C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Poor ‘result’ performance by PU authorities
Embarrassed varsity, harassed students
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

College Result declared (in %age)
DAV, Hoshiarpur 0
GNGC, Ludhiana 10
GGS, Chandigarh 22
GGDSD, Chandigarh 30

Chandigarh, June 22
Panjab University’s Examination Branch seems to be in a tearing hurry. Probably that explains why the BSc-I result gazette has “RLA (result later for want of awards)” written against the names of a large number of students.

A detailed study of the gazette made available at the enquiry counter reveals that the university has failed to declare the result of DAV College, Hoshiarpur, released the result of just 30 per cent students of the local GGDSD College, Sector 32, and only 22 per cent of Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26. Similarly, there are other colleges that have been left in quandary as far as the result for the BSc-I (General) is concerned.

In SD College, Sector 32, of the 181 students who appeared in the examination, results of only 57 students have been declared in the gazette. The rest of them fall in the category of “RLA” or “CS (candidature suspended)”, meaning thereby that the declaration of result could take anywhere between a fortnight to a month.

DAV College, Hoshiarpur, has been the worst sufferer with none of its students getting their result. Most of them have “CS” status, while others have “RLA”. In Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, Ludhiana, the Examination Branch has declared the result of only nine students out of the 90 who appeared in the examination.

Interestingly, most of the “RLA” cases belong to private colleges, which charge heavily by way of fee and forget to discharge their duty of sending the awards of various subjects on time.

Agitated students who came to the enquiry office for their result today, rued that their two and half hour wait yielded nothing since the marks were “missing”. Instead of the announced time of 10 am for the availability of result, the gazette was released in the afternoon.

A group of students from SD College were very critical of the approach of the university authorities, claiming: “The university should have waited for the awards from colleges before going ahead with the announcement of result. They have put so many students to inconvenience just to show that they had declared the result as per schedule. They know that nobody has the time to verify the facts and they will get away with the ‘RLAs’ or ‘CS’ cases and take their own time later.”

Meanwhile, the National Students Union of India (NSUI) has announced helplines for students coming to the university campus to clarify registration numbers. They are: 9417009954, 9815322228.

“Our activists will help students coming to the PU in completing any formalities that are pending in case their result is ‘CS’,” says NSUI president Nitin Goyal. He adds that while the Examination Branch should have waited for the awards for little longer, the colleges cannot be excused for contributing to the mess at the counter. “Had they sent the awards on time, this problem would not have arisen. The university must have some kind of penalty for these erring colleges as well,” he maintains.


PEC students resent Admn move on regularising students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
True facts were never put before the All India Council For Technical Education (AICTE) while seeking sanction for 120 students of the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET) to continue in Punjab Engineering College (PEC), allege students of PEC.

Pointing to a major flaw in the sanction granted by the AICTE, students of PEC lament that while representing the case, the administration should have disclosed that excess admissions were against the seats of CCET and not of PEC.

Students of PEC have been protesting against the move of the administration to regularise 60 students each in computer science and engineering and electronics and electrical communication in their college.

Officials of the Administration maintain that the permission from the AICTE was to regularise the students in PEC and Panjab University, the affiliating body, has also granted its approval.

A letter of the AICTE addressed to the UT Home Secretary in September 2003 clearly reads, “As special case the council has decided to regularise the excess admissions made by PEC against the councils approval of 30 seats and 60 seats, respectively. The approval is with the condition that excess admission shall be adjusted within the forthcoming academic year 2004-2005 and 2005-2006”.

This means the number of seats in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Electronics and Electrical Communication would be reduced due to excess admission made against the quota of 120 seats of the CCET. Instead the number of seats at the CCET should be reduced, said the students. The AICTE would never grant permission for the 120 students who are moving in to the third semester, said a senior official of the Administration.

The 120 students, who had ranked lower in the All India Engineering Examination 2002, were made to attend classes at PEC as the CCET had not then been granted approval by the AICTE, alleged the students.

As per the policy issue of the AICTE, the rule of excess admission and reduction in the annual intake during the next academic year applies only if excess admissions have been made in the same college. In the existing case, the clause of institutions, which start without the approval of the AICTE, the students would have to be readmitted after the approval.

It may be mentioned that earlier a six-member committee set up by the Principal of PEC has asked the Administration to shift back the students of the CCET. Requesting the administration to take up the matter with the AICTE, the committee had said the Administration’s order could lead to several complications. Then PEC students went to court. On court’s order, the Administration decided not shift back the students.

The protesting students lament that they took admission in PEC in less preferred branches and their counterparts with much lesser ranks from the CCET were able to take admission in better streams on being shifted from the CCET. It is learnt that the number of seats in the PEC are not being reduced as the Administration has taken up the matter with the AICTE.


Alert car driver overpowers bag-lifters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Two bag-lifters from South India were arrested and another hospitalised after they were overpowered by the victim and passersby here today. The three had lifted a bag containing Rs 24,000 from the car of the victim in Sector 7.

The police said the persons arrested belonged to Bawarias caste of South India.

While Shiva and Ventus were nabbed by the driver of the vehicle, Ramesh Kumar, Boji, who gave him a slip, was later held by bystanders in Grain Market, Sector 26. Boji, after being given a thrashing by the crowd, fell unconscious and was taken to the hospital. Shiva and Ventus were handed over to the police by Ramesh.

According to the police, a liquor contractor of Panchkula, Kishan Lal, went to SCO No. 23 in Sector 7 in a Scorpio car (HR-18 8664) to meet someone, leaving his bag containing money with his driver. After a while, the driver of the car heard someone tap the vehicle from the rear, which made him come out.

As soon as he returned into the vehicle, he noticed the bag missing. He looked around and was told by a bystander that three persons had taken the bag and left in an auto-rickshaw. The driver noticed the person who had tapped his vehicle in a three-wheeler near the Grain Market.

He chased the three-wheeler and stopped it near the market. He pounced upon the three and raised the alarm. Passersby gathered and caught Shiva and Ventus on the spot. However, Boji gave them a slip and ran towards the Grain Market. Passersby gave him a chase and cornered him. They also gave him a beating, after which he collapsed. The police later took him to the hospital.

The police said the three belonged to a criminal caste in Andhra Pradesh and had built their huts near the railway station. However, it is yet to ascertain whether the three were involved in other such incidents in and around the city.


Neerja Bhanot awards nominations invited
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The Neerja Bhanot Pan Am Trust has invited nominations for the prestigious Neerja Bhanot Award.

There are two awards, consisting of a cash award of Rs. 1,50,000, a citation and a trophy each. Award-I is given to an Indian woman who faces social injustice like dowry, desertion etc, meets the situation with guts and grit and then helps other women in similar distress. Award-II goes to an airline crew member, world-wide, who goes beyond the call of duty in a difficult situation.

Nominations can be made by anyone, on plain paper, in Hindi or in English with complete supporting documents.

After the nominations have been back-checked by the trust, a specially constituted jury will decide the awardees.

The last date for nominations is July 10, 2004, and the awards presentation ceremony will be held in Chandigarh in September, 2004. The nominations have to be sent to Harish Bhanot, Managing Trustee, Neerja Bhanot Pan Am Trust, First Floor, House No. 3727, Sector 46 C, Chandigarh 160047. E-mail: bhanot@glide.net.in

The Neerja Bhanot awards are presented in memory of the young 23-year-old Pan Am flight purser, Neerja Bhanot, who heroically gave up her life while saving hundreds of others aboard a Pan Am flight hijacked at Karachi Airport in September, 1986.

Neerja is the youngest and the first woman recipient of India's highest civilian award for bravery, the Ashok Chakra.


City to have civil services officers institute
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The wait of the hundreds of All-India officers to have an exclusive club of their own may soon end with the Central Government Employees Welfare Coordination Committee (CGEWCC) throwing open membership of the proposed civil services officers institute (CSOI) here.

At a recent meeting, the CSOI’s governing council decided to appoint a sub-committee to prepare project proposal to be submitted to the Central Government. The committee also decided to take the matter of the allotment of a plot for the construction of the CSOI with UT Adviser to Administrator Lalit Sharma, soon.

The meeting was attended by Mr M.A. Bakshi, Mr Y.C. Satyawadi, Mr M. Deenadayalan, Mr Nand Lal, Mr Ashwani Attri, Mr Yash Pal Bhagat and Mr K.S. Dhatwalia, all senior officers of the Central Government posted here.

According to the CSOI secretary, Mr Yash Pal Bhagat, the committee already had discussions with the Estate Officer, Mr Arun Kumar, where it was agreed upon in principle that one of the community centres could be used as premises for the institute temporarily.

To begin with, it is proposed to start a party room, lounge, dining hall, various indoor games and a health club.The committee will tie-up with various local club managements for various outdoor sports like lawn tennis and swimming till the CSOI had its own infrastructure.

With over 150 Central Government and PSU offices in the city having around 1,500 gazetted officers, there was an excellent scope for the success of the CSOI in the city particularly in the wake of the successful functioning of the Defence Services Officers Institute (DSOI) over the years, officials highlighted.

The membership fee of the existing prestigious clubs in the city and satellite towns of Panchkula and Mohali is prohibitive for the Central Government officials, a majority of them had a fixed tenure here. Moreover, these officers came from a diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

And with that end in mind, the governing council had kept the admission fee on the lower side at Rs 1,000 apart from a refundable security deposit of Rs 500. While Rs 100 will be the registration fee, the monthly subscription will also be same.

As a goodwill gesture, the committee has also decided to enroll the retired officials of the Central Government as members. The application forms can be submitted to the CGEWCC secretary, Kendriya Sadan, Sector 9, Chandigarh.


Nigam honours 49 personnel for excellence in work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance Command, Air Marshal D.C. Nigam released the 500th An-32 aircraft engine to be overhauled by the IAF at a brief ceremony organised at No.3 Base Repair Depot (BRD) here today.

The type AI-20D engine was received by the Commanding Officer of.48 Squadron, Group Capt Rajeev Sachdev, for use in the squadron's aircraft. The Air Officer Commanding, 3 BRD, Air Cmde S.P.S. Virk and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, he called upon officers, airmen and civilian employees at the depot to continue to strive for excellence in their work. Appreciating the good job done by the depot, he said that the Maintenance Command had become a very well knit organisation in the past two years by gaining strength in all spheres of activity.

The Maintenance Command chief was given a presentation by Air Commodore Virk on various projects and activities being undertaken at the depot. This was his farewell visit to this depot as he would be retiring from service on June 30. Commissioned in 1963, he had taken over as AOC-in-C in May, 2002.

Air Marshal Nigam also honoured 49 personnel for excellence in their work. Of these, 30 received commendation certificates, while 18 were awarded USTAD (Ultra Skilled in Trade and Department) Badges.

Meanwhile, Mrs Kanak Nigam, president of the Air Force Wives welfare Association (Regional), accompanied by Mrs Manjit Virk, president of AFWWA (local), attended the AFWWA ladies meet and inaugurated a new room in the Nischint Boys Hostel. A social evening was also organised in honour of the visiting dignitary.


General Naidu takes over as GOC, 14 Corps
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Lieut-Gen M.L. Naidu has taken over as the General Officer Commanding, 14 Corps in Leh, on promotion. Prior to assuming this assignment, he was Chief of Staff of the Desert Corps.

An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, he was commissioned into 5 Rajput in December, 1967. Having graduated from Staff College, Canada, he has held various staff and instructional appointments, including instructor at the Indian Military Academy and GOC of an infantry division. He has also served as military Adviser in Germany.


325 jhuggis razed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 22
The Estate Office today removed encroachments from land belonging to Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in Sector 21, here. As many as 325 jhuggis were removed from the plot by the anti-encroachment staff of the department.

While those jhuggi-dwellers with a stay from the court were spared during the drive, others were given time to remove their belongings before the bulldozer swung into action and razed the temporary structures to the ground. A liquor vend was also removed.

The residents of the area had, time and again, complained that the number of jhuggis in vacant plots was growing rapidly and posing a law and order problem for them. A few chain-snatching cases were reported during the last couple of weeks, leading to anxiety among the residents.


Blame game precedes strike by powermen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The proposed two-hour tool-down strike to be observed on June 24 by the UT Powermen Union has led to a blame game between the union and the Chandigarh Administration.

The union today said the Administration was to blame for the strike. The powermen had been agitating for the acceptance of their pending demands, the union said. The Chief Engineer was to hold a meeting on June 21, but it was not convened, it said. A meeting between the union and the Administration had been inconclusive.

Meanwhile, the Chief Engineer in a statement said the Chandigarh Administration had always been sympathetic to the genuine demands of the employees and there was no reason for any strike by the employees.

“The Chandigarh Administration advises employees not to participate in the strike, otherwise, they will be liable for disciplinary action,” he added.

“Necessary arrangements for maintaining the continuity of power supply have been made. Members of the public can contact the Executive Engineer/Sub Divisional Officers of their respective areas for electricity complaints during the strike period,” the Chief Engineer said.


Forum’s plea on clubbing of meters
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 22
The local Consumers Protection Forum today demanded that the Punjab State Electricity Board authorities should issue directions for the withdrawal of the orders on the clubbing of power meters in the case of domestic consumers.

The council chairman and the president, Mr Albel Singh Shyan and Mr P.S. Virdi, respectively, said at a meeting held with representatives of the forum and the PSEB Chairman on April 27 in Chandigarh, it was decided that there would be no clubbing of meters in the case of domestic consumers.

They also said before the implementation of the decision on the installation of electronic meters, it should be ensured that these were not giving higher readings than the actual power consumption. They said the policy had failed in Haryana and the state government had to withdraw the electronic meters installed in the state because the readings given by them were higher.


Fleecing by parking lot contractor alleged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Several visitors to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) have alleged fleecing at the hands of the parking contractor and shopkeepers on the hospital premises. In a representation to the Sector 34 SHO, Mr Surinder Chauhan, a social activist, alleged that staff of the contractor often refuse to issue the full-day passes to attendants of the patients. Instead the attendants had to pay every time they parked their vehicles in the parking lots.

Similarly, Rs 10 were charged for a bottle of cold drink which was otherwise priced at Rs 6. Urging the UT Administration to take strict action against the persons overcharging the attendants, the representation regretted that no action had been taken by the hospital administration.


Head Constables to get powers to challan vehicles
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 22
To check traffic offenders in the town, a few select Head Constables will be given powers to challan them. Earlier only personnel of the rank of ASI or above had been given such authority.

The decision was taken at a meeting of police personnel held at Phase VIII police station here today which was presided over by Mr Rakesh Aggarwal, SP. Mr Aggarwal told The Tribune that to begin with, the challaning authority would be given only to two or three Head Constables. After that change, the situation would be monitored. Further action would be taken accordingly.

The SP said it had also been decided to put traffic police personnel on duty at the main chowks during peak hours to ensure smooth traffic. However, he felt that the staff put on duty would have to work sincerely to achieve the desired results.


Conference for National Sample Survey staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
A three-day training conference to impart training to the field staff of the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) of the Haryana and UT started at Kendriya Sadan in Sector 9 here today.

Inaugurating the conference, the Deputy Director General of the Survey Design and Research Division, Kolkata, Mr J Dash, emphasised the need for reliable and accurate data in the targetted areas. He said the reliable data collected by the field staff would help in the proper planning of the government policies on different aspects of the people of the country, he added.

It may be recalled that the NSSO collected the socio-economic data employing scientific sampling methods every year throughout the country. The 61st sample survey starting from July 1 to June 30 next year would be the survey on household consumer expenditure, employment and unemployment.


Vendor questioned in abduction case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
A roadside vendor of Sector 22 was questioned here today at the Burail police post for allegedly abducting his wife, then a minor, two years back from Noida, near Delhi.

Vinod fell in love with a minor girl and left Noida to settle here along with her about two years ago. He married the girl here. Vinod, who had been declared a proclaimed offender in connection with a case registered against him at Noida, came into to the police net today.

He recently had a tiff with a person who knew about the case registered against him at Noida. He informed the local police that Vinod had abducted his wife when she was a minor.

The local police verified from the Noida police if any case of abduction was registered against Vinod. After the Noida police confirmed the registration of a case against him and his having been declared a proclaimed offender, the local police arrested him. Vinod is likely to be handed over to the Noida police.

The fact about the registration of case against Vinod was brought to the notice of the police by the brother of his wife. Vinod’s wife is pregnant.


Girl kidnapped by neighbour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
A 19-year-old girl from Khuda Ali Sher was allegedly kidnapped by a neighbour.

The mother of the girl said Manjit Singh of the same locality had allegedly kidnapped her daughter on June 14.

The police has registered a case of kidnapping with a view to wrongfully confining her under Section 365 of the IPC.

The police has also slapped charges of kidnapping the girl to force her to marry the alleged kidnapper under Section 366 of the IPC.


Sector 21 house burgled

Chandigarh, June 22
One gold chain, four bangles, one stereo, 12 wrist watches and a camera, among other things, were stolen from house number 188 in Sector 21. The incident took place yesterday when the occupant of the house, Mr Shashi Kapur, was away from home, the police said today. TNS


British firm to launch BPO operations in city, Mohali
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Grant Thornton, a British multinational known as international accountants and business advisers the world over, has identified Punjab and Chandigarh as the best areas for launching the business process outsourcing (BPO) in India.

The factors going in favour Punjab and Chandigarh for BPO operations are many. “The area offers a talented youth, business friendly environment, dust-free climatic conditions and excellent connectivity,” says Mr Ashok Kumar Goyal, Director of Grant Thornton. “Moreover, a large section of the Punjabi population has connections abroad. They all can lend a helping hand in the growth of BPO operations,” he said in an interview here today.

“So all conditions are available for the growth of BPO...all that is needed is a trigger … and I can see that trigger taking shape sooner rather than later in Punjab and Chandigarh,” he said.

Some of the big names had already started flocking the Chandigarh-Mohali belt, he added. Infosys was in the process of setting up a multi-crore-rupee facility in Chandigarh’s IT park at Kishangarh village, while Quark had set up its head office at Mohali. GE, too, was setting up shop in Chandigarh, he added.Others would follow suit soon, he added.

“We are also thinking of setting up a BPO arm. We have started operations in Delhi in a small way. But we want to set up a bigger facility shortly and before deciding, we will certainly like to look at Chandigarh and Mohali,” said Mr Goyal.

He predicted that like telecom business, consolidation would now take place in media, entertainment and software sectors. “Smaller players will have to bow out. Consolidation is mutually beneficial. While the bigger company adds to its business without having to start from a scratch, the smaller outfit acquires more financial muscle and higher profile. We see a lot of this happening in the coming days. It will be good for companies like ours. Grant Thornton specialises in mergers and acquisition support, evaluation and due diligence etc. We also advise clients on new business opportunities and financial restructuring. Some of our big clients include Ranbaxy, DLF group, MNC banks and IT companies,” he added.

As regards stock market, he observed it was by and large, stable. “Volatility is due to anxiety over the fresh Budget. We expect the budget to be investment friendly and growth-oriented. Stock market may see a further rise around Divali. By that time, the Manmohan Singh government will have completed six months. The basic strength of Indian stock market is fundamentals which are strong, multiple and reasonable. Growth opportunities exist. Therefore, the stock market will offer strength to economy,” he added.


Industry welcomes Budget proposals
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 22
Welcoming the Punjab Government’s efforts to narrow down fiscal deficit in the Budget proposals, the Mohali Industries Association (MIA) today expressed dismay over the absence of any announcement regarding the government’s preparedness to face the challenge of globalisation by small and medium entrepreneurs.

The association president, Mr Gurmeet Singh, said the small and medium entrepreneurs were facing numerous problems particularly in marketing their products in the domestic and global markets. The Budget should have also focused on such problems.

The MIA said the state government should take immediate steps to retain the existing industries which were slowly shifting to adjoining states in view of the attractive incentives available there. It said the government should consider the long-pending demand of the industry regarding the abolition of octroi, entry tax and the higher rate of sales tax till the VAT was implemented. The government should also clear cases of sanctioned subsidy to industrial units.

The president welcomed the focus of the Budget proposals on industrial revival, employment generation, diversification of agriculture and better infrastructure. He also appreciated the government’s efforts to promote the biotechnology and IT sectors.

He said the state government’s readiness to introduce the VAT along with the other states from April 1, 2005, would help remove tax disparities among different states.

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