C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT Chief Electoral Officer’s Appointment
Admn takes 6 months to implement EC’s order
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
To appoint the UT’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), it has taken the Chandigarh Administration six months to decide on the matter. To appoint the CEO, orders of the Election Commission of India ( dt October 5, 2007) to the Administration were not implemented immediately on receipt.

After repatriation of the UT’s Finance Secretary, SK Sandhu, to his parent state on November 5, 2007, the commission, in a communication to the UT Administrator, had asked that the Additional Chief Electoral Officer, Raj Kumar Rao, be asked to look after the work of the Chief Electoral Officer. The administration had sought certain clarifications from the commission.

Copies of the orders were indeed sent down the hierarchy, but were never implemented. Sources said instead of implementing the orders, a move was initiated by the administration to appoint the previous Home Secretary Krishna Mohan as the CEO. It was seen as a move to extend the term of the Home Secretary who was finally repatriated to his parent state on March 31, 2008.

Instead of implementing the orders of the commission, the administration on March 5, 2008, had reportedly suggested the name of Krishna Mohan for the post of the CEO as it was an additional charge held by bureaucrats. In response to the administration’s recommendations, the Haryana government forwarded the name of the Krishna Mohan. But by the time the communication came, the official had been repatriated to his parent state.

The commission had in its communication to the administration stated that after the repatriation of SK Sandhu, the administration was asked to appoint Rao as the CEO as a stop-gap arrangement till the appointment of a new CEO, if the need arose. The communication was sent to the administration one month ahead of the repatriation of SK Sandhu to Punjab.

But with the change of guard, the six-month-old orders of the commission have been implemented and Raj Kumar Rao has been appointed as the CEO.



Speaking Out
Shameful act

Harbhajan Singh’s slap not just stunned Sreesanth, but also the entire sports fraternity. While talking to The Tribune reporter Akash Ghai, renowned sportspersons besides sports officials of the city say that the act has made the whole sports fraternity as well as the country hang their heads in shame.

Milkha SinghYesterday’s incident has brought a bad name not just to cricket but to sports as a whole. Bhajji is a good boy but he has destroyed his image with this shameful act. For common people, sportsmen are ideals. With such kind of misbehaviour, what example are they (the sportspersons) setting for the ordinary folk? I believe it is the prime duty of every sportsperson to think about the sanctity of sports.

— Milkha Singh, an Olympian

Madan Mohan Singh The unpardonable act of Harbhajan shows that he is too immature to play at the international level. I think criminal liability should be fixed against him for such a shameful on-the-field act. Besides, he should be banned for a minimum five-year term. We are ashamed that such kind of an undisciplined player has been representing us (India) at the international level. Yesterday, he acted just like a schoolboy.

— Madan Mohan Singh, international hockey player

Jesse Grewal The whole country supported him when he had problems with Australian players during the Down Under tour, but now everybody feels let down by his behaviour here in India. Even in a boxing bout, the competitors shake hands before and after the bout. He showed that there was not an iota of sportsman’s spirit in him. Also I feel that he is not fit to be the captain of any team.

— Jesse Grewal, golf coach

K S Bharti Yesterday’s incident exposed the internal differences that prevail among the team members of India. Both the players represent our country in the international arena. Is this the team, we love so much? If senior players indulge in such an unsavoury act, that, too, in front of the whole media and thousands of spectators, one can well imagine what kind of team spirit and unity they share in the dressing room.

— K S Bharti, Assistant Director, Sports (Education)



Sree is like my younger brother: Bhajji
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
In a bid to water down the appalling slap episode, Harbhajan Singh termed Sreesanth his younger brother.

Talking to mediapersons at Hotel Shivalik View here today, Harbhajan said there was nothing between him and Sreesanth. “Sree is just like my younger brother. There is nothing unsavory between us. We have sorted out the issue and everything is fine now”, said Bhajji before leaving the city today morning.

Evidently upset over the yesterday’s issue, Bhajji chose to aboard the team’s bus immediately after having his breakfast.

It was a big shock for everyone, when the clippings of Sreesanth weeping bitterly were shown on TV channels immediately after the culmination of yesterday’s match between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians at PCA stadium. It came out that Bhajji had allegedly slapped Sreesanth.

Sreesanth also on the other hand played down the incident saying that Bhajji was like his elder brother and he has every right, the elder brother possesses.

When asked why he wept bitterly for so long then, Sreesanth said, “I was running fever in the morning. As the team won, I got emotional”.

Bhajji’s mother, Avtaar Kaur, also termed Sreesanth as her younger son. “Sree is my younger son. I don’t think any such thing happened. The matter should not be blown out of proportion. At the end of the day, they have to play together for the country”, said Avtaar Kaur. 



Daughter’s blindness drives man to suicide
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 26
The father of a blind girl allegedly committed suicide when he was told by the doctors that his daughter would not be able to see in her life at a Pinjore village, near here. The body of the deceased Gurmail Singh, father of two children, was found in a well of the village last night.

Gurmail, a 23-year-old resident of Rathpur village, was disturbed for the past few days when he came to know that his one and a half year old daughter would not be able to recover from her blindess, said Sucha Singh, a municipal councillor from the area. The girl was under treatment at PGI, Chandigarh.

The shoes and shirt of Gurmail, who was missing from his home since morning, were found near the well in the afternoon. As nothing was visible in the waters of the well, the villagers started searching for him at other places. However, finding him nowhere, the villagers decided to search the well properly in the night. Arrangements for proper lighting were made on the site before Gurmail’s body was fished out from the well.



Despite inflation, UBS students get fat packages
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
With each passing year, the placements at Panjab University’s University Business School (UBS) are getting bigger with students taking fatter packages home.

This year, despite inflation, not only the students got big deals as compared to the previous years but the average pay package for a student also saw an increase. The placement season in the beginning of this year saw almost all the students getting placed. The average pay package this year was between Rs 6.5 to Rs 7 lakh and is on the higher side as compared to last year.

Three students got the highest package of Rs 8.7 lakh per annum offered by HSBC Bank, followed by Bharti Airtel with Rs 8.5 lakh per annum and United Bank of Switzerland with Rs 8 lakh per annum. Both Bharti and United Bank have picked up three students each.

“Barring three or four students who opted out of placements, all the students have got good placement offers from various companies and have received the letters as well,” said Prof A K Vashishta, placement in charge.

Surprisingly, unlike the common opinion, companies with diverse profiles came to recruit the students ranging from core management to software companies, IT companies to global and even local banks, insurance companies to even teaching institutes, added Prof Vashishta.

Maximum students, 13 in number, have been taken by ICICI Bank at an annual pay package of Rs 6.5 lakh. Similarly Infosys recruited around 10 students at a package of Rs 6.5 lakh per annum. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), New Gen, a Delhi-based software company, HDFC Bank, ICICI Prudential, ICICI Lombard, Bajaj Alliance, Delloitt, Cognizant Technologies, IMS Learning Centre were among the major recruitment companies this time. Interestingly, IMS Learning Centre, which provides coaching to aspiring management candidates, participated in the placement for the first time and recruited students at a hefty pay package of Rs 7.5 lakh.“Student placement is a two-way street. The contacts that we build with corporate companies and different MNCs over the years come in handy each time. In fact, this time we set a benchmark of last year’s average pay package and even had to turn down several companies, those who offered less than the last year’s package”, said Prof Vashishta, in charge of the placement cell.

A lot of hard work both on the part of students and the department goes into making the placement drive a success. The preparations begin months before, in terms of arranging sessions for developing soft skills, preparing students for interviews.

Students also have to follow certain codes including behavioural, dress code, etc during the placement sessions added Prof Vashishta.



Ban on copyrighted music
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 26
First it was the cheerleaders and now it is the music. A local court has stayed the playing of copyrighted music during the IPL matches being held at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA).

Taking up a petition filed by the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS), the additional district and session judge, SAS Nagar, S.K. Goel ordered a stay on the playing of music during the matches being played at the PCA.

He also issued notices to the respondents, which included the PCA, I.S. Bindra, PCA president, Colonel Joginder Singh member-cum-in-charge, PCA Kings XI, Mohali, and Wizcraft International Private Limited through its representative Gautam Rao.

Officials of the IPRS informed the court through their counsel that the PCA had not taken a license from the society to publically perform (play) songs and music items copyrighted with them under the Copyrights Act 1957.

The IPRS is a non-profit making organisation and collects royalty on behalf of its members, which include writers, lyricists, singers and music directors. The society also issues licenses for commercial performance or use of anything composed, written or sung by any of its members.

The society had sued PCA in 2006 following which it had promised the society to take a license for the Indo-Pakistan match where music was played.

The society’s counsel informed the court that music copyrighted with them was played during the April 19 IPL match held at the PCA stadium. The court has also ordered that advocate Bikram Singh Ahluwalia and R.K. Sharma would be on duty at the match tomorrow as local commissioners to ascertain if copyrighted music is played during the match or not.

The two advocates would remain in the stadium through the match and submit a report on or before the next date of hearing, which has been fixed as May 7.

Kunal Sareen, senior general manager of the society, said the PCA had been following the licensing rules after the filing of the suit against them in 2006. He added that this time however, the PCA officials had been misguided into believing that there was no need for a license. “IPL in Bangalore and Chennai have already taken the license from the society. At the other venues, the society is moving the court against the IPL,” added Sareen.

Arvind Sharma, the licensing executive of the society, said he had been visiting the stadium before the matches began on April 19 and met many PCA officials in this regard. “But they are simply not ready to listen. We had no option but to take them to court,” he said.



Double Whammy
Residents protest erratic power supply
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, April 26
Traffic on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway came to a standstill for over two hour as Zirakpur residents took to streets around midnight in protest against unscheduled power cuts.

The protest was triggered by a 10-hour long power cut which started at 7 am and electricity was restored at 2 pm. The residents alleged that the power supply was suspended in the morning and restored in the afternoon for sometime. But it was again disrupted in the evening.

Accusing the authorities of indifference, the residents blocked the highway from either side. Nearly 100 residents sat on the road after blocking it. They raised slogans against the Punjab State Electricity Board. The police reached the spot after half an hour but could not disburse the protesting crowd. Unwilling to budge, the protestors demanded action against PSEB functionaries. They refused to talk to the police in this regard.

Residents, led by Chandan, a resident of Ravindra Enclave, said there had been no electricity and water from the past three days. “We only got power for two hours through the day and it is not enough,” he added.

They claimed that the board’s complaint office was never manned properly and no one ever responded to their queries about power supply.

According to sources in the board, overloading and ‘kundi connections’ were resulting in burning of electric cables. “We are helpless during night hours because it is too risky to attend to any complaint,” added a board official pointing out that all attempts to remove kundi connections had prove futile due to resistance.

The blockage was removed after two hours on the assurance by the police that they would take along a deputation of the residents to the PSEB office.



Water shortage throws life out of gear
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, April 26
With mercury soaring and civic amenities in the township not keeping pace with the ever-increasing population, residents of Zirakpur have started facing water shortage.

Inadequate water supply is throwing the lives of the residents out of gear. They have been complaining to the departments concerned, but in vain.

Out of 20 tubewells, nine run on diesel engines. Remaining tubewells, running on electric motors, mostly remain non-functional due to power cuts.

Water supply and sewerage board SDO R.K. Goel, when contacted, said, “We are doing our best to give full water supply to the residents. But the problem arises due to power cuts. In the absence of prior information on power cuts, we cannot schedule the water supply accordingly.”

Residents are forced to call private water tankers to meet their demand. As such, long queues are a common sight, making the problem worse for housewives and school going children in Harmilap Nagar, Saini Vihar, Ravindra Enclave and Anand Vihar.

“Regular water supply is a big problem in the area, especially during summers,” says Anita Kumari, a resident of Saini Vihar. She claims there is no particular time for water supply. “It is just the beginning of summers, what will happen during peak season?” asked Anita.

Pradeep Passi, a resident of Defence Colony, claimed that the infrastructure for providing portable water was grossly inadequate as one tubewell was supplying to as many as four societies or nearby areas. He also said the water pressure was very low.



31 get Laadli Media Awards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The society has a bleak future if female foeticide is not checked at the earliest. These were the views highlighted by many of the speakers who attended the Laadli Media Awards for Gender Sensitivity - 2007, here today.

The Population First, an NGO and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which jointly organised the event, selected 31 winners in different categories from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Chattisgarh, and Chandigarh and Delhi. Addressing the gathering, Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Gen (Retd.) S.F. Rodrigues called for serious introspection and a collective action-oriented approach at all levels for tackling the problem of the gender disparity. “It is imperative for all of us, especially the media, to play a pro-active role for generating awareness among the masses about this unethical practice and sensitising the society towards gender inequalities,” he said.

He added that authorities in Punjab and Chandigarh, have already initiated steps for implementation of an action plan based on a study conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and a monitoring system has been evolved. Reports from agencies concerned are being regularly validated. He referred to the Nawanshaher District Model, which has recorded a great improvement in sex ratio in a short span.


An atmosphere of jubilation marked the award ceremony. Aditi Tandon, principal correspondent of The Tribune and one of the awardees, when asked about her selection said that working on any social issue is a challenge for her. “It’s not just the collection of figures or highlighting any issue, which serves the purpose of the journalist towards the society,” she said. She remarked that the reason behind picking up the gender issues through her stories was that these should become an eye-opener for the people and the authorities who are running the system. Gayatri Rajwade, ex-correspondent with The Tribune, said the award meant that sincere hardwork gets recognised with time. She said she was elated to receive the award and it has motivated her to work harder in the times to come.

Lakshmi Kanta Chawla, Health and Family Welfare minister, Punjab, said they would approach the Central government on April 28 and request for a law that would give a girl an equal right on the property of her husband after marriage.

Meanwhile, winners in the electronic medium category were Braj Mohan, NDTV Chandigarh, Ravginder Bawa, Aaj Tak, Natasha Jha, Lok Sabha TV, Anureet Sidhu, Suraj and Rajvir, Channel Punjab, AIR Chandigarh and Jalandhar, TVCs of Draft FCB Ulka, Leo Burnett and Lowe.

In the print section, the awards went to Mohammad Athar, (Urdu) Charkha, Sayyed Asdar Ali, (Urdu) Rashtriya Sahara, Dr Harshinder Kaur, an expert freelance contributor (Punjabi), Aditi Tandon, The Tribune, Tarannum Manjul, Indian Express, Lucknow, Anilesh Mahajan, Times of India, Gayatri Rajwade, The Tribune, Damayanti Datta, India Today, Sushma Verma, Hindustan, Annu Anand, Press Institute of India, Dayashankar Mishra, Dainik Bhaskar, and Sultan Ahmed Charkha.

In addition, special awards were given to Dr Gurmel Chahel for his telefilm, Dheeyan Maro Na, Avinash for his web initiative, Betiyon Ka Blog, Sandhya Raman, for her conceptualisation of the multi-media performance, Mythologies Retold, and Afsana Rashid of Etalaat, J & K, for the best reporting in adverse conditions.

Famous cricketer Sunil Gavasker was also present during the award ceremony.



Rajiv Vihar residents seek AWHO intervention
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Residents of Rajeev Vihar, Manimajra, have sought intervention of Army Welfare Housing Organisation (AWHO), alleging that the present ad hoc management committee of the locality is holding elections in an arbitrary manner.

Several members of the locality had taken up the matter with the managing director, AWHO, Kashmir House, New Delhi, in a latter dated April 21, alleging that the ad hoc resident’s welfare association was holding elections to form a regular management committee, but they were not following the guidelines laid down by AWHO. Out of the total number of flats in the society nearly 75 per cent were occupied by tenants.

Out of the total 305 flats, around 50 had been sold through power of attorney while 20 others had been transferred to Army officers, done through an oversight, as these flats could not be sold before 15 years of taking their physical possession, as specified by the UT administration.

They further held that the AWHO had sent a copy of welfare rules to Rajeev Vihar Housing Society Resident’s Welfare Association stipulating therein “proxy voting” by virtue of which the owner could authorise his local representative, tenant to participate in the election process for electing the management committee of the association. They lamented that if the important clause of proxy voting was not followed, the purpose of the election would be defeated.

Refuting the allegations, Col. (retd) V.K. Dutt, president of Rajeev Vihar Army Welfare Housing Society, Manimajra, said there was no arbitration in the elections and everybody had been taken into confidence before holding elections. Besides, prominent members and patrons had also decided the same. He said only members were allowed in the process and the parents, mothers, wives of the owners, whose names were not in the lists were not included.

About proxy voting, he clarified that there was no such provision in the bylaws laid down by the registrar of the societies, Chandigarh administration. Moreover they were trying to get a list of the members from AWHO. He also said as per the guidelines even those who had taken the flats through power of attorney have no rights.

About the society, Dutt said the old society was liquidated on July 22, last year, following which the existing society was formed and got registered. It was decided that the election would be held after the end of the financial year and the members had fixed April 27 as the date fro election and formed a full team with a respectable Returning officer.



Encroachers vulnerable to fire
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Unauthorised junk dealers located near the jungle area along the approach road to Maloya are a vulnerable lot. In case a major fire breaks out in the area, the scarp, including plastic, polythene bags and other combustible articles lying in the junkyards, can turn the area in to a veritable inferno.

Ironically, the junk dealers, who have encroached the land, pay scant attention to their own safety. The scrap lying in the open can catch fire any time and cause a major fire. And although there is a huge amount of inflammable material lying in the yards, there are no fire safety measures in place to tackle any untoward incident.

Sources in the Chandigarh municipal corporation said similar is the situation in Ram Darbar, Attawa and Hallomajra. In Hallomajra the junk dealers have taken land on rent, but still no fire safety provisions are in place.

Aggravating the hazard are the wheat bags stacked on the road surrounding Sector 39 Grain Market, which creates obstruction in the movement of fire tenders in case of an emergency. Such problems were witnessed when a fire broke out in the overgrown area this morning. It took around two hours and five fire engines to douse the blaze, which could have spelled a disaster in the area. The fire spread into a large area and consumed many trees and bushes.

A fire officer said the fire was brought under control after putting a lot of efforts, as it was difficult to take the fire engines into the overgrown area and the water was sprinkled from a distance. The blockade caused by the wheat stacks on the road made the operation even more difficult.

P.K. Sharma, secretary and chief fire officer of the MC, said he was not sure of the credentials of junk dealers. “If they encroach upon government land, they would be removed soon otherwise they would be directed to follow fire safety guidelines,” he said. He, however, added that the encroachments thrived owing to shortage of staff in the enforcement wing for the past two months.

M.P.S Chawla, chairman of the fire and emergency services of the MC, said he would take up the matter with the officials to clear the road of stacks and provide a clear passage to the fire engines.



Jheorerhi landowners to be given extra money
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 26
The SDM Mohali-cum-land acquisition officer has announced that 222 landowners of Jheorerhi village who had been given Rs 1.5 crore as compensation amount per acre would be given extra money for the structures on the land.

More than 200 of the 222 landowners of Jheorerhi village who had gathered at the SDM’s office today to collect cheques of the compensation amount went back happy with the cheques safe with them.

Some of the farmers refused to take the compensation amount as the affidavit that they had to sign stated that they would not be given anything extra for various structures like houses, bore wells or tress on the land. However, later in the evening, the SDM through a press note stated that the farmers would be given extra compensation for the structures on the land.

An amount of over Rs 361 crore is being given to the villagers as compensation.

This includes 30 per cent solatium or uprooting allowance and another 10 per cent for not approaching the courts disputing the acquisition.

Other than this, the Punjab government would pay Rs 26 crore for the sham lat land and over Rs 1.8 crore that has to be paid to the defence authorities for their land which has been acquired.

The SDM said most of the cases were disposed off today but the rest of the people had been called tomorrow. The office of the SDM will be kept open tomorrow to cater to the rest of the farmers.



Magnetic cups create nuisance
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Magnetic cups used by a television channel to publicise a quiz show attracted a lot of criticism, yesterday. The cups, placed on stationary vehicles at the traffic lights, flew in all directions once the vehicles started rolling.

These cups were carrying the advertisement of “kya aap paanchvi pass se tez hain?” - a TV quiz programme to be aired on Star Plus. Information on the cups revealed that the show was presented by Airtel, a private telecom company.

Interestingly, the cups carried a symbol advising the user to dispose them in a dustbin after use and not to litter them all around. However, the publicity management company preferred to ignore the advice to promote its own interests, said RK Garg, a resident of Sector 27.

However, Resham Chand Jakhu, the chairman of the sanitation committee of the Chandigarh municipal corporation said he was not aware of the matter and would ask the officials about it. He, however, said such practice could not be allowed and stated that the action should be initiated against those found guilty of littering on the roads.



Seminar on voluntary blood donation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
With an aim of involving teachers in creating awareness among school children about voluntary blood donation, the Blood Bank Society organised a seminar ‘Safe Blood - be the link’ for the private school teachers of Chandigarh today.

This was one among a series of seminars to cover all the schools of Chandigarh and the adjoining areas, with the objective of planting the seed of blood donation in the minds of the young students in order to prepare them as future blood donors.

Raji Srivastava, special secretary finance and DPI (colleges), was the chief guest on the occasion. About 50 delegates from the private schools of Chandigarh attended the seminar.

Niti Sarin, secretary of blood bank society, gave details on the role of blood banks, the constant need of donors and their perpetual shortage.

Dr S. Bambah, vice-president of the society gave an idea about the right food habits to ensure physical fitness of people wishing to donate blood. A movie “Red” was also screened on the occasion, after which delegates broke into groups to discuss how they could spread this message in their schools.

The chief guest also released a new publication “The Magic of Red” brought out by the Blood Bank Society.



Visitors throng Evening Bazaar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Rhythms of bhangra, aroma of special Punjabi food and dazzling items at the stalls caught the fancy of the crowds at the Evening Bazaar at Vatika School for deaf and dumb, here today.

The exhibition is a bonanza for women as a variety of hand-painted sarees to suits in cool and flashy colors, specially designed jewellery etc are on display.

The special attraction for the children is the stall of statues of their cartoon character.

One of the visitors from Panchkula said the unique part of this exhibition is that ample variety of furniture, especially wooden artifacts from Jodhpur, which is not usually available in the furniture outlets of the city, are displayed here.

“By buying items from this exhibition we are also helping children with special abilities,” she said.



Residents sore over dumping ground
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 26
Though surrounded mainly by industries, the dumping grounds are, however, only a stone’s throw away from the Sector 91 residential colony being developed by private builders.

Those who have shifted in their newly bought apartments and bungalows here, this is the worst locality they could have been in Mohali. The entire area is full of the tonnes of garbage collected from the township. The stench from the rotting garbage spreads across to the various industrial units and houses in the area.

The place has also become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and flies and residents are fed up. “We have requested for the shifting of the dumping ground to another place but nothing has happened,” said a resident.



Woman’s body found
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 26
The body of a 23-year-old woman was found with burn injuries in the bathroom of her house in Bir Ghaggar village in Chandimandir area here today. The deceased has been identified as Gomti.

According to the police, after hearing Gomti’s cries, her neighbours rushed to her place and found that she was in the bathroom. None of her other family members was home that time, said the police.

The neighbours broke open the bathroom door and found Gomti was lying on the floor with burn injuries. The police was informed and Gomti was taken to the hospital where she was found dead with 25 per cent burn injuries.

Deceased’s husband Raman is working with the Haryana Staff Service Commission.



World Book Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
As part of the World Book Day celebrations, British Library celebrated the day from April 21-26. Padam Talwar, programme director, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, ministry of external affairs, New Delhi, Deep Adhikari, head examinations services (North India), British Council, New Delhi, and M.M. Sharma from Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Chandigarh, gave away the prizes to the winners.

A total of five competitions were held, including ‘Grow your book tree’, ‘A book by its cover’, ‘Speakers Junction’, ‘Rhyme Recitation’ and ‘Dress as your favourite book character’.



Check global warming

We are in the habit of making headlines to gain publicity but when actual practice comes, we lack the will to do something fruitful. Recently, a lot of material has been published in print media on the occasion of Earth Day.

A two-minute black out was also advised. Residents of Chandigarh adhered to and put off lights for two minutes sparingly just to make headlines. I believe making big claims and advertisements do not work.

Smoke free city campaign has already bombarded. We talk a lot but do nothing. Only yesterday, effigies of K.P.S. Gill were burnt because protestors damn care for global warming.

A famous channel in liaison with a mobile company littered half of Chandigarh roads with magnet borne paper glasses because these channels and companies don’t care at all. Dry leaves are still being burnt because sweepers do not care. While the channel was littering on the roads, a complaint was made to the concerned department.

Perhaps we always need something grave to happen to make it worth reporting. These halfhearted efforts will spoil better things planned for welfare of the society. Will we learn something from our experience or else we continue to wait for increase in global warming.

R.K. Garg, Chandigarh

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Central Varsity Status
Now, deans join relay fast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
In order to make the collective voice heard to the politicians, today on the 20th day of the chain fast on the campus, the deans of PU sat on the fast to press upon the demand for the central university status for Panjab University.

Those who sat on the chain fast were Prof Shelly Walia, dean, foreign students, Prof P.S. Sangha, dean, faculty of education, Prof M.R. Khurana, dean, research, Prof Rajinder Bhandari, dean, faculty of fine arts, and Prof Nishtha Jaswal, dean, students welfare.

Prof Bhura Singh Ghuman, dean, social sciences, Prof S.K. Kulkarni, dean, university instructions, Prof B.S. Bhoop, dean, alumni relations, and Prof I.B. Prashar, dean, animal husbandry, also sat with the fasting deans in order to register their protest against the delay in recognising PU as the central university.

Prof Shelly Walia said if the teachers, students and employees were protesting against the neglect of PU, it should not be interpreted as the demand of a few teachers or students. Prof P.S. Sangha, dean, faculty of education, said the only way to save PU from the ongoing financial crunch is to declare it a central university.

Prof M.R. Khurana said, “If politicians loose sight of the voices of intellectuals in the society and has no time to listen to them, it was a sure sign of deep rot within the political institutions”. “We are representing the voice of the entire society and should not be taken as an isolated act for local demands”, said Prof Rajinder Bhandari.

Meanwhile, JAC has already chalked out a long run plan of the agitation. Soon, each department will be visited to enlist the names of each and every teacher who will sit on the fast. “At the same time we will continue our dialogue with the political leaders, both at the Centre and in the state”.



From Schools & Colleges
IET students develop high-accuracy micrometer
Tribune News Service

Ropar, April 26
Two students of IET, Bhaddal, claimed to have made an innovation of a high-accuracy micrometer. Satbir Singh and Sunny Kumar of final year mechanical engineering have developed a micrometer based on differential screw mechanism. The duo claims that their micrometer has accuracy higher than the version available in market. "The ordinary micrometer available in the market has an accuracy of 0.01 mm only. Ours is based in differential screw mechanism and has accuracy of 0.4 micro," they claimed. This micrometer is used in highly precision labs like metrology labs or mechanical measurement labs, it can also be used developing tables for giving very accurate movement in sliding tables, they stated. They claim that manufacturing cost of this micrometer is less than other mechanical measuring devices. It can be used in quality control department and save wastage of products by giving accurate results.


FUN TIME: Tiny tots of DAV Public Senior Secondary School, Phase-X, jumped in the school splash pool today to beat the heat and had lot of fun. The school also organised a programme to enlighten the kids about the precautions and kind food to be taken during summers. The front school lawns were abuzz with activity since morning as the students of the junior wing put on their swimming suits.

SELECTED: Indo-Global Engineering College added another feather in its crown with two more multinational giants picking up students during recruitment drives conducted on the campus at Abhipur, Mohali. Raligare Securities and Bharti Axia have selected 22 MBA students. Students have been offered pay packages between Rs 15,000 to Rs 22,500 per month. Raligare Securities and Bharti Axia picked 10 and 12 students respectively.

CONVOCATION: As many as 34 students of Canadian Institute of International Studies (CIIS) were give degrees at the annual convocation of CIIS-AYR here. Students in the streams of fashion, graphic design and aeronautical engineering were given the degrees after successful completion of the foundation programme being conducted jointly by CIIS and AYR College, Scotland. The degrees were given by Diane Rawlison, principal, AYR College, Scotland. The convocation ceremony had Punjab chief information commissioner Rajan Kashyap as the guest of honour. Special guest on the occasion was Tanisha Thiara, senior trade and investment advisor, British High Commission.

PLACEMENT: A joint placement activity was conducted by DELL in which around 50 students appeared for interviews out of which 5 students have been shortlisted for final interviews. Placements were also done by SNA Engineering (subsidiary of Emmerson, Delhi) for MBA marketing students passing out in 2008. Shah Infosys, a software company, also conducted final round of one-to-one interview of electronics and computer science engineering students passing out in 2008.

FAREWELL: Students of pre-final batch of SVIET organised a farewell programme for the first BTech batch on its campus premises. Ashwani Garg, chairman, gave his blessings to the students.

VISIT: International Institute of Fashion Technology, Phase VII, visited Rana Polycot (export house), Industrial Area, Mohali. As many as 60 students interacted with J.N. Vohra, business head, Rana Polycot, which manufactures ready-to-wear clothes for export. He explained the manufacturing, mechanising and finishing process to the students. Gaurav, merchandising manager and Rashmit of the unit welcomed the IIFT students and took them around the industry.


ANNUAL DAY: The students of Kendriya Vidyalaya, ITBP, Bhanu, celebrated the annual day here today. A group dance, English dance, puppet show, Hindi skit and Rajasthani dance were staged on the occasion.


ANNUAL FUNCTION: Kendriya Vidyalaya celebrated its annual day function on the school premises here yesterday. Col Sanjay Sethi, Commandant A.D. Dappar and his wife Neelu Sethi were the chief guest. The programme commenced with a Saraswati vandana, followed by ‘Desh Rangila’, an English skit on Mother's Day and a Haryanavi dance. The main attraction of the programme was a bhangra. Principal Sushma Chaudhary read the annual report.



From Schools
Orientation programme for parents at Eurokids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
An orientation programme was organised for the parents of tiny tots studying in Eurokids, Sector 9, Panchkula, today. Staff members presented a skit depicting the tumultuous lives of pre-school kids and how a positive parenting along with better pre-schooling can change their lives.

Natasha Dhody, academic head, North, conducted the programme. She interacted with parents and gave them tips on parenting. She also addressed age-specific parenting queries and stressed on school’s motto of “learning by doing,” besides the need to have strong communication channels between parents and children.

She also spoke on benefits of spending quality time with children. According to school principal Mona Verma, such workshops helps in fostering a spirit of camaraderie between parents and the school.

This in turn helps in fostering healthy and positive development of child’s personality. The programme ended with school handing over saplings to parents with a message “lets grow together.”

Maths championship

Two city kids, Satvik Garg of St John’s School-26 and Yuval Kansal of St Anne’s-32, bagged the Champions Trophy during the 8th National Junior Fest Mathematical Competition held recently at Delhi.

Also, two local girls, Mehak and Taranpreet of St Joseph’s School-44, won gold medals for their unique mental calculation skills in the event. More than 2,000 students from all over the country participated in national contests organised by Brainobrain Abacus Kids Academy.

These kids have been trained by Brain Gym Abacus Centre, Sector 15, Chandigarh. The competition was held at Father Angel School, New Delhi. Satvik and Yuval have also won 3 days and 2 nights Gurukul Tour of Shimla and Taj Mahal.

Annual day

Kendriya Vidyalaya no. 2, Chandimandir cantonment, celebrated its annual day function at the school premises here today. The programme started with the lighting of the lamp by chief guest Air Vice Marshall Arup Raha.

The tiny tots welcomed the chief guest. The students presented puppet show, classical dance, group song Nati dance, Bhangra and a tableau “Ma Tujhe Salaam”. Principal Alka Gupta presented the annual report of the Vidyalaya.

The chief guest also gave away the prizes to the deserving students and the teachers having 100 per cent result in CBSE examinations. Col Sunil Kala, Commander 12 Signal Group extended the vote of thanks.



Another blow for law students
Question paper had only four units instead of five

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Barely four days after the students of semester IV of the department of laws, Panjab University, complained against the questions coming out of syllabus and pattern not followed in the on going annual examinations, the students were up in arms today as in the Company Law examination, the question paper had only four units instead of five as prescribed by the syllabus given to the students by university.

The students were of the view that the pattern was not consecutively being followed. As a result, they were going to lose out on marks, which will in turn affect their internships in law firms.

The students alleged that they were really distressed by the pattern of the exams this time. In the question paper of Transfer of Property Act 1882 on April 21, out of total 80 marks, questions worth 45 marks were out of pattern.

The students have given a representation to the chairman in this regard and have stated that the department of laws is known for its rules and disciplinary actions against the students. Now, what disciplinary actions or fine would be imposed on the paper setter and what remedies are available to the students on the whole?

The students have demanded grace marks for both the exams. They requested the authorities to look into this matter and said if similar mistakes were repeated the next exam, they would have to take any possible action, which they think would be in their interest.

When contacted, the chairman of the department of laws, Shashi K. Sharma said, “We will be forwarding the representation to the joint controller of examinations for necessary action”



88 PEC students get college colours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The team of Anu Chauhan, Pallavi, and Priyanka Singh, under the guidance of Prof Ajay Mittal, bagged first prize and pocketed Rs 5,000 for their IT based project ‘Offline signature verification’. They were honoured during the ‘Open House-2008’ event organised on Punjab Engineering College premises, Sector 12, here today.

The second prize of Rs 3,000 was given to Prof Arun Kumar Singh’s team -Ankit Sethi, Amandeep, and Deepak Garg for their electronics-based project ‘Path finder’. The third prize consisting of Rs 2,000 went to Noor Maini, Pulkit Kapoor, and Prabhjot Singh, which prepared ‘Rolling cylinder robot rover’ under the guidance of Prof Tejbir Kaur. The PEC Alumnus Society, PECOSA, presented the awards to these best three projects.

Conceptualized by PEC director, Dr Manoj Datta, this event has been initiated as an annual event. After formal inauguration, the director also launched the ‘The Open House-2008’ magazine.

In the offline signature verification project, the features like Baseline Slant Angle, Aspect Ratio and Normalised Areas etc were used for verification of signatures.

Meanwhile, Gaurav Gehlawat, Ketan Chaudhry, Ankur Garg and Tushar Singla were honoured during the Annual Honours’ ceremony held in the campus.

A total of 133 college colours were awarded to 88 PEC students for their brilliant performance in various activities, clubs and technical societies.



SGGS feud between management, student ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The weeklong feud between the management of Sri Guru Gobind Singh College-26 and its students came to an end today when the student in question agreed to pay back the college dues.

It is to mention that Jaswinder Singh, a student of MA I (Punjabi), claimed to get his roll number without clearing his outstanding dues that the college had objected to. Aroused by this, the student lodged a complaint with the police and along with his classmates sat on a hunger strike, which lasted for two days only.



Notice issued to teacher
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Chandigarh education department has issued a show cause notice to a nursery teacher who had matriculation certificate from a university, which was not in the list of University Grants Commission (UGC).

Paramjit Kaur, teacher with Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 56, has been asked to furnish details of her qualification till May 7, particularly matriculation, on the basis of which she got the government job.



Annual day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31, Chandigarh, celebrated its annual function at Lecma Hall 3 BRD, AFS here. Air Cmde S.C. Luthra, VSM, AOC, 3 BRD AFS, Chandigarh graced the occasion as chief guest.

The students who scored the meritorious positions in academic and co-curricular activities were awarded prizes by Renu Luthra, president of AFWWA (L).



SLSA aims to lessen burden on courts
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
With an aim to lessen the burden on courts, State Legal Services Authority (SLSA) has requested the Chandigarh administration to declare financial and banking sector related cases as public utility services cases. However, the matter is still pending with the administration as the Punjab National Bank is still not part of the proposal.

However, if the proposal is passed by the administration it would help in streamlining the filing of cases at the district courts. It has been proposed that banks should approach the Lok Adalats or Public Utility Service (PUS) for resolution of the cases and no fees will be charged for it by the SLSA. Further, the disputes will be resolved within a few months as compared to years taken by the courts.

In a letter dated December 28, 2007, the SLSA had specified that in its meeting last year it was decided to enlarge the scope of PUS by including banking and financial cases under its purview. The letter further mentioned that as per a notification issued by the administration, educational services and estate and housing services should be included in the PUS.

Meanwhile, some of the banks have already started approaching the Lok Adalats for resolution of cases.



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