C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Protest at St John’s School
Parents allege discrimination
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Parents of students admitted to St John’s School in the economically weaker section staged a protest outside the school here this evening, alleging discrimination.

The parents stated that school Principal Pushpinder Cheema had threatened to shift their wards to an evening shift on the pretext of bad performance. The principal, on the other hand, said the incident was the result of a misunderstanding between the parents and the school authorities.

An agitation started outside the school after the Parent Teacher Association meeting held on the school premises. Parents who had come to attend the meeting came out and staged a protest. Sources added that some persons had come to the school in a mini-truck from outside and later joined the parents. The police was called to disperse the crowd late in the evening.

The meeting was held between the parents, school authorities and Brother Pinto, director, Education of Convent Schools. According to the parents, during the meeting the school authorities led by the principal warned them that their wards were not performing well as a result of which they would have to shift them to an evening shift in the school from 2 pm to 5 pm. They further alleged that in case the parents wanted that their wards continue to attend school in the morning from the next session, they would have to dole out Rs 1,000 as fee per month. The parents added that they were already paying Rs 50 as fee.

Ms Cheema said an evaluation of these students had been conducted, following which it was decided that they be shifted. “These students are weak in studies as they were not able to cope up with pressures of the class. The integration of weak students with the ones whose pick up is fast, hampers their development and a special provision was being made for them so that they could improve. The decision was misunderstood by the parents and they had some doubts which need to be clarified,” she said, adding that no one was asked to pay additional charges.

The parents pointed out that the school should have the same policy for every student. “Do they shift the other wards to an evening shift in case they do not perform well? We are being discriminated against,” said a parent.



PU bans fee payment through cheque
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Panjab University has discontinued accepting fee through cheque. This follows a series of cases when cheques given by the students to the university bounced at the banks as their accounts did not have the requisite amount.

The university Registrar has, in a recent circular to all department heads, said, “It has been observed that the cheques accepted towards payment of fee are being returned by bank on account of insufficient money in the account of the candidates concerned. The Vice-Chancellor has decided that henceforth the fee will be accepted in cash or through banker’s cheques and demand drafts only.”

Bouncing of a cheque attracts six-month jail term for the person issuing it. The erring students are, however, being allowed to get away with only a fine. “The department heads have been told to fine the students and not accept any cheques at all,” said the Registrar.

Student leaders have objected to the ban. “Why is the university punishing all students for the fault of a handful of students? Majority of the students pay the fee through cheques. Banker’s cheques and demand drafts are expensive to make. The university should take action against the erring students instead of punishing all,” said Abhishek Puri, president of the Panjab University Students Union.



Annual function organised

Mohali, December 14
The primary wing of Shivalik Public School, Sector 41, Chandigarh, organised its annual prize distribution and cultural function in the school auditorium at Shivalik Public School, Phase 6, here today. Mr Ashwani Kumar, DPI, was the chief guest on the occasion.

The chief guest lighted the lamp of knowledge and children invoked the blessings of God through prayer. Mrs Gurkiran Nalwa, Vice-Principal, presented the annual report highlighting the achievements of the school and goals set up for the future.

Students were honoured for their scholastic and co-curricular achievements. The chief guest appreciated the students for their achievements. The Director-Principal, Mr D.S. Bedi thanked the distinguished guests. TNS



Ex-Mayor’s plea to shift case

Chandigarh, December 14
A former Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, has moved an application before the District and Sessions Judge (DSJ) for shifting a case of defamation filed against the president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, local unit, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, from the court of Mr R.K. Singla.

She had filed a case of defamation against Mr Riar on November 19, 1999, under Section 500 of the IPC alleging that Mr Riar openly defamed her by saying that she had illicit relations with senior Akali leaders and a former minister in the Congress. TNS


Dispensary docs, staff caught-napping
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 14
It was a cleanliness lesson learnt the hard way for doctors and staff of the dispensary in Sector 20, here today, when Parliamentary Secretary Krishna Pandit came visiting here today.

Amidst unhygienic surroundings, the doctors and staff of the dispensary were “caught napping” when Pandit walked in to have a first-hand feel of the dispensary.

Instead, one of her first observations was that people were bound to contract new diseases by visiting the “unhealthy premises” of the dispensary given the filth and tall grass inside the premises. “While they are unlikely to be cured of the sickness they come to treat, they are more likely to fall prey to new illness given the present state of affairs,” she said.

Critical of the fact that patients were not given medicines available at the dispensary free of cost, she instructed the two doctors on duty to put up a list of medicines available at the health centre. Admonishing the staff at the centre for dust settled over every table and piles of rubbish dotting every corner, Pandit added that she had received information that doctors at the dispensary were not attending properly to patients.

“I have given them a week to set things in order. I will visit the place again and have warned them to pull up their socks before action is initiated against them. I have told them that they will be transferred out if they don’t improve. Experience has shown that surprise checks have improved the situation in a number of health centres,” she said.

Maintaining that rural dispensaries of Ambala and Yamunagar were much better than the one at Sector 20, Pandit said she had sent decoys to various dispensaries and hospitals to get first-hand information about their functioning.



Honking horns music to Czech players
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
What irritates most of the local people is immensely liked by the badminton players from Czech Republic. They love to hear sound of horns and be amid heavy traffic. “For us, horns sound like music and we are fascinated to see this phenomenon happening on Indian roads.

It also amazed all of us that how so many vehicles were plying on the roads without hitting each other”, said Pavel Florian, Czech international Under-19 badminton champion. Five players, including two women, have come from Czech Republic to attend a coaching camp being held at Panjab University badminton hall by the city-based coach Surinder Mahajan.

Pavel Florian is the only medium of communication as he is the only player of the group who speaks English. Pavel Florian said, “I and my coach Radek Votava have visited the city earlier in 2002 to attend a coaching camp. The tips and guidance, provided by the Indian coach, helped me a lot as I won U-17 nationals in singles the same year. This time three budding shuttlers, including Pavel K, Adela and Sarka, accompanied us to learn new trades of the game”.

Besides heavy traffic, the crowded markets of the city also attracted the visitors a lot. “We are not used to see such rush in our country so seeing so many people all around is altogether a different experience. We all want to purchase typical Indian clothes from the City Beautiful. Apart from that, we would take mouth-freshner and tea packets for our friends”, said Pavel and his teammates for whom mouth-freshner was a new thing.

Eating spicy Indian dishes is a problem for the whole group. But, most of them like “dals”, “chapattis” and non-vegetarian items.

“Visiting Shimla is also high on our agenda”, concluded Pavel.



Bengal lift CK Naidu trophy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
With a fine knock of 90 runs by Wriddman Saha, the Bengal team lifted the Colonel CK Naidu trophy beating Uttar Pradesh on the basis of first innings lead in the three-day final match of the All-India U-22 Cricket tournament played at Sector 16 Cricket Stadium here today.

Resuming from 76 for 3, the Bengal team made 363 losing nine wickets in 122 overs. The overnight batsmen Wriddham and Munish Tewari played brilliantly and scored 90 and 54, respectively. Priyankan Mukherjee also hit half century (53) whereas Avik Chaudhary (33 n.o.) and Anirban Gupta (31) guided the team to a big total.

The most successful bowlers for UP were Avinash Yadav (finishing 6 for 131) followed by Deepinder Pandey (2 for 79). Earlier, the UP team made 240 in 74.1 overs in the first innings.

Score board: UP (Ist inngs): 240 all out in 74.1 overs (Tahir abbas 46, Mohd Arif 36 n o, Ashwini Mandhani 35, Saurav Sarkar 5 for 55)

Bengal: (Ist innings): 363 for 9 in 122 overs (Wriddham 90, Munish Tewari 54, Priyankan 53, Avinash 6 for 131, Deepinder 2 for 79). 



DAV College win ball badminton championship

Chandigarh, December 14
DAV College, Sector 10, won the Panjab University Inter-College Ball Badminton (Men)'s Championship here today. They defeated SGGS College, Sector 26 by 29-14, 29-17. SGGS College, Sector 26, GGD SD College, Sector 32 and DM College, Moga stood second, third and fourth . TNS



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