C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Misinformation, UBS style
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The University Business School (UBS) of the Panjab University seems to have been providing wrong information to various leading magazines of the country, which rate business schools in their annual surveys.

The UBS has been getting ranked among the top 20 management institutes for the past few years, a fact which has been widely publicised by the university.

The glaring fact came to light when the data provided by the UBS was being fed into the records of the All-India Management Association, the apex body collecting the data on various business schools of the country and providing various magazines with the same.

The data supplied was for 2004-2005. According to sources, on being fed the information, computers gave a message that it was unrealistic data.

Thinking that there might be an accidental error, officials contacted Dr A.K. Sehjpal, dean, commerce and business management, Panjab University.

Investigations by Dr Sehjpal led to the fact that the data being provided was wrong. He contacted the teacher concerned to revise the information.

“I got the information corrected and it was later decided by ex-vice-chancellor K.N. Pathak not to participate in rankings anymore after it came to light that facts were being fabricated.”

The UBS did not participate in the rankings for this year. The matter was kept under wraps for fear of bad publicity. This incident shocked those who learnt about it. The issue was also raised by senator Ashok Goyal, who, observing that the UBS was ranked 11th in one magazine while there was no mention of it in another, requested the university look into the matter.

It was not attended to. “I was surprised to see that we are not ranked in one magazine while we are ranked in another. I wrote to the vice-chancellor that we are only rated in the magazine where the data is supplied to agencies which rates them, while we are no where in the list where the magazine does it themselves.”

He alleged that it was brushed aside. It was only later that the shocking details were known.

“Students and parents all over the country largely depend on such data provided by magazines. Companies also depend on these magazines for placement. When the ground reality is seen, we are failing in our duties as an education institution toward them. It is shocking that the matter, rather than being investigated and the guilty being brought to book, is being brushed aside.”

According to Mr Goyal, Dr Manoj Sharma, reader in the UBS, who supplied the fake data, was facing a charge sheet for being the impersonator of an examiner. This inquiry report was produced in the senate meeting of December 31. No action had been taken for the misleading facts.

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Fog plays havoc with flight, rail schedules
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Fog threw normal life out of gear for the third consecutive day today in most places of Punjab and Haryana, but the minimum temperatures in the region, including Chandigarh, witnessed a slight increase.

Fog played havoc with flight and rail schedules, with Jet Airways having to cancel its Delhi-Chandigarh flight while several long distance and sub-urban trains running on the Delhi-Ambala-Kalka rail section were delayed by a few hours due to bad weather.

People in Amritsar, Pathankot, Adampur, Halwara, Ludhiana, Ambala, Chandigarh and Sirsa woke up to a thick blanket of fog.

However, cold winds, which were blowing, made people feel that the weather was much colder than it actually was. It forced people to remain indoors for a major portion of the day. However, there was a fall in the maximum temperature from 21.2°C to 18.6°C.

Meanwhile, the minimum temperature increased at most places barring Amritsar, which saw the mercury drop to 1.2°C, three below normal. Chandigarh recorded a minimum temperature of 6.4°C as compared to a minimum temperature of 4.6°C yesterday.

Air Deccan said it will not be plying to Jammu from here due to bad weather there.

The major trains that were delayed included Unchhar Express, Malwa Express, Jammu Mail, Jhelum Express, Paschim Express, Bathinda-Delhi Express and Amritsar Super Express. However, the superfast Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi Express arrived on schedule.

Normal movement of vehicular traffic on NH 1 and other state highways were also affected due to the fog.

The places which registered an increase in minimums included Chandigarh (6.4°C), Ambala (8.4°C), Hisar (7.8°C), Karnal (7.4°C), Ludhiana (7.2°C) and Patiala (8.5°C).

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Doctor’s charred body found
Tribune News Service

Harbans Singh
Dr Harbans Singh

Chandigarh, January 2
The charred body of Hoshiarpur-based doctor Harbans Singh was recovered from his friend’s rented accommodation in Sector 15, here this morning. The room at the first floor of the house was choked with smoke, which the police believed, might have caused by a burning cigarette stub.

The body was found lying on a double-bed mattress on the floor. It was badly burnt along with the clothes, the deceased was wearing. A bottle of liquor and a packet of cigarettes were found near the body. A laptop, also charred, was found beside the burnt corpse.

The police suspected that the deceased might have been under the influence of liquor while working on the laptop before he fell sleep. The burning cigarette might have been left unfinished before he went to sleep, suspected the police.

The walls, roof and the furniture in the room had thick black soot because of the smoke. The mattress on which the body was lying was still smouldering. Ruling out the possibility of foul play behind the death, the police said the room was found locked form inside and the doctor was alone.

The incident came to light at around 8 am when, Mr Rakesh Garg, the landlord of the house, noticed acrid smell of smoke in the house and went out to check. He found smoke coming out from the first floor of the house and went upstairs.

The first floor was shared by Harbans' friend Dr Sameer, a dermatologist at the PGI, with another doctor. The other doctor opened the door and they noticed smoke coming out of the room of Dr Sameer.

When no one opened the door following their repeated knocks, they informed the police and the fire department. Soon, the police and fire tenders reached the spot and broke open the door.

Thirtytwo-year-old Harbans Singh had got the job about four months ago. He was unmarried and his younger brother was also a doctor in Hoshiarpur. He had an accident a few months ago, in which his jaw and nose were hurt. He had come to the city on Monday for surgery in the PGI.

Dr Sameer had gone to Delhi leaving him in his room. The police said he came home last night at around 9 pm and the incident might have occurred at around midnight.

Describing him, his colleagues told media persons that he was a brilliant student and had a jolly nature. The police informed the family about the death and the deceased's brother reached the city late in the afternoon. He expressed no doubt over the death, following which the police initiated inquest proceedings in this connection.

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Youths’ courage puts robbers behind bars
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Displaying exemplary courage and timely intervention five youngsters led to the arrest of two youths, who allegedly robbed Bhushan Kumar of over Rs 32,900 from his residence in Sector 16 tonight.

The incident occurred when Bhushan Kumar, a sanitary dealer of Sector 7, Madhya Marg, reached home around 8 p.m.As soon as he disembarked from his car, a youth knocked at the door apparently to divert his attention.

The other youth snatched the bag containing cash and important documents and they decamped with the booty. After Bhushan raised the alarm, five youths, Nasir, Manpreet, Shailendar, Parmodh and Nishant, living as paying guests in the neighbourhood started chasing the robbers." As we are chasing them, the robbers fired atleast two shots from a pistol which narrowly missed us", Nasir told mediapersons.

However, as we continued to chase them, the robbers scaled the boundary wall of Government High School, Sector 23, and hid themselves in the wild growth. As the robbers could not be traced, the police was informed of the hiding of robbers in the school premises. A police party, led by SI, Mr Charanjit Singh Virk, cordoned off the area and launched a search operation. However, the police party virtually groped in the dark for quite some time when the mobile phone of one of the robber rang revealing their location.

Mr Virk said the police team headed towards the direction of sound with the help of search lights and located the accused. The bag containing cash, a country-made pistol and a mobile phone set were seized from the duo, identified as Santosh and Lalit, alias Pappy.

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School timings changed up to Jan 31
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The Education Department, Chandigarh Administration, has decided to change school timings. The decision will be implemented in all government and government-aided schools with immediate effect up to January 31.

The new timings for single shift schools are now from 8.30 am to 2 pm. The morning shift will be from 8 am to 1.15 pm, while the other shift will commence at 12 noon and continue till 5.00 pm. However, the teachers and other staff for the afternoon shift will come at 11.30 am.

This decision, among others, was taken at a meeting of Principals called by the Director, Public Instructions (S), Mr Ashwani Kumar, held at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, here today.

However, after January 31 the timings would roll back to normal i.e. from 8 am to 2 pm (morning shift), 7.30 am to 1.30 pm and 11.30 am to 5.30 pm (double shift).

“It is a temporary relief given to schoolchildren due to the chilly weather conditions. This decision will be effective till January 31 and afterwards the old pattern of school timings will be followed”, said the DPI (S).

It was also unanimously decided at the meeting to extend the summer vacation for the next session. The vacation, which was earlier granted from June 1 to June 30, would now be from May 25 to June 30 this year. However, there would be no April vacation.

To compensate the extended vacation period, the April vacation’s period had been cut. The DPI (S) also instructed the Principals and teachers to take a lenient view about the uniform of the schoolchildren. If a student wears extra clothing (sweater/jacket) due to cold, he or she should be let free during this period.

The Principals proposed that the Class VIII examinations should be based on the CBSE Class X or XII pattern. The result evaluation should be made with the computation of both theoretical and practical papers. The Principals further proposed that a student who did not attain pass marks in theoretical paper but got pass marks in the practical paper should be treated as pass. This issue was discussed to raise the pass percentage of Class VIII examinations. It was also discussed that the decision in case of science subject could be taken on a priority basis, since the examinations in science were already in progress. The DPI (S) also announced to form a committee, which would look into the matter soon. 

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In Town

Renowned Punjabi folk singer Pammi Bai will be in the city to release his latest album, Putt Punjabi. An exponent of Malwai Gidda folklore, Pammi Bai has to his credit a number of music albums that have been labeled bestsellers. Not influenced by the growing culture of obscene videos, Pammi Bai is known to encourage clean ones. His latest album, Putt Punjabi, is being released by Frankfinn Music.

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Passing Thru

Kuldeep Malhotra
Kuldeep Malhotra, Regional operations manager, Zerox

How is docucolour, installed today, different from other printers and copiers?

It is a state-of-the-art colour laser printer, the first such sophisticated machine to be launched in the region. This machine can take paper size upto 12.6x19.2; can print full colour or four colour prints at 52 pages per minute or 3100 pages per hour. The digital technology will revolutionise printing as there is no need for films and plates in it.

What are your plans for increasing your presence in North India?

We already get about 27 per cent of our business from North India, but with rapid industrialisation here, we hope to increase our share from Punjab and Haryana. Thus, we are planning to increase our dealership network and make our presence felt in new cities like Ambala and Karnal. We are conducting training workshops for employees at shops that use our products.

What are the new machines that you propose to launch now?

We have launched a third-generation digital laser printer in Mumbai called iGen 3. It is one of the most sophisticated machines with a high printing capacity. It costs Rs 4 crore and we will now launch it in other cities across the country.

— Ruchika M. Khanna

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Chandigarh Calling

Honesty is certainly not dead. And certainly not amongst the less fortunate ones. A perfect example is that of a waiter at the Katani Sweets in Sector 35, who found a purse containing Rs 1 lakh, besides a number of international credit cards.

The waiter, Mr Sharma, found the bag at the shop after its owner, an NRI, Ms Jasbir Kaur, had left the sweet shop. He handed over the bag to the shop owner, Mr Rajesh Sachdeva, who in turn, contacted the owner and handed her the bag.

Bansal’s wit

The wit of the Minister of State for Finance, Mr Pawan Bansal, is quite well-known. This rare trait among politicians was exhibited yet again by the minister during a press conference to brief the reporters about the results of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) the other day.

As soon as the newly-elected councillors posed with the minister and the CTCC chief, Mr B.B. Bahl, for the press photographers, certain over-ambitious relatives of the corporators tried to sneak into the photo frame. Judging the dilemma of the lensmen, Mr Bansal was quick to restrain the over-jealous relatives saying “sirf parshad, parshad-pati aur parshad-sasur nahin” (Only councillors, no councillor-husband and councillor-father-in-law).

The minister’s reprimand had the desired effect and the husband of a councillor and the father-in-law of another councillor beat a hasty retreat.

Gasolina fever

For youngsters the most popular spot in Sector 17 in the past has been the one outside Deepak Radios and it continues to be the one. Come Saturday, and the young boys crowd the corridor in front of the music shop to dance boisterously to Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina”.

It is an unplanned public dance party — the Gasolina fever, it may well be called so. Reason, Gasolina being the only word from the song that these revellers scream out and perhaps understand. Just like the carnival, it has become a regular feature on Saturdays.

But quite often, one can notice that few revellers get drunk and even go to the extent of consuming the booze openly. This should be avoidable, lest the Gasolina fever be looked down upon by the passersby or at the worst, looked upon by the cops.

‘Crowd-puller’

If you think the Chandigarh-Zirakpur highway is overcrowded, here are the statistics. A survey carried out by Ministry of Road Transport and Highway reveals that 100 cars zip down the road every hour. This is not all. A total of 200 buses also travel on the same road every hour.

Adding to the chaos are two-wheelers. The survey reveals that 800 two-wheelers also travel on the road. This survey, which started on December 29, is expected to continue till January 5.

Sprinting cattle

On Thursday, while on an afternoon stroll in Sector 29-C, we saw a posse of stray cattle hurtling helter-skelter and some headed towards us. Fearing a potential danger from them, we changed our direction and ran for safety.

Moments later, we came to know that a municipal corporation team was after them to impound them. Is not cattle-impounding process archaic and risky for the public around as one could be hit by the frenetic cattle?

Terrified cattle are all the more dangerous for passersby. The MC should devise some safe ways to catch them. Those who let loose their cattle should be punished.

Contributed by Pradeep Sharma, Ruchika M. Khanna, Harbinder Singh, Rajiv Bhatia and Tarundeep Aggarwal

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All eyes on Ward No. 7
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
All political parties now seem to be focused on Ward No. 7. All elected councillors have been directed by their respective party high commands to campaign for their party candidates.

Five candidates will contest the upcoming election on January 14 for the SC reserved Ward No. 7, which consists of Maloya, EWS Colony, Maloya, West of Sector 39 and Grain Market. The candidates are Phool Chand, Congress, Sachin Kumar, BJP, Rajesh Kumar, LJSP, (supported by the CVM), Kartar Singh, MCP, and Jagteshvar Bir Singh, BSP.

It may be mentioned here that the election to this ward was countermanded after the death of BSP candidate Tarlochan Singh. His son is now contesting the election. The door-to-door campaigning in the ward is expected to start from tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Congress councillors held a meeting with the CTCC president, Mr B.B. Bahal, and Mr Pawan Bansal, Union Minister of State for Finance, today.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Bahal said the councillors had been told to campaign for their Candidate in the ward. “The councillors will campaign and note down every grievance of the ward residents, which we assure will be addressed later”.

Denying that the issue of the mayoral candidate was discussed, he said a decision on the matter would be taken on Thursday or Friday. However, according to sources, the name of former Mayor Anu Chatrath seems to be on the top of the list.

The Opposition consisting of the BJP, the CVM, the SAD and the BSP, however, are yet to come to a consensus on its candidate. While the BSP has stated that it is neutral and will not vote for the Congress, the BJP or the SAD. The CVM chief, Mr Harmohan Dhawan, said they would be meeting the BJP and the SAD soon to discuss the matter.

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UPA govt going soft on terrorist organisations: Swamy
Says country needs Hindu agenda
Tribune News Service

Subramanian Swamy
Dr Subramanian Swamy

Chandigarh, January 2
Accusing the Congress-led UPA government of going soft on terrorist organisations, the president of the Janata Party, Dr Subramanian Swamy, today called upon Pro-Hindu organisations to come on one platform "to counter the forces which have been targeting the community".

"India's identity must be symbolised by the word 'Hindustan', which means 'a nation of Hindus and those who proudly acknowledge that their ancestors are Hindus", Dr Swamy said at a press conference here today.

The vested interests were making Hindus their target. "Be it religious conversion, distortion of facts in history books or driving Kashmiri Pandits out of their homes in the valley, Hindus have been on the receiving end," he claimed.

"To survive as a united democracy, the country now needs Hindu agenda. Time has come when pro-Hindu forces should unite and vote for parties that adopt a pre-approved Hindu agenda," he said while pleading "whole-hearted support" for the BJP in the forthcoming Punjab elections.

Asked about the timing of raking up this issue when the elections are round-the-corner in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, the Janata Party leader said the electorate must be made aware of the issue in the larger national interests.

Coming down heavily on the Central Government for its alleged softline against the terrorist organisations, Dr Swamy alleged that during the last two-and-a-half years' rule "the UPA has sent clear signals that terrorists who are only targeting Hindus, will not be confronted and eliminated by it".

"POTA has been abolished, Afzal Guru has not been hanged and the LTTE legitimised by the government meeting the LTTE-front MPs from Sri Lanka," the leader alleged.

Terming the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, as a failure both as the "Prime Minister and the economist", the former Commerce, Law and Justice Minister alleged that the country was heading for "economic disaster" even as the government was looking the other way.

However, he claimed that there was nothing wrong with the policies of globalisation and liberalisation and it was government's implementation of these policies which had led to the present "financial crisis".

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Tune in for traffic info
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Motorists will soon be able to tune in more than just entertainment programmes. They will also be provided information regarding traffic jams and other related issues.
The Chandigarh traffic police has decided to use FM radio for providing vital information regarding traffic conditions including diversions and jams.

The development assumes significance as traffic police has not been using technology for providing vital information to the motorists that can help them in avoiding traffic jams by taking alternative routes. The practice is quite common in metros, including Delhi, where radio jockeys constantly provide information about the flow of traffic on various roads to motorists.

The suggestion to use radio for providing information was first put forward in these columns to counter traffic jams created due to protest and other such activities.

The Chandigarh traffic police today announced that it would collaborate with the All India Radio (AIR) in this regard and started the new service. The police also requested the general public to inform the about the traffic jams or any other traffic related problems on their toll free traffic helpline number 1073. The information would be aired by the FM radio accordingly.

The Chandigarh traffic police had been using the FM radio to aware the general public about the traffic rules and regulations through radio jingles. The jingles were aired in morning as well as evening sessions.

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Rodrigues opens botanical garden, bamboo valley
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), today inaugurated the botanical garden in Sarangpur and the bamboo valley in Sector 23.
In his address and interaction with residents at both places, General Rodrigues told them to actively participate to manage and maintain these features as these would provide an opportunity to go back to nature and to preserve environmental heritage.

He told the officers and residents to institute a collaborative monitoring and maintenance mechanism by creating a society for the botanical garden and also a core group, comprising officers and representatives of the public, for the bamboo valley.

The Administrator went around infrastructure components created at the botanical garden in an area of 176 acres with the objectives of research, promotion of eco-tourism, education and awareness of floral heritage.

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Week-long New Year festival ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The concluding function of the New Year Festival organised by the Department of Tourism was held at the Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42, here today. Mr S.K. Saluja, Principal of the institute, welcomed the guests.

Giving details of the week-long festival, Mr Vivek Attray, Director, Department of Tourism, said, “The residents of Chandigarh should become ambassadors of the city to promote tourism in the region”. He also thanked participants for making the festival a success.

The volunteers of the Nehru Yuva Kendra presented a cultural programme on the occasion. 

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Patwaris stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 2
Members of the Revenue Patwari Union , SAS Nagar, staged a dharna outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner here today in protest against alleged police high handedness.

The protesters raised slogans against the police and the government and demanded that the alleged fake cases registered against two patwaris should be withdrawn.

Mr Balwinder Singh, president of the union, said that the police had allegedly registered fake cases against Mr Harvinder Singh from the Mullanpur Garibdass circle and Mr Bhupinder Singh from the Swara circle. He demanded that cases registered against both patwaris be withdrawn.

He further said that Mr Surinder Singh Rana from Mundi Kharar was suspended on the basis of a false complaint without holding any inquiry in this regard. He said the patwari should be immediately reinstated.

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Gurpurb celebrations resonate
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 2
The sound of crackers resounded as residents followed the ‘Panj Piaras’ in celebration of the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh which falls on January 5.
The nagar kirtan began at about 1 pm. As the band played religious notes, students, clad in the traditional white attire, marched in the procession while ‘gatka’ players displayed their talents. A band also accompanied the procession as it went from one sector to another.

A large number of devotees joined the ‘Panj Pyaras’ who walked in front of the Palki Sahib carrying the Guru Granth Sahib. Students could be seen bursting crackers as the procession with nearly 25 trucks carrying devotees went through the city.

The kirtan began from the Nada Sahib gurdwara and reached Majri Chowk. It then passed through Sectors 1, 2, 4, 11, 12, 15, 9,8,7, Old Panchkula before concluding back at the gurdwara. Here, it ended with a spectacular display of fireworks.

Accompanying the procession were members of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, and representatives of the Nada Sahib gurdwara. 

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Dr Satish Kumar new director of TBRL
Tribune News Service

Satish Kumar
Dr Satish Kumar

Chandigarh, January 2
Dr Satish Kumar is the new director of Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), a prestigious armament lab of the DRDO. He has taken over from Mr V. S. Sethi.

Mr Satish Kumar, did his aeronautical engineering from PEC, Chandigarh, followed by MTech from IIT, Kanpur. He obtained his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from REC, Warangal with specialisation in Aircraft Propulsion and Supersonic Combustion.

He was associated with the design and development of Liquid Propellant Rocket Engines for Prithvi and Agni missiles and Scramjet Engine for Hypersonic Test Vehicles. Prior to joining TBRL, Dr Kumar was the Director, Missiles and Head, Program Office, at the DRDO headquarters, New Delhi.

Dr Satish Kumar has two patents and 30 technical papers to his credit. He was honoured with the Technology Award for "Development of Scramjet Combuster for Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle" and also commended by the Ministry of Defence for his developmental work on Propellant Transfer System for the Prithvi Missile.

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Panel on child prostitution meets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The advisory committee for eradicating child prostitution held its first meeting under the chairmanship of home-cum-social welfare secretary Krishna Mohan today.
The committee had been constituted in compliance with directions of the Supreme Court to make suitable suggestions for eradicating child prostitution.

The meeting was attended by the SSP, the legal remembrancer, the joint director health and the director social of the YTTS. As there was no specific area in Chandigarh where women and children were engaged in immoral trafficking, it was decided that child abuse cases should also be included under its purview.

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PGI complains to cops over e-mail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The PGI today sought to put an end to the alleged controversy pertaining to the circulation of an e-mail in the name of the Director of the PGI, Prof. K.K. Talwar.
The institute on behalf of its director lodged a complaint with the Chandigarh police in this regard.

A statement issued by the health institute asserted that it was an attempt by some unidentified person to tarnish the image of the institute by circulating the e-mail after creating a fictitious ID that did not pertain to Professor. Talwar.

The authorities concerned made it clear that the fictitious ID was created with an intention to sensationalise the resignation of Dr H.K. Bali, a cardiologist, working with the PGI as additional professor.

Terming the attempt as an offence under the provisions of cyber law and the Indian Penal Code, a criminal complaint was lodged with the Chandigarh police and the matter was being investigated.

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Body found near MC office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
A 35-year-old turbaned man was found dead near the Municipal Corporation building in Sector 17 here this morning. The police, ruling out the possibility of any foul play behind the death, said no visible injury mark was found on the body. The death came to light around 9 am when a passer-by informed the police. Nothing was found on the body that could help establish its identity, said the police.

The deceased was wearing black trousers, a crème colour jersey, and a light blue turban. The police suspected that he might have fell there under the influence of liquor and died due to cold weather.

Meanwhile, the body has been sent to the Sector 16 General Hospital. The police has initiated inquest proceedings in this connection.

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Sharp hike in rate of third party insurance
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The sharp increase in the rate of third party insurance for all vehicles, including cars, is going to affect the budget of most households this year.
Though the annual hike in insurance for the middle class-which owns cars with 500-1500 cubic capacity (like Maruti 800, Santro, Wagon R, Indica and Zen ) - is not so high, it is the owners of luxury cars who will have to pay anything between Rs 2000 - Rs 2700 more than what they were paying last year.

The worst sufferers would be the transporters, who still do third party insurance for the trucks. Since the general insurance companies discourage the practice of third party insurance for cars, the hike would be less for the car owners, as third party insurance is a component of comprehensive insurance, besides accident, fire and theft.

It is learnt that the third party insurance of vehicles having less than 1000 cc capacity has been increased from Rs 500 to Rs 670, and that of vehicles between 1000 cc - 1500 cc from Rs 600 to Rs 800. For those owning the luxury sedans like Lancer and Skoda Octavia, the hike is maximum - from Rs 700 to Rs 2500.

This means that an owner of Maruti 800 car (with a value of Rs 2 lakh) will have to pay an insurance of estimated Rs 7600 as compared to RS 7300 last year-if he does not get the no-claim bonus discount. Similarly, a Santro or Indica owner ( with a car value of Rs 3 lakh) will have to pay an estimated Rs 11, 795 as against Rs 11, 321 last year (without a no claim bonus).

For the Lancer, Corolla and Skoda owners, the increase in insurance could be anything between Rs 2000-Rs 2500. “However,” say the insurance officials,“we are giving a rebate on Own Damage Premium of up to 10 per cent to a select clientele, who get all their cars insured from our company. So the hike would not affect the middle class, but only those who own luxury sedans,” said an official of the Oriental Insurance Company.

The transporters, however, are a worried lot as the third party insurance for trucks has been increased drastically. The insurance for trucks with a weight of 7500 kg, the insurance has been increased from Rs 3280-Rs 8000. Trucks with weight of 7500-12000 kg, will have to pay Rs 8000 as against Rs 3480 last year, while trucks weighing over 12,000 kg will have to pay Rs 9000 this year as against RS 3580 last year. 

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Risk an integral part of every success story: expert
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Jasvir Gill
Jasvir Gill

Chandigarh, January 2
It's a venture in unexplored territory and it has come from a man who knows no failure. Former CEO of Virsa Systems and presently General Manager of Governance, Risk and Compliance with SAP, the company which finally acquired the Virsa software, maintains that risk is an integral part of every success story.

Propelled by this belief, he has come out with the all-new concept of SUFI---Start-Up Farms International, an agency to provide guidance to technology companies which have just entered the business. Mr Jasvir Gill was in the city today to explore the possibility of setting up shop in the IT park.

"In the farming sector, you need the right condition to ensure a good crop. Similarly, in the software business, getting the right environment is the most important step. In fact, it's half the battle won. SUFI has been initiated to address the needs of these start ups," he explains.

Mr Gill said that the biggest challenge being faced by a majority of the start-ups was that they had the expertise to build a technology or product but had no clue on how to market it. "These companies usually need funding from venture capitalists but they don't know how to present the products to get that funding," he explains.

SUFI has essentially been conceptulised with a goal to help these start-ups, arrange funding for them and be able to market solutions worldwide. "In India, we have thousands of start-ups every year. About 90 per cent of them get nowhere in the business for want of right advice and an effective strategy which comes packaged with a good plan," Mr Gill adds.

At SUFI, he picks up promising software companies who can produce results and cater to their needs by providing a conducive environment through adequate funding and marketing for it to flourish. "We are the only ones in this kind of business and our endeavour is only at a nascent stage. Given the number of start-ups in the country every year, we are sure a lot needs to be done," he asserts.

While stating that companies are looking at replicating Virsa's success story, he says he was attracted to this new idea. "Venture capitalists can only provide money. They can't back it up with a sound business plan. So, that's where our role comes in. We have a comprehensive solution to all complicated problems of start-ups," he concludes.

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Local companies' global ventures make city proud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The recent global foray by two local companies has put the city on the roadmap of success in the technology sector.
After Mobera Systems acquired Tempowest Inc, USA for $ 1.50 million, Compact Disc India Limited, a city-based animation outsourcing company, has entered into a MOU to acquire 70 percent share holdings of Mobile Software Ltd., an lsle of Man registered mobile content company.

Mobile Software has its main office in London and its development centre at St Pittsburg in Russia. This company has already produced mobile games for Burger King, Coca Cola and the British Police, said the company's Managing Director, Mr Gautam 
Seengal.

CDIL, which is largely into animation business outsourced by big production houses in Hollywood, will get a better foothold in Europe and Russia, once the acquisition is complete. “This is an extension for our film and television animation business as we get into animated mobile gaming,” said Mr Seengal. He said that the acquisition will be largely funded through the company’s internal accruals and the acquisition would be complete by the end of this month.

It was only recently that Chandigarh based software development company, Mobera Systems, had acquired Tempowest Inc. If the company is able to perform according to the contract, the cost of acquisition would go up to $ 3.5 million. This acquisition will augment Mobera’s technical expertise, and will allow it to develop a broader platform for product delivery, to launch and deliver innovative solutions, and leverage their experience in the communication industry.

Tempowest Inc., a Delaware incorporated company based in New York, had been a major player in providing innovative engineering design and product development solutions to the communication industry. Post acquisition, Tempowest Inc. will become the Mobera Systems Inc., with its team and product portfolio integrated into Mobera Systems. Mobera is now also looking at setting up its offices in Japan, Korea, Germany and Italy. 

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