C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Migration may become reality at PEC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
Punjab Engineering College proposes to allow migration of students from other engineering colleges to the college.

A proposal to this effect will be discussed during the meeting of the members of the Board of Governors of the institute tomorrow.

Currently, PEC does not have any provision for migration of students from other colleges. Proposing that this be done to fill vacant seats in the college after the admission process, sources in PEC, however, said a set of conditions would be laid down for such migrations.

A vacancy has to be available in the particular course in the college before cases for migration are taken up. Migration will be permitted only in the beginning of the IIIrd semester of BTech programme.

Applications for such migrations will be invited through an announcement in the college website alone.

Students seeking migration to the college in a specific branch should have obtained an AIEEE ranking better than that of the last student admitted in that branch in the relevant category for that batch and also must have passed all his courses at the present institution and must not have secured less than 60 per cent marks in these courses in aggregate.

Heads of both institutes will have to be on agreement on the migration and the process of migration must be completed at least two weeks before the beginning of the first semester of the college in July/August.

No migration will be permitted after this deadline.

Another important agenda for tomorrow’s meeting is the proposal that the system of annual confidential reports (ACRs) of the faculty be replaced by an open system of assessment for them.

According to this new system, a time contract will be filled by the faculty member detailing plans of activities that he/she wishes to undertake at the beginning of the year.

At the end of the year, the faculty member will then give a list of achievements as compared to the projected target. The results of the students’ responses will be attached with this report.

Another proposal regarding payment of honorarium to the staff present on vacation — during summer/winter term — for the conduct of courses will also be discussed.

As per the new academic programme, the college is expected to run a vacation term programme besides regular semesters.

It has been proposed that for teaching an eight-week course during the vacations, a sum equal to half of the teacher’s one month’s basic pay (including dearness allowance) be paid as honorarium.

In case the duration of the teaching is less than eight weeks then the honorarium amount will be reduced in proportion to the time spent.

The board members will also reconsider the admission criteria and fee for international students to the college.

PEC had contacted the Educational consultants Limited (EdCIL) to entrust the responsibility of these admissions to PEC. However, the EdCIL, which follows the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) criteria for admission and annual fee, was found to be following different criteria from the one proposed by the PEC.

PEC also proposes to constitute various awards for its employees, including meritorious service awards for faculty, class C (ministerial and technical) and class D employees and recognition for long and unblemished service.



Woman hit by school bus, dies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
It was shortlived celebration for Sandeep, a 25 year-old businessman living in Sector 56 here. One-and-a-half months after getting married, he lost his mother today in a fatal road accident a few metres away from his house.

The victim, Dya Sharma, who lost her husband a few years ago, was killed after being hit by a school bus in Sector 56 here this evening. The woman, accompanied by her son, was going to Sector 42 when the mishap took. Her son, who was a few metres behind, was saved

The rashly-driven bus of Sun Rising School, Shahimajra, Kharar, hit the victim. Residents said the bus driver was returning after dropping schoolchildren and seemed to be in a hurry.

The residents lamented that the bus plied on the internal sector roads despite instructions by the traffic police.

Though the driver of bus, Bhupinder Singh, escaped from the spot, he was arrested later.

A case under Sections 279 and 304 A of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 39 police station.

The post-mortem will be conducted tomorrow. The victim is survived by her married son and a daughter.



Exam fear turns into relief
Tribune News Service

An easy question paper brings smiles on the faces of students who took their first CBSE examination in Sector 18, Chandigarh, on Thursday.
An easy question paper brings smiles on the faces of students who took their first CBSE examination in Sector 18, Chandigarh, on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, March 2
The tension filled atmosphere and laboured breaths gave way to content faces and big smiles as Class X students took the first CBSE Board examination here today.

Thirty-five examination centres had been set up in the city for thousands of students who appeared in the English examination.

The additional 15 minutes of reading time too provided much respite to the students. “The extra time not only helped us go through the question paper but also enabled us to settle down and overcome the initial fear and nervousness,” said Anita, a student of GMSSS, Sector 35.

About the question paper, most of the students admitted that it was an easy one and they expected to score well.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Rajan, a student, said anybody who had been attending classes regularly was expected to score good marks.

Even subject teachers in various schools were happy with the question paper.

Aruna Bhardwaj, a teacher at DAV Public School, Sector 8, said the question paper was quite easy and she hoped the students to score well.



Fraud victims cry foul

Chandigarh, March 2
Three years after a first information report (FIR) was lodged against a Kishangarh resident for allegedly duping around 42 persons on the pretext of getting them jobs in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the victims are a disgruntled lot.

The victims led by Ram Dyal alleged that they were being implicated in false cases. The court of Judicial Magistrate R.K. Sharma is hearing witness accounts in the case.

The complainant in the FIR, Ram Dyal, said the accused, Vishal Vashist, had taken Rs 70,000 from each of the 42 candidates.

The case was being investigated into by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW).

The victims alleged that the middle man, Ram Lal, who was the main contact in giving the money to the Kishangarh resident, had not been included in the final report submitted before the court.

The other victims who were present in the court yesterday were Bhag Chand, Pal Singh and Ranga Ram.“We are being intimated to keep away from appearing in the court,” said Ram Dyal.

Vishal Vashist, on the other hand, claimed that he was a victim of harassment at the hands of Dr Dhadwal. — TNS



Dheer case: HC points to lapses in arrest, release
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 2
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today pointed to the lapses in the arrest and subsequent release "within hours" of The Indian Express reporter Gautam Dheer by the Punjab Police in the infamous Nayagaon minor girl's rape case.

Pronouncing its verdict on the plea of the rape victim's father, Mr Balkar Singh, seeking directions to ensure that the Special Investigating Team (SIT), constituted on the directions of the High Court to probe the rape case, was allowed complete freedom to complete the probe, the court observed that the arrest of a person for commission of a non-bailable offence was a serious matter and should be exercised with due caution, but his release in the case within hours of his arrest was even more serious.

It held that the police should bear in mind the facts that the power to arrest is to be exercised only after due deliberations and thereafter, the grant of bail would fall within the domain of the magistrate/competent court.

On February 6, the High Court had reserved its judgement in the issue.

The Division Bench headed by Mr Justice Amar Dutt said the acts became more serious, especially when the officer exercising the power to release the suspect, chose not to even list the grounds that would justify the release.

The Bench said it would be failing in its duty if it did not advert to this aspect of the functioning of the police force that had come to its notice during the current proceedings.

It also ordered a copy of its order be provided to the Advocates-General of Punjab and Haryana as also counsel for Chandigarh Administration for issuing necessary instructions so that lapses of the type indicated in the order did not occur again. It ordered the governments to issue instructions in conformity with the order.

Observing since the SIT had already presented challan in the rape case in the trial court, the Bench held that the application filed by Mr Balkar Singh had become infructuous.

It may be recalled that the High Court on May 31, 2005 had ordered constitution of a SIT to probe the rape case, which was allegedly being hushed up due to the involvement of influential persons.

The SIT had submitted two interim reports to the High Court during the course of its investigations. However, on September 30, 2005, the then head of SIT, Punjab Police IG Sumedh Singh Saini, quit as head of the SIT in light of the controversy over the alleged irregular arrest of Dheer. He was replaced by IGP Suresh Arora, who submitted the final report to the trial court.

During hearing of the application, the Bench had also sought a note from the Advocate- General, Punjab, regarding guidelines for exercise of provisions under Section 437 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Section deals with grant of bail in case of non-bailable offences.

In its order, the Bench also appreciated the work done by the members of the SIT as well as Mr Saini and Mr Arora.



Flag march by cops at PU

Chandigarh, March 2
In an attempt to restore a sense of security among the Panjab University campus residents, more than 350 policemen flagmarched through the university here today.

Yesterday, around 100 armed youths had smashed at least 10 cars parked outside the boys’ hostel No. 4 at the university. While only one of the alleged attackers had been arrested, the police said some other persons who were part of the attackers’ group had been identified.

Vice-Chancellor Prof K.N. Pathak, who returned from a two-day trip to Delhi this evening, said he had taken a serious note of the incident.

“Security in the university would be tightened up in collaboration with the police so that such a situation does not arise again,” he said.

“More arrests are expected by tomorrow as we have planned a series of raids tonight,” said Mr S.S. Randhawa, DSP (Central). Pointing out that security had been substantially beefed up on the campus, Mr Randhawa said additional 20 persons had been placed on duty inside the university. — TNS



25 selected for training as tourism executives
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
In an important step towards promoting village tourism in the city, 25 unemployed educated youths have been selected for training as tourism executives. The training classes will be conducted by the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends in collaboration with the Department of Tourism of the UT Administration.

The first phase of the one-month training programme will conclude by providing them with an opportunity to manage the Rural Mela scheduled to held on April 15 and 16.

These youths would be imparted training in basic aspects of hospitality, travel and tourism with focus on developing soft communication skills. The training will focus on various aspects of yoga, meditation, massage and various fields associated with running a dhaba, in the second phase.

Dr Gulshan Sharma, director of the ITFT, has made presentations to the Departments of Tourism and the Department of Rural Development and submitted a blueprint for future action on developing Khuda Lahora village as the right place for rural tourism.

Dr Sharma said, “The officials have responded positively and efforts are being made to get nod for the proposal even from the Ministry of Tourism.”

The village was identified as the model centre for rural tourism in September, 2005. However, very little has happened on the ground to show any progress. None of the planned gates to welcome visitors or any tourist information centre has come up. The village stills wears an unkempt look and the well proposed to be developed as a point of tourist interest still needs to be cleared of litter.

Mr Manmohan Singh, village sarpanch, said, “I have attended a couple of meetings with senior officials, however, nothing much has happened on the ground. I am also unaware about any list of houses in the village being identified for stay for tourists.”

He said, “A survey was being conducted to identify the potential hosts. The village has a big presence of migratory population as well. Majority of the original inhabitants are also not very forthcoming in giving information about their place. It is difficult to convince them that the survey was nothing “sarkari”. We hope to complete the exercise very soon.”

A senior official said the Administration would soon be inviting expression of interest from those interested in setting up ventures for rural tourism. A portion of the village land would be identified for setting up the project.

The ITFT has prepared a blueprint for the development of Khuda Lahora which is staggered over three years. The blueprint envisages an investment of approximately Rs 1.15 crore for completion of various activities. It has already sent copies of the blueprint to the Central Ministries of Tourism and Rural Development besides the Chandigarh Tourism and Rural Development Departments for support.



Survey begins on slum-dwellers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
To collect data of over 23,000 families living in city slum, the office of the Deputy Commissioner today started a geo-matrix survey in Colony No. 4 here today.

Aimed at checking that the dwelling units offered under the slum rehabilitation schemes are not sold off by the original allottees for small profits, the Administration will carry out the survey in all 18 slums in the city.

The survey will entail taking fingerprints of the beneficiaries, photographs of the allottee and their families, apart from other personal details of the slum dwellers.

Sources in the Administration said help of NGOs was also being taken to carry out the survey.

The survey would cover all families that would benefit under the ambitious plan to provide one-room tenements in the city. The tenements would be given on rental basis.

As per the surveys carried in the past, over 23,000 dwelling units would be required to rehabilitate all slum dwellers, who were occupying prime land in 18 slums in and around the city.



Over 7,000 apply to CHB
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
More than 7,000 applications have been received by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) for 960 dwelling units in Sectors 38 (West) and 49. The schemes have flats in two separate categories of one and two bedroom flats.

Today was the last date of filing the applications. At least 12,000 forms were sold for the scheme.



2 Cong groups claim credit for dist status
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 2
Even as residents of the town are celebrating the district status given to it by the Punjab Government, two groups within the Congress are making all efforts to take the credit for the same.

While the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, has been making claims that he had been pursuing the case of Mohali being given the status of a district, the OSD to the Punjab Chief Minister, Mrs Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, has also been making similar claims and holding functions to celebrate the occasion.

The MLA today organised a rally in connection with the district status which passed through various parts of the town. A number of residents supporting the MLA participated in the rally. Ladoos were also distributed by his supporters. His supporters said the Chief Minister agreed to the proposal of the MLA in making Mohali a district.

The MLA has been stating that it was he who had proposed a district status for Mohali and then kept pursuing the case till it was approved by the Punjab Chief Minister. He had even proposed a greater development authority for Mohali on the pattern of Noida and the Chief Minister had assured that he would look into the demand.

On the other hand, Mrs Garcha has been holding functions to celebrate the status of district given to Mohali. So much so she even held a press conference to take credit for the status and held a function in the Phase VIII Dasehra Ground to celebrate the occasion. Fireworks were displayed at the function in which representatives of various welfare bodies and people from nearby villages participated. They thanked Mrs Garcha for the development. Mrs Garcha, however, said the Chief Minister was interested in giving Mohali the district status. A function was also organised by the supporters of Mrs Garcha at Kharar yesterday to celebrate the district status.



Tree plantation drive
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 2
A tree plantation drive organised by the Shivalik Institute of Education and Research was inaugurated by Mr M.L. Sharma, SDM, Mohali, near the garbage dump area of Phase-6 here.

The drive was followed by a rally on drug de-addiction which was also flagged off by the chief guest. The agenda of the rally was to educate and disseminate information regarding the harmful effect of drugs to all members of society. A street play was enacted and pamphlets were distributed at various locations with the last performance being outside the SDM, Mohali, office.



Minor married off, police fails to act
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 2
A minor girl was today married off to an adult at Kumbali village, near here, in violation of the marriage laws.

According to information available, the girl, aged about 15 years, was married to a 24-year-old youth. The barat came from Panchkula. The families belonged to UP.

A social worker from the village said the mother of the girl claimed that the girl would be sent to the house of her in-laws only after she attains 18 year of age. But the bridegroom said he would be taking along the bridge after the marriage.

The police was informed about the marriage but failed to take any action on the pretext that both the families were following the rituals of the community.



Verka price hike pinches commoner
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 2
“The hike in the prices of Verka milk is going to adversely affect my budget and I will have to shell out extra money each month to purchase the required quantity of milk”.

This was the reaction of Mrs Gurinderjeet Kaur Virk, a resident of Sector 71, to the price hike of Verka milk. She said she purchased 3 kg of milk each day, but now she would have to shell out about Rs 100 more each month. “I could have spent this amount on purchasing something else”, she added.

Mrs Pukhraj Kaur Johal, a resident of Phase II, said Verka milk was getting out of the reach of the common man. One had to shell out about Rs 40 each day to purchase about 2 kg of milk. There should be some check on the prices of essential commodities so that these remained within the reach of the common man.

Verka has increased its prices for all varieties of milk by one rupee per litre from March 1. Now, full cream milk will be available for Rs 20 per litre while standard and double toned milk can be purchased for Rs 18 and Rs 14 per litre, respectively.

Justifying the hike in milk price, the General Manager of the Verka milk plant here, Mr Balwinder Singh, said the prices had been hiked after about a period of two years and it was done because of an increase in the price of procurement of milk. Moreover, the prices of milk had been raised in Gujarat, Delhi and even Haryana.

He said the producer was not being given sufficient rate for his product. The financial benefits would be passed on to milk producers so that they could provide quality milk to the plant. He said recently Rs 1 crore had been paid to the farmers as price difference and Rs 1.21 crore was ready for distribution among farmers in the form of dividend and bonus. Besides, another Rs 1.09 crore would be distributed among farmers as price difference shortly.


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