C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


GCG students vow to fight foeticide
Raji P. Shrivastava leads the way
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
More than 1,500 students of Government College for Girls, Sector 42, today gathered in the college compound and resolved to uphold the dignity of the girl child and fight against female foeticide. The ‘resolve’ was led by Raji P. Shrivastava, director, higher education, Chandigarh administration.

Earlier, the college bore an atmosphere of purpose as teachers and 250 students assembled in the college library for a one-day workshop on ‘Fighting Female Foeticide’. Jaya Shrivastava, former director, and Sharmila Vipin, director, Ankur Society for Alternatives in Education, Delhi, were the resource persons.

The workshop was initiated by co-ordinator Dr Jyoti Seth, who quoted minister of state for woman and child development Renuka Choudhry that 10 million girls in India had been killed by their own parents who did not want a girl child.

Shashi Malik, principal GCG 42, expressed her conviction that the students would benefit from the presentations and valuable guidance of the resource persons.

A documentary entitled ‘Uska Aana - Vanishing Daughters’ by Anwar Jamal was also screened. The students were divided into three groups for an interactive session on the documentary. Later, presentations were made summing the ideas raised during the session.



Ryan gets new drivers
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
A day after The Tribune highlighted the way school buses of Ryan International School were being driven by ‘unskilled drivers’ possessing invalid driver’s licence, the school authorities today swung into action and took remedial measures.

The authorities engaged professional drivers from different places as a stopgap measure. Around 14 drivers had been expelled by the school authorities following their tiff with the contractor yesterday. The contractor had terminated the services of two of his drivers and 10 others had refused to do the job in protest.

Confirming this, Gurdeep Singh Walia, transport contractor of the school, said, “Security of the children is our prime concern. We have engaged 12 drivers having valid driver’s licences and we will use their services till the matter is solved.

“I am ready to negotiate with them and the matter will be resolved in a day or two,” added Walia.

Meanwhile, transport in charge Naveen Kiran said newly recruited drivers had been provided with proper uniforms and nameplates and the things had been put in order.

Principal of the school Poonam Sharma also initiated to solve the tiff. “I share the same responsibility and I am personally looking into the matter. I will assure that the things meet its logical end soon.”

“Although, we have made a safe arrangement for ferrying the children, we still want that the old drivers should continue. Because, it is a tedious task to make the new drivers understand the route. Besides, it takes time to trust the new drivers.” she added.

DPI (S) S.K. Setia said, “I will ask for an explanation from the school authorities and they would be instructed to ensure the safety of the children under all circumstances.” 



Autonomy to Colleges
Panel fails to reach consensus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The committee constituted to contemplate on giving autonomy to colleges for conducting the BA first and second-year examinations held its first meeting today. It was recommended that a sub-committee be formed to further discuss the matter.

However, the committee, which comprises 20 members, couldn’t reach any consensus today. Prof R.C. Sobti, vice chancellor, Panjab University, chaired the meeting and B.D. Budhiraja, dean, College Development Council, PU, convened it. Some of the members, who could not be present today, rued that they were not informed about the change of date as the meeting was earlier scheduled for yesterday.

During the meeting, some of the members, including Tarsem Bahia, Prabhjit, retired justice S.K. Jain and V.L. Gupta, raised doubts on the practicability of the proposal. The members talked about the complications involved in implementing the proposal, including revelation of identity of the student to the paper-checker. Some members were of the opinion that the colleges already had many discrepancies in internal evaluation. In that light, it might not be feasible to give them the autonomy to evaluate even the final examinations. Conduct of examinations, evaluation and declaration of result of BA first would amount to a loss of Rs 6 crore to Panjab University.

However, A.C. Vaid, principal, SD college, S. Marriya, principal, DAV 10, Suresh Tandon from Ludhiana and Hardiljit Singh from Moga were among those who favoured the proposal.



PU Notes
Students dwell on philosophical concepts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
As many as 70 philosophy undergraduates from Dev Samaj College for Women, Ferozepur, today participated in a national seminar-cum-workshop on ‘Philosophy in the Age of Globalisation’ organised jointly by the department of philosophy, Panjab University, and department of philosophy and critique, Ferozepur Chapter, Dev Samaj College for Women, Ferozepur.

Speakers discussed various concepts of philosophy relating to self and society. The students raised important questions relating to the need of philosophical thinking in the social change. Chairman Dr V.T. Sebastian appreciated the students of Ferozepur for their participation in the seminar.

He focused on the logical reasoning as the basic methodology of philosophy and said the study of philosophy helped in reading, writing and analytical skills.

Among others who addressed the participants were Prof Reena Patra, Prof Dharmendra Goel, Prof Dharmanand Sharma, Prof Veena Kapoor, Prof Geeta Manaktala, Dr H.P. Sah, Dr Shivani Sharma and Lallan Singh Baghel from the philosophy department.

LECTURE: The Panjab University Teachers Association, ICSSR, and ‘Critique’ jointly organised a lecture on ‘Indo-US Nuclear Deal’ today. The lecture was delivered by Prof Achin Vanaik, department of political science, University of Delhi, New Delhi. Prof Randhir Singh, eminent scholar and political analyst, presided over the lecture.

Prof Vanaik clearly spelled out three aspects of the nuclear deal: one strategic political partnership with the USA; two, nuclear weapon manufacturing by India; and three nuclear power generation to meet the energy needs.

To these three aspects of the deal, there are four different responses. “First response is outright celebration of the deal whereby, they think that India is going to become a global player in all respects. In the first view at the foremost are Prime Minister of India and his camp followers,” said Prof Vanaik. He also pointed out a small minority of intellectuals such as Praful Bidwai, who were against any form of nuclearisation of the globe as it was going to prove disastrous in the long run. Prof Randhir Singh, in his presidential remarks, said India was standing at the most important crossroad in the world history.



5-day trade expo from Dec 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
Five-day international trade exposition-ITEX 2007 will be organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in association with the Punjab Government at Parade Ground from December 1-5.

As many as 100 exhibitors, including participants from Pakistan, Switzerland, Holland and Myanmar, will showcase their products, including agriculture, food processing, farm machinery, textiles, knitwear, spinning and weaving, automobiles, real estate, banking and finance. This would be one of the major expositions to be held in north India.

Addressing a press conference Satish Bagrodia, vice-president, PHD Chamber, stated that about 70 delegates from Lahore and Islamabad Chamber of Commerce were also expected to take part.

About 2 lakh visitors are expected to visit. “Special seminars and conferences will also be organised during the event,” he added.

Concurrently, a series of international conferences shall be organised on various issues of concern in various sectors wherein leading industrialists and corporates will make presentations. 



Notice to PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27 
In less than a fortnight after alleged flouting of norms while giving admission to student leader-cum-SOPU office-bearer Brinder Singh Dhillon was brought to the fore in these columns, a petition filed in public interest for quashing his admission to three-year LLB course at Panjab University was taken up by the high court on Tuesday.

Acting on the petition, a Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Mahesh Grover, issued notice of motion and fixed December 18 as the next date of hearing in the matter.

The petition, filed through advocate Ranjan Lakhanpal, also sought directions for initiating steps to refrain university authorities from actively participating and siding with the political unions.

Directions were also sought to stop “criminalisation” of the university so that the staff could work with dignity and honour.

Arraying university registrar, vice-chancellor, chairman of the Department of Laws and the student as respondents, the petitioner asserted that Dhillon was admitted to first semester of three-year LLB course after the classes were over and the examinations were about to start. On the other hand, 36 students of the first semester have not been issued roll numbers to appear in the examination as they had not attended 75 per cent of the lecturers.

Annexing newspaper clippings, the petitioner added that Dhillon did not even appear for the interview and a candidate from Amritsar appeared on his behalf.

Subsequently, the police informed the department that Dhillon was involved in criminal cases and non-bailable warrants had been issued against him.

Dhillon, he added, did not adhere to other conditions also as an affidavit on non-involvement of a candidate in any criminal cases has to be submitted during the process of admission.

Going into the background of the matter, the petitioner added that earlier the candidature of Dhillon was rejected by the university, following which SOPU president Gurpreet Singh Multani allegedly threatened the department faculty with dire consequences.

Following this, even a unanimous resolution was passed by the board of control of the Department of Laws to inform the police and administration about the issue. However, on August 20 Dhillon managed to get clearance for admission in the law course.

Subsequently, on September 20 the vice-chancellor approved the proceedings in pursuance of recommendations and increased one seat in LLB in anticipation of approval by the Syndicate.

The petitioner added that the directions should also be issued to the authorities for restraining Dhillon from taking the examination.



Consumer Courts
Jet Airways penalised Rs 54,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I has directed Jet Airways to pay Rs 54,000 in compensation to S.C. Gupta and his wife Kusum Gupta for cancelling their tickets without prior notice.

The couple had purchased two air tickets from Airpack Travels Ltd, Patiala, for flying with Jet Airways from Delhi to Leh for Rs 14,000 each.

The tickets were confirmed for journey from Delhi to Leh on July 27, 2006 and the return tickets on July 30, 2006. The couple travelled from Delhi to Leh on the scheduled date.

Gupta, a resident of Panchkula, alleged that on reaching Leh Jet Airways failed to confirm their return flight. He claimed that on further enquiry, the couple were told by the zonal office at Leh that their tickets had been cancelled.

The complainant alleged that he developed angina due to the distress caused by the airline attitude and had to be admitted to the hospital there. Gupta alleged that he was stuck in Leh as it being the peak season other flights were booked.

Finally, the couple got the return tickets with Indian Airlines after paying a premium of Rs 5,000.

In response, the Airpack Travels admitted to have issued confirmed tickets for the journey.

However, it was denied that the seats of the couple stood cancelled and were not allowed to return on the scheduled flight on July 30, 2006.

Also, Jet Airways alleged that the couple reached the counters at the airport late due to which they were denied flights.



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