Tuesday, March 25, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Students’ strike affects institute work
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, March 24
Students who had been called from far-off places for checking their documents relating to eligibility for the PMT and CET examinations at the Ambedkar Institute of Careers and Courses had to go back disappointed as they were not allowed to enter the building by protesting students of the institute here today.

Students of the stenography course of the institute, who were on the strike against the non-payment of stipend to them, had blocked the gate. No one was allowed to enter the institute. Even the Principal, Dr Jaspal Singh, and the Joint Director of the Department of Welfare of Scheduled Caste and Backward Classes, Mr Deepak Arora, entered the building by jumping over the wall.

About 50 students who had come from places like Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar etc had reached the institute around 10 a.m. and were seen sitting on the footpath in front of the institute impatiently waiting to enter the premises. Some of the students had come along with their parents.

Vipin Kumar, a student who has to appear in the CET examination and had come from Gurdaspur, said he had come yesterday to the town and would have to leave today as he had his Hindi examination tomorrow being conducted by the CBSE. Vijay Kumar and Sunil Kumar had come from villages falling in Hoshiarpur district and were appearing in the CET and PMT examination respectively. Kamaljit Kaur, who had been accompanied by her mother, had come from Sahnewal and was preparing for the PMT examination.

Repeated requests of Mr Arora to allow students who had been called from far-off places to enter the building fell on deaf ears as the protesters refused to relent. Even the assurances by Mr Arora that the stipend would be given soon could not make the student change their stand. They said that they had not received the stipend amount for the last three months. They were getting Rs 750 per month as stipend.

Mr Arora said the students were not being denied the stipend amount but only there was some delay as the officials concerned were busy with the budget. He said he had talked to the Finance Secretary who had assured that the stipend amount would be given to the students by March 31.

However, the students refused to allow the CET and PMT students to enter the building. The authorities were then forced to mark the attendance of the students who were later asked to go back.

The protesting stenography students, however, called off their strike in the evening today after they had met the higher authorities in Chandigarh who had assured them that the stipend amount would be given to them in two days time. 



SOS kids celebrate success 
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 24
For the inmates of SOS Children’s Village, Bal Niketan, it was a day of grand celebrations. The building had been adorned with colourful buntings and music filled the air as the inmates celebrated the super success of one of the inmates, Ravinder Singh, this evening.

Ravinder, who is from the first batch of children taken in by the management of Bal Niketan, has got distinction in BCA (Honours) from Panjab University. He was awarded his degree during the annual convocation of SD College, Chandigarh, on March 21.

He had been taken in at Bal Niketan in 1983 at the age of five, after the death of his father.

‘‘I am what I am because of the founder of Bal Niketan, late J.D. Sharma and the staff of Bal Niketan. So I have come here to celebrate my achievement. They are my family..." his voice trailed off as he thought of his years spent here.

He said that since he spent the formative years of his life in Bal Niketan ( from the age of five to the age of 23 ), he could not think of any other place he could refer to as home.

Ravinder belongs to Kurar village in Sonepat district. It was after his father’s death that his mother, after being persuaded by the village panchayat, had surrendered him to Bal Niketan.

‘‘My mother had the responsibility of my two younger brothers and with our small land holding could not help in our survival. Since I was the eldest of my brothers, I was turned in, with the hope that at least I would have a good education, and more importantly, food and better environment... which I certainly did,’’ he added.

Perhaps it was because of these feelings that he came back to Bal Niketan to celebrate many happy occasions of his life. In fact, he even got married in Bal Niketan in August 2000, and his nine-month-old son, Deven, was among a favourite of the children as well as the staff here, whenever they visited Bal Niketan.

Reminiscing about his days in Bal Niketan, Ravinder said that they were eight children in the first batch, including two girls, and all of them were taught the right values, which perhaps helped them in becoming achievers. His batch mates were all well settled in Merchant Navy, Indian Army , government jobs. One of them was working in the USA as a chef in a multi-star hotel.

Ravinder was provided financial aid by the Bal Niketan authorities to set up a computer training institute in Swastik Vihar, after he had completed his class XII, but he was later ‘forced’ by Mr J.D. Sharma, founder of Bal Niketan, to continue with his studies.

He is now a faculty member in DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, and is also pursuing his MSc in Information Technology from Manipal. He provides the inmates here with computer training in the evenings. 



PU despatches roll numbers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Panjab University has despatched roll numbers for the forthcoming annual examinations to the colleges concerned in the case of regular students and to residences of private candidates, an official press note said here today.

These roll numbers concern students of all three years of BA, BSc, BCom, BBA and BCA. The annual examinations will commence on April 2. Roll numbers have also been despatched to students placed in compartment in English (Compulsory), whose examination is scheduled for April 1.

Students who do not receive their roll numbers have been asked by the university to contact the office of the Joint Controller of Examinations on March 27 or 28. Students are required to bring copies of attested photographs as well as a letter of request for the purpose. 



PU admn to enter computer age
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The Panjab University administration has decided to go in for complete computerisation. The decision in this regard has already been cleared by the Syndicate recently. The Senate is expected to clear it.

The university will appoint a system manager of the rank of a deputy registrar to head the computer unit. Two units will be set up separately consisting of two programmes each. At the operational level, the computer unit plans to employ regular employees only. The university will transfer vacant posts here to augment the work in different departments.



PU IAS centre counselling programmes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The Centre for IAS and Other Competitive Examinations, Panjab University, will start test-oriented counselling programmes for PCS (Judicial), HCS (Judicial), HCS (Executive) and CSIR/UGC(NET) in April, according to Dr R.K. Mahajan, Coordinator of the centre.

For HCS (Executive), the two-month programme would largely focus on general studies, besides providing counselling in sociology, history, public administration, geography and political science, he added.



Fire in hostel room
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Fire broke out in room no.46 of the hostel no.3, Panjab University. The occupants of the room were not in the room when the fire broke out. A cot and some material that Kamal who assaulted Gaurav and Saurav yesterday while watching cricket World Cup final in the Law Auditorium, Panjab University, was occupying the room. The fire was noticed by two passersby who informed the night watchman and the hostel warden. The fire was put off without the help of the fire officials. The police was informed in the morning.



Geography— About Algeria

Located on the Mediterranean Sea in north-west Africa, Algeria shares its eastern borders with Tunisia and Libya. On its west lie Morocco and Western Sahara and to its south lie Mauritania, Mali and Niger.

For about a century, it was under French rule till 1962. and presently it is a republic having a bicameral legislature.

Covering an area of 2,381,741 square kilometers, it has a single major river, Cheliff, flowing through it, while its highest point, Mt. Tahat rises 2, 918 meters above sea level.

Islam (Sunni) is the principal religion with about 99 per cent of the population following it. The literacy rate is stated to be around 65 per cent.

Mostly high plateau and desert, with some mountains, Algeria’s natural resources include petroleum, natural gas, iron-ore, phosphates, lead zinc and mercury.

With arable land being just three per cent of its total area, its principal agricultural products are wheat, barley, oats, citrus fruits, olives, vegetables and livestock. As far as industrial output is concerned, Algeria produces transport equipment, textiles, iron and steel, petrochemicals, wine and fertilizers.

The country’s major trading partners include the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil and Romania. It imports food, capital and consumer goods while it exports petroleum and natural gas, refined products, nand condensates.


Official Name: Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria

Capital: Algiers

Date of Independence: July 5, 1962

Population: 31.7 million

Currency: Dinar

Official Language(s): Arabic, French and Berber

Major cities: Oran, Batna, Constantine, Setif and Annaba

Continent: Africa



Bank directed to attach HUDA’s account
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 24
The District Consumer Forum has directed to attach a bank account of Haryana Urban Development Authority at Punjab National Bank, Mani Majra branch, after HUDA failed to comply with the forum’s orders of February 19, 2002.

The directions were given to the Manager of Punjab National Bank, Mani Majra branch, directing him not to allow any transactions to HUDA authorities from the bank account number 1800 in this branch. These directions were given following an application filed by Mr S.P. Jain, against HUDA for non- compliance of the forum’s orders passed last year, for payment of Rs 1. 93 lakh as compensation for deficiency in services.

Mr Jain had approached the District Consumer Forum against the Chief Administrator HUDA and Estate Officer, Panipat, for deficiency in services. He had stated in his complaint to the forum that he had been allotted a plot in Sonepat in 1991, but was given possession of this land only in 1999, after a gap of almost eight years. He had thus sought compensation from the HUDA authorities.

However, a year after HUDA failed to give him the compensation, he had again approached the forum. 



Bail plea dismissed in betting case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 24
A bail plea moved by Rishi Goyal, allegedly involved in betting on a World Cup cricket match, was today dismissed by a local court. The bail plea moved by the suspect was dismissed by the UT Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr J.S Klar.

The UT police had arrested Rishi, Rahul Sofat, Ravi, Rajiv and Gyanesh for betting on the first World Cup match on February 9. These persons were allegedly getting inputs from punters and operating through computers, mobile phones and television from a house in Sector 38.

According to the police, the suspects were using two mobile phones to get minute-by-minute details of the match and the information was being relayed through audio speakers. Another six mobile phones were being used for betting. The clients had betted for Rs 8.50 lakh — Rs 3.25 lakh for South Africa and Rs 5.45 lakh for West Indies. The police had also seized a television, a cassette recorder, six mobile phones and electronic gadgetry being used for the purpose.

Counsel for the suspects argued that the World Cup was over and they would not be involved in the betting. Giving details they stated that there was no complainant in the case and no one was cheated by them.

Spies’ judicial remand extended: Three Pakistani spies arrested by the UT police — Abdul Wahid, Aabid Mehmood and Mohammad Arif — were on Saturday further remanded in judicial custody by the UT Judicial (First Class), Mr K.K. Goel. The police had arrested them for their alleged involvement in espionage and supplying of secret documents of Indian military installations and photographs of officials to Pakistan.

Sentenced to 15 days in jail: Jummi, booked by the police under the Excise Act on August 16, 2002, was today convicted and sentenced to 15 days in jail by a local court. The police had seized 19 pouches of country-made liquor. 


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