Tuesday, July 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mission vows to check ragging
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, July 14
Ragging will not be allowed in schools and colleges in the town and surrounding areas when the current academic session starts this year.
This was stated by Mr M.L. Jindal, president of the local unit of the Vishwa Jagriti Mission (VJM), while addressing mediapersons here today. He said ragging was still going on in educational institutions even though it had been disapproved by the Supreme Court.

He said the unit members would go to schools and colleges in the area and meet the heads of the institutions requesting them to help in the campaign against ragging which had been launched in 64 branches of the VJM in India as well as in other countries. Posters pointing out that ragging had been banned by the apex court would also be displayed in various institutions.

He said freshers who came to educational institutions, especially engineering and medical colleges, with high hopes and ambitions were often humiliated and made to go through degrading experiences by their seniors which left a permanent damaging affect on their psyche and sometimes even on their bodies. There had been cases when freshers, due to utter humiliation, even went to the extent of committing suicide.

He said as ragging was against the cultural norms and moral concepts of Indian civilisation, the founder of the VJM, Acharya Sudhanshuji Maharaj, took up the matter with heads of various educational institutions with an aim to stop the ‘evil’. When he failed to get the desired response he filed a PIL in the Supreme Court in 1998. The judgement on the case was given in 2001. The court directed that at the commencement of an academic session the institutions should constitute a proctorial committee, comprising senior faculty member, hostel authorities and a few senior students, to keep a watch over ragging and deal severely with the guilty. The punishment may even include expulsion or suspension of the student from the institution. He said that according to the guidelines of the apex court the UGC could consider stopping financial aid to institutions that failed to curb ragging.



CBSE answersheets ‘tampered’ with
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Experts at the Government Examiner of Questioned Documents, a wing of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), have established that at least 25 answersheets of the CBSE examinations, sent for verification by the Chandigarh Police, had been tampered with by the beneficiaries.

After the expose of the racket, involving tampering with answersheets of the matric and senior secondary-level examinations, the police had sent only 31 answersheets of senior secondary-level examinations to the CFSL. The answersheets pertained to papers of maths, chemistry and accountancy.

The SP (Operations), Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal, said before arriving at any decision regarding arresting the students, some more queries had been sought from the CFSL. The police had reportedly identified nearly 40 beneficiaries.

The police had arrested seven persons — Sham Singh, a peon with Haryana Country and Town Planning, Amit Sheikh, Avdesh Gupta, Jitender, Dinesh Kumar and Sri Chand, a peon with the Sector 37 Government Senior Secondary School, and his son, Rajinder Kumar.

The suspects, who are in judicial custody, were booked on charges of forgery and criminal conspiracy.

Meanwhile, the police wanted to know whether the original roll numbers which had been replaced with fictitious roll numbers were on the tampered answersheets.

“It will help us to ascertain whether the tampered answersheets were of the same students”, said a police official.



Counselling for BE, BSc courses on August 6
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Some seats in the categories of foreign nationals, NRIs, NRI-sponsored and industry-sponsored candidates are likely to be available in BE courses in the University Institute of Engineering and Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology, as well as in some teaching departments, including the Department of Laws.

Students who have already applied for admission and are eligible, but did not opt for the above-mentioned seats, can now apply on plain paper by July 24 to the chairperson, Joint Admission Committee for BE and honours school courses, and to chairpersons of respective departments for other courses.

According to a statement issued by the Dean University Instruction here today, counselling for BE and BSc courses has been fixed for August 6, and for other departments for July 28.

Some seats are also vacant in various categories in courses run by the departments of evening studies, fine arts, and language courses. Interested candidates can contact the departments concerned by July 24.



Panel to look into M. Phil students’ demand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University today constituted a committee to look into the demand of M.Phil students that the entrance test for Ph.D be abolished. The committee, to be chaired by the Dean University Instruction, will meet tomorrow.

About 15 M.Phil students today converged upon the vice chancellor’s office in the afternoon to discuss the matter with him. They had to wait for several hours, which provoked them.

They raised slogans and made their way into the corridor outside the VC’s office, following which a heavy police posse was called in by the university security officials.



Art college entrance test results out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The results of the entrance test for admission to Government College of Art, Sector 10 for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) course, has been declared. A merit list of 81 candidates in the UT pool and 64 candidates in the general pool has been drawn up. The results have also been displayed on the college premises.

Counselling for admission is scheduled to be held on July 17 and July 18. There are 36 seats available in the UT pool and 24 in the general pool for all four disciplines being offered by the college. These are painting, applied art, graphics and sculpture.



Geography: About Benin

BENIN is located in Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Nigeria and Togo. Burkina, Faso and Niger lie to its north. Earlier called Dahomey, it gained independence from France in 1960, and its name was changed to Benin in 1975.

The terrain mostly flat to undulating plain, with some hills and low mountains. Its highest point, Mont Sokbaro rises 658 meters above sea level.

Principal rivers flowing through the country are the Queme and the Niger.

The climate in Benin is tropical -- hot, humid in the south and semi-arid in the north.

Natural hazards faced by Benin include hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds, which affect northern areas from December to March.

Besides, inadequate supplies of potable water, poaching threatening its wildlife populations; deforestation; desertification are other issues facing the country.

The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade.

Growth in real output averages a stable 5 per cent, but rapid population rise offsets much of this increase.

Principal agricultural products include cotton, corn, cassava (tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts, livestock.

Textiles, food processing, chemical production and construction materials are the major industries.

Benin has trade relations with Brazil, France, US, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Netherlands, Japan, Morocco, Portugal, Cote d'Ivoire.

It exports cotton, crude oil, palm products and cocoa, while it imports foodstuffs, capital goods and petroleum products.

Benin plans to place more emphasis on tourism, facilitate the development of new food processing systems and agricultural products, and encourage new information and communication technology.

Fact File

National Name: Republique du Benin

Capital: Porto-Novo

Population: 6.6 million

Area: 112,620 sq kms

Currency: Franc CFA

Type of Government: Democratic republic

Date of independence: August, 1 1960 

Languages: French, African languages

Literacy rate: 37 per cent

Major cities: Cotonou, Parakau

Continent: Africa



Judicial remand for Labour Court clerk
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 14
Satinder Singh, alias Babu, a clerk with the UT Labour Court, who was arrested by the CBI in a corruption case involving two judicial officers, Jalandhar’s suspended District and Sessions Judge R.M. Gupta and UT Judicial Magistrate S.S. Bhardwaj, was remanded in judicial custody by a local court here today.

He was produced in the court of the UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr P.R. Sharma, who remanded him in judicial custody till July 15. Later, the CBI took him to the Burail jail and handed him over to the jail authorities.

Babu was ordered to be lodged in a separate cell in the jail so that other inmates could not interact with him.

Ranbaxy case: Acting on a complaint filed against it by the Mohali Gram Welfare Association, Ranbaxy Laboratory Limited on Monday filed a reply before the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) claiming that the complaint filed against it was not maintainable. The arguments in the case will take place on Tuesday.

2-year RI: A resident of Mani Majra, Chhota Lal, was convicted and sentenced to two-year imprisonment (the period he had already undergone imprisonment) in a case of outraging the modesty of a minor girl by a local court here on Monday.



Cyrus coming to pick roadies
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

You can be an MTV roadie

If you are 18 years of age or above, head straight for the hotel Mount View on Wednesday. All male entrants should have a geared two wheeler licence and girls have the option of riding on the pillion. The ride will take 40 days. To make life easier, MTV will allow you to jump the queue by registering at http://roadies.mtvindia.com.

Chandigarh, July 14
It’s one wild ride you could be on. MTV has got 4000 km of road to be covered and just four bikes. For giving shape to its first adventure reality show, the channel is out in the North, hunting for just seven roadies, who exhibit tremendous skills in handling crisis situations. Out of the seven roadies the channel is looking for, there will be four boys and three girls.

The chosen ones will be those who don’t hesitate a minute before taking on the long adventurous route across India — right from Chennai in the South to Chail in the North. The roadies, to be selected during auditions till July 26, will be flagged off from Chennai on August 15. An MTV spokesperson in Delhi informed The Tribune that anyone from the North is eligible to appear in the auditions to be held in Chandigarh. Auditions in Delhi will be held on July 19 and in Mumbai on July 26.

Titled MTV and Hero Honda Roadies, the adventure reality show will span 40 days which will require the participants to eat, drink, sleep and live on the road. Promising travel, adventure and blue skies, MTV team will be in Chandigarh on July 16 for auditions for the show. Anyone from the region is free to make it to the audition, which is the only chance to be at the show.

The MTV crew, along with the famous veejay Cyrus Sahukar are landing in Chandigarh tomorrow. All prospective participants will be tested for their distinctive personalities and skills that set them apart in a crowd.

They will find themselves in situations where they have to use their wit and intelligence to stay on the tough course. The selected ones will be featured on the prime music television channel, with loads of fame trailing them. MTV spokesperson informed that a full film will be shot on the participants while they move from village to village on bikes. 



Romey Gill’s album released
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, July 14
The fourth album of Romey Gill “Jogan Hogaye Ve”, was released by Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, SP, here today.
The album, which has been marketed by T series, comprises eight songs. Music has been provided by Kiss n Tell.

When asked as to why vulgarity was being encouraged in Punjabi videos, Romey Gill said music companies were to be blamed, as these wanted to attract sales.


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