C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Strike’s first victim
Man dies for want of ventilator
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
In a major fallout of the strike by PGI technologists, Sarvesh Sahni (53), a resident of Sector 17, Panchkula, died at the hospital today for want of a ventilator.

According to sources, his relatives had brought him to the PGI yesterday with symptoms of severe jaundice. They alleged that his death was caused due to the non-availability of ventilator.

His sister Kiran told The Tribune that he was referred to the PGI from the GMCH, Sector 32, on Tuesday.

According to sources, to manage the staff crunch, nurses were deputed in other departments and very few people were left in the emergency. The patient could not be provided with ventilator at the right time.


Patients told to get tests done from outside
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

PGI Pangs

  • Scheduled MRI tests put off
  • Samples not processed in endocrinology lab
  • Vital emergency, radiodiagnosis tests hit

It may get worse

On the dismissal of 11 ad hoc employees today, Ashwani Munjal, general secretary of the Medical Technologists Association, said this would adversely affect the functioning of the institute as they would call for an indefinite strike tomorrow.

Chandigarh, April 16
PGI doctors today asked patients to get tests done from outside following a strike by technicians that hit services in the institute for the second day today.

It was despite the claims by the PGI administration that the services were being run smoothly.

Gurcharan Singh (58) from Jalandhar was told by a doctor that there was a three-day strike in the institute and he should get the tests done from outside.

“The doctor prescribed me diagnosis tests, including ECG, X-ray and blood tests,” he said.

Charges for these tests in the PGI was nominal while in private labs, it would cost 50-60 per cent more, he said.

Savita Bhatia, another patient, was also upset with the strike. She said doctors had recommended TIBC and TSAT tests, and she preferred to get the tests done from outside as the staff deputed to collect samples was not trained for specific tests. “How will the strikers benefit by giving us a hard time?” she asked.

Poor people, who had come for treatment from far-off places, were the worst-affected. Even though the PGI has drawn technicians from other institutes and postgraduate students and nurses have been deployed to work in shifts, diagnostics services in the OPD remained paralysed.

MRI tests scheduled for these three days have also been postponed due to the strike. New patients were asked to come after the strike in the absence of technicians.

PGI staff told The Tribune that about 25-30 MRI tests were scheduled for each day.

On the condition of anonymity, an attendant with a patient who was admitted to the PGI yesterday, said the staff at the endocrinology laboratory refused to take the blood sample.

They even refused to take OPD samples. Around 100-150 samples are processed at the endocrinology laboratory every day. Thyroid tests are also conducted here.

At the radiodiagnosis department, usually about 250 tests are conducted each day, but only 98 tests were conducted today.

Vital tests were affected at the emergency with only haemogram test being conducted at the emergency laboratory.

The staff deputed there refused other tests even as the PGI administration claimed to maintain all services at the emergency.

Meanwhile, the PGI administration terminated the services of 11 ad hoc employees today.



Speaking Out
‘The strike must end’

The ongoing strike by PGI technicians has drawn flak with people raising questions over the manner of protest as it only resulted in aggravating the miseries of patients coming to the premier institute for relief. Talking to Anuja Jaiswal, attendants accompanying patients said employees should consider the plight of patients before choosing their manner of protest and the Chandigarh administration must intervene to ensure that poor patients are not inconvenienced.

"The Chandigarh administration should take steps to end this strike as it is affecting patient care services. Despite assurances from the PGI administration, the public is being harassed. Not only the OPD, but also emergency services are being hit due to the strike.

— M.K. Bhatia

"In the interest of patients and to avoid inconvenience to patients, the PGI administration should consider the genuine demands of protesting employees as it would benefit patients coming from far-off places for quality treatment.

— Dr Harinder Kaur

"Since the role of technicians in hospitals is vital, they should not stop their work completely during a strike. If they have a demand, they should discuss it with the PGI administration. The administration should also show some flexibility in approach.

— Avtar Singh



Workshop by lab technologists
Tribune News Services

Chandigarh, April 16
The state unit of the All-India Medical Laboratory Technologists’ Association (AIMLTA), in association with the department of histopathology and cytology, PGIMER, organised a workshop on immunohistochemistry (IHC) here today.

Prof Kusum Joshi, head of department (histopathology), inaugurated the workshop.

Prof A. Rajwanshi, head of department (cytology), released a workbook on immunohistochemistry brought out by Alka Verma and Dr Pankaj Kaul, senior medical technologist with the department.

Kaul said the workshop was aimed at providing scientific information on various aspects of the IHC relevant to patient care, health promotion and cancer disease diagnosis to medical laboratory technology professionals.

It would further facilitate laboratory technologists in learning cancer diagnosis for better patient care.

AIMLTA president K.S. Rana extended his vote of thanks to PGI director Prof K.K. Talwar for his support for the conduct of the workshop.



Contract staff can’t seek parity with regular employees: HC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
In a judgement affecting UT employees appointed on contract, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held the order of the CAT on the revision of dearness allowance granted to them from time to time is unjustified and not tenable in law.

The Bench has also said contractual employees cannot claim parity with regular employees as far as the allowance and pay is concerned.

In a significant ruling, the Bench comprising Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Mohinder Pal, said: “The pay and allowances, which are admissible and paid to regular employees, cannot be claimed by contractual employees as there is marked qualitative difference in respect of their responsibility and reliability.”

The ruling comes on a bunch of petitions filed by the UT administration against the 2006 order of the tribunal, whereby the DA was ordered to be paid to contractual employees of the administration.

Two employees on contract had claimed before the tribunal that they were entitled to minimum of pay scale from the date of their initial appointment, along with DA as revised from time to time; and not the DA as applicable on the date of appointment.

The claim was accepted by the tribunal, but challenged by the administration.

The judges held: “The applicants have been granted DA on the basis of a circular of the Chandigarh administration dated July 24, 2002, where it was contemplated to pay DA as admissible to regular employees at the time of appointment.

“The question which arises is whether a contractual employee is entitled to revision in DA from time to time as is being given to regular employees.”

They added: “It is not disputed that the applicants were appointed on contractual basis. As the applicants were engaged on contractual basis, in our opinion, the applicants cannot insist for the same benefits as are being given to the regular employees.

“In the present case, the claim of the applicants is grant of DA revised from time to time…. The applicants in the present case were appointed on a consolidated salary with DA as applicable on the date of appointment.”

The judges further added that the applicants were not holding civil post under the state, but discharging their contractual obligations under the terms of the contract. Therefore, the order passed by the tribunal was “wholly unjustified and not tenable in law”.



Rain leaves farmers glum
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
The dip in mercury by 0.4 degrees made for pleasant weather today, but has caused concern to farmers of Punjab and Haryana whose standing wheat crop was ready for harvesting.

After two day of scorching heat, rain brought relief to city residents, but traders and commission agents are worried as the wheat that was lying in the open in mandis was damaged in the rain. The sudden downpour took vegetable traders by surprise and their stock was partially damaged.

The met department said the city received 5 mm of rainfall today while their was no rain in the first fortnight of April last year.

The maximum temperature was 35 degrees and the minimum 19.8. The wind speed was 15 miles an hour.

The change in weather is attributed to the western disturbance over Jammu and Kashmir and north Pakistan.

It would be partly cloudy tomorrow.



Major fire at edible oil factory
Second incident in three days

Tribune News Service

Car catches fire

A major accident was averted when a moving car caught fire near Kalagram this morning.

A Hyundai Verna (PB 65 E 7979) was engulfed in smoke after its engine caught fire, leading to a traffic jam.

The fire brigade was informed and a fire tender brought the situation under control before the fire could spread to the rest of the car.

Chandigarh, April 16
A major fire broke out at an edible oil factory - Saraswati Oil Mill - in Industrial Area, Phase I, here this afternoon.

This is the second incident of fire in the city ever since the fire and emergency services department launched Fire Safety Week on Monday. On April 14, a software company in Sector 34 was gutted following a short-circuit.

The fire spread around 12 pm while over 25 labourers were working in the factory. They raised the alarm and the fire brigade was informed.

Five fire engines were pressed into service. The fire fighters had tough time controlling the blaze. The fire-fighters demolished a section of a wall to gain access into the area engulfed in flames.

Though they brought the flames under control in two hours, the operation lasted over six hours. The fire spread into the factory storeroom housing plastic bottles and cardboard boxes meant for packaging.

The fire was brought under control before it could spread into the area where oil was kept, said a fire officer.

The fire was still smouldering in in the evening, keeping the firemen on their toes. Station fire officer S.K. Gosain said a major disaster was averted due to the timely action of the fire department due to the presence of oil containers on the premises.

The cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained and the matter was under investigation, Gosain added. He said though the fire fighting system was in place at the factory, illegal construction on the premises hampered the rescue operation.

He added that the building was divided into sub-sections and a temporary roof was constructed on panels in violation of safety measures.

The owner of the factory, Harish Mittal, was not available for comments.



Rock Garden nets Rs 6.5 cr per annum: Paper
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Nek Chand's masterpiece - Rock Garden - continues to be the most popular and major revenue-generating tourist spot for Chandigarh. In fact, if a research article published in a recent edition of the reputed international tourism journal “e-Review of Tourism Research” of Texas A & M University of the USA is any indication, the Rock Garden has a annual tourism value of Rs 6.5 crore.

Based on the study of city's greenery by Dr Pradeep Chaudhry, head of silviculture division, Arid Forest Research Institute, Jodhpur, the article says that urban parks and gardens have a definite role in attracting tourists to a modern city like Chandigarh.

And keeping in view the uniqueness of the Rock Garden, it accounted for about 70 per cent of the annual recreational use value accruing to the city's overall urban parks and gardens.

The overall recreational value for the city parks and garden was pegged at Rs 9.2 crore by the author.

However, data from only the domestic tourists was taken into account for working out the tourism recreational value.

For the study, internationally-accepted zonal travel cost method was adopted. It was found that about 822 tourists visited the Rock Garden daily and each visitor spent on an average Rs 308 for the recreational benefits.

On an average, about seven lakh domestic tourists, besides about 40,000 international tourists, visited the city last year. If the foreign tourists were taken into account, the annual tourism value could have been much higher, the article says.

The articles claims that the Rock Garden was on the itinerary of almost every visitor to the city. And it was not without reason that the Rock Garden's experiment has been replicated all over the world with two rock gardens each in the UK, France and Germany being created under the supervision of Nek Chand.

Even as the study calls upon the administration to take care of the maintenance of the unique project, the administration seems to have recognised the commercial potential of the Rock Garden by selecting it for the 10-day Chandigarh Crafts Fair beginning April 18.

"There could not have been a better venue than the Rock Garden for hosting the craft fair," chairman of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), one of the organisers of the crafts fair, said here yesterday.



Gym scam: CBI begins inquiry
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 16
The CBI today began investigations into the purchase of gym equipment by the sports department and found out that each treadmill was bought for a whopping Rs 9.3 lakh, a reclined bike for Rs 3.3 lakh, a chest press for Rs 3.63 lakh, an abdominal crunch machine for Rs 3.2 lakh while a leg press cost Rs 5.09 lakh and the list goes on.

An amount of Rs 1. 24 crore was spent on the setting up of three gyms. And all this equipment was purchased from a single company over a period of four years without floating any tenders.

The UT claims that while purchasing this equipment, it followed a rule that allows buying of branded or proprietary items without calling for tenders. The rule, UT sources say, is commonly used for procuring branded medical equipment by government hospitals and medical colleges.

The sports department’s shopping spree began in July 2004 when it proposed that the Sector 42 hockey stadium be complimented with an international gym and ‘Technogym’ products, which were being used by various sports federations world wide, be bought. A purchase committee, which included renowned sport coaches, was constituted, which also recommended the products.

“Technogym products are the top of the line fitness equipment in the world and also the most expensive. Sold in India by a Bangalore-based company, Body Drench India, a Technogym product that costs Rs 9 to 10 lakh is priced at Rs 4 to 5 lakh by other international gym equipment manufacturers,” point out local gym manufacturers.

Following the expert committee’s report when sports director I.J.S. Sandhu and joint sports director J.P.S. Sidhu were going ga-ga over Technogym products, the then UT finance secretary Karan Avtar Singh asked for a list of the required machines and the brands which were acceptable. The director gave a list of the products required and even pointed out that the other brand ‘Life Fitness’ was available for which tenders might be floated.

Singh noted on the file, “Someone who knows this field, needs to either search or list the brands equivalent to the two above or to give technical specifications which will be met by any bidder.” It was probably pointed out to the secretary that the Government Medical College and Hospital was procuring pre-decided branded items and these items could be bought similarly. The secretary that the joint director of GMCH be consulted “who has done this many times.”

Sidhu spoke to GMCH director H.S. Khandola and recommended that technical specifications be prepared and the process of bidding started, for which the meeting of the expert committee was also called. This was in September 2004.

Nothing much happened till March 2005 when suddenly the matter was revived and a proposal moved again to the then sports secretary. Tendering process was not even mentioned. The proposal simply stated that purchase of Technogym equipment had been recommended by the experts’ committee and the expenditure was going to be about Rs 40 lakh for which provisions be made in the budget.

The amount needed for the equipment was shown to be Rs 60 lakh and the finance department’s approval was sought for buying the equipment, “being proprietary in nature.” The finance department was quick to grant its approval. Later, more machines were bought for the Lake Club.



Single firm to get Metro project report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
The common mobility plan (CMP) and detailed project report (DPR) for the Metro project would be given to a single company selected through a transparent bidding process from amongst the list provided by the ministry of urban development.

This was decided at a joint meeting of adviser to UT Administrator Pradip Mehra, chief secretary of Haryana Dharam Vir, chief secretary of Punjab Ramesh Inder Singh and principal secretary (transport) of Himachal Pradesh Ashok Thakur here recently.

The Chandigarh administration would underwrite 50 per cent of the cost of the CMP and the DPR, while the proportion for Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh would be 20, 20 and 10 per cent, respectively.

Dharam Vir provided a copy of the memorandum of agreement for an integrated mobility plan for the Gurgaon-Manesar urban complex and suggested that the committee of secretaries, urban transport of the three states and the UT must study the scope of services outlined in the memorandum before finalising the scope of services for the instant project.

Secretary (urban transport), Chandigarh, would act as the secretariat for calling the bids. Ramesh Inder Singh assured the UT adviser of looking into the matter of media reports about large-scale housing development being contemplated in Kansal village in violation of the edict of Chandigarh and the Periphery Control Act.



Pipeline blockage harries Attawa residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Residents of Attawa are a harried lot as they have to face frequent blockage of an underground sewerage pipeline in the locality.

The blockage in the pipeline occurs when junk dealers dump waste into a manhole.

According to Sanjog Goel, a shopkeeper in the locality, the area near Hotel Akash was last evening flooded with sewage after the pipeline choked.

They informed junior engineer of the area Surinder Singh, who assured them of sending a team in the morning.

A public health department team cleared the blockage after removing waste and broken bottles from the pipeline.

The department officials told TNS that they had forwarded the matter to the enforcement wing to remove junk dealers encroaching the area.



Ban on watering lawns, washing vehicles
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 16
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has imposed a complete ban on watering of lawns and washing of vehicles and courtyards in the mornings and evenings due to increase in demand of drinking water during the summer months.

The ban that came into effect yesterday will go on till June 30 in Sectors 66 to 69 and bulk material market. A press release of GMADA stated that residents were urged to get leakages from overhead tanks and main supply line to water meters plugged within five days to avoid wastage of water. Installation of a booster on the main supply line has also been banned.

GMADA officials would check the misuse of water and water connections of those violating the directions would be cut. The connections would be restored only after an affidavit was submitted which stated that the misuse of water had been stopped and a sum of Rs 500 had been deposited as re-connection fee.



Promotion to IAS
CAT notice to Punjab for ignoring candidate
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Not recommending the name of Arvinder Singh, director, Land Records Punjab, Jalandhar, for appointment in the Indian administrative service (IAS) by promotion has cost the state of Punjab dear.

The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has issued notice to the state of Punjab to come prepared with vacancy for appointment by promotion in IAS.

Arvinder had pled with the tribunal stating that he had been wrongly ignored and not been recommended for appointment by promotion in IAS for the selection list of 2006 by the review selection committee meeting.

He stated that on the relevant date of preparing the list for promotion in 2003, the number of substantive vacancies eligible for promotion arising were two.

Pronouncing the orders in 2006 on the petition filed by Arvinder, wherein he had challenged the selection criteria, the Supreme Court had held: “The action of state government in framing the seniority list in disregard of the rota-quota prescribed under Rule 18 of 1976 Rules was contrary to law.”

Thereafter, the state government in compliance of the order issued a tentative selection list and called for objections.

The state government forwarded a proposal to the Union Public Service Commission for convening a meeting of the review selection committee on April 26, 2007.

The meeting was supposed to review the lists of PCS officers of 1998 to 2006 prepared for promotion to IAS for Punjab cadre.

A meeting of the review selection committee was held on February 2 to review the list for 1992-93 to 2006 prepared for promotion to IAS of Punjab cadre but the applicant was not considered.



Sunkaria takes charge as MC commissioner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
After a lapse of four months, the Chandigarh municipal corporation got its regular commissioner today with Roshan Sunkaria assuming the office here.

His predecessor P.S. Aujla was repatriated to his parent cadre in Punjab on December 6 and UT deputy commissioner R.K. Rao was given additional charge of the MC, before Raji P. Srivastva was given charge in March.

Sunkaria, 1988-batch IAS officer, has served as commissioner of Jalandhar municipal corporation and is known for removing religious encroachments during his tenure there.



Residents protest against liquor vend
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 16
More than 400 residents of Zirakpur today marched to the newly established liquor vend on the Zirakpur-Panchkula border to get it closed. According to former Zirakpur MC chief N.K. Sharma, who led the protest, the liquor vend is facing residential area and cannot be allowed to be set up there. The vend, he further alleged, had been auctioned by the Haryana excise department and could not be set up on Punjab land.

Dera Bassi SDM Sohan Lal Bhumbak also came to the spot and assured the public that the matter would be resolved. The Panchkula SDM was also contacted and he assured that in case the liquor vend had been set up on Punjab’s land, it would have been removed and set up in Panchkula.

The residents, however, pointed out that the issue was not of the liquor vend being in Panchkula or Zirakpur. They said they objected to the fact that it was in the middle of the residential area where many colonies had come up.

The residents have given one-week ultimatum to the authorities for the removal of the liquor vend failing which they would demolish the vend themselves. “We will also block the traffic on the main road if the theka is not removed,” said a resident.



Protest by sugar mill federation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Members of the Corporative Sugar Mill Federation, Punjab, held a protest in Sector 17 this afternoon.

The protesters demanded release of 13 months’ pay, revival of closed mills and increment after every seven years.

The protesters submitted a memorandum to federation secretary Kusumjeet Sandhu, who assured them of fulfilling their demands. The protesters warned that if their demands were not met, they would intensify the agitation.



Man dies after fall
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
A 25-year-old man suffered a fatal fall from the second floor of a building in Sector 40, this afternoon.

Ragubir, a resident of Uttaranchal, was working as a cook at a wine shop in Sector 40.

The victim had gone to the shop reportedly under the influence of liquor in the afternoon and told his associates that he wanted to sleep.

Ragubir, opened the window of the shop and went to the second floor. He started walking on the parapet and in the process lost his balance and fell from the second floor.

The victim was taken to the PGI, where the doctors declared him brought dead.



Mani Majra
Traffic restriction on heavy goods vehicles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Keeping in view public safety and convenience of residents, the Chandigarh administration has restricted entry of heavy goods vehicles on certain roads of Mani Majra from 8 am to 9 pm.

The entry of heavy goods vehicles, including trucks, tractor trailers, has been restricted from IT traffic lights towards railway crossing up to police station, Rajiv Vihar, near telephone exchange, towards Modern Housing Complex, Mori Gate, near Shitla Mandir, inside Gobindpura; from local bus stand, near government school, up to police station, Mani Majra; Masjid (madrasa) on Mansa Devi road up to old Ropar road; and from Krishnagarh Chowk, near CRPF camp, up to police station, Mani Majra.

The restrictions would not be effective from 11 am to 12 pm and 3 pm to 5 pm to load and unload material from heavy goods vehicles.



PU be given central status

I read a recent report about the proposed establishment of a central University in Mohali with wide-eyed surprise. It is sheer bull-headedness on the part of the Central government to create a central university cheek by jowl with what has by all accounts been recognised as the best university in the region, namely Panjab University, Chandigarh. The refusal of the Panjab government to make available its share of grants has already landed Panjab University in a financial spin, resulting in research projects being grounded or jettisoned altogether. As one who owes his professional advancement to this university, I consider the attitude of the Panjab government totally unacceptable and, as a result, fully support the faculty-student protests taking place on the campus. Here is an already functioning edifice being gradually allowed to disintegrate for want of funds, and a new rickety structure being encouraged by the powers that be to appease purely sectarian aspirations.

Panjab University deserves recognition as a central university as no other university in this region can square up to its achievements. I would urge my former colleagues, now retired, to pull rank with the protesting faculty and students.


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Delay in Central Status for PU
Staff, students organise open rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
In continuation with their demand for the Central status for Panjab University, technical staff, teachers and students along with members of PUTA (Panjab University Teachers’ Association) today organised an open rally to register protest against the delay in declaring PU a Central university.

Interestingly, the day also marked 10 days of relay fasting by PUTA and the Students’ Council. Despite it being a busy day for the teachers and students due to the ongoing examination, hundreds of teachers, including those from local colleges and students thronged the site of rally at the call given by the joint action committee.

Addressing the rally, Prof Manjit Singh, coordinator JAC, said the demand for the Central university status for PU was to save it from the current financial crunch. On one hand, the Punjab government was not ready to contribute its 40 per cent share to the university budget, on the other, if the Centre was ready to take over the entire financial liability, Punjab accused the Centre of conspiring against Punjab by snatching PU out of its hands.

Manjeet Singh, dubbing this attitude of the Punjab government as anti-academic and myopic, rubbished the propaganda of the government that PU was being handed over to the Union government by declaring it a Central university.

“When Punjab itself has welcomed two Central universities, one IIT for Punjab and one science institute at Mohali, all funded by the Union government, why is it bent upon commiting a mistake by not allowing PU to be fully funded by the Centre? ”, he asked.

Prof A S Ahluwalia, chairman JAC, recounting various phases through which the agitation for the Central university status has passed, said emphatically that if peaceful protests went unheard, they would be compelled to take on more aggressive forms of agitation.

Prof Rakesh Mehta, president, district council, and Prof Anil Sarwal, vice-president, PCCTU, while extending their support to the agitation, highlighted the significance of making PU a Central university.

G K Chathrath, and principal Tarsem Bahia, both fellows, PU, while supporting central university status to PU, ridiculed the obduracy of the Punjab government. Principal P S Sangha, highlighted the urgency to declare PU a Central university, but he accused both state and the Central government of playing politics rather than proving their sincerity to the cause.

Parminder Jaswal, co-chairman JAC, and Preet, pesident PU Lab Technical Staff Association, also addressed the rally in support of the demand for the Central status.

Those who sat in the relay fast today were Kamaljit Singh and M C Sidhu, both from the Department of Botany, D.B. Rishi, Department of Mathematics, Ashwani Kaul, Biophysics and G.R. Chaudhary from Chemistry among teachers and Udhay Bhan, Bhupinder Singh from the Department of Botany and Mathematics, respectively, among students.



Blending science and religion on canvas
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Artist H.N Suresh could best be described as a philosopher-artist. A man who has borrowed from science, astronomy as well as our age old “jyotish vidya” to come out with a collection of paintings which fuse all these elements into a single whole.

Suresh, who is also the director of programmes and projects of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bangalore, has put his eclectic paintings on display in the city. The paintings intrigue the viewer as well as generate a communication between the artwork and an individual.

Alliance Francaise de Chandigarh was probably a good choice to hold the exhibition with its serene atmosphere juxtaposing the pure explosion of colour and mythology of the artworks. Suresh has let the experiment, use of a rigid formula, definitions and colours as defined by science and traditional wisdom as far as astrology and astronomy are concerned, speak for itself.

The end product, however, also brings out his artistic skill. The beauty of his paintings is the skillful manner in which he has borrowed from the traditional Mysore art and married it with acrylic and mixed media to produce works, which are unique.

In spite of the effort spent in producing paintings based on the astral world, which has been given the title “Tara Mandala” by the painter, it is the simplicity of design and the easy readability of the paintings, which needs to be commended. Suresh’s paintings are like an open book.

For instance while painting the sun he has taken inspiration from a telescopic picture released by NASA in all its orange-red glory along with how we see the sun in “rangolis” laid out in homes. Along with this is painted the international symbol of the sun as well as its presiding deity and the ‘mantra’ used while worshipping the sun. Wheat, which is offered to the sun during worship, is also pasted on the artwork giving the viewer a wholistic view.

Suresh has also borrowed from ‘rangoli’ art to add life to his paintings.

His folklore depiction of the planets has eyes. “Every folklore depiction has eyes”, he says, adding that they help the viewer to see the painting in a better manner besides inviting attention.

Speaking about his motivation, the artist said he wanted to do something, which had not been attempted till now. “I felt though we live every day with ‘navagrahas’ (the planetary world) and ‘nakshatras’ (stars) we rarely have any communication with them”.

From this idea started a journey that has resulted in a series of paintings of both subjects that move away from dogmatic beliefs and focus on science as well as religion.



Higher education director pulled up
Asked to interview left-out candidate again

Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Coming down heavily on the UT director, higher education, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has asked him to interview Vanita Sharma, an applicant, for the post of yoga teacher.

Earlier, the applicant was shortlisted for the post of yoga teacher in Yoga Education and Health, Sector 23, but her interview was not taken stating that she was ineligible. Quashing the cancellation of interview of the applicant at the last moment the CAT held that Vanita’s interview was wrongly cancelled.

CAT stated: “Vanita was eligible to appear for the interview and the applicant has been wrongly deprived of the opportunity to compete in the interview along with other candidates.”

Vanita appealed before the tribunal that after an advertisement in the newspaper and internet for eight posts of yoga instructor on regular basis in the Government College of Yoga Education and Health, Sector 23, she applied for the said posts but was not entertained. She specified that she had scored 45 per cent marks in BA and BEd. Vanita went for the interview in October 2007 but she was not allowed to appear on the plea that she had scored less than 45 per cent marks in BA.

She argued that she was eligible for the said post, as she had scored 45.6 per cent marks in BA if her marks in Prabhakar Hindi were included.

The CAT observed: “It is necessary that the marks scored by her in Prabhakar exam are also added or taken into account while arriving at the percentage of marks obtained at graduation level.”

The CAT stated: “The applicant may be called for interview within one month from receipt of the copy of this order after giving two weeks notice of interview to her. If she scores marks equivalent to the last selected candidate amongst the general category or even more she may be given appointment against any available vacancy or as when the next vacancy arises.”



From Schools & Colleges
Company hires 18 students
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 16
Lord Swaraj Paul-owned engineering multinational company Caparo has picked up 18 students during a joint placement drive organised at Indo Global College of Engineering at Abhiput in Mohali district. The company has 60 branches across the world. The company is offering a pay package ranging between Rs 2 lakh and 2.4 lakh per annum to the selected students. As many as 830 students from 16 colleges of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh participated in the drive. Indo Global college chairman Sukhdev Kumar Singla said three more multinational companies were planning to organise placement drives on the college campus in the next 10 days.


Chandigarh College of Pharmacy, Landarn, organised seminar on the college campus today. While addressing students, S.N. Gupta, senior manager, productions, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd, said the industry had taken a giant leap towards global success. Gupta stated that India's $3.1 billion pharmaceutical industry was growing at the rate of 14 per cent per year and with quality infrastructure required for research in place, the industry has the potential to reach Rs 100,000 crore by 2010.

Recruitment drive

Ceat Ltd conducted a campus recruitment drive at Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, in which eight students were selected. More than 250 final-year students participated. The selected students will be appointed as engineer trainees for one year at Rs 15,000 package and free accommodation. After the training, the company will employ them in their new plants at a package of Rs 3 lakh per annum.


As many as 41 students of Continental Institute for International Studies (CIIS) have been transferred from their current off-shore Indian campus at CIIS to their parent campuses in Georgian College, Ontario, Thompson Rivers University, Canada, and AYR College, Scotland.


The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) here received the Rajbhasha prize for excellent work in Hindi by the union ministry of chemicals and fertilisers during the ministry’s Hindi Salahkar Samiti meeting held on April 5 at Kumarakom, Kottayam, Kerala. Ram Vilas Paswan, chairman, Hindi Salahkar Samiti and union minister of chemicals and fertilisers and steel, gave away the prize to NIPER, which was received by Subrata Sarkar, registrar, NIPER.



Yuvsatta organises discussion on Indo-Pak freindship
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
To sensitise young children about values of peace, friendship and brotherhood, Peace Club of KB DAV-7 and Yuvsatta organised a discussion on ‘Indo-Pak friendship’ on school campus in Sector 7, today.

Mubahsir Mirza, president of CYDA (Centre for Youth Development and Activities), Pakistan, was the chief guest on the occasion. Poonam Singh, editor, Preetlari presided over the meeting. Students of Peace Club of New Public School also participated in the event.

Welcoming the young guest speaker from Pakistan, Poonam Singh said people to people contact, especially involvement of children and youth is the surest way to build a pressure of public opinion for peace which no government can afford to ignore.

Mubashir Mirza called for closer ties between youth of both the countries. And for this he said their NGO- CYDA based in Sadikabad in district Rahimayar Khan of Punjab province of Pakistan is promoting more and more youth exchange programme between both the countries. Motivated by the Chandigarh experiment they had also formed 50 peace clubs in different schools of Sadikabad. In August, they intend to organise a Indo-Pak students peace camp in Sadikadad, for which he invited students from Chandigarh to participate.

On the occasion students of KB DAV-7 asked many questions about Pakistan, on how the education system in Pakistan works, especially the education for girls and if there is problem of female foeticide, for which Mubashir replied that inhuman acts like female foeticide are forbidden in Islam, so there is no such problem. Presenting a vote of thanks Parmod Sharma, coordinator, Yuvsatta, remarked that children though are not a part of any decision making process when it comes to war or foreign relations but they are an integral part of the decision for peace.

H.S. Talwar, a businessman and social activist from the city, shared his experiences, the warmth with which he was received and goodwill he earned while on a visit in Pakistan.



Consumer Courts
Censure, penalty for ICICI Bank
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Requesting officials of ICICI Bank, Sector 9, to take note of deterioration in its working as well as efficiency, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has asked the bank to pay Rs 30,000 in compensation.

The appellant, Surinder Bhakoo, a resident of Sector 16, had alleged that he had a savings account and two other accounts for web trade with the bank.

In March, 2001, he made purchases worth Rs 22,792 through the ATM and informed the respondents.

He complained that the bank charged him for cash withdrawal along with interest in its bill.

He issued a cheque for Rs 23,000 with a request to withdraw illegal charges. However, nothing was done in this regard. Thereafter, he surrendered the card and requested the bank to close his accounts with immediate effect.

The bank argued that they had rightly charged the petitioner. They further added that the cheque for Rs 23,000 got bounced due to insufficient funds in the savings bank account. The bank maintained that the appellant had withdrawn cash from the web trading account through the savings account while he was outstation and failed to mention that the account was used for internet trading. Thus, his account was insufficient in funds.

The commission observed that the marking of web account did not affect the savings account, as both were separate.

The commission stated: “The only conclusion is that the bank had something to hide. In fact, the working of the bank has deteriorated to such an extent that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.”



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