C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PGI adamant, so are strikers
Tech staff extend strike for 3 days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
There seems to be no respite for patients at the PGI as the strike by medical technologists has been extended further till April 24. The decision was taken this evening after the PGI administration refused to give an assurance that the terminated employees will be reinstated.

The MTA had earlier assured to withdraw their strike tomorrow but only after the withdrawal of the termination notices to 10 ad hoc employees.

Ashwani Munjal, general secretary of the MTA said, “We will withdraw the protest without settlement of our demands as a goodwill gesture in the larger interest of patients and public. But the PGI administration will have to reinstate the ad hoc employees, as it is a matter of their livelihood”.

He said 12 junior technologist working on ad hoc basis had reported for duty today at 4.15 pm. But head of the department, Dr Paramjit Singh, acting on the instructions by the management, told them not to join the duty.

“It seems that the PGI administration is not willing to create a peaceful atmosphere and is bent on provoking us to continue the strike,” said Munjal. In view of the adamant attitude of the PGI management, the strike will continue till Thursday (the date on which the high court has fixed the date of hearing), added Munjal.

The situation reached a deadlock as neither the PGI authorities nor the MTA seems willing to budge from their stand. While technologist stuck to its stand that if authorities will not withdraw the termination notices of 10 employees issued by the PGI authorities, medical technologist will not go back to work. Their protest and struggle will continue to wait for the direction of the high court.

The PGI administration, on the other hand, said, “We can not take any decision as this is the matter concerns the health ministry.” Deputy director, administration, A.K. Gupta, said, “Even the Chandigarh Administration can not intervene in this matter.”



HC notice to tech body’s secy 

CHANDIGARH: Taking up a PIL petition against striking PGI technologist, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion for April 24 to the secretary of the Medical Technologists Association.

Issuing the notice, Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Jaswant Singh also directed the SHO concerned to ensure the service.

The directions were issued after petitioner Ajay Jagga submitted that the association should be asked to furnish its response without delay due to the worsening situation in the PGI. In his petition against the Union of India, the PGI and other respondents, Jagga had earlier sought directions to the institute to initiate action against the on-strike technologists. Directions to the technologists association for returning to work were also sought.

He contended that a premium institute like the PGI had been virtually reduced to non-performing hospital in the absence of technologists. He said doctors were just not in a position to carry on with their duties effectively as the tests like blood and urine, besides x-rays and other tasks, were performed by the technologists.

Going into the background of the matter, Jagga said the technicians/technologists went on "illegal strike" on April 15. The next day news-report appeared on the death of a patient due to lack of ventilator support. Again on April 17, another patient reportedly died because of the same reason. A copy of news-report carried in these columns was annexed in an attempt to substantiate the contentions.

Jagga added the petition was being filed to ensure the joining of the technicians/technologists; and for initiation of strict action, as per law, against them.

He added the institute was duty bound to ensure the provision of medical services in accordance with Section 12 and 13 of the PGIMER, Chandigarh, Act, 1966. Otherwise also, it was the duty of the respondent to ensure the provision ofessential services, which was the mandate of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Lack of medical facility was directly hitting the personal liberty of an individual and the PGI was duty bound to initiate action against the striking employees under the National Security Act, 1980, he said. 



Theft at Tanishq
CCTV footage blurred
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Poor-quality footage can mar the probe into the theft of 16 bracelets worth Rs 6 lakh as out of four suspects, face of only one suspect was visible in close-circuit TV (CCTV) camera clippings. The police so far was saying that there were only three persons involved in the theft.

Going by the track record of the Chandigarh Police, which failed to trace a young girl, who had stolen jewellery from a party in Taj Hotel last year, even as she was captured on camera, the chances of tracing the thieves involved in yesterday’s incident seems to be thin.

The staff at Tanishq’s Sector 17 showroom told TNS that in all, there were four persons, including a woman, who visited the shop and decamped with two treys carrying 16 bracelets. A minute viewing of the CCTV footage revealed that the thieves had conducted a through reconnaissance of the showrooms in Mohali and elsewhere before committing the crime. They entered during the lunch hours and soon scattered in the shop engaged the sales persons at different counters.

One of the accused went to the far-end of the shop and engaged the staff there, while the remaining three came to the counter, where the theft was committed. The staff told TNS that the accused could not commit theft at their Mohali showroom as the width of the counter was more there, preventing the thieves to pick up the treys from across the table.

Santosh, salesgirl, who showed bracelets to the thieves, said one of the thieves sent the guard to fetch water for him while the other asked her to show ruby studded bracelets.

The man engrossed her into conversation and asked her to show articles lying in a showcase. She said she felt hypnotised and was under the state of shock till today. One of the employees, Kuldeep Kaur collapsed on realising that the bracelets had been stolen. She was rushed to the hospital and was under treatment.

ASP (central) Madur Verma maintained that they were procuring footage from the Mohali showroom which were clearer. He added that they believed that it could be the same group held by Delhi Police last year in which a professor called Natwar Lal was involved in stealing ornaments from a jewellery shop in the same manner. He was released on bail and could be involved in this case also.



Cop guilty: Probe 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The inquiry by the Chandigarh Police today found Ram Gopal, SHO, police station, Sector 3, here, guilty of submitting a fake yoga certificate on the basis of which he got a promotion.

Sources in the police department said the inquiry report in this regard was submitted to inspector-general S.K.Jain.

The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) had asked the Chandigarh Administration to inquire into the authenticity of the yoga certificate awarded to sub-inspector Ram Gopal on the basis of which he got a promotion.

The tribunal had directed the IG and home secretary to examine this matter minutely, and find that if the promotion was obtained by submitting wrong facts.

It was learnt that Ram Gopal joined the UT police as ASI in March, 1991, against general quota seat and was last on the merit list of seven successful candidates.

Ram Gopal had gone to Italy to attend a private yoga competition at his own expenses in October, 1997. He was not sponsored by the administration or any other sports organisation.



CHB promotes engineer from back date 
Now, three in fray for chief engineer’s post
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
With the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) promoting G.S. Rosha as superintending engineer from back date, the Chandigarh administration may have to revise the panel of eligible superintending engineers for the post of UT chief engineer.

The top post of the UT engineering department is lying vacant as the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has not been able to conduct the departmental promotion committee due to delay on part of the Chandigarh administration. The UPSC had sought certain clarifications about the two SE’s, SK Jaitley and Kishanjit Singh, in December 2007. But the same has not been given so far. The process to fill the top post should have started six months in advance from the date of retirement of last chief engineer V.K. Bhardwaj.

But now the scenario has changed. In a departmental promotion committee held last month, the CHB has promoted Rosha from May 2000. This means that even after adding the probation period of one year, Rosha becomes a regular SE at least four years ahead of Jaitley and Kishanjit Singh, who were promoted in February 2005. While Jaitley is officiating as UT chief engineer, the other is working as SE, Construction Circle-II.

Notably, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has recommended a major penalty against Rosha for allegedly committing irregularities while appointing a junior engineer during his tenure as the Superintending Hospital Engineer, PGI. He was on deputation to the PGI from January 2000 to January 2003. Rosha had also been chargesheeted by the CHB. He was reportedly absolved of the charge in an inquiry conducted by a retired IAS officer. The issue to waive off the penalty was also tabled in the board meeting of the CHB. However, the legality of the CHB in conducting the DPC and promoting the SE from a back date could not be confirmed.

The controversy apart, there are now three candidates in contention for the post of UT chief engineer. “There was no bar on bringing a chief engineer on deputation from CHB. He is now senior to the two other SEs and can stake the claim,” said an official.

Even in the UPSC communication sent to the administration in December last year, the former has sought whether there were any other eligible candidates. Some other clarification had also been sought from the administration.



Pay commission report ‘a disaster’ for defence staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Terming the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission to be “not a disappointment but an unmitigated disaster” for the armed forces, senior retired defence officers called for scrapping the recommendations and setting up a fresh panel having representation from the three services.

Addressing media persons here today, former Vice-Chief of the Army Staff, Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi said in view of the severe and unique service conditions of military personnel and the fact that they constituted about 50 per cent of the government servants, it was expected that their interests would be safeguarded. Unfortunately, what had happened was exactly the opposite, he added.

Former Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South-Western Air Command, Air Marshal Randhir Singh, former GOC-in-Chief Southern Command, Lt-Gen Depinder Singh, former Deputy Army Chief, Lt-Gen Harwant Singh and formed Director-General Perspective Planning, Air marshal R.S. Bedi were among those who addressed the media.

General Oberoi said it was an irony that though the commission was looking into the pay and allowances of personnel constituting 50 per cent of its strength, it did not think it fit to post even one person from this category on its staff, which numbered over a 100 officials. Even the review committee set up to examine the anomalies did not have a member from the services and consequently it would just tinker with the recommendations and achieve nothing, he added.

Commenting on the implications of the anomalies, which have downgraded the status of defence personnel, he said the full benefit of 40 per cent fitment would be lost in arrears, lifetime earnings and pension. For example, where a lieut-colonel would get arrears of Rs 1.98 lakh, his civilian counterpart would get arrears of Rs 2.49 lakh.

The ex-servicemen fraternity had demanded that the policy of one-rank-one-pension must be implemented to end disparities in pension of officers of the same rank retiring at different time.

While appreciating the introduction of military service pay, General Oberoi said the service pay from personnel below officer rank should be enhanced to at least Rs 3,000 per month. Further, the military service pay cannot be included along with salary to fix the status of defence personnel vis-à-vis bureaucrats since it is not an allowance but compensation for the tough service conditions in the military.

As far as assured career progression (ACP) for soldiers is concerned, jawans do not get the benefit of a second ACP at 20 years like their civilian counterparts as they retire after 17 years service. The ACP after eight years and 12 years was mooted.



Double-deckers, AC  buses in three months
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Decks have been cleared for air-conditioned mini buses on the inner sector roads in the city. The mini buses will link with the bigger buses that ply on the main roads referred to as grid system by the CTU.

The department has decided to start at least 17 AC mini-buses in the next three months as the order to purchase the chassis has already been placed.

Not only the mini buses, the city residents will also be able to enjoy ride in double-decker buses. The department has also placed order for at least five such buses.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, director of the CTU Capt P S Shergill said the order for the chassis of five double deckers (non air-conditioned) and 17 mini buses (air-conditioned) has been placed with Ashok Leyland Company. The tender for the body fabrication of the buses will be floated this week. If everything goes well, the mini AC buses will start plying on the road after three-four months”, Shergill said.

Giving details of the pilot project of connecting V-4, V-5 roads of the sectors to the main roads by mini buses, the director said in the first part, the buses would be introduced in three sectors (i.e. Sector 21, 22 and 23) only. After that, other sectors of the city would be roped in in phased manner.

On the other hand, double-deckers will be plying only on the selected routes. “As the buses will be bigger in size, we will ascertain some special routes with wider and cable free roads so that the traffic could not be interrupted on the roads,” he said.

Plying of inter-sector air-conditioned buses and double-deckers is a step in the direction to strengthening the state transport system. The administration wants to attract more and more local commuters to the public transport and discouraging them from using their private vehicles to decongest the roads.



Arms Seizure: Police to probe source of weapons
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Germany-based global wholesale retailer Metro Cash & Carry will soon be launching its operations in Punjab. The Indian arm of the company proposes to invest Rs 900 crore for setting up its operations across four districts in the state.

Senior officials in the Department of Punjab Industries informed The Tribune that a formal proposal by the global retail major has been received and it will be put up before the empowered committee soon.

It is learnt that Metro is actively looking at Punjab not only to set up its retail business but also for the easy availability of fresh produce. The company is, in fact, looking at Punjab as a major sourcing hub for their centres across India.

The Metro Group already has a sourcing company based in Delhi, Metro Group Buying, which does its export-based sourcing. The company currently has two cash-&-carry centres in Bangalore and three in Hyderabad, besides one each in Mumbai and Kolkata.

The company proposes to set up two distribution centers at Ludhiana and one each at Mohali, Zirakpur, Jalandhar and Amritsar. Each of these centers will come up on an area of eight acres and will become operational by 2010.

These distribution centers will be a one-stop shop offering a range of food (including fresh fruits and vegetables) and non-food products to cater to the needs of all customers. Metro will bring the business-to-business model to meet the requirements of retailers, caterers, hotels and restaurants.



Governor directs officials to focus on poor strata 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Officials of the municipal corporation were today directed by the UT administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) to solve the problems of disadvantaged sections and persons belonging to the poor strata of society.

The directions were issued at a public hearing session held at the UT secretariat. He also directed the finance-cum-education secretary to ensure that all private schools and institutions that got land at concessional rates on account of pursuing welfare goals must honour the commitment to admit 15 per cent children belonging to weaker sections.

At the public hearing, most problems presented by the people today related to the allotment of houses and provision of employment. Directions were issued to create an integrated township and to evolve a responsive mechanism to implement the plans of education city and other projects. The officials were asked to identify important issued and plan suitably for starting projects for welfare of people.

Later, the administrator took stock of the work in progress at Tagore Theatre for upgrading the infrastructure facilities. The engineering department was told to meet the deadline and ensure completion of the project in time.



PUDA employees on fast unto death
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 21
Fifty four employees of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) who have been relieved of their jobs today threatened to convert their on-going fast into fast unto death if the authorities concerned failed to accept their genuine demands.

Addressing a press conference here, Attar Singh, president of the Punjab unit of the Karamchari Dal, said the protesting employees would hold a state-level rally and burn effigies of the PUDA chief administrator and the chief engineer. They would also gherao both the officials before starting the “fast unto death”. He said the employees who had worked for 15 years to 26 years were relieved of their jobs on January 31 even when they were demanding regularisation of their services. They then started a chain hunger strike outside the PUDA office.

The union leader said on April 1, 2001, 102 ad-hoc PUDA employees were sent to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation out of which some employees were later regularised. Strangely, these employees were working with the corporation when the order of regularisation of their services was issued by the PUDA. Their wages were also paid by the PUDA, he alleged.

Attar Singh further said adversely affected employees met the Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal during sangat darshan many times. He said the chief minister asked the authorities concerned to regularise their service.

He said the department of the local government on January 31 this year relieved these employees. When these employees went to office of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority to join there after being relieved, they were asked to give their joining report at the PUDA office. The employees then came here but were not allotted any work. Instead they were asked by the authorities concerned to join the Ludhiana corporation even when the latter was not ready to take them back. Since then they have been protesting outside the PUDA office by holding a chain hunger strike. 



Diarrhoea cases on the rise
Arun Sharma
Tribune News service

A sugar cane juice vendor near Rajiv colony in Panchkula
A sugar cane juice vendor near Rajiv colony in Panchkula on Monday. Tribune photo: Pardeep Tewari

Panchkula, April 21
Even as dozens of diarrhoea cases were being reported at the city hospitals, the authorities are waiting for the epidemic to spread before taking any measures. The authorities find the number of cases as seasonal phenomena.

Yesterday six new cases of diarrhoea were reported from Mouli Jagran and some other parts of the city. The civil hospital in Sector 6 has around 5-6 cases of diarrhoea every day. The patients are from all age groups. An eight-month-old baby was suffering from the problem from Mouli complex and another nine-month-old child was from Sector 16. Thirteen-year-old Vaibhav was from Sector 7 and 32-year-old Devender was from Mouli Jagran. Similar situation was found at the dispensaries of different sectors.

The health authorities, however deny that diarrhoea is spreading in the city and claim that the disease spreads during this season every year. However, bad sanitary conditions compounded by the recent rain have increased the risk of infection manifold in the slum areas.

A survey by The Tribune team shows that little effort has been made by the local health authorities to prevent the outbreak of water-borne diseases. The colonies have not been cleaned and slush continues to bog down residents of hutments and narrow lanes of the colonies.

Drinking-water supply lines to Rajiv colony pass through a silage-filled nullah. The health department officials, finding it a health hazard, have already written to the public health authorities, but nothing has been done, said district health officer, Dr M.L. Garg.

The sale of cut fruit and cane juice, exposed to flies and dust, goes unabated in the city. The sale of unbranded aerated water was on without any check in many areas near slums.

Vendors can be seen selling cut fruit and cane juice exposed to flies near Rajiv colony, Indira colony, Azad colony and on some roundabouts of the city but everything remains unnoticed by the health authorities.



Woman tries to commit suicide
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 21
A resident of Sector 68 tried to commit suicide after she was allegedly attacked by a person in Sohana village, here today.

According to reports, Seema Sharma, who had gone along with her husband, Abhimanyu Sharma, to the house of their lawyer, H.S. Baidwan, was allegedly attacked by Bhupinder Singh, a resident of Zirakpur. She later consumed something poisonous in order to commit a suicide and was admitted to the local civil hospital. According to hospital authorities she was out of danger.

Baidwan has given a complaint to the SSP in which he has demanded the registration of a case against Bhupinder Singh on charges of trespassing, criminal intimidation, kidnapping and criminal force to woman in order to outrage her modesty.

In the compliant the lawyer said his clients Abhimanyu and his wife came to his house. Bhupinder Singh also reached there and allegedly tried to outrage the modesty of Seema and also tried to hit her. He said when he intervened he was also allegedly attacked. Bhupinder Singh was accompanied by two policemen from Zirakpur who were mere spectators to the whole incident, he added.

However, the SHO of the Sohana police station Mohinder Singh said both the advocate and the Zirakpur resident had given complaints to the police in which allegations were leveled against each other. He said Bhupinder Singh claimed that he had to take Rs 5.50 lakh from the Sharmas in connection with a land deal, which did not materialise. He, too, alleged that he was attacked when he went to the house of the lawyer. The police was investigating the matter. 



Three cops suspended
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 21
Three police personnel were suspended when two of them were found under the influence of liquor. The third cop accompanying them was charged with dereliction of duty.

The suspended police personnel were identified as assistant sub inspector 
Ram Niwas, constable Udaivir and constable Manish.

According to information the three cops were on duty with Police Control Room Van 6 stationed at traffic light point near Red Bishop tourist complex on Saturday night. On a routine check, deputy superintendent of police Rajesh Kalia, found that the ASI and constable Udaivir were sitting in the PCR van while the driver of van, constable Manish, was filling the challan forms of traffic offenders.

The DSP when spoke to ASI Ram Niwas, he was found in inebriated condition. “The ASI could not talk properly and Udaivir could not even stand,” said the DSP.

The three were sent for a medical examination and it was established that the ASI and rider were under the influence of liquor.

The matter was brought to the notice of superintendent of Police Sandip Khirwar, who suspended all the three.

However, it was not the first time that the PCR staff was found under the influence of liquor while on duty.

On the new year eve when the city police had started a drive to check drunken driving, a PCR van in charge was found drunk.

Interetingly, the PCR van incharge was found drunk when ASP Manish Chaudhary asked him to take a car driver for medical examination to the civil hospital on December 31. 



Memo submitted to finance secy 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
A delegation of the Chandigarh Shop-cum-flats Welfare Association met the UT finance secretary Sanjay Kumar, here today.

In a memorandum submitted to the finance secretary, the delegation demanded amendments in the byelaws concerning the SCFs. The use of upper floors of the SCFs for commercial purposes and full coverage of rear space on the first and the second floors were prominent demands listed in the memorandum. The finance secretary assured the delegation that a favourable decision would be taken soon.



Missing Councillor
HC dismisses wife’s petition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Following surfacing of the ‘missing’ INLD councillor Gautam Prasad, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today dismissed as infructuous a Habeas Corpus petition filed by his wife Kunti Devi.

Taking up the matter, Justice R.S. Madan of the High Court ruled: “No further action is required in the petition. The same is dismissed as infructuous.”

Kunti Devi had earlier sought directions to the home secretary and others for ensuring Prasad’s immediate release. Directions for handing over the investigations of the abduction case to an independent agency; or a senior police officer, had also been sought by the petitioner. 



Standing pretty at 30 feet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Surjit Singh of village Bhurreh, district Ropar, has earned a name for himself by planting a rose plant in his house that is a whopping 30 feet high.

Known as Fauji Surjit Singh Gulab Wala, Surjit is a Punjab government employee. Interestingly, he has never taken any professional training in plantation. According to him, around 40 to 45 roses appear on a single branch of this five-year-old plant. “I bought this plant from a nursery in Manimajra. I never knew it would make me popular with its unique quality,” says the proud owner of the plant.



Four fire incidents in city
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 21
The fire incidents in the city and nearby areas kept the fire department on toes, here today. While three incidents were reported from jungle areas and fields near the city, the remaining one was at the backside of Sector 9 market.

Although the fire was controlled but a fire near TBRL (Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratories), Ramgarh could not be controlled till 11 PM.

According to the fire department, the first fire broke out in the fields near Barwala’s grain market, at around 3 pm. Standing crop in more than 10 acres of land was destroyed in the incident. Two fire tenders were sent to control it and before these tenders returned from the job, the fire was reported in the forest area of Morni and Ramgarh near TBRL. In the meantime, it was reported that the electricity meter installed on a pole in Sector 9 market has caught fire. As all the three fire tenders, with the local authorities, were already away on job, a fire tender from Chandigarh was pressed into service. The fire tenders from Panchkula and Chandigarh were still trying to control the fire at Ramgarh.



Parampartik’s essay the best
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Parampartik Singh emerged winner in an English essay-writing competition held at Indira Holiday Home in Sector 24 here. The event was organised by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, Sector 26, on the theme of science and technology.

Chirashu Malhotra got the second place while the third place went to Gurpreet Singh. Himani Sharma bagged the consolation prize. In Punjabi language, Sonam Sharma got the first place followed by Jasman and Hishi Kumar, who bagged the second and third places, respectively. Baljeet Kaur got the consolation prize. 



Speaking Out
It’s only the patients who suffer

With the PGI medical technologists’ strike entering its seventh day, patients still remain a harried lot as most of them have to run from pillar to post to get treatment. Anuja Jaiswal talks to a few Chandigarh residents about the issue.

Specialists should never go on strike, especially those involved in the health sector. But on the other hand, the PGI administration should also not be adamant on their stand, as the general public is suffering 


— Saroj Bala

I feel that no responsible medical technologist can go on strike for so long. These technologists are an integral part of the medical fraternity and the working of PGI is handicapped without them. 



— Amir Singh

The patients are having a tough time due to the clash between the PGI administration and the association. The administration should take effective steps to prevent such strikes in future. 



— Sonia

Strike at medical institutes has become a common affair. The authorities concerned should resolve the matter at the earliest so that the patients do not suffer. The PGI administration should understand the patients’ plight.



— Sashi Pandey

We were excepting that the strike would be called off today but its continuation for another three days shows the lack of communication between the medical technologists and PGI authorities. 



— Vimal



IPL, a damp squib

The Indian Premium League may have generated a lot of interest among Bollywood star investors and world cricketing buffs, but crowd enthusiasm, that can be seen in the fixtures when teams from different countries compete with each other, seems to be missing. I, too, like any other cricket lover was anxious to watch live our cricketers joining the world’s known players. I did watch the matches and can say with some authority that crowd enthusiasm was clearly missing.

It is altogether different to watch Team India playing and cheer up one’s own country team.

Financially, the players will be making loads of money, but the crowds have been deprived of the pleasure of watching their national team playing and doing well against teams from other countries. May be after a couple of editions of the IPL, the crowds will start enjoying the matches. But right now, it is a damp squib.

D.B. Singh, Chandigarh

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



Technical staff join in 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Seven persons, including three teachers, sat on the chain fast being held at Panjab University today. The fast was started 15 days ago on the call given by the Joint Action Committee consisting of teachers, students and technical staff to press for the demand of the central university status to the PU.

The three teachers that joined the fast were Dr Sukhdev Singh of the Punjabi department and general secretary of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi, Dr Krishan Mohan of the geography department and Dr V.K. Alankar of the Sanskrit department. Akam and Sukhdev from the Punjabi department joined them from among the students.

From today, technical staff of the university also joined the fast. Preet Singh, president, PU Lab Technical Staff Association, and Ajay Bhardwaj, executive member of the association, sat on the fast.

Meanwhile, public support from various organisations of Punjab has also started pouring in.

In a written communication to the coordinator of the JAC, Dr Sarabjit Singh, general secretary, Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha, has said the demand for the central university status for PU was not only timely but also most appropriate and the sabha fully endorsed it. Dr Sukhdev Singh, general secretary, Punjabi Sahit Akademi, not only extended support to the agitating teachers and students, but also sat on the chain fast today. Had there been no dirty politics, Panjab University would have been made central university long back, said Prof Manjit Singh, coordinator, JAC. “The university was established under the Act of Parliament. Also, now it has been asked to implement 27 per cent OBC quota by the centre on a par with other centrally funded institutions,” said Professor Singh. 



New courses in biophysics
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
To keep in tune with the industry needs, the biophysics department of Panjab University has started two new postgraduate courses in nuclear medicine and medical physics. The university is the third institution in the country to start MSc (nuclear medicine) after BARC (Babha Atomic Research Centre), Mumbai, that runs a diploma in nuclear medicine and AIIMS, New Delhi. Similarly, MSc (medical physics) is run by BARC, Mumbai, and Annamalai Univeristy.

Both courses have been recognised by BARC and approved by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.

“About two years back, we received a letter from the PGI, Chandigarh, regarding shortage of medical physicists and that was why we planned to start medical physics course. As situation was similar in the field of nuclear medicine, both courses were simultaneously planned,” said Devinder Dhawan, coordinator, nuclear medicine, and chairman of the biophysics department.

Both courses are multidisciplinary and involve disciplines like molecular biology, cell-biology, biochemistry, radiation physics, anatomy physiology besides physics and biophysics. Earlier, there were 12 seats in each course, which have now been increased to 15 due to scrapping of the NRI-sponsored and industry-sponsored category.

“As far as the employability goes, there are many openings for the students after completing the courses,” said Professor Dhawan. “The students can be picked up by hospitals, healthcare and research companies as there is a shortage of manpower in these areas,” he added. The students can also go in for Phd in the subjects and can work as faculty in departments or work as radiation safety officers and medical physicists.



Paper out of syllabus, allege law students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Fourth-semester students of the department of laws, Panjab University, today claimed that certain parts of the question paper on Transfer of Property Act-1882 was out of syllabus. The examination for the subject was held today.

They alleged that questions worth 45 marks out of 80 were not from the syllabus and not even in accordance with the pattern.

Department representative Parambir Singh said, “We have given the representation to the chairperson to facilitate granting of grace marks. The questions in the units 2, 3 and 4 were out of syllabus.”

According to the sources, the chairperson of the department has forwarded the representation to the joint controller of examinations to look into the matter.



Students burn Arjun’s effigy 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Students of Panjab University and Punjab Engineering College today burnt the effigy of human resource development minister Arjun Singh to protest against the government’s reservation policy.

They also raised anti-reservation slogans at Students’ Centre. According to the students, the government is just concentrating on making its caste-based political vote bank for the next general elections by creating a divide between various sections of Indian society. The MLAs and MPs opposing the Supreme Court’s decision on “creamy layer” and supporting reservations in “non-government aided educational institutions” were just creating seats for their own near and dear ones and no efforts were being made to lift the so-called underprivileged and uneducated, they added.

“We totally oppose this vote bank-oriented politics of the government and call upon the government to either stop its reservation policy at the earliest or reserve the remaining 50.5 per cent seats for the general-category students. The government must immediately reverse its decision or be prepared to meet a national-level anti-reservation protest,” said the students. 



Appointment of matriculate teachers as principals
Govt school lecturers begin fast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Members of the Government School Lecturers’ Union, Punjab, today started a fast to protest against the decision of the state government to appoint matriculate vocational teachers as principals in government senior secondary schools.

On the first day, district presidents of the union from across the state staged a protest in front of the office of director public instructions (DPI, Secondary).

The representatives of the union alleged that despite the fact that they had frequent meetings with the education minister and higher officials of the education department, nothing had come out so far. They further said the government had been misleading the courts and was bent upon appointing vocational teachers as principals.

President of the union Harpreet Inder Singh stated that even though the government, at a meeting, had agreed that review of the promotion rules of 2004 was required, they virtually did nothing to carry out any amendments to the rules. He added that the Supreme Court of India had ordered a stay on giving the lecturer grade and status to the matriculate vocational teachers. 



6 animation students get job offers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Six students from the Chandigarh Centre of the Frameboxx Animation and Visual Effects Institute, Sector 34, have been picked up by the world’s leading animation studio Dreamworks Paprikaas Interactive for their Bangalore office.

The selected students include Neha Maini, Sukhjinder Singh Bal, Varinder Kashyap, Mohammad Asheem Khan, Harish Kumar and Manmeet Singh.

While Neha and Sukhjinder have been selected for animation modelling, Mohammad Asheem and Harish would be handling rotoscopy. Four students — Gurpreet Singh, Devinder Singh Sethi, Isha Walia and Navtejpal Singh — have also been selected by the Footprints Infotech Studios, Chandigarh. 



From Schools
Kritika selected for exchange programme
Tribune News Service

Winners of the Abacus Junior Fest-2008 in Panchkula
Winners of the Abacus Junior Fest-2008 in Panchkula on Monday. A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, April 21
Kritika Bhardwaj, a Class XII commerce student of Satluj Public School, Sector 4, Panchkula, is selected under Japan East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youth (JENEYS) programme.

HRD ministry sponsors this programme. According to Krit Sarai, principal, Satluj School, the CBSE had proposed affiliated schools to send entries and out of which only a few students were selected. She is the first student from any Panchkula school to be selected.

She will go for a month to visit Japan in May 2008. The programme will make students aware about the Japanese culture. However, Japanese students will also visit India under this programme.


To observe the ‘World Book Day’ a week’s schedule started with a ‘Bookmark making contest’ in Doon Public School, Sector-21, Panchkula, today. The students of classes III to X were divided into three groups. The theme for Group ‘A’ comprising classes III to V was “Protect Wild Life,” the theme of the Group ‘B’ comprising classes VI to VIII was “Books are your best friends” and the theme for Group ‘C’ comprising classes IX and X was “Global Warming.” Creativity is inseparable part of school students. The bookmarks were decked with different colours and glitters gathered everyone’s attention. The principal of the school gave away the prizes to the best three adjudged bookmarks of every group.


Among the 11 children from Creative Arts, Sector 8, BrainOBrain Kids Academy, Panchkula, who went to participate in the Eighth National Abacus Junior Fest-2008 competition, three became the champions, seven got the toppers’ award while the remaining one was able to clinch the achiever award. Prizes for the awardees include a trip to Gurukul in the Himalayas, a visit to Tajmahal, and trekking near Darjeeling.

The competition was held on April 13 in St. Agnel School, New Delhi. About 2,000 children participated from the country aged between 5 years to 14 years. The students were from 350 academies in 18 states, which impart training to almost 30,000 students. The competition was held for level 1st and 2nd children.

The winners include Aayu Singla, Prateek Chandgothia, Muskaan Goel, Kriti Jain, Amol Verma, Amiksha Diwan, Bhavika Kashyap, Parth Bansal, Aru Singla, Aditya Tripathi and Ishaan Mehta.



Scholarship test on June 2
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Students willing to study in New Zealand can earn scholarships now. The Interactive Learning Institute (ILI), along with West Highlander Consultancy and Partner NZ Institutes, is going to conduct the Interactive Learning International Scholarship test in Chandigarh on June 2. Bruce Osborne, director, International Business of UCOL, New Zealand, was the chief guest at the launch programme held today. Ewen Mackenzie-Bowie, principal and director, ICL Education, was also present and shared the details of his institute and the courses it offered to students who wanted to study in New Zealand.

The students who have completed Class XII and even those studying in Class XII can take the test. In the test, 50 per cent weightage will be given to English language skills, 30 per cent to knowledge about New Zealand and 20 per cent to aptitude.



HC judge to meet litigants today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Justice Pramod Kohli, who is also the inspecting judge at the district courts, will lend an ear to the complaints of litigants between 3pm to 3:45pm at the advocates’ library in district courts.

The otherwise sombre district courts in Sector 17 wore a festive look today due to the yearly inspection carried out by the High Court judge, Justice Kohli.

The gate of the district courts parallel to the police station was decorated with multi-coloured flags to welcome Justice Kohli. Interestingly, the court staff has been working to upgrade all the pending files for the past one month just before the scheduled date for inspection. However, the court staff seemed to be prepared for the inspection today. The naib courts who are otherwise dressed in casuals were seen in khaki!

On entering the district courts Justice Kohli headed towards the courtroom of judicial magistrate first class (JMIC), Balwinder Kumar. After devoting an hour for inspecting the files he took a detailed account of the other two courts of JMIC Atul Marya and JMIC Ram Kumar Singla.

Bouquets were presented to the inspecting judge by a few judicial officers. Now, the inspecting judge will examine rest of the 16 courts during the next two days.

Tomorrow Justice Kohli will start the inspection at 10:30 am. Thereafter, he will address members of the District Bar Association at 2:30 pm. After interacting with litigants he will visit the Burail Jail.



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