C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Protests mark the day at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
It was a day of protests at Panjab University, with two student bodies staging agitations to register their disagreement today. Activists of Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) staged a protest against favoritism of PU authorities and consequential monopoly of shopkeepers in university market, who have been getting their lease renewed continuously for last fifty years.

Students questioned why PU insists on a fee hike every year when shops were not given out at the prevailing market rate, which could have saved lakhs of rupees per month. This way the hike could have been avoided. INSO state president Vikas Rathee said PU authorities have to answer why these shop owners have been paying Rs 10000-15000 and why there is no uniform parameter to renew their rent structure when they do have parameters for regular 10% fee hike on an annual basis for students?

He said why are corporate retailers, who are ready to pay up to lakhs as rent and provide facilities for students at discounted prices, are not being allowed to do so.

Panjab University student council’s secretary Sunny Bhardwaj added that control on prices, provision of receipts, discount on books are among the basic needs of students, and these are suffering due to non-judicious handling of the market by varsity authorities. INSO campus president Deepak Hooda announced that INSO would launch a campaign against all these irregularities soon.

In another protest, around 60 students led by Parminder Jaswal, president, Panjab University Campus Students Council, were up in arms against the bad quality of food being served at the Law canteen, where both students of department of laws and department of mass communication eat. Agitated students even locked the canteen, complaining of the unhygienic conditions and lack of proper seating arrangement.

Tejpal Cheema, PUSU president, brought the matter to the notice of Dean Students Welfare, who quickly swung into action and fined the contractor Rs 2000. He also warned other contractors and assured that in future raids would be conducted in all canteens.



UIET might relax attendance norms
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
It is a proposal that may bring cheers to students of the University Institute of Engineering and Technology. Now, students may not be required to fulfil the stringent condition of attending minimum 75 percent lectures to appear in examinations as the faculty is mooting the idea of reducing the numbers for the semester examinations.

The matter will be taken up in the ensuing meeting of the faculty scheduled for January 8. The faculty will be recommending a minimum of 50 per cent attendance for semester I examination, 55 per cent for semester II, and 60 per cent for semester III. The dean of UIET faculty Prof Daljit Singh said that this relaxation was available for students of department of chemical engineering and there was hardly any need to have a different pattern for students of UIET. He said this step would be of help to students as they will be able to make up their attendance by keeping themselves regular and will not fall short in the final semester. 



Extension of special chance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
The Panjab University has extended the date of the special chance given to students of professional and other courses, who had appeared in the university examinations held between April, 1980, and April, 2007 and could not clear their compartment/re-appear cases (sessional/external). These candidates may avail of this extension till April 2008 annual examinations.

The examination fee for all professional courses for re-appear/compartment has been fixed at Rs 5000 up to two semesters (for one paper) plus Rs 1000 each for the extra paper. Further, students will have to pay Rs 10,000 for more than two semesters (for one paper per semester) and Rs 1,000 for each extra paper. Apart from professional courses, Rs 3,150 will be charged for all courses (other than professional courses) as examination fee.The dates for submitting the examination form along with prescribed fee will be same as that of regular candidates already notified for April, 2008 examinations.



Students return from trip, honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
At a function organised at KB DAV-7, as many as 22 students and two teachers of KB DAV School, Sector 7, and New Public School, Sector 18, who recently returned from an educational trip to Karnataka, Goa and New Delhi, were honoured.

The trip was planned by YUVSATTA, in association with Belgaum Integrated Development Society (BIRDS), Karnataka and Akhil Bhartiya Rachnatmak Samaj — headed by senior Gandhian peace cctivist and member of parliament Didi Nirmala Deshpande.

SK Setia, DPI (Schools), was the chief guest on the occasion.

Principal of the school Madhu Bahl said as part of an ongoing campaign for ‘Peace-City Chandigarh’, YUVSATTA, KB DAV-7 and Dev Samaj colleges are organising such programmes to promote Gandhian values amongst youngsters since the last three years.

Students travelled around 8,000 kms in just 13 days of their trip and visited places of historical importance, enjoyed the sea, sun and the sand at Goa, and met students of their age in the remotest of villages in the state of Karnataka.

For Vidhi Malik, a student of KB DAV-7, the trip was unforgettable as they spent quality time with students of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh at a peace camp in village Tukkanatti, Karnataka.

The group shared Gandhian principles and values with students in a naxalite affected village — Byagwat — in District Raichur, alongside the Andhra Pradesh border.

“We also enjoyed the glory of Badami,popularly known as the city of caves, and passed through ruins of HAMPI, capital of erstwhile Vijayanagar empire, where the conquerer of three seas Maharaja Krishandev Rai and his famous Minister Tenali Rama used to live,” said Vidhi.

Nikhil Thakur, a student of New Public School, said he thoroughly enjoyed the trip to Raj Ghat in New Delhi and the interactive session with Tara Gandhi Bhatacharjee - grand daughter of Mahatma Gandhi - and Didi Nirmala Deshpande.

Parmod Sharma, co-ordinator of YUVSATTA, said that their NGO is promoting such educational excursions through ‘Peace Clubs’ in different schools.

Congratulating the organisers, Setia said India lives in its villages and one can inculcate virtues such as simplicity, contentment, humility, honesty and straight-forwardness from there. 



Juveniles acquitted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
Disposing of cases at a fast pace, the Juvenile Justice Board headed by J.S. Bhinder yesterday acquitted two juveniles of rape charge after 11 years. The case was registered in September 1997 on complaint of the victim’s grandmother Balwinder Kaur.

The court had framed charges under Sections 376, 323 and 366 of the IPC in March 1998 after which the case was pending. The juveniles, both of Maloya, were acquitted as no direct evidence was present.

The complainant stated before the court that she had not seen the accused kidnapping the victim. Furthermore, she did not remember as to when she had last seen the accused. As the address of the victim had changed, she did not come to depose before the court even after many summons.



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