C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Technicians of PGI on strike from April 15
But patients have to suffer the whole week on account of holidays
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
Medical facilities will be hit in the PGIMER because lab technicians will go on strike from April 15 to 17.

PGI medical technologist has planned a strike in such a manner that the three-day strike will paralyse the medical facilities for the whole week because April 13 is Sunday and thereafter Ramnavami, that falls on April 14 and April 18 is Mahavir Jayanti. Patients will have to suffer for eight days.

Though the PGI has declared the strike illegal as their demands also being pursued with the government, the lab technicians remained adamant on their stand. As per the PGI Medical Technologist Association announcement, the technicians will be on strike from April 15.

The technical staff of the PGI announced that they would not join services till the administration would not sign an agreement. They said the directorate could defer the strike, if they give written assurance. The Chandigarh Administration has announced - "no work no pay" to those who will participate in strike.

The institute administration, however, said it had alternate measures to see that the institute did not suffer. The director, PGI, Dr K.K. Talwar, said he would make additional arrangements to see that the patients' needs were met.

The strike would hit surgical operations for a week. The PGI authorities would have no other option but to postpone surgeries, even complicated ones, in the absence of OT technicians.

While the administration described the agitation as an unnecessary interference in the policy matter, patients and their family members were also not able to understand as to why all medical technologists would go on strike.

The PGI authorities and the administration have made alternative arrangements in view of the strike. Director Talwar said technologist had been requested to withdraw their proposed mass casual leave as it would disrupt the institute functioning.



PU lands in prospectus row
Rates of OCET form slashed from Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,300 after five days.
What about those who have purchased the forms?
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
A hasty decision by Panjab University on the price of OCET prospectus has cost thousands of students Rs 200 each. The sale of OCET prospectus began on April 2 and the prospectus cost was Rs 1500. After five days, on April 8 after 3 pm, the university slashed the price to Rs 1,300.

Surprisingly, the university has no provision for refunding the money and the students who bought the prospectus during the first five days are now trying to get the refund but none in the university knows how that money will be refunded.

The OCET prospectus entitles one to appear in entrance test for about 25 different courses such as LLB, LLM, mass communication and others but for each course, one has to buy separate prospectus with the form enclosed.

The forms are being sold at the SBI counter on the university campus and no receipt is given to the buyer. Also, when one buys a prospectus, bank officials do not note down the form number of the prospectus sold. When the officials at the counter were asked if they were noting down the form numbers, they replied, “ We have not been asked to note down the serial numbers of the form and particulars of the purchasers. You ask the university authorities for it”.

Meanwhile, there is a great deal of resentment among the students and parents, those who bought the prospectus earlier. “The university should have thought about the prices before the sale started. Why should I pay Rs 200 extra from my hard-earned money”, said an agitated parent. When I asked them to refund my money, I was told to go to enquiry office and there also no one was willing to take the responsibility”, he said.

“I bought the prospectus early to avoid the rush later only to be fooled by the authorities. At least, the university should have advertised before slashing the price and should have made arrangements to refund the money. This shows the mismanagement on the part of such a noted university”, said Rahul, who bought the prospectus on the first day.

According to sources, the rates of CET forms have also been slashed from Rs 1,300 to Rs 1,100 after the sale had already begun. It has been revealed by the sources already thousands of forms, both for CET and OCET, were sold before notifying the slashed prices.

S. S. Bari, registrar of Panjab University, said, “The rates have been slashed after recommendations of committees and we will find a mechanism to get the money refunded”.

However, how that will be done in case of about 25 different courses with different dates of tests, is yet to be seen.



Cable operators fleecing residents
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
Ignoring the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission order regarding monthly cable charges of Rs 220 per month, cable operators of Chandigarh are still overcharging the consumers in city at their own whims. Interestingly, the Chandigarh Administration that has to keep a watch on the proper functioning of the operators in the city has yet to take any punitive action against the offender cable operators.

Surprisingly, the cable operators of the town were charging different monthly payment from customers in the same sectors as per their own sweet will. They were above all also airing the television channels according to their own convenience. In some VIP sectors, their subscription varies from Rs 280 to Rs 330 per connection while in some other sectors, it was Rs 250 to Rs 300.

The Chandigarh Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, in a recent case, had given orders that the cable operators should not charge more than Rs 220 per month and service tax from the consumer. The commission had stated that the cable operators couldn't by stretch of imagination obstruct the main view of the transmission by inserting scroll or running advertisement which causes unnecessary pain and irritation to the viewers. The forum had rightly restrained the cable operators from giving such scrolls or running advertisement obstructing the main view of transmission.

The cable operators in the city have just overlooked the decision of the commission and were providing services according to their own whims.

While talking to The Tribune, one of the residents in Sector 15 stated that there were two distributors in their sector. One of the distributor charges Rs 275 for more than 100 channels and other one is offering similar service at Rs 300 per month. He said the distributors were airing only 20 to 22 channels at Rs 300. He complained that most of the time the clarity of the channels was not up to the mark. Many a times they try to contact the distributor to rectify the faults but most of the time they did not respond.

Another resident of Sector 20, while expressing her anger over the services of the cable distributors in her sector, said they were using their monopoly in airing the channels according to their impulse and even the complaints about it to the authorities in the administration had not helped in stopping overcharging and bad services.



Bulldozer runs over boy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
A six-year-old boy was crushed to death under a bulldozer working in the dumping ground in Sector 38 here this afternoon.

According to the information, the boy was collecting wooden sticks in the dumping ground, where the process of dumping of malba was going on. The boy incidentally came under the bulldozer and died on the spot. The driver managed to escape from the spot.

A case under Section 304 of the IPC has been registered against the driver.



20,000 vacant houses but accommodation woes persist
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
The most-prosperous city in the country, Chandigarh, presents a study in contrast. Even as home remains a dream for thousands of people in the city, about 20,000 houses are vacant giving a lie to the assertion that there is housing shortage in the city.

In fact, this was the situation about seven years ago as the 2001 census, whose latest data was released recently, noted that 19,692 (8 pc) of the total 2.44 lakh houses were unoccupied. Ironically, there had been a 2 per cent increase in the number of vacant houses since 1991 when the figure was 11,236.

This was despite the fact that thousands of persons were looking for rented accommodation. The 1991 census pegs the number of homeless in the city at 2,722, including 2,588 males.

Observers felt that the absence of a balanced Rent Act and the fear of tenants not vacating residential properties were the primary reasons for abnormally high rate of vacant houses in Chandigarh. A majority of the vacant residential properties were either owned by NRIs or the people working in other parts of the country who eventually wanted to settle in the city, a property dealer said.

With the current judicial system not “very friendly” to the landlords, the fear of forcible occupation of the property looms large over a majority of the NRIs and other people. With property prices skyrocketing in Chandigarh, a majority of the landlords, who are not residing in the city, preferred to keep their residential properties vacant to avoid litigation.

“The fear of forcible occupation of the residential property could be one of the reasons for high percentage of vacant houses, especially owned by the NRIs as the current judicial system takes a long time in resolving property disputes,” remarked Vikas Jain, an advocate of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Observers claimed that a large number of investors bought residential properties for investment purpose.



Price Rise
BSP announces mass agitation
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
The failure of the Congress-led UPA government to check prices of the essential commodities has spurred the local political parties into action. Close on the heels of the series of "mashal jaloos" by the BJP, the local unit of the BSP today announced a mass agitation on the issue in a bid to make a dent into the Congress vote bank ahead of the 2009 general election.

As a first step, a massive scooter rally on the issue of price rise will be held on April 14 as part of the birthday anniversary of BR Ambedkar at the Circus Ground, Sector 17. "The price rise will prove to be the nemesis of the Congress and its allies in the 2009 general election as it affected everybody. This coupled with local issues like the “failure” of the union minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal on several fronts, including inaccessibility of the local bureaucracy to the common man and large-scale demolitions and lack of amenities in slums, will deal a severe blow to the Congress at the local level," BSP convener Harmohan Dhawan told The Tribune here today.

Dhawan, who had already been declared as the party candidate for the next general election from Chandigarh by BSP supremo Mayawati, said the main focus in the run-up to the elections would be on strengthening the party organisational set-up. With that end in mind, Dhawan today appointed several office-bearers, including Davinder Singh Aulakh (spokesman), Jitender Bhatia (media in charge) and Rajiv Kathuria (youth president).

Sources said the party was planning a show of strength on April 14 at the Circus Ground in Sector 17 in a bid to register its presence in the local politics ahead of the general election. This would be one of the largest scooter rallies in the city with over 10,000 persons participating in it to highlight the issue of price rise, Dhawan claimed.



Conversion Pangs
Now, Estate Office to deal with conversion cases
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

The Administration has been under fire for initially ignoring basic amenities like parking space while approving the applications for conversion. Now, vacant public spaces have been converted into parking for the convenience of the stakeholders. The architect department which gave different relaxations like lowering the specifications for the potable area and increasing the floor area ratio (FAR) for conversion of industrial plots in commercial ones has been under the Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulation) Act, 1952.

Chandigarh, April 10
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) is no longer the nodal agency to deal with applications received under the policy to convert industrial plots into commercial establishments.

Confirming the development, a senior official in the CHB said the UT Estate Office has now been made the nodal agency.

Three years after the Chandigarh Administration came out with the Conversion Policy, it has “realised” that it was sheer wastage of manpower and funds of the state exchequer. Surprisingly, the Administration has not been able to spend a single penny out of crores of rupees collected as conversion fee by the CHB as the money goes to the Consolidated Fund of India under the receipt head.

After being introduced in 2005, the CHB was made the nodal agency to accept and scrutinise the applications received under the conversion policy.

“We were told that the CHB would spend the money earned as conversion fee. But we got nothing. Apart from manpower, a lot of stationary and unnecessary time was wasted on forwarding the application to the estate office”, said an official, adding that it had been a long pending of the CHB to make the Estate Office as the nodal agency. The step is being seen as an effort to streamline the process.

Sources point out that even as the Administration has changed the nodal agency, the issue of utilising the funds collected under the policy remains unresolved. Despite claims of the Administration having received funds against the money deposited with the Government of India, no money has been given to the Municipal Corporation to carry out works.

S.K. Bansal, chief engineer, MC, said they had stopped development work in Industrial Area as no funds had been received from the Administration. An amount of Rs 2.50 crore, passed in the general house, has been spent in making payment to the contractors for the limited work on road widening and streetlightening done in Industrial Area, Phase I. No other development work, including those proposed in Industrial Area, Phase II, has been started.

On the other hand, stakeholders of the much-hyped conversion policy for Industrial Area are at their wits end to get implemented various announcements made by the Administration. Controversy over relaxing architectural control and limiting the size of the plot had also surfaced. Elaborate development plans announced by the previous home secretary have remained on papers only.



Banning plastic bags not feasible: Expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
An interactive workshop on the topic ‘Plastic waste- problem and solutions’ for assessing the real problem and the underlying solutions relating to plastic was conducted by Burning Brain Society and Citizens’ Voice at Panjab University today.

Speaking on the occasion Dr Paramjit Singh, professor of chemical technology, emphasised that plastic and specifically carry bags was not the real problem but lack of proper management of plastics and improper segregation was the root cause of all problems related to plastics.

Dr Paramjit also shared scientific information related to different type of plastics and their indispensability in the modern scientific world. He mentioned that banning carry bags altogether, as proposed by Chandigarh administration was not a feasible alternative.

Hemant Goswami, a social activist said the solution of problem did not lie in total banning of all carry bags but rather in properly enforcing the existing laws. Laws regulating the trade of carry bag to the extent that only virgin plastic bags with thickness of 30 micron and above and with a minimum size of 8 inch by 12 inch already exists but the government had failed to enforce the said law.

P.C. Sanghi, a retired chief engineer and chairman of ‘Federation of Sector Welfare Associations,’ said the administration should not put people and residents to inconvenience for its failure to manage waste. He mentioned that the most damaging and non-recyclable plastic was the small Gutka/Tobacco and Pan Masala sachet. The government should regulate that.

Just by making laws problems cannot be solved, there has to be scientific rationale and then enforcement of laws, Sanghi added.

Vikas Mittal of ‘Wise Voice of India,’ an NGO said banning plastic carry bags was no solution; we have to look at the whole problem with a holistic approach.

Tarsem Mittal of Raam-Raaj, Gurpreet Kaur, Gurinder Singh, J.S. Sarpal of Residents’ Welfare Association, Amit, an environmentalist, and Dr Gaurav also mentioned their views on the occasion.



Objections to plastic ban filed

Chandigarh, April 10
A number of associations today filed their objection on the banning of plastic carry bags in the city. The associations-Chandigarh Industrial Association, Chandigarh Plastic Manufacturers and Traders, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, Sector 18 association and Palika Bazaar traders associations-are among the bodies which have filed objections against the total ban. — TNS



Recovery of dues from GPF
Employee’s consent must: CAT
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
In a decision affecting several government employees, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has specified that dues cannot be recovered from the general provident fund (GPF) of the employees without informing them.

Kuldeep Singh, a senior accountant in the postal department, Jalandhar, had appealed before the tribunal that the officiating deputy director of accounts (P) illegally decreased his monthly contribution to the GPF from Rs 7,000 to Rs 4,000 to recover his dues.

The CAT headed by Jasbir S. Dhaliwal held: “The postal department is given the liberty to pass appropriate orders from time to time to the applicant about the amount of recovery to be made from his pay and allowances every month. Thereafter, the government employee is given the liberty to specify in writing the amount to be contributed to the GPF.”

The applicant added that as per the rule 8 of the GPF, the subscriber himself would fix the subscription to the GPF, which should not be less than 6 per cent of his emoluments.

Jaspal Singh, senior accounts officer in the postal department, Kapurthala, argued that the rule 8 merely provided that the subscription should not be less than 6 per cent of employee’s emoluments and it had never been brought lower than that.

Pronouncing the orders, the CAT held: “The applicant may be allowed to raise the GPF to Rs 7,000 per month from March 2006 if he can pay the dues in cash.”

The CAT held that the applicant could not insist that the amount subscribed towards the GPF be remitted to his account without clearing his dues.



Finally, SSP Mohali gets official house
Kulwinder Sangha
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 10
After shuttling from place to place over the past one year, the SSP of SAS Nagar district has at last got an official accommodation in Sector 52 here. The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has allotted the house to the SSP and the rent will be finalised by the PWD soon.

Ranbir Singh Khatra took over as SSP of the district on March 13, 2007, and was able to finally get his official accommodation today after having lived in rest houses and privately hired accommodations.

Though the town does not have any houses constructed for government officials, two houses in Sector 52 were constructed by PUDA (now GMADA) for housing senior officials of the authority. But both these houses were occupied by GMADA officials. It is learnt that authorities concerned were reluctant to vacate them for the district administration. The deputy commissioner, however, managed to occupy a two-kanal house in the municipal complex in Phase V, after resistance from the president of the Municipal Council.

Khatra said a request for an official accommodation was made by him in April last year after which one of the GMADA houses was requisitioned by the deputy commissioner in May. The requisition was quashed by the home secretary after authorities concerned filed an appeal against the orders. The request was made again after V.P. Singh took over as the chief administrator of GMADA.

The SSP said after joining at SAS Nagar he spent two nights at the Civil Rest House in Kharar after which he shifted to NIPER for about two weeks. He then took a house on rent in Phase VII where he lived for some months and had to vacate as the landlord wanted to use the place for a marriage in the family.

He then shifted to the PWD rest house for three nights and then again took a house on rent in Phase X, where he lived for three-and-a-half months.

Today, at long last, SSP Mohali managed to get an official accommodation.



Cyber cafe owner’s arrest
Social rights activists up in arms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
Social rights activists today protested against the manner in which the Chandigarh police arrested a cyber café owner last evening following a complaint that the café was being used to send unwanted messages to the daughter of an IAS officer.

Talking to The Tribune, Hemant Goswami said Section 144 provided only power to issue orders in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger and was no shortcut to introduce new legislations. “What the Chandigarh administration is trying to do is to legislate a new law which requires cyber café owners to make entry of every user through Section 144,” he said.

Stating that regulating cyber cafés by passing orders under Section 144 of Cr P C is absolutely illegal, Goswami pointed out that arrest orders under this section can only be passed to prevent, obstruct, injury to any person lawfully employed, or danger to human life, health or safety, or disturbance of the public tranquility, or a riot, or an at-fray. “It cannot be passed arbitrarily. Further under Section 144, prior notice has to be given to people and objections invited from people affected. Section 144 can only be imposed for a maximum period of 60 days and is not perpetual as the administration is doing. Such action is a violation of Article 21 of the Constitution,” he said.

An advocate, Surinder Pal Singh, even questioned the Chandigarh police’s logic in booking the cyber cafe owner under Section 201 of the IPC. "There is no law that makes it manadatory for cyber cafe owners to mainatin log books of the users, then how can someone be booked for destroying evidence?”



NCB working under scanner
Prosecution witness becomes defence witness

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
The working of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has come under the scanner after a prime witness in a drug-pedalling case deposed supporting the accused in the case. Surinder Pal Singh, 39, the prime witness in the case used to work in Forensic Expert and Investigator General Insurance Companies, Chandigarh.

It is probably one of the rare cases of the narcotics bureau where the prosecution witness later decided to depose before the court as the defence witness.

In the statement recorded before the court of special judge R.S. Attri, Surinder stated that on August 19, 2005, he received a telephone call from an NCB official requesting him to meet him in his office. He stated that on visiting the office of the NCB in Sector 2, the officer concerned told him that they had apprehended one Naresh Kumar with 5 kg heroin during a routine raid. He further convinced Surinder that “he would serve the nation” if he posed as an eyewitness to the arrest of Naresh.

Surinder added that after signing the documents, he was asked to put the date of August 18, 2005, by the board of NCB officials.

Surinder stated before the court: “Before putting the date, I informed the officials that I was in Sonepat on August 18, 2005, on official duty but they still insisted that I put the date as August 18, 2005. After I signed the documents, the NCB officials also signed them.”

Thereafter Surinder received summons from the court to appear as a witness in the court of special judge S.K. Aggarwal. Surinder specified that he explained the circumstances before the court after which an official, Balwinder Kumar, complained against him to the police. Following this, the in charge of the crime branch met the witness. He stated that after he narrated the whole story to the police officer, no action was taken against him.

To establish that he was in Sonepat on August 18, 2005, Gurdeep Singh Riar, a loss assessor and surveyor, gave the statement that he had gone with Surinder. To corroborate this, conveyance and food bills, incurred when Surinder and Riar had gone to Sonepat, were placed on record in the court.



Exhibition on evolution of Indian currency from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
The Reserve Bank of India will organise an exhibition on the evolution of the Indian currency from the pre-historic era till date. The day-long exhibition, on April 12, will be inaugurated by the minister of state , finance, Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Stating this at a press conference here today, general manager, RBI, Lalit Srivastava, said the exhibition would highlight RBI’s role as a currency manager. The exhibition would have primary focus on evolution of coins and currency system of India, he added.

He said other than the digitised images of punch-marked coins, followed by the more aesthetic Greek coins, coins of the Mughal era, and the ones issued during the British era would be on display. “We would also have actual coins on display from a collector in Manimajra,” he added.

Srivastava said the idea behind organising the exhibition was to to reach out to the people.



Security on board Shatabdi lax
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
It appears that the Northern Railway is not taking the security check on board the Shatabdi Express seriously. Passengers travelling on board the morning Delhi-Kalka Shatabdi complained that RPF personnel on board the train did not bother to identify the luggage being carried by the passengers and put the seat identification sticker on the luggage.

The security check is a regular exercise on board the express train and is done as a security measure against anti-social elements.

On being pointed out, the personnel admitted there were only three of them to check the entire train and the stock of the stickers had been exhausted.

The anomaly was pointed out to the officials concerned at Panipat. One of the passengers on board was Bhagwant Mann, a known comedian. However, no formal complaint has been lodged with the railway authorities.



38th Harinam conference begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
The 38th Harinam conference of the Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math got off to religious start here this evening.

In his welcome address, Srila Vishnu Maharaj said only the humans had the ability to distinguish between the correct and the incorrect. If we develop a common centre of interest, then there would not be any quarrels, he added. The first seminar was presided over by Punjab forest minister Tiksan Sood.

The second meeting, which will be attended by Justice S.K. Mittal, a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, and Master Mohan Lal, Punjab transport minister, will begin at 7 pm tomorrow at the Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math in Sector 20, press secretary Sree Ballabh Dass informed.



Nagar kirtan on Baisakhi

Chandigarh, April 10
The Chandigarh Gurdwara Parbandhak Sangathan will take out a nagar kirtan on the eve of Baisakhi. Raghbir Singh, general secretary of the Sector 22 Gurdwara Committee, said the procession would start from the Sector 29 gurdwara and wind its way through Sectors 27, 28, 19, 20, 21, 22, 34, 44 and end at the Sector 45 gurdwara. — TNS



Seminar on modernisation of prisons
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
The Institute of Correctional Administration, Sector 26 here, has organised a vertical interaction course on ‘Prisons as an instrument of social change’.

The interaction comprises 14 members from across the country. During the seminar, the participants will be taught ways to modernise the prisons in the country, keeping in mind the changing scenario.

The seminar will conclude on April 12.




Railway station needs attention

After returning from Dubai when I saw the Chandigarh railway station, I was simply amazed at the changes that have taken place. It now looks much more beautiful. But I noticed that a few things that need to be done for further beautification of the railway station.

Parking area for public needs to be resurfaced with fresh asphalt carpet to ensure there is no water logging and uneven surfaces are there. Approach roads too need the same treatment. Platform 1 needs to be given better finish where its level has been raised.

D.B. Singh

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



PU to have new pattern for arts researchers
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Standardised Synopsis

It will require focus on

  • Significance of the area of study
  • Rationale of the research problem
  • Linking the problem with a theoretical framework
  • Dimension of the problem

Chandigarh, April 10
With a view to streamline and strengthen the research in the field of arts, the arts faculty, which has more than 18 departments, has come out with a standardised pattern of synopsis to be followed by all researchers before they start on with a research project.

This is in continuation with the process of strengthening the social sciences and other arts disciplines and bringing them at par with other disciplines as per the industry needs, articulates Prof B.S. Ghuman, dean faculty of arts and chairman, department of public administration, Panjab University.

At present there is a need for qualitative improvement in research areas in social sciences, also the researches being undertaken are to be made more relevant with the prevalent scenario, he added.

"The primary function of a university is to facilitate research work and teaching. Research and teaching goes hand in hand and if a teacher is involved in research work, it is all the more beneficial for students," said Prof Ghuman.

In a recently held meeting of the chairpersons of all the departments of the faculty, it was decided to adopt the new pattern of synopsis and it was recommended to the joint research board for a formal nod. The meeting was headed by headed by DUI S.K. Kulkarni.

"This would filter any ambiguous or non-serious research projects, if any, right at the foundation level. Moreover, one would clearly know the parameters within which one has to carry out the research, so it will help focusing on the subject," said a research fellow.

Shaveta Begra, a research fellow in the department of public administration, PU, who is carrying out her research on urban planning, said, "The new synopsis pattern will definitely be a great help in carrying out the research in a more organised way. I faced a similar problem while forming my synopsis, but hopefully with the new pattern the beginners will benefit."

The standardised synopsis includes significance of the area of study, rationale of the research problem, linking the problem with a theoretical framework, dimension of the problem and other parameters.



Central Varsity Status
PUTA’s demand gains momentum
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
The demand for central university status is gaining momentum with the tremendous increase in the number of visitors at the site of chain fast. Today on the fourth day of the chain fast the batch of five teachers and students, including Prof Cecilia Antony, fellow PU from department of French studies, along with Dr Arvind Kumar and Naresh Kumar, both from UIET, were the teachers, whereas Ranjit Kaur and Mrinalini from the department of English were from amongst the students.

In response to the news appeared in a section of the press that Punjab Government has received no such letter for comment from ministry of human resource development where PU has been offered central university status, PUTA president Prof A.S. Ahluwalia expressed his shock and offered to supply one if Punjab Government needs so. The letter was written on July 18, 2007, where it is mentioned that, “The fact that a number of administrative and financial hassles of Panjab University are reportedly linked to its ambiguous status between the state and the Central university, it may be desirable that the Panjab University is accorded Central University status with 100 per cent plan and non-plan grant being borne by the Central government.” On one hand present Punjab government claims that Chandigarh belongs to Punjab, in the same breath it argues that liberal funding to PU from the Union government will dilute its claim over Chandigarh. If funding from the Union government for central universities amounts to loss of political control, why similar decision of two central universities for Punjab is being hailed by the same Punjab government, asked Prof Manjit Singh.

Punjab government, over the last two decades, has never fully contributed its share of 40 per cent in the budget of PU, and even randomly fixed Rs 16 crore are also not paid in the last financial year. Punjab government has to decide between taking pride in the well being of PU or let it down in favour of its own narrow political ends, said Prof Cecilia Antony.

The teachers and students from the Mukatsar centre have also started taking signatures on the memorandum to be submitted to the Chief Minister of Punjab.



Candidates declared ineligible at last moment
Rajnish Sharma

Mohali, April 10
Chaos prevailed throughout the interviews of lecturers at the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) office, here today. Earlier, the Board had advertised 35 posts of lecturers (Punjabi -6, English - 6, Physics - 4, Chemistry - 4, Biology - 4, Mathematics - 4, Computer Science - 4 and Commerce - 3) for Adarsh Senior Secondary Schools of Amritsar, Bhatinda, Firozepur, Moga, Mukatsar and Nawanshahar.

However, trouble started just before the start of the interview at 11 am when about 500 candidates were told to go back as they were ‘ineligible’ for the interview. The candidates, many of whom had come from far off places, protested as they were not told through newspapers about their eligibility status prior to their interview.

The candidates were told by the persons manning the board’s gate that the list of eligible candidates had been put up on the Board’s website. However, candidates alleged that the board had not made any information available to them and, moreover, rural candidates had no access to the internet. Many of them only came to know about their disqualification following the announcement in the interview hall.

Rattan Singh, parent of a candidate from Jalandhar and Suniel Goel, husband of another candidate, said the board authorities pointed out that they had not received the forms of their wards, while many forms were still lying in closed envelops in their office. They added that they had sent forms well in advance and when they tried to contact the administrative office, the officials did not pay any heed. Rattan Thakur of Mohali said he had submitted his form much before the last date, but still his form was untraced. Amit Singh from Jalandhar said although the director-general of School Education had accepted B.Tech qualified candidates as computer teachers, the PSEB had disqualified them.

The agitated candidates also tried to meet the Board chairman D.S. Dhillon to demand cancellation of interviews but they were not allowed to do so by the security staff.



2000 students attend ITFT career fest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
“Introspection is the mantra of success,” said career counsellor Usha Albuquerque at the career fest, organised by the ITFT at Hotel Mountview, here today.

Exhorting the students to change their mindsets, the counsellor said there are a lot of new job opportunities in various segments of service industry of late. Instead of going in only for engineering and medical professions, the students should explore new avenues by developing soft skills such as communication, body language, team work, business awareness, leadership and presentation skills. Meanwhile, more than 2000 students, parents, career counsellors and government officials turned up at the venue to attend the event.

Earlier, Usha Albuquerque released a book on Airlines Management, researched and published by ITFT Chandigarh.



SBI to felicitate toppers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
State Bank of India will felicitate one lakh top-ranking students from 10,000 higher secondary schools (rural) under its SBI Talent Awards Scheme. The scheme was launched by chairman of the bank O.P. Bhatt today.

The bank has apportioned Rs 10 crore for the scheme. Each student will receive a certificate of excellence and a cash reward of Rs 1,001. The bank will also sanction education loans to the rank-holders for pursuing higher education.

Separate awards would be granted to the rank-holders of the state board, ICSE and CBSE examinations, said Ajay Swaroop, chief general manager, State Bank of India, Chandigarh circle.



155 employees awarded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
Town Official Language Implementation Committee (TOLIC) organised its annual prize distribution function at the National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training and Research here today.

D.S. Sra, chief commissioner of central custom and excise, was the chief guest. About 350 head of departments and officers of various Central government officers participated.

P.K. Chopra, chief commissioner of income tax, presided over the function. He said Hindi is not only an official language but our national identity also. He appealed the senior officers to inspire their subordinates to do maximum work of the office in Hindi.

Forty-two head of the departments were honoured for the progressive use of Hindi in their respective offices. Over 155 employees of the Central government offices were given prizes for various Hindi competitions organised by TOLIC during the year 2006-07.

Ordnance cable factory won the first prize, second prize was won by the national hydro power corporation and third prize went to the Central forensic science laboratory.



ICICI Bank told to pay Rs 2.65 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed ICICI Bank to pay a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to a resident of Panchkula, who had taken a loan from the bank, for forcibly snatching a vehicle from him.

The forum also asked the bank to refund Rs 65,813 that was deposited by him.

The petitioner Kumar Gaurav stated that he had purchased an Indica car from Hind Motors for earning his livelihood in June, 2006. He took a loan from ICICI Bank to purchase the car.

He maintained that he had paid the instalments regularly, adding that in December, 2006, he failed to pay the instalment due to sickness. He alleged that without issuing any notice and charging any penal interest on the instalments, the vehicle was forcibly taken away from him without his consent.

The bank argued that the petitioner had failed to pay the instalments and when he was not in a position to pay them he surrendered the vehicle. After the vehicle was surrendered, the bank sold it. The bank stated that they had informed Gaurav that the vehicle would be sold if the dues were not deposited.

The forum, headed by Jagroop Singh Mahal observed: “The bank has illegally and forcibly taken away the vehicle from the petitioner on December 18, 2006, and the vehicle was never surrendered by him. Moreover, the time of surrender being 8 pm suggests that it is the work of the goondas employed by the bank to take away vehicles from defaulters though the bank had no right to do so.”



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