Sunday, July 13, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MSc (IT) students miss job opportunity
Panjab University fails to declare results
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
About 150 students of the first batch of MSc (Information Technology), are paying the price of the delay on the part of the Panjab University authorities in declaring their results. Thanks to the non-declaration of MSc (IT) results of the colleges affiliated to PU, about 150 students of this stream today lost the opportunity of securing the job of contractual lecturers for BCA and MSc (IT) courses in various colleges across the city.

The irony of the situation is that while the posts have been advertised to fill the vacancies of BCA and MSc (IT) lecturers in colleges affiliated to PU, Panjab University’s own students were turned back from Government College, Sector 46, which was the venue of the interview. The students were declared ineligible on grounds that their results had not yet been declared. The beneficiaries of this lacuna on the part of authorities will be the students of other universities like Kurukshetra and Punjab Technical University, who were today present for interviews in large numbers.

The eligibility criteria for the post of contractual lecturers mentions that the applicant must have an MSc (Information Technology) degree from a recognised university. About 150 students in question were treated as ineligible for no fault of their’s. Most of the students and their parents were heard arguing that they should have been given some concession by the interview board that was presided over by DPI, Colleges, UT. Either the interview dates should have been rescheduled or the students could have been interviewed today and merit to them could have been accorded later on.

When The Tribune visited the place, many students of PU’s MSc (Information Technology) stream were seen standing in utter disgust after they were refrained from even appearing before the board. They were therefore not even given a chance of being heard.

Said one the students,” This is a mockery of the system. PU is not offering preference to its own students for filling the posts in its own colleges. If the results have not been declared, it is not because of us. Why should we be made to suffer? This will amount to loss of one year. God knows when the posts will be advertised again.”

Most parents were of the opinion that PU could have considered the applicants on grounds that they were not to be blamed for non-declaration of their results. Some said the interview dates could have been rescheduled. The tentative date given by PU for declaration of MSc (Information Technology) results is July 20.

The DPI Colleges could not be contacted because he was still sitting in the interview board till about 8.30 pm.

500 job aspirants in one day

There were about 500 applicants who turned up for being interviewed for the post of contractual lecturers for BCA and MSc (IT) courses in PU-affiliated colleges. Out of these, about 150 feature in PU’s first batch of MSc (IT) course. It was indeed a formidable task for the interview board to handle such a large number of candidates. The interviews for the posts of contractual lecturers for BCA and MSc (IT) courses began at about 3 pm. Till 8.30 pm, 200 candidates were yet to be interviewed.



Wife confesses to murder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Dr Swapna Singh, wife of Delhi-based Mandiv Sapra , killed him with a “surgeon’s precision” by first hitting him with a bottle of soda water and then slitting open his throat with a pair of surgical scissors. Her husband was found dead in a room of Hotel Mountview in Sector 10 last morning. Dr Swapna Singh, a dentist, wore surgical gloves to ensure that she did not leave any fingerprints. She has been charged under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.

The Chandigarh police today claimed to have solved the murder of Sapra, Executive Director of Group 4 Securities, following a confession made by his wife. She was discharged from the PGI this morning and was taken away by the police. She reportedly told the police that ever since their marriage in February 2001, they were having strained relations, as Sapra was an alcoholic.

The police say the couple often quarrelled. “A violent argument broke out between the couple after the man had had a couple of pegs of whisky. A broken bottle of soda, which the woman threw at her husband, proved fatal for the victim”, said the Deputy Superintendent of Police (Central), Mr S.C. Sagar. This was the second marriage of the couple.

A vanity bag containing blood smeared clothes of the assailant, some gold jewellery, credit cards, Rs 7000 in cash, 90 tablets of Alprax and injections of Diazepam, have been recovered by the police. After murdering Sapra, the woman called one of her relatives to the hotel in the morning to hand over the vanity bag so as to remove the evidence, said the DSP.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Sagar said the couple had left for Chandigarh at 8 am yesterday. After dropping their 12 year-old son (from the first marriage of the woman), at a school in Delhi, the couple visited Spring Fields School at Ambala and then went to JCBL factory at Lalru, on way to Chandigarh. The in-charge of the north zone of the company, Col S.S. Mann (retd), had received the couple at Ambala. The deceased had visited the places en route in connection with providing security personnel at the two places. He had also brought along some uniforms and other items to be distributed among his employees, who had been given the contract of security at a star nite scheduled to be held in Sector 17 this evening. A driver of the company, Ajit Singh, drove the couple to Chandigarh in an official car.

The DSP said the couple after reaching Chandigarh, went to meet one of their aunts in Sector 43. But the house of the aunt was found locked and the couple was guided to Hotel Mountview by Colonel Mann. Then the couple had dinner with two other aunts and an advocate relative. The deceased continued drinking and his wife objected to it. In the ensuing moments the argument turned violent. The police said a pair of scissors and broken bottle of soda had been recovered.

The police said the woman had earlier lied that she did not know anything about the murder of her husband as she had been administered an injection by a doctor after she complained of dysentery. The injury on an arm of the woman had been caused by a broken bottle of soda thrown at her by her husband, said the police. Late in the evening the woman was taken for medical examination to the PGI. She would be produced in a court tomorrow.


Panic does wife in
Tribune News Service

Was the murder planned or was Sapra drug addict?

Investigations by the police reveal that the assailant was carrying stress-busting drugs like alprex (90 tablets), diazepam (13 injections) and other medicines. Dr Swapna Singh also told the police that her husband was taking doses of insulin as he was diabetic. After allegedly killing her husband, the woman made an effort to hide the Schedule H drugs, said a police personnel. The police did not rule out the possibility of the assailant using to drugs to end the life of her husband.

Couple’s fathers are Generals

The father of Mandiv Sapra retired as a Lieut-General and the father of Swapna Singh had retired as Maj-General from the Army. Both the retired Army generals reside in Heritage City, Gurgaon. The assailant, a dental surgeon at Apollo Hospital, Delhi, had done her Masters in Dental Surgery from Amritsar Medical College.

Wife not fit to talk

The police did not allow the media to talk to Swapna Singh. The DSP, Central, Mr SC Sagar, said the woman was mentally disturbed after the incident. “She has suicidal tendencies”, said a police official. While being taken for medical examination to the PGI, her face was covered with a cloth. 

Chandigarh, July 12
Dr Swapna Singh, wife of Mandiv Sapra, the Delhi-based Executive Director of Group 4 Securitas Guarding, faltered in destroying the evidence linking her to the murder of her husband in a room of Hotel Mountview.

Within hours of killing her drunkard husband, the doctor-wife landed in police custody as she did not allow any relative to enter the room while handing over a vanity bag to one of her relatives, a few hours after the murder. A waiter who rang the door bell at about 2.30 am to deliver a cold drink was also not allowed in by the panicky wife. Mandiv Sapra was found dead in a hotel room on Friday morning.

The assistance provided by experts from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) proved valuable to the police in zeroing in on the theory of the woman killing her husband. The police would have been groping in the dark but for a missing sock from a pair. A pair of scissors with blood stains on it and a broken glass bottle of soda was enough to indicate that the murderer did not leave the room after the incident.

The missing sock from a pair, credit cards of the deceased, Rs 7,000 in cash and blood-stained clothes of the assailant had been hidden in the vanity bag which the doctor wife handed over to the wife of a Sector 10-based relative. As the police was trying to reconstruct the chain of events, the Sector 10-based relative, Mr Anand Singh Grewal, gave vital information. The assailant had called Mr Grewal at about 7.30 am and had sent her driver, Mr Ajit Singh, to pick him up. Since Mr Grewal had only met the husband of the deceased twice, he preferred to send his wife to respond to the distress call by Dr Swapna Singh. Fuelling doubts, the visitor was handed over the vanity bag outside the hotel room. The vanity bag had a numbered lock, said a police personnel.

The CFSL team did a vital job by clarifying that the injury on the arm of the assailant was not that from an injection (as earlier claimed by Dr Swapna Singh). Instead it was an injury caused by a soda bottle thrown at her by her husband. Some scratches on the chest and abdomen of the assailant showed that there had been a scuffle between the couple.

After hours of questioning, the assailant finally told the police that she had been trying to get rid of the man ever since her marriage. A few hours before the murder it was the husband who allegedly started an argument in a drunken state. When she retaliated, he threw a bottle of soda at her and she threw it back at him, thereby killing him. However, the police did not comment on the pair of scissors which had blood stains on it The woman had apparently thrown the scissors at him, said a police personnel.



Three cows die at MC pound
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 12
With the death of three cows and a calf at the Municipal Council cattle pound, questions are being raised about the decision of the council to give cattle catching into private hands. While it is being alleged that the cows died due to the contractor’s negligence, the contractor denies the allegation.

Three cows and a calf were found dead at the cattle pound this morning by municipal council employees after some shopkeepers in the neighbourhood saw a cow lying dead outside the pound on the road. While one cow was lying on the road, two cows died inside the pound and the calf ‘s body was lying in some scrap inside the pound.

Sources said the cows had died due to starvation and overcrowding in the pound and the cow outside had met even a worse death after having been left on the road following a grave injury while being taken out of the contractor’s truck.

The pound, which is actually a store shed of the council, has the capacity of housing not more than 25 cattle but on an average there are more than 40 cattle inside, says an employee of the contractor. The cattle are also not being fed properly, states an MC employee.

According to the contract signed by the MC with Mahalakshmi and Company, the contractor is to catch cattle using his own equipment, feed them and in case nobody claims these for over four days, leave these outside the township’s borders. The sources state that these cows were in the possession of the contractor for more than seven days and were not being fed properly and died due to starvation and negligence.

The contractor, on the other hand, says that stray cattle die as a result of feeding on polythene and other garbage in the township. “Sometimes the cattle choke to death and sometimes these die of some illness. I don’t know how these cows died as I have yet to visit the pound. We are having differences with the MC and have not been working for the past six days, so it is possible that the cows could have been neglected during this period. But I still have to get the details of what exactly happened,” said the contractor, Mr Upinder Chadha.

“Apart from the fact that cattle are dying allegedly of starvation in the pound, the contractor is also not able to catch most of the stray cattle in the township. Residents have been constantly complaining about it and we have to cut a sorry figure,” said an MC official. Municipal Council officials also said the contractor had been issued a show-cause notice three days ago for having failed to carry out his duties effectively.

The contractor has been using cruel ways to herd stray cattle and transport them. ‘‘What is required is a cattle catcher which the contractor does not have. The council had asked for a cattle catcher but was refused by the government on the plea that since cattle catching is the responsibility of the contractor, there is no point in buying it for the council.” said the MC official.



Designer BJP camp
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, July 12
Mr Vinay Saharsrabuddhe, Director-General of the Mumbai-based Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini, who is conducting a three-day training camp for BJP MLAs from five states, claims that such camps will go a long way in strengthening the roots of democracy. Talking to TNS here today, he said, “The camp is being held in response to the changing needs of society. Its objective is threefold — to bring about ideological clarity, create awareness about current issues like WTO and CAS, and encourage the development of skills such as public speaking, reading and writing.

“Gone are the days when an individual after getting elected to a legislative Assembly or Parliament could take it easy for the next five years. He is now under constant observation and is expected to deliver on his promises. He is also expected to adhere to certain norms in public and private life. He should know how to deal with people, redress their grievances, regulate his lifestyle, how to present himself in public, deliver interesting speeches and skillfully handle the media.”

The training camp was designed to hone those skills, he said. He recalled the anecdote related by Mr L. K. Advani, Deputy Prime Minister, during his inaugural speech yesterday: Naye naye mantri ne driver se kaha ke aaj car mein chalaunga while

Driver ne kaha agar car aap chalaaenge to mein uttar jaunga

Yeh car hai, sarkar nahi jo bhagwan ke bhorese chal jayeegi.

If an elected representative was not effective in the presentation of the grievances of people he would breed cynicism about the democratic system of governance. By training the MLAs, the training camp was strengthening the roots of democracy.

A member of the Senate of University of Mumbai, Mr Saharsrabuddhe, spent five years in the ABVP before setting up the Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini. “It is an academy and although it is inspired by the RSS school of thought, it is not funded by the RSS,” he said. It had organized training camps for the BJP in different parts of the country. “We organised a camp in February in Ahmedabad which was followed by a session at Mumbai which was attended, among others, by the Prime Minister, The camp being held at Chandigarh is the biggest so far as the BJP MLAs from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J and K and Uttaranchal are attending the camp.”



Ethanol-mixed petrol in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
A silent yet important revolution in the petroleum sector has taken place in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. Petrol in these places is now blended with ethanol — a byproduct of sugarcane. This will reduce the pollution caused by petrol engines.

Ethanol which is derived from mollasses is being mixed in petrol since July 7 and ethanol up to 10 per cent in petrol does not require any modifications in the engine. The Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Ram Naik, who was in the city today, said in India only 20 per cent of vehicles ran on petrol and the real benefits of blending ethanol would come once the research and development project to blend ethanol with diesel proved successful.

Mr Naik said the idea had been adopted from Brazil where ethanol mixing in petrol was almost 25 per cent but in Brazil 90 per cent of vehicles ran on petrol and engines had been modified to accommodate the changes.

Once this is done, it will help sugarcane farmers as mollasses go waste after crushing of cane in sugar mills. There are not enough units in this part of the country which can derive ethanol from mollasses. The oil companies now have to depend upon supplies from Uttar Pradesh.

Heavy import fee of Rs 2000 per kilo litre prevails for inter-state movement in Haryana and Chandigarh while it is Rs 600 in Punjab.

The ministry has written to the Governments of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to review the duty structure to bring down the cost of ethanol.

The Petroleum Ministry has planned to have ethanol blended petrol in nine states — Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu besides the Union Territories of Chandigarh, Dadra Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Pondicherry.

These states and UTs account for 4.6 million tonnes consumption of petrol out of the 7.6 million tonnes petrol consumption in the country.



Spread Guru’s message, RSS tells Hindus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has called upon all Hindus, especially Swayamsevaks, to participate in big way in the fourth centenary celebrations of the “parkash” of Guru Granth Sahib. They have been told to carry the holy message of Guru Granth Sahib door to door.

The celebrations are expected to start in September and culminate in September next year. At its meeting the Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal, which met at Kanyakumari, recently passed a resolution asking the Union Government to play a major role in the celebrations.



Class XI centralised admissions over
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Centralised admissions to Class XI of government schools concluded at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, here today. On the last day of admissions, meant specifically for students with clear-cut pass marks, as many as 394 students were admitted to the humanities and the vocational stream.

While 79 students were admitted to the vocational stream, 315 opted for the humanities. With these admissions, the total number of seats filled has gone up to 6,521. Counselling for the remaining seats will begin from July 14 and admissions will be opened to students under the compartment category as well. The UT Education Department has introduced counselling for compartment cases along with the regular admissions for the first time.

With admissions practically over and seats exhausted in top schools in all the streams, the trend, this year, too, was in favour of the sciences, with seats filled in the first four days alone. While there was no rush at the venue today, there was tremendous response from the public on all other days. The cut-off percentages in science and commerce this year were much higher than the cut-offs last year.

Interestingly, despite a reservation of 20 per cent seats for girl students in the two vocational courses of automobile repair and air-conditioner and refrigerator in government schools at the plus two level, these courses failed to attract any girl students.

Sources in the department said since no girls had sought admission to the courses despite the incentive, the seats stood cancelled and would not be converted to seats in the open category. An official of the Education Department said since these seats had been created over and above the existing number of seats only for girls, there was absolutely no question of opening these to boys.



Need to ‘check’ female foeticide
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, July 12
The Centre for Adult Continuing Education and Extension, Panjab University, organised World Population Day at Government Senior Secondary School in Dhanas here yesterday. More than a 100 students and teachers from the school, social workers from the community, ‘preraks’ and nodal ‘preraks’ from the Adult Education Department of the Chandigarh Administration participated in the programme.

Dr Kiran Preet Kaur, Reader from the Sociology Department, PU, said there was an urgent need to check female foeticide in Punjab as the female ratio in Punjab remained poor throughout the last century.

Mr Surinder Yadav from the Department of Botany, PU, said population explosion had been the greatest single cause of environmental degradation and there was a need to check the high rate of population growth which would add to the problem of environment management.

Ms Renu Gandhi, Senior Project Officer from the department, said a check on population would add to the quality of life of the masses.

The programme concluded with the formation of a human chain to educate the local community about the population issues.

Meanwhile, about 100 students, holding placards, went around Sarangpur village here yesterday for spreading the message of population control. They were participating in a rally organised on World Population Day. A number of other functions were also held in the city.

The rally started from Government High School at Sarangpur village and covered the entire village. Members of the Rotary Club, besides the Adult Education Centre along with teachers and students of Dev Samaj College in Sector 36 participated in the rally. Almost 30 women from the village also took part in the rally.


Simplify tax laws: SC Judge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Justice Ashok Bhan of the Supreme Court has stressed upon the need of simplification of tax laws. He said that if the laws were simplified, more revenue could be generated for the country.

He was addressing tax practitioners after inaugurating a two-day seminar on Building the Nation-Role of Tax Professionals, organised by the All-India Federation of Tax Practitioners (North Zone), in association with the Department of Laws, the Haryana Sales Tax Bar Association, and the Punjab State Sales Tax Bar Association, here today. Justice B.K. Roy, Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, was the chief guest on the occasion.

He said if a citizen gives the taxes according to the law, it would give him status and respectability in the society.

The role of tax professionals in ensuring that taxes were duly paid towards the state was important in the present era of complicated enactments, he added.

Justice Bhan said the tax professionals worked in a dual capacity, one for getting the state more revenue and the other for saving the tax for his client by legitimate means. Tax planning should not be confused with tax avoidance, he added.

During the technical sessions of the seminar, speakers deliberated upon the issues of VAT, export, income tax, and revision and reassessment of service tax. The sessions were attended by advocates and CAs from various parts of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and other parts of the country.



Increase productivity of water’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The people’s participation in the management of water resources need to be encouraged at all levels for agricultural development. This was stated by Mr Rajendra Singh, a Magsaysay award winner, while delivering a lecture on “water resource management” at a seminar organised by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST) in collaboration with Kheti Virasat, an NGO, here on Wednesday.

“We need to work hard to increase the productivity of water through improved management, efficient conservation and the management of water resources”, he said. He stressed upon the need to improve the technology for groundwater management and integrated watershed management.

He said rain was the primary source of water and needed to be conserved and used judiciously. Upper catchment and foothill regions of several states provided the greatest scope for rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge because of favourable hydrological formations and surplus run-off, he added.

Highlighting his experiences about the revival of the Arvari rivulet by construction of check dams that had helped in storage of rainwater, Mr Rajendra Singh said under his mobilisation the Tarun Bharat Sangh had facilitated the building of 2,500 ponds and check dams in 650 villages in Alwar, Jaipur, Dausa, Karoli, Sawai Madhopur, Udaipur and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.

He also explained the role of public participation in the management of water resources by giving examples of how local men and women had contributed in the design and construction of check dams by contributing their labour in the form of shramdan.

He asked the people to follow groundwater recharging measures in order to prevent depleting water resources.

He said there was a need of better interaction and coordination among landless and landlords for development of local level resources.

Earlier, in his keynote address, Mr N.S. Tiwana, Executive Director, PSCST, explained about the problems of water sector like rise and fall of water table, water logging, soil salinity and the degradation of water quality of water resources in Punjab.

Expressing his concern over the declining water table in the state, he said the water table was declining in 77 per cent area of the state where groundwater was fresh and had been exploited for agricultural use. “In the remaining 23 per cent of the area, the water table is rising due to limited withdrawal of groundwater because of brackish and saline quality”, he added.

Mr Umendra Dutt, Director, Kheti Virasat delivered a talk on the revival of traditional ponds in Punjab. He also highlighted the programme being taken up the NGO in various districts of Punjab to make the people aware of problems arising due to changes in the water table.

Mr PS Bhogal, an Executive Engineer in the irrigation department of Punjab, stressed upon the need for enactment of a special Act to fix the responsibility of public on effective and conscious use of water.



Jasdev Singh’s tips on broadcasting
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 12
“Break ke baad” — you must have heard television anchors recklessly using the expression in the middle of your favourite programme, even news. The interruption may even have irritated you. It bothers Padma Shri Jasdev Singh also. But for a different reason. The renowned broadcaster is dead against blending Hindi with English.

Coming down heavily on news anchors for doing so, he today asserted that language should not be adulterated. A former Deputy Director-General of the All-India Radio, he was in city for the inauguration of Take One Academy of Broadcasting in Sector 33.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune at a Sector 22 hotel this morning, he insisted that a majority of people did not appreciate Hindi peppered with English. As such, an attempt should be made to converse in unadulterated language, he stated. Otherwise, he said, “Language was not required for commentary” and it was not essential for a commentator to have a “good voice”. The voice should simply be suitable to the microphone, he revealed.

Giving details, the commentator added, “It was important for a commentator to modulate and culture his voice”. As far as precautions were concerned, he said, “There is no need for the commentators to worry. They can eat whatever they want to”.

Regarding the art of commentary, Mr Jasdev Singh said, “Knowledge is essential. Without adequate knowledge about current events and developments, you can never be a good commentator”.

This was not all. “Homework was absolutely essential, no doubt about it. In fact, the commentators should maintain a file and refer to it before commenting on an issue. Moreover, the broadcasters should lay stress on proper pauses and the pronunciation should be correct,” he said.

He added that a commentator, after having his facts straight, should take the listener to the spot, instead of just telling them the news. “The broadcaster should try to create the picture in front of the listener’s eye,” he said.

Known for his commentary during the Olympics, Mr Jasdev Singh wanted to become a commentator ever since he was a youngster. In fact, he was encouraged to become a commentator by the description of Mahatama Gandhi’s funeral procession. Melwille Demello was his inspiration. He added that Ravi Shastri and Harsh Bhogle, besides Sunil Gavaskar and Navjot Sidhu, were good cricket commentators. Later during the day, he interacted with young aspirants. He talked about broadcasting, the importance of script and the art of adding zing to the programme.



250 telephones out of order
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 12
Residents of Sector 70, here, are up in arms over 250 telephones in the sector being out of order for days now. Although the residents are complaining that no action has been taken despite numerous complaints to the authorities, BSNL officials say that repair work is going on and the telephones will become operational by tomorrow.

Stating that telephone lines had been cut by other agencies, Mr T.R. Sarangal, GM, BSNL, Mohali circle, said it was a major problem and would take some time before all phones become functional.

The residents complain that their telephones remain out of order many times in a month and the repair too takes a long time.

“We have met the SDO personally and talked to the GM, but no one seems to be bothered,” said Mr Ahuja, a resident of Sector 70.



2-year-old child dies in mishap
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 12
It was to attend the wedding of her aunt at Chamba in Himachal Pradesh that two-year-old Arzoo left home with her mother early this morning. However, fate willed otherwise as it was her body which was brought back home after the car in which they were travelling collided with a bus on the Chandigarh-Hoshiarpur highway. Resident of house number- 3149, in Sector 21-D, Mrs Alpana Jolly, had left for Chamba to attend her sister’s wedding, scheduled for July 21. Her husband is a businessman.

While Arzoo died on way to Hoshiarpur Civil Hospital, Alpana is lying unconscious at the PGI emergency here. The driver of the car, Mr Y. Singh, a resident of Sector 32, died on the spot.

“It was at 6 am that my ‘bhabhi’ and niece left home with the driver, and within a few hours we received a call that they had met with an accident near Hoshiarpur,” informed Mr Pankaj Jolly, Alpana’s brother-in-law. He said it was in the evening that Arzoo was cremated, though Alpana had not been told about her demise.

The entire Jolly family were to join Alpana and Arzoo at Chamba for the wedding. Alpana is still lying unconscious at the PGI with serious head injury and a fracture in the leg.


Guru Poornima celebrations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Shri Anant Vibhushit Balyogi will perform the bhog ceremony of Ram Katha tomorrow on the occasion of Guru Poornima at the Sanatan Dharam Sabha Mandir, Sector 32. After the bhog ceremony, the disciples will perform Guru Poojan. Langar will be served at 1 p.m.



Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 12
Mr Jai Singh Dalal has been elected president and Mr Rajinder Chauhan general secretary of the Haryana Irrigation Clerical Association during the general body meeting of the association.



Platform: Save water

WATER is essential for life. Rain and snow are the primary sources of fresh water. There is an acute shortage of drinking water on the Earth because the population is growing at a fast rate and shrinking water reserves at the disposal of mankind. Water pollution plagues whatever water reserves are available. Today, untreated water is unsafe for drinking due to water pollution.

We have to take two major steps to overcome the problem. Firstly, we must avoid the misuse of drinking water and, then, avoid its pollution. Drinking water is misused everyday both in the morning and evening while watering plants, washing corridors, washing clothes and bathing.

Until all people understand the importance of water, saving water will remain a dream. So, wake up before it is too late.

Amrita Saini, Class V, Blue Bird Model, High School



Youth dies of snake bite
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 12
A 20-year-old Nepali youth, Prem, employed at a poultry farm at Dabkauri village, near Barwala, died of snake bite this afternoon.

It is learnt that the victim had come to the farm last night and was sleeping with a colleague, Dinesh, on a cemented platform. Early in the morning, he complained of pain in his ear and told Dinesh that he suspected that he had been bitten by an insect.

Slowly, his body started turning blue and he felt unconscious. He was rushed to a local doctor, who after administrating first aid, referred him to the General Hospital. The victim died on the way to the hospital.

FOUND DEAD: An unknown 60-year-old man was found dead under mysterious circumstances on the Mandir road in Saketri this evening.

INJURED: A 28-year-old defence personnel, Dalbir Singh, received head injuries when he was hit by an unknown vehicle near the bus stop at Mankya village this morning. He was rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6, from where he was shifted to the Command Hospital, Chandimandir.

PEDDLER HELD: Bimla, alias Gujri, was arrested by a special team of the Sector 39 police station and 65 gm of smack seized from her here today. A resident of Dadu Majra Colony, she had brought the drug, valued at Rs 6.50 lakh, to the city for retail sale and the police was interrogating her.



Indo-US body opens chapter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The city took another step forward towards its growth as a major destination for investment. A body comprising Indian and American entrepreneurs opened a local chapter here today. The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, formally launched the Chandigarh Chapter of Indus at a function organised at the CII, here. The words ‘Indus’ stands for Indo-US.

Justice Verma said entrepreneurs would have to keep pace with modern technology to survive in the open market. Verma said Punjabis also known for their entrepreneurial qualities had made a mark for themselves in every corner of the world by setting up successful entreprises. He said industrial growth of Punjab, which stagnated during the militancy period would accelerate after the introduction of reforms.

The Administrator said Chandigarh was the hub of North India and a national magazine has ranked Chandigarh as the best city in India to live in. Another survey has placed Chandigarh as number one in respect of human development index and per-capita income. The power and telecom infrastructure here is far superior to most other Indian cities. It is now a wired city with an optical fibre network. The availability of bandwidth is as per the requirement of the IT industry. The IT enabled services (ITES) industry has recognised Chandigarh as the place with the maximum potential in terms of human resources availability. Software exports from Chandigarh are likely to touch Rs 100 crore this year. Nine new IT companies, six of them from the USA and one from the UK, have recently occupied space in the IT incubation facility.

Justice Verma hoped that with the opening of the chapter in the city, the networking amongst entrepreneurs of the USA in India would further improve. He said the very fact that Chandigarh has been chosen for the establishment of latest chapter is recognition of the growing importance of Chandigarh as a technology destination.



Prospects of chip design industry in city
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The integrated circuit (IC), particularly the very large-scale integration (VLSI) chip design industry, can grow into a multi-million dollar market in Chandigarh and the surrounding areas. However, at present, it is plagued by dearth of foreign investment due to lack of interest shown by the governments and local industrialists.

The simple reason for its growth can be seen in terms of savvy miniaturisation of electronics as chips and processors are now used in almost everything — from aerospace to computers, complex electronic gadgets to every appliances, mobile phones and so on.

Prof A.B. Bhattacharya, one among the founders of microelectronics in the country, was in the city today. He presented a technical paper on “Career in VLSI design” at a function organised exclusively for the engineering graduates by Semiconductor Complex Ltd. (SCL) at its corporate office in SAS Nagar.

Mr Bhattacharya is a former Head of the Department of Applied Electronics at IIT, New Delhi. He also served as Director, Electronics Department in Goa University. He inducted as a member into the “Indo-US Committee on Micro-Electronics” by the then Prime Minister, late Rajiv Gandhi. At present, he is a Professor Emeritus at Jaypee Institute of Information Technology and also works as a Consultant for SCL.

In an exclusive interview to The Tribune Mr Bhattacharya hoped that Chandigarh and its adjoining areas could emerge as a major player in chip designing.

* How can you say Chandigarh has the potential of becoming a hub of chip designing industry?

Chandigarh has modern facilities of communication, education, healthcare etc. It has one of the best engineering colleges in the country, besides, a university. Patiala, in its neighbourhood has the potential of producing experts in chip designing. The city has pollution-free environment that suits to the software/chip design industry.

* But still the city has not been able to exploit the opportunities in this field as compared to Bangalore and Hyderabad. What are the reasons behind this?

The governments of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have shown keen interest in this field by providing them good incentives at the right time. Punjab and Chandigarh both have failed to grab the opportunity due to “bureaucratic style” of functioning of the government and administration. The procedural formalities of getting any industrial project sanctioned are very complicated in Punjab and Chandigarh. Therefore, the dream of developing a software technology park at SAS Nagar and information Technology Park at Chandigarh has so far not come true.

*Is there a shortage of engineers having chip design skills in the country? If so, what is the reason behind this?

Yes, it is true that there is an acute shortage of chip designing engineers in the country but at the same time it is a fact that this shortage is worldwide at the higher level of experts. The problem is not at the lower level of experts. We do not have even good teachers to train engineers of the high academic level. Apart from 5 IIT’s there are only 19 other engineering colleges that train engineers for chip designing. We have only 10 per cent of the total requirement of chip designers at the higher level in India. Research in this field has not come up at par with the western nations.

* Why the research work in this field has not come up to the mark?

Practically, the mindset of Indians — both the government and industrialists has not developed to become technological leaders. The mentality of our industrialists is just market-oriented and revolves around only marketing their products for gains. They do not think in terms of developing their own technology. Neither the government nor the industrialists have so far provided adequate financial aid for research work at higher level. The industries should come forward for investment in research work to improve the technology; otherwise, it will be hard to survive in the world of economic liberalisation.

* What is the scope of the chip industry in India as compared to China, Taiwan and Singapore?

The chip industries of Taiwan and Singapore are very focused in their field of work. But they are indulged only in manufacturing part. On the other hand, the Indian industries have restricted themselves to just chip designing. As far as China is concerned, it has progressed much more with its indigenous technology. India has so far been able to set up only 10 to 12 chip designing industries.

* Do you think that the present policies of the Centre and state governments are favourable for the growth of the chip designing industry?

No. The governments need to change their mindset to attract foreign investments. They have to provide incentives on a par with other nations.


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