C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PGI shows signs of healing
Number of agitating employees declines
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
Diagnostic services that had been crippled during the ongoing strike at the PGI showed signs of recovery with the number of agitating employees declining to 168 today.

On Tuesday, as many as 212 medical technologists had gone on strike in support of their demands.

The PGI authorities confirmed that 10 to 15 employees had rejoined work in the departments of cardiology, haematology, biochemistry, dermatology, histopathology, microbiology and parasitology. More than 2,060 patients attended the OPD today even though it was a half day being Saturday.

The emergency, indoor and operating theatres functioned to full capacity, spokesperson for the PGI said. However, the number of patients at the emergency OPD was low at 115. It was 152 two days ago.

The situation improved after the faculty of various diagnostic departments along with technical staff deputed from the GMCH-32, GMSH-16 and the Mohali Civil Hospital, performed tests required by doctors. Following a request by the PGI authorities, 35 technologists from these institutes were sent to conduct the tests.

“No test was refused and the results were given on time,” the spokesperson claimed.

Over 114 X rays were taken in the OPD today. About 6,072 tests were conducted at the biochemistry laboratory today, against 6,800 tests on an average every day. The number of radiodiagnosis tests were 507 against the average number of 570.



But strike likely to continue

The strike by medical technologists is likely to continue as leaders of the PGI Medical Technologists Association have not got any assurance from the local MP, Pawan Bansal, during a meeting here today.

The striking employees had appealed to the union minister for finance, Pawan Bansal, to intervene in the matter and they were told to meet him today.

The meeting yielded no result and the minister refused to give any assurance on their demands, employee leaders said.

In the absence of a settlement, the association was left with no choice, but to declare an indefinite strike, Ashwani Munjal, general secretary of the association, said.

However, a formal decision would be taken at the general body meeting of the association, he said.

Bansal, when contacted, said he advised the employees to join work and assured them to raise their issues at an appropriate platform.

“I cannot assure them that their demands would be accepted as these are considered by the union government,” he said.





‘Punjabiyat’ prevails
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Former Indian cricket player K Srikkanth arrives at the PCA Stadium, Mohali, to support the Chennai team
Former Indian cricket player K Srikkanth arrives at the PCA Stadium, Mohali, to support the Chennai team. — Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

Mohali, April 19
Boundaries, diversities and nationalities were defied with “Punjabiyat” ruling the mood at the IPL Twenty20 match at the PCA Stadium in Mohali today, where the local team Kings XI took on Chennai Super Kings.

The spirit of the day lived up to the Kings XI Punjab slogan, “Live Punjabi, play Punjabi,”.

Loud cheers for foreign players proved that local cricket fans had connected to the team, a relief for Preity Zinta who looked tensed following the loss of her team.

When Australia’s James Hopes and Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara drubbed Indian bowlers like Punjab Ranji player Manpreet Goni and Haryana’s Joginder from Chennai Super Kings, there were no hard feelings.

When Brett Lee snapped Parthiv Patel and Hopes sent Dhoni, Chennai team skipper, to the pavilion a wave of joy spread across the stadium.

Nearly 12,000 spectators were seen backing Yuvraj’s brigade that was chasing a tough target of 241. The total capacity of the stadium is 30,000.

However, the opening ceremony marked with bhangra and a theme song by Daler Mehandi was a damp squib. Only a few hundred spectators were present to watch the poor ceremony that was a contrast to the grand opening of the IPL in Bangalore yesterday.

The ceremony started at 4 pm and lasted for barely 15 minutes. During the second entertainment part, Daler sang two Punjabi numbers, but the crowd was not enthusiastic.

Despite Michael Hussy’s blitzkrieg 116 off 54, with the help of nine sixes and eight boundaries, the match came alive as soon as Karan Goel and James Hopes stepped in to bat.

For cheerleaders, who have become an integral part of twenty20 cricket, daises have been set up along the boundary line of the ground. Two mascots of Kings XI, adorning lion masks, entertained the crowd throughout the match.

Though the local team lost the match to Chennai, the efforts put in by it players won the hearts of many.

“I came hoping that my favourite, Yuvraj, would enthral us with top class knocks, but his fall on just 23 runs has left us disappointed,” Sunny Narang and his friend said.



...as does chaos
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 19
The match brought with it woes for Mohali commuters were inconvenienced follwoing a diversion on the stadium road from 9 am to nearly 9 pm.

The police had set up nakas at 18 places around the stadium. Those living near the stadium had a harrowing day as chaos marked parking arrangements around the stadium.

Drivers parked vehicles wherever they could find some space near the stadium. Some even parked cars along roads, disrupting the flow of traffic even on alternative routes. VVIP cars were allowed access till the main gates of the stadium, where some remained parked throughout the day.

Though the entry gates opened at 2 pm, there was no crowd outside the stadium. The crowds swelled at around 5 pm when the match took off. The match continued to draw spectators till 7 pm as tickets were still being sold. “We are left with only a handful of the Rs 250 tickets. However, there are many Rs 750 and Rs 3,000 tickets,” said a volunteer manning the ticket counter.

The gates to the stadium were locked during the 15-minute break. Many spectators with tickets were seen waiting outside trying to gain entry into the stadium.Compared to the people who lined up at the stadium, the 800 policemen from all over Punjab seemed more than required.

Policemen deputed at a distance from the stadium did not get drinking water. “We just got a small bottle — one for two policemen,” said policemen posted at the outermost naka.

Chaos also ruled the stadium road once the match was over. There were traffic jams on the road leading to Amb Sahib Gurdwara.

No shuttle service

The promise made by the SAD president, Sukhbir Singh Badal, about providing special shuttle bus service for spectators from various points in Chandigarh and Mohali was not kept. He was not present at the opening match



Firing in Courts Complex
All 15 accused acquitted
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The acquittal of 15 suspects has ‘proved’ that no one fired gunshots in the courts complex on July 6, 1998.

Even after 10 years, the prosecution has not been able to establish beyond the shadow of doubt who fired the shots.

There was chaos in the courts complex for 40 minutes, but no one has been held responsible for the act. Fifteen accused were today acquitted by the district and sessions judge, Ravi Kumar Sondhi.

The then president of the SAD, Muktsar, Manjit Singh Barkandi, and five others had filed an application for the quashing of an FIR accepted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The police had seized two swords, an SLR, a carbine, two AK-47s and a rifle from the courts after the “alleged” firing.

Now, after the acquittal of the accused, the police has not been able to figure out who was responsible for bringing the ammunition to the courts.

Jagjit Singh, the then DSP, was also an accused. The additional district and sessions judge, Ravi Kumar Sondhi, had framed charges against the accused on October 29, 2007, under Sections 148, 149, 333, 323 and 353 read with Section 149 of the IPC.

Another accused, Kanwarjit Singh, who allegedly used the official carbine of a co-accused Punjab Police constable, had also been charged under Section 27 (2) of the Arms Act.

During the proceedings before the High Court, Avtar Singh, a witness, had attributed his injuries to a fall on a sharp-edged grill outside the court complex and had expressed his unwillingness to pursue the matter further.

Another witness, Kulwant Singh, had denied witnessing the incident while Harpreet Singh had claimed that his injuries were sustained during the pelting of stones.

Two mediapersons were also witness to the firing. In fact, photographs of lawlessness were carried in an English daily. However, the prosecution did not ask them to appear as witness. Even the photographs were not placed on record in the trial court.

The incident took place when “supporters” of Harvinder Singh, accused of killing an SAS Nagar resident, Manjit Singh, in the Sector 10 market, had allegedly gathered in and around the court complex during the production of the accused.



Sales tax on medicines: HC quashes UT notification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has set aside a notification issued by the UT Administration on November 30, 2005, vide which the rate of sales tax on medicines was reduced with retrospective effect.

The significant judgment by High Court Division Bench, comprising Justice M.M. Kumar and Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal, comes on a petition filed by Kumar Brothers (Chemists) Pvt. Ltd against the UT Administration and others.

In the petition, the chemists had raised the question of law “whether a notification reducing the rate of sales tax could be issued with retrospective effect, especially when tax at higher rate had been paid; and also credited by the seller to the manufacturer”.

The petitioner had also prayed for quashing the notification. Counsel for the petitioner Kashmiri Lal Goyal had contended that the impugned notification had been given retrospective effect by operating it from July 13, 2000. The executive or the state government can issue no notification from a retrospective effect in the absence of any power conferred on them by the legislation.

He pointed out that legislation alone could clothe the executive with the power to issue a notification from retrospective effect, but the executive could not do the same.

Counsel for the respondent, on the other hand, argued that the impugned notification, giving effect from July 13, 2000, was merely clarificatory in nature.

After hearing the arguments, the Judges ruled: We have thoughtfully considered the rival submissions made by the counsel for the parties and have perused the record. A bare perusal of Section 5 (1) of the Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1948, and its proviso would show that the legislation has not conferred any power on the competent authorities to issue a notification with retrospective effect.

It is well established that in the absence of express or implied provision in the legislation itself, the state government cannot issue a notification from a retrospective effect.

In that regard reliance has been rightly placed by the counsel for the petitioner on the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Bakul Cashew Co… It is, thus, obvious that notification dated November 30, 2005, issued by the respondents with retrospective effect from July 13, 2000, could not be issued…

We are also unable to find either by the process of interpretation, or otherwise from necessary intendment, any intention of the legislature to confer such a power on the competent authority. Therefore, notification dated November 30, 2005 is liable to be set aside.

The judges concluded: For the reasons, this petition succeeds and the impugned notification is set aside. Taking into account the nature of the controversy, we order that the parties should bear their own costs.



Mani Majra land acquisition
Parties throw weight behind landowners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
Representatives of different political parties today came on a common platform to support the ongoing agitation by the landowners of Mani Majra against the acquisition of their lands for the IT park.

Under the banner of Sanjha Morcha, the landowners have been crying foul over the forcible acquisition of their land by the Chandigarh administration.

Sharing the platform, local leaders from the Congress, the BJP, the Janta Dal, the CPM, the BSP, the SAD and the Samajwadi Party said the administration would not be allowed to forcibly acquire the land without giving the due to landowners.

BKU president Ajmer Singh Lakhowal threatened to gherao the Raj Bhavan if the administrator did not heed to the demand of the landowners. It may be mentioned that BKU leader has made a similar threat earlier also.

A resolution on changing UT administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) did not find favour with the Congress.

Congress leader and former mayor Subash Chawla said it was not the platform to speak against the Administrator.

Leaders of the opposition parties demanded that local MP and finance minister Pawan Kumar Bansal should be held accountable for the issue.

Morcha general secretary Brig K.S. Kahlon (retd) reasoned that if the Punjab government could pay Rs 1.5 crore for acquiring land for the international airport, the UT land was certainly costlier.

While the administration was selling land to the common man at higher rates, the land to big players was being sold for a song.

BJP leader Sat Pal Jain said the demand of the landowners was reasonable.

He said the landowners should press upon Bansal to prevail upon the administration. Chawla said the local MP had been taking up the issue on different occasions. He added that the regularisation of Deep Complex happened due to the initiative of the MP.

CPM leaders said the priorities of the administration were misplaced.

There was no focus on the issues affecting the common man. There was no focus on the drug menace and slums, they added.

Shivi Jaiswal of the Samajawadi Party said a Vidhan Sabha was the only solution for the problems of the city.

Ajay Jagga of the Janta Dal also supported the cause of the farmers.



Misappropriation Of Funds
Missing documents delay CBI investigation
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The CBI investigation into gross misappropriation of funds by officials at the Sector 42 sports complex has been stymied due to certain missing documents pertaining to purchases made in violation of rules.

Sources in the CBI said the investigations into the matter had come to a halt due to the weekend. A senior officer said they could only take up the matter on Monday if the sports department provides them with the complete documents.

It has almost been a week and CBI officials have not come to any conclusion regarding the Techonogym installed at the three centres under the UT sports department. Officials of the sports department had purchased equipments and machines worth Rs 1.25 crore for the gym.

According to sources in the CBI, officials are looking at every minute details before wrapping up the matter that was put to their notice by Vivek Aditya.

CBI officials had seized certain incriminating documents related to records of the equipment purchase. A large number of important files were found missing and those recovered from there had discrepancies in them.

Sources said besides investigating the paperwork, CBI sleuths are questioning officers of the UT sports department. However, even after repeated requests the sports department has so far failed to provide the CBI team the complete records.



Close shave for eight-yr-old boy
Stray bullet scrapes arm
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
Jaswant Singh, an eight-year-old boy, had a miraculous escape when a bullet scraped his right arm at Dhanas village, here this morning. He was taken to the Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, from where he was discharged after medication.

The police has been unable to find out the source of the bullet.

According to information, the boy along with his mother was working in the fields around 8 am, when the family members of the victim saw the boy suddenly collapse after hearing a gunshot.

The police control room was informed and the injured was taken to the hospital.

While Jaswant escaped with minor injuries, suspicion prevails over the source of the bullet.

According to an eyewitness, four persons had been seen near the boy going on a tractor at the time of the incident.

Jaswant told the TNS that he had also seen four persons on a tractor immediately after the bullet was fired.

He alleged that the tractor was a few yards away and believed that its occupants could have been involved in the incident.

According to sources, the security wing of the Chandigarh police was also holding a practice session at the firing range in Sector 25.

The firing range being not far from the place of the incident, the possibility of bullet coming from the range has not been ruled out.

According to police station-11 SHO Ramesh Chander, investigation was on and the police was working on various theories.

A team from the central forensic sciences laboratory has been called in and is investigating the matter.

The police has registered a case under Section 336 of the IPC and the Arms Act against an unknown person.



NCC Cadet’s Death
Kin denied relief
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
If parents of Class IX student of Moti Ram Senior Secondary School, Sector 27, Rajat, are to be believed, it was negligence on part of the NCC authorities which cost them their child's life.

On the other hand, the court of inquiry conducted by the NCC authorities reported that the cadet's death could not be attributed to NCC activities and hence, no compensation under the Cadet Welfare Scheme (CWS) could be extended to the bereaved family.

It is to be mentioned that 13-year-old Rajat had died under mysterious circumstances three days after he returned from the annual NCC training camp at Alihal near Palampur. According to PGI reports, Rajat died of acute encephalitis on June 6, 2007.

Earlier, no one from the school authorities or the NCC unit turned up at Rajat’s place to console his bereaved family. However, when reports about the incident appeared in media, the authorities were compelled to do so.

Since Rajat’s father Manpool Chand knew that there was provision that the NCC Cadet Welfare Society gave some financial assistance/relief to the next of kin of the deceased, he put his son’s case in papers, both with the Sector 26 NCC unit as well as with the NCC Cadet Welfare Society at New Delhi.

Alleging negligence on part of NCC authorities, Manphool Chand claimed that his son was not feeling well since the day he landed. "On June 3 at around 5.30 pm, when I went to pick him up, I found him to be unwell. On being asked, he told me that he had severe headache and was feeling drowsy."

The Chandigarh NCC authorities, however, claimed that there were negligible chances of anybody having been ignored and the child had landed safely here.

But the question arises, how come a healthy child developed a grievous disease and lost his life in a short span of time.

PGI doctors diagnosed Rajat to be suffering from 'raised intra-cranial tension, acute encephalitis, refractory septic shock and viral fever’.

The doctors said encephalitis was inflammation of the brain caused by a virus. The virus could be transmitted through mosquitoes, bacterial infection and parasites and there were increased chances of contracting it in wild grassy areas.

But the doctors also insisted that since the parents of the child did not agree for a postmortem, the exact situation could not be ascertained.

NCC officers, however, showed their helplessness over lapses on aspects where they have no jurisdiction like issuing medical fitness certificate etc. They stressed that they had to rely on what the educational institutions and parents submitted with them.



MC computerisation project fails to take off
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 19
A pilot project for introducing computerisation using free software of the Microsoft has failed to take off at the Mohali municipal council even when the proposal was unanimously cleared by the general house nearly nine months back.

The civic body was chosen as the pilot location to introduce the software after which the house cleared the proposal to purchase more computers and other related material at the cost of Rs 5 lakh at the monthly meeting held on July 25 last year.

The software had 15 modules to deal with the work of different branches like water supply and sewerage, accounts, licences, registration of births and deaths, cash collection, etc.

The then director, local government, had given instructions that all modules be made functional and more computers and printers be purchased depending on the requirement.

The council initially had only three computers and two printers but the office of the director, local government, had sent five computers, four printers and networking material to the office of the civic body.

According to plans, four more computers were to be purchased to run the remaining modules. The office of the civic body was to become fully computerised by mid-August.

Sources said the project failed to take off as the then director of the concerned department got transferred in a month’s time when the project was to be formally launched.

Later, the authorities concerned did not show any interest in the project. Though the number of computers in the council office had increased after Mohali council was chosen for the pilot project, but these could not be used effectively as staff lacked the required training and these computers were not interlinked.



Mock drills by fire dept
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The fire and emergency services department today carried out two mock drills at a school in Sector 28 and Sector 17 market, here today.

During the mock drill at government school in Sector 28, the fire-fighting equipment installed at the school failed to work.

A fire officer said while one water pipe did not work, another burst under pressure. It was also found that the staff at the school was not properly trained in using the equipment.

Later in the evening, the department carried out a drill near Neelam cinema in Sector 17.

The exercise turned out to be a farce as fire engines reached the scene even before the fire could be lit.

During the exercise, which drew a large crowd, the functioning of the hydraulic platform-cum-turn table ladder and demonstration on dousing the blaze was given.

The fire department distributed leaflets, giving fire safety tips, and educated people through public address system. Mayor Pardeep Chhabra was present along with fire and emergency committee chairman M.P.S. Chawla and officials of the fire department.

Chawla said the drill would continue as part of the Fire Safety Week and people would be educated on fire safety norms.

He said after completing the awareness drive, they would launch surprise operations and take action against those not following the fire fighting guidelines.



Fire at insurance company office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
A fire broke out in the office of HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company at Sector 9, here this evening. According to eyewitnesses, the air-conditioner of the office at the ground floor caught fire and it spread quickly due to the wooden partitioning installed in the office room.

Two fire tenders from the Fire Brigade Station, Sector 17, and one water sprinkler from Fire Station, Sector 1, were put into service to bring the fire under control.

According to station fire officer S.K. Gosain, the exact cause of the fire could not be ascertained. “The fire broke out due to a snag in the power circuit of the air-conditioner, but since the air conditioner was switched off and the room was locked from outside, it was hard to ascertain the exact cause. Investigations are on,” he said.

In another incident,a major tragedy was averted late this evening when a fire broke out in an abandoned area adjoining a banquet hall at Zirakpur. According to eyewitnesses, the incident took place when wild grass in the open area caught fire as a result of crackers being burst during a marriage ceremony in the nearby banquet hall. People present on the spot brought the fire under control. However, they could not call for fire tender, as the fire emergency numbers did not work.



Rly award for senior manager
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
Senior divisional commercial manager, Ambala division, Northern Railway, Karan Singh was awarded the Minister of Railways National Award at the 53rd Railway Week award ceremony held at Mumbai on April 16.

The award has been given for increasing the railway earnings from non-conventional resources and attracting new traffic for railways through popularising various freight incentive schemes announced by the railway board.

Karan Singh received the award from minister of state for railways Narain Bhai Rathwa.

The Ambala division has become the first one to implement electronic payment of freight system of Northern Railway.

The division has been able to earn highest revenue in ticket checking, surpassing the revenue targets fixed by the Northern Railway.



OBC workers in PPCC demand reservation
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 19
The OBC wing of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) today demanded that 27 per cent seats be reserved in the Lok Sabha, Vidhan Sabha, panchayats, municipal councils and all national and state committees for OBC workers.

The demand was put forth in front of PPCC president Rajinder Kaur Bhattal at a gathering organised in Phase XI, here, today. Chairman of the OBC wing Gurinder Pal Singh Billa demanded the representation for OBC workers in the PPCC and district and block presidentships. This would help in uplifting their status.

He demanded that small-scale professionals like carpenters, welders, mechanics etc should be given SP power connection in place of commercial connection on the pattern of the small-scale industries and condition of renewing the OBC certificate every year for educational purposes should be withdrawn.



Wine association chief resigns
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
Chandigarh Wine Merchant Association president Sat Pal has resigned from the post in protest against the smuggling of liquor from the city to other state.

He said rampant liquor smuggling by certain liquor contractors had not only unsettled the excise department in neighbouring states, but had also tarnished the image of the city.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, he said not only was it setting a wrong precedent but was affecting the business of traders in the neighbouring states.

On the condition of anonymity, a liquor contractor said the licence fee of liquor contractors was so high in Chandigarh that they had no alternative but to smuggle out liquor.



Habitual offender’s licence suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA), Chandigarh, debarred a habitual offender from holding a driving licence for a period two months following recommendations made by the traffic police, here on Thursday. Sources in the police said Om Prakash Gupta, a resident of Hallo Majra, had been issued eight challans from December 1, 2004 to February 9, 2008. He has now been disqualified from holding a driving license for a period of two months, from March 20 onwards.



City’s first banquet hall opened
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
Mayor Pardeep Chhabra inaugurated the city’s first banquet hall in Sector 23, here today.

The hall constructed at the cost of Rs 62 lakh has four deluxe rooms with attached toilets and 12 ordinary rooms.

The entire complex would be rented out for Rs 5,000 per day, while the user has to pay additional Rs 2,600 for lawn.

Chhabra told the TNS that the rent for deluxe room was Rs 1,000 and Rs 450 for ordinary room.

The proposal for renovation of the hall was moved around two and half years ago and its was completed within three months.

The old structure being used as marriage palace was constructed around 40 years ago.

Besides, the mayor said the work on four new community centres would be started shortly.




No funds for PU

It is very painful to know that the Punjab government is not giving funds for Punjab University even though Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was once a student of this university. More surprising is the fact that the Central government is not giving Central status to the varsity even with Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister.

Suresh K. Sharma
Los Angeles, CA

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



Quota for Kashmiri migrants
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
Children of Kashmiri migrants may soon be entitled to an additional seat besides other special concessions for admission to various courses in the academic session 2008-09.

A decision in this regard will be taken by the Panjab University syndicate in its meeting to be held on April 20. Under the proposed agenda, the university and its affiliated colleges will create one additional seat for such students in courses including BEd, MEd, LLB, BA, LLB (honours), LLM, BLib, MLib, BPharma, MPharma, MMC, MCA, MBA, MTech (inst), MTech (micro-electronics), MSc (bio-tech), ME (chem) and BE.

Earlier, a letter in this regard was sent to the university by the ministry of human resource development. The letter stated that five per cent weightage be given and merit be determined accordingly provided the candidate fulfilled the minimum prescribed qualification (including entrance test) wherever applicable including professional and technical courses of the university teaching departments and its affiliated colleges.

There will be five per cent increase in intake, subject to a maximum of three seats per course at the entry point which will be made in all courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in all arts and science affiliated colleges and university’s teaching departments wherever reservation policy approved by the university was applicable.

The letter further stated that as Kashmiri migrants continued to face hardships, they should be given extension in the date of admission by about 30 days. In addition, relaxation be given in cut-off percentage up to 100 per cent subject to minimum eligibility requirement, waiving domicile requirements and facilitation of migration in second and subsequent years.

The syndicate will also consider the issue pertaining to submission of a certificate to the effect that the applicant is a ward of a Kashmiri displaced person, issued by an authorised government officer; and while giving such concession, it may be scrutinised whether the person is really Kashmiri, permanent resident of Kashmir, migrated to other states or is a temporary resident but not actually a Kashmiri who shifted to other states.



PTU to conduct CET in May
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
Punjab Technical University will conduct the Combined Entrance Test (CET-2008) for admissions to engineering and pharmacy colleges in the state in the last week of May. The counselling process, which will be conducted in two parts, will be held in the third and fourth week of June.

These announcements were made by Dr S.K. Salwan, vice-chancellor, PTU, today during a national-level seminar on “Transformation of HR in the Emerging Global Order”. The seminar was organised by Chandigarh Business School at Hotel Mountview. Replying to the question whether the PTU would be conducting online counselling from this year, Dr Salwan said the university was well-equipped for conducting online counselling, but they needed to look into feasibility of the process as students seeking admissions from rural areas would find it difficult to understand the process.

Answering to the query regarding the up-dation of curriculum and syllabus, Dr Salwan said the university had the policy to review the course contents after every three years. The review was being done by the Board of Studies constituted by the university, which includes reputed academicians, scientists and industrialists. This year, the university had forwarded the syllabus to 20 companies in order to get their feedback so that the new syllabi could be designed while keeping the industry perspective in mind, he added.

On being asked that how many new colleges were opening in Punjab this year, Dr Salwan replied: “Although the university has received more than 70 applications for granting affiliations, but it has decided to go in for quality rather than quantity. The university has constituted two committees to inspect new as well as existing colleges. Any college found deficient in terms of providing quality infrastructure or faculty will be dealt with sternly.”

Speaking on the university’s contribution towards research, he said the university would be encouraging its colleges to take up research-related activities by providing them grant upto Rs 5 lakh in order to upgrade their infrastructure facilitating research and development.



PUTA Strike
Holiday fails to dampen spirits
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
Despite it being a holiday today, teachers, students and technical staff of Panjab University completed 13 days of continuous chain fasting while thousands of them participated in the agitation by putting their signatures in the visitors’ register, besides taking out rallies and candle march.

However, it does not seem to be enough to awake up the politicians from deep slumber. When PUTA leadership quizzed some Punjab politicians about what they meant by loss of control over PU after it got a Central university status, they said clearly that they would not be able to ask for favours from PU.

“Do public institutions of the stature and nature of Panjab University stand for universal brotherhood, knowledge, truth, worthiness and open seat of learning or are they means to make political capital at the cost of public?” quipped Prof Manjit Singh, coordinator, Joint Action Committee (JAC).

“Many politicians think public institutions are their private fiefdom and take pride in using them for personal political promotion,” lamented Prof Singh.

“It should be a matter of shame for the politicians that even chairpersons of the departments are forced to sacrifice their weekend and, instead of spending weekend with the family, are made to sit on fast by the roadside,” said Prof A.S. Ahluwalia, chairman, JAC.

“Universities are obliged to cater to regional needs but are not supposed to become arenas of parochial provincialism,” argued Prof Rajan Gaur, PUTA vice-president.

Today those who sat on the fast included Prof Shankerji Jha, department of Sanskrit, Dr Veena Sachdeva, and Dr Raj Kumari Gupta, chairpersons of the department of history and education, respectively. Research scholars who joined in the protest were Sandeep Thind, Kuljeet Thind and Summitter Singh Walia from the department of geography, Sanskrit and English, respectively.



School chops off 6 trees
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
Four days after a private school in Sector 32-D chopped off six trees adjacent to its boundary wall, the horticulture wing of the UT administration has failed to take any action.

When contacted, the school authorities claimed that they had apprised the concerned department about cutting of the trees and had even offered to pay a fine for the offence. Surprisingly, the authorities had not taken any action in this regard. Only about eight feet tall stems of the trees are what remain and the place is littered with leaves and branches.

It is learnt that the authorities of Silver Oak School in Sector 32 had cut six silver oak trees on Wednesday without seeking permission from the department. The cutting and even pruning of trees require permission from the horticulture department in the absence of which, the offender is liable to be booked under the Tree Preservation Act.

When the TNS team contacted the school authorities, school in charge Satnam Kaur admitted that the trees were cut as they were causing “hindrance and also posing a danger” to the school building. She, however, claimed that school caretaker Kuldeep Singh was asked to prune the trees, but he chopped them off.

She further claimed that they had apprised the authorities after coming to know about the violation of the Act and had offered to pay a fine for the offence. She stated that no one from the department had come to them so far.

When contacted, sub-divisional engineer (SDE) of the Chandigarh municipal corporation Krishanpal Singh said the area was with the administration.

An official of the horticulture department said after receiving the application, a team visited the spot and prepared a report. The same has been forwarded to senior officials for appropriate action.



Admn extends green belt in educational institutions
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The forest department of the Chandigarh administration plans to intensify its endeavour to extend green belt in educational institutions around the city. This move has been fully supported by more than 100 government schools and colleges of Chandigarh.

Interestingly, under this campaign, 32 government schools, four colleges and Panjab University have developed special herbal gardens on their campuses to make students aware of the advantages of herbal plants in their day-to-day life.

As many as 20,000 saplings, including 7,000 of trees and 13,000 of shrubs, will be planted in the educational institutions of the city this year. A senior official of the forest department revealed that there was a plan to distribute free seedlings of neem, jamun, arjun, mango, kusum and peepal, which had a great role in keeping the environment clean.

Government Senior Secondary Model School, Sector 46, is not only leading in Chandigarh in developing the green belt on its premises by planting 650 trees in and around the school but is also making natural manure from the waste leaves, which the students collect from the school grounds.

Talking to the Tribune, incharge of the eco club of the school Om Prakash said the school had planted around 500 ornamental plants and 60 medicinal plants on the school premises. He said the school had an eco club of 50 students out of which 10 were active members and were deputed regularly in maintaining the school’s green belt. He said most of the barren and unutilised land of the school had been brought under the green belt.

School Principal H.K. Bhatia said the idea behind creating a herbal garden in the school was to develop awareness among the students about the utility of medicinal plants. She said the students undertook eco club activities during prayer period of the school thus, not compromising on their studies.



From Schools
Workshop marks World Earth Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
To mark World Earth Day, a one-day long workshop on the theme ‘Environment’ was organised by Commonwealth youth ambassador Gaurav Gaur for 30 scouts of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22-A, here, on the school premises. During the workshop, students discussed various issues like usage of polythene, various ways of pollution and use of pesticides, wastage of water, usage of polythene and decreasing number of trees etc.

INTERACTION: Citing importance of corporate governance, Dr Ajay Garg, assistant professor, IIM, Lucknow, advocated that this mechanism was context specific. “Every country has developed a wide variety of governance mechanisms and there is no reason to expect the Anglo-American models of corporate governance to work in the Indian context. Our own ancient texts have laid down sound principles of governance, which are very relevant to the modern day corporate requirements,” he said during an interaction session organised by Aryans Business School on its campus on Banur-Rajpura road, near here, yesterday. The topic for the interaction was ‘The Missing Indian in the Indian Corporate Governance Reforms’.

DOUBLE SHIFT: Government Primary School, Daddu Majra, will now be run on a double shift basis from this session. DPI (s) S.K. Setia, during his visit to this school yesterday, announced this because the inflow of students is more as compared to the space available in the school. Setia also visited Government Model Senior Secondary School-35 and inspected the renovation work being done in the school. At Government High School-29, Setia had an interaction with destitute children on the school campus. He checked the arrangements made for these children, including food and stay facilities along with mid-day meal, which will be prepared in this school.



Vocational training institute in the offing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
Making India Employable (MIE), a vocational training institute, will launch its training centre in the city next month.

Prikshit Dhanda, CEO and MD of MIE said recently, “According to studies, the country has only 5 per cent skilled workforce as compared to South Korea, which has 96 per cent. But we are short of employable people and skilled class. At our centre, we will teach them many skills including customer services, sales and marketing during the 100 to 240 hours training sessions.”

We have London Chambers of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) as our partner, which will give the certificate after completion of the course, added Dhanda.

Besides Chandigarh, the company is also targetting the neighbouring states including Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir for opening their centres.



2-yr jail term for forgery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
Disposing of over 53 complaints of forgery against Amarjeet Singh Chadha, judicial magistrate A.S. Shergill today convicted him in 20 cases and acquitted him in 33.

The court awarded him a two-year imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 1,000 in 20 cases. The sentence will run concurrently.

In all, 134 cases of forgery were pending against the accused in the court, out of which 53 were disposed of today. The disposal of these cases has provided a major relief to pendency in courts.

Earlier this year, the court had summoned 126 witnesses in different cases.

The cases against Amarjeet Singh Chadha, owner of Somu Enterprises Firm, have been pending for past 16 years. A number of these cases were filed in 1992.

A case of cheating and forgery against Amarjeet Singh Chadha was registered in November, 1992. Chadha had allegedly duped around 25 persons of Rs 1 lakh.

According to the prosecution, Chadha used to dupe his victims on the pretext of issuing vehicles on fake documents.

The case was registered by the economic offences wing of the Chandigarh police.

A number of companies like Brinsar Financiers and Sahni Financiers had lodged a complaint of forgery against the accused.



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