C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU Conference
Bad governance breeds militancy, says expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
The internal security situation in India has become very complex because of the interplay of internal and external forces. This was stated by Prof Dolly Arora from the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), New Delhi, during a regional conference on Internal Security in India.

The conference was organised by the department of pubic administration, Panjab University, in collaboration with the Punjab and Chandigarh Branch of IIPA here today.

She said bad governance, weak democratic institutions, nexus between politicians and criminals, human rights violations and corrupt practices associated with the delivery of public policies have led to citizens being alienated from the administration. This has, thus, provided a fertile ground for militancy in these areas.

She suggested that a mix of good governance, revamping agencies of internal security, citizen’s involvement in management of law and order situations, particularly through the institution of community policing, active involvement of civil society organisations and vigilant media can play a pivotal role in improving the effectiveness of institutions engaged in internal security.

With a view to minimise the conflict situations, she strongly argued a case for increasing the degree of tolerance between communities and also within communities.

In his presidential remarks, chairman of IIPA’s regional branch B.S. Ojha pointed out that progressively deteriorating quality of governance has made internal security agencies ineffective.



Earn while you learn is education dept’s new mantra
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
Following the CBSE’s concept of skill-based learning, the Chandigarh education department has started a “Skill Development Singapore Plan” wherein the winner schools will be given incentives for the education trip to Singapore.

The programme, to be held after school hours, will be launched prior to Diwali and has been designed with a focus on “Earn while Learn”. In this plan, children will be engaged into creative activities and their creations will be put on sale at special sale counters in their schools.

Marks will be given to schools and this will earn them incentives for the Singapore trip. The school grabbing the first position will be given 50 per cent airfare concession each for the principal, one male teacher, two female teachers and two students.

The school placed at the second position will get 25 per cent airfare exemption for teachers and 40 per cent for the students. The school securing the third position will get 10 per cent concession for teachers and 20 per cent for students and for the school that stands fourth, there will be 10 per cent exemption for the students.

Besides this, there will be food stalls selling fruit chats, bakery and confectionery items.

On October 27 and 28, stalls for mehndi, beauty treatment will be put up and from November 2 onwards, articles will be displayed after school hours. However, on November 7 and 8, it will be a whole-day affair whereas on November 9, student participation will be optional.

Talking about the programme, S.K. Setia, DPI (schools) said, “The administration has sanctioned Rs 17 lakh for this programme and the rest of the expenditure of putting up the stalls will be incurred by the schools out of vocational funds and the funds for the skill development courses under the SSA programme. We will seek special permission from the municipal corporation for a site in the market close to the school where the articles will be sold and the money earned will be ploughed back for the welfare of the students only. The participation in this scheme is totally voluntary and the consent of the parents is a must.”



PEC workshop on robotics problems
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
The Robotics Club of Punjab Engineering College (PEC) organised a two-day intercollegiate workshop on the college premises today. The theme of the workshop was to explain and discuss robotics problems for the upcoming ‘Pecfest4’ to be held from November 2-4.

The workshop was divided into four modules: basic line follower, the Gladiator (intricate line following vehicle), Robo Cup (the robo soccer) and Hover-Rover (the amphibious vehicle). The participants were given a first-hand experience on how to make the line follower (Gladiator), with each team making its own robot with the components being provided in the workshop.

There were intra-college teams and teams from colleges like IET Bhaddal, CCET Chandigarh, SSIET Derabassi and UIET (PU), to name some. The participants showed tremendous interest in the workshop. This workshop aimed at promoting participation of students in robotics events and, in a broader sense, to provide technical exposure to the young engineers.



Delhi HC dismisses women Army officers’ plea
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
Over four years after the first batch of women Army officers completed their stipulated 10-year service period, the Delhi High Court has ruled that they cannot be granted extension of service.

Several women officers of the first batch to be commissioned into the Army in 1993 had moved court, seeking the extension of short service commission service for up to 14 years to bring them on a par with women officers in the Air Force and the Navy. They had also sought further extension for a minimum period of 20 years so that they could complete pensionable service.

A Division Bench of the Delhi High Court comprising Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice S.N. Aggarwal has ruled last week that the petitioner had completed 10 years service in March 2003 and even if they were entitled to extension by another 4 years from date of their release, the said period also expired by March 2007.

“There is no question of their being taken back in service to wear uniform again. The claim would then boil down to a monetary claim for the payment of emoluments, which would not be justified having regard to the fact that petitioners have not worked against the post earlier held by them,” the Bench ruled.

The first batch consisted of 25 officers commissioned under the Women Special Entry Scheme (WSES) introduced in 1992. This scheme was later done away with and the commission of women officers was brought on a par with norms and rules governing the Short Service Commission for male officers. About two years ago, the tenure of all Short Service Commission officers in the Army was increased from 10 to 14 years.

Major Jatinder Kaur, an Army Education Corps officer, along with some of her course mates had also contended that the question of granting extension by four years to WSES officers was under the active consideration of the government on the date they were released and even on the date the petition was filed in 2003. Now that the government had extended the period by four years to bring Army officers on parity with the Air Force and the Navy, there was no reason why the same benefit could not be made available to them, especially when they had been the pioneers in the field.

Further, they had contended that there was no intelligible difference between them and other Short Service Commission officers recruited later. They claimed there was no difference in women officers serving in the Army from those in the Navy and the Air Force.

Observing that a study team had been appointed to fix the cut-off date from which officers would be entitled to extension, the Bench ruled that the petitioners could not claim benefit of a scheme, which came into operation from a date subsequent to the date of their retirement.

The Bench also observed that the ground realities regarding the conditions in which women Army officers had to perform their duties, the quality of the training imparted to them, the conditions of their recruitment and the nature of the duties were strikingly different from those recruited in the Navy or the Air Force. “They can, therefore, be treated differently from each other depending on how the Army or, for that matter, the government look at the need for their continuance beyond 10 years or their usefulness,” the Bench ruled.



Wrong encashment of cheques
Reliance to refund Rs 6,519
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
The Reliance Infocomm has been directed by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I to refund Rs 6,519 to Abhimanyu C. Punchi since some cheques were wrongly encashed by the telecom firm.

The president of the forum, Jagroop Singh Mahal, said, “Abhimanyu had suffered at every step after taking the connection from the telecom firm though he had proved his case sufficiently by way of documentary evidence on record.”

According to the case, Abhimanyu, a resident of Sector 16, had subscribed to a scheme under which one handset and connection was to be given on deposit of security amount of Rs 5,000 and the balance was to be paid through easy instalments of Rs 600 per month. He also deposited 12 cheques of Rs 1,800 each as quarterly payment.

He was allotted a mobile connection on February 25, 2003, but given the handset on April 1, 2003, but the handset started working from May 1, 2003. However, Abhimanyu was not satisfied with the services and he returned the handset to the telecom company. Though he had returned the mobile, the telecom company still encashed three post-dated cheques of Rs 1,800 each amounting to Rs 5,400.

The telecom company pointed out that the said cheques were terminated after receiving the request. They stated that an amount of Rs 3,000 was taken as club membership that was non-refundable.



Shubha Mudgal weaves magic
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, October 22
The Festival of Classical Music Series-2007 organised by the Chandigarh administration featured classical maestro Shubha Mudgal in the opening concert at Bhargava Auditorium, PGI, here today. The musical soiree got off to a majestic start with the doyenne of the Gwalior gharana delineating the melody of raga Purya Dhaneshari through a brief alaap before presenting a captivating composition “Mero kartar” in slow (vilambat) tempo set to ek tal. In reverence, Shubha paid tribute to her guru Pandit Ram Ashrey by singing his composition “Devi dyani ” weaved in raga Yaman. She brought alive the spiritual fervour modulating her style in another composition “Damni damke” set to raga Kedar.

Emotions deepened further as the maestro established a rapport with the audience while she bared the literary prominence of Bhartendu Harish Chander, embellishing his verses in “Kaise nayya”. Her concluding bandish “Khelat paase priya behari” eloquently depicted Lord Krishna in a playing session with the divine consort Radha and other gopies.

The maestro was accompanied by Dr Aneesh Pradhan on tabla and Sudhir Nayak on harmonium.

Later talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the versatile singer opined that blending the best of tradition and modernity is necessary. Every realm of art had to be enriched from other compatible resources to compete and survive the inevitable changing trends.

Having given music for a documentary Amrit Beech and feature film Swar Mandal, she, along with her husband Dr Aneesh Pradhan, is now busy in recording a challenging project ‘Swadheenta ke geet” sung by freedom fighters from 1857 in all languages.

Earlier, chief guest Pradip Mehra, adviser to the Chandigarh administrator, honoured the artistes while home secretary Krishan Mohan and tourism and public relations director Vivek Atrey graced the occasion.



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