C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


50 pc PGI staff back on duty
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
The PGI authorities today heaved a sigh of relief as almost 50 per cent of striking medical technologists reported back for work.

Part of patient care services was also restored while the remaining are expected to join their duties before the case come up in the Punjab and Haryana High Court tomorrow.

More than 200 technicians have been on mass casual leave since April 15 in pursuance of their demands ranging from payment of patient care allowance and arrears to cadre promotion. But till date about 120 technicians joined their work at microbiology, virology, biochemistry and X-ray department.

The PGI authorities said the strike had lost its initial focus as most of the technicians joined back their work. It showed that the most technicians had understood the reality of their strike. In fact, they should not go further on strike.

Even some of the technicians, who have joined back, said the continuing stir was the idea of association leaders. “We were not willing to continue the strike more than three days,” said one of the technologists of microbiology department, who came back to his work today.

A technologist of X-ray department said, “I took casual leave for three days as per the earlier plan. But, when the association tried to convert the strike into an indefinite one, I had to rethink it, especially when PGI seeks to invoke ESMA.”

As the strike did not achieve the purpose, there is no use of continuing the strike. “It mainly affects the patient and we never wanted to halt patient care services,” said technician of virology department.

According to A.K. Gupta, deputy director administration, the strike is almost finished as almost half of the technicians joined back their work. He said “We are expecting that the remaining staff will join soon. He ensure that working of all department is smooth and patients will not have to go back without testing”.

Direct strikers, HC urged

In a reply filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the PGI today asked it to direct the striking medical technologists/employees to join back their duties in the interest of justice and patient care. Responding to a PIL filed by advocate Ajay Jagga, the PGI authorities said all their local demands had been accepted at the director’s level. Other demands were being pursued with the ministry of health and family welfare.

Yet, the Medical Technologists Association (MTA) had resorted to the path of agitation by taking mass casual leave and going on strike, which was condemnable. The reply is scheduled to be taken up for consideration on April 24 by a High Court Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and justice Jaswant Singh. The details of different meetings held with the MTA, including those where assistant labour commissioner (ALC) was present, have also been cited, in an attempt to convey efforts put in by the authorities to resolve the issues.

Referring to deaths of two patients, allegedly due to non-availability of ventilator, it was added while Hota Ram had been referred to Sector 16 Hospital where he died, Sarvesjh Sahni of Panchkula died in the emergency medical out patient department (OPD).

It has also reiterated its decision to implement "No work, No pay" rule as a part of the action against the striking employees.



Ban on burning of leaves goes up in smoke
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Dump the dry leaves at any corner and burn them fearlessly, as the drive of the Municipal Corporation (MC) to stop the burning of dry leaves is only on the paper.

As per the corporation order, if any person is found burning dry leaves he or she will be challaned to a maximum of Rs 500 by the authorities. A number of incidents of burning dry leaves has been reported in the city but the authorities have yet to take any punitive action. Interestingly, the corporation has no foolproof plan to tighten the grip against the violators in the city.

Yesterday, an incidence of fire at dumping site near the residential area in Sector 8 occurred where dry leaves were burnt near the electricity substation. The fire became so fierce that the residents had to call fire tenders who undertook one hour of intensive exercise to control the fire.

One of the resident, Manu Virmani, of the Sector 8 revealed that despite reoccurrence of similar incident at the same place four to five times earlier, which is near the electricity substation, the MC authorities has taken no action to shift the dumping site from there. He said the leaves, which caught fire, were lying there for the past two days, as the garbage-picking van did not come for two days. He said he tried to contact health department officials of the MC but all in vain as nobody responded to his phone calls.

While talking to The Tribune, an official posted in the substation revealed that for supplying power to the whole sector, 10 underground wires have been connected to the substation which are one foot below from the ground level where this dumping ground have been built. He said this type of incident would sometime damage the whole wiring system causing blackout in the entire sector.

He further said if last night the fire brigade had not controlled the fire on time, the accident could have caused major mishap in the area.

One of the residents of Raipur Khurd village told The Tribune that almost every night, dry leaves were burnt near the airport roundabout. The list of such incidents of violation does not end here but were going on in other parts of the city also.

An environment expert said due to burning of dry leaves, there is an increase in the carbon dioxide in the environment, which creates green house effects; it emits toxic and harmful fumes and increases the ratio of suspended particular matter in the air which pollutes the environment.

Municipal Corporation medical health officer G S Bansal said the corporation has challaned around seven persons in the city for burning dry leaves. He said it was very difficult to trace out the persons indulging in such violations without the help of the residents.

Faux pas

On the MC website, the authorities have displayed a message that if somebody finds a person burning leaves, they should immediately contact MC official. Interestingly, there is no contact number available on the website to whom a person should contact for it.



Come May 1, ISBT-43 gets most routes
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Come May 1, all inter-state bus routes except a few ones, is going to be shifted from Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT), Sector 17, to ISBT, Sector 43.

The announcement by the Administration came as a blow to shopkeepers, who are running shops at the bus stand.

According to CTU director Capt P.S. Shergill, buses on all routes to HP via Shimla, Punjab routes via Patiala and Uttarakhand routes via Nahan will start from the Sector 43 bus stand instead of ISBT-17 from May 1.

“After that only buses to Delhi and the UP routes via Ambala will remain at the Sector 17 bus stand”, said Shergill.

That means with the shifting of routes, the bus stand (Sector 17) would lose around 600 buses and only 400 buses will ply from here, which resulted in a drastic dip in the sale of the shopkeepers, running shops, including tea/cold drink stall, STDs, fruit shop and book shops there.

“We started losing business with the shifting of heavy routes of Punjab and Himachal from January 15 this year. The number of commuters reduced to several thousands. Now, with further shifting in such a short duration, it will definitely be difficult for us to meet the both ends”, said a shopkeeper.

As the shopkeepers got the shops for limited duration through auction, many have to run the shops for another 11 months to 22 months according to the terms and conditions, being laid by the authorities.

“We cannot leave the shops midway otherwise we have to lose our security”, rued the shopkeepers.

Some shops were auctioned in the first week of this month only and the fare of the shops ranged between Rs 10,000 and 60,000.

“Neither we were told by anyone nor we were aware that the shifting of the remaining routes will take place so soon when we got the shops through auction”, lamented the shopkeeper.

Taking a generous view of the situation, Shergill, while talking to Chandigarh Tribune, said the authorities would look into the matter.

“We know that the bus stand is going to lose another several thousands commuters with this shifting. For a fault, which is beyond their (the shopkeepers) control, they will not be penalised.

We will give them option. Anybody want to leave, will be allowed to leave without forfeiting his security”.



V-C remarks raise teachers’ hackles
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
A high drama was witnessed today at the PU gymnasium hall, which is the venue of the evaluation of answer-sheets, when vice-chancellor Prof R C Sobti reprimanded five women teachers for protesting a day before over increasing the remuneration for evaluating the sheets and dealing with OMR sheets.

The university had introduced OMR sheets for roll numbers from this session and this has been cumbersome for evaluating teachers.

The teachers were of the view that the darkening of circles in the OMR sheet wasted their time and hindered evaluating the performance of a student. The teachers were also demanding more remuneration for evaluating answer-sheets. The teachers protested yesterday and gave a representation in this regard.

The trouble began today when Prof Sobti, who was out of town for official work, came back and after reaching the venue questioned the teachers as to why they protested in his absence.

According to sources, Prof Sobti, who, along with registrar S S Bari and dean university instructions S K Kulkarni, remarked that “It was appalling that you cannot even darken the circles in the OMR sheet even though the university provides you with all facilities you require. Still you are making unnecessary issues”. When they tried to justify their cause, the V-C lost his temper. To this, the teachers started crying and left the venue. After the lunch time, when all teachers came to know the matter, they decided to boycott the session.

Following this, 300 teachers staged a walkout expressing solidarity with the teachers.

The teachers refused to resume work and demanded that the V-C should come to the venue to settle the matter.

It was only in the evening that the V-C arrived on the scene along with fellows, including Dr. A.C Vaid, G.K Chatrath, N.P Manocha and other officials of the PU.

The teachers expressed their resentment and the V-C admitted that he did not have any bad intention and never meant to hurt anyone’s feelings.

Later, it was also agreed upon to increase the remuneration from Rs 8.80 per copy to Rs 9.70 per copy. Regarding the OMR sheets, it was decided that checking assistants would fill it and will be paid 30 paisa for each sheet.

The V-C said, “Though the budget doesn’t permit to increase the remuneration, still I have done it in the larger interest of the students. I want a fair and early results for students his time”.



Financier dupes people of crores
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 23
The rumours about fleeing of a financier with crores of unaccounted money of his clients have come to light when two of the victims in the case surfaced in a press conference held by them here today.

Interestingly, the accused, who has allegedly been missing from the city since October 3 duping hundreds of residents, is facing one or two cases for duping two persons worth a few lakhs of rupees.

The accused SP Garg, a resident of Sector 7, fled the city on October 9. That time it was talk of the town that Garg owed more than Rs 50 crore to many people in the region. Still not even a case was reported to the police regarding it as it was presumed that it was unaccounted money of the people who used to give to Garg to lend in return of hefty rate of interest.

Garg was living in the city for last 10 years maintaining a high lifestyle. Having share in many hotels and other properties Garg sporting an image of religious-minded and used to donate huge amounts to the religious organisations. He donated Rs 11 lakh to an organisation in the city for construction of a dharamsala at Hardwar.

It was beyond the imagination that such a kind-hearted person could dupe people in such a way, said one of the victims who gathered at a hotel to announce the reward on the person providing information leading to his arrest.

“I was duped of crores of rupees”, said a property dealer. Ram Chand Mehndiratta, a property dealer of Sector 20, said he handed over around Rs 2 crore to Garg. “The money was given to me by some of my known for investment and I handed over it to Garg. Now my clients are after me to get the money while the whereabouts of Garg are not known”, said Garg.

Not only businessmen but a retired DSP, Chandigarh Poice, also fell victim to the tricks of Garg. The family of former DSP Bal Krishan Sharma not only lost more than Rs 70 lakh to the conman, his son has to face a criminal case.

Moreover the woes of family did not end here. The deal of a house with Garg landed the son of Bal Krishan in trouble when a resident of Sector 11 filed a criminal complaint against him.



Freshly laid pipeline bursts
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Commuters travelling on the busy Madhya Marg at Grain Market Chowk, Sector 26, continue to face hardships at regular intervals for the past over a month. The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) has not been able to properly lay the pipeline under the busy road, leading to traffic chaos due to construction or maintenance work.

A truck got stuck into the dug-up road this morning, leading to a traffic jam. The truck was badly stuck in the ditch. It was only after two cranes were brought to the spot that they helped the truck to come out of the ditch, said an eyewitness.

Those who commute on the road during the night were more apprehensive saying that it has become a routine that one comes across a diversion on this stretch every other month due to one problem or the other. First, the authorities took so much time in laying the pipeline and within a few days problems cropped up in the newly laid pipelines.

Earlier the work of laying a new water pipeline from Sector 32 to Sector 26 was under way for weeks owing to which the stretch of the road was blocked permanently for days and the traffic was diverted toward the slip road. A couple of days ago, the pipeline developed a snag as some joint started leaking. The MCC authorities have been working for the past over two days to fix the snag, much to the chagrin of the road users.

RC Diwan, superintending engineer, water supply, MCC, maintained that the pipeline was put under test and some weak or loose joint began leaking. He added that as the pipeline was full of water, they first had to empty it before carrying out any maintenance work. It, therefore, took long to complete the work.

He stated that the work was completed by 6 pm and it was opened for motorists.



GMADA to allot plots in Sectors 76-80
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 23
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) would allot the next lot of 1,000 plots in Sectors 76 to 80 on May 6 and 7. GMADA chief Vivek Pratap Singh said this was the second lot of feasible plots in the area which would be available for draw of lots.

He added that all the allottees who had got plots in the fist draw of lots had been sent allotment letters and most of them had also deposited the amounts due to GMADA.

The first set of draw of lots took place last year in October almost six years after the scheme was announced. In the first phase of the draw of lots, 1,542 plots in Sectors 79 and 80 were allotted during these four days.

The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) issued letters of intent to 3,931 persons when the residential scheme was floated in 2001. However, during the acquisition of land for the purpose, some landowners, opposing the move, had approached the court. Out of the total area of about 1,400 acres that falls in these sectors, around 102 acres are currently under litigation and courts have stayed all activity on these patches of land.

The partial draw of lots has been made possible after GMADA recommended to the government that the areas, which are free of litigation, can be developed and feasible plots be handed over to the allotees.

As many as 2,577 plots in Sectors 77, 78, 79 and 80 were found to be feasible. PUDA has collected 10 per cent of the cost price of each plot from the letter of intent holders and also spent over Rs 30 crore on the development of these sectors. The letter of intent holders were, however, allowed to sell the letters and over the years, the letters had changed many hands.



BJP differs on party nominee for LS poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Differences in the local unit of the BJP came to the fore again at a meeting with national secretary Tepir Gao here today. Leaders of the different factions of the party met Gao, who was here to illicit views of the local leadership and party cadre on the party nominee for the next Lok Sabha elections.

Different leaders expressed divergent views and no unanimity could be reached at the meeting.

Recently the ruling faction had tried to project former MP Satya Pal Jain as the next BJP candidate for the next Lok Sabha elections.

However, at today’s meeting, a number of BJP leaders reportedly opposed Jain’s candidature in wake of his losses to Pawan Kumar Bansal in the last elections and his alleged dictatorial style of functioning. Gao assured all the leaders that he would convey their sentiments to the party high command.



Platform for young to learn public speaking
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
As part of the ongoing world book day celebrations, the British Library launched the speakers' junction here today.

Jagjit Puri, secretary, medical education and research, Punjab, launched the junction. Earlier, welcoming the youngsters, Bipin Kumar, manager of the British Library, said it was an endeavour to provide youngsters an ideal platform to learn the craft of public speaking in a friendly and non-threatening atmosphere, hone communication skills, conquer stage fright, develop leadership qualities and become confident speakers.

Effective communication is a passport to success in life and opens up new possibilities and opportunities and with the aim to benefit young students, the junction had been launched. The junction would be an ongoing event in the library at regular intervals, he added. The junction meets every first and third Saturday of the month and the next meeting is scheduled for May 3, 2008 at 5.00 pm.

Harinder Mohan Singh, a freelance writer and business consultant, who has taken the initiative for building this forum, informed the the goal of the junction was to help speakers master the fear of public speaking.

Meanwhile, the library has released 350 new titles on self-development and 100 DVD titles on english movies.

The winners will be announced at a prize-giving ceremony on April 26. Dr Gulshan Sharma, director, Institute of Tourism and Future Management, Chandigarh, will be the chief guest.



Prohibitory orders arbitrary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Adhocism rules the roost in the issuing of the prohibitory orders by the office of the district magistrate.

Inquiries revealed that there was regularity and uniformity in the issuance of these orders by the DC, who exercised the powers of the district magistrate. In fact, the announcements of these orders through the public relations department of the Chandigarh Administration at regular intervals seems to be of academic value with practical implications not being taken into account.

For instance, the ban on commercial activities in the city seem to be discriminatory. The orders bans the commercial activities from 1 a.m. to 4.30 a.m. However, the restaurants are allowed to open up to 2.00 a.m. on weekends and cyber cafes are allowed to function till 2.00 a.m. on all days.

However, the implementation of the orders leaves much to be desired. A visit to the road opposite the inter state bus terminus (ISBT), Sector 17, will reinforce this point, alleged RK Garg, a social activist.

Similarly, the sale of the correction fluids also raised eyebrows about the effectiveness of the ban. The sale was banned up to November 17, 2007, and then from December 6, 2007, to February 3, 2008. A careful perusal reveals that there was no ban on the sale of correction fluids from November 18, 2007, to December 5, 2007.

Similarly, the ban on carrying on commercial activities was announced from February 11, 2008, to April 10, 2008, and then from April 23,2008 to June 21,2008. This would mean that there was no ban of commercial activities from April 11,2008 to April 22, 2008. If the press note was believed, then there was was no such ban applicable from November 11, 2007 to February 10,2008.

Official sources, however, claimed that such orders were issued in public interest at regular intervals. About the implementation of these orders, a senior official said concerted efforts were being made to implement these orders.

Officials with the help of the police were launching special drives to make sure that such activities did not pose law and order problems.



Increase intake of fluids, salts during summer,
says doc

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Even as the onset of summer season brings with it fresh concerns regarding heart care and cardio vascular problems, effective tips and precautionary measures can indeed go a long way in avoiding any undue problems, say experts.

DDr Shivpreet Singh Samra suggests that during summers, excessive sweating and pooling of blood in limb may lead to giddiness but it can be avoided by increasing the intake of fluids and salts. Dr Samra said avoid exposure to sunlight between 10:00 am till 5:00 pm for more than 30 minutes at a stretch. Prolonged exposure may squeeze more liquids from the body and heighten body temperatures, which is not good for the heart, says Dr Samra. Similarly working hours should be changed in the evenings and early mornings as one should avoid working between 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, feel experts.

DDr Samra said the children should stay indoors during daytime and try to go out early morning and in the late evening hours as this season is more harmful for them. Indoor air- conditioned gymnasiums are more suited for sportspersons and people who are fitness buffs and can't just avoid working it out. However, Dr Samra suggests relatively milder working sessions during extremely hot months like May, June and even July. Heavy meals and fatty foods must be avoided and enhanced intake of salads, fruits and light but frequent meals can help maintain better health.



Unauthorised passages pose threat to motorists
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, April 23
Be careful the moment you enter Zirakpur. For, the residents have carved out two passageways on the kilometre-long median on the Chandigarh-Zirakpur highway.

In all, there are four breaks in the median. While the authorities concerned have created two breaks in the median to facilitate free movement of traffic, otherwise hampered due to the ongoing construction work in Zirakpur; the commuters themselves have crafted at least two passageways out.

These two “unauthorised” breaks in the medians have now become a source of traffic snarls, resulting in mishaps almost every day.

To make matters worse, motorists are almost always caught unawares as there are no road signs, light reflectors or blinking indicators at these passages.

Even the cops are doing precious little in this regard. So far, no attempts to block the passages have been made. Otherwise also, not a single traffic cop is deployed to check the menace.

According to eyewitnesses, accidents are a regular feature. There is a not a single day that passes without vehicles colliding. Only last month, a woman scooterist died while she was crossing the road.

"When we enter Zirakpur, there is a no signboard to warns us about the breaks in the median," said Vivek Sharma, a resident of Zirakpur. “It shows total negligence and apathy on part of the concerned department.”

"It is too risky to drive during the night because of truck drivers crossing over dividers," says Joginder Kumar, a resident of Lohgarh. “I have never seen any policemen or patrolling team near these breaks in the dividers.”

According to police sources, "Since the construction of flyover started, these killer spots have witnessed a sharp rise in accidents. We have blocked these illegal medians so many times, but people reverse the changes in no time.”



No breakthrough in woman’s murder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
The Chandigarh police has failed to achieve any breakthrough into the murder of an unidentified woman, whose half-burnt body was recovered from the open area near the elevated railway track in Phase II, Ram Darbar, on Tuesday.

The SHO of the Sector 31 police station, inspector Bhupinder Singh, said the investigations into the matter could not progress as the victim is unidentified. He added that experts from the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory examined the body and picked up clues.

The police said the postmortem could only be conducted after the victim’s identification.



Fruits a luxury for common man
Tribune News Service

Fruits act pricey
Fruits act pricey

Chandigarh, April 23
The season of fruits is here, but the fruits are out of reach for the common man. With mangoes still unaccessible at Rs 50- 150 a kg., and watermelons acting pricey at Rs 20- 30 a kg., the common man is left with no option but to beat the heat with cucumber and snake gourd (kakri).

As the mercury soars, and everybody likes to relish the fruits because of the high water content in them, the high prices of fruits are making it impossible for them to buy the fruits. Watermelons are selling at Rs 20- 30 a kg, while the melons are selling at Rs 25- 70 a kg. Says Rano Masih, who works as a house maid, “Till last year, I would feed watermelon to my children in the evening, as it was priced at Rs 10- 12 a kg. Now, even this fruit has become a delicacy for poor people like us”.

The king of the fruit- mango - which had started coming in the mandis from last month, is still out of reach for most people. While the alphonso (with a sweet flavour and taste) is priced at Rs 149 a kg., the sindhuri variety is available at Rs 75 a kg. Though a cheaper variety - safeda- is available at Rs 50 a kg, it does not have a sweet taste.

The price of apples too has hit the roof. While kinnaur apple is available at Rs 80- 90 a kg., the imported apples are available at Rs 150- 170 a kg. Even lemon, which provides relief in the summer, too is selling at Rs 50 a kg.

The only solace for the common man is that there has been a slight correction in prices of vegetables bitter gourd, tomatoes and bottle gourd.



 Rs 50- 150 a kg.


 RS 80- 170 a kg.


 Rs 20- 30 a kg


 Rs 25- 70 a kg


 Rs 30 a dozen


 Rs 8-10 a kg

Snake gourd 

 Rs 10- 15 a kg



Fauji Beat
Bureaucrat-Army tussle began in Nehru era

THE decision of the ex-servicemen’s bodies to protest at the Chandigarh War Memorial on April 27, against the recommendation of the sixth Pay Commission, is a step in the right direction. A similar protest will be held at the India Gate in New Delhi as also in other states.

The politico-bureaucratic click against the Army began in the Nehru era, was pregnated by his unreasonable fears of the Army staging a coup. It continues to be a victim of this inborn phobia.

Until 1947, the Army officers drew a higher salary as compared to their civilian counterparts. Their promotions after major’s rank were governed by the “up-or-out” policy. If an officer was not promoted, then he was retired with a compensatory pension. A major of combat arms retired at the age of 45 years with 75 per cent of his pay as pension and a Lieut-Col retired at the age of 48 years (or four-year tenure whichever was earlier) at a pension, which varied from 76.7 per cent to 88.9 per cent of his pay. At that time, on the civil side no pension was higher than 50 per cent.

It is sad that the bureaucrats have been systematically degrading the military. But, then there is a limit to everything and that limit seems to have been crossed.

Postgraduate courses

On the recommendations of the Medical Council of India, the Government of India, ministry of health and family welfare, has granted permission to the Command Hospital, Chandimandir, to start postgraduate degree courses in MS (Ophthalmology), MD (General Medicine) and MS (General Surgery) from this year. This has been possible due to the upgradation of the infrastructure and teaching facilities in the hospital.

In its ongoing march towards modernisation, the Command Hospital has established an MRI centre by equipping itself with the latest machine worth Rs 6 crore. A component lab has also been established in the blood bank to provide component therapy to the critically-ill patients.

Besides this, a neonatal intensive care unit for the critically-ill newborns; a fully air-conditioned neurosciences department; an oncology ward for the patients suffering from malignant diseases and renovation of physiotherapy department. In addition, a mammography machine has also been installed, which will detect breast cancer at its earliest stage.

Women officers

Why are we not granted permanent commission like our male counterparts and like the women officers in the Army Medical Corp (AMC), Army Dental Corps (ADC) and the Military Nursing Service (MNS)? Ask a large number of women officers whose induction into the administrative wings of the three Services as short service commissioned (SSC) officers was started in 1992.

A study carried out by the three Services last year had recommended that the women officers should not be commissioned into the combat arms where chances of physical contact with the enemy are high. This study had also recommended that an assessment on the performance of these officers in the pre-commission training (which has been enhanced from 24 weeks to 49 weeks) and in a few other spheres should be carried out. Notwithstanding this, there is no justification for not granting permanent commission to women officers as it would amount to discrimination against them. — Pritam Bhullar



Support PU strike

This is in reference to the ongoing struggle of Panjab University students and teachers for getting central status for PU.

Panjab University is the mother university of the region. It becomes the responsibility of every citizen of northern India to help in the maintenance of its glorified academic status and heritage because of its unique contribution in uplifting this region.

If at this stage finances are becoming stumbling stones in the pursuance of its excellence in teaching and research, then it is a serious concern. Politicians should avoid making polemic statements to the press on this issue. Rather, they should join hands in finding the solution to the financial problem faced by the university.

If Punjab government has any apprehensions regarding the change in its basic structure and status of affiliated colleges which falls in its jurisdiction after acquiring the central university status, then Punjab Government should help in striving for getting PU the status of institution for national importance as enshrined in the constitution of India with hundred percent funding from the Centre government.

I request everyone to save this legacy of the region and request the Punjab government to cooperate with teachers and students in this venture.

Vikrant Brar, Mohali

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



PUSU leaders ‘defraud’ hundreds of students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Student leaders of an organisation at Panjab University have allegedly defrauded hundreds of students, if the complaints of four PU students are to be believed.

Four students of Panjab University have submitted a written complaint to the dean of student welfare against former PUSU president Abhishek Puri, party vice-president, Aman Gill and other office-bearers.

The complaint that was submitted by Ashutosh Sharma of department of chemistry, Navneet of UIET, Kamaljeet Singh of zoology and Tarun of physics stated that the student leaders collected money for providing Panjab University logo T-shirts in January 2008 from the students of different departments of the university. It further said that after repeated reminders and visits, the students were neither ready to give the shirts nor were willing to return the money.

When contacted, the DSW, Prof Naval Kishore to whom the compliant has been submitted confirming the issue said, “The complaint in written came to me about a fortnight ago and has been marked to a committee. Suitable action will be taken once the committee comes up with certain recommendations”.

According to sources, representatives of a student organisation collected Rs 350 each from around 105 students in the month of January with an assurance that PU embossed T-shirts will be given to them in a couple of weeks.

However, even after four months, the students have not been given the T-shirts or the money. An engineering student on condition of anonymity, said, “In the beginning of winters, representatives of PUSU party collected Rs 350 from each one of us with a promise to provide us with university winter sweatshirts in about two weeks. Since then, we haven’t heard from them.”

Discarding the allegations, Abhishek Puri, former PUSU party president who is in Amritsar now, said, “I am out of the university since January and have no idea of collection of money for said shirts. My name is being dragged without any reason and I am not involved in this issue in anyway.” Parminder Jaswal, president PU students’ council, said, “ The party is not involved in this matter as the money was collected by the students of department of laws and not by the party leaders. However, this is an attempt to malign the image of PUSU party.” 



Central University Status
PUTA to write afresh to PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
At a call given by the Joint Action Committee, constituted of teachers, students and technical staff, five persons sat on the fast. Three teachers, Prof M.S. Dalal, Dr Dalwinder Singh, both from the department of physical education, Dr Asha Maudgil, department of philosophy, and two students, Sukhwinder Singh, physical education and Ravi Kant Garg, pharmacy department, sat for the chain fast today.

Meanwhile, a deputation of teachers went to Delhi yesterday to apprise various political parties of the seriousness of the financial crisis PU is facing at the moment and sought their support to demand for the central university status for PU.

After having meetings with the representatives of various political parties, it has been decided to write a fresh letter to the Prime Minister of India, incorporating the views of various political parties from Punjab on the issue of central university status to PU. The PM will be updated about the ongoing agitation on the campus.

At the same time, JAC has decided to write an open appeal to all the political parties of Punjab and UT to extend support to PU and save this institution of Punjab heritage.

JAC plans to have an open debate on the issue and let each and every political party say in public what they are committing in private to its representatives. “Panjab University has always been a repository of Panjabi values, culture and enterprise and the onus of safeguarding its interests lies squarely with the political leadership of Punjab across party lines,” said Prof A.S. Ahluwalia, chairman of JAC.



DAVC prof to represent India in Bahai’s convention
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Prof Anil Sarwal, lecturer with DAV College, Sector 10, is one of the nine delegates from India, who will be leaving for Haifa, Israel, on April 25 to elect the supreme Baha’i body, known as the Universal House of Justice.

The Baha’i Faith is well-known in India for its cardinal teachings of oneness of God, oneness of religion and oneness of humankind.

A global election process that began with people in 1,00,000 cities and villages around the world will culminate on April 29 when delegates gather in Haifa , Israel, to elect the international governing body of the Baha’i Faith.

The representatives of some 170 nations will cast ballots for the nine members of the Universal House of Justice, which has its seat at the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa

About 1,200 delegates are expected to attend the convention. The election is held every five years. 



Vivek school fined
To pay compensation of Rs 5,000 to student
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Declaring that Vivek High School, Sector 38, is in a habit of furnishing ‘false information’ to CBSE and has a tendency to tell lies; the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the school authorities to pay a compensation of Rs 5,000 to a student. The school had imposed a fine of Rs 500 on her for absenting herself.

The forum headed by Jagroop Singh Mahal observed: “The school has been furnishing false information to CBSE regarding the provisions for imposing a fine of Rs 500, which shows that it has a tendency to tell lies to justify its wrong acts. The forum also asked the school to refund the amount of Rs 500.

Surjit Singh Oberoi, a resident of Panchkula, stated in his complaint that his grand daughter Mallika Singh, who was studying in Class IX of Vivek High School, remained absent from the school after winter vacations due to sickness, intimation of which was given to the school authorities.

A fine of Rs 500 was imposed on Mallika by the school authorities. The petitioner was not convinced to pay such a fine, as there was no provision in the notebook supplied to children wherein disciplinary action was mentioned.

But, the teacher concerned pressurised the child to pay the fine, which was accordingly deposited. Oberoi was surprised that the school gave no receipt after the student deposited the fine.

The petitioner further added that Mallika, who was otherwise a brilliant student, went into depression due to the episode. She was taken to a psychiatrist for treatment. Oberoi had to withdraw his grand daughter from the school as she scored less marks in her exams due to depression.

The school argued that the student was absent on the first day after the vacations without leave application. It was stated that as per the school rules, if the student was absent on the opening day of the school, his or her name would be struck off from the school.

Taking a lenient view, a fine of Rs 500 was imposed on the student. The school in its reply asserted that the plea of the petitioner that student had gone into depression was not true.



55 students wrongly promoted in DAV-8
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
If the Chandigarh education department is to be believed, it was a serious lapse in result criteria for annual examination, committed by DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, which has put the result of around 55 students of Classes IX and XI under question mark. On the other hand, the school authorities insist that they had conducted the examination within the permissive guidelines issued by the department. “The results have been declared and submitted at stipulated time as per instructions we had received from the department,” said Dr Vibha Ray, principal of DAV SSS-8.

Ironically, the circular regarding the result criteria sent to the school too contained indistinguishable language about the ‘reappear’ clause. It nowhere specifies its applicability to particular class. The matter came to light by chance when a student of some other school, on the pretext of result criteria of DAV school, approached the office of the district education officer to seek permission for appearing in the compartment tests for Class XI.

It was then that the DEO Khushinder Sharma immediately called up the school authorities for being ignorant of the examination rules. This lapse has put the Chandigarh education department in a catch 22 situation because it was not the only case. There were nearly 60 such students of Classes IX and XI who have been promoted to next class with same ‘slip-up’.

It is pertinent to mention that the administration has devised a centralised pattern for conducting examination for both classes. It is mandatory condition for all government as well as aided schools to abide by the examination and result criteria laid down by the administration.

As per rules, there is no provision for compartment in Classes VIII, IX and XI. If a candidate fails even in one compulsory subject in these classes, his result would be declared as detained. However, the provision for grace marks rests for the unsuccessful candidates but can in no way be granted for improvement or for eligible to reappear in the examination.

The DPI (S) S.K. Setia said the school authorities had committed such a blunder. “We would ask for written explanation from the school authorities because the school has promoted students on wrong criteria. It would also be on the wrong side of law to hold re-examination that too against the norms. Also, now it is difficult to re-declare the result of these candidates as cancelled, as the school has officially announced them to be promoted to next class”, he said.

“But keeping in view the interest of the students, we would find some way out”, Setia added.


We will ask for written explanation from the school authorities because the school has promoted students on wrong criteria — DPI (S)


The results have been declared and submitted at stipulated time as per instructions we had received from the department — Principal



PU Notes
Rally on Earth Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
The Centre for Adult, Continuing Education and Extension, PU, today took out a rally jointly with Government High School, Kaimbwala, Chandigarh, in connection with Earth Day, which was observed in the school.

More than 300 students of school, about 10 teachers along with parents, led by principal D.P. Sharma and Dr Paramjit Singh Kang, walked through the streets of village and covered the entire village raising different slogans.

The rally visited the residence of the sarpanch of the village, Harbans Singh, where he addressed the rally and appreciated the efforts of PU and village school for spreading awareness. The rally terminated in the school campus. 



From Colleges
200 participate in management fest
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 23
Dr I.T. Business School, Banur, organised management fest ‘Spardha ’08 - The Battle of Minds’ yesterday. The fest was inaugurated by Dr V.K. Arora, dean, academic, Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar. Addressing the students, Dr Arora said to become a good entrepreneur, it was important for the students to develop communication and human resource skills. Over 200 students from different B-schools participated in the fest. M.K. Mahajan, chairman of the institute, congratulated the winners and said the aim of the fest was to generate a platform on which students from different institutes could display their managerial acumen.

TOP HONOURS: Students of Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, brought laurels to the institute by scoring merit positions in the MBA examinations conducted by Punjab Technical University, Jalandar. Top scorers include Anjana, Babandeep, Kamaljit, Pushpreet, Rashmi, Rohini, Shilpa Arora, Shilpa Rani and Pooja Sharma. Prof Avtar Singh, chairman of Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, congratulated the students.

EARTH DAY: Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS) celebrated World Earth Day on its premises and its field office at Radiala village yesterday. More than 300 students participated in the programme. Dildar Khan, director of JSS, said the purpose of this programme was to sensitise and create awareness among the youth and common people about various issues like conservation of soil and water.

MANAGEMENT SCHOOL: Gurukul Educational and Charitable Trust would come up with Gurukul Business School (for advanced studies in management) and Gurukul Institute of Management (centre for management development and research). Addressing the mediapersons, Manmohan Kumar Garg, CEO, Gurukul Educational and Charitable Trust, disclosed that letter of intent in this regard had already been received from the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), New Delhi, and the courses would start from this session itself. Gurukul Business School (GBS) programmes will be aimed at global and national developments and will be relevant for application in India. Several short duration programmes (2-5 days) on topical themes will be held during the year.



Job fest begins on May 2
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
A mega job fest of the region for engineering and IT students from all over north India is being organised by Rayat and Bahra Group of Institutes.

The three-day fest would be held from May 2 to 4 at Rayat and Bahra Institute of Engineering and Bio Technology, Sahauran, near here.

This fest is being conducted in association with the National Association of Software and Services Companies where all leading MNCs and top companies in Indian corporate world would offer job opportunities to students.

A total of 10 per cent of seats have been kept reserved for students belonging to poor, handicapped and girls category.

Making this announcement, Gurvinder Singh Bahra, vice- chairman of Rayat and Bahra Group said MBA, BTech, MCA, MFC, MBE, MCom, MSc, BBA, BCom, BCA, BSc, BA, Polytechnic and ITI students would be welcome to appear for interviews.

“Not to be left behind are +2 students for whom we have put in special efforts. Also BE, BTech and MCA pass outs of 2007, 2008 and BE and BTech batches passing out in 2009 would also be eligible for interviews. We have formed a committee who would scrutinise the students belonging to reserved category. Deserving students would be given full fee concession for engineering courses which amounts to Rs 45,000”, said Bahra.

Elaborating upon the selection procedure, Bahra said various firms from OP FMCG sector, IT, engineering, pharmaceutical, banking, insurance, finance, advertising, telecom and manufacturing sectors would be examining students who will register either on line or at the venue itself.



Tanya, Anish selected for exchange programme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Tanya Kumar and Anish Punj, students of Class XII arts and commerce, respectively, of DAV Model-15 have been selected under Japan East Asian Network of Exchange for Students and Youth Programme (JENEYS) for 10 days. The CBSE had invited nominations of two students from each school. Both the students were selected on the basis of their academic and co-curricular achievements.

Tanya is a national-level badminton player, state-level dancer and an active participant in essay writing. She is well versed in Assamese, English and Hindi language.

Anish is a national-level Taekwondo player, state-level football player, active participant in music, debates and has directed many plays. He was also the vice-head boy of the school in Class XI.

Earth Day: Ashiana Public School, Sector 46, here celebrated Earth Day at the Sector 17 Plaza today. The students of the school, carrying banners and placards, were seen spreading awareness measures to use water and electricity judiciously carrying banners and placards ‘Wake up to global warming and impending disasters’, ‘There is only one Earth, protect it for your kids, ‘Plant trees’ etc.

Principal of the school Lalita Prakash emphasised that all children should be trained for water conservation, economical use of water, avoiding wastage and saving every drop of water.

The posters and banners carried by the students urged the people to plant more trees and stop cutting of trees; prevent soil erosion; minimise water pollution and stop the use of polythene bags.

Students’ Council: GMSSS-32 has constituted a student council for the session 2008-09. This has been done to maintain the school discipline and establish healthy relationship between the teachers and students.

Two students each were selected from Classes VI to XII by the students to represent them in council. The 36-member student council has selected Neha Sethi as president, Arun vice-president, Sanjeev general secretary, Geetanjali and Ruhani secretaries and Pooja cashier.

These members will listen to the grievances of the students and try finding a positive solution. Principal of the school Anil Sharma said this step was taken to hone leadership qualities in the students and to make them responsible to handle the crisis situation.



CAT orders status quo on Khatra’s promotion to IPS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
SSP, Mohali, R.S. Khatra’s desire to be promoted to the Indian Police Service (IPS) from the Punjab Police Service (PPS) is under threat for a while following a Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) order.

CAT has ordered status quo on the recommendation of the state government made in a letter dated October 8, 2007, in accordance with which Khatra was to be considered for the IPS cadre with effect from 1995-1996.

The state government had suggested his name for promotion to the IPS taking into consideration his service in the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Army. Khatra had earlier served in the BSF and the Army from 1983 to 1989.

The state government stated that as per a notification of the Central government dated June 1, 1978, the service rendered by the SSP, Mohali, in the BSF could be counted for his eligibility for consideration for promotion to the IPS from 1995-1996. The recommendation was forwarded to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which turned it down.

As per the recommendation of the state government, if Khatra’s seniority in the BSF and the Army is counted then he will be placed in the list of 1995-1996 select candidates. Thus, it would affect the seniority of Arun Kumar Mittal, commandant in Mohali, and Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, Ludhiana (rural).

Arun Kumar and Gurpreet Singh pleaded before CAT to quash the recommendation of the state government dated October 8, 2007, on the basis of which Khatra was claiming his inclusion in the select list of 1995-1996 for promotion to the IPS.

The counsel for applicants Gurminder Singh and R.K. Sharma contended that Khatra was not legally entitled to claim the inclusion of his name in the select list of 1995-1996 and the statute did not confer power upon anyone to grant him the same.

Khatra had appealed before the CAT Bench in Delhi wherein he challenged the order of the UPSC refusing to hold the review selection committee meeting in pursuance of the recommendation of the state government.

Khatra had earlier filed an application in CAT, Chandigarh, wherein he sought the consideration of his case for promotion to the IPS claiming seniority on the basis of services rendered in the Army and the BSF. CAT had dismissed the application and the order was upheld by the Supreme Court.



HC upholds selection process of firemen
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Over three years after the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh issued an advertisement for filling the 41 posts of firemen, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has upheld the selection process.

Pronouncing the orders on a petition challenging the appointment of eight firemen, a High Court Division Bench, comprising Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Mohinder Pal, ruled: The writ petition is dismissed with no order as to costs.

The advertisement was published on July 30, 2005, for filling up 41 posts, including eight of OBC Category, in the Fire and Emergency Service Department of the Corporation. The aged prescribed was 18 to 30. Relaxation in age was for candidates belonging to ex-servicemen and scheduled caste category in accordance with orders issued from time to time by the Government of India and UT Administration.

Petitioner Rakesh Chand had claimed that respondent Sunil Kumar had obtained 74 marks, while he had secured number one position in the waiting list with 71 marks. But, Sunil Kumar, selected by the respondents, was more than 30 yeras. The age had been relaxed in his case, though there was no condition of relaxation in case of the candidates belonging to the OBC category. As such, the selection was illegal and unjustified.

Counsel for the MC, on the other hand, pointed out that though the respondent was 30 years and three months at the issuance of the advertisement, as per union government instructions relaxation up to three years was given to the OBC category candidates. As such, he was eligible for appointment.

He added a Committee had decided that the recruitment would be made keeping in view the qualifications provided in the Punjab Fire Brigade Rules, 1977, as adopted by the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh and the criteria for selection would be be worked out by the civic body itself.

After hearing the arguments, the Judges held: “The petitioner participated in the written test and invoked the jurisdiction of this Court having remained unsuccessful in the said written test. Having remained unsuccessful in the written test, the petitioner cannot be permitted to dispute the holding of written test”.



Corruption case against judicial officers
Voice in tapes could be of Bhardwaj: CFSL
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
During a cross-examination in the special CBI court today in a graft case against former judicial officers, CFSL experts stated that there was a probability that the voice investigated in the audio tapes by the CFSL could be of a suspended judge S S Bhardwaj in connection with the graft case against former judicial officers.

The witness today said, "The report points towards the probability of matching of the voice. The report does not confirm that the voice is the same. The technique used in the investigation was progressive and not perfect".

The witness was quizzed during cross- examination as to whether the report confirmed that the voice in the audio tapes, which relates to a conversation allegedly between the suspended magistrate and the complainant, was of the suspended judge. Replying to this contention, the witness deposed that from the report it could only be inferred that probably the voice was of the suspended judge.

The voice samples were taken after the complainant in the case, Gurvinder Singh Samra, had produced a few cassettes on record alleging that it was a conversation between him and Bhardwaj in which the latter was demanding bribe from Samra.

According to the prosecution, Samra had approached the CBI alleging that Bhardwaj, a judicial officer in the city's district court, had demanded a bribe of Rs 11 lakh on behalf of suspended district and sessions judge RM Gupta. As per the allegations, the bribe was demanded for passing a favourable order on Samra's anticipatory bail application in a case pending before Gupta. Bhardawaj was caught red-handed while accepting bribe at his Sector 22 residence.



Minister files complaint against Chautala
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 23
Haryana education minister Mange Ram Gupta, filing a criminal complaint in the local court, has sought summoning of MP Ajay Singh Chautala here today.

Gupta, in his complaint filed before junior magistrate Madhu Khanna, stated that Chautala had defamed him and lowered his repute and dignity. He furter accused the minister of nepotism.

In the complaint, Gupta stated that the Haryana Staff Selection Commission had advertised several posts of naib tehsildar and had conducted written tests for the same.

Gupta’s four relatives had appeared for the test but failed to qualify for interview, said the complaint.

However, on the basis of a conference held by Ajay Chautala, it was published in a section of media on March 26 that relatives of the Chief Minister, ministers, MLAs, bureaucrats and members of Staff Selection Commission were being appointed on the said posts. In the report, a list of 26 candidates was also published and it was alleged that a candidate in the list, namely Vikram Singla, was Gupta’s close relative, Gupta stated in his complaint.

The education minister, denying any relation with Singla, condemned the statement, which was published in the newspapers of March 27 but the accused remained mum on the issue.

After recording the evidence by Gupta and Anant Ram Goel, a resident of Sector 12, Panchkula, the judge fixed May 7 as the date for recording remaining evidence.



Bribery case: Judicial remand for suspect
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
A local court today remanded Rajwant Singh, a senior assistant branch in charge in the deputy commissioner’s office, Mohali, who was allegedly caught taking bribe from an ‘84 anti-Sikh riots victim on Tuesday, to judicial custody.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Rajwant in a corruption case after he was nabbed taking Rs 10,000 from Sukhwinder Singh of Zirakpur from a tube well near the Sector 43 ISBT.

Sources in the CBI said a probe was being conducted into the matter to find out whether the officials named by the accused were involved in the crime. 



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |