C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


If you fail, you’ll be ‘detained’
Fail appears to be a derogatory word. It discourages the student. That’s why, we have decided to use the word ‘detained’ — DPI(S)
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
The word “fail” has been struck off from the dictionary of the Chandigarh Education Department from this session. For, the department has devised new result criteria to be adopted instantly.

If a student fails to qualify in 2 subjects but obtains 20 per cent or more, with the addition of grace marks in those subjects, he will be placed under“reappear” category If a candidate fails in only one of the two languages but obtains pass marks in all compulsory subjects, then he or she will be considered as “promoted”

The department has instructed all school heads to refrain from using the word “fail” and instead should use the word “detained” for the unsuccessful candidates.

The DPI (S) S.K. Setia said today, “Actually, ‘fail’ appears to be a very blunt and derogatory word. This word discourage the student and a sort of stigma remains there for quite some time. That’s why, we have decided to use the word ‘detained’ instead of ‘fail’.”

The department has also redesigned the result criteria for the classes 1 to VII, IX and XI for government schools of Chandigarh.

According to new pattern, if a student fails to qualify in two compulsory subjects like mathematics, English, science or social science but manages to obtain 20 per cent or more, with the addition of grace marks in those subjects, he will be placed under “reappear” category. Such candidates will be given “provisional admission” to the next class, they will be given the “promoted” status only subject to the condition that they pass the reappear examination. The reappear examinations will be conducted in the third week of May.

Further, for Classes VI and VII, IX and XI, if a candidate fails in only one of the two languages but obtains pass marks in all compulsory subjects, then he or she will be considered as “promoted”. The candidate will be entitled to get grace marks only if he or she manages to obtain 20 per cent marks in the internal assessment examination.

Further, if the candidate again fails to meet the pass percentage criteria then, he or she will be “detained” to the previous class.

The provision for “grace marks” rests for the unsuccessful candidates and can in no way be granted for “improvement” or for eligible to “reappear” in the examination.

For non-model schools, in class V the candidate would have to score pass marks in any four subjects out of a total of five subjects-- English, mathematics, environment studies, 1st language and 2nd language. However, the pass criteria for Class I to IV will remain the same as earlier.

For model schools, the candidates would have to secure pass marks in any three subjects out of the prescribed four subjects. The candidate will be entitled for the grace marks to the maximum of 10 numbers only if he or she obtains 20 per cent marks in internal assessment examination.

For Class IV and V in model schools, the candidates would have to secure pass marks in any four subjects out of five subjects. The criteria for granting grace marks of 10 numbers will remain the same.



Manimajra to don new look
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
Long dubbed as the city's poor cousin, Manimajra is finally catching up with Chandigarh. In fact, the village-turned-township, inhabitated by over 1.1 lakh persons according to 2001 census, is set to have a five-star hotel, a multi-speciality hospital, a convention hall, a college and a sports complex, besides a major revamp of the civic amenities.

Coming Up

n Five star hotel along the Chandigarh-Shimla highway

n Superspeciality Hospital, convention centre adjoining the IT park

n Wide roads connecting Mansa Devi and IT park

n College in Pocket No 9

All this will be possible following an ambitious development plan chalked out by the Chandigarh Administration and the municipal corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) for the township which currently depends on Chandigarh and Panchkula for its education, sports, entertainment and infrastructural needs.

In the backdrop of the coming up of the Chandigarh Technology Park in Manimajra's vicinity and projected population of 2.1 lakh by 2021, the administration had constituted a committee under the UT finance secretary to prepare a blueprint for township's development.

"The blueprint, aimed at the overall development of all 11 pockets of the township, has been sent to the UT Administrator for approval and actual development of physical infrastructure will be started soon," a senior official told The Tribune here today.

Given the commercial importance of the area along the Chandigarh-Kalka-Shimla highway, a five-star hotel has been planned in Pockets No 4 and 5. Since about 25 acre was still lying undeveloped in these pockets, the auction of the hotel site along with other commercial sites will bring handsome revenue for the MCC for Manimajra's development.

Officials said on the pattern of the area along the highway, the Pocket No 8 would be turned into a happening place with multi-speciality hospital, multipurpose hall/convention centre, sport complex and 100-foot road connecting the Mansa Devi Temple being planned for the area.The Pocket No 9 would have a college.



Ads on CTU Buses
CBI denied permission to probe tenders
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
The CBI has closed the matter involving alleged irregularities in the award of advertising tenders for CTU buses in 2006.

Closure comes in the wake of ministry of home denying the CBI permission to conduct an enquiry into the matter involving senior UT officers, including secretary, transport Krishan Mohan.

The CBI admitted to having closed the matter in its reply to an RTI application filed by The Tribune last month. Information furnished by the CBI indicates that permission to investigate the matter was sought, but not granted. “Yes, the CBI sought permission for conducting an enquiry.

The same is required under Section 6-A of the Delhi Special Police Act. The permission was sought from the ministry of home affairs; it was not granted. In the absence of permission, the matter has been closed,” the CBI stated in its reply.

The case involves allotment of tenders for advertising on 120 low-floor CTU buses to a firm that quoted lower bid vis-à-vis others. Enquiries into the case in 2006 revealed that the CTU had called the first tender for advertising on its buses in August, 2005. Three bids were received, the highest being Rs 3,434 per bus per month, followed by Rs 2,828 and Rs 2,701 per bus per month. These tenders were rejected.

The process of rejection of tenders continued in September, 2005, when out of the three bids received, the highest was Rs 2,424, followed by Rs 2121 and Rs 1818, per bus per month. Another set of bids received in January, 2006, was turned down before the tender was finally allotted in March, 2006, to a Delhi-based firm which quoted a bid of Rs 1,890 per bus per month.

Allotment of tender to the lowest bidder naturally raised eyebrows, as it spelt clear losses to the state exchequer. At the time UT administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues had intervened and said the administration would frame a policy to streamline the system. UT home secretary Krishan Mohan, also secretary, transport, had also voiced a similar opinion. Irony was that he was himself in the dock over the “alleged” irregularity, which has since not been investigated.

The CBI may have shut the case, but the matter is far from dead, with a local rights organisation filing an RTI application to the ministry of home, asking for reasons behind denial of permission to probe the matter. The Burning Brains Society has also asked the ministry for a certified copy of the CBI’s request for permission to investigate the case.



India mulls regional centre in Central Asia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
Stating that India was prepared to share its experience in banking, market mechanisms, services and telecommunications with Central Asian states, external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee revealed that the government is examining the possibility of setting up a regional centre in Central Asia which could cater to inhabitants of the region in areas such as English language training, entrepreneurship development and technical courses.

He said that while there were natural synergies for greater economic cooperation between India and Central Asia, where economies are strongly dependent on agriculture and dairy farming, absence of direct surface transportation routes have been a major handicap in further developing economic ties.

“Recent steps taken by Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Russia to increase road and rail connectivity could be linked to further development of the International North-South Transport Corridor,” Mukherjee said.

“At the same time, air connectivity could be used to overcome this impediment as several Central Asian capitals were closer to Delhi than Delhi to many Indian cities,” he added while urging Indian carriers to evaluate the feasibility of putting Central Asian destinations on their flight maps.

He was here to deliver the inaugural address at a conference on Cooperative Development and Peace in Central Asia: An Indian Perspective, organised at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development here today.

On countering serious threats like terrorism, radicalism and narco-trafficking, he said that bilateral instruments such as joint working groups should be made more pragmatic and effective by becoming tools for exchange of concrete information and experiences.

“We should also look as regional structures that collectively address these challenges and promote our security interests,” he said. “In this regard, interactions between regional organisations in south and Central Asia could make a fruitful contribution,” he added.

Pointing out that the Central Asia was of enormous significance to India, Mukherjee said that the region had been one of the largest beneficiaries under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme.

Punjab Governor General S.F. Rodrigues (retd), Himachal Pradesh Governor, V.S. Kokje, representatives from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan, Russia and South Korea were among delegates from academia, think-tanks, diplomatic corps and the industry attending the conference.

Chairman of CRRID Keshub Mahindra said that the world economic scene is in disarray and the impact on the nation would depend greatly on the response to the turbulence. Collapse of global stock markets, financial institutions suffering great losses, the US economy in recession, prices of oil and food sky rocketing have caused tremendous inflationary pressures on the Indian economy. 



UT proposes, Centre disposes
Babus in Delhi appear to be in conflict with the UT’s top brass while clearing the name of bureaucrats for inter-state deputation with the UT
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
The Union home minister’s nod to the name of R.K. Khullar, a 1988 batch Haryana-cadre officer as the UT’s home secretary while overruling the Administration’s first choice of Jyoti Arora, has once again reflected the disagreement over choice of bureaucrats for inter-cadre deputations.

Though Khullar’s name has to get clearance from the appointments committee of the Cabinet, officials feel that it was not the first time the Centre has exercised its authority in clearing the name of the officials.

The present home secretary Krishna Mohan has also been denied another extension in spite of the UT Administrator’s recommendation. The choice of Sanjay Kumar, a Punjab-cadre officer for the post of finance secretary while overruling the name of MP Singh and rejection of the name of SP Singh for the post of commissioner, Municipal Corporation, indicates the disagreement between the Centre and the Chandigarh Administration.

It is another issue that MP Singh joined as secretary to the Governor.

Officials in the Administration maintain that the city being a centrally administered union territory, the Centre had every right to exercise its authority. But since the officials selected are to perform in the city, the Administrator was a better judge to select the candidates.

Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs maintain that in most of the cases, strict guidelines issued by the Department of Personnel and Training on inter-cadre deputation has influenced the final decision.

One of the guidelines does not allow the inter-cadre deputation period in the entire career of an officer beyond five years. If one goes by the book, a number of officials either serving or seeking deputation for the second time become ineligible.

There has to be enough “cooling off” periods between different deputation periods.

UT officials admit that it was not the case of selecting officers, projects forwarded to the Centre for approval were often delayed as the files keep on shuttling between different ministries.



Ban on watering lawns, washing vehicles
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 15
The water supply and sanitation division of the Department of Public Health has imposed a ban on watering of lawns and washing of vehicles from April 1. Violators will be imposed a fine of Rs 500 and their water connections will be cut.

The ban will go on till June 30. Executive engineer A.S. Kalsi said the irrigation of lawns was banned both in the morning as well as in the evening hours while washing of vehicles was banned in the morning hours only. He said action would also be taken against persons who failed to plug leakage from their overhead water tanks and leakage in individual pipe from the main line to the meter within five days. Installation of booster pumps directly on the water meter had also been banned. All this was being done keeping in view the increase in demand of water supply during the coming months.

He said a team of officials would be deputed to check the misuse of water. Water connections would be restored only after an affidavit was furnished stating that the misuse of water had been stopped. 



Council opposes GMADA move
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 15
The Citizens’ Welfare Council, Phase X, has opposed Greater Mohali Area Development Authority’s (GMADA) move of handing over parks in various parts of the town to welfare associations for maintenance purposes.

A memorandum in this regard was submitted to GMADA authorities by chairman of the council Ripudaman Singh Roop yesterday. It was pointed out that welfare associations, which were formed voluntarily to act as ‘watchdogs’, would be made accountable to GMADA if the proposed policy was pursued. Welfare associations would not be able to remove encroachments from parks created by security personnel of VIPs as GMADA itself had also failed on this front.

It was also demanded that the Habitat Centre in Phase X, lying unutilised for the past many years, should be opened to the public and be used as a community centre. 



Mini truck overturns
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
Rajinder from Dham Majra village had a narrow escape when the mini truck being driven by him turned turtle on Zirakpur-Chandigarh highway near Hallomajra, today afternoon.

Police sources said that the truck, bearing registration number PB-11-S 9799, was coming from Patiala to Chandigarh Industrial Area when its front tyre burst all of a sudden due to which it overturned. “Fortunately, no vehicle was passing near the truck when the incident happened. Had some speedy vehicle been following the truck, it could have proved dangerous,” said the investigating officer Sumer Singh.

The truck was loaded with cartons of cold drinks, which were scattered all around the road following the accident.



Officials should be more accountable

Seeking more accountability in administrative processes is one of the best steps taken by the UT administrator in recent times. But although the Right to Information provides an opportunity peep into all records, in some cases we have to go beyond the Act.The role of DDOs and AG office is overshadowed once the matter is related to high officials of the administration. The administrator should make an effort to change the thinking rather than overhaul the whole system.

R K Garg, Chandigarh

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Former reader of UBS retains official room
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
One of the most progressive departments in the Panjab University seems to be not so sound technologically, if the inept official website is anything to go by.

The official website of the Panjab University’s University Business School still shows a former reader, Manoj Sharma, as a reader in the department whereas he is teaching in the department of evening studies for many months now.

More so, he still has his official room in UBS. While the rest of the faculty members of the department of evening studies have one common room to them, he is the only privileged one to have a room to him.

It may be recalled that Manoj Sharma was suspended on January 21, 2007, on the charges of having fudged facts to secure better ratings for the UBS, which was provided to various ranking agencies. He had also faced a similar enquiry in a question paper writing case following which he was reinstated in the department of evening studies.

Interestingly, the chairman of the UBS, S.C. Vaidya said, “ We had sent him a communication in appropriate time stating that he needs to vacate the room”. He said he was not aware of the website flaw and also if he had vacated the room or not.

Prof Manjit Singh, PUTA general secretary, refused to comment on the issue and said this was a technical and administrational subject.

Manoj Sharma, when asked about the same, said, “ As per the orders, I was only transferred to the department of evening studies till the pending enquiry was over.

“As it is my appointment was made in the UBS and I had filed a similar reply to the official communication regarding vacating the room.”

The vice-chancellor, R.C. Sobti said the chairman of the UBS and the board of control should have taken care of the matter. I will look into the matter, he added. 



Nominations for child award by June 30
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
The Chandigarh Education Department on the instance of the Government of India is initiating to invite applications for the National Child Award-2008.

Named as “National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement”, this award has been instituted for the individuals and organisations that have done outstanding work for the welfare and development of children.

The DPI (S) S.K. Setia said, “The Government of India, ministry of women and child development, New Delhi, have invited recommendations from Chandigarh for the National Child Award. It is an endeavour to give recognition to the children with exceptional abilities and outstanding caliber.

The children between the age group of 4 to 15 years, born on or after January 1, 1993, who have shown exceptional achievements in the field of academics, sports, arts and culture can apply for this award. The students can apply through the office of district education officer (DEO), Chandigarh administration, and the individuals can apply through state/UT departments, local self-government (panchayat, zila parishad, municipal corporation etc.). The last date for sending the nominations to the GOI is July 31. The age certificate duly attested by a gazetted officer has to be attached with the application form. The nominations would have to be sent to the ministry of women and child development, New Delhi, by June 30 in the prescribed form in duplicate. 



PU Notes
Workshop on ‘Gender Budgets’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
The Centre for Women’s Studies and Development, PU, is organising a one-day workshop on ‘Gender Budgets’ on March 17.

The workshop aims to orient university and college faculty to the concept of gender budgets and gender budget analysis, an issue which has increasingly assumed significance over the past few years, more so with the call given by UNIFEM to the various governments for gender budgets by 2015.



Fake Doctor Case
Lawyers who verified documents 
come under police scanner
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 15
Lawyers who verified the documents submitted by fake doctor Sandip Sharma to the banks to obtain loans will be under police scanner now. The police remand of the accused has been extended till Monday.

The police applied five-day remand pleading that they are yet to recover the laptop of the accused but Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Additional Civil Judge, Senior Division, Raj Gupta, allowed his remand till Monday. The judge has asked the police to produce the accused in the court on Monday at 10 am.

The Haryana State Crime Bureau arrested Sandip for running a hospital on forged documents on March 8 after he remained underground for more than one month when his hospital was sealed on January 30 following complaints from the Panchkula civil surgeon alleging that he was claiming to be an MS (ophthalmology).

Later during the investigations it was found that he studied till ninth only and duped around a dozen banks to the tune of over Rs 6 crore.

In fact the lawyers of the banks who verified the papers of properties played an important role in helping him dupe the banks, said the sources in crime bureau.

The lawyers are hired by the banks to verify the genuineness of documents pertaining to the properties to be hypothecated by the borrower against the loan. Had the lawyers adopted proper procedure to verify the documents the accused could not have succeeded in his motives, said the sources. Now the police would investigate that to what extent these lawyers had connived with Sandip to dupe the banks. Summons are being issued to the lawyers involved in this regard, said the sources.



Lok adalat disposes 2,957 cases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
A composite lok adalat disposed off 2,957 cases at the district courts, here today. The lok adalat was held under the supervision of Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice Pramod Kohli, administrative judge, Sessions division.

Out of the cases disposed off today, 69 cases were taken up under the MACT Act and a compensation of Rs 32,32,000 was awarded in 19 cases. Five hundred seventy six cheque bounce cases involving a sum of Rs 18,65,690 were also disposed off. The judges compromised 19 cases of compoundable offences under Indian Penal Code, while 149 civil matters including rent applications were also settled.



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