C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


5,000 take IIT exam in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The most prestigious engineering test, IIT, was today conducted at various centres across the country. As many as 5,000 students from the city took the examination which was held in three shifts starting from 8 a.m. and continuing till 6 p.m.

The first paper that was of Physics started at 8 a.m. This was followed by a two-hour break and at 12 noon the second paper of Mathematics was attempted by the students. Between 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. the students took the Chemistry examination.

Much to the relief of the students the paper was on the expected lines. While the Physics and Chemistry paper was in accordance with the syllabus and the pattern declared by the institute, the Mathematics paper was a bit tough and lengthy, as explained by the students.

The result for the exam will be declared on May 31 at 8 a.m.

In today’s paper, all three subjects were of 184 marks each with five different sections. The first section consisted of 12 questions of 3 marks each with a negative marking of one mark. The second section was that of multiple choices, with a negative marking of one mark, followed by the comprehension section with a minus two marking for every wrong answer. The subjective and match the column sections, however, had no negative marking.

According to Prof Rajni, Mathematics lecturer, the students did find the paper a bit lengthy to be completed in two hours. Dr S.C. Gupta, Physics lecturer, however, confirmed that the Physics paper was easy and the students attempted it well. Shubhangi, a student, said she had done fairly well and expected to make it to one of the IITs. “Any candidate who scores more than 300 marks can be sure of securing a place in the merit list.”

Meanwhile, apprehensive faces, laboured breaths and last minute memorising were a common sight in the morning. A large number of students also visited places of worship to seek holy blessings.

“I had also observed all Navratras in view of the exam,” said Shweta, a student. Being Sunday, many parents too accompanied their wards to the examination centres and waited till the exam was over. Once the exam was over, both parents and the students decided to enjoy the evening after stressful days of preparation. “Our child had been slogging for more than a year, so to relieve the tension we have planned to watch a movie,” said Anita Sharma, a parent. Others too echoed similar views.



98,693 children given polio drops
Tribune News Service

Pulse polio drops being administered at Sector 38, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
Pulse polio drops being administered at Sector 38, Chandigarh, on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, April 9
As many as 98, 693 children in the age group of 0 to 5 were administered polio drops on the first day of the national pulse polio immunisation campaign, here today, against a target of 1.20 lakh children. Last year, on the first day of the campaign, 91,000 children had been administered the drops.

The children years were given two additional doses of the polio vaccine. The city was divided into three zones and 442 stationary booths were set up along with 19 mobile teams. People from all walks of society visited polio booths with their little ones.

The Home Secretary-cum-Secretary Health, UT Administration, Mr Krishna Mohan, visited booth sites in colony No. 4, Industrial Area, Hallo Majra, Karsan, Kajheri and other villages and slums. He was accompanied by Dr Inderjeet Kaur Walia, Director, Health Services, Dr Usha Bishnoi, Dr Kavita Talwar, District Family Welfare Officer, and Dr J.R. Chauhan, immunisation officer.

The Department of Health and Family Welfare appealed to all citizens to cooperate with pulse polio teams which will be conducting house-to-house surveys on April 10 and 11 to vaccinate the children who failed to receive the vaccine today.

Other departments like Social Welfare, Education, Staff from GMC-32 and the PGI, Homoeopathy College, Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College, Government Polytechnic for Girls, and nursing institutions from Mohali, Panchkula and Chandigarh, NGOs, panches, sarpanches and religious leaders will also actively participate.

Meanwhile, various groups came forward to help the staff administering the drops. Members of the Citizens Awareness Group, an NGO helped the doctors and paramedical staff administer polio drops to the children at 23 centres in Sectors 38, 39 and 40, the barrier near Civil Hospital, Mohali, and Ranbaxy today.

Volunteers of the group went house-to-house to mobilise the parents in getting their children vaccinated at the nearest polio centre. A great rush was witnessed at the Mohali barrier where scooters, cars, buses etc were stopped for getting the children immunised.

In continuation with the Social Welfare Programme of the National Cadet Corps (NCC), Commanding Officer of 2 Chandigarh Bn NCC, Chandigarh, Col Harinder Singh, and his team of JCOs, NCOs and young cadets of the NCC organised a pulse polio drive at Sheetla Mata Mandir in Bapu Dham Colony.

The Mayor of Chandigarh, Mr Surinder Singh, also visited the camp and praised the cadets for undertaking such a humane task. Dr Pankaj Mala delivered a lecture on the benefits of administering pulse polio to the parents of children who had come to the campsite.

Meanwhile, as many as 2,500 children up to the age of five were administered polio drops during the ongoing pulse polio immunisation drive at military stations in Chandi Mandir, Kalka and Chandigarh today.

A statement issued here today said those children who were left out today would be vaccinated on April 11. A number of stationary as well as mobile booths were set up for the purpose.

65,000 covered in Panchkula

PANCHKULA: The Haryana Health Department administered polio vaccine to 65,000 children of age between 0 and 5 years in the district on Sunday.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Brejinder Singh, kicked off the campaign at Primary Health Centre, Pinjore, by administering drops of polio vaccine to infants.

The department had a target of administering polio vaccine to 73,535 children in the district. It had constituted 31 transit and 35 mobile teams comprising paramedical staff and health workers. It had also set up 204 booths in rural and 85 booths in urban areas of the district.

To cover the children who could not be given “polio-drops” today, the department would launch a door-to-door vaccination campaign, the authorities said. 



11,950 kids administered polio drops
Tribune News Service

Students of Lawrence Public Senior Secondary School hold posters and banners during a polio immunisation awareness rally in Phase VI, Mohali, on Sunday.
Students of Lawrence Public Senior Secondary School hold posters and banners during a polio immunisation awareness rally in Phase VI, Mohali, on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

Mohali/Kharar, April 9
Mr D.S. Guru, Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, today undertook an inspection of booths established to administer polio drops to children in the state.

He said 16,000 polio booths were set up in the state to administer polio drops to 37 lakh children upto five years of age with the help of 70,000 officials drawn from the Department of Health and Family Welfare, the Department of Education, the ICDS, NGOs and social organisations.

He added that arrangements had been made to ensure that all children upto five years of age were administered polio drops during the campaign, which would include house-to-house visits.

He further said publicity through road shows, hoardings, back panels of buses, banners, posters and cable television networks had been undertaken across the state.

Dr. V.K. Goyal, State Immunisation Officer, accompanied him during the visits.

Dr G.S. Oberoi, Kharar coordinator, said 2,056 doses were administered at 12 stationary and two transit booths.

He added that 60 per cent of the target was achieved during the day and the house-to-house campaign would begin tomorrow morning.

Dr Raju Dhir, Mohali coordinator, said 9,894 children were immunised at 65 stationary and three transit booths.

Students of Class IX of Lawrence Public Senior Secondary School took out a rally from the school to the Civil Hospital, Phase VI.

They raised slogans and held posters and banners to make people aware of the pulse polio campaign.

They talked to the people on the way and educated them about the importance of immunisation.

Mr D.S. Guru, Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, administers polio drops to a child at Chunnikalan village, near Mohali, on Sunday.



GMCH-32 to overhaul Emergency
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
Alive to the need of constant upgradation and improved patient care, the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, has decided to upgrade and strengthen its emergency services, beginning with providing dedicated equipment and fixtures for the wing.

Planning an overhaul of the entire Emergency, the hospital authorities have prepared a blueprint not only to add new state-of-the-art equipment to its Emergency but also make a provision for two ambulances to cater to emergencies.

The plan is being funded by Rs 86 lakh received from the Government of India kitty under the head of upgrading available services. Says the Medical Superintendent of GMCH-32, Prof Harsh Mohan, “We have received the grant and have planned the spending also. While Rs 60 lakh would be spent on the purchase of equipment, the remaining amount would be used for purchasing fully-equipped ambulances.”

On the cards is the purchase of an oxygen flow meter for every bed in the Emergency, equipment for orthopaedic surgeries and setting up of an in-house emergency laboratory for blood count.

“We have 50 beds in the Emergency, of which 10 are in the gynaecology emergency. We don’t have oxygen flow meters available for each bed and they are moved wherever required,” he stated.

Similarly, the hospital does not have a dedicated ventilator, ECG machine, multi-parametric monitors and suction machines available at the Emergency. These are moved in from the departments concerned at the time of need. Under this plan, the hospital will buy all these and more such equipment to make the Emergency self-sufficient and self-reliant.

Also on the anvil is the setting up of a lab with the latest equipment for getting immediate blood counts and carrying out coagulation studies (pertaining to blood clotting).

At present, the department carries out the coagulation studies manually.

In the new scheme of things, the lab will be equipped with a clot timer and a particle counter.

Though the hospital has three ambulances at its disposal, these are used for various odd jobs. Given the rising number of trauma cases, the hospital authorities also felt a need to upgrade their fleet of ambulances and has finalised the purchase of two more ambulances fitted with the latest gadgets.

“The process of procuring equipment is already under way. We are in the stage of finalising everything. Equipment, fixtures et al should be in place by next month. The needs of every department have been kept in mind while finalising the list of equipment,” Professor Mohan added.

New equipment planned

  • A dedicated ventilator and ECG machine

  • 10 pulse oximeters, six multi-parametric meters

  • Oxygen flow meters for every bed

  • A lab equipped with clot timer and particle counter

  • Mobile OT lights

  • Two fully-equipped ambulances

  • Orthopaedic equipment



OBCs’ reservation: educationists resent govt decision
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
Educationists, including Vice-Chancellors of various universities in Punjab and UT Chandigarh, have reacted sharply to the Union Human Resource Development Minister’s announcement for extension of reservation to OBCs in various central universities and elite institutions.

Sharing their opinion over the issue, most heads of the universities today stated that in case this move is implemented, merit would be the sole casualty. “It is unfortunate that the government has to resort to reservation of seats in educational institutions to bring about social justice. Instead the government should focus on economically supporting those whom they consider need social upliftment. The government can coach students at its cost to bring them at par with the rest of the students, but merit should not be ignored,” said Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.

“All Punjab institutes follow the state government statute on reservations which already provides for almost 50 per cent reservation. According to a Supreme Court judgment there cannot be reservation beyond 50 per cent. So unless the Punjab Government readjusts its reservation policy to include OBCs, this announcement has no meaning for the state,” pointed out Mr Surinderpal Singh, Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University. A similar reaction came from Prof R.K. Sehgal, Dean, Academic Affairs, Punjabi University, Patiala.

Dr Ravinder Singh, Vice-Chancellor of Baba Farid University, Faridkot, said, “There is sufficient reservation and I don’t thing an addition is required. Birth should be not the criteria by virtue of which a student should be judged. Reservations erode merit. Going by the president’s statement today the solution lies in not refusing admission to anyone. There should be a seat for everyone who wants it,” he said.

Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh (deemed university) Director Prof Vijay Gupta said, “We are bound by the decision of the Government of India and would enforce all changed rules. But personally I believe that admissions to the top institutes in the country have nothing to do with merit. Only the rich can afford their students to take tuitions and as a result get chosen to IITs and IIMs. The reason is that the number of good colleges and institutes is small and everyone wants a seat. There has to be enough good Institutes for everyone and reservation would then be meaningless,” he said.

Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar Vice-Chancellor Dr S.K. Salwan pointed out that there could be better ways than reservation of seats to give equal opportunities to the deprived sections of society.

“Financial aid, free education could be some of the solutions but till these are implemented I guess the government has no option but to resort to reservation,” he said.

Dr H.M. Swamy, Director-Principal, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, suggested that reservation facility should be allowed to be availed only once. Following which the same seat would be given to another needy person of that category. “This would bring those among the reserved categories who are mostly left into the mainstream,” he said.

A similar suggestion was given by Prof Veer Singh, Dean, University Instruction, Panjab University, Chandigarh.

“We have no option but to follow the new rules when these are framed. But at a personal level I feel merit should not be compromised or diluted. With reservation up to 50 per cent, top institutes tend to lose their stamp of excellence and credibility. Reservation should be given only once. Once the family is well placed, its members should allow others to fill those seats,” he said.

Prof Baljeet Kapoor, Principal, Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, said his college would follow the directions of the Government of India in case reservation for OBCs was to be implemented among central government institutes.



Directive to housing society on allotment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
After the CBI initiated probe into the alleged scam of replacing the names of original members with bogus members in the membership list of the Blood Donors Cooperative House Building Society, the Assistant Registrar, Cooperative Societies, has also swung into action.

Acting on a complaint by Mr Ashwani Munjal, the Assistant Registrar has directed the president of the society to keep pending allotment of one dwelling unit of category B till further orders. Though Mr Munjal had moved an application on November 2005, nothing had happened.

It was only after the Central Vigilance Commission, acting of Mr Munjal’s complaint, directed the CBI to probe the matter, the Assistant Registrar has issued the orders.

“Earlier, I had tried my level best to bring it to the notice of the Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board and the Home Secretary, but in vain”, said Mr Munjal, alleging that the administration was aware about the persons behind the scam.

“In 2003, I came to know that officials of the CHB had helped the society include names of bogus members those who had not made any payment and be deleting the names of genuine and eligible members”, he said. The Registrar during the course of probing the matter, found that the names of four members had been traced who had not made any payment.

The four alleged bogus members — Major Singh, Kiran Goyal, R.S. Pannu and R.P. Singh — were allotted land by the CHB on January 24, 2002.

In the order dated April 5, 2006, the Assistant Registrar mentioned that Mr Munjal became member of the society in 1987 by depositing the membership fee and share money. He had deposited Rs 41,500 as 25 per cent of the land cost with the society. In the list of members sent by the society to the CHB, Mr Munjal’s name was allegedly replaced with a bogus member.



India’s image has improved, says minister
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The Union Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr Anand Sharma, was accorded a warm welcome by local Congress workers at the Chandigarh Railway Station. He was on his way to Parwanoo to attend a series of functions after being made the minister.

In a brief interaction with the mediapersons, he said the image of India had improved manifold and it could be gauged from the visits by a number of eminent foreign dignitaries.

Mr Sharma, who was earlier a spokesman for the All India Congress Committee, however, refused to comment on the issue of reservation of 27 per cent quota in educational institutions for OBC. The HRD Minister, Mr Arjun Singh, had been questioned in this regard by the Election Commission in wake of the Assembly elections in some states.

“I can not comment as it does falls under my ministry”, he said.

The Congress workers led by the local councilor, Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma, received the minister at the station. The general secretary of the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Kuldeep Singh Rathore, had also come to receive him

Makes brief halt at Parwanoo

Parwanoo: Mr Anand Sharma, Minister of State for External Affairs, made a brief halt here on Sunday.

He stayed for half an hour at the local Shivalik Hotel en route to Shimla.

Among others, Mr Kuldeep Rathur, spokesman of the Congress, Dr Kailash Prashar, secretary of the Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Sanjay Awasthi, general secretary of the Solan district Congress Committee, and Mr Rahul Thakur, senior Congress leader from Solan welcomed Mr Sharma. 



Man offers to sell kidney to save ailing brother
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, April 9
Faced with utter financial constraint, the eldest brother of a kidney patient on the verge of death is desperate to sell his kidney to get some money. Unaware of the ethics of organ donation and of the laws that bar people from donating kidneys except to save family members, Meham Kumar insists his kidney be taken so that he is able to save his dying brother.

The sole breadwinner of the family, which hails from Saharanpur, Meham has not worked for the past six months. He has sold off all his belongings and has now pledged his house for a few thousand rupees which are insufficient for the operation and subsequent medication of his brother Dhanraj.

Dejected with his situation, he told The Tribune, “Please take my kidney. I have nothing left to offer. I only have Rs 20,000 whereas the operation of my brother requires Rs 2.5 lakh. I have no source of livelihood, let alone income”.

A tailor at Saharanpur, Meham has to support a large family comprising an ailing father who has just donated his kidney for Dhanraj, a mother, an elder sister, who is of marriageable age, a wife and two of his own children. Presently, he is living at Janata Sarai at PGI with his family.

Making repeated requests for help, Meham appealed to people saying, “Please help to save my brother. I cannot go to work or else I would have worked day and night to make money. Someone please give me money. I will repay every penny once my brother’s operation is over”. Dhanraj is, meanwhile, on dialysis which has also not been done for sometime due to lack of money.

Those who wish to help Meham can approach the Public Relations Officer at PGI or can visit Janata Sarai.



Administrator’s call to build peaceful society
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues, (retd), today called upon people to go to their roots and work together to build a peaceful society, based on the values of tolerance, mutual understanding, social equality and compassion.

Addressing the annual function of Ramakrishna Mission, here this evening, General Rodrigues said : “Time has come to participate together in building a new and progressive life for our people and to empower them to be equal partners in our development. We have to introspect and to search within, to identify the factors, what divide us or what holds us together”.

All religions teach the reality of God and the need to strengthen the bonds of friendship. We have to look beyond meaningless rituals, dogmas and practices, which obstruct the flow of life and take us away from our ethos and established tradition in different faiths and religions, he said.

Reminding the congregation of the teachings of Ramakrishna Paramhans, General Rodrigues said he was a great social reformer who set out the path of ideal and virtuous living, universal humanism and emphasised the concept of oneness of mankind and the harmony of all religions. He made an enormous contribution to enrich and nurture our glorious heritage with his vision, commitment and unique humanism.

He appealed to the mission to help the Chandigarh Administration in its efforts to enrich the lives of the people and to provide a better quality of life to all citizens.

Prof. A.C. Julka, an eminent educationist, while presenting the key note address stressed the need for combining “Sadhana and sadhan” to bring happiness and satisfaction in society. Mr R.K. Saboo, welcomed the guests and Swami Muktinathananda gave the presidential address. 



Fire-hit vent ire on Admin’s relief work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
With the tents put up by the Administration not being of much help and the promised food and water not coming as promised, the 250-odd dwellers of jhuggis in Colony no. 5, which got burnt in the fire on Friday, are a worried lot.

While the evening drizzle brought respite for city residents, it was worst fears of the jhuggi dwellers come true.

With no money and no roof over their head and with all their belongings lost, they did not know where to go and save themselves.

Making matters worse were the 10-odd babies, each less than six months old.

With nothing left to their aid, their mothers did not know how to feed them and take care of them.

“The Administration has put up tents for us, but those are not of much help as those are not covered from any side”, stated Ganga Ram, who lost the new rickshaw he recently bought in the fire.

“The tents have been put up in a very dirty place and since we cannot sleep there, we are forced to sleep on the burnt floor”, he added.

Alleging that they were served insect-infected food for lunch yesterday, they said they did not get any breakfast.

“We were promised food, but we had insects in the rice we got yesterday, and today, we were only served lunch”, stated Papu Verma, who lost his shop in the fire.

“We have been supplied with no water and the Administration has not been of much help”, he added.

Alleging that the Administration had given false promises, they stated that they had not only lost their belongings, but also their savings, identity cards and ration cards.

They had lost their means of livelihood as some of them were rickshaw pullers and others pulled rehris.

They were hoping that the Administration would help them as promised.

They had been given Rs 2,000, but that was not much help, stated colony dwellers.

The most important demand, apart from food and clothing, was permanent jhuggi structures.

One of them said the Administration should provide them with permanent structures so that such an incident did not happen again.

The Servants of the People Society, an NGO, today distributed free clothes among the families affected.



Bansal’s assurance to federation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The Minister of State for Finance, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, today assured the CHB Residents Federation, an apex body of 44 welfare associations, to take up their genuine demands with the Chandigarh Administration.

Mr Bansal was speaking at a function organised by the federation here this evening. Mr Bansal said various demands put forth by the federation should be considered sympathetically by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) in the context of the changing character of the city and people's needs.

Meanwhile, in a memorandum to the minister, the federation again urged the CHB to make getting the ownership rights "hassle-free" as the present transfer policy had certain "unnecessary procedures."

The memorandum highlighted that currently no original allottee could get his house converted to freehold from leasehold because of an "uncompromising" affidavit clause on alterations and additions.

The problem of encroachments on the public land needed a fresh look. More than 90 per cent of such encroachments are in the EWS houses, whose owners are stressed by the shortage of space, paucity of land and growing families.

Such encroachments, if they did not interfere with any public utility, could be considered for approval through nominal charges, the memorandum added.



Hussein is Asian federation chief

Chandigarh, April 9
Mr A.N.H. Akhtar Hussein from Bangladesh was elected the president of the Federation of Engineering Institutions of South and Central Asia (FEISCA) on the last day of the regional seminar on new opportunities in power sector in South and Central Asia here today.

Addressing the seminar, Mr H.K. Sharma, Chairman and Managing Director of the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam, stressed the need for maintaining the existing generation capacity apart from the new capacity addition.

Mr Sharat C Mahajan, member (power) of the BBMB, dwelled upon the initiative taken by the BBMB in the field of “clean development mechanism”. Dr S.C. Naik, president of the Institution of Engineers (India), was the chief guest at the valedictory function.

A delegate from Pakistan, Mr Mumtaz Hussain, urged the developing countries to procure environment-friendly technologies in the wake of the environmental degradation.

About 25 delegates from South and Central Asia attended the two-day seminar besides about 150 delegates from India. — TNS



Sonia, PM thanked for Panchkula package
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 9
The state Youth Congress has thanked Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for announcing a special package for Panchkula.

In a press note, Mr Amitabh Chandel, vice-president of the state unit, said the much-awaited package would not only help Panchkula in having infrastructure on a par with Chandigarh, but would also lead to overall development of the region.

Appreciating efforts of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for taking up the matter with the Prime Minister, Mr Chandel said the town had been neglected by the previous government.

He also had a word of praise for Dr Ramprakash, Haryana Congress working president, and Ms Sailja, Union Minister for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, for joining hands with the Chief Minister on the issue. Mr Chandel said it was for the first time that the whole of Haryana was being developed equally.

An elevated highway, being built by the government at Panipat, would provide relief to scores of road users and help in developing towns like Karnal, Kurukshetra and Ambala rapidly, he added.



Plea on power consumption
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
Due to shortage of power, the UT Engineering Secretary, Mr S.K. Sandhu, has urged consumers to use electricity judiciously.

In a press release issued today, Mr Sandhu, said the “temporary” shortage had arisen due to reduction in the power allocation for the UT and less generation in some central generating units. To overcome it, the UT has decided to purchase 25 MW of additional power at higher rates.

The city needs 190 MW during peak hours. In the past six months, the Union Government has withdrawn 22.5 MW which was being received from the eastern grid. In addition to this, unallocated quota of 55-88 MW from the central generating units has been curtailed to 66 MW. As a result, the availability of power was ranging between 80 to 140 MW against the peak demand of 186 MW.

The shortage of availability is being managed by overdrawing power at an exorbitant rate of Rs 5.70 per unit from the northern grid.

The northern region load dispatch is time and again asking the UT to restrict its demand, failing which its supply would be cut off. On April 7, the supply from the Nalagarh side remained affected from 1.36 pm to 2.30 pm on this account, said Mr Sandhu.



Hindi scholar felicitated
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 9
As many as 12 literary organisations, including Hindi departments of five universities and the Haryana Sahitya Akademy, felicitated Dr Lal Chand Gupt “Mangal” for his contribution to the Hindi literary world at a ceremony at Gandhi Bhavan here today.

The function, organised by the Sakshi Sahitya and the Kala Manch, was largely attended by litterateurs from the region and presided over by Dr Harish Verma, Dean, MDU, Rohtak. Eminent scholars lauded Dr Mangal, former chairman of the Hindi Department of Kurukshetra University, for his committed dedication to serve the Hindi literature.

Dr Chander Trikha, noted poet Madhav Kaushik, Dr Yash Gulati, Dr Radheshyam Sharma, Pawan Kumar Manmauji (Delhi), Dr Manmohan Sehgal (Partiala), Dr Chaman Lal ( Shimla), Dr M.P. Bhardwaj, Dr Indu Bali and Dr Virender Mehndiratta were among others present.



No gunshots fired at car in PU: CFSL
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), in connection with the ‘firing’ incident on the Panjab University campus on the night of March 21, today ruled out firing of gunshots at the car in which Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) president Amandeep Singh and his friends were travelling.

The PUSUC president had alleged that he and his friends had been the target of the firing and that his car was damaged during the firing.

On a request by the police, the CFSL analysed the scene of the crime and came to the conclusion that there was no firing on the spot.

The police had not recovered cartridges or shells of bullets and forensic experts had been called to get to the truth.



CRPF observes Day of Valour

Chandigarh, April 9
To commemorate the feat of a small para-military contingent beating back an attack by a regular Army brigade, Day of Valour was observed by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) here today.

It was on this day in 1965 at Sardar Post in the Rann of Kutch that heavily outnumbered and outgunned para-military personnel held up an attack by a Pakiatani Army brigade for over 12 hours.

The CRPF men put up a fierce resistance as a result of which two Pakistani battalions had to withdraw, leaving behind 34 dead.

On the occasion today, Additional Director-General, North West Zone, Mr D. P. Sinha, honoured several CRPF gallantry awardees at a function held here. Col Harbaz Singh, whose father Maj Karnail Singh had participated in the battle at Sardar Post, was also presented a souvenir. — TNS



Youth forum holds annual meet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
AIESEC, one of the largest international youth organisation, organised “Sambhav 2006”, an yearly NGO meet at the Press Club here yesterday.

The programme highlighted the 24 internships facilitated by the local unit of the AIESEC in 2005-06. The future plans and the aims and objectives of the AIESEC were also discussed at the meeting, which was attended by several associate NGOs.

A vote of thanks was proposed to the NGO support group consisting of Mr P.S. Vaishnav (head of SOSVA), Mr V.S. Bhullar (director of EduCARE), Ms Promila Chandra Mohan (head of Special Olympics), Ms Tehal Kohli (head of IMPA).



Vishvas retreat
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 9
To celebrate Baisakhi and Vishvas birthday, the Panchkula-Chandigarh branch of the Vishvas Foundation will organise a three-day Vishvas meditation retreat at the cricket ground of Sector 5 here from tomorrow.

Thousands of devotees of the Vishvas Foundation are likely to attend the retreat, a press note issued by the branch has said.



Kerosene shortage resented

Chandigarh, April 9
There has been acute shortage of kerosene in Mauli Jagran. Highlighting the problem, Mr Shambu Banerjee, president of the colony cell of the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress, said though the number of ration cards had been increased in the past two years, the supply of kerosene had not been increased proportionally.

During the past few days, some of the depot holders have closed their shops due to non-availability of kerosene. TNS



Snatchers caught, let off by cops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
Two underaged mobile snatchers were allegedly let off by the police personnel at the Sector 43 police post due to reasons best known to them.

Neither was any FIR prepared, nor was any entry made about the arrest of the two mobile snatchers, who were arrested by members of the public.

In one case, Mr K.K. Bawa, who was at the Sector 43 ‘apni mandi’, caught hold of a mobile snatcher after a chase and handed him over at the Sector 43 police post.

In the second case, the mobile snatcher was caught while stealing a mobile and was handed over to the police.

The in charge of the police post, Mr Devinder Kumar Sharma, said he was aware of the incident.



Meteoric rise in silver prices
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
Silver is no longer cool. The price of the metal, known for its soothing effect, is sizzling. Within six months, its price has increased by over Rs 5,000 per kg (from Rs 12,000 in November last year to almost Rs 18,000 per kg now).

With the prices of silver expected to increase up to Rs 20,000 per kg, investment advisers say that this could be the best time to invest and make a "cool" profit. Never before have the prices of the metal had such a meteoric rise, and in such a short duration, making it the perfect metal for investment.

While gold prices, too, have increased substantially, the quantum increase in gold prices is lesser, as compared to silver.

However, the city residents do not seem to be interested in investing in the metal. "Investing in metals like gold and silver is a dead investment. One can never be sure of quick returns, so I would rather invest in real estate " says Mr S. C. Sharma, a retired college professor.

In fact, rather than residents picking up on silver for investment, even the sale of silver in the city has dipped to an all-time low.

Mr Ashok Kataria of Delhi Jewellers, Sector 17, who deals in silver ornaments and utensils, said silver ornaments were usually bought by the common man. "The demand for the silverware (utensils and artefacts) is only during Divali or the wedding season. But because of the increase in prices, the demand for the metal is nil," he said.

Those dealing in silver here insist that the rise in the price of silver is less to do with the global political uncertainty, and more because of hoarding and satta by top global players.

Mr Rakesh Kumar Singla of Singla Jewellers, Sector 23, a wholesaler in silver, too, said that the demand for silver was at an all-time low. "The demand for silver jewellery and silverware is less at this time of the year. But with the prices rising to Rs 18,000 per kg. now, it is getting out of reach of the man on the street.

Though people can benefit from buying silver for investment, the concept of trading in gold and silver has not arrived in the city," he added.


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