C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Operation Cleanup
Govt buildings to be scrubbed clean
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Labourers clean the facade of the UT secretariat in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Labourers clean the facade of the UT secretariat in Chandigarh on Sunday. — Tribune photo by
Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, April 13
Weather-worn government buildings have caught the attention of the Chandigarh administration. To spruce up the facade of important buildings, the administration has sanctioned lakhs of rupees.

Some buildings like the Punjab and Haryana secretariat, Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Vidhan Sabha have been classified as heritage buildings.

Portions of concrete have fallen off in some buildings due to poor maintenance.

Around Rs 23 lakh would be spent on the cleaning and scrubbing of the secretariat building and about Rs 18 lakh on the Vidhan Sabha.

The orders to spruce up the buildings have been passed by the UT administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd).

The UT receives maintenance budget from the Punjab and Haryana governments in the ratio of 60:40 for buildings occupied by the respective state government.

The UT has also decided to give a facelift to its secretariat complex in Sector 9 and shops in the Sector 17 plaza.

Officials said several government and private buildings in Sector 17 were in a bad shape and the implementation of the orders may be difficult there. Despite the estate office’s warning to traders to clean their buildings or face penal action, nothing concrete had been done.

With a view to improving the outlook of the commercial sector, the estate office, through a public notice, had warned of action against those who did not clean the facade of their buildings. Glazing the facade was also a violation of rules.

It is leant that individual notices are being issued to property owners and if they fail to respond, the estate office would recover the cost of removing the violations from violators.



‘Demolition man’ Sunkaria to take over as MC chief
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
“Demolition man” Roshan Sunkaria, who gave encroachers a tough time in Jalandhar in 2001, is set to take over as Chandigarh MC chief next week.

With the Punjab Government relieving the 1988 batch IAS officer, he is expected to join after Monday.

As the Jalandhar MC commissioner, he dared to remove illegal religious structures which had been there for over 30 years. Even in the wake of intense opposition and large-scale violence, he had stood his ground.

MC sources said a tough administrator like Sunkaria was the need of the hour in the city where encroachments on public land were seeing a steep rise. In fact, encroachments near the MC office in Sector 17 put a question mark on the functioning of the civic body.

“There is an immediate need to launch an offensive against illegal structures in Sector 17 as these are a blot on the city,” M.P.S Chawla, a nominated councillor, said.



AIE centre students, too, will get meals
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
There is good news for those studying at the Alternate Innovative Education (AIE) centres as the Chandigarh administration has decided to offer them proper meals from April 15.

Officials said the decision would benefit around 3,000 AIE students. The administration will also provide lunch boxes and paper plates.

“Earlier, these students were being given gur-channa and mathis. Now, they would be served proper meals,” they said.

The scheme for providing healthy meals on the school premises has been extended up to Class VIII from this financial year.

The Centre has sanctioned Rs 4.40 crore to rationalise the scheme in Chandigarh schools. The administration has also raised the budget allocations to Rs 7 crore. The total budget spent by the administration on the midday meal scheme would be Rs 11.40 crore.

The meals would be provided to around 75,000 students. The chapatti-based menu would work out to Rs 5.12 per child per day while the rice menu would cost Rs 4.50 per child.

A delegation of the Fund Relief for India, Delhi, is on a visit to the city to see the infrastructure for the purpose. It visited the Sector 29 short stay centre.

“The infrastructure here is quite suitable, but we need to work on some modalities before finalising this site for preparing the meals.

We are also looking at some community centres here,” Krishan Das Dhananjay, director of the group, said.



Three MC house committees approved
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
The UT administration has given approval to the municipal corporation of Chandigarh to constitute three new house committees.

These committees will supervise the affairs of art, culture and sports, developments of villages and slums and enforcement wing of the corporation.

The corporation had sought approval from the administration to form these committees in January this year.

The committees will look after the development projects being carried out in villages and slums to improve the sanitation conditions and other works.

The MC already has eight such house committees to look after roads, city beautification and environment, water supply and sewerage, house tax, ‘apni mandies’, sanitation and fire and emergency services.

Sources said the councillors were raising the issue of corruption in the enforcement wing of the corporation time and again.

They were demanding formation of a house committee to oversee functioning of the wing. The councillors had vociferously raised issues of the malpractices committed by the MC officials during the general house meetings.

The committees will recommend projects for betterment of their department and ensure proper implementation. The art and cultural committee would give its suggestions regarding organising cultural events and also take care of community centres in the city.

Mayor Pardeep Chhabra said after getting approval from the administration the committees would be formed next week. Nine members would be selected for each committee. They would give their suggestions to carry out various improvement projects.

The mayor said the need to form three new committees was felt of late, as after the inclusion of five more villages under the aegis of the MC various developmental works in the villages and slums needed more attention. The MC has different budget for the villages and slums for developmental works.



Brand Building
Ferrari cars zoom into city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
The dream machine has finally arrived. Chic and a class apart - the Ferrari cars - that arrived in the city today as part of a brand building exercise, held the old and young, men and women in awe.

As the two cars reached Hind Motors in Industrial Area here this afternoon for an exclusive preview, car enthusiasts from the region gathered here to have a glimpse of their dream machine.

All eyes were set on the two red Ferrari 612 Scagliettis, as they gracefully glided in to the showroom, and most enthusiasts refused to leave the sight of these vehicles till the time these vroomed off.

With Ferrari being one of the most sought after cars, car enthusiasts had shaken off their Sunday afternoon laziness to see the car, albeit from a distance. Not the ones to miss a photo-op, they had come armed with their snazzy cameras. These people would have put to shame any professional photographer, as they tried to capture each and every nook ad corner of the cars in their cameras.

The two cars are part of a convoy of 10 vehicles, which is travelling some 13000 kms in India. The ‘Ferrari’s Magic India Discovery Tour’, started from Mumbai on February 25, and will conclude in Mumbai on May 8.

Ferrari achieves a blistering acceleration of 100 km per hour from standstill in four seconds. The maximum speed of the car is up to 320 km per hour.

David Klutzer, an official spokesperson of Ferrari, said the tour was not just a brand building exercise, but also an exercise to prove that the car is suitable for Indian road conditions.

So far associated in most Indian minds as a racing car, the Ferrari is now being projected as a perfect car for the Indian roads. “These are the standard cars, except that the under floor of the car has been reinforced,” said Klutzer.



Accident victim alleges police inaction
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
If the allegations of Joginder Singh, a resident of Sector 41, are to be believed, the Chandigarh police are just not interested in nabbing a person involved in a hit-and-run case.

This is despite the fact that eyewitnesses handed over the number of the vehicle to the men in khaki.

The victim, Joginder Singh, was riding a scooter when a Maruti car (CH-01-h-2702) rammed into him from the rear near the Sector 45 and 46 traffic light point on April 7.

Joginder suffered a fracture to both his legs, one of his finger was chopped off and he received other injuries as well. He was admitted to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, where he is still nursing his injuries.

However, the police instead of arresting the accused registered a case under section 279 and 337 of the IPC against the driver of an unknown vehicle.

Manjit kaur, a relative of the victim, said even as eyewitnesses had given the registration number of the car to the police control room, officials of Sector 34 police station have done nothing to trace the accused till date.

“The police have failed to trace the driver of the car even after six days. Instead, they are trying to hush up the matter” she alleged.

The investigating officer of the case Kehar Singh said the matter would take time. Sudarshan Thakur, the SHO of Sector 34 police station, said, “I am looking into the matter and it will take time. After getting all the details of the vehicle we will impound it and also arrest the accused.”



Shobha yatra marks Ambedkar’s anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
As part of Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s anniversary celebrations, a shobha yatra was organised here today.

The ‘yatra’, which was flagged off by convener of the local unit of the BSP Harmohan Dhawan, started from Dr Ambedkar Bhavan, Sector 37.

Candidates undergoing training in various trades and courses being run by Dr Ambedkar Study Circle presented a cultural programme to highlight the contribution of Dr Ambedkar in public life.



Poor lighting at Sec-29 park
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Even as the Chandigarh police is devising ways to check incidents of snatching, the Sector 29 park appears to be an open invitation to snatchers.

The lights installed in the park are switched on only at 10 pm. Before that, residents of the area have to stroll in the park in darkness.

Only foot lights are switched on at 10 pm which hardly illuminate the area.

Residents say though the municipal corporation has spent lakhs on the park, it needs the provision for drinking water and proper lighting.

The other end of the park (the Ram Sharnam side) too lacks proper lighting.

The park was inaugurated by Pawan Bansal, minister of state for finance, recently.



Shamlat Land
‘Govt will help panchayats fight for ownership’
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 13
Punjab cabinet minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh said the government would help panchayats fight for the ownership of shamlat land.

The minister was interacting with mediapersons here today following Ram Naumi celebrations in the township.

Stating that the shamlat land belonged to panchayats and in the municipal areas to the municipal bodies. The minister said he was aware that land mafia, in connivance with government officials, was usurping the lands.

He said while the government would ensure that this land was not partitioned and sold. All help would be extended to the panchayats and local bodies so that the land was not lost to land mafia.

The minister had earlier in the day, laid the foundation stone of a langar hall at Ram Mandir here and also participated in the Ram Naumi shobha yatra.



Satta racket flourishing in periphery
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 13
This is one crime everyone seems to know of but no one does anything about. According to a lottery shopkeeper in Zirakpur, a well-organised satta racket was flourishing in Zirakpur, Lalru, Dera Bassi, Handesra and Dappar.

The complainant, who did not want his name to be disclosed, alleged in writing that the satta racket was causing losses to the tune of Rs 10 lakh per day to the government.

The entire operation, according to him, was carried out in the garb of selling state lottery tickets. The police, he alleged, knew everything but did not take any action.

The satta operations run from 9 am to 9 pm in almost 150 shops in the area. The complainant alleged that Raju (name changed) collected Rs 21,000 per shop per month as “police fund”.

Raju told the shopkeepers that he had to give a part of this amount to the local policemen so that they kept their eyes shut. Raju also told these shopkeepers that a part of this amount was being given to certain press persons so that the issue was not highlighted.

The amount also included the shopkeeper’s contribution towards “medical fund” which was to be used in case any shopkeeper needed medical help.

It was an unwritten rule that in case of a police raid, Raju would “handle” everything. The complainant said the satta operations were not only causing a loss to the state exchequer but was also responsible for losses to those shopkeepers in the area who did not indulge in satta.

“I am one such man and refuse to make the monthly payment for the police- press fund to Raju,” said the complainant.

He added that farmers from nearby villages came and indulged in satta, losing lakhs of their hard-earned money. “Now, with the harvesting season ending, the number of farmers who are coming to the satta market is very large.

These satta operatives are ruining the lives of the poor farmers. Since the police does not act, all we can do is watch helplessly,” he said.



Milk plant to distribute profit among members
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 13
The Mohali milk plant working under The Ropar Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation Ltd, has decided to distribute its profit of Rs 2.2 crore for the year 2004-05 and 2005-06 to its member milk producer cooperative societies.

This decision was taken at the annual general meeting of the plant held here recently. Chairman Parminder Singh Chalaki presided over the meeting.

Addressing over 400 delegates, Chalaki stated that the board of directors had decided to disburse the profit among the member societies.

He said the milk plant, under the guidance of Milkfed, was committed to safeguard the interests of milk producers associated with it.

He said more than 800 milk producer societies were attached with the plant presently and this number would continue to grow in future.

He also said besides providing highest price of milk to the producers as compared to other private players in the sector, it was also providing feed and health services for milch animals.

He stated that distribution of profit among the members would further encourage dairy farming.

Milk plant GM H.S. Grewal presented a report of the progress made in the past five years. He stated that the plant was processing 2.5 lakh litres of milk daily against a capacity of one lakh litres.

He said this capacity would be increased to three lakh litres in the next six months and further, it would be upgraded to 10 lakh litres.



Councillor’s Abduction
INLD to hold protest rally today
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 13
The alleged kidnapping of an Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) councillor has snowballed into a major political controversy.

With the local INLD leaders threatening to take to streets, it could be a major embarrassment to the ruling Congress party in the state.

Registering its protest over the issue, the INLD has decided to hold a massive protest march in the city tomorrow.

Kunti Devi, wife of the “kidnapped” councillor, in a compliant to Panchkula SP Sandip Khirwar, has alleged that Naresh Rawal, municipal councillor from ward No. 13, along with another local Congress leader and president of Ration Depot Holders’ Asssociation of Panchkula had kidnapped her husband Gautam Parsad, municipal councilor of INLD from Azad Colony.

The INLD leaders, in a press conference at Panchkula yesterday, had alleged that Congress leaders were pressurising Gautam to support the Congress when the decision of MC president was taken.

The political affairs’ committee of the party, which met at Kurukshetra today, decided that former finance minister Prof Sampat Singh would lead the march and submit a memorandum to the Panchkula deputy commissioner demanding registration of a case and immediate arrest of the accused Congress leaders in the abduction.

The meeting was presided over by INLD president and former Haryana Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala.

Senior INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala, who was party in charge of the Panchkula MC elections, said the INLD-PAC meeting had condemned the abduction of the municipal councillor.

He alleged that Congress leaders were adopting undemocratic practices as they had sensed the party’s imminent defeat in the council president elections.

Alleging that the police was not taking action against the accused, Chautala said neither the police registered any case despite 24 hours having passed since Gautam’s wife had lodged a complaint nor was the councilor restored to his family.



Land for sheds
Lawyers meet Hooda
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 13
A delegation of the Panchkula District Bar Association met the Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda at his residence this morning.

The were demanding the allotment of land for construction of a shed for litigants in the local district courts complex. The delegation was headed by vice-president of the Bar Association Subhash Sharma.

According to Sharma, lawyers apprised the Chief Minister of the problems being faced by lawyers as well as litigants after the district administration demolished temporary sheds of lawyers in the district courts complex and mini secretariat on January 20.

The Chief Minister had announced the allotment of land for the additional chambers for lawyers during his visit to the Bar on June 6, 2006 yet no step had been taken by the administration in this direction.

The lawyers had also deposited a sum of Rs 45 lakh with the HUDA last year for the purpose but the same was returned to them after eight months, said Sharma.



Senior citizens celebrate Baisakhi
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, April 13
The Senior Citizens’ Council of Panchkula teamed up with Saraswati Kala Sangam, a leading cultural organisation engaged in promotion of Indian classical and regional folklore culture cultivation in the region, to celebrate Baisakhi here today.

The member artistes of both the groups presented Punjabi folk songs, ghazals, Sufina kalaams and also Indian classical dances under the direction of trained maestro Mukta Nagesh.

After chief guest Lt Col (retd) B.M. Talwar welcomed and honored the artistes, sangam president Col I.J. Ahluwalia took over the proceedings and presented artistes from The Kala Sangam amid applause.

Dr Betty Nangia opened with a Sarwaswati vandana and went on to present three Punjabi songs immortalised by her mentor Dolly Guleria.

Earlier, local artiste S.D. Sharma delineated the didactic wisdom of Sufi mystics and others as enshrined in their ‘banis’.

The audience relished a crisp Haryanvi song by Suneeta Nain, principal GMSSS-7, Panchkula. Achla Dingle, Inderjit, M.L. Dhand, J.S. Shingari, Nirmal Moudgil and others also participated.



Painting competition marks Baisakhi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
On the occasion of Baisakhi, the Chandigarh tourism department, in association with Chandigarh Lalit Kala Academy held the second series of ‘On the Spot Painting Competition’ on the theme ‘Chandigarh in April’ at the Leisure Valley, here today.

There were three categories in the competition including children from class 8-12, college students of any age group and third of amateurs and professionals.

Around 120 entries were received (75 from college students, 29 from school students and 17 from amateur/ professionals). Due to a holiday, a large number of visitors and tourists were also present on the occasion.

In the evening a music concert was held by the group of Isha foundation, which has come all the way from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

The group of nine artists gave an enthralling performance. With the regional compositions the group played a few songs in Hindi and Arabic, but instrumental flute was the main attraction. This performance was a blend of music from all parts of the world.

This concert was followed by ‘Hasya Kavi Sammelan’ which was organised by Haryana Institute of Fine Arts.

A team of renowned poets including Shailash Lodha Mumbaii, Anjum Rehver, Alhad Bikaneri, Arun Gemini, Sanjay Jhala and Dinesh Diggaj participated in the event.

The theme of the sammelan was ‘Cricket on Sale’ and coincided with commencement of the IPL tournament from April 18.

In the evening, a play ‘Court Martial’ was also organised at Punjab Kala Bhawan by a theatre group based at Chandigarh.

The play depicted how Army officers (Capt Beedi Kapoor and Capt Verma) degrade their subordinate (Ram Chandra) who takes his revenge by killing the Captain. Later, he is court marshalled but escapes punishment.



Election held for Jamaat-e-Ulema-e-Hind
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Elections to the Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh chapter of the Jamaat-e-Ulema-e-Hind were held at Manimajra, yesterday.

The Jamaat-e-Ulema-e-Hind is the oldest Muslim organisation that was formed by Sir Sayed Ahmed.

Today, 513 of those delegates were present for the process of election of president, vice-president, general secretary, office secretary and treasurer. Mohammed Khalil Ahmed Quasmi was elected as the President.

Others who were elected unopposed were Maulana Mohammed Qasim Saheb and Qari Mohammed Ilyas as vice-presidents (Haryana); Mufti Mohammed Khalil Quasmi as vice-presidents (Punjab); Maulana Mumtaz Ahmed Quasmi as vice- president (Himachal Pradesh); Maulana Shakeel Ahmed Quasmi was elected general secretary of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and UT Chandigarh; Maulana Mohammed Imraan Mujaddiddi was elected office secretary and Maulana Fazruddin as treasurer.



Water supply to be affected tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Water supply will remain affected on April 15 due to the replacement of high-tension panels for augmentation of water supply schemes in Phases I and II, Kajauli.

Executive engineer R.P. Gupta said water with full pressure would be available for three hours while water with low pressure would be supplied for five hours.

The supply from 4 am to 10 am would remain unaffected. Low pressure supply would be from 12 noon to 1 pm.

Full pressure will be from 2 pm to 5 pm. In the night, the water supply would be stopped an hour ahead of the scheduled time.



Rath yatra to be held on April 15
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
A host of dignitaries, including Satya Pal Jain, former MP, and R.C. Sobti, vice-chancellor of Panjab University, were amongst the distinguished personalities, who expressed their views on ‘chanting of the holy name is the best and easiest means to attain God in kalyug’ during the ongoing 38th annual seminar organised by the devotees of Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, Sector 20B, here today.

Addressing the seminar, Srila Vishnu Maharaj from Delhi said, “During kalyug humans do not live beyond 100 years of age and meditation is not possible.”

Maharaj ji said there were no formal rules and regulations for the chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra. We can chant this mantra anytime, he added.

On April 15, a grand rath yatra will be organised by the devotees at 4pm, according to a press note.



MC sanitation committee floats tenders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
The sanitation committee of Chandigarh municipal corporation has accorded approval for floating open tenders for purchasing various items, including pesticides and slaked lime for the pest control department.

Sources in the MC said the meeting was held on Friday under the chairmanship of Resham Chand Jakhu.

It was attended by other councillors including Kamlesh, Chandermukhi Sharma, Rita Sharma, Ram Sumer Morya, Anil Kumar Dubey, Dr G.C. Bansal, medical officer health, and other officials of the department concerned.



Speaking Out
G.S. Paul.

Karnataka government had made the first move to direct that schools would remain closed on Mondays, but instead open on Saturdays. The logic behind the decision is that for two days the traffic on roads would be regulated more efficiently. What if Chandigarh adopts the same pattern? The administrators, parents and students shared their viewpoint.

This would be a welcome step if the Chandigarh administration agrees to it. I have observed that Monday being open for courts, offices and schools, roads are the busiest. Traffic can be efficiently dealt with at least for three days. As on Saturdays most central government offices remain closed, the burden of morning rush hours would be less. Similarly, on Sundays and Mondays, the density of traffic would be reduced.
Jasbir Cheema, DSP Traffic

This logic is not enough to close schools on Mondays. The other daily activities of the schools too would suffer for the one day more. As government treasury wing remains closed on Saturday, we schedule our job in respect of daily billings, funds etc with them on Mondays. One more day would be wasted. About traffic regulation, what have they thought for other four days of the week?
J.S. Basota, Head, Government School Principals’ Association

It does not seem to be beneficial for students and their families. With this change, we would have restricted time to spend with our parents. As Saturdays being normally off, we plan a movie in the afternoon and a dinner out. But same thing is not possible on Mondays, because they would be having their office next day.
Shifali, student, Bhavan Vidyalaya-27

With this decision, there would a marginal advantage keeping in mind the heavy traffic flow, especially in the morning. It would also be convenient for parents, especially whose children study in lower classes, for two days in a row. They do not have to rise early to get their children ready for schools. Otherwise, logically its applicability is of little use for a city like Chandigarh.
SK Setia, DPI (schools)

The whole administrative set would have to be changed then. Like, a majority of offices remain closed on Saturday but open on Mondays. This decision, only for schools, would create a significant hardship for working parents. They would have to make informal daycare arrangements for their children. Also the interaction between parents and children would suffer due to this decision.
Shamsher Singh, a parent

If ever the traffic load on road can be reduced by adopting this new scheme, then it would be supportive for those students who go to school on bicycles. Sometimes, it becomes quite risky to be on road both in morning and afternoons. Let it be a new trend and there is no loss in trying this. Changes are sometimes for better beginnings.
Krishna, student, DAVSSS-8



Smoking should be checked

It has been a long time that Chandigarh was declared a smoke-free city. Despite all posturing, Chandigarh has not managed to become a smoke-free city yet.

Smoking at public places has been completely banned, but one can easily find flocks of people smoking freely and openly at rickshaw stands, bus stands and especially in the buses without bothering about the plight of others who are surrounding them.

This creates a lot of nuisance affecting passive smokers. It has been a commendable step taken by the Chandigarh administration, but some more action still needs to be taken.

To tackle the problem of smoking in buses or such public transport systems, authority should be given to the bus conductors or so to levy fines immediately.

Cops should be posted in civil clothes at particularly sensitive areas to grab the offenders and take instant action. All these measures would definitely help in curbing this menace to a great extent.

Dr Shruti Kapoor, Panchkula



CIIP transfers Rs 1 crore to PU fund
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
For cash starved Panjab University, the Centre for Industry Institute Partnership Programme (CIIP), has proved to be a golden hen, as the CIIP has transferred around one crore rupees to the higher education fund.

In fact the CIIPP cell, which came into existence in March, 1996, after AICTE gave seed money of Rs 5 lakh in July 1995, has generated more than Rs 2 crore in a span of two years.

“The aim of the CIIP was to extend university’s expertise to the industry through research, management and various other programmes. CIIPP has undertaken various projects and its graph of income has been rising ever since,” says A.K. Sahijpal, honorary director of the CIIPP, in 2006.

One of the major projects includes imparting training to the employees of Dr Reddy Labs, Baddi. “We designed syllabus for the new recruits of the lab and many departments, including pharmacy, UBS, engineering, computer science and other were involved in imparting training to the students for 45 days.

The role of the CIIPP envisages processing of application, issuing of roll numbers, setting up of question paper, conducting exam and preparing results. One major project undertaken by the CIIPP was conducting the exams for Navodya Vidyalya all over the country wherein 67,500 candidates across 67 cities were involved.

The exam was conducted in 11 languages in the month of November. The department generated around Rs 1 crore from this project.

“The effort is to optimise the expertise available on the campus and to generate resources so that higher education becomes self-financed to a greater extent,” Sahijpal added.

Already, around Rs 60 Lakh has been pumped in the building for newly started University Institute of Applied Management Sciences at PU.

In order to hone the skills of students belonging to SC/ST/BC categories, CIIPP cell has also organised series of workshops free of cost for training the students in soft skills and behavioural skills. Workshops have also been conducted for UIET students and others for imparting entrepreneurship skills.

Recently, the CIIP has also conducted online examination for railways and many other projects are in the pipeline, including one of Rs 50 lakh of PANCEA by Prof S.K. Kulkarni and Prof S.B. Kesar, RBI project worthg Rs 12 lakh in UBS by Prof A.K. Vashisht, S.C. Vaidya and Sanjay Kaushik. As per sources, talks are also on with Baba Farid Institute.



PU teachers’ fast enters 7th day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
The chain fast for pressing the demand for central status by the students and teachers on PU campus today entered the seventh day.

Among the teachers who sat on fast today were Dr Jayant Pedkar, Department of Mass Communication, Dr. Amrinderpal Singh from UIET, Dr Gaurav, Department of Geography, and Dr V.K. Singh, chairman Chinese and Tibetan Language along with Shiv Kumar from the Library Science.

Despite being holiday today a large number of students and teachers spared time out of their busy time of examination and visited the site of the chain fast in order to give a moral support to the teachers and students sitting on the protest.

Later in the evening a candle light procession was taken out jointly by the students and teachers on the campus to publicly highlight the demand for central status for PU.

Addressing the gathering Prof A.S Ahluwalia said in case the Punjab government refuses to relent we are ready to march towards Delhi to knock at the doors of the Union government.

He criticised the double standards of the Punjab government, as it is happy with the offer of central universities in Punjab but irks at when Panjab University asks for similar status of a central university simply for the reason that PU is located in the politically disputed territory of UT Chandigarh. It shows an utter lack of statesmanship and proves to be a case of bad politics, said Prof Ahluwalia.

Prof Manjit Singh, secretary, PUTA, said that the tuition fee for the new professional/job oriented courses opened up recently on the campus is in the range of 10-20 times of the fee for the regular courses. If this trend continues, soon the doors of the university will be closed for the eligible poor students.

Meanwhile, a delegation of teachers under the leadership of president and secretary, PUTA called on Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union minister of state for finance and appealed him to convince the leadership at the Centre to find out a way of coming out of the current political stalemate.

He rubbished the claims of all those who are saying that Centre is free to take unilateral decision without the concurrence of the Punjab government and instead suggested them to call an all-party meeting immediately in order to know the true friends or foes of PU.

At the same time Prof Anil Sarwal, vice-president PCCTU, while supporting the demand for the central university status to PU has given a call to all the college teachers to reach in large number at the Dharna site on the campus on April 16, 2008, by noon so that wider public protest could be registered.



GCG-42 releases ‘Biospectrum’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
As many as 120 delegates participated in the Indian Association of Biology Teachers’ (Colleges) Conference held at Government College for Girls, Sector 42, here today.

The function was dedicated to the memory of Prof G.P. Sharma, a renowned researcher and academician of the country.

Prof R.C. Sobti, vice-chancellor, Panjab University, Chandigarh, was the chief guest on the occasion also released the official magazine ‘Biospectrum’.

Dr Dalip Kumar, president of the association, elaborated that the association for the first time, collaborated the academic activities of national importance with the UGC.

He further announced that the association will provide financial assistance to the tune of Rs 21,000 to its members as seed money for research-based activities.

The association has also announced Laxmi Memorial Scholarship of Rs 11,000. Dr Ashwani Sharma, general secretary highlighted the aims and objectives of the association.

The association also felicitated Prof Sobti by presenting him Honorary Life Membership of the association.



From Schools
Baisakhi spirit pervades
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 13
Ashmah International School celebrated Baisakhi here today. The school wore a festive look and students performed bhangra.

The novelty was the actual harvesting of wheat that was sown on the campus.

Principal Roopinder Ghuman said students needed to be told the context of the occasion by giving them a feel of harvesting.

Founder’s Day

Shivalik Public School celebrated Baisakhi and the founder’s day of the school. The first half of the programme was related to Baisakhi.

The audience was mesmerised by the kirtan of Bhai Bhupinder Singh and students and teachers recited shabads.

The second half of the cultural programme saw teachers and students elucidate the significance of the day through speeches, poems and power point presentation.

Malwinder Kaur gave a power point presentation on the “glorious years of excellence” of the school.



PMT, CET classes for poor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Dr Ambedkar Study Circle, Sector 37, Chandigarh, has announced the introduction of PMT and CET coaching classes at very nominal fee, today.

Briefing mediapersons, Anil Kumar Lamdharia, general secretary of the society, told that they have been focusing on the students who are academically bright but belong to poor families.

“We would charge Rs 1000 for a course, which otherwise cost Rs 40,000 by other coaching centres in the city,” said Anil.

Dr Ambedkar Study circle runs computer education centre on their premises. Classes will be officially inaugurated by Pawan Kumar Bansal on April 13.



9000 take IIT exam in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Around 9000 students appeared for the most prestigious engineering test, IIT, conducted at various centres of the city, here today.

The examination was held in two shifts each of three hours duration consisting of separate sections in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, starting from 9am to 12pm and 2pm 5pm.

The ranking will be declared only for those students who attempt both paper 1 and paper 2. Marks in physics will be equal to marks in physics section of paper 1 + marks in physics section of paper 2.

“Similar procedure would be followed for chemistry and mathematics. Based on cut off marks in the individual subjects as well as aggregate marks in the examination, a common merit list will be prepared without any relaxed criteria,” said Prof K.V. Upadhaya, physics lecturer.

Much to the relief of the students the paper was on the expected lines. "Few questions from the maths portion were of advanced level,” said nitesh, a student.



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