C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


The truth of Sanetta
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 19
The Akali government cannot be blamed for not having done enough to attract private housing investment in the state. Notwithstanding protests from residents of SAS Nagar, the district administration is planning on establishing the district administrative-cum-judicial complex in Sanetta village, almost 20 km from Mohali.

The village is, however, only a stone’s throw from a mega-integrated housing project being developed by a private promoter.

It is learnt that the private builder has even offered to construct the complex free of cost if it is shifted “close” to his housing project.

The proposed site is not centrally located. It is on the southeastern corner of the local planning area of the district. The local planning area is the area identified by the department of town and country planning to show the area where development is likely to take place in the next 10 years.

Sanetta is not a part of the sectoral grid of Mohali, and is on the Landran-Banur road which is one of the major roads planned for the area. However, on either side of the road there are only proposed private housing projects, many of which have not even started construction.

Real estate market analysts say most of these projects are facing difficulties in selling plots, villas and apartments.

The proposed shifting of the administrative complex can, however, help these promoters.

One of pleas taken by the administration for the identification of the site is that the government does not have any land in the district to establish the complex and only this piece of land is available.

This is a mere excuse, if not a complete lie. The entire area in Sector 62 is with the government and has been planned as the city centre. Almost 8 acres in Sector 62 have been identified and set aside for a DAC but the administration seems to have given up its right over the land.

The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), which had allotted the site for the complex, could not be happier as the land would fetch a whopping price in the open market.

Other than the Sector 62 city centre, the master plan of Mohali also provides for the entire Sector 87 as the city centre.

The move to shift the site has met with widespread protest. Most resident welfare associations have objected to the move.

Those living in villages along the Mullanpur- Kurali belt would have to travel via Kurali to reach the complex. Those from the Lalru-Dera Bassi-Zirakpur area would have to come via Banur.

The three MLAs of the district had said the decision to set up the complex at Sanetta would be reviewed.

However, the deputy commissioner yesterday said that the site had been finalised and even the building plans were ready.

“Why is this happening only the Mohali DC can answer. No effort has been made by the district administration to look for an alternative site for obvious reasons,” Kharar MLA Balbir Sidhu said.



Bomb scare at secretariate
Tribune News Service

ITBP personnel on alert at the UT secretariate after a bomb hoax in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
ITBP personnel on alert at the UT secretariate after a bomb hoax in Chandigarh on Wednesday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, March 19
Panic gripped the UT secretariate here this afternoon following a hoax bomb call. There was chaos as employees and visitors ran for cover. The police cleared the building housing about 600 employees. Within minutes of getting a call at noon, the police rushed to the spot equipped with a bomb disposal squad, dog squad, fire brigade and ambulances.

The police, assisted by ITBP personnel deployed in the building, cordoned the building.

The bomb disposal unit searched the five-storeyed building. The entire operation lasted for over four hours with the secretariat staff waiting outside the building.

The police allowed the employees to go inside the building at around 3.30 pm.

ASP (central) Madur Verma said a woman speaking in Punjabi called Surjit Singh, PA to the UT adviser, and said there was a bomb in the building which would explode soon.

Surjit Singh passed the information to the joint secretary, home, who in turn informed the SSP.

DIG (operations cell) Mahabir Singh told the media that efforts were on to trace the caller. “The call was probably made from a landline phone and the phone of the PA is not equipped with caller identification facility,” he said.

In the past when such incidents were reported from the district courts and the PGI, the police had not been able to trace the calls.



Don’t be slave to Corbusier: Correa
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Architect-activist Charles Correa is at unease with the mindless urbanisation of Indian cities in the name of real estate development. For a man famous for harmonising the traditional with the contemporary and the aesthetic with the functional, this unease is only natural, more so because it is not to end any time soon, with politicians ensuring that developers stay and thrive.

“Real estate developers are feeding political parties with cash. No wonder they find favour with politicians who are not accountable to people. Cities are, in turn, getting destroyed,” he told The Tribune today.

He was here to lecture on the language of architecture at the culmination of “Archo-2008” at the Chandigarh College of Architecture.

Correa, whose low-income housing has become a case study for students of architecture across the world, was upset how land was being doled out in the name of development. The problem, he said, was that such development was hardly inspired by planning or architectural perspectives.

Referring to Sanjay Gandhi who had said defence deals were better sources of funding, Correa said it was time politicians found other ways of raising funds. “The nexus between real estate developers and politicians must break if our cities are to breathe easy,” he said, pointing to Chandigarh and Delhi as exceptions where urban development was still “planned and structured”.

“That’s because you have no government control over Chandigarh. You have an administrator, who can get the best minds to frame policies for the city’s evolution. In Delhi, too, you have a fair amount of respect for urban planning,” he said, building a case for the revitalisation of Chandigarh, caught in a time warp.

“Chandigarh is not the farmer’s house,” he said, referring to the ugliness of the farmer’s house in “Animal Farm.” “What Corbusier did was open doors to another landscape. The last thing we, as architects, should do is follow Corbusier slavishly into that landscape. That’s what you should keep in mind while dealing with the city,” he said, admonishing those engaged with the planning of Chandigarh.

His remarks were well taken by the UT administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), who was quick to say, “What are we preserving, for God’s sake”, hoping planners would shed their moulds and let the city grow into a brave, new entity.

“The word architect is flattering. I don’t think we can live up to it. All we can do is respect its elements and understand that we can only rearrange them and not change them. We also need to know why a certain piece of music can be played at different places, but a certain kind of building can’t be replicated in another space. A building is rooted in its space and derives nourishment from it,” Correa said.



UT moots longer term for mayor
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
In a development that will go a long way in accelerating development, the Chandigarh administration has sought extension of the term of mayor from the current one year to two-and-a-half years from the union government.

In a communication to the ministry of home affairs, the administration has urged the central government to hasten the process of amendments to the Punjab Municipal Act.

The extension of the term of mayor is part of several proposals mooted by the administration to the MHA last year. Sources confirmed that the communication had been sent to the union government again.

The legal affairs committee of the MC had gone on record, demanding the extension of the term in “public interest”. One-year term was too short for the mayor as it took months to settle in the office, Gian Chand Gupta, a former mayor, said, adding that a strong democratically-elected MC would be a “perfect antidote to the powerful bureaucracy”.

Several development works are hanging fire on account of new mayors. By the time the next mayor takes charge, several projects are put on hold due to petty political differences. Mayor Pardeep Chhabra said: “It would benefit the MC and a two-and-a-half-year term was long enough for any mayor to show results. Given the UPA government’s commitment to strengthen democratic institutions, the proposal should see implementation.”


72-year-old man butchers wife
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 19
A septuagenarian, suspecting the character of his wife, allegedly killed her with an axe at Pinjore last night. The deceased has been identified as Surinder Kaur.

According to the police, Babu Ram (72) had a heated argument with his wife at around 11 pm and in a fit of rage attacked her with an axe, killing her on the spot, Daya Nand, Kalka DSP, said.

The police said Babu Ram, a resident of Main Bazar, was a drunkard and used to suspect the character of Surinder Kaur who was his second wife.

He was under the influence of liquor at the time of the incident. Surinder Kaur was about 60 years old and has four children from the accused.



CBI DSPs in soup
Dera followers allege torture

Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Torturing the followers of Dera Sacha Sauda during interrogation has landed two DSPs of the Central Bureau of Investigation in soup (CBI). The follower Bhim Singh had filed criminal complaint on September 23, 2005, against DSP Dr Armandeep Singh and DSP (CBI) Satish Dagar for torturing him during interrogation in the Sirsa murder case.

Two-and-half-years after filing the case the judicial magistrate Balwinder Kumar today issued summons to the two accused under Sections 166, 323, 330, 342, 363 and 506 of IPC. Bhim Singh, a resident of Sirsa, stated that he was a follower of Dera Sacha Sauda. He asserted that he and his brother Krishan Lal received a notice under Section 160 of CrPC on December 9, 2004, wherein the CBI asked them to appear in CBI office in Sector 30.

Bhim claimed that he appeared before the CBI on December 15, 2004. The DSPs introduced themselves to the complainant and his brother as investigating officers in the Sirsa murder case. Bhim Singh alleged in his complaint that the DSPs told him to mention the involvement of Dera chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim in the murder.

Bhim stated that when he refused to mention the name of Dera chief in murder case the officials got furious and started torturing him. The CBI officials allegedly assaulted both Bhim and Krishen. Narrating the incident Bhim alleged, “One of the officials asked an inspector to put water pressure in his ear so that he could not hear anything for a few hours.”

He stated in the complaint that the CBI officials asked him to indulge in unnatural offence to humiliate him. After which the complainant and his brother were forced to sign few papers. The complainant and his brother were not allowed to go.

The court observed: “There are not sufficient grounds on the basis of evidence on record to issue process against both the accused under Sections 167, 325, 326, 307, 331 and 368 IPC. The court stated: “The notice be issued to the accused through speed post on April 26.” The court further directed to issue summons to the accused carefully only under Sections for which they have been summoned.



IT raids on scan centre, sweet shops
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh/Mohali, March 19
Officials of the income tax department carried out raids on the properties of a doctor, a property dealer and a businessman in the city and Mohali today. Chief commissioner P.K. Chopra and commissioners of ranges 1 and 2 carried out raids on the business premises of several groups.

Sources in the department said the survey was conducted on the business premises of Subhash and Mangat Property Dealer in Sector 22, CTI Scan Centre of Dr Chawla and his wife Tejinder Kaur and some sweet shops in Phase V, Mohali.

Chopra said the cases were picked for survey after investigation.

“Search is still going on, so we cannot say anything. Suitable action under relevant provisions of the Income Tax Act would be taken against those found evading tax,” he added.

Officials of the department of income tax raided four eating joints in Phase V. A booth in which lotteries of Punjab state were running was also raided.

The raids were conducted around 1 pm and officials were seen scrutinising various documents in the shops. Customers were not allowed inside the shops by personnel of the Punjab police who were standing outside these joints.

Raids were conducted on Amrit Confectioners, Amrit Ice Cream Parlour, Khalsa Sweets and Khalsa Vaishno Dhaba. Though customers were allowed to enter Amrit Ice Cream Parlour, Khalsa Sweets and Khalsa Vaishno Dhaba around 2 pm for some time, nobody was allowed inside Amrit Confectioners. Various documents lying inside the shops were being scrutinised when reports last came in.

It is learnt that some officials also went to the house of one of the partners in the business. Around 15 officials of the IT department had come in four cars. Six to seven cops of the Punjab police were also deployed near the raided joints.

It is reported that a person supplying material to one of the shops came in the evening to collect his bills. He tried to force his entry inside the shop where officials were busy checking documents. He was later whisked away by members of the raiding team.

No information about the raids was forwarded to the media by the officials. They said they were not authorised to make any statement.



Stars descend on airport
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The visitors at the local airport were thrilled to see themselves among Bollywood stars Rishi Kapoor and Rekha and master blaster Sachin Tendulkar here this afternoon.

Bollywood star Rishi KapoorSachin Tendulkar with his son
Bollywood star Rishi Kapoor and (right) Sachin Tendulkar with his son arrive at the Chandigarh airport on Wednesday. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Rishi and Rekha arrived in the city for the shooting of a movie while Sachin, along with his wife Anjali, son Arjun, daughter Sara and two other families, was here to take a flight to Mumbai.

“I was holidaying along with my family and close associates at Mussoorie. Today we are going back home,” said Sachin, who played a key role in India’s first ever triumph in the triangular Commonwealth Bank one-day series in Australia. “It was a refreshing trip and now, I am ready for the next challenges,” said Sachin after reaching the airport at around 12 pm.

Evading more questions on cricket, Sachin said he was on a personal visit and this was the time when he did not like to talk about the game.

The visitors, who came to receive their friends and relatives, were seen capturing glimpses of the stars in their cameras and running after them to take autographs.

“I can’t believe my eyes. Sachin is just in front of me. It is a thrilling experience for me,” said teenager Shweta while capturing her favourite star in her mobile phone camera like many others.

The celebrities, however, did not seem interested in interacting with the mediapersons. Annoyed Rishi was avoiding fans, making way for Rehka to come out of the airport.

“Though I was refused an autograph, but still managed to capture the stars in my mobile,” said Gagan Kundu, who came to receive his father at the airport.



Haryana budget growth oriented, feel traders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Various bodies of traders and industrialists have hailed the Haryana budget as growth oriented. They have hailed the Haryana finance minister for creating a favourable enabling environment for attracting private investment to supplement government resources.

The PHD Chamber has lauded the focus on public-private partnership in infrastructure development and the steps taken by the state to add power generation capacity of 5000 MW by 2011. They have proposed a feeder renovation programme to curb the over 35 per cent technical and commercial losses. This bold initiative in Rajasthan has reduced T & D losses substantially.

The chamber has also welcomed the budget proposal for reducing stamp duty on sale of land and property by one per cent; decision for opening two government polytechnics and considering three institutes in a PPP model and opening of new state institutes in the field of fashion and design, fine arts, film and TV professional studies.

The CII, Haryana State council, too, has welcomed the budget by describing it as a budget focussing on development through inclusive growth by touching all sections of the society. The CII lauded the government’s focus towards providing quality education, better health care, strengthening of the social sector, especially empowerment of the weaker sections of society and building a robust physical infrastructure.

They have also hailed the huge budgetary allocation for power sector, which would in turn promote industry. The CII also welcomed the initiative of the government to reduce the rate of interest on short-term agriculture loans from 11 per cent to 7 per cent and that further two per cent rebate would be given to those who repaid the loan in time.



Protest by FCI staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Employees of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), Punjab region, held a demonstration against the alleged victimisation of employees by regional management at the regional office in Sector 31 today.

Employee representatives said the demonstration was held in support of their charter of demands submitted to the regional management earlier.

They alleged that the zonal/regional management was victimising staff by issuing chargesheets, and suspension and transfer orders.

They also alleged that the management was imposing disproportionate penalties in the form of recoveries from the salary of the employees to the tune of lakhs of rupees without taking into account the operational difficulties in field operations. Among others, regional state secretary Brijinder Bawa, BKNK Sangh, Punjab, regional chairman S.P. Sood and FCI Staff Union, Punjab, state secretary C.M. Bhardwaj addressed the gathering.

They sought relief for employees on account of storage and transit losses. They also wanted transferring back of depot and technical staff posted outside Punjab, end to issuance of chargesheets in cases over 15 years old, cash payment against uniforms to class IV staff, release of stagnation increments and selection grade to staff. They threatened to suspend field operations in the state if their demands were not accepted.



Panel formed for health insurance scheme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The UT administration has constituted a committee for implementation of health insurance scheme “Swasthya Bima Yojana”. The scheme seeks to facilitate the launching of health insurance projects in all districts of the states in a phased manner for below poverty line workers.

Under the scheme, unorganised sector workers and their families (unit of five) would be covered, said health secretary Krishna Mohan.

He added that the total sum assured would be Rs 30,000 per family per annum on a family-floater basis.

Cashless attendance would be given to all covered ailments and hospitalisation expenses would be covered.

All pre-existing diseases and transportation costs within an overall limit of Rs 1,000 would also be covered, Mohan said.



Financial aid for SC women doubled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The Chandigarh administration has doubled the financial assistance for the Scheduled Castes women under the “Postnatal Financial Assistance to Scheduled Castes Women for Nutrition Scheme” from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000. The scheme is being implemented by the social welfare department with the objective of providing financial assistance to pregnant women so they can afford a nutritious diet.

Earlier Rs 1,000 was being paid to pregnant SC women at the time of first and second delivery. These are the women whose family income is not more than Rs 24,000 per annum and who have been residing in the for the past three years.



Empowerment project for women

The UT administration has decided to start a project in the field of production of garments for women and children. The centre would be set up by the social welfare department in the newly transferred building of the Chandigarh Child and Women Development Corporation.

The work for implementation of the project has begun.



1,000 participate in Pratishtha Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
More than 1,000 people participated in the celebrations of the 17th Pratishtha Day (consecration) at “Sree Ayyappa Temple, here today. The foundation stone of temple Gopuram to be built as per Kerala temple architecture was also laid on the occasion while Dr John V. George, IPS, DGP (Prisons), Haryana, inaugurated an ambulance service.

The celebrations, which were started yesterday with special poojas, abhishekam and homas (havan) performed by ‘tantries’ from Kerala were followed by Ayyappan vilakku by Nellaya Achutthan Ezuthassan and team comprising 24 performing artists from Kerala, today. Ayyappan vilakku is an art performed by specially trained artistes in traditional weapons like sword and body agility.

The idols of Lord Ayyappa, Bagavathi, Vavar, were installed in three temples erected on the trussing plantain trees and Lord Ayyappa story was told in a song form.

A procession with Thalapoli, Panchavadyam and caparisoned elephant started form Muriugan temple, Sector 31 for Ayyappa Temple in Sector 47.



Training programme on SEZs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
SEZs will play a vital role in bridging the gap between competing economies and provide competitive and comparative advantage to the industries. These zones serve to address three critical issues — the reduction of taxation, reduction of transaction cost and improvement of infrastructure.

This was the key take away of the training programme on special economic zones conducted at the CII northern region headquarters here today.

Organised by the CII northern region with an intent to enable the industry delegates representing industry giants like Infosys, Godrej, DLF, ICICI Home Finance Co Ltd, L&T, Omaxe Ltd, Reliance, Trident Group, UCO Bank and Yes Bank, to understand the unique legal framework in view of SEZ Act, 2005 and SEZ Rules, 2006, state policies on SEZ, legal dispensations and procedures thoroughly, T.N.C. Rajagopalan, the faculty for the programme reiterated that an SEZ was like a separate ecosystem.

“The success of the SEZ is indicative from the fact that between 2001 to 2006 only 11 new SEZs (Surat, Indore, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Moradabad, Chennai, Kolkata) contributed to a total export of Rs 23,000 crore.”



Fatal Fall
Victim’s body handed over to family
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The police today handed over the body of Mani, who fell to death from a three-storeyed building in a bid to escape being caught stealing in Industrial Area, Phase II, last night, to his family.

Tungmani, who is admitted to the PGI, is said to be in critical condition. He sustained multiple fractures in the fall.

Tungmani managed to catch hold of some object and kept dangling before he lost grip and fell.

The third accused accompanying them was remanded in judicial custody by a local court today, said the police.

The police said the three had gone to the building with intention of stealing copper wire.

They had to flee when a generator mechanic in the building caught them in the act and raised the alarm.



CHB’s housing scheme partial

Chandigarh Housing Board has launched a special housing scheme for UT employees on the plea of shortage of accommodation and high rent rate. There will be about 3,000 dwelling units for allotment.

The same conditions are also applicable to the other Central Govt/CPSU/Board employees working in the Tricity.

But it is very astonishing to see that CHB has launched the scheme only for UT employees. No special scheme has been launched for the Central Govt/CPSU/Board employees specifically.

Also UT administration is part of the Central Government; UT administration should take care of housing needs of other Central employees too. The administration should treat everyone equally because the problem of insufficient accommodation and high rents are being suffered by all government employees.

Gulshan Sood, Chandigarh

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Renaming of Degree
PU syndics put through test of rationality
After completing MBA 23 years ago, alumnus seeks renamed degree

Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
In what could put the members of the Panjab University’s syndicate through a test of rationality, a director in the Prime Minister’s Office, New Delhi, has sent a request on December 18, 2007, to the university authorities for issuing him a degree of MBA (personnel) in retrospective.

Interestingly, this unique request by Davinder P.S. Sandhu has been forwarded on the official letterhead of the director stating that he had completed a masters’ programme in personnel management and industrial relations from the University Business School in 1982-84. But the university subsequently changed the name of the course to MBA (Personnel) and since the earlier course of MPMIR no longer exists, this creates confusion.

It is requested that the university may consider issuing fresh degree certificate to those who were successful in the MPMIR course before its renaming as MBA (Personnel).

Interestingly, the office of the university has sent its notes with the item stating that the senate at its meeting held on December 20, 1998, item number 33, approved the amendment of regulations regarding change in the title of degree of MPMIR to MBA (HR) with effect from the April 1998, examinations.

Interestingly while the candidate has asked for issuing of the degree of MBA (personnel), the university is contemplating to give him an MBA (HR) degree. In a joint meeting of the academic committee and administrative committee of the University Business School, held on February 6, 2008, it was decided that he be given MBA (HR) provided this facility of change be offered not just to one applicant but across the board to all the desiring students.

Interestingly, the proceedings of the said meeting have not been annexed with the agenda item.

It must be mentioned here that the change in the nomenclature that came into effect from the examinations of April 1998 came with change in curriculum, duration of the course and qualifying examination as well. Also, earlier there was no entrance examination for the MBA.

When contacted, the vice-chancellor, Prof R.C. Sobti, said it would be done only if the rules permit and nothing would be done against the rules and regulations.



PU sleeps over
Rs 20 crore unadjusted advances
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
For Panjab University, Rs 20 crore is no big issue. Talks doing the rounds that the university is facing a financial crunch seem hollow going by reports of the audit for the year 2006-07 and 2007-08 as there are unadjusted advances in the university to the tune of crores of rupees.

What is most surprising is that in spite of knowing about the financial irregularities, the authorities have not taken any step to get the advances adjusted. The advances are to the tune of Rs 20.75 crore. In fact, a former resident audit officer of the university during his tenure brought it to the notice of the authorities concerned from time to time. He stated in the memo (RAO/2007/750) dated October 8, 2007, that as per Rule 7.8 of the university accounts manual read with regulation No: 15 of Chapter-2(A) (iii) of calendar, volume (i), it has been clearly laid down that the advances are to be sanctioned in emergent cases and not in casual way and the officer holding the advance shall be personally responsible for its adjustment by March 31 of every year. There is no rule according to which the adjustment of advance can be left at the mercy of the holder.

In the absence of proper utilisation of the grant-in-aid sanctioned by the government, further sanction of grant-in-aid is against the provision of general financial rules.

The total amount of advances granted during the second quarter of 2007-08 is Rs 3,50,97,796. The advances of the second quarter adjusted till date is Rs 4,84,568 where as unadjusted advances for the second quarter is Rs 3,46,13,228. Similarly, the cumulative outstanding advances for the year 2006-07 is Rs 13,71,86,232 and the advances outstanding for the year 2007-08, including the above stated figure, is Rs 7,02,99,747 and the total comes out to be Rs 20,74,85,979.

Interestingly, even the vice-chancellor, when he was the chairman of the department of biotechnology, has not got advances adjusted during his tenure. All reports and the details have been submitted to the UT finance secretary and the special secretary finance.

When contacted, Raji P. Shrivastava, special secretary (finance), however, denied having knowledge about the issue but promised to look into the matter. Vice-chancellor R.C. Sobti said: “Already Rs 13 crore has been adjusted and the rest will also be done before March 31.”


Qualifying AIE students will now take regular education
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Nine-years-old Sunil is happy that from April onwards he too would be able to attend the morning assembly of the school. His mother Shakuntala, a bangle-seller, could not ask for more because her son who studied through AIE (Alternate Innovative Education) centre in the evening has qualified class IV and would now study with the regular students in next class.

The result of final phase of annual assessment test for AIE centres, began on March 3, has been declared by the Chandigarh education department.

Like Sunil, stars are beginning to shine for over 4,628 AIE students, who have been graduated to the mainstream of education system.

According to the officials of Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan wing of the education department, over 5,068 students belonging to economically weaker section (EWS), appeared for the tests this in session. “Around 91 per cent of the students lived up to our expectations after qualifying through stiff monitoring tools prescribed by the department. With this percentage of results, we can expect to achieve the target of universalisation of education by 2010,” told the officials.

These children would seek admission in the schools falling in their cluster. S.K. Setia, project director, SSA said, “The heads of the schools have been instructed not to ask for any date of birth proof and those who are found eligible for the level matching their age should be registered unconditionally with the consent of their parents. The schools will submit report to the department by April 15 after enrolling such children in the mainstream.”

These children, who actually managed to bridge the gap, would be provided with free education, mid-day meal, uniform and stationery items in addition to a stipend of Rs 250. Elaborating further, Setia said, “Their individual assessment reports have been prepared by the teacher of the cluster school in, which they would have to seek admission in. Modalities are being carried out to arrange for transportation of these children from their place of stay.”

Also termed as ‘alternative schooling strategy,’ the Chandigarh education department has categorically analysed the assessment of the children in two phases- the oral assessment and written examination. The annual assessment for mainstreaming is done in the months of September, December and March for the subjects of English, Hindi and mathematics.

The criteria for the mainstream stands that a student securing 33 per cent marks in all the three subjects would be eligible for admission to the next class in mainstream school. An eligibility certificate in this regard, to each qualified child, is issued by the cluster head.

The SSA, Chandigarh chapter has devised a comprehensive policy specially focused on the children who are engaged in the labour at early stage.



From Schools & Colleges
IET students launch website
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 19
As part of their industrial training programme, Anshu Rabra, Arunesh Bathla and Brijraj, three final-year students of IET, Bhaddal, with the help of their training incharge Valjeet Patial have launched a website named www.tricityGuru.com. This is a step towards online advertising in tricity. A major result of online advertising is information and content that is not limited by geography or time. The emerging area of interactive advertising presents fresh challenges for advertisers who have hitherto adopted an interruptive strategy. The website contains information of various services provided in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula like hospitals, accommodation available, car repairs etc.

CAMPUS RECRUITMENT: Kotak Direct visited Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology near Banur for holding joint campus placements. Student candidates from five colleges, including SVIET, participated in the drive. Out of 125 students, 17 were shortlisted for interview and 12 were selected for appointment.

SMART CLASSROOMS: Gian Jyoti Public School has established smart classrooms with 52 inches plasma screens. As many as 24 classrooms have been provided with this hi-tech aid, which will enable the teachers to facilitate the students to listen and watch the concepts related to all subjects on computers.

AKHAND PATH: The 10th annual akhand path of Doaba Polytechnic College, Raipur, was celebrated here today with religious fervour. All students and faculty members along with the management and senior officers attended bhog.

TOUR: Dr. I. T. Business School, Banur, organised an industrial tour to Bhushan Power and Steel. Earlier, the students visited Dr Morephan Laboratories, Baddi, and HMT Tractors, Pinjore.

PLACEMENT DRIVE: Dee Development Engineerings (P) Ltd, Faridabad, in collaboration with an Australian company, conducted a placement drive on March 15 in which over 135 students from SSIET, Dera Bassi, CIET, Rajpura, SUSCET, Tangori and BBSBCET, Fatehgarh Sahib, participated. Eight students from Sukhmani and four from Chitkara were selected.

HOLI CELEBRATED: Students of Genius Public School, Sector 69 celebrated Holi with fervour here today. The students applied gulal on one another. Principal of the school spoke about the significance of this festival.


VISIT: In a special gesture Himachal Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal visited Doon Valley Public School, Nalagarh, yesterday. He planted a sapling of rudraksh at botanical garden of the school. Dhumal by managing director Rajeev Sharma.

Fatehgarh Sahib

CONVOCATION: Director-principal of Mata Gujri College Dr Gurmohan Singh Walia here today stated that around 825 graduate and pos-graduate students of different streams would be awarded degrees at the annual convocation which had been scheduled to be held on March 21. Dr Walia said the students of MBA, MCA, MCom, MA (economics), PGDCA, BSc, BCom, BSc (bio-technology), BCA and BA who completed their courses during the academic session of 2005-2006 and 2006-2007sessions would be given degrees by Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice Vijender Jain.


HOLI: Students of New Delhi Public School today celebrated Holi on its premises. The students participated in different competitions and enjoyed the day by playing with colours, water guns and by making rangolies. A dance party was also held.



Students misbehave with vice-chancellor
INSO activists barge into restricted area
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
It seems the vice-chancellor of Panjab University is not safe on his own premises. After, the incident of stone pelting at the VC’s house in the recent past, the same group of students today barged into the restricted area of the VC’s office and misbehaved with him.

The incident happened when some students’ activists of INSO went in front of the VC’s office to protest against the proposed fee hike. The conversation led to an argument between the students and the vice-chancellor when Vikas Rathi, president, INSO leader, trespassed in his car in front of the VC’s office and without any provocation started yelling at the VC.

When the VC tried getting inside his office Rathi threatened him not to go inside. With the intervention of the security staff and the DSW the VC managed to get back to his room. Later, the students started raising slogans against the VC and the university authorities.

However, Prof Sobti maintained that the matter pertaining to fee hike has not been decided as yet.



From Schools & Colleges
56 students get hired
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Fifty-six engineering students of Rayat Institute of Engineering and Information Technology have been appointed as software engineers with the IT giant, Infosys, at a recently concluded placement camp.

Briefing mediapersons, Gurvinder Singh Bahra, vice-chairman, Rayat and Bahra group of colleges, told that 56 students selected by the Infosys for its placements across various locations in the country would join at the initial pay package of Rs 3.25 lakh per annum. All the selected students are from the batch, which will pass out in 2009. Bahra added that this is for the first time that a single institution has scored such a huge placement figure with the Infosys.

Job fest: Aryans Business School (ABS) is holding joint campus placement drive for an American IT giant, Outline Systems Inc, on its campus on Rajpura Road, on March 20.

Addressing a press conference at the Chandigarh press club, Bhopan Krishnan, vice-president, Outline Systems Inc, USA said BTech and MBA students with good computer and communication skills can participate in the placement drive, which will be held on the college campus, Nepra village, between Banur and Rajpura, Chandigarh-Patiala highway. The interview will commence from 11 am onwards.

‘Go Green’: Ozo-Eco club of GMSSS-22-A, planted 40 medicinal plants in and around herbal garden of the school. The DEO, Kulwinder Sharma was the chief guest on this occasion. Principal Sushil Kumar also took part in the campaign. The DEO appreciated the newly created corner ‘Tell me why’ in the Physics laboratory of the school. About 25 interesting experiments of Physics were demonstrated.

‘Starlight-2008’: Patriotic songs, devotional musical journey and dance marked the day today on the premises of Eurokids Pre School, Sector 18, Chandigarh, and at Sector 9, Panchkula.

While, celebrating its annual day show titled ‘Starlight-2008,’ the tiny tots between the age group of 2-6 years showcased their stupendous performance skills. The show was hugely attended by parents and the school staff.

Promilla Issar, chief secretary, Haryana and R.K. Kataria, DC, Panchkula, presided over the function. The Eurokids staff came forward raising a toast to the children by singing the song from film ‘Taare Zameen Par’ giving a message that every child is a winner having some unique quality that needs to be seen, encouraged and nurtured.

Holi celebrated: Conveying the message of enjoying safe, happy and organic Holi, in their own approach, 35 special children of Vatika High School, celebrated the festival of colours on the school premises in Sector 19, here today. The children were given special Holi kits consisting colours, water sprinkling toys and refreshments.

Balram Garg, managing director, PC Jewellers, stated, “This time we decided to bring in hues of colours for these special children by organising an occasion full of fun, enjoyment and colours.”



Central Varsity Status
PUTA stages dharna in front of VC office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The teachers and students of the PU staged a dharna in front of the vice- chancellor’s office to press for the demand of central university status to Panjab University. Addressing the dharna, Prof Manjit Singh, secretary PUTA, said if the flow of funds from the Union government amounts to the dilution of the claim of Punjab over Chandigarh, what is apprehended by the Punjab government, then how come the entire Union Territory, including PGI and PEC are allowed to be funded by the Union government.

Meanwhile, PUTA delegation met with Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, president, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, and the leader of the opposition, and explained her about the offer of the Union government to fully finance the Panjab University but the reluctance of Punjab government to accept the funds is becoming a major bottleneck.

A PUTA delegation also had a formal meeting today with Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd).

Prof A.S. Ahluwalia, president PUTA, while thanking the participants in the dharna, requested them to assemble tomorrow in a much bigger number so that the members of the board of finance, who are meeting tomorrow at the same place, could see the dissatisfaction among the teachers and students.



GMSSS-19 gets new principal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Jatinder Singh Sidhu, who was working as a physics lecturer in GMSSS-19, has joined as the officiating principal of the same school, today afternoon, relieving Saroj Gupta, who had dual charge.

She will have a single charge of deputy DEO-2 from today onwards.

She will look after private schools now.

Meanwhile, different associations of teachers have welcomed this decision of the education department.

Dr Vinod Sharma, president of the GTU, and Shavinder Singh, president of the UT Teachers Welfare Association, has demanded that pending demands may be fulfilled at the earliest, which include promotions of principals, lecturers and teachers of all cadres.



Court Firing
CFSL report, evidence put on record
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Ten years after an alleged firing incident on the court premises, the CFSL report and case property was placed on record in a local court today. The prosecution placed on record two swords, one SLR, a carbine, two AK-47 and a rifle.

The statement of a CFSL official was also recorded. He stated that two cartridges were found from the spot but the gun from which the bullets were fired was untraceable.

The police had registered a case against 15 persons, including DSP Jagjit Singh and Akali leader Manjit Singh Barkandi in the case.

Accepting the plea of the defence counsel, additional district and sessions judge R.K. Sondhi deferred the cross examination till April 10.

According to the prosecution, the incident took place on July 6, 1998, when Harvinder Singh, alias Vicky, a resident of Barkandi village in Muktsar district, allegedly involved in murder of Manjit Singh, was being taken to a court.

As the police team arrived at the court, some persons from the victim’s camp raised slogans against the Punjab police, which led to altercation between the two groups. Thereafter, a gunman from the victim’s side fired a shot.

In October, 2007 the court framed charges against Akali leader Manjit Singh Barkandi, his son Kanwarjit Singh Barkandi, along with Balkar Singh, Avtar Singh, Surjit Singh, Surat Singh, Amarjit Singh, Bagicha Singh, Lakhvir Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Kashmira Singh, another Gurmeet Singh, Chhinder Singh, Harcharan Singh and DSP Jagjit Singh under Sections 148, 149, 333, 323 and 353 read with 149 of the IPC.

Kanwarjit Singh Barkandi, who allegedly used the official carbine of co-accused Punjab police constable, has also been charged under Section 27 (2) of the Arms Act.

Kashmira Singh and Gurmeet Singh, who were at the courts with service carbines, have also been charged.

They had allegedly given their weapons to Kanwarjit Singh and Balkar Singh that led to the firing in the courts complex.

The accused had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against framing of charges against them. The revision is to come up for hearing before the High Court on March 27.



Consumer Courts
British Airways penalised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum today directed British Airways to pay $ 460 along with Rs 10,000 in compensation to a Sector-43 resident for deficiency in service. The forum also asked the airways to pay Rs 5,000 as cost of litigation.

Petitioner Joginder Pal Singh had stated that he went to London on an British Airways flight on August 4, 2006 and returned on August 15. He stated to have checked his bag before boarding the flight back home. But on reaching the airport in Delhi, Joginder was not given his bag by the British bag service counter.

He reported the matter to British airport authorities counter. Joginder asserted that he was assured by the airways that he would be informed about his lost bag and would deliver the same at his home address but to no avail.

Joginder made enquiries about the baggage status through Internet on British Airways website and got a printout.

After visiting the office several times, the complainant received the bag in damaged condition on August 30, 2006.

He added that some items were missing from the bag. The airways then assured him of paying for his taxi fare and missing items.

Joginder then received a cheque for Rs 2,800 from the airways. However, his name was wrongly written on the cheque. He averred that the amount given by them was lower than the loss suffered by him.

In reply, the airways stated that the petitioner had already been paid the amount and that there was no deficiency in service.



CTU Faux Pas
Erring official suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
A day after Chandigarh Tribune reported about the callousness on part of Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) officials in giving the possession of a government vehicle without retaining its official registration number, the CTU director today suspended the official concerned.

The CTU had held the auction of of government vehicles of its various depots on March 3. Preventive maintenance assistant (PMS) of Depo 1 Surinder Singh gave the possession of an Ambassador car to the buyer after bidding without retaining its official number (CH 01 G1 1203). Even the regional licensing authority was not informed about the anomaly.

Successful bidder Ajay Singla, proprietor of Balaji Motors, enjoyed the status of a government official, as he had the official registration number. Government vehicles in the UT use “G” series so that these could not be misused.

Admitting the mistake, CTU director P.S. Shergill said the official should have gotten the possession of the registration number and then informed the RLA about the changing of the number.



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