C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Tribune Special
Beware! Tricksters on your doorstep
Salesmen and “service men” of various companies could be criminals trying to gain entry into your house. They could also be operating as personnel appointed by a company or government department for surveys.
Ruchika M. Khanna & Ramanjit S. Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
Beware! Salesmen and service men of various companies and their agencies, trying to meet their sales target by all means, are on the prowl in the tricity.

Moving door-to-door, they enter your home and then try to defraud you by “detecting a fault” in your equipment, force you to replace a part, and thus force out of you a couple of hundreds.

What is even more alarming is that these “service men” could actually be hardcore criminals trying to gain entry into your house.They could also be operating as personnel appointed by a company or government department for “surveys.”

With the police clueless on how to tackle the menace, the safety of residents is in their own hands.

Claiming to be employees of a water purifier, refrigerator or air conditioner companies, these service men are allegedly fleecing people, replacing the functional parts of the equipment, claiming that the part is defunct.

Wary of males, they target houses after 10 am in the hope that the menfolk would have left for work. Women, especially the elderly, are easy preys.

Vimal Khanna, a resident of Panchkula, informed TNS that two young men approached her house yesterday morning and inquired if a water filter had been installed at her house.

Upon confirmation, they said they had come from the company to offer free service. “Once inside, they took minutes to announce that the filter in the cylinder had become defunct and a replacement would cost Rs 300.

“Though I confronted them, saying I had bought the filter recently and it was under guarantee, they convinced me that the part was defunct. By chance, my son was home.The moment they realised that a male member was home, they made an excuse and fled.”

In a similar incident, a young man claiming to be a service representative of a leading refrigerator company tried to gain access to a house in Sector 18 when the lady of the house was all alone.

“He claimed he was sent by the company for free service. However, I had got the refrigerator serviced a few weeks back and did not allow him inside. He then went away, but I called up the company office and was told that they had not sent anybody,” she said.

When the matter was taken up with Chandigarh SSP S.S. Srivastava, he said indeed it was an area of concern and some preventive steps would be taken in this direction .

He, however, said he was not aware of any legal provisions by which they could regulate these “service reps” as everyone had the right to market their products.

“However, we will take up the issue with leading FMCG companies and try to find a way out. The residents should remain cautious and check the antecedents of any person before allowing him access to their homes. In case of any doubt, the police must be informed.”



Killer Bees?
Body of labourer found with sting marks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
Shrikant, 34, a resident of Rajiv Colony in Panchkula was today found dead under mysterious circumstances outside Sector 16 GMSH here this morning. As honey bees swarmed over the body, the police said the death might have been caused by bee sting.

SHO Kulwant Singh Pannu said the victim was a labourer. He was reportedly attacked by bees but none dared to come to his rescue. He was rushed to the hospital after the bees were gone.

The doctors declared him “brought dead.” A police officer said there were several sting marks on the body.

Doctors at the hospital said the cause of the death would be ascertained after postmortem. The SHO said the victim’s family had been informed. Inquest proceedings have been initiated under Section 174 of the CrPC.



53-year-old man killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 12
A 53-year-old man was knocked to death by an unidentified vehicle here today. The deceased has been identified as Jagat Ram Jain, a resident of Sector 11 here.

According to the police, Jain was going on his scooter when a vehicle hit him near the Dhakoli barrier. Jain was taken to Civil Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, where he was declared brought dead.

Jain, who was a businessman, was associated with many social organisations.

He was president of the S S Jain Sabha, Panchkula, as well as vice-president of the state unit of the sabha.

The police has registered a case and sent the body for a post-mortem examination.



ICICI Bank fined for deficient service
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-II has directed ICICI Bank, Sector 9, to issue a no-due certificate to a complainant along with Rs 25,000 as compensation for deficiency in service.

Om Prakesh Nagpal of Sector 43 had stated that he had taken a loan of Rs 2.68 lakh from the ICICI Bank on a monthly installment of Rs 5,950. After receiving two advance installments, the petitioner delivered 60 cheques for Rs 5,950 each as collateral security for repayment of the said amount.

The last installment was to be paid on May 1, 2007. The no-due certificate was to be issued to the petitioner for cancellation of hypothecation.

Nagpal stated that he paid the loan installments in time. He received calls from the bank offering him more loans. Bank officials visited his residence and offered him a loan of Rs 90,000 which he accepted reluctantly.

Thereafter, he requested the bank to issue a no-due certificate in his name after he had repaid the loan of Rs 2.68 lakh. He alleged that the bank denied to issue the certificate, saying a loan of Rs 90,000 was yet to be paid by him.

The forum headed by L.R. Roojam said the bank had been found “deficient in service.”



Now, MC eyes money from Circus Ground
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
Mayor Pardeep Chhabra today took the initiative to develop the Circus Ground located at Sector 17 as exhibition ground with all facilities, including side wall, lights, toilet blocks, rainwater pipes, and it will be having same facilities as provided in parade ground, Sector 17.

Chhabra, in a statement issued here today, said the ground would be a good earning source of the Municipal Corporation.

He said it was also decided to modernise the remaining seven dhobighats during this financial year.

The decision was taken place after the success of the first laundry mart at Sector 15-D, which was inaugurated in January.



Patwaris stage dharna against written test
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 12
Patwaris of the district started a two-day dharna here today to protest against the announcement of the Punjab government regarding a written test for patwaris.

The patwaris said they had already completed the refresher course that was required for them and there was no need for them to sit in a test.

The patwaris are required to do the refresher course in order to be eligible for promotion to kanungu. The dharna would continue tomorrow.



Staff exodus: DRDO taps NRIs
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
Faced with an increased exodus of scientists, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is tapping the non-resident Indian (NRI) community to meet its requirement of technical manpower.

“Non Resident Indians having relevant qualification and experience in engineering or basic sciences are being inducted into the DRDO under a talent hunt scheme”, defence minister A.K. Antony told Rajya Sabha today.

Over the past few years, there has been an exodus of defence scientists from the DRDO and other government establishments. Concern over the matter has been expressed at several forums, including Parliament.

The talent hunt for NRIs is being conducted through video conferencing and intake is initially on an ad hoc basis. The posts are subsequently advertised for regular inductions. The induction process is conducted three or four times a year to increase the intake of talented and highly skilled NRIs.

Figures placed by the defence minister in Parliament revealed that the annual attrition rate of scientists in the DRDO varied from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent since the start of this decade.

In 2000, the attrition rate was 6.99 per cent, which rose to 7.34 per cent the next year. Though it dropped to a little over 5 per cent in 2002 and 2003, it got into an upward trend over the next four years, touching a high of 7.33 per cent in 2006. Last year it was 6.84 per cent.

With better prospects and service conditions available in the private sector, over a thousand scientists have resigned from the DRDO over the past five years. The rate of attrition in the DRDO, according to the ministry of defence, is marginally higher compared to private sector industries.

The DRDO has strength of around 7,000 scientists. In its earlier statements, the defence ministry had claimed that there had been no substantial impact of such attrition on completion of the DRDO projects.

A comprehensive proposal of incentives to arrest exodus of scientists has already been submitted by the DRDO and is under active consideration by the government. A comprehensive proposal has also been submitted to the Sixth Central Pay Commission.

Besides significant performance-based monetary incentives for scientists, additional 30 per cent hike in basic salary for scientists as intellectual capital pay (ICP) for generating intellectual property rights, increased participation in international seminars outside the country to help keep them updated on technical developments and increase in study leave for scientists and additional grants for higher academic studies are being sought for DRDO personnel.



Defence attaches arrive at 12 Wing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
Defence attaches from as many as 18 countries, including European, African, and Asian nations, arrived on a two-day visit at the Air Force Station here today.

The attaches are from the United States, Russia, Britain, Israel, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Sweden and Canada. Officers from most of the neighbouring countries, including Pakistan and Bangladesh, were not part of the group, sources revealed.

The visiting foreign officers were given a presentation by the local authorities on various activities being undertaken by 12 Wing, and they also interacted with the local officers here, sources said.

The wing is primarily responsible for air maintenance of forward posts in the northern sector, which involves flying in some of the toughest conditions anywhere in the world.

A senior officer said such “exposure and familiarisation” visits by attaches to various military establishments were routine.



Administration encourages NSS activities
10 units allocated to city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
The Chandigarh administration, under the NSS self-financing scheme, is gearing up to provide opportunity to students to join the programme.

Chandigarh has been allocated 10 units, which means enrolling around 1000 volunteers in various NSS activities. The ministry of youth affairs and sports envisaged all the state governments to initiate action to open self-financing NSS units. These units would be operated as regular NSS units.

“At present, there is a strength of around 3,600 NSS volunteers in the schools. At least 50 students are needed from each school of the city to achieve the stipulated target. Barring the funding for the regular activities and special camping, the training expenses would be met by the ministry. We have chalked out plans to organise special camps in schools after the examination period is over. We have also instructed every school to have its own internal NSS advisory committee which would be under the control of the school head,” told S.K. Setia, DPI (S).

It has also been approved that the Saturdays would be observed as community service days in all the schools, including private recognised schools too. The nomenclature of sports funds has been changed to sports and youth welfare fund.

Elaborating the fund generating criteria, the officials told that the NSS funds would be merged with the sports funds and every student would contribute Rs 10 per month towards this fund.

At present sports fund is being charged from all the students of government-aided recognised schools, irrespective of opting sports as a subject and half of this share is being deposited by the schools in the DEO office.

On the same lines, all students who do not opt for the NSS would be charged a nominal fee of Rs 10 per month for the purpose.”



Trouble comes pouring down
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
Passengers and visitors to the Chandigarh railway station this morning were put to inconvenience as the railway staff started cleaning the roof of the newly built entrance of the station.

The staff, which climbed all the way on the blue-coloured roof, chose to clean it in a basic manner of washing it with a pipe.

However, the basic exercise only saw the passengers at the entrance exclaim in dismay as the water soon started pouring on them creating a mess at the entrance.

The station staff, along with the railway police personnel, could be seen supervising the project by asking the passengers to step aside and giving directions to the staff to clean it faster.

The exercise, a senior personnel said, had been undertaken because the roof had become very dirty. Being a bit translucent, the dirt was clearly visible from the entrance, he stated.

According to sources, the railway authorities have now planned to clean the surface twice a week, but things would be taken into accounts that the visitors would not face any inconvenience. The exercise lasted for two hours.



MCC to educate shopkeepers on encroachments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
The Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, has decided not to conduct raids for a week and instead start an “anti-encroachment awareness drive” from March 11.

Mayor Pardeep Chhabra said the corporation’s motive was to educate shopkeepers on encroachments and illegal constructions. The drive would start from the office of the MCC at 10 a.m.

A communication had been sent to councillors to lead the drive in their respective areas along with the SIs concerned and the enforcement staff.



UHBVN to regularise increased load
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 12
The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has launched a Voluntary Disclosure Scheme to regularise increased connected load.

The consumers can apply in the respective offices of the sub-divisions for regularisation by paying nominal charges as per regulations till March 31.

The sanctioning of increased load would be from the date of disclosure and the consumer would not be penalised after that for having more load than sanctioned.

The advent of numerous electrical gadgets in the market and the easy availability of loans against consumer goods have resulted in sharp increase of electricity in the domestic sector, said P.K. Sharma, Xen, Operations, UHBVN, Panchkula.

However, the sanctioned load in the individual units remains the same resulting in putting unspecified load on the transformers, installed in different localities.

The connections are released keeping in view the loading capacity of distribution transformer.

With increase in electrical equipments, the connected load is also increasing, which results in overheating of distribution transformers.

It leads to a damage of at least 20 transformers every year in the city, Sharma said.



AFWWA celebrates women’s day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
The Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AFWWA) celebrated International Women's Day with enthusiasm at a function organised at No.3 Base Repair Depot (BRD) here today.

On the occasion, a slogan competition was also organised which saw strong views on subjects like “nari-shakti”, female foeticide and the evil of dowry.

AFWWA members, dressed up as eminent women personalities, walked down the ramp wherein personification of Rani Lakshmi Bai stole the show.

Members of “Sahayta”, a cancer help charitable welfare society, were invited to deliver a lecture on cancer.

Dr Swatantar Kapoor along with three courageous survivors Neena Singh, Ranjana Tulsi and Daman Mangat spread the message that diagnosis of cancer was not the end of the road for a person.

They informed the ladies about self-examination and also came out with their own experiences.

Addressing the gathering of ladies, Renu Luthra, president of the AFWWA’s BRD chapter, emphasised the need for women to maintain and protect their self-esteem and also to take better care of themselves.



Ban on arms extended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
The district magistrate R.K. Rao has extended the order to prohibit the carrying of fire arms and lathis in Chandigarh.

The decision has been taken as carrying of small weapons openly for show off and intimidation and carrying of lathis and weapons openly by the licence holders could create panic.

The order has come into force from tomorrow and will be applicable till May 11. Breach of the order will be punishable under the provisions of Indian Penal Code.



Defence should not be politicised

Few days back the ex-defence Defence Minister who himself is an ex-serviceman criticised the Army Chief in the House for an interview given by the Army Chief to a renowned TV channel regarding the boundary between India and China.

Jaswant Singh himself did not see the interview and his criticism was based on the information passed to him by his friend. It is surprising that no one, including the Defence Minister, objected to his remarks.

A similar situation occurred sometimes back but the then Defence Minister was quick enough to defend his Army Chief. What about the unending interviews by ministers which initiate controversies?

I think all the ex-servicemen should submit a petition to the Defence Minister to safeguard the dignity and honour of the Armed Forces.

Wg Cdr J.S. Bhalla (retd), Chandigarh



EC issues directives to education dept
Teachers to be on poll duty on non-teaching days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
Teaching staff would be put on election duty of roll revision and election work only on holidays or on non-teaching days.

The Election Commission of India, on the instance of Chandigarh education department, has issued these directions regarding the teaching staff to be put on election duties.

The chief electoral officer- cum-deputy commissioner, Chandigarh, had clearly stated in a recent communiqué to the education department that the teachers in no way would ordinarily be put on duty on teaching days or within teaching hours.

The education department has written a letter insisting that the school teachers should be avoided for assigning election duties during the teaching hours as this practice hampers the study of the students.

Confirming this, the DPI (S) S.K. Setia said, “I had approached the Election Commission of India through deputy commissioner-cum-chief election officer, Chandigarh, requesting to minimise the use of teachers on election duties. This proposal had been accepted by them and issued directions.”

Regarding the use of teachers in electoral roll revision work, the Election Commission of India issued instructions that as of now, a holiday is declared on the poll day.

Further, if the day of dispatch, the polling day, happens to be a teaching day for the schools, then that day should also be declared as local holiday for schools, if need be.

The commission also directed that whenever teachers are appointed as presiding officers and other polling officers, the training session for them too, would be conducted on holidays.



Improvement chance for law students in pipeline
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
All those law students who thought they could not perform well in their exams now stand a chance to do so.

Earlier, in the absence of any chance to improve their performance, law students were at a disadvantage. But with Panjab University authorities contemplating to give improvement chance to the students of laws, things seem to be working.

This is being done in continuation to the chance given to the students of other departments in wake of diamond jubilee celebrations in PU.

Vice-chancellor R.C. Sobti said it was in the pipeline and would be implemented soon, by this month’s end. Nevertheless, the piece of news has rejoiced the students of the department.

Vikrant, a student of the department of laws said, “It’s a welcoming move as sometimes one is not able to perform well in exams due to one reason or another. The improvement chance would definitely help in case one wants to optimise his performance.”

Ashok Goyal, a member of the syndicate said this is a progressive step aimed at bringing students of the department of laws at par with other students in terms of improvement chance. “Unfortunately such a provision was not available to law students and if it’s now provided for, it will go a long way for those students who could not do well in the first instance.”

It is pertinent to mention here that Ajay Pal Singh, PU fellow, moved this resolution in 2005 in Syndicate meeting.

“Sometimes one is not able to score well in overall subjects. But if one has a chance to improve in individual subjects, overall percentage can also go up which can further enable one to take up further studies,” said Varun another student of the department.

“If any student fails to score the qualifying percentage of marks, he or she cannot get enrolled in LLM. Moreover, the students in such cases cannot even opt for going to other jobs because most of the law firms demand at least 55 per cent marks in LLB. In that case, improvement chance can prove to be a boon,” said a senator.

Earlier, a committee was also formed on March 3, 2005, but even after three years, nothing substantial came out. The matter is expected to come up in the ensuing syndicate and senate meeting for an immediate implementation.



School heads to check child labour
Admn gives nod to education dept’s proposal
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
The labour commissioner, Chandigarh administration, has given nod to the proposal put up by the education department regarding child labour and protection programme.

This decision, the sources told, has been taken after the labour department failed to enforce the provision of the Child Labour (Protection and Regulation) Act and in view of the feedback by the labour department that they do not have sufficient staff to check child labour.

Though, many schools already offer counseling on campus, the Chandigarh administration has also enlisted a panel of qualified counsellors to visit schools and offer counseling services to students, parents and teachers.

Every school will install a drop box for suggestions, feed back and tip-offs. The principal or designated social worker will open it and act on the contents.

“We have plans to run programmes on child protection, safety strategies and on the theme 'how to tackle abuse, report it and seek help.' The puppet shows, theatre and discussion formats can be adopted,” asserted Setia.

As per the recent survey conducted by the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) wing of the education department, around 947 children between the age group of 6-14 years have been found to be engaged in different commercial activities in Chandigarh, till date. The SSA officials said these children were not attending schools due to financial constraints and their employers were also exploiting these children.

The administration, under the child protection programme, has offered incentives of Rs 250 per month per child besides providing them free books and stationery, uniform and mid-day meal.

“We have recently added attendance- scholarship scheme to draw them to schools. Our prime objective is to universalise the elementary education and reduce the illiteracy rate in the city,” said Setia and also the state project director of the SSA.

However, the officials told, this study excludes children working in industrial areas and as domestic help, the survey of which is now a priority for Chandigarh administration.

The administration will serve as an umbrella organisation and act as an enabler for all groups active in child protection programmes.

To combat child abuse, the SSA wing will function as a catalyst and provide support and networking opportunities to agencies like NGOs and other interest groups, active in this area.

“Through a series of workshops and interactive sessions, we plan to reach out to teachers and principals to help make schools safer.”

Recognising a victim or a sufferer, counseling him, providing relief and organising therapy, we believe that all teachers should be equipped to do this,” told Setia.

Helpline: Chandigarh police women and child: 1091, Chandigarh’s child protection programme: 9915023456.



From Colleges
GCG-11 gets Rs 7.5 crore grant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
A grant of Rs 7.5 crore has been granted to the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, here today.

This amount was announced by advisor Pradip Mehra, while addressing the convocation at the annual convocation function of the college.

This grant would be spent on the construction of an additional hostel, construction of a new classroom block, a multi-media centre, renovation and repair of toilets, construction of food court in place of old canteens and providing ACs in all department rooms.

In his convocation address, Pradip Mehra motivated the students to keep on reinventing and upgrading themselves.

“Education is an important instrument and medium of change, as it opens the windows of your mind. There is a crucial need of up gradation and maintenance of infra-structure of educational institutions in Chandigarh,” said Mehra.

Raji P. Srivastava, special secretary finance and director higher education, Chandigarh administration was the guest of honour.

The convocation was inaugurated by lighting of the lamp by Mehra. The students presented Saraswati Vandana to invoke the goddess of learning and knowledge.

As many as 962 students were awarded graduate and post-graduate degrees. The chief guest honoured students, who had excelled in academics by their outstanding performance in the Panjab University examinations.

The students who topped in the BA honours examination were honoured with the roll of honour and medal.

They were Bani Narula in psychology, Deepika Jain in geography, Arpana in music instrumental, Heena Chhabra in sociology and Supreet Sethi in French.

Monika Thakur was awarded the roll of honour and medal for standing first in MA music instrumental. She was also awarded the B.P. Bagchi Medal and Dr Panna Lal Medal. Madhu Bala was awarded roll of honour and Dr Panna Lal Medal for standing first in MA music vocal.

Shallu Saini was awarded the roll of honour and medal for standing first in MA dance, Rupinder Aulakh was awarded the roll of honour and medal for standing first in MA public administration and Raj Kumari was awarded roll of honour for standing third in MA public administration.

Earlier, presenting the college annual report, Promila Kaushal, principal of the college, highlighted the glorious achievements of the students in the field of academics.

Convocation: The 23rd annual convocation of Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45-B, Chandigarh, was held on the college premises, here today.

Justice Vijender Jain, Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh, was the chief guest at the function. Around 213 degrees were awarded at the convocation function.

Pooja Anand of BA III was awarded golden certificate for standing first in the college in PU annual examinations, Sonia was awarded the golden certificate for standing second in the college, Hareet Punia of BCom III was awarded golden certificate for standing first in the college, Shruti of BCom III was got the golden certificate for standing second, Meghna Bhandari of PGDCA was awarded golden certificate for standing first, Sonia Verma of PGDCA and Deepali Goyal of PGDCA were awarded golden certificates for standing second and third, respectively, in college.

The merit holders were Ramandeep Kaur of BCA III, Shilpa Sharma of BCA III, Shivani of BCA III and Shilpi Kansal of BCom III. Delivering the convocation address Justice Vijender Jain motivated the students to excel not only in studies but also in other activities.

Earlier, an alumni meet was also held at Dev Samaj College for Women on the college premises. The principal Dr Meera Modi, read out the college annual report.



From Schools and Colleges
Animation workshop thrills students
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 12
A workshop on animation conducted today at The British School here turned out to be an exciting experience for hundreds of young students of The British School who got to understand the nuances of animation and animated motion pictures.

The students were explained the finer aspects of animated movies and animation by renowned animator Sanjay Kumar on the school premises.

sports day: It was a day of extraordinary fun, frolic and fervour as tiny tots of Ashmah International School indulged in some of the most exciting sporting action, packed with eventful competitions that saw little ones in full action on the occasion of the annual sports day here today.

The little ones jumped hopped, raced and hogged the limelight while basking in glory along with their parents who were anxious spectators to the high-voltage action.

MoU signed: A memorandum of understanding was signed between the University of Wolverhampton, UK, and the Doaba group of colleges, near here, for collaboration in the admission of students for higher education, faculty exchange programme and joint research projects.

The MOU opens a window of opportunity for students of the Punjab region towards global educational institutions. Jasbir Singh, principal-lecturer, represented Wolverhampton University while DGC was represented by chairman M. S. Batth.

PLANTATION DRIVE: Over 100 students of the Chitkara Institute of Engineering and Technology (CIET) carried out a tree-plantation drive in the Morni Forest Reserve yesterday and planted over 300 saplings. The drive was carried out under the aegis of the National Service Sceme (NSS), with the assistance and co-operation of HS Lohan, president, Paani Foundation, and Ved Parkash, forest ranger, Forest Department, Haryana.

MOU SIGNED: Chairman, GGS group of colleges, Surinder Pal Sachdeva signed an MoU with the University of Sunderland. The different clauses covered under the MoU dealt with the B.Tech students of GGS CMT due to pass out in July 2008 who were eligible to pursue their Master’s degree at the University of Sunderland.

BLOOD DONATION: Hundreds of students from Indo Global Colleges, Abhipur, lined up to donate blood during a camp organised in association with PGI, Chandigarh. As many as 327 students donated blood during the camp.

SEMINAR: Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, organised a seminar on “Excellence in IT Software”. There were two speakers, Aaditya Vidyarthi, National Manager, DASSAULT Systems, France, and Arun Kaundil, EDS Technologies, Gurgaon. Experts highlighted the role and requirement of software for mechanical engineering in IT industry.

WORKSHOP: The International Institute of Fashion Technology organised a two-day workshop on “Fashion Illustration”. Manpreet Dang, a fashion designer, conducted the workshop. Kawaljeet Singh, director of IIFT, said the workshop would benefit the students immensely.

PLACEMENT: Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology (SVIET), Banur, held a Pool Campus Placement Drive on its premises today. A large number of BE, BTech and MCA students from SVIET and over 20 other colleges from Haryana participated in the drive.

SEMINAR: Dr I.T. Business School, Banur, organised a seminar on “Women Empowerment” followed by an Inter-Business School Declamation Contest-Aprajita 2008. Six teams from different B-Schools participated in the contest. Rolling trophy of Aprajita’08 was won by Lovely Institute of Management.

VISIT: Delegates of organisation of International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) from different countries visited Desh Bhagat Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Mandi Gobindgarh, to interact with the students on global issues like education, health, nutrition and role of doctors in war etc.

INTERACTION: Dr I.T. Business School, near Banur, had an interactive session on mutual funds by guest speaker Tarun Arora, regional manager principal PNB Mutual Funds.

He explained about mutual funds that it is pooling of funds which gives the investors an opportunity to have complete diversification of their investment.



WHO’s advance fellowship course
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 12
The World Health Organisation has invited applications for advance fellowship course in immunology, vaccinology and biotechnology applied to infectious diseases.

Dr Roshan Sunkaria, secretary health cum managing director, Punjab Health Systems Corporation stated this here today.

He said April 1 was last date for sending fellowship application form. The aforesaid course is being organised by the WHO’s special programme for research and training in tropical diseases and will be held at Lausanne from September 10 to October 24, 2008.

Application form and information on the procedure to apply etc are available on the WHO’s website www.who.int/tdr <http://www.who.int/tdr>.



Govt schools to don new look
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
All city government schools will don a new look from the next session. The Chandigarh education department has directed all the heads of government schools to modify their school premises and allowed to incur expenditure within their financial powers from the relevant local funds.

According to S.K Setia DPI (S) a circular has been sent to all the schools in this respect. Setia has directed the heads to purchase paintings through Lalit Kala Academy or photographs of mountains, local monuments and tourist sites from the DPR department.

He also directed that the boundary walls, nursery class rooms, computer labs, visitor rooms, staff rooms, music rooms and art room should be decorated and floors, building or roofs should be repaired. Expenditure for these modifications and repairs will be from the school building fund.



Dispose of decade-old criminal cases: CJ
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
In another nine months, the Punjab and Haryana High Court will open and shut the decade-old criminal cases, if things go in Chief Justice (CJ) Vijender Jain’s way.

For cutting down pendency, the CJ has asked the high court judges to dispose of criminal cases that were pending for decade or more within this year.

Cases awaiting disposal for five years or so will too be taken out of the closet on a priority basis.

“An effort will be made to deal with them in the next two years,” the CJ says, while talking to the media at a ceremony held for administering oath to two judicial officers at the high court today.

The directions are backed up by concrete measures. “As of now, we have 11 judges hearing criminal matters. In all, there are four Benches for taking up criminal matters,” the CJ said.

“The disposal, as a result, is all time high. For the first time, perhaps, it is more than the number of cases being filed in the high court”.

The CJ adds the situation can only improve in the district courts across the two states in the coming years.

“The previous year 100 judicial officers received training from the Judicial Academy and are already manning the courts. This year 54 judicial officers from Haryana and 41 from Punjab will be trained at the academy for holding courts from next year. In the higher judiciary, 45 more officers are being appointed,” he said.

Haryana government, the CJ adds, has approved the appointment of 63 more judicial officers in the state on the high court recommendations. The approval for the posts of judicial officers in Punjab is awaited.

The development regarding appointment of judges is significant as in Punjab 23, 702 cases are pending for more than five years.

Ludhiana, Amritsar, Ferozepur, Jalandhar and Patiala are on the top. As many as 1316 cases are pending in the state for over 10 years. Besides this, 21 cases are pending for more than 20 years.



Last date of CHB scheme extended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
The last date for receiving applications for Chandigarh Housing Board’s newly floated scheme stands extended by another two weeks.

Petitions challenging the scheme are pending before a Punjab and Haryana High Court Division Bench, headed by Chief Justice Vijender Jain.

The petitions have been filed mainly against their exclusion by employees serving Punjab and Haryana governments.

While extending the scheme by another two weeks, the Bench fixed April 2 as the next date of hearing when issue of eligibility would again remain in focus.

Relief sought for Kashmir

In a PIL before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Chandigarh-based World Human Rights Protection Council (WHRPC) through its chairman advocate Ranjan Lakhanpal has sought directions to the Union of India for grant of an adequate compensation to Kashmir Singh, who returned to India after his incarceration in Pakistan prisons for over three decades.

The PIL, likely to be heard shortly, has also sought directions to the government to frame a proper policy for payment of compensation to all those risking their lives for undertaking dangerous assignments like intelligence.

Bailable warrants against DC

Acting on an appeal filed by Haryana against the issuance of bailable warrants to Panchkula deputy commissioner, additional DC and an SDO in a contempt petition, a Division Bench of Justice Mehtab Singh Gill and Justice R K Jain today stayed the operation of the order to the extent that they will not furnish bail bonds of Rs 5000.

The Bench, however, said they would appear in the court of Justice Surya Kant on March 17 as was directed by him.

The Bench has now issued notice of motion for March 26. On March 10, Justice Surya Kant had issued bailable warrants against these officers on a contempt petition by Seema Chaudhary, former president of the Panchkula Municipal Council.



Man enters court with cartridges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
A human rights activist, who has filed a writ petition questioning the security arrangements at the District Courts today, entered the courtroom with two cartridges.

The incidence took place during the hearing of a civil suit seeking direction to the UT Administration to upgrade the security system at the District Courts, when he showed that he was carrying two cartridges.

The activist wanted to show that the poor security arrangements at the district court complex.

The activist alleged that the security staff deputed to check all those who enter the courts complex didn’t frisk him. He added that the metal detector installed at the gates did not detect the cartridges that were present in his pocket when he entered the court.

Elaborating on it, he added, “The court has directed the police to upgrade the security arrangements on the court premises. The court further asked the police to replace the existing metal detectors and explosives detection devices installed on the court premises with one having high sensitivity. The court has also asked the police to furnish action taken report by May 30, 2008."



Bar condemns SDM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
The District Bar Association today resolved to submit a representation against the functioning of Shurbir Singh, SDM (south). The Bar authorised four members of the association to submit this representation before the city's home secretary with the request to withdraw the judicial work from SDM, Shurbir Singh.

In the resolution that was passed, the Bar Association has condemned the functioning of the SDM. It mentioned that his dealing with the issues disclosed his disregard to the law laid down by the High Court.

The association has uanimously decided that no member of the Bar would appear before the SDM till the the home secretary takes a decision on representation.

A copy of the resolution has been sent to the administrator and the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court.



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