C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Scientists called upon to create new paradigm
Courage needed to apply correctives, says Joshi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, Union Minister for Human Resource and Development, Science and Technology, today called upon the Indian scientists to provide a balanced approach, a harmonisation of the differences by presenting the “holistic” view in which life and its problems were understood in their totality.

“Solutions emerge for creating cooperation and not the one infested with conflicts”, he observed while delivering a special lecture at the 91st session of the Indian Science Congress which opened on the Panjab University campus here.

Dr Joshi was of the view that if science and technology had to play their central role in removing various dichotomies, the present approach to universe would have to be changed. The type of society which the present approach had created was demanding changes in the world view hitherto accepted by scientists. A new paradigm was required to create an egalitarian and progressive society.

“Can science take the courage and apply correctives? If the Earth with all its civilisation had to survive, the imbalances have to be removed. Let us remember that a divided humanity with widening disparities poses greater danger to the stability, peace and even survival of the civilisation. Science has been transforming the society but now society imperatives demand a change in the world view of science. It would be in the interest of both science and society to revisit the fundamentals of the world view and apply necessary correctives. Today it is possible, tomorrow it might be too late. Perhaps India can contribute in this direction”.

Dr Joshi said the prevailing tendency in science is to think and perceive in fragmentary terms was a part of a larger movement that had been developing over the ages and which had pervaded our society today. But, in turn, such an attitude in scientific research tended to reinforce the general fragmentary approach because it gave men a picture of the world as constituted of nothing but an aggregate of separately existent ‘atomic building blocks’.

“However, men who were guided by such a fragmentary self-world view could not but try to break themselves and the world into pieces, corresponding to their general mode of thinking. “Since, in the first instance, fragmentation is an attempt to extend the analysis of the world into separate parts, it is in effect an attempt to divide what is really indivisible. In the next step, such an attempt will lead us also to try to unite what is not really unitable. This can be seen especially in terms of grouping of people in society (political, economic, religious,).

“The very act of forming such a group tends to create a sense of division and separation of the members from the rest of the world, but because the members are really connected with the whole, this cannot work.

“Each member, in fact, has a somewhat different connection, and sooner or later this shows itself as a difference between him and other members of the group. Whenever men separate themselves from the whole of society and attempt to unite by identification within a group, it is clear that the group must eventually develop internal strife, which leads to a breakdown of its unity.

“Likewise, when men try to separate some aspect of nature in their practical, technical work, a similar state of contradiction and disunity will develop. The same sort of thing will happen to the individual when he tries to separate himself from society. True unity in the individual and between man and nature, as well as between man and man, can arise only in a form of action that does not attempt to fragment the whole of reality”.


Impressive display of innovative exhibits
Tribune News Service

Delegates brave the morning chill to reach the venue of the Indian Science Congress on the Panjab University campus
Delegates brave the morning chill to reach the venue of the Indian Science Congress on the Panjab University campus.

Lunch hour rush at the food village
Lunch hour rush at the food village. — Tribune photographs

Chandigarh, January 3
Innovative exhibits displaying the fruit of an inquisitive laboratory journey of children in various arena of science and technology are the hallmark of the exhibition ‘Science for schoolchildren’ as a part of the ongoing Science Congress at the Institute of Microbial Technology.

Nearly 50 stalls, including schools from all over the country and government departments, were put up on the inaugural day today.

The host, IMTECH, has dedicated a corner exclusively to the memory of Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian woman astronaut and Louis Pasteur, the brain behind the development of anti-rabies vaccine. The photographs displayed at the stall dedicated to Kalpana have been contributed by Ms Anjali Chawla, her sister-in-law, the NASA and the ISRO. The pictures of Pasteur have been contributed by the local chapter of the Alliance Francaise.

The Kalpana Chawla stall also bears information regarding the country’s first exclusive meteorological satellite being named after her. The first satellite, Kalpana-I, is a precursor to future INSAT system for meteorological observation. It carries “Very High Resolution Radiometer” capable of imaging earth in the visible, thermal infra-red and water vapour bonds.

MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, Sikkim, displays the local food of Sikkim, its nutritive value and related concerns, which has been exclusively worked upon by Rinkila. Siddarth has worked out a project on the nutrition chart. The stall of SC Jain Senior Model School, Ambala, has put up an exhibition on ‘critical study of food habits of adolescents of middle and upper middle class in Ambala”.

The corner of the Environmental Society of India has a wide range of exhibits and literature in a whole range of subjects concerned with the environmental issues. The BK Model High School, Belgaun(Karnatka) has put up a stall highlighting” innovative experience in physics using toy lasers”.

St George College, Agra, has put up on display a project report on medical use of cow dung. A rain harvesting model has also been put up. Bhartiya Vidya Peeth and St Anthony Junior College, Agra, have worked upon setting up a display showing global warming and its effects. The exhibit of the local Carmel Convent School is on assessment of “whether pregnant women were being catered as per the dietary recommendations of the ICMR”. St John’s School has attempted a study on ‘Nutra-Ceuticals”. It studies the inherent qualities and value available in daily food items, including ginger, soya, garlic and brahmi, to name a few.

Also on display are exhibits by Shantiniketan Indian School, (Doha) (Qatar), Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37, St Xavier School, Bathinda, NCERT, Him Sikha High School, Pathankot, Silver Bells Senior Secondary School, Hamirpur and SS High School, Dumka (Jharkand).

Dr Manju Sharma, a secretary in the Department of Biotechnology, delivers the inaugural address at the Science for Children function. Dr Amit Ghosh, Director of the IMTECH, and Prof H.V.Mohan, Chairman of the organising committee, also spoke on the occasion.


Exploring new dimensions of chemistry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
Research in chemistry has come to a stage where scientists can make anything. One common joke doing the rounds of the scientific world these days is that chemists can even synthesise a camel in the laboratories. There is a lot of content behind the remark.

This was said by Prof C.N.R. Rao, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Research in a special lecture on “New Dimensions of Chemical Science” in the evening session on the inaugural day of the Science Congress here today.

Professor Rao said chemistry had changed significantly over the centuries, however, the pace in the 20th century has been unimaginably fast. There has always been a tendency to relate chemistry labs to smell of soot and obnoxious gases. The image was undergoing a change now with the increase in the fields of its application. For a simple man it is important to understand that chemistry started as soon as the Big Bang. It forms the base of the entire human life.

Chemistry is an ever growing science. Certain figures which have been the guiding forces in its development include Dalton, Michael Faraday and Rontgen, besides others.

In 1 AD, humans were aware about the existence of seven elements, about 10 in 16 AD and 114 in the 20th century. The numbers reflect the emerging changes in the world of chemistry. Chemistry in relation to biology and advanced matters are few of the current subjects in the field.

Professor Rao has over 1,000 research publications to his credit and has authored 36 books. Associated with several frontal areas of research he has been conferred with over a dozen honorary doctorate degrees by universities in India and abroad.

Professor Rao has been a winner of several awards, including Dr C.V.Raman, Bhatnagar and Meghnad Saha award. He is also a recipient of the Padma Vibhushan award.

The talk was presided over by Dr R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.


Vice-Chancellor raises pension demand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
The issue of pension for teachers, a long-pending demand of the teaching fraternity of Panjab University, came into limelight here today when the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, raised the matter at the inaugural session of the Science Congress in the presence of the HRD Minister, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, and the Higher Education Minister of Punjab, Mr Harman Das Johar.

Prof Pathak highlighted that fact that Panjab University was the only university in the region and the country to be deprived of the pension scheme. He underlined his worry that in the absence of social security, the best brains would be drawn to other universities.

In an attempt to wash his hands off the matter, Mr Johar said that the Central government should consider the demand of the university sympathetically and implement the pension scheme.

However, Dr Joshi, chose not to take it lying down, and, during his speech, took the opportunity to direct the Higher Education Minister to make funds available to the university.

“You should make funds available for the pension scheme to be able to retain the best minds and attract intelligentsia,” he stated during the course of his speech.

It may be recalled that an emotional Mr Johar had, at the last meeting of the PU Senate, stated that the Punjab Government was willing to fund higher education if the UT Administration was reluctantly paying the grant money to the colleges.


A tribute to pioneers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
The first thing that strikes a visitor at the grand exhibition of the Science Congress on the Panjab University lawns, opposite Student Centre, is the central space dedicated to pay homage to Mr J.R.D.Tata and Homi J. Bhabha, the two leading lights who are the faces behind the science revolution in the country.

The neatly laid out interiors of the venue on the opening day appeared impressive with exhibits from diverse fields in science and from all parts of the country. Few of the important exhibition stalls included the Punjab State Council of Science and Technology, Department of Haryana Science and Technology, Department of Atomic Energy, The UT Administration (mainly projecting developments at the Information Technology Park and proposed Biotechnology Park), Indian Airlines and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing.

The visage of JRD Tata(1904-1993) towers benevolently upon visitors as one enters the main ‘pandal’. Huge posters depicting life of Tata have been displayed. “ He touched power… But he remained untouched by it”, “ he stretched out his arms and built not just organisations, but, institutions’ and “JRD Tata launched civil aviation in India in 1932”, are only a few of the captions accompanying the pictures.

The pictures in the adjoining hall are dedicated to Dr Homi Bhabha, a physicist credited with development of science in its modern form in India. This “gentlemanly, aristocratic and international in outlook” personality stood towering above his contemporaries as depicted in the written chronology of events in his life which accompanied the photographs.

The stall of the Punjab State Council of Science and Technology has on display photographs exhibiting development in a whole range of fields associated with the world of science. A few of them include energy efficient brick kilns with integrated air pollution control measures, environmental protection and cost effective technologies for controlling air pollution in rice shellers, besides others.

The stall of the UT Administration has laid special emphasis on portraying its efforts in development of biotechnology. “The vision of the Chandigarh Administration is to give an impetus to the economy and human resources by realising the potential of biotechnology. The goal is to spread awareness among people about its benefits”, a note read.

Another note said “Chandigarh is progressing towards becoming the leading technology city of the North and is attracting a large number of leading companies for setting IT projects. The pollution-free environment and excellent social infrastructure give the city an edge over others”.

The stall of the Gujarat Council of Science and Technology specially underlines the development of science city adjoining Ahmedabad. It also highlights financial support for organising science functions, young scientists fellowships, celebration of science and technology days and details about other schemes.



Foreign delegates discuss a point at the Indian Science Congress
Foreign delegates discuss a point at the Indian Science Congress. — A Tribune photograph

The absence of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the inaugural session of the Indian Science Congress (ISC) robbed the function of its charm.

The chief guest, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, did full justice to the speech of the Prime Minister by reading it out and conveying to the delegates that the Prime Minister would try to seek expansion of regional cooperation in science and technology for mutual benefit while in Islamabad for the SAARC summit.


Bedecked with flowers, the main hall had two giant screens. The theme of the 91st session of the ISC “Science and Society in the 21st Century — Quest for excellence” was written in white on a blue-black background showing the universe.


The Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh, failed to keep his date with the delegates of the ISC while his counterpart from Haryana, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, kept the HRD Minister, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, engaged in conversation. One of the many speakers at the inaugural session, the Chief Minister disappointed the organisers by not showing up.


The dais, specially distanced from the public with the Prime Minister in mind, was shared by 12 dignitaries which included the Governors of Punjab and Haryana, the Chief Minister of Haryana, the Higher Education Minister of Punjab, Mr Harman Das Johar, the Vice-Chancellor of PU, Prof KN Pathak, the Director IMTECH, Mr Amit Ghosh, and other office-bearers of the Indian Science Congress Association besides the chief guest. The scientists awarded at the function were seated behind them.


In the many speeches that marked the inauguration, the emphasis was on the challenges before the scientists. Stressing on the effective application of science and technology, the scientists were exhorted to find solutions to water scarcity, treatment of infectious diseases and agriculture, besides addressing the hunger problem using biotechnology.


Chaos and confusion prevailed at the registration office where delegates continued to register themselves for the ISC. Harassed delegates complained that they had no clue about their stay and there was nobody to attend to them after registration. The organisers, on the other hand, rued that delegates were arriving without any prior information and posing a problem for them.


Chaotic scenes were witnessed in the food village during lunch hour with delegates making a beeline for the huge hangar as soon as there was a break in the afternoon. Long queues were seen for plates, salads, food and water.


The Punjab Higher Education Minister, Mr Harnam Das Johar, it seems, came unprepared to speak on science and its relevance to society. Instead, he took the opportunity to highlight the need for social security for teachers and repeatedly praised the Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University. He put forth the demand of giving the Chancellorship of the PU to the Governor of Punjab.

He mentioned that the Vice-President of India, the Chancellor of PU, was pressed for time and had bigger things to deal with, which left little scope of dealing with the matters of the university.


While the sun brought a smile on the faces of the delegates, numbed by yesterday’s cold, by evening the chill was back and so were the mufflers and monkey caps. In the hall, monkey caps and mufflers seemed more of a uniform as delegates sat through various sessions.


The session was compered by Doordarshan’s English newsreader Sukanya. The programme began with an invocation by Ms Ratnika Tewari, a lecturer at the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, and ended with the National Anthem. TNS


12-year-old boy remains untraced
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 3
In the first major crime of the city in the new year, a 12-year -old boy, Manik is reported to have been kidnapped from near his house in Sector 37. Till the time reports last came in, the family had not received any demand of ransom. The alleged kidnapping took place on the evening of January 1.

Initially the family members were under the impression that Manik had gone missing but the following afternoon, Manik made a telephone call to his maternal uncle at Bathinda, informing that he was in Delhi. He is learnt to have told his aunt that those people who had kidnapped him had asked him to make the call but he did not disclose his location or identify the kidnappers.

The police said what intrigued them was the fact that despite knowing the telephone number of his parents, Manik chose to call up his maternal uncle at Bathinda.

Manik is a class V student at J.B.N Bal Niketan School, Sector 37. He was to take part in the school’s annual function today.

The family members do not suspect anybody in particular to be the involved in incident. They dismissed any chance of his running away from home. The police has registered a case of kidnapping but refused to divulge its course of investigations. The crime branch of the police has also been called in to investigate the case.

“We feel there is no reason why Manik would have left home on his own, as living in a joint family he was very happy and close to his mother and cousins,” said one of the neighbours. “I do not have enmity with anyone but the only apprehension I have is that a lot of vehicles and people who are into drugs hang around in the market, close to our house,” said Mr Rakesh Jain, Manik’s father.

According to the parents of Manik, at 4.15 p.m. yesterday, he had called up his maternal uncle at Bathinda. The phone was picked up by his aunt. His uncle was in Chandigarh when Manik had called up. He told her that he was in Delhi and wanted to speak to his uncle. ‘‘He was stammering and when his aunt asked him for a telephone number where his uncle could return the call, the phone went dead’’, informed Mr Jain. He told his aunt that his kidnappers had asked him to make the call.

Mr Jain owns a tent house in Sector 24 here and is living in a joint family with his three brothers and their families.

‘‘Manik was sent to the nearby mini-market to exchange a packet of soup flavour by his paternal aunt. When he did not return home for more than 15 minutes, I went to the shop in his search’’, informed Manik’s mother Ms Shiksha Jain. She was reportedly told by the shopkeeper (to whom Manik had gone to exchange the packet) that Manik had come to his shop but had soon left the shop.


Man attempting rape ‘bobittised’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 3
In a brutal incident, a resident of the Rajiv Colony, Ram Chander, attempting rape was “bobittised” by a married woman neighbour in the wee hours of today.

Ram Chander tried to rape Sudha Devi, also a resident of Rajiv Colony, as her husband was away to his work place in Dera Bassi. Ram Chander, who forced his way to the lady’s house, threatened to kill her if she raised an alarm.

“I had opened the door in the belief that my husband had arrived. As I opened the door, Ram Chander pushed me to the ground and tried to outrage my modesty”, Sudha told The Tribune at Sector 16 police post here. As he tried to take off my clothes, I attacked him with a knife kept for chopping vegetables in the “stomach”, she added holding her two-month-old daughter, Pratibha, in her lap.

Her son Parduman, a witness to the crime, said he and his two other sisters — Puja and Raksha — watched helplessly as Ram Chander repeatedly pushed his mother to the ground. “When my mother failed to protect herself, she picked up the knife and slit his private parts”, he said. After the incident the terrified woman raised the alarm and went to the house of Ram Rattan, a brother of the accused.

From Ram Rattan’s house, the police was informed. Police sources said Ram Chander was taken to the local General Hospital in a serious condition from where he was referred to the PGI.

Later in the day, he was operated upon at the PGI and his private parts were “reconstructed” through plastic surgery, the doctor attending to him said.

His condition is stable and the blood circulation in the genitals had started and he would be kept under observation for the next 72 hours, the doctors said.

However, he is still under trauma, they added.

Later, in the morning Sudha was take to the Sector 16 police post for questioning. Meanwhile, the police has booked Ram Chander for attempt to rape.

Her husband, Mr Kirpa Ram Singh, said that he had stayed back in his factory as a machine had developed some technical snag. He informed that he had a quarrel with the accused and other residents of the colony in July 2001, and a police complaint was lodged against them.


MC moots cancellation of sanitation contract
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 3
The Mohali Municipal Council has, once again, proposed to cancel the sanitation contract in the township. The proposal will come up for discussion at the next meeting of the council scheduled for January 6.

Council members will also finalise the MC's plan of action regarding stray cattle, to be submitted before the Punjab and Haryana High Court on January 28, 2004.

This is the second time that the proposal for the cancellation of the sanitation contract is coming up for discussion at the council's meeting. The proposal had been discussed earlier during a meeting held in October, 2003 and members had granted a three month extension valid till January 18, 2004, to the contractor after issuing a warning to him to improve his working.

However, following a surprise check by the SDM Mohali on the instructions of the Deputy Commissioner Ropar, it was discovered that the contractor had not employed a requisite number of workers for cleaning and garbage collection. Notices were also issued to the contractor but little improvement in his work was noticed.

The council has also in the past six months slashed over Rs 5.5 lakh from the contractor's bills for not performing well.

In a major changeover from the earlier system of sanitation and garbage disposal in Mohali, the council had since July, 2003 given a single contract of sanitation work unlike the earlier system when Mohali was divided into zones and each zone had a separate contractor to do the work.

During the last meeting on the issue, the Executive Officer of the Municipal Council had strongly recommended that the sanitation contractor had not been preforming his duties properly and his contract should be cancelled forthwith. But when put on the table for voting, a majority of the councillors voted in favour of giving a three-month extension to the sanitation contractor.

Another item on the agenda is the submission of the plan of action for catching stray cattle in Mohali before the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The council and the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) have, for over two years now, locked horns over the cost of the land of a cattle pound.

A two acre piece of land had been identified by PUDA to be sold to the MC but no decision could be taken about its price. While PUDA had demanded a sum of Rs 30 lakh for the land, MC had shown its inability to pay a huge amount for the land.

However, sources pointed out that following the failure of the MC's experiment to privatise cattle catching, this work was being carried out at a small scale by the council in the township.

‘‘The MC is simply using the cattle pound land issue as an excuse. Even the existing cattle pound is not being put to use,’’pointed out a council member.


Nagar panchayat seeks shifting of ST centre
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, January 3
Keeping in view the inconvenience being faced by road users and increasing number of accidents, which claim precious lives, the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat has asked the authorities concerned to shift the Sales Tax Collection Centre in Lohgarh village to some other place.

The civic body has also passed a resolution offering private contractors to construct rain-queue shelters within the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat limits and operate them on their own. The rain queue shelters would be constructed on ‘Build Operate and Transfer’ (BOT) basis and the contractors have been permitted to install display advertisements and signboards of Indian and multi-national companies on these shelters.

In addition to this the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat has also decided to remove encroachments that have come up on the panchayat land in past a couple of years.

While talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Narinder Sharma, president of the civic body, claimed that these public interest resolutions had been passed with a thumping majority in the House.

He said the Sales Tax Collection Centre was a major block in the smooth flow of traffic on the Kalka-Ambala highway since long. Heavy and light loaded vehicles remained parked there causing traffic chaos on the busy highway. The presence of this centre had virtually turned into a death trap for the road users.

The civic boy has passed a resolution for shifting of the centre outside the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat limits and a copy to the resolution has been sent to the department, concerned, claimed Mr Sharma.

Mr Sharma also revealed that the bus-queue shelters would be constructed within the civic body limits by private contractors on BO basis. The contractor has been permitted to beautify these shelters by displaying advertisement boards of various MNCs. The contractor would charge from the MNCs for displaying their advertisements on monthly bases, which would add to the Nagar Panchayat revenue too, he added.

‘‘About 15-20 per cent of the common land (shamlat) of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat has been encroached upon by migrants, well connected and influential persons and the elected body of the civic body has passed a resolution to clear the encroachments,’’ claimed Mr Sharma.


Ex-servicemen seek separate pay commission for soldiers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
A separate pay commission for the armed forces has been sought by ex-servicemen settled in and around the city. During their monthly meeting held at Mohali today, ex-servicemen said unless the government set up a separate pay commission for the armed frees, as was the practice in the United Kingdom, the problems of serving and retired soldiers would not be sorted out.

Ruing the fact that armed forces personnel were being clubbed with civilian government employees, they said that service conditions of both categories were entirely different, which had led to discrepancies in the pay and allowances of soldiers.

“Every category of employees in the central government serves till the age of 60, whereas armed forces personnel retire at a very young age. Then how can qualifying service for grant of full pension be the same for both, they questioned. Added to that are harsh service conditions, frequent transfers and limitations on certain fundamental rights, they said.

They said in Britain, the pay commission was a standing body that submited its recommendations to the government every year. It was not so in India where a pay commission was set up once in 10 years. The recommendations were submitted several years behind schedule, they added.

A demand for reservations for ex-servicemen in Parliament was also raised at the meeting. They said that though several ex-servicemen were members of Parliament, yet they could not raise their voice as they were bound by their respective party’s agenda and directives of party leaders.

Reservation for ex-servicemen in the Rajya Sabha, they added, would give them a forum to aid their views and Parliament could thus be kept aware of issues pertaining to the welfare and needs of serving and retired soldiers.


Drivers given tips on safe driving
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 3
Chopra Engineering Works in collaboration with the Ropar police today organised an awareness camp on driving amidst fog. The camp was organised on National Highway 95 leading from Kharar to Ludhiana and on National Highway 21 leading from Kharar to Ropar.

Over 20 constables of the Ropar police and technicians were put on duty for the camp. Drivers of vehicles plying on these roads were stopped and told about safety precautions that should be adhered to during fog. "The main point that we emphasised on was the use of head lights. It is generally observed that drivers use headlights only in the night. We told the drivers that headlights are to be used during the day also if its is a foggy day," said Mr Atamjit Chopra of Chopra Engineering Works.

Pointing that with headlights on, the chances of accident during a foggy day are reduced to a minimum, Mr Chopra said most of drivers don't realise that the electricity being used for headlights is not being wasted during the day.

Faulty and non-working of head lights of all passing vehicles were repaired free of cost by the volunteers. "We were encouraged by the SP (Headquarters) Ropar Mr Jagdish Kahlon in this venture," said Mr Chopra.

Mr Chopra said drivers should realise that it is not important to see the road during a foggy day but to be seen by others is more important. "Many people think that visibility will improve if the headlights are switched off but that does not make much difference. However, by putting off the headlights, the vehicle becomes virtually invisible to others which is most dangerous," he added.


British Library gets 1000 new members
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
The long queue outside British Library in Sector 9 confirmed that the city had no dearth of book lovers. There were people who queued up from as early as 4 am just to ensure their place in the Library’s membership list.

The enrolment process that opened at 9 am and continued till about 7 pm, ended with the Library managing to add another 1000 members to its list. While the expectation was of 700 members, the final number turned out to be 1000.

The Manager of the Library, Mr Sushant Banerjee, informed that out of the total members, about 500 had opted for family membership, while another 300 had taken individual membership. With today’s enrolment, the library membership stands at around 5000.

The process will continue tomorrow and day after, with the Library deciding to enroll more members. The timings for enrollment will remain the same — 9 am to 7 pm both tomorrow and day after tomorrow.


Devotees join nagar kirtan
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 3
Melodious notes of shabads filled the air as enthusiastic residents followed the “panj pyaras” holding kirpans during a nagar kirtan taken out in connection with the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh falling on Monday.

It all started at about 12.30 pm. As the band played religious tunes, school students, clad in the traditional white attires, marched ahead, while the gatka players displayed their talent. More and more devotees joined in as the “panj pyaras” walked in front of palki with the Guru Granth Sahib.

The kirtan started from Sector 34 Gurdwara. It passed through Sector 33, before reaching road separates Sector 32 and Sector 33. The procession then passed through Sector 20, 21, 22 and Sector 23 and 24 markets. It culminated at Gurdwara Sahib in Sector 38 at about 7.30 pm. Elaborate arrangements had been made to divert the traffic during the nagar kirtan.


30 women attend awareness camp
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 3
As many as 30 women of Kajheri village participated in an awareness generation camp for rural women which concluded on January 1 at Government High School, Kajheri. The camp was organised from December 25 last year by the Kusum Arora Memorial Trust and was sponsored by the Chandigarh Social Welfare Advisory Board.

In the camp, different topics related to women, including diet and nutrition, panchayatiraj, social welfare schemes for women, dangers of female foeticide, HIV/AIDS awareness, women rights, legal aid, small savings and income generation were discussed.

The chief guest, Ms Madhavi Kataria, advised the women participants to work for their economic independence and help in literacy drive undertaken by the Adult Education Department.


Hafed staff to stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 3
Urging the Haryana Government to release bonus for the past two years, the Hafed Employees Union today announced that its members would begin an indefinite dharna outside the Hafed office in Sector 6 from January 6.

According to a press note, the management had not released the bonus for the years 2001-02 and 2002-03 despite huge profits. Even the board of directors had already okayed the payment of ex-gratia to the staff, it added.


Leaders express grief over Bhaura’s death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
Various political leaders have expressed grief over the death of Mr Bhan Singh Bhaura, a Member of the Lok Sabha from Bathinda. He died last night in Delhi following a massive heart attack.

Mr H.S. Hanspal, President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, said that Mr Bhaura was a gentleman politician, who believed in an issue based politics.

Mr Amritpal Singh Brar, a senior leader of the National Congress Party (NCP) from Bathinda, said that Mr Bhaura would be remembered for his clean political image.


Traders’ plea to shift liquor shop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
The Cloth Merchants Association, Mani Majra in a press note issued here today complained that an unauthorised liquor shop in SCO 910 near the Housing Board Chowk has become a source of nuisance to local residents, especially to women.

The association has demanded that the shop should be shifted out of the market and the SCO should be used for the purpose for which it had been allotted.


Man held, 2 pistols seized
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
Abrar Khan, a resident of Mohalla Dera Sahib in Mani Majra, was arrested by the Operations Cell of the Chandigarh Police and two country made pistols and four live cartridges were seized here yesterday.

Sources in the police said Abrar Khan had allegedly procured the arms from Uttar Pradesh two months ago.

The police is investigating as to why he had brought these arms and if he had any plans to commit any crime in the city. It is also trying to find out if it was part of a bigger racket to smuggle arms into the city.

A case under the Arms Act has been registered.


Students clash, 1 injured

Dera Bassi, January 3
A second year student of the Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, was injured in a clash between students here yesterday. Hailing from Barbar locality in Sangrur district, Jatinder Singh sustained injuries on his head and body after members of a rival group allegedly attacked him with sticks etc.

According to the police, Jatinder Singh was on his way back to his rented accommodation in Sarswati Vihar Colony, Dera Bassi, after taking an examination, when Banka Sridhar and one other students of the same college attacked him. The assailants fled from the scene after the incident. The police has registered a case against Banka Sridhar and his accomplice. No arrest has been made so far.


Unit-linked insurance plans launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
Catering to an individual's specific needs with its flexible features, the HDFC Standard Life yesterday launched its unit-linked insurance and pension plans.

The two products on the unit linked platform — Unit Linked Endowment Plan and the Unit Linked Pension Plan, is aimed at helping an individual grow his savings in the long term while providing ongoing risk cover and help in accumulating a corpus for post retirement life.

"With this launch we have a complete range of solutions to offer to customers . The unit linked plans will offer a choice of investment options to customers looking for the same," informed Mr Maninder Sood, Branch Manager.

The newly launched plans offer a lot of flexibility to customers.The HDFC Unit Linked Endowment Plan comes with five fund options to match a customers risk profile. This plan allows the customer to choose the level of life insurance cover he needs and also an optional health cover. In addition, the customer can switch money between funds, redirect future premiums and top up premiums to invest additional income.

On the other hand the HDFC Unit Linked Pension Plan comes with four fund options and allows customers to switch funds, re-direct future premiums and top up when needed.

He said these plans are targeted at individuals who want to make their own investment choice while choosing their insurance and pension plans. The flexibility of increasing premium contributions in an existing account is likely to help the unorganised segment of the market in managing their cash flows.


Jewellery exhibition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
Indo Western, Cartier’ or Harry Winston designs — the exhibition of diamond jewellery by Jatin and Purnima Agarwal at Hotel Shivalikview promises a wide variety of jewellery to choose from.

With the city’s women having an eye for the diamond jewellery, crafted in Mumbai, the designer duo is here to offer them the rocks in different shapes and sizes. The designer couple, who work under the label of JP Gems and Jewellery Co., have been selling their designs to many city-based jewellers for the past several years. It is for the first time that they have come up with an exhibition of jewellery in the city under their own label.

From the more conservative Indo Western designs, to the futuristic designs using the small size diamonds, and diamond necklaces and earrings made of a combination of diamonds and other precious stones like blue topaz, peridots and pearls – the exhibition offers a lot. This exhibition also offers rings, pendant sets and jewellery for men ( tie pins, rings, bracelets and watches).

While Purnima is into designing, Jatin is more into marketing and sales of their label. They say that other than the jewellery with diamonds set in gold, they are also offering diamonds in rodium polish and diamond platinum jewellery. The prices range from Rs 4,000 to Rs 8 lakh.


Planet M to shift to Fun Republic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
Planet M, music store of the Universe, is shifting from Sector 17 to Fun Republic at Mani Majra on January 5. The store offers an extensive collection of music, VCDs, DVDs and CD-ROMs, audio accessories and Planet M memorabilia.

The store which was started four years ago in Mumbai, now has 22 stores in major cities.

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