C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City richer by Rs 130 cr
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The cash rich city became richer today. The Union Budget has earmarked Rs 1547.65 crore for the City Beautiful, almost Rs 130 crore more than the money that the UT got last year.

Calculated on the basis of total allocation (including Plan and non-Plan) the major gainer is the power sector. The allocation this year is Rs 393.52 crore which is almost Rs 30 crore more than last year’s budget allocation. However, the Plan Budget for power has decreased this year by Rs 3.5 crore.

City residents can expect better water supply, sanitation and urban development with almost Rs 25 crore added to the Budget this year, taking it up to Rs 444.62 crore.

The Union Government has increased UT’s Budget for secondary and higher education by Rs 12 crore. This year’s allocation is Rs 156.04 crore while it was Rs 144.81 crore last year. The Budget for health and family welfare has also increased this year by about Rs 10 crore. The allocation under this head this year is Rs 103.88 crore while last year it was Rs 93.81 crore.

The other gainer has been capital outlay for police, public works, administrative services and welfare of SCs and BCs. The capital outlay has increased from Rs 160.28 crore to Rs 194.01 crore.

The UT has got almost Rs 5 crore more this year for youth affairs and sports. The city has also got Rs 8.49 crore for the promotion of culture which is Rs 2.5 crore more than last year. The Budget for women and child welfare has increased by Rs 2.31 crore.

The Budget for labour and employment has also increased by Rs 1.6 crore. Last year this was Rs 7.49 crore while this year it is pegged at Rs 9.12 crore. Social justice and empowerment in UT also get about Rs 1.5 crore more than last year. For tourism, the city has got almost Rs 2.40 crore more than last year. This year’s allocation for tourism is Rs 4.64 crore. The Budget for roads and transport this year is Rs 106.69 crore which is only a Rs 1.3 crore increase from last year on account of non-Plan Budget. The Budget for forests and environment has come down this year by almost Rs 1 crore. The allocation this year is Rs 11.45 crore.

UT Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar said out of the total Budget outlay, the non-Plan budget on gross basis is Rs 1,243 crore and Plan Budget is Rs 304.65 Crore. He said the Plan Budget allocation this year is 13.83 per cent over the Budget estimates of last year i.e. Rs 267.63.

Giving a breakup of the Plan allocation, he added that 86 per cent of the total plan allocation was focused on infrastructure and human development. A sum of Rs. 99.66 crore has been kept for human development, Rs 158.36 crore is provided for infrastructure. Almost 17.4 per cent of the Plan Budget has been kept for the education sector and 15.3 per cent for the medical and public health sector.

The non-Plan Budget on net basis is Rs 890 crore which is slightly less than the revised estimates for 2007-08 which was pegged at Rs 901 crore. The reduction is on account of lesser requirement of funds by the Administration for ‘Acquisition of Land’. Out of this allocation, Rs 438.59 crore are meant for salaries of 24,027 employees covering 60 departments.

Out of non-salary objects, the provision for grant-in-aid to Municipal Corporation is Rs 146.07 crore and Panjab University will get Rs 35 crore as grant-in-aid, Kumar added.

UT Finance Secretary said against the budgetary provision of Rs 1547.65 crore, the Administration is likely to earn the revenue during the financial year 2008-09 to the extent of Rs 1467.00 crore against the budgeted target of 2007-08 of Rs 1278.62 crore. Kumar added that the budgeted surplus for the year 2008-09 have been projected by the Administration at Rs 577.00 crore against the budgeted surplus of last year i.e. Rs 443.62 crore mainly


Labour & jobs: Rs 9.12 cr

Home Affairs: Rs 194 crore

Education: Rs 156 crore

Health : Rs 103 crore

Tourism: Rs 4.64 crore


Power: Down Rs 3.5 cr

Environment: Down Rs 1 cr

Transport: Down Rs 1 cr

Smart card

The city, along with Haryana, is the first to be selected for the pilot project of smart cards to be used by ration card holders under the public distribution system. An announcement in this regard was made by union finance minister in his Budget speech today. The multi-purpose card would be used as a driving licence, registration certificate, voter I-card.



Paid Parking
Eight councillors challenge admn’s decision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
Nearly seven months after the UT Administration annulled Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh’s resolution to abolish paid-parking system in the city, eight BJP-Akali councillors today challenged the Administration’s order before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Taking up the petition, a Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Justice K.S. Garewal and Justice Daya Chaudhary, issued notice of motion to the Chandigarh Administration and the local Municipal Corporation. The Bench also fixed March 17 as the next date of hearing on the matter.

Challenging the validity of the order dated July 17 last year, the petitioner’s counsel submitted that on March 20, 2007, the Corporation passed a resolution to abolish the paid-parking system in the city.

However, on June 11, 2007, the UT Home Secretary placed the resolution under suspension and asked the Corporation to file its reply within 10 days.

He said since seven days’ notice was required for calling the corporation’s meeting, it met on June 28, 2007, and authorised two of its members to submit the reply on its behalf. The same was filed on July 27, 2007.

The Home Secretary, on July 17, 2007, without waiting for the Corporation’s reply, passed the final order, annulling the resolution.

Arguing before the Court, the counsel said under Article 243 of the Constitution of India it was within the powers of the elected representatives to decide whether they wanted paid-parking system.

The Administration had no power to suspend or annual such a resolution passed by the house. He said the Administration took three months to suspend the resolution, but it gave just 10 days to the Corporation to file its reply, which was grossly insufficient.

He said in spite of the short time given by the Administration, the Municipal Corporation did file its reply in the shortest possible time, even then it was not considered. 



At PU, tiles threat
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
Hundreds of students passing by the Arts Block VI of Punjab University barely saved their lives this morning when a whole lot of large tiles, about 27, fell from the wall of the building. The building was constructed about five years back and houses Centre for Women Studies.
Red tiles came off the wall of the building of the department of Women Studies, Panjab University in Chandigarh
Red tiles came off the wall of the building of the department of Women Studies, Panjab University in Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

At the time of the incident, a class was in progress on the premises. Fortunately, the girls sitting outside had a narrow escape. Worse than what happened was the reaction of the university’s engineering wing.

When asked about the incident, executive engineer of the maintenance department Satish Padam, who was in the construction department when the building was constructed, said, “I am not aware of it. There might have been a minor earthquake which led to the falling of tiles..”

R.K. Rai, executive engineer said he was not even aware of the incident. “I have no idea about the chipping off and cannot comment at the moment .”

Prof R.C. Sobti, who was out of town throughout the day and returned late in the evening, immediately reacted and said nobody had told him about the incident till then. “I will visit the site in the morning.”



Residents feel pepped up
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
Dream Budget or a populist one aimed at wooing the voter during the last year of the UPA government’s tenure? Whatever be the case, city residents are hailing it because of its impetus on education, health and the social sector.

For the common man, reeling under spiralling prices, the hike in income tax rebate across all sections comes as a pep up. Most are happy at the increased spends on the education and health sectors and emphasis on skill enhancement.

The business community, though, is unhappy and claims that they have been offered too little. A. L. Aggarwal, president of the Chandigarh Industrial Fasteners Association, said not much had been done for the industry.

“The customs duty on scrap has been abolished, but it will not have much impact. The CENVAT and excise duty which has been reduced from 16 per cent to 14 per cent is too meagre, and should be reduced to 12 per cent.”

Ankit Gupta, executive member of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India , says he is disappointed that the finance minister has not included the hotel industry in the infrastructure list, along with airports.

Says Geeta Bhatia, an employee in PCL: “There is no increase in LPG prices and a four per cent reduction in duty on small cars and scooters.

But the best is the increase in rebate on income tax, which will strengthen our economc condition,” she says.

B.K. Sood, a retired defence personnel and resident of Panchkula hailed the decision of raising the slab for income tax exemption to senior citizens up to Rs 2.20 lakh.

Supporting her views, Hitesh Kumar Puri, an income tax practitioner, said: “This change in income tax structure will give maximum relief to the salaried class which is the major contributor to income tax among individual tax-payers. However, the Finance minister should have increased the limit of Section 88 C, tax-saving schemes to encourage small savings,” he said.

Dr Jatinder Kumar, a practicing pathologist, hailed the enhanced allocation in the health sector. “The decision to lower the custom duty on life-saving drugs will lead to a lower cost. Also, with the decision to upgrade hospital for geriatrics care is welcome.” 



‘Nude’ threat by student gets him degree
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
A day after Amit Datta created ruckus on the campus of Government College of Art in Sector 10, another harassed student threatened to strip if he was not given his degree. He had completed his course in 2005.

He succeeded in getting what he wanted. Accompanied by 10 members of the local unit of the National Students Union of India, Manpal Singh kept exerting pressure on the college authorities. The latter - afraid to trigger another nude walk - immediately budged.

Manpal, now an animation student with the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, came to Chandigarh three months ago with the sole purpose of getting his degree, which he needs to apply for a course abroad.

“I made many visits to the college but to no avail. After reading about Amit, I realised we should protest against the indiscipline of college authorities. When all of us collectively threatened to strip naked, the degree was immediately handed over. That means it was lying with the college staff and was being unnecessarily delayed,” said Manpal, seen on the campus with Nitin Goyal of NSUI and Amit Datta. Goyal led the march for “justice”, as he called it.

As for the college authorities, they apparently denied Manpal the degree as he had earlier landed in a major controversy. Some college girls had in 2005 reportedly complained to the principal that Manpal had used obscene language for them when a class was in progress. An enquiry was marked but nothing conclusive came out of it. A committee headed by the then SDM Swati Sharma reportedly let Manpal off with a warning. He was, however, asked to issue in newspapers an apology measuring six by eight inches.

“Whenever I asked the college authorities for my degree, they said I should first issue the said apology,” said Manpal.



Centre for mentally challenged takes wings
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The region just got richer. Deprived for years of a centre for the rehabilitation of mentally challenged, it got its due today, with people across the city joining hands to make a mighty dream come alive. The Society for Rehabilitation of Mentally Challenged, Sector 36, nursed by social activist Promila Chander Mohan, took wings with the help of Ved Vinayak, a US-based NRI, who donated Rs 5 lakh for the cause.

The occasion was simple; its objective sincere. No wonder the fund-raiser for the society attracted men of eminence, led by Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Vijender Jain. He made a heartwarming speech, addressing special children as children with abilities. “They have sharp sensitivities and can understand things faster than normal people. On my part, I would like this institute to prosper,” he said, his tone measured and inspiring. Soon after the chief justice’s address, Punjab advocate-general H.S. Mattewal committed to donate Rs 1 lakh to the society.

The toast of the gathering, however, was Vinayak, a social activist from New Castle in the UK, where he was decorated with the Member of British Empire in 1999. A member of the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Vinayak literally gave a fillip to the project, which Promila has been struggling to start for long.

“We still require Rs 75 lakh to bring the institute up to world standards. I and my friends have contributed their bit; I paid Rs 2 crore for the land which I got on confessional rates. But we need more financial muscle to move further on this path,” Promila told The Tribune today.

For her, the day was all about the culmination of 20 years of service. The centre, no doubt, is a milestone in its right, as it will provide all services for special children under one roof. There will be a facility for early intervention, functional education, computer training, pre and post-vocational training and sports on the campus. By the next year the caretakers of society plan to add to it a golf course and a rock climbing facility.

“Golf is the game for special children and rock climbing is a good sport to engage them and help them conquer their fear of the heights. We will have other sports facilities like floor hockey, table tennis, volleyball among others,” said Promila, as she recalled her first assignment in the special sector. 



BRO to outsource projects
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) will outsource certain projects and works pertaining to construction and maintenance of strategic roads and bridges to civilian construction agencies wherever feasible.

This would enable the BRO to add capacity and undertake more road, bridge and tunnelling work. A decision in this regard was taken by the Border Roads Development Board (BRDB) at New Delhi on Wednesday. The BRDB meeting was chaired by minister of state for defence M.M. Pallam Raju.

The BRO plans to double the target for the 2008-09 financial year with road construction of about 2,500 km and bridge length totalling 5 km, which are estimated to be worth over Rs 4,000 crore. At present, the organisation constructs about 1,100 km of roads and lays bridges over 3 km-long every year. The annual worth of its construction activity is over Rs 2,600 crore.

The BRO has drawn up a five-year perspective plan for completing strategic projects, including roads along the China border, Prime Minister’s reconstruction package for Jammu and Kashmir and the special road development programme for the North-East within the stipulated time-frame.

The BRO has also proposed a special package to provide life insurance cover to its large casual workforce. The measure would benefit over 70,000 labourers laying roads in difficult and terrorist infested border areas. Besides wages, casual workforce, at present, is provided free shelter, free clothing and rations from BRO units.

The meeting was held for the second time in the current financial year to review and plan various projects. 



Councillors at loggerheads over parking lots
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, February 29
Even as the proposal to hand over the work of maintenance and traffic control of parking lots in the commercial areas of the town to private parties was unanimously cleared by the House, heated arguments between councillors belonging to the ruling group and those of the opposition were witnessed over alleged discrimination at the meeting of the municipal council held today.

While Kuljit Singh Aulakh and Rajinder Prasad Sharma condemned the opposition councillors for getting estimates relating to development works stayed, Phool Raj Singh and Harpal Singh gave examples alleging that discrimination was being done against their wards. The opposition councillors said discrimination should not be done if the ruling party was really interested in the town’s development.

GMADA had planned to hand over the work of maintaining the parking lots to the civic body which in turn would invite private parties through open tenders for the maintenance work.

The contractor would be asked to give a coupon to each vehicle owner entering the parking area without charging any fee. The contractor would have to bear the expenditure of maintaining the parking lots but would be allowed to put up advertisements in the area to generate income. Refreshment booths would also be set up in the markets.

Sharma also pointed out that cases relating to pensions were not being cleared by the office of the SDM. He said not a single case had been cleared ever since the present elected body had taken over.

It is learnt that pension cases were not being cleared by the SDM because these had not been verified by the executive officer of the council.



Voters’ List
Residents irked over discrepancies 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 29
Residents and political leaders belonging to different political parties have alleged serious discrepancies in the final voters’ list released recently for the forthcoming municipal council elections. Irked with repeated allegations in this regard, finally the deputy commissioner Rajinder Kataria, has issued instructions that the people alleging about bogus votes without any proof to substantiate their claims in the electoral rolls could face action.

In fact, the revised electoral rolls were marred with the allegations of inclusion of bogus votes since these were released on December 28. Even Congress leaders alleged that many bogus votes were included in the new rolls and officials involved in survey under some councillors’ influence deleted genuine voters from the lists.

Panchkula Congress president (city) R.K. Kakkar, a municipal councillor, today alleged that though he got 218 bogus votes deleted from voters’ list of Sector 10. A resident of Sector 19 in ward No. 16, Dev Raj Sharma, said he had lodged a complaint with the district administration citing example of 400 votes with the addresses of merely 12 houses. At least 600 votes were to be verified in the sector, said Sharma, general secretary of the Joint Action Committee of Sector 19. The BJP leaders however found misprinting in many cases.

However, a release from the DC said the person who claims that there were bogus votes in electoral rolls could file his claim with a proof in the office of municipal committee, Sector 4. Those who were left without getting their names on the electoral rolls could also file a form in the office.



MC sets terms for maintaining parks
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 29
The municipal council today set terms for taking over maintenance of parks from the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) stating that this could be done only if funds for the work were provided by the authority.

The issue was put up as a table item at the meeting of the council held here today. Councillors argued that if GMADA could provide funds to welfare organisations for maintaining parks, why these could not be given to the civic body which faced shortage of funds for carrying out development works in the town.

It was decided to carry out a survey to know about the recurring expenditure that would have to be incurred by the council on the maintenance of parks and open spaces. GMADA would be informed about the recurring expenditure and parks would be taken over for maintenance only if the authority agreed to provide the required funds.

GMADA had asked the civic body, through a letter dated February 28, to take up the maintenance of parks and vacant spaces. The GMADA letter stated that senior officials had decided yesterday in accordance with the PUDA Act, 1995, that developed parks should be immediately handed over to the council for maintenance. A list of 143 developed parks and vacant spaces was sent to the civic body for immediate take over.

Maintenance of parks had always remained a headache for GMADA. Over the years it had tried to hand over these to the civic body and the latter always showed reluctance on the pretext of fund shortage. GMADA later drew up an ambitious plan to carry out the maintenance of 558 parks at its own level. Estimates worth about Rs 4 crore were drawn up for the work but the plan backfired when GMADA failed to get the desired response from contractors after floating tenders.

It was then decided to hand over the work of maintaining parks to welfare organisations by paying monthly charges as per established norms and estimates prepared by the authority. GMADA has, in fact, received about 30 applications from welfare bodies which have shown interest in maintaining parks. GMADA had now again asked the council to take over the maintenance of parks. 



Four Cs to combat stress
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 29
“Simple life management skills, along with yogic techniques and meditation, can help alleviating stress from our life,” stated Dr Girish Patel, a noted psychotherapist, who is here to conduct programmes for the Army personnel at Western Command, Chandimandir, Haryana Government officials and general public.

“Dr Patel said four Cs should be imbibed in our life, which include Challenge, avoid Complaining, Communicate, and Cooperate, to alleviate the pressure of daily life. He said stress should be removed to lead a healthy life.



Cop injured in scuffle
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 29
A policeman was injured when shopkeepers near Mata Mansa Devi Temple attacked him, here today. According to the police a constable Kuldeep had gone to get a recharge coupon for his mobile phone when he had some altercation with the shopkeeper following which the shopkeepers of the area injured Kuldeep.

The shopkeepers denied the charges. According to the shopkeepers, four policemen reached the shop around 8 pm and asked for a recharge coupon worth Rs 20. When the shopkeeper told them that he did not have the coupon, the policemen thrashed him following which the other shopkeepers reached the spot to rescue him.



Arun Govil turns spiritual 
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 29
Actor Arun Govil has decided to turn towards spirituality. “I have not accepted any new offer for the last one-and-a-half-year and want to go on a spiritual journey at least for now.

Govil, who attained fame for playing Lord Rama in Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana on Doordarshan around two decades ago, is here for the preparation of a two-day religious congregation being organised by Bhagwan Shri Laksmi Narayan Dham, starting tomorrow.

“Though I have not decided to quit Bollywood, I want to go towards spirituality for which I decided not to work at the moment,” said Govil.

“I am fully satisfied with this decision and do not see any reason to join acting again,” said Govil, adding that he could not predict his future plans.

Speaking on the recent controversy on the existence of Lord Rama and Ram Setu, Govil said, he was not in favour of mixing a community’s belief with politics.
“There was no reason behind suspecting the existence of Lord Rama,” he said.

Speaking about the congregation he said it would be non-commercial and there would be no entry fee for the visitors where Brahmrishi Kumar Swamiji would divulge the secrets of Vedas and other holy books.



New 2 Corps commander takes over
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
Lieut Gen J.P. Singh today took over as the General Officer Commanding 2 Corps from Lt Gen V K Singh at Ambala today. Gen V K Singh will take over as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, at Kolkata tomorrow.

General Singh was given a traditional farewell at Ambala Cantonment today. He laid a wreath at Vijay Smarak and paid tributes to martyrs of Corps. He has a wide-ranging experience of various high- profile commands, staff and instructional appointments. 



Heart patient needs help

Chandigarh, February 28
Vikram (25), a heart patient needing double-valve replacement at the PGI, is struggling for life in the wake of acute shortage of money.

According to PGI doctors, Vikram needs Rs 1.8 lakh for the surgery. Those wanting to help Vikram can contribute to the Poor Patients Welfare Fund at the PGI. — TNS



Cycle tracks need attention

It is heartening that the UT administration has provided cycle tracks on most city roads. But these tracks, particularly the one in Sector 42-B, are not being maintained properly making it tough for the cyclists to have a smooth drive.

Waste water from houses adjacent to the tracks makes them filthy. Wild growth on these tracks is also adding to the woes of the cyclists.

The tracks need urgent attention of the administration. The administration should warn the owners of the houses which let out waste water on the tracks. Moreover, tracks should be re-carpeted regularly.

Gurmukh Singh, Mohali

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030



PU Notes
‘Jhankaar’ from March 3
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The PU Campus Students’ Council (PUCSC) will organise the annual national youth festival ‘Jhankaar-2008’ from March 3-6. This year, around five universities and 200 colleges from the northern region have registered to participate. The function shall start with a traditional ‘Jago’ on the evening of March 2.

A rock show and fashion show will also be organised for the first time. In order to mark the beginning, a road show was organised today. Around 150 vehicles took part in the road show.


The department of social work under the aegis of Centre for Emerging Areas of Social Sciences organised an exhibition-cum-sale of handmade products created by slum children with the objective of providing them a platform to reach out to the public. The exhibition, put up at Students’ Centre, had handbags, folders, paper bags, pen stands, fancy envelops on display. The money procured out of the sale of products was handed over to NGOs ‘Chhoti si Aasha’, working towards the skill development of slum children, and ‘Sadhana’, an institute providing creative skills to special children.

Moot court

The first intra-department moot court was organised at University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS) on February 28-29. Around 18 teams participated in the competition. Teachers of the UILS and department of laws were the judges. The final round was judged by Prof Veer Singh, Prof P.S. Jaswal and Prof Shashi K. Sharma. The team comprising Gitanjali Goyal and Ajay Kalra stood first.


A SOPU delegation led by president Harpreet Multani, campus president Brinder Singh Dhillon and PU campus students’ council joint secretary Jasdeep Singh Dhillon submitted a memorandum to vice chancellor Prof R.C. Sobti and discussed the step-motherly treatment meted out to the department of BDS and UIET. They raised issues like pending construction work of the second block of UIET, parking troubles and bad roads leading to the institute.


The central placement cell of the university will organise a three-day workshop on the development of soft skills for the benefit of the university students on March 1. The idea is to enable students to acquire skills like preparing a CV/resume, participating in an interview/group discussion and developing the art of public speaking.


Prof S.K. Kulkarni, dean of university instructions, inaugurated a symposium in mathematics today. Prof I.B.S. Passi, prof emeritus, department of mathematics, and honorary professor at IISER, Mohali, presided over the inaugural function. The inaugural ceremony was followed by two academic sessions. In the first academic session, Professor A.R. Rajwade, former professor, department of mathematics, delivered a lecture on the work of Prof M.K. Agarwal, retired professor of the department of mathematics.


Prof Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, a renowned historian and chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi, delivered Prof Hari Ram Gupta Memorial Lecture organised by the department of history today. Prof J.S. Grewal, an eminent historian and former vice chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, chaired the lecture.


The department of education organised a panel discussion on role of parents, schools, counsellors and society today on the second day of the two-day seminar on ‘Counselling in Schools: Emerging need of the Hour’. The panellists were sociologist Prof Sherry Sabharwal, Komal Singh, Simran Randhawa and Taranjot Randhawa. DPI (S) S.K. Setia lauded the initiative taken by the department.


As many as 250 delegates from all over the country are participating in three-day seminar on sports, exercise and health which was inaugurated on Punjab University campus today. There will be a panel discussion tomorrow afternoon on ‘Dismal performance of Indian sportspersons at Olympics: Reasons and solutions’, which will be presided over by Prof R.C. Sobti.



From Schools & Colleges
Students rally to stop child labour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
With an aim to stop child labour and to motivate people of the slum areas for sending their children to schools, the students of AIE today organised a rally under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, UT, Chandigarh. The rally started from Government High School, Khajeri, and scattered at contact center at rehabilitation Colony, Sector 15, Chandigarh. More than 1,500 children participated in the rally.

Discussion: Government College of Education, Sector 20, organised a panel discussion on ‘Employment Opportunities: India and Abroad’. Dr S. S. Chaddha, former joint director, Employment, Haryana, Krishan Kumar, former counsellor, State Institute of Education, Sector 32, Dr Vinod Sharma, S.R.E.O, State employment, Deepak Kumar, Ex. Haryana overseas bureau, Panchkula were the eminent panellists.

Inaugurated: The 88th PGCTE course valediction function was organised today. Pradeep Mehra, advisor to administrator, and Raji P.Shrivastava, director, Higher Education, Chandigarh administration, were the guest of honour. Director RIE inaugurated the recording studio, which has been setup for producing audio-video material for English language learning and teaching. A book entitled‘ Teaching Young Learners’ was released. Thirty-eight teachers and lecturers of English from government schools of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh received their course certificates at the function.

Fancy dress: Tiny tots from various schools participated in inter-school art and fancy-dress competition in Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 37. Camel ride and mickey mouse were highlight of the day.

Seminar: With an aim to inspire, a seminar and interactive session on ‘Management taught with a difference’ was held by Prof M.S pillai, ex-director, Symbiosis, and founder director SCMLD, Pune, at Bhavan Vidhyaliya auditorium. More than 200 hundred students attended the seminar.

Health week: Eurokids, Sector 9, Panchkula, and Sector 18, Chandigarh, celebrated the onset of spring by observing health is wealth day on their respective premises. To boost the kids’ spirit and enhance their vigour, lawns of both schools were decorated with colourful flags. The objective was to spread awareness about fitness among kids through innovative techniques. During the week-long celebrations, activities like sand play, gardening, nature walk and physical fitness were organised for the children. Class teachers demonstrated the nutritional value of food through activities like salad and soup-making. The celebrations ended a musical drill and march past. Clad in the red, black and blue tracksuits, children took part in track events like party and sky races. To make the day memorable, innocent expressions of the kids were captured during photo sessions with their teachers. 



Vocalist delights audience
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 29
The Spic Macay and vocal music department of GCG-11 organised a captivating recital and interactive session with renowned vocalist Dr Prabha Attre on the college premises, here yesterday.

Ratnika Tiwari, head, vocal music, invited the guest to light the lamp, while college principal Promila Kaushal marked Dr Attre as the only performer who has excelled as a genius vocalist, brilliant thinker, author and a composer. Dr Attre is a science and law graduate. Besides, she holds a doctorate in music. She is also the chairperson and director of many socio-cultural and educational boards in India.

Displaying a rare blend of vocal skills, Dr Attre commenced the musical soiree with the exposition of raag Bhairav, defining the raag through an impressive alaap before delving into the vilambat bandish "Mann re..." in ‘ek tal’ which later melted into ‘drut lya’.

Maintaining the same excellence, she sang raag desi with an elaborate alaap and compositions set in ‘rupak tal’. She was at her best while captivating the audience in the concluding dadra "Kiase jaaon...”

Padma Shri Ustad Mehmood Dholpuri accompanied her on harmonium while Parsoon Chatterji of the AIR, Delhi, played tabla.

Dr Attre observed that media, especially broadcast, paid more attention to glamour in light or classical music genre ignoring the artistic criteria, especially in the pop world which was more commercial. However, the role of technology in propagating our classical or folk music can not be ignored. Through their recorded music, the maestros can reach out more, she advocates.

Not averse to the idea of fusion, though never experimented, she feels that any style in art is not still and traditional art must be enriched with other compatible source before it goes on the verge of extinction.

A strong supporter of ‘Guru Shishya’ tradition, Dr Attre maintains that only a follower can realise and imbibe the bliss of nayaki and gayaki under the blessed guidance of a Guru. 



Show-cause notice to Shivalik School
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The Chandigarh Administration has issued a show-cause notice for withdrawal of provisionall recognition accorded to Shivalik Public School, Sector 41.

The decision was taken after considering the report on the school submitted by the inspection team of the education department. The school has been given 10 days from the issue of the notice to ex[plain as to why the administration should not cancel its recognition.

The report points out towards several discrepancies and mentions various terms and conditions not being complied by the school. The school has not implemented 15% reservation for economically weaker sections despite notices and reminders.

The school has not bothered to send details about the students and the fee charged form the students under 15 per cent reservation. UT home secretary said neither had the managing committee of the school obtained approval from the education department, nor had the school submitted a copy of the occupation/completion certificate for the school building.

The school had also not submitted a copy of the fire safety certificate issued by the CFO, UT, he added. The school had failed to maintain/deposit the reserve fund required to be pledged in the name of the DEO. It did not supply the list of the staff showing their qualification, date of birth, date of joining, subjects taken in B.Ed and those being taught by them.

No details on the pattern of pay scale and other allowances were provided to the inspection committee by the school. The school has not maintained any service-book/ record of any teacher/employee.

During the course of inspection it was found that the school was running two professional courses for general public during and after school on a commercial basis from the basement of the school building in contravention of the conditions of the allotment letter.



Sale of sex-determination kits

In a reply to a petition aimed at ending the menace created by sale of illegal sex-determination kits, the union ministry of health and family welfare has claimed the initiation of a move to constitute the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC).

Once the committee comes into being, it will take stock of the ground realities through field visits by the members. The ministry has proposed to amend certain provisions of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT).

Following the amendments, the appropriate authority to deal with such matters at state level will be changed from Director, Health and Family Welfare, to Secretary, Health and Family Welfare.

The reply, submitted before the Punjab and Haryana High Court by Director (PNDT) Kal Singh, stated Rs 5 lakh was sanctioned for the MPs representing Punjab, Haryana, Himachal, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi and Chandigarh.

Besides this, steps have also been taken to train members of lower judiciary dealing with the cases directly. It was added that as on January 28 as many as 415 cases were currently going on in various courts for violation PNDT Act. Punjab and Haryana prominently figured among the leading states. As many as 159 ultrasound machines had been sealed and seized which violated the provisions.

Postings for judicial officers

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered the postings of as many as 38 judicial officers in the two states.

The officers, their new designation and place of posting in Haryana, are: Civil Judge Senior Division (CJSD) Budhi Diwakar Nimothia (Narnaul); CJSD Dr Abdul Majid (Ambala); CJM Gopal Krishan (Sirsa); CJM Gagandeep Kaur (Panipat); CJSD Vijay Singh (Jagadhri); CJM Parveen Gupta (Ambala); CJM-cum-presiding officer of special court environment Seema Singhal (Kurukshetra); CJM Vani Gopal Sharma (Jind); CJM Devender Singh (Jhajjar); CJM Raj Rani (Panchkula).

CJM Naresh Kumar Singhal (Kurukshetra); CJM Vimal Kumar (Faridabad); additional CJSD Sanjay Sandhir (Assand); additional CJSD Jasbir Singh Sandhu (Gohana) and additional CJSD Sangeeta Rai (Guhla)

The officers, their new designation and place of postings in Punjab, are: CJSD Jaswinder Sheemar (Ropar); CJSD-cum-CJM Tarsem Mangla (Moga); CJSD-cum-CJM Lachhman Singh (Tarn Taran); CJSD Rakesh Kumar (Gurdaspur); CJSD-cum-CJM Ashok Paul Batra (Barnala); CJM Harjinder Pal Singh (Gurdaspur); CJM Mandeep Pannu (Ropar); CJM D.P.K. Bedi (Fatehgarh Sahib); CJM Gurmeet Kaur (Jalandhar); CJM Roshan Lal Chohan (Amritsar); CJM Ranjit Kumar (Patiala); CJM Dimple Walia (Mansa).

CJM Preeti sahni (Hoshiarpur); CJSD Surinder Singh Sahni (Hoshiarpur); CJM Rajeev Malhotra (Kapurthala); additional CJSD Sanjay Agnihotri (Garshankar); additional CJSD Harbans Singh Lekhi (Samrala); additional CJSD Sandeep Kumar Singla (Sultanpur Lodhi); additional CJSD Jaswinder Singh (Baba Bakala); additional CJSD Harpreet Kaur Athwal (Malout); additional CJSD K.K. Goyal (Kharar); additional CJSD Sanjeev Joshi (Phul) and Civil Judge Junior Division Ranjit Singh-II (Bathinda).



Lok adalat on cheque-bounce cases today 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The State Legal Services Authority, UT, has organised a special lok adalat to take up cheque- bounce cases on March 1 in the District Courts.

There are more than 45,000 cheque-bounce cases pending in the District Courts. This special lok adalat will be held under the guidance of Justice J.S. Khehar, judge, Punjab and Haryana High Court, executive chairman of State Legal Services Authority, UT, and Justice Parmod Kohli, judge, Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Talking about the future plans, R.K. Sharma, member secretary, Chandigarh Legal Services Authority, said any person belonging to SC/ST, women, children, disabled persons and person in custody and those with annual salary less than Rs 50,000 were entitled to free legal services.



Consumer Courts
Man fined Rs 20,000 for frivolous complaint
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on a Panchkula-based resident for filing a frivolous complaint.

The appellant, Gagan Choudhary, had an account in HDFC Bank. He stated that in February 2006 he presented three cheques worth Rs 4.5 lakh that were to be cleared on the same day. Bank officials had also assured him that the cheques would be cleared on the same day. However, instead of getting the cheques cleared, the officials returned the three cheques with the remarks that they were outdated. The bank said the cheques were deposited in time but were dishonoured as they were outdated.

The commission headed by K.C. Gupta observed: “Three cheques were drawn on August 6, 2005, and thus their validity of six months was to expire on February 6, 2006. The appellant presented the cheques for the first time in the bank on February 4, 2006. He has not furnished any satisfactory explanation as to why he had kept these cheques for about six months and presented them on the last day."

The commission stated: “We concur with the reasoning given by the forum and hold that there is no force in the appeal. It appears that the appellant knew that he could not get the amounts of cheques and manipulated things to take money from the respondents.”



Refund fee, forum tells Kundan School
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Kundan International School School, Sector 46, to refund fee totalling Rs 30,000 of two schoolchildren on the complaint of a resident of Sector 19. The school has also been asked to pay Rs 2,100 towards cost of litigation.

The petitioner,Virinder Jit Singh Gill, alleged that hegot his seven-year-old twin granddaughters admitted to Class III after paying a registration fee of Rs 500. Thereafter, a written and oral test was held for both in January 2006.

The children cleared the tests and they were given admission in Class III on January 17, 2007, after depositing a fee of Rs 31,000. Gill pointed out that the parents of the children were settled in Canada.

In order to get Canadian citizenship, his grand-daughters had to leave for the country to with their parents. He requested the school to cancel their admission and refund the fees . He alleged that the school did not do so.

In reply, the school stated that as per the prospectus of the school this could not be done. The forum headed by Jagroop Singh Mahal observed: “At most, the school can retain the registration fees. In these circumstances, when no services have been rendered by the school, the school is not legally entitled to retain the fees, except the registration fees.”



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