C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Cut-off percentages touch new high
Students with 97 pc marks opting for biotechnology, BCom 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
City students woke up to new admission records set by two coveted colleges of the city. And these records have nothing to with medical or engineering courses. City students with 97.4 per cent marks in Class XII have opted for Biotechnology course while another with 97 per cent marks wants to settle for BCom.

The BCom and BSc Biotechnology (Honours) course offered by the SD College Sector 32 have attracted students scoring 97 per cent marks with 94.6 per cent being cut-off percentage for BCom and 91.6 per cent for biotechnology course.

At DAV College, the cut-off percentage for BCom has been 91 per cent and for biotechnology course, it has been 84 per cent. Clearly, students have preferred SD College over DAV College for admission to these courses.

The merit list of the B Com, BBA, BCA, certain BSc and some Masters courses released by the two colleges here this morning registered substantially higher cut-off percentage as compared to previous years. The merit list of the other colleges in the city would follow in the coming days.

The general pool cut-off percentage for almost all these courses has been higher than the UT pool percentage. At SD College, the general pool admissions started this morning at a score of 111 (97 per cent plus marks for additional commerce subjects) and 16 names later, the admission was closed at 110.5 (94.6 per cent marks with plus marks for additional commerce subjects).

In the UT pool while the merit list topper had scored 111. 80 (97. 4 per cent marks with plus marks for additional commerce subjects) the merit list of 87 students was cut off at 105.6 (89 per cent plus marks for additional commerce subjects). Over 2100 applications had been received in the college for a mere 140 seats.

For admission to BSc Biotechnology, the general pool list topper had scored 97 per cent with the list ending at 91.66 per cent. In the UT pool list the topper has scored 90.3 per cent and the list of 18 students ended at 86 per cent.

At DAV College, the B Com general pool cut-off was 91 per cent and the UT pool was 85 per cent. Over 700 applications had been received in the college for 210 seats. In BSc Biotechnology, the last candidate to get admission had scored 84 per cent marks.

Over 850 students had applied for the course at the Government College, Sector 11, where the cut-off percentage is over 70 per cent. The topper of the merit list in this college for this course has scored 86 per cent marks.

Going by the number of application forms received by the colleges, these two courses have been preferred most by students in the city. While almost every college offers at least 140 seats for the BCom course, only 20 seats each are available for the BSc Biotechnology Course in SD College, DAV College, SGGS College, Sector 26, and Government College, Sector 11. This makes the competition for the BSc Biotechnology course hardest for city students.

However, the year has also witnessed the resurgence of the BCA and BBA courses. In SD College, the merit list topper of the general pool had scored 95.2 per cent marks and the cut-off was recorded at 90 per cent.

The general pool list began at 89.4 per cent and the 34-student list ended at 85.2 per cent. The college had received 550 applications for 40 seats for the course. At DAV the BCA the cut-off percentage was registered at 74 per cent. The college had received 800 applications for 80 seats.

For the BBA Course, at SD College, the general pool list ranged from 92.8 per cent marks top 90.4 per cent and the UT pool list ranged from 89.9 per cent to 87.9 per cent. The college had received 600 applications for 40 seats. At DAV the cut off for BBA has been 75 per cent marks. The college had received over 980 applications for 40 seats.

With students scoring above 90 per cent marks comfortably taking in the most coveted courses, those above 80 per cent have opted for BSc in Bioinformatics. At DAV the cut off for the course was 78 per cent while at SD College it was 88.6 per cent for general pool and 80 per cent for the UT pool.



MBBS, BDS courses: students in a fix over admission form
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The centralised admissions for MBBS and BDS courses by the Panjab University have left many successful candidates baffled. The candidates, who had appeared in the CET conducted by PU, had been asked to specify their categories in the application form for the test. However, the centralised admission form which the successful candidates have to fill to procure admission in the MBBS or BDS courses does not have provision to specify these categories.

The candidates have been shuttling between the Panjab University and Government Medical College Sector 32 — the venue for these admissions — but no one seems to have given them the reason for this.

Some of these candidates said PU authorities had asked these candidates to contact the Dental and Medical Councils of India.

In the application form for the CET 2006, the candidates were asked to tick the categories they intended to seek admission in. These included General, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, sports persons, terrorist victims, freedom fighter physically handicapped Kashmiri migrants and a host of other categories related to wards of military and para-military personnel and ex-servicemen.

However, the centralized admission form for MBBS specifies only physically handicapped and NRI categories and the BDS form specifies only General, SC, ST NRI and Jaj (what this means the candidates do not know).

As a result, for example, the students who had applied in the sports category have no place to specify it in the form. Similarly, the candidates who had applied in the SC category have no place to mention this in the form.

The candidates are supposed to submit the completed forms by July 3 at the Coordinator's office in Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. The centralised admissions are for admission to MBBS courses offered by GMCH-32 and the Dental College of Panjab University.



SC notice to Punjab on transfer plea
Quark engineer’s murder trial
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, June 29
The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Punjab Government on a petition by an accused in Mohali-based IT company Quark’s chief engineer (CE) Sukhwinderjit Singh murder case, seeking shifting of the trial outside of Punjab.

The transfer of the case was sought to any court in Haryana from the court of Additional Sessions Judge, Ropar, by accused Himmat Singh, who alleged that due to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s “direct interference” in the investigation, he did not expect fair trial in the case if the Punjab Police continued to be the prosecuting agency.

Himmat Singh moved the apex court after his petition for transfer of the case was rejected by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Senior advocate Arun Jaitley, appearing for the petitioner, alleged that Quark chairman Fred Ebrahimi had “close relations with state Chief Minister and as a result the police has not investigated the case in the right earnest”.

He also alleged that Quark’s chief had announced a reward of Rs 25 lakh for police officials who solved the case, which was widely reported by media.



Tough day for Mayor in MC House today
Trip to Germany to be discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Not only the opposition and nominated councillors of the municipal corporation, but also certain councillors of the ruling Congress are all prepared to give a vent to their sizzling tempers against the recently concluded trip of the Mayor and certain senior officials to Germany at the House meeting tomorrow.

While the BJP and certain nominated councillor have publicly questioned the “propriety of the trip which did not showcase the relevant technology,” certain Congress councillors are also likely to feature in the hot debate.

This will be despite at least two meetings called in private by the Mayor which featured very discomforting scenes because of alleged “moles in the MC trip abroad.”

Mr Surinder Singh, Mayor, accompanied by Mr Subhash Chawla and Ms Lalit Joshi, both councillors, and Mr P.S. Aujla, Commissioner, Mr H.S. Kandhola, Joint Commissioner, and Dr G.C. Bansal, Medical Officer, Health, had gone to Germany on a trip sponsored by the JP Industries, which is setting up a garbage processing unit in the city.

The trip was first questioned by Ms Shyama Negi, Senior Deputy Mayor, while the Mayor was still on his trip to Germany.

Ms Negi said it was decided earlier that the plant would at least be visited by the area councillor which happens to be “me.” “I was defrauded away on a trip to Bangalore and he (Mayor) along with the rest of the chosen ones whisked away to Germany after I left. I was not even taken into confidence,” she had said while addressing a press conference.

She said, “When I had earlier asked him about the trip under consideration, I was told that no trip on garbage processing unit was possible without me. I was sent on a trip to Bangalore and in my absence the privately decided team went to Germany.”

She said, “To make the matter worse the place where we were sent to on our trip did not have a municipal corporation. No official came to welcome us. We were sent away just to keep us away from the trip of the Mayor abroad along with his very dear ones.”

A senior Congress councillor said, “The issue will be definitely taken up tomorrow. How can the Mayor lie bluntly? I am going to be silent because of commitment to my party. However, I am sure that the project is to come in for a lot of questioning. Very importantly, the project is unlikely to be completed by the proposed time.”

The BJP has already questioned the propriety of the trip and sought a “CBI enquiry” into the affair.

Dr B.R.Verma, councillor and Chairman of the Sanitation Committee, has also expressed his unhappiness over the issue.

He said he had been working on the project continuously for the past four and a half years. He said he had communicated to the Mayor on April 28 that he was fit to take any trip abroad.

“And now whenever the Mayor is being confronted as to why he excluded me from the trip, he always replies that I had shown my disinclination earlier when I was unwell in January,” he said.

The Mayor said, “We will file a report of our trip to Germany which will silence all the critics.”

The agenda of the meeting contains nothing much, except inclusion of certain new sectors in the municipal limits.



Intruder held at Air Force station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
An intruder was arrested from the technical area of the local Air Force station last night. He has been identified as a 23-year-old guard working with a commercial establishment in Industrial Area.

According to sources, the intruder was spotted at about 1.30 am by an alert DSC guard as he was loitering in the sensitive technical area, where aircraft are parked. He was in an inebriated condition.

Sources said the intruder claimed that he had scaled the security perimeter wall with the help of a tree adjoining the wall the branches of which protruded into the air force area. Air Force authorities later surveyed the area.

According to statements given by the intruder, he got late for his job and instead bought a bottle of liquor and started drinking in a park after parking his bicycle in Sector 29.

After the bottle was finished, he started walking towards Zirakpur and ended up near the air force station's wall. He also claimed that he did not fully recall why he scaled the wall.

His family members were later called for verification of his identity and the local police was apprised of the situation.



Action sought against Lok Bhalai Party activists
MEMRA says Ramoowalia, supporters distorting facts for “political gains”
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Middle East Manpower Recruiters Association (MEMRA) today demanded action against activists of Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) following an incident in which a manager of a travel agency was thrashed by a mob led by the LBP activists in Jalandher on last Sunday.

Alleging police inaction, they said that despite the immediate reporting of the incident to the Jalandher police, they reached the spot rather late. They have not taken any action on the complaint filed by MEMRA till date.

While strongly condemning the incident, the members of MEMRA alleged that president of the LBP, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, and his supporters were distorting and manipulating the facts about the youths gone oversees for employment for their 'political gains'.

Mr Anil Yadav, press secretary of MEMRA, while talking to mediapersons, said that the recruiting agents had called a meeting in Jalandher on Sunday to finalise plans to give informative advertisements in newspapers to educate people planning to go abroad, about their rights and the responsibilities of the recruiting agents.

"The step was taken following the rise in incidents of people getting duped by fake travel agents in the region, which is bringing a bad name to the reputed recruiting agents. Instead of joining hands with us to weed out the black sheep, the LBP activist disrupted the meeting and thrashed our member", said Mr Yadav.

Elaborating further, Mr Narinder Sharma, President of MEMRA said, "Neglecting the fact that the licensed recruiting agents are getting jobs for thousands of unemployed youths in the region, the LBP activities are considering us cheats and taking law in their own hands. On that day they led a slogan shouting mob of 45 persons and trespassed into our venue and thrashed agents without stating reasons. When asked about the incident, the LBP activists could not even tell the name of the agents, who sent the youth to Algeria. They were saying that around 40 youths were stranded in jungles of Algeria without food and shelter for days".

Mr Sharma further added, "It was not true and the entire episode was fabricated. We have proof of their signed salary slips they were getting from the companies they were working for. There is no information to authorities about the youth stranded in the jungles of Algeria. Moreover, if they were without food and shelter, who provided them the facility to send fax massages to contact Ramoowalia?" 



Chandigarh-Morinda rail link opening still a few months away
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
It may take another few more months for the opening of the new rail track between Chandigarh and Morinda. Three months after the Commissioner, Railway Safety (CRS), gave clearance to run traffic on the 45 km section, certain "shortcomings" were delaying opening of the track for the goods and passenger traffic.

As per the conditional clearance given by the CRS, the railway authorities would have to first run goods train for seven days, a minimum of two goods trains daily to stabilise the signaling system on this route and make railway staff conversant with train operations and track maintenance before any passenger train was introduced.

The CRS has pointed out that passenger train services are to be introduced only after the maintenance of track between Chandigarh and Morinda junctions was taken over by the Ambala division of Northern Railway.

Though officials of the railways claim that rail section would be opened to traffic in a month or so, sources in the Railways said the non-electrified section was one of the major blockade in making the track operational. It may take another few months before the track was electrified, said a senior railway official.

Till the non-electrification of the track, the connectivity for the electric locomotive pulled coal rakes between Chandigarh and Morinda would be a problem. It would mean changing of a locomotive from electric to diesel either at Ambala, or Chandigarh and then at Morinda.

The sources said at the Chandigarh Railway Station there was no berthing space for the full length rakes which bring coal to the Ropar Thermal plant. The rakes, consisting of about 50 wagons, can only be berthed at line No. 2. The platform No.1 is busy with the movement of passenger trains. None of the other lines at the station could accommodate the coal rakes.

For changing the locomotive from electric to diesel, it takes about an hour. The same exercise would have to be repeated at the Morinda junction. A similar problem could arise at the Ambala Railway Station, said the sources. The sources did not rule out the possibility of the Railways waiting for few more months for electrification of the new section.

Explaining the significance of electrification, a senior official said it would be possible to divert any long distance train presently running on the Ambala-Rajpura-Ludhiana section to run on the Ambala-Chandigarh-Ludhiana section.

The Chandigarh-Ludhiana route had been planned in 1997. Due to the delay in implementation of the project, the overall costs of the project has shot above Rs 400 crore against the initial cost of around Rs 377 crore. A total of Rs 200 crore had been spent so far of the Rs 270 crore sanctioned by the Railway Board for the project. 



Tender row: councillors walk out of meeting
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 29
Investigations into the alleged irregularities in allotting tenders for recarpeting road, to be carried out by City Magistrate Vandna Disodia, received a setback when nine councillors (complainants) walked out of a meeting here today.

The councillors reportedly walked out of the meeting when Ms Disodia denied two councillors — Kuljit Waraich and Anjala Kataria — to take part in the meeting and asked them to leave her office.

This fumed the councillors, who immediately left the office of the City Magistrate.

The City Magistrate later asked the councillors to be present in her office on July 11.

Ms Disodia said the officials concerned of the Haryana Urban Development Authority would also be called to join the investigations.

Following directions of Deputy Commissioner Brejindra Singh, the City Magistrate had called the councillors to join the investigations. Nine of the 10 rival councillors, including Mr R.K. Kakkar, Mr Mahendra Singh and Mr C.B. Goel, were present at the meeting today.

On June 7, in a representation to the Deputy Commissioner, the councillors had alleged that the civic body president had violated norms while allotting tenders to M\s Akriti Construction and Development Ltd, a Panchkula-based company.

The councillors had also levelled charges of favouritism against the civic body authorities while allotting the tenders. They had claimed that HUDA had already blacklisted the company for leaving works of about Rs 15 lakh unfinished in the past two years. Ignoring the history of the firm, the MC had allotted tenders worth crores to the same company, the councillors had alleged. 



Bullish on city’s potential, IT guru is back to his roots
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Rahul Gupta
Rahul Gupta

Chandigarh, June 29
Bullish on Chandigarh, this Punjab Engineering College (PEC) graduate has returned to the city after nearly two decades. Nostalgic about the days he spent here, Mr Rahul Gupta, a venture capitalist-turned-IT guru has brought with him a unique proposition. At the Mohali IT Park, he will train bright engineering students recruited from the region and then send them to develop software at the Chandigarh Technology Park, where his KMG Infotech Limited has been allotted land.

“Construction at Mohali and Chandigarh will start after the monsoons and we hope that when the next class of engineering graduates pass out sometime next June, they immediately start their short training at KMG. Out of the proposed 600 seats, we hope to start with 100 by next June”, President and Managing Director Rahul Gupta proudly disclosed while interacting with The Tribune here today.

It’s no small feat for Mr Gupta, who can easily be called a technology and ‘Venture Capital’ industry veteran after his 17 years of executive management and leadership experience since his B. Tech in 1987, followed by an MBA from Kurukshetra University in 1989. In this short span, KMG Infotech has emerged as a leading global software development company, providing premium IT software development and maintenance solutions worldwide to large and medium-sized insurance, banking, financial services, healthcare and government organisations with offices in New York, Washington DC, Toronto, Denver, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad.

Giving out plans for his company, Mr Gupta disclosed that KMG would invest US $ 3 million (approximately Rs 13 crore) to set up the Software Development Centre in Chandigarh and another US $ 2 million (approximately Rs 9 crore) in the Research and Training facility in Mohali. The Mohali centre will totally be for training facility and will train people on insurance back-end operations. After Chandigarh, KMG is also planning a similar Software Development Centre in Kochi with a similar investment.

Over the next three years, KMG is expected to provide employment to around 1200 people in Mohali and Chandigarh. Mr Gupta disclosed that the US insurance giant Fairfax, a US $ 20 billion company, was an 8 per cent shareholder in KMG with Fairfax having a representation of the KMG Board. KMG has recorded a 60 per cent growth over the past five years. Looking at the success, SIDBI Venture Capital has made investment of US $ 2.3 million (around Rs 10.2 crore) in KMG. Another insurance major from the USA has signed an MoU with KMG to invest another US $ 7.2 million.

“All the money that goes into IT will be reflected in the lifestyle and earnings of the people. According to my estimates at least 5 lakh people will directly benefit from IT in the city and its neighbourhood”.

KMG works on the principle that it is already aware of the ground realities of different segments of business and when they develop a software for a company, they do so with prior knowledge about the business, making the software much more useful compared to a software developed by a company unaware about the needs and realities of a particular business segment. After insurance, KMG is planning to diversify into developing software for oil, retail, construction and many other industries. Engineers India Ltd., South Asia’s premier Oil and Gas Engineering Consultancy, has tied up with KMG to provide integrated software for upstream oil and gas companies. Similarly, KMG has also tied up with some cement companies to develop inventory control software. In terms of financial growth, KMG is targeting a US $ 50 million target over the next three years.

“Currently, KMG is training 18 engineers it recruited from PEC last year at its Delhi centre. Once the Chandigarh centre starts they would be transferred here, the logic behind recruiting local talent is that they will not only be more grounded in a local environment, but some bit of their prosperity will also flow back into the local environment, thereby benefiting the workers and the city both”, says Mr Gupta.



Training camp for CPOs
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 29
The police here has started the training of the first batch of community police officers (CPOs) deputed for the district. The training camp under way at the Amb Sahib Gurdwara in Phase VIII is being conducted by police officers who are training over 250 men in drill, public dealing, parade, security management and area domination.

According to the SSP, Mohali, Mr Naunihal Singh, following the deployment of these CPOs in Mohali, another 100 persons would be trained.

“These CPOs would be deployed in the first week of July and by the end of July the CPO system would be fully functional in the district.” 



Press Club adventure team returns
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
A team of the Chandigarh Press Club, which went on an adventure expedition to Shimla, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts of Himachal Pradesh, has returned after the successful completion of the expedition.

The expedition was organised in collaboration with the Directorate of Youth Services, Punjab.

The team was flagged off from the club premises by the Director, Youth Services, Punjab, Brig G.J. Singh (retd), on June 15.

During the expedition, the team visited Bhimakali temple (Sarahan), Sangla Valley, Chhitkul, Reckong Peo, Kalpa, Tabo Monastery, Kaza, Kee Monastery, Pin Valley, Kibber (the highest motorable village in the world), Kunjam Pass, Rohtang Pass and Chandertal.

The team interacted with villagers in these areas and gathered information about their culture and the problems faced by them.

The team trekked through Chhitkul village (the last Indian village bordering Tibet), Rogi (Kalpa), Kunjam Pass to Batal and Chandertal. While trekking, the team also removed plastic waste and wrappers from the Kunjam Pass (4,551 m).

On the last day of the expedition, the team went white-water rafting on the Beas.



Employee seeks change in DoB
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
A former employee of the Chandigarh Administration is running from pillar to post seeking authorities to accept the change in his date of birth, as officially done. Mr R.L. Arora, in a letter addressed to the UT Administrator, said that in the office record his date of birth was April 20, 1948.

“I represented against it to the Chandigarh Administration and submitted along the original birth certificate issued by Local Registrar Births and Deaths, Phagwara. The date was April 2, 1950. I brought it to the notice of the Chief Engineer.”

He said he was not allowed the alteration when certain other employees had been allowed it on the same grounds.



Wireless handset found
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
A wireless handset (Kenwood make) bearing model number TK 2107 and serial number 41104636 was found from the Sector 17 Inter-State Bus Terminus during the intervening night of June 16 and 17.

A spokesman for the UT police said here today that wireless messages had been sent to all states and union territories on June 23 in this connection, but so far no one had come to claim the set.

The set has been kept at Wireless Workshop, Sector 29, Chandigarh. The claimant can contact Mr Roshan Lal, DSP, Communication, UT police, in this regard on his mobile number 93161-01000 or the person can inform the duty officer at the police control room of the UT police on 2749194. 



Socio-economic survey details discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Details regarding the 63rd round of the socio-economic survey being started by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) shortly were discussed on the second day of the three-day regional training conference to improve professional capabilities of the field staff here today.

A press note said the 63rd round would commence from July 1 and continue till June 3, 2007.

Mr O.P. Dhankar, Additional ESA of Haryana, explained the importance of collecting data.



PSIEC staff go on fast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Employees of the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) went on a fast at Udyog Bhavan, Sector 17, here today in protest against the decision of the Punjab Government to sell the PSIEC land at Abohar, Mansa, Malout, Tanda, Muktsar and Goindwal Sahib at throwaway prices.

More than 100 employees would observe a 24-hour fast from 1.30 pm today. The fast was being observed under the leadership of Mr Dalbir Singh, president of the PSIEC Staff Association.

A rally was also held at the venue of the fast in which employees from the PSIEC Head Office and other field units participated. 



Pensioners examined

Panchkula, June 29
More than 50 pensioners were examined at a free medical camp organised by the Surajpur branch of the State Bank of India to observe its 28th university at Surajpur here today.
Free medicines were also given to the patients. They were also briefed about various schemes of the bank. TNS



Head clerk caught taking bribe

Chandigarh, June 29
A team of the UT Vigilance Department today nabbed Jaipal, a head clerk of the Haryana State Electricity Board, while allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 5,000 from Sector 17 here today.

Sources in the UT Vigilance Department said Mr Madan Dhiman, a Pinjore-based electricity contractor, complained to the department that Jaipal was demanding Rs 5,000 from him for getting him registered in the list of the Electricity Department.

Acting on the complaint, the Vigilance Bureau laid a trap and Dhiman reportedly offered the money to Jaipal, which he accepted. The Vigilance sleuths swooped down upon Jaipal with marked currency notes. According to sources, the department would also probe the involvement of Chief Electrical Inspector Shyam Lal Kansal in this case.A case under the Prevention of Corruption Act —1988 has been registered. TNS



Thieves strike at three shops 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Thieves decamped with cash after breaking the locks of three shops in Sector 35-C here last night. Sources in the Sector 36 police station said the incident came to light in the morning when the owner of the shop found the locks broken. They reported the matter to the police. The police reached the spot with a dog squad and teams of CFSL experts. However, no clue could be found.

Mr N.K. Bhatt of Bata shoes showroom, Mr Suresh Kumar, another shopkeeper, and Mr Rajesh Kumar, a garment shop owner, said Rs 3,454, Rs 50,000 and Rs 22,000 were stolen from their respective shops. They told the police that other articles lying in the shops were not stolen. A case has been registered.

Ganja seized: The police arrested Dharam Dev of Shahpur Colony, Sector 38, on Wednesday and seized 500 gm ganja from his possession. A case under Section 21 of the NDPS Act has been registered.

Theft: Mr Ravinder Singh of Palsora village has complained that gold jewellery and cash were stolen from his residence on June 24, while he was out of station. A case has been registered at the Sector 39 police station.

Held with liquor: