C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Dimpy Murder Case
Police opts for computer-aided probe
GPRS software to track movement of suspects
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Unable to achieve any major breakthrough by conventional means in the murder of Prabhjinder Singh Dimpy, the Chandigarh Police has decided to go high-tech. It has decided to use GPRS software to track the movement of suspects on the day of the crime and pick up those mobile phone numbers that travelled on the same path as that of Dimpy.

Highly placed sources in the Chandigarh Police said that inputs of various mobile phones under suspicion would be fed into software that will plot the moment of various mobile users. It could ultimately lead to pinpoint the person who flowed Dimpy's moments. The police will not only look at the movement of assailants on the day Dimpy was shot dead near the lake, but it would track phone numbers since the day he arrived in the city.

"Once parameters like cell tower used, time, date, etc are fed into the software, it will plot various graphs like all mobile users who were using the same route as Dimpy. Criss-cross calls between various mobile phones, revealing linkages about various people who could be involved. Once suspicious mobile phones numbers are identified, the police will go in for an identification and background check, zeroing in on the culprits", a police official said

Once the police is able to map the routes of Dimpy and those hunting for him, the police will also match the movement of Harneev Dhillon, alias Honey, who was injured in the shootout. The police will then see if her statements match with her movement and if the assassins in anyway tracked her to get to Dimpy.

He said that this was perhaps the first time that the Chandigarh Police was using computer-aided investigation to achieve what failed through conventional means.

The task of the Chandigarh Police has become tougher in the absence of any eye-witness. The only statement the police has to content with is that of Honey, the lone eye-witness in the case.

Surprisingly, it is highly unlikely that no policeman on duty on the half a dozen spots on and around the lake, did not hear any gun shots. The police personnel are trained to differentiate between a gun shot and other sounds.

When asked, senior police officers refused to comment on this and added that their focus at the moment was to crack the case rather than question personnel on duty about their whereabouts at the time of the incident. But despite the statement of the officials, it is reliably learnt that some policemen on duty have been questioned, but they could not provide any valuable information.

A known gangster, Dimpy was shot dead near the lake on Friday last soon after he joined Honey in her car. He was shot six times with an American Smith and Wesson, 0.455 calibre weapon. The Chandigarh Police has identified some arms dealers of Muktsar district of Punjab, who could have supplied the ammunition that was used by the two motor-cycle riding assassins.

The police strongly believe that the murder was the handiwork of more than the two motorcyclists. Officers said in all probability the assailants were covered by two or more covering cordons to ensure that they faced any resistance from the associates of Dimpy, who were partying at the Lake Club.

The UT, Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr. Gaurav Yadav, said some clues had given them hope, but these could not be revealed yet in the interest of the investigation. He, however, hinted that the findings could be startling.



From rag picking to schooling
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
It is a reigning success for Sahil and Anup, two boys from slums of Sector 25, here, who have shown their peers a new way of life.
Sometime ago, they were just two faces in the crowd of hundreds of ragpickers in the city. But today, they stand in a different league — one that they have earned with the sweat of their brow, literally.

The class is VI and the school is Government High School, Sector 24, here, where the Theatre Age runs evening classes for slum children, who work during the day. Proud products of this evening school from where they passed class V exams in March this year, Sahil and Anup say: "When we started attending evening classes some time ago, the road to success seemed distant. Even our parents were not convinced about what we were doing because we were not bringing home enough money. But today their joy knows no bounds."

For Anup, this success means more than a mere licence for formal education. It is his only chance to ensure happiness for his mother. She is a ragpicker and is still oblivious of the fruits of education. That, however, does not mean she is not happy with her son's success.

As for Anup, it's a new feeling but not an odd one. At home in his class, Anup is already a centre of attraction. Together, both boys are winning hearts and making friends. Their class teacher, Ms Rajinder Kaur, vouches for them, "They are brilliant. Their English is very strong although they need to concentrate on Hindi and Maths. The challenge is natural given the fact that they joined the session three months late."

But the boys are in no mood to relent as they are working hard to rise to the challenge. Helping them in covering the syllabi are Navdeep and Smriti Sharma, two passouts from the University Institute of Engineering and Technology, PU.

Regular teachers at the evening school, being run on the premises of the same school, Navdeep and Smriti are paying greater attention to Sahil and Anup, who need to cover the remaining syllabus fast. They are concentrating equally on other slum children who attend classes after a hectic day at work. Most of these students are shoeshine boys, others are ragpickers.

Ask them how they feel about the feat of their friends and they reply in unison:" We are proud of them and we hope to follow them. What they did was not easy." Sure it wasn't. As Zulfikar Khan of the Theatre Age says:"The boys had cleared class V but they took a while to muster the courage to attend regular school. Brilliant as they were, the Principal of Sector 24 school encouraged them to blaze the trail."

The Principal, Ms Gursharan Kaur, is proud of her new students who are no less than their privileged peers. Education after all is more about will than about wealth.



Contraband seizure: three convicted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
A Non-Resident Indian (NRI), a city-based advocate and another person were today convicted by a local court in a three-year-old sensational case of recovery of 80 kg of contraband from their possession. The contraband was estimated to be worth Rs 50 crore in the international market.

Holding the three persons, Devinder Singh, a resident of 14 Balenoy Avenue, Brampton, Ontario, Canada, Ajay Malik, a resident of Sector 18 B, Chandigarh, and Lingraj, hailing from Orissa, and working at Malik's guest house in Delhi, guilty in the case, the court of the Additional District and Session Judge (ADJ), Mr SK Aggarwal, would announce the quantum of punishment on Monday.

Describing the seizure as one of the biggest-ever haul of narcotics from smugglers allegedly having links with "international drug syndicate" in December 2003, the Operation Cell of the Chandigarh Police had then claimed that the supply was being sent to narco-terrorist groups.

The three persons had been arrested in the wee hours on December 14, 2003, from the Sector 20 and 21 light point while they were carrying the 42 kg of high grade charas and 38 kg of opium in a Mitsubishi Lancer car. The seizure was made by a team led by Inspector Vijay Kumar.

The contraband was first wrapped in plastic bags, then in airtight plastic boxes covered again with plastic bags filled with spices and condiments to 'fool' sniffer dogs. The accused had told the police it was their first consignment and they had been instructed to pack it in this manner.

The contraband was to be sent to Mumbai, Kolkata and Gujarat from where it had to be sent to the international market. Charas and opium had been sourced from Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan.

A total of 28 witnesses were produced by the police. The main witness was one Mr Kohli, a shopkeeper of Sector 15. During the stage of evidence, an independent witness, Kamaljeet Singh, had turned hostile.

The defence counsel had claimed that the three had been falsely implicated by Balwinder Singh Brar, alias Bheera Brar, a resident of Mohali. Beera Brar had allegedly some old grudge with the NRI.

The defence had claimed that the recovery had been made from Bheera Brar. Questions had been raised on the role of certain cops. 



Decomposed body found in house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
A decomposed body of a man in his mid-sixties was found in his Sector 15 residence this morning here. Quoting the family of the deceased, the police termed it a case of natural death and ruled out the possibility of any foul play.

Sources in the Sector 11 police station said the death came to light when neighbours noticed foul smell coming out of the house. They reported the matter to the police at around 10am. A police team reached the spot and broke the door in the presence of the neighbours and recovered the highly decomposed body of Surjit Singh Bawa.

The house was locked from inside and no signs of struggles were found there. The body was lying on the floor in the drawing room. The pet dogs of the deceased were moving in the house and were barking. The whole house was filled with acute foul smell. The deceased's elder brother was informed about the incident.

Dr Bawa, the elder brother of Surjit Singh, said Surjit was unmarried and was living alone. Surjit Singh had worked in Muscat before coming to India about four years ago. Dr Bawa, who runs a clinic in Sector 34, further added that his brother was fond of dogs and used to bring home ailing stray dogs and treated them at his house.

Dr Bawa said he had last talked with his brother about four days ago. The police said the body was handed over to the family without post-mortem. 



SAD, Uma Bharati’s party launch ‘third front’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
With an eye on the September Municipal Corporation (MC) elections, Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) and newly-formed Bharatiya Jan Shakti Party (BJSP) of the expelled BJP leader, Ms Uma Bharati, today set the ball rolling for the formation a non-BJP and the non-Congress “third front” in the city.

With that end in mind, both the parties set up a four-member coordination committee to explore possibilities of alliance with other “like-minded” parties. “Our endeavour would be to defeat the BJP and Congress candidates to provide a clean civic administration to the city residents,” Mr Des Raj Gupta, convener of the BJSP’s Chandigarh state, said here.

Terming BJP as a “finished party”, Mr Gupta, who himself was a senior BJP leader before being expelled, claimed that a large number of leaders of various political parties, including the BJP, would join the party in the coming days. The “third front” would put up prospective winning candidates from all wards of the civic body, Mr Gupta added.

The SAD general secretary and a former Deputy Mayor of the MC, Mr Mohinder Singh, claimed that the Congress would go into the elections with “anti-incumbency” factor besides its failure on all fronts. With the BJP in disarray, the chances of the “third front” seem to be bright as the people wanted effective administration, he added.

Uma Bharati’s party had been attracting BJP dissidents. Prominent among those include Ms Neena Tewari and Mr Satinder Singh, former presidents of the mahila and youth wings of the party, respectively. Only yesterday, the vice-president of the BJP youth wing, Mr Shashi Shankar Tewari, had resigned from his post.

Mr Satinder Singh, co-convener of the Punjab state, claimed was widespread there dischantment with the BJP leadership among the cadre in Punjab and Chandigarh. In fact, the BJP had given a go-by to the issues propounded by the Jana Sangh such as the Ram Temple, uniform civil code and aborgation of Article 370 for the Jammu and Kashmir, he alleged.

It may be recalled that the “non-BJP and non-Congress” parties had been making repeated efforts to form a “third front”. So far, the efforts had been futile. The coming MC elections could spur the political parties to renew their efforts for the formation of the “third front”.

Meanwhile, activists of the Bharatiya Swaraj Manch, led by Mr Vinay Kumar, today joined 
the BJSP.



Water shortage discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Shortage of drinking water in Mohali today came up for discussion at a high-level meeting of senior officers of the Punjab Government. Sources said the Punjab Urban Planning and Development( PUDA) authorities were asked by the state government regarding its phase IV plan of bringing water from Kajauli to Mohali.

The sources said PUDA wanted to start the phase V plan to bring more water to Mohali. It wanted to acquire land to lay a new pipeline from Kajauli to Mohali for supply of water. The sources said the state government had sought a report from PUDA regarding the status of the phase IV plan.

Meanwhile, the Greater Mohali Development Authority will work under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. Already, a number of companies have started depositing land use conversion charges with the government to start housing projects. About Rs 100 crore have been deposited by three big companies in the past one week as conversion charges. The government is expecting a revenue of Rs 1,500 crore from conversion charges of various mega housing projects approved by it in various parts of the state, most of them in the Mohali region.

For the development of Mohali and the periphery, the authority will come out with a modern plan.



MC keen to outsource repair work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The municipal corporation intends to outsource the repair and maintenance of streetlights on a turnkey basis through a private firm for one year. At present, the MC is repairing around 2,000 streetlights.

Approximately 18,000 streetlight points are maintained by the UT Administration on a chargeable basis.

The scope of maintenance and repair would include responsibility of the contractor on a turnkey basis and would cover patrolling of streets, lamp renewal, line maintenance, and repair of defective/ damaged  goods etc.

The corporation shall retain powers of supervision, monitoring and maintenance of streetlights.

The MC hopes that with the outsourcing, it will not require to create new posts or fill up vacant posts on account of increase in the volume of work and will also save money.

The issue will come up for discussion at the F&CC meeting on  July 14. 



Robotic arm for handicapped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
A novel, low-cost robotic arm with special sensors, brings a ray of hope for scores of war, terror and accident victims who find simple acts like drinking a cup of tea, an uphill task.

The Myoelectric Arm, which resembles and performs like a natural arm, has been developed for the first time in the country, by Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) here.

When introduced commericially, the electromechanical arm (robotic arm) is expected to cost Rs 20,000, which is just a fraction of a similar imported version which costs a whopping Rs 8 to 9 lakh and is beyond reach for most patients.

‘’The patient is able to perform many mechanical activities with this prosthetic arm like drinking water, writing with a pen, plucking flowers, picking and placing of objects from one place to another. The prototype has shown excellent results when tried at the patients at the National Institute for Orthopaedically Handicapped (NIOH), Kolkata’’, according to the CSIO director, Dr Pawan Kapur.

The myoelectric arm is the nearest to the normal human arm. Here the muscle signals from the residual limb (stump) are picked to drive the circuit which helps in grasping and releasing of objects just as in actual arm, he explained.

‘The aim of the project, to achieve maximum possible rehabilitation of arm amputees (below elbow at present) at reasonable and affordable cost, was achieved after about two years of hard work by a team of experts,” he said.

The major breakthrough came when, after thorough study of human anatomy, we were able to develop the device which could collect the microvolt signals through electrodes put at a particular place, Arindam Chatterjee and Shashi Sharma, two members of the team, said elaborating on how the robot arm worked.

‘’In the human arm, the contraction and relaxation of muscles produce electromyogram (EMG) signals and the electrodes present in the myoelectic arm picks up these minute EMG signals accompanied by sound. The sound is filtered from these microvolt signals, is amplified by a factor of 1000, converted to DC signals and then digitised. Then these digital signals, through micro control progamme, operate different relays, which operates the motor responsible for opening and closing of the fingers and thumb of the electromechanical arm,” they said.

“We are working on reducing the size and weight of the gadgets before it is made available to the patients’’ they said. With little training, the patient can learn how to put pressure on muscles for sensors to pick 
it up and go about their daily work like before, using the electromechanical arm.



Book on CTU routes for visually disabled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
In a major relief to the visually disabled persons, Institute for the Blind has designed a special book on the local routes being operated by the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU). The book in Braille contains details of the routes on which the CTU buses are being operated, said an official of the UT Transport Department.

The book has information regarding all public places so that commuters and tourists know the bus routes without any assistance.

Mr K.R. Sood, Principal of the Institute for the Blind, said the Director of the CTU, had approached the institute with the idea of preparing maps in Braille. As it was not practically possible to make the maps, the alternative of making compact books was given to the department.

Initially 10 books were made for the CTU. Another 40 books were made for the department. The book has been placed with responsible persons at bus stands and the railway station.

To make the use of books more effective, the books should be placed at the public assistance counter so that they are easily accessible. 



Christian cemetery extension gets MC nod
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, (MCC) in its meeting held here today accorded approval to the extension of the Christian community cemetery in Sector 25 by adding 1.67 acres.

According to a spokesman of the MCC, other agenda items which got approval were estimate for the expenses of operation and maintenance of temporary toilets in various colonies of the city, contract for providing security in municipal corporation building for three years with terms and conditions and renovation/special repair of Janj Ghar, Sector 23-D.

On the agenda item regarding compensation to the agency which is renovating toilets in various markets of Sector 20 and 27 on account of curtailment of pre-determined advertisement area; the F&CC decided that loss to the agency should be evaluated by constituting a committee under the chairmanship of Joint Commissioner, MC.

Apart from the above, the committee accorded approval to certain issues, which included installation of swings at various sites in Chandigarh/Mani Majra on the eve of Janmashtmi through open auction, leasing out of food kiosks in Shivalik Garden pocket no. 7, Mani Majra, through open auction.



Eco Notes
It was delayed monsoon: expert
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH: After playing hide and seek for many days, the first monsoon showers hit City Beautiful and nearby areas on Sunday morning, bringing an end to hot and humid conditions. People ventured out from their houses to enjoy the first shower of rain.

Scientists of the Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Sector 27, who have collected data on the monsoon pattern from 1961 onwards at the meteorological observatory near the Mansa Devi temple, say this time the monsoon arrival is delayed. The average date of monsoon arrival is June 29.

Studies conducted by the institute say the monsoon normally reached the city maximum by July 6. It arrived 31 times in the past 45 years by July 6.

However, between June 30 and July 6, the rainy season started 17 times, which are the maximum years of the onset of monsoon. The years are: 1964, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1972, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998 to 2003 and 2005.

During six years the monsoon was set in between July 7 and 13, three years between July 14 and 20, two years between July 21 and 27 and three years between August 4 and 10.

Dr Yogendra Agnihotri, Principal Scientist of the institute, says the average annual rainfall in the city is 1,121mm. During the past few years the rainfall is more erratic.

He says in 2004 the monsoon was abnormal. In August it received unprecedented rainfall of 735mm. On August 3, 313mm of rainfall was recorded, which had been the heaviest rainfall in a day since 1958. In just three days, 416mm of rainfall was recorded.

Surprisingly, in July 2004 only 53mm rain was recorded against the normal record of 335mm.

Though the pre-monsoon showers hit the city in June, the monsoon entered a “weak phase” afterwards. The formation of a new low-pressure area in the Bay of Bengal and upper cyclonic circulation helped the monsoon to strengthen.

This year between June 1 and July 5, the city received just 84mm of rain. Last year it was 259mm during this period.



Seminar on Indian languages today 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi will hold a two-day national seminar on “Interaction among Indian Languages” from tomorrow.
The inaugural session of the seminar will be held at Government. Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, at 10 a.m. Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, will inaugurate it. Dr Naresh, chairman of the akademi, will present the keynote address and Prof Gopi Chand Narang, chairman, National Sahitya Akademi, will be the chief guest.

Among others present on the occasion will be eminent short story writer Kamaleshwar, former Editor of Kadambini Rajendra Awasthi, former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University J.S. Puar and poet Som P. Ranchan. They will deliberate on the role of languages in shaping the national mainstream.

The first session of the seminar will be presided by Dr Khaliq Anjum, general secretary, Anjuman Taraqqi-e-Urdu. It will feature paper readings by eminent scholars like Dr Ramesh Kuntalmegh, Dr Rana Nayyar, Dr Raghbir Singh and Dr Ramakant Angiras. The second and concluding session will be held at the same venue at 10 a.m. on July 16.

Prof Qamar Rais, general secretary, All-India Progressive Writers Association, will chair it on July 16. 



Handing over of plots: PUDA moves SC 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 14
Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has filed an application in the Supreme Court for an early hearing of cases so that possession of plots could be given to allottees of Sector 76 to 80.

In a press note issued here today, it was stated that the application for an early hearing was filed in consultation with the Advocate General, Punjab. Application also sought direction of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to de-link the case of Sector 76-80 from that of Anandgarh case.



2 thieves held with booty
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The local police has arrested two Ludhiana residents and claimed to have recovered stolen jewellery worth Rs 1.5 lakh from their possession. The police said the accused were trying to sell the stolen property to a shopkeeper in Maloya on Thursday.

Giving details, the in charge of the Maloya police post, Mr Neeraj Sarna, said Kamalpreet Singh, alias Rinku, and Pankaj of Khanna in Ludhiana district were arrested for selling stolen property at a shop in Maloya. The matter came to light when the accused were trying to sell cigarette packets for Rs 10 only to a shopkeeper, who got suspicious and asked them why they were selling the cigarettes at such a low price. The accused told him that they had closed their shop recently and were clearing the stock.

Unsatisfied with their reply, the shopkeeper informed the police, which reached there and questioned them.

Mr Sarna added that during questioning, the accused admitted to their crime and told the police that they had burgled a house and a shop of Mr Raghbir Singh in Khamano Mandi, Ludhiana, in the wee hours of Thursday. After that, they boarded a tractor-trailer and came to the city for selling the things. The search led to the recovery of the stolen jewellery.

A case under Section 411 of the IPC has been registered. They were produced before a local court today, which remanded them in two-day police custody. They have also admitted to having committed several thefts in Ludhiana.



Man held for suicide bid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The local police arrested a Sector 40 resident for attempting to commit suicide by drowning himself in the Sukhna Lake here early this morning. Quoting the family of Rajeev Kumar (40), the accused, the police said, he was a drug addict and suffering from depression.

Giving details, sources at Sukhna Lake police post said the incident took place at around 6.30 am when constable Gobind Kumar noticed a man walking into the murky waters of the lake from a staircase near the tower.

He immediately raised an alarm and called a motorboat. Soon, two boatmen, Raju Chauhan and Shishpal rushed to the spot and pulled Rajeev Kumar out of the water before he could drown himself. Rajeev was brought to the shore and given first-aid.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Raju Chauhan said, “Soon after getting a call from the police, I along with boatman Shishpal rushed towards the spot. Thankfully, we reached there in time and the man was neck deep in water, when we pulled him out.”

The police said it informed Rajeev Kumar’s family before registering a case of attempt to commit suicide against him under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code.



Woman commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
A 24-year-old-married woman today allegedly ended her life by setting herself afire at her Bapu Dham Colony residence, this evening. 
Giving details about the incident, sources in the Sector 26 Police Station said, the victim has been identified as Muni Devi.

The matter came to light when at around 5 pm, her neighbour noticed smoke coming out of her hutment. He rushed there, but found the house locked from inside and when his repeated calls went unanswered, he broke open the makeshift tin roof and gained entry. By the time the victim was no more. He informed the police.

The police said Muni Devi was alone at home at that time. She is survived by her husband, Raj Kumar, a hawker in vegetable market, and a one-and-half-year-old child. The police shifted her body to the Sector 16 General Hospital and was waiting for the victim’s parents to arrive and record their statements in the case.



Booked for raping minor
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 14
The police has booked a resident of Phase V on a charge of raping a minor girl.
According to the police, Sanjiv Kumar, a resident of Phase V, complained that Balwinder Singh of the same area allegedly tried to rape a four-year-old girl.

The police has registered a case under Sections 376 and 511 of the IPC in this regard.

Fired: Some person hiding in bushes fired two shots in air when Mr Jagpal Singh, a Community Police Officer in Sector 69, tried to find out what was moving about in the bushes along the road side. The person hiding immediately fled from spot.

The police said there was a possibility that the unidentified person wanted to commit some crime. A case has been registered under Section 336 of the IPC.

Injured: A resident of Phase I complained to the police that a car driver had injured him and his friend.

Mr Vinod Sharma alleged that Jagtar Singh of Chaumajra, who was going in a car, hit his scooter injuring him and his friend. The police has registered a case under Sections 279, 337 and 427 of the IPC.



Chain snatcher arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
In an interesting case, a snatcher landed in a trap of cops, who were looking for someone else.
Giving details of the incident, the police said Sub-Inspector Amanjot Singh along with a team, had set up a trap to nab someone Suddenly they heard cries of a woman and rushed to her help.

The cops noticed a man running and the woman shouting that he had snatched her gold chain. In no time, the cops managed to nab the man and recovered the gold chain. He was later identified as Ramesh Kumar of the PGI. Ramesh is a son of a PGI employee and was arrested earlier by the UT police in a case.

A case was registered against him on a complaint filed by Ms Neelam, a resident of the YWCA, Sector 11. 



Couple’s murder: case registered

Panchkula, July 14
Taking a serious view of the post-mortem reports of an elderly couple of Khangesra village near Barwala, the district police has registered a case of murder against unidentified suspects today. The police has registered a FIR under Section 302 of the IPC at Chandimandir Police Station this afternoon.
The post-mortem reports released by the PGI Rohtak late Thursday night, had proved that the couple was murdered in a planned manner. TNS



IT industry should strengthen R&D: expert
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The Information Technology (IT) revolution is still at a nascent stage in India. The IT industry here has to evolve from doing outsourcing jobs for global leaders to research and development (R&D).

These views were expressed by Dr Gurpreet Dhillon, Professor, Information Systems, School of Business,Virginia Commonwealth University, USA. In town to chair a three- day conference on "Information Science, Technology and Management" from July 16 to 18, Dr Dhillon said it was time that India Inc. invested in R & D for future growth.

"With an aim to cut costs, most of the big companies in the USA and the UK have drastically reduced investment in R & D. Another reason for the R & D taking a backseat was the increasing divide between the academic research and practice. Practitioners would often discount academic research as too theoretical, while academics would call practice to be rather reactive. This division has not helped further the field of information services," he said.

It was thus that a need was felt to set up a forum where both academicians and industry could interact. It was at the behest of some top companies like SAP that the Information Institute, USA, was formed.

"Gone are the days when Xerox Parc and IBM would invest a major chunk of funds in research and had developed research centres. Now, companies, including Pricewater House, Phillip Morris and Captial One were tying up with academic institutions and outsourcing the R & D work. Many Indian universities and other academic institutions of repute could take advantage of this opportunity to tie up with global IT players for research," he said.

Dr Dhillon belongs to the city and after graduating from the London School of Economics, had moved to the USA.

He said that during his visit he would also be exploring opportunities for tie-ups with Panjab University and Punjab Engineering College. "Other academic institutions in the region, too, could benefit through outsourcing of research," he added.

Talking about the conference, he said this was the fourth in a series to be held here. Earlier, the conferences had been held in Cape Town, Alexandria and Gurgaon. "We are being supported by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), St John's Old Boys Association (SJOBA) and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore," he said.



Bank violates RBI guidelines!
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Despite the guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to all banks, including non-chest branches, for exchanging mutilated or imperfect currency, Mr I.S. Chauhan, a Haryana government employee, was given mutilated notes over the cash counter of the State Bank of India, Sector 17.

The incident took place on July 10, when he approached the bank to withdraw Rs 11,000 cash from his salary savings account. “I received a wad of 100 notes (of Rs 100 denomination) and two notes of Rs 500 denomination each. It was only the next day, that I realized that 25 notes (of Rs 100 denomination) in the wad were torn,” he said.

Mr Chauhan said he approached the bank the next day and the cashier accepted that the wad had been issued by him. “He, however, refused to replace the notes, saying that I would have to pay the cost of exchanging the currency, and would get only 50 per cent of the Rs 2,500 that I wanted to exchange. I approached the branch manager, and he too expressed helplessness. But why should I bear the loss for the fault of the cashier,” he said.

The RBI guidelines state that these mutilated notes cannot be issued to the public but shall be deposited in currency chests for onward transmission to RBI offices as chest remittances.

Mr Chauhan has now complained to the RBI and the head office of the SBI in this regard.



Exhibition on real estate investment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Sarha India is organising an exhibition on “Real estate investment and finance” at Hotel Shivalikview here on July 15 and 16. The Chief Executive of Sarha India, Mr Sarvesh Kumar Jaidka, said the exhibition would bring all real estate developers who foresee good returns in their properties under a single roof so that prospective investors could meet them.
The exhibition includes properties from in and around Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.



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