gupta, president of the society, while refuting the allegations, showed records of the minutes of the meetings, receipts of UPCs, accounts which are yet to be audited and documents relevant to the elections.

Mr Gupta offered to hold the meeting on December 15 where all documents could be shown to members, saying if members decided he had no objection in calling the meeting.

Members of the action committee alleged that they had not been shown maps of the design of houses inviting a counter from Mr Gupta who showed them, which were purported to have been signed by members of the action committee. They also said the management committee had allegedly overpriced the project by Rs 6 crore by employing a ‘tainted architect’.

The action committee today called a meeting in a temple, while the management committee called a meeting at the housing building site. Certain members who attended the meeting called by the management came to the rival faction’s meeting offering a rapprochement with the meeting of December 15. Mr Goel said this group only demanded transparency.


Learn art of living, Vedanta style
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, November 24
You look forward to weekends and dread going to the office on Mondays. You wish holidays were longer. But after you return from canoeing, or mountain climbing, the dreadful feeling of going back to the office for nine to five routine grips you again.

Well, Swami Parthasarathy, the founder of the Vedanta Academy near Mumbai, believes you need to learn the art of living. And if are willing to receive some instruction, remember to meet Gautamji of the academy. He will be in city on November 26, before visiting other parts of Punjab in the coming weeks.

Those who know little about the academy and its objectives, the timeless philosophy of Vedanta contains the knowledge of living. It clams to answer the fundamental question of life through a logical, systematic exposition of eternal truths. This is not all. Vedanta promises material and spiritual well-being, whereby one is dynamic in action, while remaining at peace mentally.

But how? Well, the academy offers three-year full-time residential course for boys and girls. The students pursue a range of scriptural texts on Vedanta philosophy complemented by select works from English literature and poetry. The course includes a module for training students in Sanskrit language and verses. It claims to instill physical and mental disciplines for the development of personality.

Life at academy begins early. The students are up at 4.15 am and continue till 9 pm. The day begins with study followed by yoga sessions and jogging and supplemented by sports.

The academy is funded by the Vedanta Cultural Foundation and provides the students with board and lodging, tuition, stationery and minor medical facilities free of charge. On completion of the course, the students are awarded a diploma in the Vedanta philosophy.

Swami Parthasarathy, acclaimed as one of the greatest exponents of Vedanta, has a multi-disciplined academic base which includes postgraduation from London University. For a staggering period over half a century, he has dedicated himself to the research and propagation of Vedanta and its application to life.

Swamiji, now 76, has also authored several books presenting scriptural truths in contemporary thought and language bringing the subtle, ancient philosophy down to the grasp of modern intellects. Also, his discourses in the foreign lands offer timeless truths in simple form to diverse public.


‘Withdraw notices banning construction’
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, November 24
Members of the Ilaqa Zirakpur Bachao Committee and other Resident Welfare Associations have demanded the withdrawal of notices issued by the Department of Local Government of Punjab prohibiting constructions and approval of building plans within a radius of 900m from the defence installations here.

They have demanded that the restriction on the construction of buildings in this area should be permitted on the pattern of Chandigarh. They appealed to the government and the Indian Air Force (IAF) authorities to work out some alternative solution so that thousands of residents, who have invested their hard-earned money for constructing a roof over their heads, may not get a raw deal.

Members of the committee have also decided to go on a chain fast for a week from tomorrow morning and to lock the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat office. They further threatened to block the busy Chandigarh-Ambala national highway and then stop the collection of octroi from the colonies and the villagers that fall within 900m distance from the defence installations.

Addressing mediapersons here, the members of the committee and that of the welfare associations demanded that the residents who have got the building plans approved from the civic body should not be prohibited from constructing their houses. Moreover, the villagers who have started constructions within red line (lal dora) should also not be prohibited.

They alleged that the Secretary of Department of Local Government of Punjab in “connivance” with the IAF authorities had issued notices for banning constructions and approval of building plans in this particular area for his interest.

The issue of construction by the defence authorities within the outer fence of the defence installations and construction of multi-storeyed societies in Chandigarh’s Sector 47, 48, coming up of Sectors 31, Industrial Area Phase II, Ram Darbar, Behlana, Hallomajra, and parts of SAS Nagar, that are sharing the boundary of the UT Air Force Station, were also taken up.

The residents also objected that the defence authorities have themselves raised constructions within the outer boundary of the defence installations and restrain the civilians from doing so after the name of “security of the defence installations”.

The restrictions, if adhered to as per the IAF notification, would lead to displacement of over one lakh people and wastage of hundreds of acres of prime urban land in this part of the state.

The members also said that over 80 per cent land falling in the revenue estate of Bhabhat, Zirakpur and Lohgarh villages has already been used for urbanisation.

Moreover, the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat as well as the residents have spent huge amount on various development and housing projects. Prohibition of constructions by the government would mean money going down the drain.

Meanwhile, Mr Netra Singh, press secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Balmiki Sabha, today announced to join hands with the villagers to stand by their side during agitation.

The Ilaqa Zirakpur Bachao Committee, has also decided to give a representation regarding the “900 metre issue” to Ms Praneet Kaur, MP from Patiala, and wife of Punjab Chief Minister, who will address a meeting of party workers in Dera Bassi tomorrow.


500 kids participate in drawing contest
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 24
The eighth day of the ongoing Lala Lajpat Rai Martyrdom Day fortnight organised by the Servants of the People Society saw a host of activities at Lajpat Rai Bhavan, Sector 15, here today. The day which started with a serious note by a labour conference organised by the Jan Shakti, a wing of the society, included a drawing competition for children and concluded with a multilingual mushaira.

Nearly 500 children took part in the drawing competition and computer games which were organised by Raj Rishi Tandon Bal Pustakalaya in collaboration with the society. The competitions were aimed at imparting right information, bringing out their creativity and imbibing a habit of book reading among the young children.

Prof V.K. Mehndirata, an eminent personality in the field of literature who was the chief guest, while delivering the presidential speech said participation was much more important than winning a prize. Group Captain P S Soni, honorary administrator, Servants of the People Society, spoke on the occasion.

In the senior category, Moti Jha won the first prize while Varun Kashyap bagged the second prize. In the junior category Ajitesh Vermani was declared first while Bhavneet Kaur and Himanshu Beri bagged second and third positions, respectively.

In the afternoon session the mushaira was organised in which 30 poets from Chandigarh and nearby areas recited self-composed poems in Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi. In the Hindi category, Archana Devi, Neelam Nagar, Rajinder Rogy, Amarjit Aman, S D Agrish and ML Sharma presented their compositions while in the Punjabi category Manjit Kaur, Raj Zakhmi, Balu Ram Diwana, S.K. Kaushal, Kirti Sahib, among others, threw light on various subjects through their verses.

The richness of Urdu was reflected in the verses composed by Najam-ul-Islam, G.S. Asif, Dil Kashmiri, S Diwana, Sultan Anjam and Ashok Amritsari.

Mr Rajiv Dixit, national secretary, Azadi Bachao Andaolan, said the nation had to first go through internal liberalisation before allowing entries of multinational companies.


NCC Day celebrations
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 24
The art and science of model-making was demonstrated here today with 16 National Cadet Corps cadets exhibiting their ship and aircraft models on the occasion of the 54th NCC Day celebrations at Sukhna Lake here today. The celebration was organised by the Directorate of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh under the leadership of Brig. D.S. Dhillon, Deputy Director General of the Directorate.

The displayed models included INS Delhi, INS Shakti INS Shishumar etc. In the aero-modelling section, Jaguars, Mig-21, F-16 made an interesting sight.

Earlier, about 150 cadets visited Haryana Raj Bhavan and put up a colourful cultural show which was attended by Haryana Governor Babu Parmanand and his wife Sudesh Kumari. Congratulating the cadets and the officers, the Governor said that the NCC had made valuable contribution in preserving and promoting the unity and integrity of India.

He also announced a grant of Rs 10,000 from his discretionary grant for the participants of the cultural programme.

The cultural show was a kaleidoscope of various folk dances and songs like bhangra and giddah from Punjab, Nati dance from Himachal Pradesh and Haryanvi folk dances. The programme concluded with the NCC group song which was joined by all.



Rotary International head to visit city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The world president of the Rotary International, Bhichai Rattakul, will pay a two-day visit to Chandigarh on December 3 and 4.

According to Madhukar Malhotra, president Rattakul, he shall be addressing over 1000 Rotarians from the three Rotary Districts 3070, 3080 and 3090, at the Bhargava Auditorium in the PGI on December 3. He will go around various community service projects undertaken by the Rotary clubs next day.


Councillor’s car stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The car of the Road Committee Chairman of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, Mr Pardeep Chhabra, was stolen from his Sector 35 residence last night along with documents related to the recovery from taxi stand operators, Apni Mandi and road committees.

The police has registered an FIR on the complaint of Mr Chhabra.


Woman’s purse snatched
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 24
Two scooter-borne miscreants snatched purse of Ms Harminder Kaur, a resident of Sector 33, yesterday. The purse reportedly contained Rs 21,000 besides a gold chain. The complainant could not provide the registration number of the scooter to the police. A case under Sections 379 and 356 of the IPC has been registered.

Meanwhile, Mr Joginder Singh, a shopkeeper of Sector 22, reported that someone stolen Rs 4,500 from his shop on November 22. A case has been registered.


Car damaged in ‘assault’
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 24
A resident of Sector 18, Mr Mahesh Pandey, has alleged that a group of six to seven armed youths, who were in a Daewoo Cielo car, tried to attack him near Hotel Mountview, Sector 10, last evening. He, however, escaped injuries but his friend’s Maruti Zen car in which he was travelling was damaged.

According to Mr Pandey, the leader of the group that tried to attack him is the son of a ‘‘powerful Punjab politician’’. He has cited an old scuffle at a birthday party of the politician’s son as the reason for yesterday’s incident.

‘‘The group again made an attempt to assault us in Sector 10 but this time my friends and I managed to escape’’, claimed Mr Pandey, who owns a marketing network business. He also claimed that the police has been informed about the incidents.


4 held for drinking at public place
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 24
The police has arrested four persons — Lakshmi Chand, Shiv Bilas, Mahant Singh and Ram Sagir — on charges of drinking at a public place. They have been booked under different sections of the Excise Act.

Five booked

The police has booked five persons — Pradeep Singh, Gurdev Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Bina Saini and Balbir Singh of Hoshiarpur — on the complaint of Ms Asha Saini. The latter has accused them of harassing her for dowry. A case under Sections 406 and 498- A of the IPC has been registered against them.


The police has booked Saravjit Singh of Raipur Rani on charges of stealing electricity by making a kundi connection . A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered against him.

One arrested

The police has arrested Mukhwinder Singh on charges of trying to breach public peace and booked him under Sections 107, 151 of the Cr PC.

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