C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Sector 17 to don new look
Another plaza, wider roads, fancy lights and more
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
Sector 17 will don a new look by the end of the year. More than Rs 5 crore will be spent on the sector for widening roads, fancy lights, children’s amusement park and more. A decision to this effect was taken at the house meeting of the Municipal Corporation today.

The councillors okayed over Rs 4 crore for the development of the sector. A sum of over Rs 1 crore will be incurred on widening of roads.

“We will make the sector as was originally planned by Le Corbusier,” stated Pardeep Chhabra. Tenders will be floated soon. The work is expected to be finished before year-end.

From the GPO to the area bordering Madhya Marg, a plaza will be built on the lines of the existing plaza. An amusement park near the GPO is planned for children. The worn-out concrete flooring in the central plaza is proposed to be changed. Roads from the State Bank of India to the fire station and from Shivalikview to Hotel Taj will be widened.

The house also cleared a community centre in Sector 11 to be constructed on a revised estimate of Rs 85.56 lakh, roads expansion in modern housing complex, Mani Majra, and V-5 roads in Sectors 27-D and the whole of Sector 28.

Three new committees were constituted- enforcement wing, arts and culture and sports and slum colonies and village development committee.



GMCH Suicide
Doctor, 2 students booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
A doctor and two students of GMCH-32 were booked today for abetment to suicide after the body of Jaspreet Singh, a final-year MBBS student, was found hanging in the toilet of the library on the fifth floor of B-block of the hospital late last night.

Deepak Vashisht and Ajay Parvin, classmates of the deceased, and Dr N.K Goel, head, community medicine, have been booked under Section 306 of the IPC. A suicide note recovered by the police mentions the names of the three. The note says they used to ridicule his caste.

Jaspreet’s father, Charan Singh, said his son excelled in studies, but had not fared well in the last exams. This had depressed him. The father alleged that the college was responsible for his son’s death as he had attempted suicide earlier too. consuming tablets.

The postmortem was conducted today and the viscera sent to the CFSL. A committee to probe the death has been formed with Dr Vij, head, department of forensic medicine, as chairman.

A condolence meeting was held in the lecture theatre of the college. Some students, along with the medical superintendent, went to his village near Anandpur Sahib for the last rites.

KIP Singh, DSP-South, said a thorough investigation would be carried out in the case. A copy of the suicide note would be sent to handwriting experts to determine if it was authentic. This is the second case of suicide in the college in the past six months. 



Spurious eye drops
Pharma firm MD gets 1-year jail
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
The managing director of Toshika International, a pharmaceutical company, was today awarded one-year imprisonment by chief judicial magistrate (CJM) Y.S. Rathore for spurious eye drops.

The owner of the city-based pharmaceutical company, Keshov Ram Gupta, and chemist Jasvir Singh were found guilty under Section 27 of the Drug and Cosmetics Act. A fine of Rs 5,000 each was imposed on Keshov Ram and the company. The chemist was directed to pay Rs 5,000.

A raid was conducted by drug inspector Gurdeep Singh in June 1995. Framycetein was found nil in the eye drops. On a complaint by the drug inspector, a case was filed in 1996. Talking to the Tribune, Gurdeep Singh said: “I came to know that the contents mentioned on the bottle were missing. A lab report confirmed that the eye drops were spurious. On the basis of the report, I conducted the raid.”

The defence lawyer appealed repeatedly in favour of the managing director, but in vain.



Cracker co. fined
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
Holding the director, manager and managing director of Sri Kaliswari Fire works, Tamil Nadu, guilty of unfair trade practice, the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has asked them to pay a compensation of Rs 12 lakh to 13-year-old Gagandeep Singh Bal.

The company will pay Rs 12 lakh along with an interest of 9 per cent per annum from the date of filing of complaint (October 20, 1997).

The commission, headed by K.C. Gupta, observed: “ Sri Kaliswari Fireworks used an unusual amount of clay and gum to seal the gunpowder. Further, the crackers were not tied around by a string as provided under the mandatory notification. Thus, the manufacture of the crackers was patently illegal, arbitrary and amounted to unfair trade practice.”

On the occasion of Divali in 1995, the petitioner had purchased crackers to celebrate the festival. He bought 10 packets of “bullet”. On the evening of October 23, 1995, Gagandeep lighted the cracker. It exploded with a loud sound. A splinter from the cracker ripped through his left eyelid and injured his eyeball. He was taken to the PGI where he was operated upon. On November 6, 1995, the doctors at PGI expressed their inability to cure or treat his eye.

Gagandeep was taken to Sankara Nethralaya, Madras, where Dr Tarun Sharma operated on him on November 21, 1995. the doctor opined that the victim had lost his eye and vision.

The boy’s family approached Prof B.R. Sharma, forensic expert, who said in his report that the base and top plugs in the crackers manufactured by the company were so hard that these could not be broken with hands.

Earlier, the state commission in an order dated September 8, 2000, dismissed the complaint, stating it was beyond its pecuniary jurisdiction and the case required voluminous evidence. The complainants then approached the national commission which accepted the appeal, set aside the impugned order and sent the case to the state commission to decide the matter afresh in accordance with law.



Brace yourself for cold war
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
There will be no respite from the biting cold during the next two days with the Met office forecasting another spell of snowfall in the higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh.

This, coupled with ground frost, is likely to affect life in the tricity.

The city and surrounding areas continued to be swept by chilly winds today.The occasional pale sunshine provided little warmth.

To spare schoolchildren of the piercing cold, all government and private schools in Patiala district have been ordered to open one hour late from tomorrow. The closing timings will remain unchanged, a report from Patiala said.

The city recorded a maximum temperature of 15 degree celsius and the minimum at 5 degrees, two degrees below normal, today.

The Met office has predicted thunder and light showers in Chandigarh and its periphery.



Sector 43 ISBT
39 shisham trees to be felled for parking
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
For development of the inter-state bus terminus (ISBT) at Sector 43 here, the UT transport department has sought permission to axe at least 97 trees to make way for parking there.

Shisham trees and those of other species stand on the land earmarked for parking.The trees were planted by the forest department a few years ago to save the land from encroachment and also increase the green cover.

Sources said the decision to cut the trees was examined by the forest department in the light of the orders of adviser Pradip Mehra to save as many trees as possible while planning or executing projects.

In a report to the transport department and the engineering department, deputy conservator of forests Ishwar Singh has clarified that except for 39 shisham trees, other trees could not be transplanted.

The conservator has requested the engineering department to retain some trees of arjun to provide shade for the parked vehicles. Officials planning the parking layout have been asked to ensure that most trees are left untouched.

Environmentalists point out that UT needs to learn from past experiences.The plantation pattern needs to be changed. Trees should not be planted under electricity lines so that these are saved from being cut or pruned heavily.

Last month, the adviser had advised the departments to be judicious while giving permission to axe trees for private and government projects.



Reservation of seats for women
Harsh rules rag male commuters
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
The rule of reserving seats for women in the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) buses has become a bone of contention between the commuters and the staff.

According to the instructions being issued to the conductors and drivers by the authorities that no male passenger should be allowed to sit on the first two seats on both sides of seating rows as these have been reserved for women passengers only. Even in the absence of any woman passenger, the staff does not allow any male commuter to sit on the reserve seats, resulting in tiffs between passengers and the staff every now and then.

“It is rubbish that the male commuters cannot sit on the reserve seats even finding these vacant. Many a time, the buses ply full to capacity and people travel while standing but can’t sit on these vacant seats, thanks to harsh rule”, said K Goyal, a CTU commuter.

Echoing the views, another commuter Sanjay Kumar rued, “The rules are made for the convenience of public, not to harass them. It is good that some seats have been reserved for the women in the public transport. But there is no harm if some male commuter sits on the vacant reserved seat. On coming of any woman passenger, they could be asked to get up.”

Even the CTU conductors and drivers are not happy with the strictness of the rule. “The staff has been told by the authorities that if any passenger other than women find sitting on the reserved seats, the driver and conductor would be shifted to long routes. Besides performing our routine duty, we have to ensure that no one sits on the seats, which is very troublesome. Adding woes, many passengers do not listen to the instructions and just start indulging in quarrels with us”, rued a conductor.

These peculiar situations also divert the concentration of the drivers, which could be dangerous, added the conductor.



Panchkula set to be slum-free
Two-room houses being built for slum-dwellers
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 28
Panchkula is all set to be a slum-free district in the near future if the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme is implemented successfully.

The district administration has decided to construct more than 7,000 two-room houses for slums-dwellers of Panchkula, Pinjore and Kalka, for which a sum of Rs 52.62 crore has already been approved by the central government. While 20 per cent of total cost will be borne by the house owners, the state government will fund the rest of the Rs 65.77-crore project. While the work at five sites in Panchkula has already started, the money will be released this week for the houses at Pinjore and Kalka.

The implementation of the scheme will not only help in the face lift of the district, it will also benefit HUDA as the authority will be able to get its prime land back which has been usurped by slums, said Panchkula deputy commissioner Rajinder Kataria.

At present, Panchkula has one dozen slums areas with a population of more than 43,000. These include Azad Colony, Matu Ram Colony, Ramesh Kumar Colony, Babu Ram Colony, Madrasi Colony, Makhan Singh Colony, Ambedkar Colony, Kharag Mangoli, Sham Lal Colony, Rajiv Colony and Indira Colony.

While the municipal committees at Pinjore and Kalka will take up construction of the houses at the cost of Rs 80,000, the work at Panchkula is under HUDA. The house owners at Pinjore and Kalka have to contribute 20 per cent of the construction cost along with providing land, while at Panchkula, the land will also be provided by HUDA. The price at Panchkula will be higher, said Kataria.

Giving details of the project, the deputy commissioner said while a total of 7,548 houses are to be constructed in Panchkula, Pinjore and Kalka will have 150 and 130 houses respectively.



MC to oppose furniture purchase proposal
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 28
A proposal relating to purchase of furniture by Mohali civic body for the office of chief engineer-cum-chief vigilance officer, department of local government, will be opposed in the general body meeting of the municipal council scheduled to be held on January 29, even as GMADA seeks permission to dump garbage from new sectors into the dumping ground of the council.

A municipal councillor said the civic body was being asked to purchase furniture for the office of the local government department official at the cost of Rs 1.50 lakh. Terming the demand as unjustified, he said the proposal would be opposed at the meeting even though it had been approved by the principal secretary of the department. The official had asked the council through a letter dated December 14 to purchase a sofa, two centre tables, two executive chairs and 12 chairs for visitors.

Another proposal stated that Rs 4 lakh per year should be taken from GMADA for allowing it to dump garbage from Sectors 66 to 69. GMADA had sought permission from the civic body to dump garbage in the dumping ground of the council stating that the area had a population of 10,000. The civic body then carried out a survey according to which there were 10,223 buildings, including houses, schools and hospitals in the four sectors which had a population of about 33,073. The contractor would have to be paid additional amount for excess garbage being dumped there.

Estimates for development works worth about Rs 2.50 crore would also be put up at the meeting for approval. These include installation of a deep tube well in Phase 3B1 at the cost of Rs 24.70 lakh, providing a booster system for supply of water from Sector 64 to Sector 63 at the cost of Rs 39.80 lakh, fixing of road studs in Phase IV at the cost of Rs 9.70 lakh and providing C-C flooring and storm water in Matour village at the cost of Rs 9.66 lakh.



6-hour ordeal for truck driver
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
The driver of a truck, on his way to Dhanas, had a harrowing time for over six hours after his truck lost balance and fell in a choe near Saharanpur later last night.

The driver, Balwinder Singh Kala, was trapped inside the driver cabin before the fire brigade and the police pulled him out following a rescue operation that continued till the morning.

The driver was taken to GMSH-16 and his condition is said to be stable. The driver on his truck number HR-37B-6830 was on his way to AG Marbles in Dhanas to unload marbles when his vehicle lost balance at around 1.30 am and fell in the choe.

The rescue operation carried on till 8 am. The driver hails from a village in Patiala district. A team of doctors was also part of the rescue operation who administered him first-aid till all marble tiles were removed from the trolley.



Get bewitched by city girl
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
She wished to pursue a career in the IAS, but destiny had different plans for her. In a world of fantasy, this Chandigarh-based first-year PU student of the Law Department, is set to make her debut on NDTV Imagine.

Meet Yami Gautam, who plays a warrior princess in ‘Raajkumar Aaryyan’, a serial scheduled to go on air on February 6.

“The serial showcases a heroic journey dotted with obstacles. A magical adventure, it promises to be different,” says 18-year-old Yami, in hometown for its promotion.

A student of YPS Mohali, Yami was selected in the auditions by NDTV and offered the lead role. “ I am excited about the role as it is a ‘decent’ offer,” says the young actress whose father Mukesh Gautam is executive producer of Zee Punjabi and Zee News.

“I take life as it comes,” says Yami who will now pursue her studies in Mumbai. Shooting has been a joyful experience for her. She says she enjoyed the exotic locations of Rajasthan. “I perform several stunts and sword duels. The story is a foray into the life of a young prince and his mentor Bhootnath, played by Shahbaz Khan of Chanderkaanta fame.”

She plays the ladylove of the prince.



Award for city doctor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
Dr Gautam Munjal, a city-based doctor, has been honoured with best clinical paper award at the recently held 42nd Indian Orthodontic Conference at Nagpur.

His paper explored various aspects of taking orthodontic treatment to the next level of facial esthetics - the smile framework and dental appearance. The orthodontists normally endeavour to correct the dental alignments and achieve occlusion (macro aesthetics) whereas there is a growing need to understand the overall esthetics to improve the smile and appearance, Dr Munjal said.

“In fact, the biggest challenge for the orthodontist is to achieve optimum results through a holistic approach by understanding and evaluating factors like age, existing dental, skeletal and facial soft tissue components, before starting the orthodontic treatment,” he asserted.



Unchahar Express again extended to city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
After a gap of two months, the Unchahar Express will run once again between Chandigarh and Allahabad from February 1.

The centralised railway reservation system of the Northern Railway has already started accepting reservation for the train from February 1.

The train running between Allahadbad and Ambala would be extended till Chandigarh. The running schedule of the train would be 4.25 pm (departure) and 9.20 pm (arrival).

After being extended to Chandigarh from July 1, the train has been getting overwhelming response before being discontinued two months ago. The train had been discontinued due to non-availability of coaches, said sources.

J.S. Bhogal, a member of the zonal railway users consultative committee, while welcoming the resumption of the train said the train between Chandigarh and Amritsar should be restored.



Value-based literature must for children
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 28
Eminent educationists and writers from Delhi and the region participated in a seminar on ‘Literature for Children’ held under the aegis of the Haryana Urdu Akademy at the Red Bishop conference hall here today.

Inaugurating the event, the commissioner of higher education, Shiv Raman Gaud, IAS, emphasized upon the need of a value-based ideal literature, rich in ethical content and entertainment for children.

The scholars presented their papers on the basic theme of children literature.



Landlord throws out tenant despite stay
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, January 28
A Baltana resident has complained to the police that he was thrown out of his shop by his landlord despite obtaining stay orders from the court.

In a written complaint to the SSP, SAS Nagar, the resident, V. Ravindran, has stated that he was running a small engineering workshop at Baltana. He had taken the shop on rent.

Ravindran alleged that he was asked by the landlord to leave the place. When he requested the landlord for some time to look for an alternative place, the latter reportedly started troubling him. He moved the court and got stay orders till January 19, which was further extended to January 25.

However, alleged Ravindran, on January 19, when he had gone for lunch, the landlord forcibly entered the shop and with the help of some labour got the shop emptied. He took away all the goods in the shop.

Ravindran has initiated contempt proceedings in the case and also given a fresh complaint to the police in this regard. When contacted, the SHO, Zirakpur, Gurjot Singh said they were seized of the matter and were investigating the case.



Infant succumbs to burns
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
An infant, who sustained severe burn injuries when cotton lying near a blower at Advanced Paediatric Centre of the PGI caught fire on January 26, succumbed to his injuries at Bakal village in Kaithal district here today. The family of the child had taken him to their village as the doctors had given up on him.

The blower was being used to keep the child warm as the air-conditioning system of the PGI had not been functioning for a long time.



They take traffic cops for a ride
Rajiv Bhatia

Chandigarh, January 28
Motorists continue to drive away from rules with the Chandigarh Police acting in a predictable manner. In the process, they meet with accidents or create traffic hazards for others; still the cops have not changed their strategies.

Though the cops launch special drives from for checking over-speeding and other traffic violations in the city, the barriers are almost set up always at the same places. As a result, the violators know the exact time and the routes they can take to avoid law, and the police.

No wonder, despite traffic safety weeks and awareness campaigns being launched from time to time in the city, 10 deaths in road accidents have already taken place since the beginning of this year. As many as 28 have sustained injuries in the mishaps.

In 2007, 151 were killed. In all, 530 accidents were reported to the police.

Recently, two youngsters lost their life in a fatal accident. Police sources say they were riding a motorcycle without helmet.

Talk to the young violators and they say the cops seldom act in a surprising manner. Quoting an example, the youngsters assert that they have identified the stretch between the Sukhna Lake and Chandigarh Club. It is, rather, the worse place to break the law as every now and then the police set up barriers.

So motorists high on spirits or bikers riding without helmet, take the parallel road next to the petrol pump. They seldom encounter the cops there.

Similarly, the police are known to set up barrier on the road dividing Sector 9 and 10. So, the traffic violators avoid the road and take the other roads.

Under-aged riders always reach their destination through the shortcuts between the sectors. In fact, they take the link roads where they have never seen traffic police personnel. These shortcuts are behind the showrooms, inner markets and cycle tracks.

Says college student Vikrant: “I have never felt the need to wear a helmet as I have never seen a cop or a PCR van on my way back home from Sector 41 to Sector 44.”

A Panjab University student Sameer sees it in a different manner. "Taking the cops for a ride is just not difficult. They are sharp-minded, but sometimes they do act in a superstitious manner. They set up the nakas in the beginning of the month and again towards the end of it.



Finance and contract panel formed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
Members to the Finance and Contract Committee of the MC were unanimously elected today after one of the contenders for the committee Jatinder Bhatia of the BSP withdrew his name from the elections.

Those elected include Davinder Singh Babla, Vijay Singh Rana and Chandermukhi Sharma from the Congress, nominated councillor Pallav Mukherjee and from the BJP-SAD combine Surinder K. Jagota.

The F and CC is given the task of passing the budget for various developmental and other activities. The F and CC can clear matters incurring expenditure up to Rs 25 lakh.



Fauji Beat
Separate pay commission a necessity

IN his book, “Problems of Indian Defence”, published in 1960, K.M. Panikkar says: “It is necessary to emphasise that unless the officer cadres feel that their interests are safe in the hands of the civil authority, the morale of the Army as an instrument of the civil government may be undermined....”. What Panikkar said in 1960, has proved to be true today as officer cadres feel that their interests are not safe in the hands of the civil authority.

The officer cadres not only remain palpably under subscribed at the intake level but a sizeable number of them also leave the armed forces prematurely. This is because their interests are ignored by the government. All five pay commissions have given a raw deal to the armed forces. This is because of the bureaucratic bias towards the Army.

Repeated entreaties of the successive service chiefs that in view of the peculiar and hazardous nature of work of the armed forces they should have a separate pay commission, have not found favour with the government. How can a pay commission that is convened to determine the pay scales of civilian employees with completely different work culture and longer span of service than the armed forces do justice to the latter? Those who are spinning high hopes on the Sixth Pay Commission’s outcome are sadly mistaken. If the government is really interested in making the Army service attractive, then its first step towards this should be to convene a separate pay commission for it. It is not late even now to bifurcate the Sixth Pay Commission to give justice to the armed forces.

Army trains police

The Jharkhand Armed Police undergoing battle-craft training at the Punjab Regimental Centre, Ramgarh.
The Jharkhand Armed Police undergoing battle-craft training at the Punjab Regimental Centre, Ramgarh.

When the Naxalites’ problem in Jharkhand went out of control of the state police in 2006, the responsibility to train the Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) was handed over to the Army. The Punjab Regimental Centre (PRC), Ramgarh, started this training in September 2006. More than 20 companies (of 100 personnel each) have been trained by the PRC so far.

The training is designed to prepare the JAP for the anti-Naxalite operations. The emphasis is on physical fitness, proficiency in the handling of weapons, counter-terrorism tactics, reflex shooting, jungle-lane shooting, field-craft, battle-craft and navigation in jungles.

The trainees are made familiar with the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and booby traps and are taught the technique of safeguarding against these devices. Apart from this, the training capsule also covers all aspects of human rights and psychological operations.

Quality of medicines

A number of Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) patients have come up with complaints in the past few months that some of the medicines issued to them from the polyclinics are of inferior quality and do not have a curing effect on them. When they purchase the same medicines of standard companies from the chemists in the market, they say, they find improvement in their disease.

A few of them have also come up with certain medicines issued by the polyclinics and the medicines’ catalogue to show that the medicines and the companies, which have manufactured them, do not figure in the catalogue. They have been told that their claim can only be entertained if it is substantiated in writing by the department concerned from the PGI.

— Pritam Bhullar



Stop jumping lights

Incidents of accidents and deaths due to rash and negligent driving are increasing these days. Main factors behind these are under-age driving and driving without helmet.

Majority of us are habitual traffic offenders. We follow the rules because we fear a challan or harassment at the hand of a policeman. We always jump red lights at our convenience.

Most of the roadways depots are based in the industrial areas and there is no policeman on the lights like Transport Chowk, railway station lights and Tribune Chowk to manage these buses.

These invariably jump red lights and all other vehicles follow them so much so that those who wait for green lights are treated as fools or asked to proceed by the vehicles standing behind.

The traffic police should have surprise checks and CCTV should be fixed on such important lights so that such drivers are challaned.

Keshav, Chandigarh

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Education dept announces increase in scholarships
Fee concession for poor girls, OBCs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
With drastic rise in scholarships, income limit and other additional benefits, the UT education department has announced new benefits and revised scholarships for various categories of students studying in various government schools of the city.

The decision taken by the UT advisor will be implemented in the ensuing session beginning from April 2008.

Accordingly, the school funds will be charged half from SC/ST students and these funds will be applicable from Class IX onwards. Students up to Class XII with family income below Rs 1.5 lakh are already exempted from tuition fees.

The revised scholarship for students up to Class VIII has been increased from Rs 30 to Rs 250 per month up to income limit of Rs 1.5 lakh with attendance requirement of 75%. Meritorious scholarship from Class IX onwards has been increased from Rs 20 to Rs 300.

In another decision, merit scholarship under the Harijan Scheme for Class VI to VIII has been increased to Rs 150 for boys and Rs 200 for girls up to the income limit of Rs 1.5 lakh.

The department has decided to give full tuition fee exemption for boys up till Class XII for the OBC, minorities for Christian and Muslims, handicapped, dependent wards of freedom fighters, dependent wards of ex-servicemen, dependent wards of widows and dependent wards of divorced women where as girls are already exempted from fee.

Also, half tuition fee for rural students with family income below Rs 1.5 lakh will be charged with proof of residence. Attendance scholarship from Class I to V to girls has been revised from Rs 30 to Rs 250 per month with an attendance condition of 75%.

Physically handicapped students with income limit of Rs. 1.5 lakh have been exempted from full tuition fee. In addition to this, the assistance for transport purpose has been revised from Rs 5 to Rs 250 per month and from Rs 35 to Rs 300 for Class I to VI onward, respectively, for 12 months.

In case of reimbursement for non-formal students, it was decided that all the residents of the city appearing from open schools or privately because of earning compulsions and within the age groups of 6 to 18 years shall be reimbursed against the payment receipt to the extent of Rs 1,000 which ever is less.

Incentives of Rs 250 per month will be given to the school dropouts for whole year with an attendance requirement of 75%.



Indira Gandhi NSS award for Daljit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
From among the team of 10 NSS volunteers, Daljit Kaur, a student of GND University, Amritsar, was awarded the Indira Gandhi NSS Award during the 13th National Youth Festival held at Chennai recently. Madhu Bala, youth officer, ministry of youth affairs and sports, led the team. The NSS volunteers participated in National Youth Convention and Surichar as part of the festival.

The team gave a power point presentation emphasising the idea that young people had to make serious and concerted efforts for spreading AIDS awareness. The selected students were Sunil Kumar, Vikramjit Singh, Harmanjit Singh, Vinod Kumar, Daljit Kaur, Manisha, Rajveer, Bharti Sharma, Priyanka, Gagandeep. 



UT to appoint nine as principals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
The UT education department has decided to hold the department promotion committee meeting in February in which nine will be promoted as principals.

DPI (schools) S.K. Setia said out of these nine principals’ posts, six will be promoted from the general category, one promotion from vocational category and two from heads’ category will be promoted.

Out of six principals to be promoted from the general category, two posts, which include the post of DEO (private schools) and one deputy DEO post, will be filled. 



Headmaster gets dismissal notice
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
The UT education department has issued a 20-day notice of dismissal to J.S. Lehri, headmaster, Government High School, Halo Majra. Lehri was found absent on the day when the Governor visited the school about three months back.

An enquiry was conducted regarding this and Lehri was given sufficient time to clear his position but no satisfactory answer was found.

J.S. Lehri had earlier remained under suspension for 12 years in addition to this, as his overall performance, records, ACRs and results were bad.



PU Notes
Sobti flags off bus to Hoshiarpur centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
Dr R.C. Sobti, vice chancellor, PU, flagged off the bus service to Swami Sarvanand Giri Panjab University Regional Centre, Hoshiarpur, on the PU campus here today. Lajpat Rai Munger, who donated the entire Hoshiarpur Regional Centre Campus to PU, has donated the bus. The bus, for students and employees, will start from the administrative block on every Monday morning and return on every Friday afternoon. The bus service has been started keeping in view the difficulties faced by the students and staff.


The department of education will organise a seminar on community participation in elementary school management under the UGC’s special assistance programme (SAP) on January 31. The objective of the seminar is to strengthen bond between academicians of various university departments and functionaries in the Punjab and UT education departments involved in implementing various policies and programmes. Secondly, it will provide a platform to discuss and share research and academic inputs of the faculty with field functionaries in order to search for effective and indigenous strategies for elementary school management. Officials of the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, district education officers, heads of schools, village education committee members from Punjab and Chandigarh, will be the key participants.

Demonstration moot

An annual demonstration moot was organised by the department of laws on the university campus.

The demonstration moot was presided over by Justice M.M. Kumar and Justice Jasbir Singh of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh.

Two advocates, Amar Vivek and Amit Singh, both from the Punjab and Haryana High Court, argued the case.

All faculty members, former professors, invited guests, including advocates and students of the department of laws, UILS and PU regional campus, Hoshiarpur, were present.



From Schools
The British School goes hi-tech
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 28
A software to facilitate the working efficiency and overall management of the school and its students was introduced by The British School at a function organised here today. Proprietor of the school T.R. Sethi said due to the increasing strength of the students and workload, about 25 per cent of a teacher's time was wasted in non-teaching work like calculating attendance, totalling of marks, generating progress reports, generating ranks and roll numbers. Similar difficulties were observed in fee collection, payroll generation, timetable computation, inventory management and accounting. He said with the help of the new software - Lyceum - they would be able to increase the effectiveness of school's administrative procedures through a tailor-made ERP solution in lesser time and teachers would be able to devote more time to teaching. He said Lyceum had a special feature to create an open and effective system for parents-teacher-student interaction.

ANNUAL DAY: The annual function of DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, was held here today. The programme, held with a purpose to inculcate a sense of responsibility among young children to save the environment, witnessed a dance drama making a strong impact on the audience to save the earth. About 400 students of classes I to VII participated in the drama. Dressed in multi-coloured clothes, the children performed gidda, bhangra, Haryanvi dance, kathak and an English dance. Chief guest Dr K.V. Singh, OSD to the Haryana Chief Minister, applauded the theme of the program and gave away prizes to the students.



Two convicted for murder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
The additional district and sessions judge Ravi Kumar Sondhi today convicted Harish and Sunil Chikna for allegedly murdering Gunwant Singh Walia. The quantum on the sentence has been deferred to January 31.

According to the prosecution, 47-year-old resident of Sector 37, Gunwant Singh Walia, was murdered by three youths in October, 2003. Harish and Sunil Chikna were arrested in November, 2005, while the third accused Manpreet has been declared as proclaimed offender.



Drug Racket
HC issues notice of motion to SSP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 28
Taking up a petition claiming that "omission to perform duty by an officer as senior as the senior superintendent of police" resulted in failure of the cops to burst a drug racket, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion for February 29.

The notices have been issued to the UT administration, UT home ministry, Chandigarh police, Central Bureau of Investigation, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and UT SSP on a petition filed by social activist Hemant Goswami.

He alleged that the SSP failed to respond to a specific information provided to him on sale and availability of drugs on the high court premises.

The petitioner, appearing in-person, asked for directions to the respondents to take action against the SSP under Sections 166, 221 of the IPC and Section 59 of the NDPS for failure to perform his duty even when specific information with regard to a cognisable offence was provided to him.

Expressing apprehensions over the possibility of nexus between certain officials and those involved in the business, the petitioner requested the court to get the matter investigated by the CBI and NCB.

The petitioner said on January 21, the municipal corporation staff, along with volunteers of NGO Burning Brain Society, in a drive to remove roadside tobacco vendors, reached the high court premises and found that a tobacco vendor sitting behind the “Fauji Canteen” was selling a product appearing to be “charas/hashish”.

The MC seized the material under the routine activity of removing encroachments. Same day at around 2.20 pm, the petitioner informed the SSP of Chandigarh, home secretary and other officials about "drug trafficking''. Claiming no action was taken and no FIR was registered against anyone, the petitioner said neither the seized product suspected of containing drugs were taken in possession nor were those tested for narcotics.

The next day, when petitioner again took up the matter, a DSP replied that the seized material looked like “churan”. He also said no complaint had been registered and the material had not been tested, petitioner claimed.

The next day on January 23, the petitioner got the suspected material tested with the NCB on his own. The material was tested positive for charas/hashish and a certified report was issued by the NCB, the petitioner said. Subsequently, at 3.30 pm, the petitioner, through advocate A.P.S. Shergill, produced the certificate in the high court and made a request to the Bench of Chief Justice Vijender Jain for intervention. The Chief Justice asked them to approach the registrar-general, who spoke to the SSP and asked him to initiate the investigation and take appropriate action under the law. Till date, no procedurally correct and credible action, which would have been helpful in bringing the culprits to book, was initiated, the petitioner claimed.



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