C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Preity Zinta installs Kings
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 31
It’s official now. The Mohali team, being led by all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, is “Kings XI Punjab”. This was formally announced by the co-promoter of the team and actor Preity Zinta during the launch ceremony of the team at the Punjab Cricket Stadium here today.

The ceremony, the venue of which was shifted from the Sector 17 plaza to the stadium due to security reasons, started around 8 pm.

“The people of Punjab are brave, royal and with huge hearts. During our SMS campaign for suggesting the name of the team, we got tremendous response. Many names like Maharaja XI, Balle-Balle XI, came up. But we decided to have a name that evinced royalty, bravery and the spirit of the people of the state,” Preity Zinta said while unveiling the logo of the team during an unimpressive ceremony.

Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan, Sree Santh, Piyush Chawla, Bombay Dyeing scion Ness Wadia, PCA president I.S. Bindra and pop singer Daler Mehndi were present.

Terming the players as “sher of Punjab”, Preity said like the people of the region, the franchise also had pinned “great hopes on our players who are the youngest team”.

“Our logo has two roaring lions and symbolises not only the spirit of Punjabis, but also represents Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh, who was the first Indian to lead an Indian cricket team to the Lord’s in 1911. On the banner, KJHPH stand for the five states of the region — Kashmir, Jammu, Himachal, Punjab and Haryana,” she said.

Yuvraj said the team was well-balanced and consisted of young and smart cricketers. “It is very nice to be back here. I hope we will emerge winner,” he said, appealing fans to be present during matches.

Giving reasons for the late launch of the team, Preity said they did not want to launch the team in the absence of its coach Tom Moody, who was not in the country.

“We want him to be with us during the first major function of the team. So, we got late,” she said.

The video of the team’s anthem, being composed by Daler Mehndi, was also shown.

Tickets from April 7

The sale of tickets for the IPL matches will start from April 7. Cricket buffs would be able to get tickets worth Rs 50, Rs 250, Rs 750 and Rs 3,000 from Café Coffee Day and Future Group outlets. The online sale of tickets would begin from April 4 on www.ticketpro.in. “For students, we have priced the ticket for only Rs 50,” Preity Zinta said.

On Roster

Yuvraj Singh, Brett Lee, Irfan Pathan, Sree Santh, Piyush Chawla, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardane, Romesh Powar, James Hopes, VRV Singh, Kyle Mills, Luke Pomersvach, Uday Kaul, Yash Gandhi, Tanmay Srivastava, Karan Goel, Ajitesh Argal, Simon Katach, Sunny Sohal, Pankaj Dharmani, Sahil Kukreja and Wilken Mota.



Online correction in AIEEE forms now possible
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
From this session on, the convenience of aspirants for the AIEEE (All India Engineering Entrance Examination) is a priority with the CBSE. The examination will be held on April 27 and the board has received 8.62 lakh application forms.

Accepting that students face problems due to incorrect entry in “particulars”, the board is putting a correction form on its official website. This can be downloaded and sent to the assistant secretary (AIEEE), Patparganj, New Delhi.

This would benefit applicants who had to go to the Delhi office to make corrections in forms.

Confirming this, CBSE officials said, “Yes, we are putting up this provision on our official website.

Because of the absence of such a provision, we had been receiving complaints from students and their parents that they had to go to the CBSE head office in Delhi for any correction in incomplete or wrong particulars.”

From this year, the board has also introduced e-concept whereby students can apply online through www.aieee.nic.in.

“Due to lack of awareness, students would use this service only to download forms. It can be used to fill forms online,” CBSE officials said.

“Candidates who apply online can intimate us online if their is a mistake in their forms or on the telephone by referring to the application number allotted to them,” they said.

If candidates find their names missing on the board’s website, they should approach the Delhi office along with two passport size photographs, remittance fee proof, photocopy of the application form and the original receipt issued by the post office, they said.

The board is in the process of dispatching admit cards. Duplicate admit cards would be sent by post from April 11 to 21 or can be obtained from the Delhi office.



Hung House: Focus shifts to Independents
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 31
The fractured mandate by voters has shifted focus to eight Independents who made it to the civic body house in the elections contested yesterday as all three parties, the Congress, BJP and INLD, have shown their aversion to an alliance for the post of the local body chief.

Talking to mediapersons, BJP leaders refused to approach any party and said they were in touch with Independent candidates who had shown interest in joining them. Any party, who wanted to accept a BJP councillor as president, was welcome, said Haryana BJP president Atam Parkash Manchanda.

“We were able to multiply our seats in the civic body by winning eight seats against the three in the last house and we will prefer to sit in the opposition if a councillor from our party is not elected MC chief,” said Manchanda.

The INLD, which got six seats in the elections, had already announced that they would not offer for alliance with any party.

Party in charge of campaigning in the elections Abhay Chautala had announced that the party would never ask anyone for alliance. Though its councillor Seema Chaudhary was able to become MC chief in the previous house, chances of the party, however, were diluted to nil this time as the elections were contested on the party symbol and BJP had also improved its situation dramatically. Last time, only the BJP had contested the elections on the party symbol. Though the Congress did not fare well in the elections with merely nine seats in its kitty, it was still evaluating the chances of getting the support of many Independents who contested the elections after party denied them ticket.

“Majority of councillors, including V.K. Kapoor (Ward No. 6) are from Congress background,” said a prominent leader of the party.

“Though no final decision has been taken in this regard, efforts will be made to make them join the party again or at least support the party when the civic body chief is elected,” said the Congress leader.

“In addition to it, with the votes of Selja and Chander Mohan, local MLA and MP, respectively, the party has 11 votes and need six to claim the president’s chair. It will not be difficult as the party is already ruling in the state,” he added.



Krishan Mohan repatriated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
The UT home secretary, Krishan Mohan, was today relieved of his charge following the order of the ministry of home affairs which were received late this evening.

On the orders of the ministry, the additional charge of home secretary has been given to the finance secretary, Sanjay Kumar.

Earlier in the day, confusion prevailed on the repatriation of the home secretary. On the last working day of the outgoing home secretary, senior officials in the administration were unable to give a clear reply about his status.

“Adopting the procedure, we had sought the permission of the home ministry to give additional charge of the home secretary to another senior official until the new incumbent joins,” a senior official confirmed.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the name of R.K. Khullar, a Haryana cadre officer of the 1988 batch, has been cleared for the home secretary’s post.



Newly elected councillor assaults women
Villagers protest against police
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 31
A newly elected muncipal councillor and his supporters allegedly misbehaved and assaulted women at Abhaypur village late this evening.

According to the police, one of the victims was going to the village temple when the councillor misbehaved with her.

The woman objected to it, which annoyed the accused who then allegedly slapped her.

Later, the accused came with some of his accomplices and again assaulted her near the village market.

The other women present on the spot, including a 90-year-old, were also assaulted. This enraged villagers who reported the matter to the police.

Villagers alleged that after winning the election, the councillor and his supporters had been threatening people belonging to rival groups since last night.

However, when the police failed to reach the spot in time, villagers started raising slogans against the police and the administration.

Later, ASP Manish Chaudhry along with DSPs Dr Abhay Rao and Rajesh Kalia accompanied by police force reached the 
spot and pacified villagers, assuring them of strict action against the guilty.

ASP Munish Choudhary, when contacted, said the statements of complainants had been recorded by the police and city magistrate Yogesh Kumar.

However, the accused were still at large, he added.



CHB Scheme Small is big for UT employees
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
In a departure from the past, one bedroom and one-room tenement for the economically weaker sections (EWS) have caught the fancy of a majority of UT employees in the special housing scheme for them floated recently by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB).
UGC vice-chairman Mool Chand Sharma delivers diamond jubilee lecture on “Human Security and Human Development - Some Insights” at the university auditorium during the First World Punjabi Conference
UGC vice-chairman Mool Chand Sharma delivers diamond jubilee lecture on “Human Security and Human Development - Some Insights” at the university auditorium during the First World Punjabi Conference on Monday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

In fact, of the over 7,400 applicants, around 90 per cent, have applied for one bedroom and one-room tenement in a development that may redefine the housing scenario in the city, sources said here today.

The sources said the overwhelming response to the one bedroom and one-room apartment is not surprising as hundreds of employees in the UT belonged to class III and class IV and these employees could “afford” these dwelling units only.

This coupled with the payment for the dwelling units in white money “forced” a majority of employees to apply for these flats.

In the past, two bedroom and three bedroom apartments of the CHB were popular with UT employees, who formed a substantial part of the applicants for the past housing schemes.

As a majority of employees could not get dwelling units in the past schemes, the CHB formulated the current special housing scheme in the backdrop of acute shortage of housing in the city.

Affordability of one bedroom and one-room flats is another reasons for large number of employees applying for these dwelling units, as these flats were around 30 per cent cheaper than the general housing scheme flats.

As one-bedroom apartment (900 sq ft) costs just around Rs 13 lakh on ground floor and Rs 11 lakh on upper floors, this was a good investment opportunity, an employee living in Mohali district, said.

Why smaller flats?

n Pocket-friendly as they as around 30 per cent cheaper

n Easy to maintain and sufficient area of around 900 (one bedroom)

n Scope of speculation as minimum investment guarantees good return

n More chances of allotment as more flats will be on offer

“The one bedroom and one-room flats offered excellent speculation opportunities for those employees who commuted from peripheral villages and did not want accommodation in Chandigarh,” commented Tarlochan Singh Bittu, a property consultant.

Although there is a lock-in period of five years for selling the CHB dwelling units, a majority of the CHB flats were reportedly been sold on general power of attorney.

A substantial number of applicants may have applied for speculation purposes, a board official said.

As the retirees have also been included in the scheme, they might have applied for smaller houses on “need basis”, the official added.



World Punjabi Conference
‘Threat to Punjabiyat from within and without’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
The concluding day of the first World Punjabi Conference at Panjab University began with speeches by renowned scholars on the subject “Punjabi identity in the globalised context”.

Balraj Kamal set the session in motion with his views on the inter-relationship between Urdu and Punjabi literature and language. Dr Surjeet Lee spoke on the colonial impact on Punjabi culture, tradition and identity. Jaswinder and Prof Madhukar Arya analysed the papers of the two speakers.

Ismail Shamim from Pakistan observed that people of Punjab should speak, write and learn Punjabi, but more importantly they should feel pride in ‘Punjabiyat’. He also advocated promoting love and brotherhood between Pakistan and India because the two countries share a common heritage.

Mahinder Singh Bath, chairman, Doaba Group of Colleges and an eminent NRI, presided over the first session and carried forward the discussion on Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiyat. He pointed out that there is a danger to Punjabi culture and Punjabiyat from within and without. To save Punjabi traditions, it is very important to emphasis the values of Punjabi culture. Dalgir, who had come from Eastern Europe, said that homogenisation of culture is important in the globalised world, but the process has to be a two-way traffic.

The highlight of the day was Dr Mool Chand Sharma, vice-chairman, University Grants Commission, Special Diamond Jubilee Lecture on “Human security and human development - Some insights”.

Addressing the delegates, Dr Mool Chand Sharma said, “The scene of human security seems very threatened and demands urgency of action, national as well as global. The world can never be at peace unless people have security in their daily lives.”

He further observed that the issue of human security and survival and environmental concerns had gained urgency.

Vijender Jain, Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court in his presidential remarks complimented the speaker for his thoroughness and genuine concern.



Conference a mere ritual: Scholars
Delegates at the first World Punjabi Conference conducted by Panjab University shared their views with The Tribune on diverse issues relating to the propagation of the Punjabi language, literature and arts
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, March 31
A UK-based Punjabi novelist Darshan Dheer (72), quoting M. Taine, said: “Literature is the creation of three factors, the races, the milieu, the moment.”
Khalid Hussain, Navdeep Kaur Atwal
Khalid Hussain, Navdeep Kaur Atwal
Parminder Sodhi, Swaran Singh Parwana
Parminder Sodhi, Swaran Singh Parwana

Credited with 17 books, he lamented: “We, Punjabis, somehow remain under inferiority complex and express ourselves in English only rather in our language.”

Another Punjabi poet and writer of international eminence, Parminder Sodhi, who is based in Osaka, has written 14 books, including translations of two Japanese and one Chinese literary work, however, was more articulate in claiming that “such conferences are mere rituals and in no way play a constructive role in the promotion and propagation of the language”.

The septuagenarian poet of 10 literary creations, Swaran Singh Parwana, holds the same view. Based in Denmark for the past 38 years, he has make commendable contribution for the promotion of Punjabi through his literary works and institution of the Baba Bulle Shah International award under the Asian Writers Association Denmark. He also runs a Punjabi Radio Broadcasting Service under the Radio Pride of India catering to 65,000 Punjabis, mostly from Pakistan.

Khalid Hussain, a former bureaucrat from Jammu, however, maintained that Punjabi was never the language of urban population rather it belongs to the rural folk.

The most read Punjabi writer in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan, Khalid claimed that his books had been translated into Shahmukhi script.

Sushil Sharma, a delegate from Jammu, said the promotion of Punjabi in non-Punjabi speaking areas depend on the patronage by the government. He has 19 books to his credit, all in Punjabi.

Young budding writer Navdeep Kaur Atwal (18) from the UK said: “In Punjab the use of Punjabi is deteriorating as children studying in convent or model schools prefer to converse in Hindi and English than in pure Punjabi that we do in England.”



A noble effort: UK resident 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
“This is a noble effort by the intelligentsia to bring together the Punjabis settled all across the world”, averred Mota Singh, county counsellor of Warwickshire, UK, referring to the conference organised at Panjab University. It would have been better if instead of companies the government had funded and sponsored the conference aimed to analyse the Punjabi identity in a global context”, he suggested.

Mota Singh
Mota Singh

Mota Singh, a native of Jalandhar district who migrated to the UK 45 years ago, has even formed the Buwan Kothi International Trust and has built a community school, Gilly Mundy Memorial Community School, Lehrian.

Talking about Punjabis and Punjabiyat in the UK, he said, “When we migrated we faced racial discrimination, but now our second generation is facing an altogether different problem. They are against the export of religion by those who call themselves religious gurus and the way corruption is seeping into our lives.”



City waiting to burst at its seams
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Union minister of state for finance Pawan Kumar Bansal today released the District Census Handbook of the Directorate of Census Operations, Chandigarh, at a function organised at Art Gallery, sector 10, here.

As per the report, Chandigarh’s population has crossed the nine-lakh mark and is likely to double in 20.5 years, which is beyond the sustaining capacity of five lakh people.

The city is under heavy stress with its population rate growing by 40.3 per cent, which means that there is no scope for the city to expand further and accommodate the ever-growing number of migrants.

No doubt, report challenged planners, who now have to meet the increased demand for urban services like housing, water, power supply, sewerage and green areas, says the report.

Since 1951, the population of Chandigarh has been on the rise with people from other states wishing to settle down here to enjoy the excellent civic amenities, better educational and medical facilities, quality urban planning and large open spaces, says, Sunil Gulati, director, census operation, UT.

The population growth rate was as high as 394.1 per cent in 1951-61 and it dropped to 114.6 per cent in 1961-71. From then on, the growth rate has reduced gradually with 1971-81 and 1981-91 witnessing 76 per cent and 43 per cent population growth, respectively. Of the 9,00,914 population in Chandigarh, a major chunk live in the urban areas.

If focused on the population density of Chandigarh which has gone up almost eight to 10 times from 1052 in 1961 to 7900 (urban 10162) in 2001, which raises serious question about the carrying capacity of the city.



Expert calls for more jobs in organised sector
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Former member of the Planning Commission, Prof Arjun K Sengupta, today called upon a substantive and proactive economic policy in order to create more jobs in the organised sector.

He said though the nation has seen a sustained economic growth rate since the 1990s, the growth was primarily focused on the unorganised sector.

He was delivering a talk at the Center for Research in Rural and Industrial Development here today.

Pointing out that the growth has been “jobless” as far as the organised sector was concerned, he added that it was the informal or unorganised sector that had seen an increase in employment.

He said that data on poverty from the National Sample Survey Organisation, based upon consumption and expenditure pattern, showed that there had been a decline in the poverty ratio in the country. Society, he said was divided into two major categories - the poor and the extremely poor on one hand and the middle class and the rich on the other.

Speaking upon the performance of the states, he said that Kerala, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu were among states that had shown good growth, while West Bengal and Punjab were among those that had fared poorly.

Professor Sengupta had recently authored a report on Conditions of Work and Promotion of Livehoods in the Unorganised Sector in India and shared his findings with the audience.



MC just can’t fix this pipe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
One can well imagine the expertise of the MC that has failed to fix a leaking water pipe for the past over three decades.

The perennial problem on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway has become a nightmare for commuters due to routine traffic jams.

Last night also, the pipeline developed a leak and the road was flooded. Much to the inconvenience of motorists, the streetlights at the rotary were also not functional. A diversion sign had also not been installed there.

It was only after police control room personnel reached there that a signboard was put up at the spot.

They said they had informed the department concerned about the water leakage, but no one came till 11.30 pm.

An official from the public health department of the MC said repair work had started in the morning. Another official said the leakage was caused due to high pressure of water. The line was not adequate to sustain the pressure required to supply water to high-rise buildings in Sector 26.

Asked about why the repair work was not started during the night, the official maintained that it would have interrupted water supply to the entire area. Work started late in the morning after the routine supply was stopped.

The officials concerned had been giving several reasons, including loose earth, movement of heavy vehicles, old pipelines and high water pressure, but the point is that the problem has not been solved even after three decades, a resident of Sector 32 said.

The executive engineer, public health division, maintained that he had not “studied” the problem as he had joined the department recently. But he assured that he would fix the chronic problem at the earliest.

He added that the work of laying a new pipeline from Sector 32 to Sector 26 was in progress and would be completed by the end of next month. It would help in reducing the load on the existing pipeline.



No response to clearance of building plans
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, March 31
Due to the lackadaisical attitude of the officials of the municipal council, the civic body has so far not received a single application for the clearance of building plans since the government notification issued in this regard more than three months ago. This attitude of the officials concerned has not only led to haphazard construction but also to a loss of revenue to the cash strapped council.

According to the notification, the department of the local government had given the civic body the authority to implement building bylaws in the entire area within the jurisdiction of the council, including four villages.

This notification had empowered the civic body to clear building plans, which were earlier being cleared by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA).

However, neither GMADA nor the council had the power to rein in builders in villages, which were turning into jungles of concrete structures before the notification was issued by the government.

Sources said though officials concerned had issued around 10 notices to persons indulging in haphazard construction activity in villages, not a single notice had been issued to persons who were carrying out construction in the town without getting their building plans cleared from the council.

The council had issued a public notice regarding the notification of building bylaws on December 14 last year in which it was stated that no construction activity could be carried out within municipal limits without the approval of the civic body failing which action would be taken against violators under various sections of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911.

Strangely enough, neither any resident carrying out construction within the municipal limits has approached the civic body to get building plans approved over the past three months, nor has the council taken any action in this regard.

When contacted the executive officer of the civic body J.S. Thind, admitted that nobody had so far approached the council for getting building plans approved. He held engineering wing responsible in this regard.

He said he had written to the municipal engineer in February and asked him to get a survey done to know about constructions being carried out after the public notice was issued. But nothing had been done so far and as such no action could be taken against violators.



Consumer court for Mohali sought
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 31
The Consumers Protection Forum has demanded that a court for dealing with complaints of Mohali residents be set up in the town at the earliest.

In a memorandum given to cooperation minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh, the forum stated that even though SAS Nagar had been given the status of a district, there was no consumer court here as yet and the district had been linked to Ropar to deal with the problems faced by consumers. Though a court was approved for Mohali, it had not started functioning.

The forum demanded that shopkeepers should be asked by the authorities concerned to display a list of rates of the items sold by them, sale of various items, including spices should be stopped in apni mandis, fares in the case of auto-rickshaws and rickshaws should be fixed and rates of medicines should be reduced in accordance with the decision of the central government.

It was alleged that sub-standard milk was being sold in the town. Pure milk was being supplied only in the case of 8 per cent consumers and this had been proved time and again at camps organised to test the quality of milk. But the authorities concerned had failed to take strict action in this regard.

The forum further demanded that LPG gas, which was reserved for domestic purposes, should not be allowed to be put to commercial use. This led to a shortage of gas for domestic purpose. 



Man alleges thrashing by cop, backtracks
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 31
Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Phase IX, alleged here today that the police beat him up when he went to lodge a complaint regarding the theft of his motorcycle.

Gurpreet was taken to the civil hospital by his father for treatment.

Gurpreet said his motorcycle was stolen from Phase X and he had gone to the police station to lodge a compliant where he was allegedly beaten up by a constable.

However, the concerned SHO denied the allegations leveled by Gurpreet.

SP (city) Varinder Pal Singh said Gurpreet’s father had met him in the evening and he alleged that his son was beaten up by the police.

The SP said when he talked about the compliant to the SHO concerned on the telephone, the complainant changed his statement.

Later, the complainant said he was only interested in getting a case registered regarding the theft of his son’s motorcycle and not in anything else. 



Transit fee of tenements increased
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
The municipal corporation today enhanced the transit fee of small room tenements in Mauli Jagran and other parts of the city by 25 per cent.

According to joint commissioner T.P.S. Phoolka, the fee of around 3,000 small room tenements constructed under the rehabilitation scheme had been enhanced by 25 per cent.

The UT estate officer had allotted the tenements on licence-hold basis for Rs 100 per month in 1998.

The administration has accorded approval for the renewal of licence for further period of five years under the scheme by enhancing licence at the end of every five years.



Congress elects office-bearers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
The Congress organised workers’ meet-2008 at Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, Sector 35 C, yesterday. Union minister of state for finance Pawan Kumar Bansal, president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee B.B. Behl, mayor Pardeep Chhabra and other prominent leaders were present.

The office-bearers are: president — Pushpa Sharma; vice-presidents — H.S. Nagra, Neel Kanth Sharda and Satish Sharma; general secretaries — S. S. Bhardwaj, Davinder Dwevedi, Satish Kainth and Pardeep Manchanda; secretaries — Balbir Singh, J.S. Dutta and Sanjay Sharma.



Fire Safety Teams to carry out surprise checks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
The fire and emergency services committee today decided to carry out surprise checks to see if fire safety guidelines were being followed in government and private buildings here.

Committee chairman M.P.S. Chawla, who is a nominated councillor, said the committee would constitute teams to carry out checks and start from schools citing the safety of children as primary concern.

He added that the teams would inspect all government and privates buildings, including restaurants, hotels and other important installations, to check if fire safety norms were being followed.

The committee would take strict action against violators. It would also carry out drills in some buildings. The checks would start within a week.

Among others, Brigadier K.S. Chandpuri (retd), former mayor Harjinder Kaur, Arshad Khan and chief fire officer H.S. Kandhola were present.



Woman sets herself afire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Sukhwinder, a 19-year-old woman, allegedly set herself ablaze at her Faidan village residence, here last evening.

The victim sustained 100 per cent burns and was battling for life at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

According to the police, Sukhwinder was reportedly alone at her rented accommodation, while her husband, Rajesh, a labourer, was away to work.

The couple had a one-and-half-year-old daughter.

The police said her landlord, Uajagar Singh, said Sukhwinder locked her house and set herself afire around 7 pm.

She was taken to the hospital and her parents, who lives in Jagatpura village, reached the hospital.

The police said the victim in her statement before the magistrate did not hold anyone responsible for the step.



Punjab pay commission, a futile exercise

To fulfil the promises made during the elections, the Akali-BJP government, immediately after coming to power, constituted a commission to review the pay structure of its employees, including pensioners. 

Surprisingly, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday said his government would implement the recommendations of the sixth pay commission for the state employees on the pattern of the Union Government. 

If this was the case, why did the Punjab Government constitute its own pay commission that burdened the state exchequer for which the taxpayers have to pay in one form or the other? The Chief Minister has made a mockery of the state government.

S.K. Khosla, Chandigarh

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Edu dept holds counselling session for students
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Today being the result declaration day for all classes, the officials of the Chandigarh education department, accompanied by subject experts and renowned counsellors, visited various schools of the city to meet students, particularly those who failed to do well in the examination.

“Being a parent I have come to realise how I can help my child to become a better human being by inculcating good habits in her by being a role model. We are now confident that we will do our best to help the child to be one of the best students in the school,” opined Nawal Kishore, whose child, too, could not get through the Class-VI examination this time.

As a part of the newly started 24 hour examination helpline, the counselling troupe, headed by Saroj Mittal, assistant director, Vocational Education, Chandigarh, interacted with students, their parents and teachers.

“Ours is a team of 20 psychologists and equal number of subject experts, who are running this 24-hour helpline for the past two months. Our endeavour is to deal with the issues of personal grooming and well being of the students, particularly those who were “detained” in the examination. We chose this day because the results of various classes were going to be declared today and the students who did not fare well remain under stress for a long time,” said Saroj Mittal.

Most experts feel that professional counselling helps students in identifying their aptitude and enables them to take their failure as a challenge. Dr Kulpreet Dhillon, a renowned child counsellor from the PGI said, “In my view, If a child has improved his past performance, he is a winner. We should not exaggerate the toppers only.” Echoing the same views, Dr Adarsh Kohli, additional professor, department of psychology, PGI, said, “ It is the parents who also need to be counselled. They, too, sometimes lack in some ways. They should have a constant watch on their children and should plan strategy to deal with the behavioural changes.” 



PU falling victim to politics, feel teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Teachers and students of Panjab University today held a joint protest rally on the call given by PUTA and students’ council at Students’ Centre. Speakers at the rally criticised the callous attitude of the politicians towards the university. Prof A.S. Ahluwalia said when Punjab had already got two central universities, including a world-class university at Amritsar, in addition to one IIT, why was Panjab University being made victim to the narrow politics for power? The growth and well-being of the academic institutes of Panjab University is the responsibility of the entire nation, all the more, of the Punjab Government.

Prof Manjit Singh, secretary, PUTA, questioned the Punjab Government that in what way their claim over the UT had diluted with the opening up of centrally funded institutes in Chandigarh such as the PGI, Panjab Engineering College, IMTECH and CSIO. In fact, PEC has been declared deemed university by virtue of its quality education that could happen due to liberal funding from the Union Government. Giving comparative figures from the recent budget of the PGI and IMTECH, Prof Singh showed that the respective percentage of plan budget to non-plan in the PGI and IMTECH were nearly 200 per cent and 300 per cent, respectively, whereas in Punjab University, it is 13 per cent.

President of the students’ council Parminder Jaswal also addressed the rally. He assured full support to the agitation and offered to go on fast if needed. Prof R.S. Grewal, director, University Institute of Legal Studies, explained the Punjab Government had no right to stop funding or release any amount arbitrarily. Prof A.D. Ahluwalia, department of geology, and Prof G.S. Brar also addressed the rally and said we needed not to be defensive for the only reason that we fall within a UT.



PU Notes
Students bid farewell to seniors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Students of MSc-I (mathematics) organised a farewell function, ‘Sham-e-Rukhsat’, in the department of statistics today. The function began with Saraswati vandana and a welcome song. Some fun loving and mind-troubling games were also organised. Xitiz Gupta and Rajesh Sharma of MSc-II were chosen as Miss Statistics and Mr Statistics, respectively. The cultural event concluded with a gidda by MSc-I students. Prof G.P. Mehta gave away the prizes.

Examinations: Panjab University has allowed the candidates to appear in their respective examinations at the undergraduate level for an additional subject. The candidates whose candidature was cancelled on the ground that they had already passed postgraduate examination in the same subject/paper should collect their roll numbers from the examination branch before the commencement of their respective examinations.

BOOK RELEASE: A book release ceremony of the ICSSR North-Western Regional Centre was organised at the ICSSR Complex today. Minister of State for Finance Pawan Kumar Bansal and vice-chancellor Prof R.C. Sobti PU released the book titled “Financial Administration in India: Changing Contours and Emerging Challenges” edited by Prof R.K. Gupta and P.K. Saini. Saini said this volume consisted of the papers presented at a national seminar on “Changing Contours of Financial Administration in India: Emerging Challenges” held at the ICSSR Complex, PU, Chandigarh. The contributors included senior-level functionaries from the ministry of finance, civil services, comptroller and auditor general of India, Reserve Bank of India and also senior professors from the universities apart from those who have retired but have held highly responsible positions in government and other organisations.



DAV college principal retires
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Dr S. Marriya retired today after putting in six years of service as a principal at DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh. His friends and colleagues gave him a warm send-off at the Chandigarh Club.

Earlier, several student bodies of the college presented a cultural programme for him and wished him a long, cheerful and active life.

The college touched the highest point of glory during his time. It was during his tenure the college was awarded A+ grade by NAAC. It was during his time the college broke free from CBSE (+2) classes and came to be known as a postgraduate multifaculty institution running 11 master’s degree courses. He also introduced new courses like bio informatics, biotechnology and BPEd at the undergraduate level. 



Mass copying at GHS-42

Chandigarh, March 31
Mass copying was reported from Government High School, Sector 42, here, one of the centres for Class X examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board.

At least nine students were caught redhanded for copying by the authorities during the Hindi paper. The anti-copying task force, led by Kulwinder Randhawa, found a large number of examinees openly taking assistance from small notes and guide books. Some were even taking dictation over mobile phones. The officials told that the matter would be reported to the board and legal action would be taken against the accused under the Anti-Copying Act. — TNS



From Schools & Colleges
‘Samvardhanam’ at St Vivekanand Millennium
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 31
The annual result declaration function ‘Samvardhanam’ was celebrated by St Vivekanand Millennium School, HMT Township, Pinjore, in Dr B.R. Ambedkar auditorium, Pinjore near here, yesterday. Monika Malik, HCS, SDM, Kalka, was the chief guest. The function started with the recital of shlokas from the Bhagvadgita. It was followed by a puppet show in which students were guised as puppets. Another attraction of the day was the release of the VII volumes of the school magazine ‘Deepayan’. Meritorious students were given medals.


TECH FEST: Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology (SVIET) organised a technical-fest ‘Spontania 08’ under the aegis of the Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE) here. Students of Rayat Institute of Engineering, GGS College of Modern Technology, Chitkara Institute of Engineering, Swami Devi Dyal Institute of Engineering and others participated. Dr Abhijeet Mukharjee, director, TIET, was the chief guest and inaugurated the ISTE-student chapter. The fest witnessed a number of events including software design contests, poster making, auto cad designing, technical quiz, paper presentation, group discussion and other such events.

VISIT: Well-known fashion designer duo Hemant Lalwani and Nandita Raipurani visited the International Institute of Fashion Technology (IIFT) at Industrial Area, Phase 7, here to interact with the students of the institute. Kawaljeet Singh, director, IIFT, welcomed the designer duo.

SEMINAR: Dr I.T. Business School, near Banur, organised a seminar on insurance. Prof P.P. Arya, director of the institute, welcomed the guest speakers from HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co Ltd assistant branch manager Perminder Kaur Chandhok, sales development manager Yadvinder, sales development manager Kuljinder Singh.



Judge for policy on parole
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Justice Mahesh Grover of the High Court has called for the framing of a policy regarding the release of convicts on parole. Taking up a petition filed by a murder convict against the denial of parole to him by the district magistrate, Justice Grover has also imposed costs of Rs 5,000.

Dharamvir’s counsel had earlier contended that he was required to be released on parole for cultivation. But it was denied to him on the ground that his son could take care of the fields and his release could result in a law and order problem.

He added that both grounds were invalid. 



HC stay on Gwala colony demolition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Issuing notice of motion to the UT administration and other respondents on a petition filed by Gwala colony residents in Mani Majra against the shifting of their colony, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed demolition in 
the area.

Taking up the matter, the Bench, comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Jaswant Singh, also fixed August 4 as the next date of hearing in the 

In their petition, the residents had earlier alleged that the colony was being shifted without the adoption of steps for their rehabilitation.

Quoting an order passed by the court earlier in the matter, the petitioners had added that the administration had been asked to ensure their rehabilitation.

As such, arrangements for providing them accommodation in Maloya or some nearby area should have been made.

However, the administration had adopted a pick and choose policy. As such, only a few residents had been rehabilitated.



Rape accused acquitted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Two years after being accused of gang rape, additional district and sessions R.K. Sondhi acquitted Bhupinder for lack of evidence in the case today.

In 2005, Bhupinder was named as an accused along with three others. The three were later acquitted by the court.

The court today acquitted Bhupinder, who had been declared a proclaimed offender in the case, as the alleged victim failed to appear before the court in connection with the case.

The UT police had failed to terrace the victim, which led to the acquittal of the accused.



Cable tariff to be charged as per notification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Taking note of the practice of over-charging by cable operators in the city, the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has clarified that as per a memorandum issued by the ministry of finance in December 2007, cable operators here cannot charge more than Rs 220 for over 45 channels.

The commission further conceded the grievance of a petitioner that highlighted the obstruction of view due to scroll or running advertisement by cable operators while running the main transmission.

The Jyoti Welfare Society had filed a petition against a Jalandhar-based cable network stating that the cable operator had been overcharging for the services being provided by it.

Hearing a plea filed in the higher appellate authority, the commission stated: “Cable operators cannot by any stretch of imagination obstruct the main view of transmission by inserting scroll or running advertisement. It causes unnecessary inconvenience to the viewer. Therefore, the District Consumer Forum of Jalandhar had rightly restrained cable operators from giving such scrolls or running advertisement, obstructing the main view of transmission.”

The society stated that the operator had been running cable network in the area.

The operator, who used to charge Rs 100 per month from each customer in the beginning, enhanced the rental to Rs 300 in the last week of May, 2006.

Alleging deficiency in service, three complaints were filed against operator.

The operator maintained that they had spent a huge amount on providing cable facility to people. They further pointed out that huge losses had been incurred by them in maintaining and keeping the same in order.

The forum directed cable operators to refrain from disconnecting cable connection and restrained them from charging Rs 300 per month.

Coming down heavily on the practice of over-charging by cable operators, the commission observed: “We hold that with effect from December 1, 2007 cable rate would be covered by the Extraordinary Gazette notification (October 4, 2007) under telecommunication (broadcast and cable services) and not at the whims of cable operators.”



INSO chief surrenders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
After evading arrest for days, INSO president Vikas Rathi surrendered in the district courts today. The police was hunting for him after he, along with other activists of INSO, went to the VC’s office to protest against the proposed fee hike on March 19.

Declining the plea of the prosecution, who had sought police remand of two days, judicial magistrate (first class) Mahesh Kumar sent him to judicial custody.

Students gathered outside the premises of the district courts to stage a silent protest against the registration of cases against the INSO leader. Rathi’s counsel had moved a bail application before the court that was deferred to April 1.

Twelve days ago, INSO activists had barged into the restricted area in front of the VC’s office and misbehaved with him.

When the VC tried to go inside his office, Rathi stopped him. However, the VC managed to get back to his room after the intervention of the security staff and DSW.

Earlier in November 2007, a case was registered against Rathi and few others on the charges of trespassing, rioting and damaging property at the VC’s residence. As the university authorities did not lodge any complaint, the later took suo motu cognisance of the incident and registered a case against members of the PUSU-INSO.



Chief administrator to approve advts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
The chief administrator-cum-finance secretary will approve all permissions for display of advertisement in the city under the Advertisement Control Order, 1954.

The orders have been issued after the Chandigarh administration withdrew the powers of the chief administrator delegated under the order to the commissioner, municipal corporation and UT estate officer.

Though the permission would be routed through the office of the commissioner and office of the UT estate officer, the chief administrator will give the permission for display of advertisement or hoarding. Sources said there had been a number of complaints regarding misuse of provisions of the Advertisement Control Order by advertisers.

A spokesperson for the administration said in order under sub-section (2) of Section 21 of the Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulation) Act, 1952, the chief administrator had withdrawn the powers of the chief administrator delegated to the estate officer and commissioner.



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