C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Pay of PU sports official slashed
Tribune News Service

Fee hiked by 10 pc

The Panjab University Senate on Sunday passed the across-the board 10 per cent hike in fees of all courses offered by the university other than the B.Ed and M.Ed courses and those are under the self-financing schemes. Most Senators had objected to the increase in the fees, saying that this might make higher education out of the reach of the common man. However, the decision was taken keeping in view the financial crunch in the university.

Senators hurl abuses

Touching a new low in floor discipline, two senators stooped to hurling abuses at one another during the course of discussion regarding the appointment of heads of various Chair instituted by the university. While a Senator, Prof Prithpal Singh Kapoor is a former Pro Vice-Chancellor of the university, the other Prof Amarjit Singh Dua is a Dean in the university. Other senators had to intervene to bring order back into the Senate Hall and stop Professor Kapoor from staging a walkout.

Chandigarh, March 26
The infamous sports scam of Panjab University saw some action today, three years after it came to light. The Senate today decided to slash to the minimum the pay scale of Dr Kewal Singh, Assistant Director, Sports, currently under suspension, following an inquiry into the scam against him. Dr Kewal Singh along with Mr Ajmer Singh and Mr Gurpal Singh of the Department of Sports have been alleged with embezzlement of funds worth lakhs of rupees.

Senators today discussed the reply filed by Dr Kewal Singh following the show-cause issued to him. However, taking a lenient view of the charges against him due to his adverse family circumstances, they decided against removing him.

Another report indicting Mr Ajmer Singh would be reconsidered by the Syndicate while the case of Mr Gurpal Singh was left undecided since it is sub-judice.

In another decision, the Senate, while accepting the restructuring of the Department of Evening Studies, declared that the department Head, Prof Atulveer Arora, should face an inquiry for allegedly trying to reduce the prestige of the department.

Among the other changes which would be brought about following the restructuring, the department would follow the 3pm-to-9 pm time schedule. The condition of being employed to take admission to the department was done away with.

An inquiry has also been marked into the allegations made by Mr Ashok Goel on the floor of the House stating that the university result gazette had been tampered with to change the result of a student. Without naming the student, Mr Goel pointed out that slips had been pasted over the declared result, changing it to make the student eligible to appear in the next set of examinations. "The student had a compartment in BCom third year and could not have taken admission in MCom. But the result was changed to RL (result late) on the basis of which the student got admission in MCom. Following which the result was declared and the student sat for the compartment examination," he told mediapersons later.

Mr Goel also highlighted the case of a question paper setter deployed by the University Business School who had instead of setting the question paper himself allegedly asked a faculty member to set the paper. Stating that he was seized of the matter, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K. N. Pathak, pointed out that investigation into the matter had been initiated. Professor Goel also alleged that the UBS had provided wrong information regarding its facilities to agencies ranking business schools.

The Senate withheld the appointment of Mr Lakvinder Singh Bedi as a Deputy Registrar till the cross-checking of the data provided by him for his appointment was done. The other appointments of deputy registrar and assistant registrar were passed.



Pvt agency to help PGI rid of cockroaches
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
One of the country's premier medical institutes, PGIMER, has a creepy problem of it's own — the cockroach menace. And, cockroaches certainly don't go by reputations, they just lay siege and stay put.

Notwithstanding the PGIMER's state-of-art facilities, a faculty par excellence, unending laurels for research and more, this one problem thrives despite treatment and no ward is out of bounds. Patients and attendants are forever under their watchful eyes — in sleep or awake, almost everywhere and anywhere. The emergency, the wards, the corridors, all nooks and crannies, nothing is out of bounds for the cockroach.

Alive to the problem and on the lookout for an efficacious solution, the PGI authorities have declared war for the umpteenth time against the cockroach armies that have invaded the PGI. A roadmap for the "attack" by a private party is already in place and modalities of quantity and time required are being worked out.

Admits the Medical Superintendent, Prof A.K. Gupta, "Cockroaches are one big problem we have no solution to. We have tried various permutations and combinations of insecticides but nothing works on them. They develop immunity to all these after a while and are back in the wards."

In a latest tirade against the menace, the authorities have tied up with a private agency to spray a cocktail of insecticides to get rid of them. "The agency will begin spraying work shortly. We are hoping it will work and are keeping our fingers crossed," adds Professor Gupta.

This exercise will be in addition to the already intensive cleaning and spraying drives undertaken regularly by the pest control department. Despite the fact that floors are swept with disinfectants and ward helps go through the ritual of rubbing disinfectants along crevices, the situation fails to show any improvement.

"We carried out a similar drive against the cockroaches a few months back. The Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit and the Gastroenterology Department were selected for the pilot project. For one month, there was no trace of the cockroach in the two departments. However, this provided only temporary relief and then they came right back to haunt us. Hopefully, the latest concoction will wipe them out," Professor Gupta maintained.



Cash, jewellery worth Rs 5 lakh stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 26
Thieves decamped with cash and gold ornament worth Rs 5 lakh from a house in Sector 44 here.

The police said Mr Satish Kumar of House No 1153, Sector 44 lodged a complaint alleging that gold ornaments and cash worth Rs 5 lakh had been stolen from his residence while he was out of station along with his family. He told the police that the burglary came to light when he reached home today and found the main door opened. When they entered into the house they were shocked to find it ransacked.

The police said it had examined the spot and the forensic experts had taken the fingerprints. The dog squad was also put in service to pick clues.



Air Warriors enthralls
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
After having enthralled city residents with a scintillating display of air power, the IAF today presented a performance by its Air Warriors Symphony Orchestra here.

Led by principal conductor Sqn Ldr P.K. Jena and six conductors, the orchestra presented wellknown classical ,pop, opera, jazz and medley compositions before a select audience comprising Air Force, Army officers as well as civilian dignitaries and their families.

“Motherland”, a classical fusion composed by Dr L. Subramaniam played on Indian and western instruments left the audience spell bound, while other numbers like 1998 Soccer World Cup theme tune, “Cup of Life”, Mozart's Symphony Number 40, Fredrick Herman's “Hello Dolly” had them swaying.

Yani's famous composition, “Acroyalli”, which was also performed by him at the Taj Mahal in Agra ,received a good response, while“ Carmen”, a Bizet opera based on the love story of a Spanish gypsy girl, Didi, a popular Arabian song sung by Khaled and two popular tunes composed by Swedish group ABBA also went down well with the audience

The only martial tune played was “Light Cavalry”, a world renowned overture composed by Franz Von Suppe in the 1800s. “Love Story”, “Beatles Medley ”and “Dil Hai Chhota Sa” were also presented. The concert was capped by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee's timeless classic, “Vande Mataram”.

The Air Warriors Symphony Orchestra was formed in June 2002 by selecting musicians from various air force bands, and is based at Air Force Station, Jalahalli in Bangalore. It has 70 musicians who play brass, woodwind, reed, electronic and percussion instruments.

The objective of the orchestra is to create awareness about the IAF through music.

Apart from performing across the country, it has also presented its talent abroad, including international military bands festivals in Finland, France and Italy. It has been empanelled with the ICSSR, the first military band to get that honour.



Indian ‘ittar’for Royal nose
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 26
In the last months of 1600, Captain William Hawkins on board the British galleon ‘Hector’ dropped anchor at Surat, laying the foundation of the World’s largest empire.

The first British to have entered Jahangir’s court, he was gifted the most beautiful girl of the harem by the Emperor as a welcome gift.

Times certainly have changed but not this nation’s hospitality. The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, (NIPER) here is gifting to the heir designate of the same monarchy, fragrance brought to India by the same Mughals.

A set of specially distilled Ittars, bottled in gold plated viols, set in hand craft wooden boxes, are all set to be handed over to Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall Camilla Parker during their visit to the institute on March 28.

The Prince would be visiting the medicinal plants garden of the institute spread over 20 acres housing more than 500 species of medicinal plants.

“These ittars too are a product of this garden. These are essential oils extracted from flowers. But like most ayurvedic medicines, most fragrances too also created combining the essence of many different herbs. Other than cultivation we have state of the art processing labs and herbal medicine formulation facilities which would be shown to the Prince,” said Prof KK Bhutani, Head of the Department of Natural Products, during a brief interview with The Tribune while he was busy in the last minute checking of the elaborate arrangements made for the visit.

“At this garden, we are standardising the cultivation process for some of the most important plants used in herbal medicines and in the department we are standardising their processing and formulation to ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of the products,” said Prof Bhutani, adding that scientific validation of natural products was the biggest challenge being faced by the natural product pharmaceutical industry but was being adequately met by the department.

“Out of the total 500 species, we have cultivated at least 100 exotic plants also,” said Prof Bhutani. The Prince would be apprised of the medicines produced by the department and the work done by NIPER in collaboration with the farmers. “We have been encouraging Punjab farmers to take up large-scale cultivation of medicinal plants,” he said.



She enjoys reputation of a classic ‘modern’ dancer
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
There is more to Mamata Shankar than a celebrated lineage. Having walked the experimental road laid down by her father Uday Shankar, she has now carved her own path where dance is not required to be defined in terms of styles. It is fashioned more as a language, a mood, a wave and its purpose is communication across the physical and geographical divides.

It is the universality of form that has earned Mamata the reputation of a classic “modern” dancer. And paradoxical though it sounds, her choreographies stand out for modern elements without even once suggesting any borrowings from the west. In striking this fine balance, she has won many an acclaim and she continues to do so along with her purposeful productions.

In Chandigarh today to present another contemporary piece at the ongoing Bhaskar Rao Sammellan, Mamata proved once again that movement is capable of communicating the most abstract of themes - from divinity to enmity. Translating challenging themes like “de-addiction” and “women’s emancipation” into dance has not been new to Mamata Shankar but her latest work “Amritasyaputra” has not been a cakewalk.

In an interview she said, “The piece is all about self realisation and ways to achieve it. It explores the purpose of existence. We have used music by Zakir Hussain, Brent Louis and Pete Lockett to bring home the theme that we are all God’s children — sparks of the same divinity and our lives have to come a full circle.”

Spiritual quest is what even Uday Shankar strived to achieve through dance and he reached his goal through the mythological route. Mamata, however, chose the abstract road and put together some very notable ballets on impressive themes like Tagore’s “Chandalika”, “Holikhela”, “Aajker Ekalabya”, “Milap”, “Shikhar” and “Mother Earth”.

At her home in Kolkata, Mamata keeps busy fashioning modern dance for world audience. What’s more - while keeping her dance alive she has managed to build an envious reputation as an actress. Her role in Satyajit Ray’s “Agantuk” is still cherished, so is her act in films by directors like Budhadeb Das and Dulal De. But ask her about the latest indulgence and she says, “I am acting in a Bangla serial.”

Despite straddling so many worlds at the same time, Mamata Shankar shows no signs of fatigue.



‘Split’ in BJP over future chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
Discontent over the future leadership of the local BJP seems to have set in among the party workers. With the MC elections and later Punjab Assembly elections coming up, senior party leaders are a worried lot.

According to sources discontent among the party workers was already there but the flash point was the installation ceremony of the local BJP office Kalam on March 4, where Ms Sushma Swaraj laid down the foundation stone of the building. It is learnt that the party workers were upset by the addition and deletion of certain names of senior party leaders from the plaque.

With the elections of the BJP slated to be held in September this year, dissent among various party leaders is growing strong with each faction trying to push its candidate for the post of state party president.

According to sources, the BJP has ended up being divided into two groups. Both groups want Mr Yashpal Mahajan to step down, however, the dissent is over Mr Bal Krishan Kapoor, who is being supported by Mr Satya Pal Jain for the top post. The other group is in support of Mr Rajesh Gupta or Ms Kamla Sharma for the next party president.

Taking matters to the height, a letter was written by senior party workers, including Ms Kamla Sharma, Mr Kewal Krishan Adiwal, Mr Raghuvir Lal Arora, Mr Desh Raj Tandon, Mr Shanta Abhilashi, Mr O.P. Goyal and Mr K.L. Sharma to Mr Yashpal Mahajan, local BJP president, about ten days ago asking to convene a meeting “urgently” to discuss party matters. A similar letter was again sent last week, which is being seen by the party workers as an expression of no confidence against the leadership.



Takshak panel wins Press club poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
Balwant Takshak was today elected unopposed as the president of the Chandigarh Press Club. The elections for the posts of the various office-bearers of the press club were held today. Elections to the five of the eight posts were unopposed.

Haresh Vashisth was elected to the post of senior vice-president, Balwinder Singh Jammu and Vishal Gulati were elected vice-presidents.

Nanki Hans was elected secretary-general, Nalin Acharya secretary, Harish Chander and Sanjiv Pandey were elected joint secretaries and Nand Lal Gupta was elected treasurer.



Chander Mohan lays stone for temple
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 26
The Haryana Deputy Chief Minister ,Mr Chander Mohan called upon the people to stop the environment degradation by imbibing the principles of Lord Jambheshwar.

Mr. Chander Mohan was addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stone of a Bishnoi temple and dharamashala, to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 2 crore over an 2000 sq. yards land in Sector 15, yesterday.

The Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee President and former Chief Minister ,Mr Bhajan Lal presided over the function.

The Deputy Chief Minister said that the message delivered by Lord Jambheshwar 500 years ago about maintaining ecological balance was relevant even today.

Mr. Chander Mohan said that efforts would be made to construct this temple and dharamshala within next one and half years. He revealed that the free food would be provided to devotees during their stay in the dharamshala.

He announced a grant of Rs. 5 lakh for the construction of the temple and dharamshala from his discretionary quota and a matching amount from his own pocket. A Jagran was also organised here last night.

The President of All India Bishnoi Sabha ,Mr. Hira Lal Bishnoi, MLA from Gohana, Mr. Dura Ram, MLA from Fatehabad, MLA from Kanpur, Mr. Salil Bishnoi, former MP, Mr. Ramji Lal, Prof. Asha Bishnoi from Kanpur, and former MLA Mr. Lehri Singh were also present. 



Protection of ‘deras’ sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
The president of the All-India Sant Ekta Andolan Parishad, Mahant Kailash Nath Hathyogi, today demanded the setting up of a Guru Gobind Singh Sanskrit Akademi in Punjab.

Raising this demand at a meeting here today, the mahant urged the state governments to give protection to religious places and “deras” which were being targeted by anti-social elements.



Six held for gambling
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 26
The local police has nabbed six persons from various parts of the city on the charges of indulging in gambling. In another incident, a domestic assistant made away with gold ornaments and other articles from a house in Sector 11.

The police said six persons were held from various parts of the city on the charges of indulging in gambling yesterday. The accused have been identified as Madhu Lal, Amit Sharma and Ram Lakhan of Khudda Lahora, Raj Kumar, Surinder, both of Bapu Dham Colony and Mohammad of Mauli Complex. Three separate cases have been registered under the Gambling Act.


Ms Gurpreet of Sector 11 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that her maid Kamla has stolen one gold kara and a wristwatch from her residence. A case has been registered in this regard.



Woman accused of forgery, impersonation
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 26
The local police has booked a woman of Sector 15 for alleged impersonation and forgery for fraudulently receiving a draft belonging to someone else.

Sources in the Sector 11 police station said Parul Moudgil of Sector 15 was booked in a case of impersonation and forgery on a complaint filed by Mr N.K. Jain, an advocate practising in Punjab and Haryana High Court, on March 18. The complainant has been living in a house purchased by the accused in the past. Mr Jain alleged that his client had sent him a draft for Rs 10,000. On September 22, Parul Moudgil called the courier delivery boy and allegedly impersonated and fraudulently received the draft. She also allegedly forged signatures of Mr Jain.

On the other hand, Ms Moudgil, denied the allegations terming them baseless and said it was an exercise to pressurise them. She added that it was a landlord-tenant dispute and this case was a part of ploy to counteract the eviction case that they had filed against Mr Jain. She further added that they had filed complaints of misbehaviour against Jain with the police and Jain had also apologised for the same before the police.



Snatched mobile phone recovered from impostor
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 26
The Sector 21 resident, who was arrested on Friday for impersonating to be an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) had also duped a Delhi-based woman of her mobile phone at Panjab University campus before he landed in the police net.

Sources in the Sector 11 police station said Preetika Bhatia of Pitampura in Delhi reported to the police that she was standing outside Savitri Bai Hall on Friday when a khaki-clad man, who was apparently in hurry, halted his car near her and asked for her mobile phone for making an urgent call. Ms Bhatia assuming him to be a cop gave him the phone. After taking over the mobile phone the accused sped away in his car. Ms Bhatia had noted down the car number, which later turned out to be a fake one.

After his arrest, the same mobile phone has been recovered from him.

It may be recalled that the accused had been arrested when he was fleecing gullible people at a “naka” set up by him near Sukhana Lake. He had reportedly procured police uniform and landed in the police net after a student of Punjab Engineering College brought the matter to the police.



PHDCCI hails PM’s Amritsar package
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) today hailed the announcement of the economic package of Rs 570 crore by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, for the development of the holy city of Amritsar .

Mr Amarjit Goyal, Chairman, Punjab Committee of the PHDCCI, said this relief was necessary for the trade and industry of Amritsar region as the economic activity had been adversely affected due to terrorism in Punjab.

He said the economic development of Amritsar was on a priority list and the PHDCCI was already working in this direction for the past few years. The PHDCCI had already shown the potential of Amritsar in terms of economic development by holding an Indo-Pak International Expo (IPEX) in December 2005, added Mr Goyal.

He said the PHDCCI in its earlier memorandums, apart from recommending four laning of various road infrastructures, also suggested the upgradation of the Attari sStation, Wagah border and the international airport at Amritsar .

The opening up of the Wagah border for free trade between the two countries would give further impetus to the economic growth of the Amritsar region. He said the communities on both sides wanted the opening of trade across the border.



More Indians touring Dubai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 26
Dubai is one of the hottest destinations preferred by the globe trotting Indians. This was stated by Mr Carl Vaz, Director (India), Dubai Tourism, while talking to mediapersons here today. He was in the city to participate in the concluding day of India Travel Mart - a travel and tourism show - put up by the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends.

Mr Vaz said though tourism in Dubai was booming, there was potential for growth. “The existing hotels in Dubai have 95 per cent occupancy rate. We are now focussing on creating more hotels and resorts. A 2200-room hotel Bavaria Suites is coming up while Palm Island chain of hotels, too, is planning to construct more hotels, which will be functional by end of year 2007,” he said.

He pointed out that the percentage of tourist inflow from India to Dubai was amongst the highest. “As against 2.17 lakh Indians visiting Dubai in 2001, as many as 3.5 lakh Indian tourists visited the country last year. It is thus that Emirates Airlines has decided to increase its frequency from Kolkata by starting a flight six days a week,” he added.

Mr Vaz pointed out that other than tourists, Dubai was also inviting investments from India. “Big companies like ONGC, Samsonite and Bajaj Auto are setting up their facilities in Dubai. We are now looking at small and medium enterprises to set up shops in Dubai. The government is offering a number of sops to attract foreign companies,” he said.

Meanwhile, over 8,000 persons visited the exhibition during the three days. A number of state tourism departments from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Chandigarh, and countries like Malaysia and Dubai, had participated. Companies like Star Cruise and Club Mahindra, besides heritage hotels and resorts had put up their stalls here.


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