C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


One killed in Ropar poll violence
lTurnout 60 pc l BJP, SAD men clash at Naya Gaon l Elections for SAS Nagar samiti seat put off
Chitleen K. Sethi, Megha Mann, Gurdeep Mann, Kulvinder Sangha and 
Surinder Bhardwaj
Tribune Reporters
A policeman checks the voter ID of a villager; Women queue up to cast their vote during the block samiti and panchayat elections at Balongi village in Kharar
A policeman checks the voter ID of a villager; (right) Women queue up to cast their vote during the block samiti and panchayat elections at Balongi village in Kharar on Monday. Tribune photos: Vicky Gharuahajan

Chandigarh, May 12
One person was killed and at least a dozen were injured during the civic elections in the peripheral towns of Chandigarh falling in Punjab. Only 60 per cent voting was reported from these areas.

While elections in Ropar were the most violent where an SAD worker was allegedly killed by Congress workers at Dhoom Chheri village, five persons were injured in clashes between two groups at Rajpura.

Two persons were injured in a clash between BJP and SAD workers at Naya Gaon in the Majri block.

Elections to the Lalru block samiti seat in SAS Nagar had to be postponed when it was discovered this morning that there were not enough ballot papers. The Punjab State Election Commission has issued a show-cause notice to the Dera Bassi SDM, Sohan Lal Bhumbak, for the faux pas.

In the past elections, the polling percentage had shot beyond 90 per cent. This time, enthusiasm among voters was missing, though at several polling stations where candidates had managed to mobilise voters, heavy rush and long queues were witnessed.

Leaders of the three parties levelled allegations and counter-allegations through the day even as Cabinet minister Kanwaljit Singh, his son, former Cabinet minister Jagmohan Singh Kang, Congress MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu and local leaders of the BJP remained mobile in these areas checking polling stations.

Ropar: Over 60 per cent of votes were polled here amid violence, traffic jams and dharnas. One person was killed at Doom Chheri. The incident took place at around 8.45 am at the village polling booth. Eyewitnesses said a woman was casting her vote when SAD and Congress workers had an argument inside the booth.

The SAD block samiti candidate Harminder Singh Dimpy, reportedly objected to the procedure being adopted in the casting of her vote. Congress workers allegedly started abusing him and blows were exchanged.

Meanwhile, a 65-year-old SAD worker Shamsher Singh, saw Dimpy being beaten up and tried to pacify both groups. Congress workers allegedly beat him up too and he fell unconscious. He was rushed to the Morinda civil hospital where he was declared brought dead.

The police has booked Congressmen Tarlochan Singh, Nachhattar Singh, Jaspal Singh, Avtar Singh, Kaka Singh and Gurmail Singh, all residents of Doom Chheri, in this regard. The SSP, P.K. Sinha, said Nachhattar, Avtar and Gurmail had been arrested, but the others were at large.

At Kalaran village, residents blocked the Morinda-Chamkaur Sahib road for over two hours, protesting the arrest of Congress sarpanch, Bant Singh Kalaran. They said at 11 am, the SSP PK Sinha came to the village and asked for Bant Singh. When he came forward, the SSP ordered his men to arrest him and take him to the police station at Morinda.

The villagers, former Congress minister Jagmohan Kang and other Congress workers sat on a dharna and blocked traffic. The dharna was lifted after the police released Bant Singh. The SSP said Bant Singh had come to the polling booth after scaling a wall and seemed to be in an inebriated state.

Meanwhile, in parts of Nurpur Bedi, Congress workers alleged that fake votes were cast. The MLA, Rana K.P. Singh, alleged that voters from Himachal had been registered at Kalma, Sangatpur, Heerpur and Gaddiwal villages.

Dera Bassi

Elections to the Lalru Mandi block samiti seat were postponed by the returning officer when it came to light that the number of ballot papers printed was less than half of the required.

SAS Nagar deputy commissioner Rahul Bhandari informed the state election commissioner about the situation following which elections were postponed and will now be held on May 26. The commission has issued a show cause notice to the Dera Bassi SDM to explain how the mistake was committed and why action should not be taken against him.

The reply to the notice has to be sent within 24 hours. More that 66 per cent votes were cast here. In Sundra village, Congress workers handed over to the police, two persons who were allegedly trying to cast fake votes in favour of the SAD candidate.

Majri block

The block reported highest voter turnout at 70 per cent. However, an otherwise peaceful run of elections ended on a bloody note with the SAD and BJP workers clashing at Nayagaon.

According to Khushwant Rai Giga, BJP in charge of the district, their supporter Sham Lal was beaten up by SAD workers led by Bari Karoran sarpanch Dhyan Singh. He alleged that the SAD workers were trying to cast fake votes and when stopped, they started bashing up his men.

The SAD workers, however, alleged that BJP workers attacked them without any provocation. Their worker Sukhvinder Singh was injured in the attack. Both the injured are admitted to the Mohali Civil Hospital.


The situation here remained tense through the day with both, cabinet minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh and Balbir Singh Sidhu, remaining actively mobile in the area. Tension mounted in Balongi, a declared sensitive area. SAD and Congress workers had verbal duel but following police intervention, the drama subsided. In Kumbra village, SAD municipal councillor Kuldeep Kaur Kang alleged that Congress workers smashed her car. She said when her husband Arvinder Singh Kang went to the village in support of SAD candidate Kuldeep Singh Bittu, they were attacked by Sidhu’s supporters. Arvinder claimed that they had to leave the village to save themselves. The MLA, however, alleged that Kang was carrying fake votes in her car and going from one polling station to another to cast these.

In Sohana, heated arguments were witnessed between the MLA and supporters of SAD candidate Balbir Kaur. Her son Parminder Singh Sohana alleged that Sidhu was threatening the presiding officers in polling booths. Sidhu said these allegations were baseless.

He alleged that at Gobindgarh village, a SAD leader allegedly slapped a polling officer while in Jhanjeri and Machli Kalan villages the police was called in when SAD workers tried to capture a booth. He added that at some places, SAD workers brought migrant labourers to cast the vote of those whose names were there in the voting lists but had died. However, Capt Kanwaljit Singh dismissed these allegations as false.

In Kharar, more than 64 per cent polls were voted. Bathlana village reported highest polling percentage of 90 per cent.

Fatehgarh Sahib/Rajpura

A few incidents of violent clashes were reported from some villages in which at least five persons received minor injuries. In Fatehgarh Sahib and Rajpura, candidates leveled allegations against each other.

Clashes were reported from Bras, Pandrali, Badoshi Kalan villages in Fatehgarh Sahib and Ganda Kheri, Loh Simbli, Sahmbhu and Muradpur villages in Rajpura. A SAD (B) candidate in Ganda Kheri alleged that BJP workers manhandled her. Five persons were admitted to the Rajpura Civil Hospital following clashes at Kannaur village. Meanwhile, 68 per cent voter turnout was reported from Fatehgarh Sahib and 60 per cent from Rajpura.

Bassi Pathana

No untoward incident was reported from any polling booth in the block. Sixty-five per cent polling was recorded.



Poor coordination costs admn lakhs
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
Lack of coordination between different wings dealing with the midday meal scheme in the city has caused a loss of lakhs of rupees to the administration.

Following a food grain crisis in April, the local district office of the FCI, responsible for supplying wheat and rice for the meal scheme in Chandigarh, received orders from the ministry of human resource development, New Delhi, to release ad hoc allocation of food grain for from April 1 to June 30.

The GM of the local branch of the FCI, Sarvjeet Singh, said the matter had been sorted out.

Unaware of this development, the education department ordered institutes that prepare cooked food for midday meal to purchase wheat and rice at their own level.

Owing to this communication gap, the administration has suffered a loss amounting to lakhs of rupees. The FCI provides wheat at Rs 415 per quintal and rice at Rs 565 per quintal. But the institutes purchased rice for Rs 1,700 to Rs 1,800 per quintal and wheat for Rs 1,200 per quintal.

Amit Talwar, chief general manager of Citco, one of the preparatory centres for the meal, said, “We have tied up with agencies like Markfed and Hafed. The purchasing of food grain is in progress at the rate of approximately Rs 1,700 per quintal.

The education department was told about the quoted price and after getting its nod, we started the purchase.”

S.K. Saluja, principal, Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management-42, confirmed that tenders had been invited and finalised, but he could not confirm the rates at which the stock had been purchased.


Excess burden of Rs 55,000 per day

The education department has to provide meals to around 88,000 children of government and private aided schools. The daily consumption of wheat and rice comes to around 34 to 36 quintal of rice and 18 quintal of wheat. Compared to the FCI purchasing price, the administration would incur an extra burden of around Rs 55,000 daily.



Admn, MHA agree on Ram Niwas
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
After a long time, the Chandigarh administration and the ministry of home affairs (MHA) have agreed on some thing -- the name of the next incumbent for the post of home secretary.

Sources said the MHA had cleared the name of Ram Niwas, an IAS officer of the 1985 batch of the Haryana cadre for the post.

His name has been recommended to the ministry for personnel, from where, if approved, it would be sent to the Prime Minister’s office (PMO).

The Chandigarh administration, too, had recommended his name for the post.

For months, it had become a joke that whatever the administration proposes, the MHA disposes. When a panel of three IAS officers was sent by Haryana to the administration for the post a few months ago, the administration had recommended the name of Jyoti Arora. But the MHA recommended the name of Rajesh Kumar Khullar.

The PMO, in view of the conflicting views, turned down the panel and asked Haryana to send a fresh panel.

Haryana had sent a panel of four officers -- R.P. Chander (1984 batch), Ram Niwas (1985), R.R. Jowel (1986) and Anil Kumar (1988). When the panel was sent to the administration, many believed that the decision was influenced by the growing influence of the BSP in the region. While Ram Niwas belongs to a backward class, the other three belong to the SC category.

Ram Niwas had come in the merit list of the IAS of his batch. His ranking was in the general category.

It is believed that the union home secretary, Madhukar Gupta, talked to the Haryana chief secretary, Dharam Vir, about certain alleged cases pending against Ram Niwas. His name was cleared by the MHA after Dharam Vir told Gupta that no case was pending against Ram Niwas.



Railways to outsource e-tickets
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
Train tickets will soon be available at your doorstep. The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) are in the process of outsourcing the work of e-ticketing in a major way.

The purpose of the exercise was to help those who do not have access to computers and cyber cafes to get ticket printouts. The IRCTC is tying up with different government institutions, IATA agents and other private players so that certain amount of tickets can be booked by an alternative method -- through a cash card called Itz.

The limit for each agent to book 10 to 15 tickets in a day would soon be extended to 25 tickets a day. The IRCTC would be giving the facility at post offices and other public dealing offices. The service provider gets a commission of Rs 5 per ticket.

In the Northern region, the facility of e-ticketing was presently available at 18 locations in urban centres. Now, the facility was being extended to small towns and non-urban areas. Under the present arrangement, a password on the cash card enables a user to have a computer generated railway ticket. But it was not possible for everyone to buy the cash card.

Through this arrangement, tickets with waiting list can be obtained in form computer generated ticket.

The IRCTC has received request to extend the facility to Phagwara, Hoshiarpur, Nahan, Solan, Uttarakhand and other towns in hilly areas. “The e-ticketing had 100 per cent utilisation on high value trains like Shatabdi and Rajdhani Express. In the tri-city of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula, around 40 per cent of the railway passengers were using the facility,” said a senior official of the IRCTC.

Initially, the e-ticketing was launched on a pilot basis on Shatabdi Express following an agreement between the IRCTC and private players to enable e-ticketing through the Internet using the pre-paid Itz cash cards as the payment mechanism.



Group Housing
Admn, Housefed lock horns over transfer fee
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
The Chandigarh Administration and the Chandigarh State Federation of Coop House Building Societies Limited (Chandigarh Housefed) have again locked horns over former’s decision to impose hefty transfer fee for the regularisation of the general power of attorneys (GPAs) in cooperative group housing societies.

Close on the heels of a cross section of people coming against the “anti-people” decision, the Chandigarh Housefed has alleged that the decision was “illegal” as it ran counter to its earlier decision regarding the transfer of plots allotted under the Cooperative Housing Scheme,1979.

When no transfer charges are levied under the 1979 scheme for the transfer of property in Sectors 44-B, 42-B,43 and 46, there was no logic in imposing transfer charges in the Phase III sectors from Sector 48 onwards on the GPA holders in the housing societies, a representation from the Chandigarh Housefed to the Register Cooperative Societies said.

Recently, the administration came out with formula to determine the transfer charges for the GPA holders.

Under the 1993 allotment scheme, the buyers would have to shell an amount of Rs 5.25 lakh for the transfer a category “A” flat, while for a category “B” flat the charges were Rs 3.75 lakh.

A category “C” dwelling unit owner would pay an amount of Rs 2.92 lakh transfer.

Similarly under the 2002 allotment scheme, Category “A” and “B” owners were to shell out Rs 3.8 lakh and Rs 2.72 lakh, respectively. The category “C” flat owners were to pay around Rs 2.11 lakh in this category.

However, observers are at their wits’ end as to what prompted the administration to devise its “unique formula” in calculating the transfer rates.

Neighouring state Haryana charges only Rs 20,000 for transfer and in Delhi the housing societies levy a nominal Rs 10,000 for the transfer of the flats.

“The administration’s decision deals a severe blow to the housing dreams of hundreds of middle and lower middle class persons in city,” B.K. Sanghi, president of the Haryana Group Housing Federation, told Chandigarh Tribune here today.

In fact, hefty transfer charges are not the only lacuna in the transfer policy.

Since the societies were allotted on undeveloped land, the cost of undeveloped land instead of the developed land should have been considered while working out the transfer fee, the housefed claimed.

The representation also claimed that there was no provision in the rules that said the transfer would be allowed only if the completion certificate had been issued.

In fact, the completion certificate of a number of societies had been held up due to minor and major building violations, it was argued.

Meanwhile, official sources said the notification on the transfer of the flats was likely to be amended keeping in view the public interest in mind.



BSNL staff stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
BSNL employees staged a dharna in front of the office of the chief general manager (telecom), Punjab circle, here today.

Employees from all over Punjab had converged on the office to protest against the authorities for not accepting their demands.

Protesting under the aegis of the United Forum of Executives of BSNL, the employees demanded extension of trade union facility to member associations, no discrimination against promotee officers, no arbitrary transfers and involving associations in taking HRD 

The employees have been protesting since May 6 by holding lunch-hour demonstrations. However, since their demands were accepted, they had decided to stage dharna indefinitely outside the CGMT office here.



Sector 34
Unauthorised parking a headache for police
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
Even two months after the joint commissioner of the municipal corporation wrote to the traffic police to check unauthorised parking of the vehicles on roads Sector 34, the police has so far failed to much in this regard.

The volume of traffic received by Sector 34, which has a large number of offices and education institutes, is far more than its parking lots can handle.

Due to lack of space available for parking, motorists have no option but to park vehicles on the road, hence resulting in challaning of vehicles.

The traffic police issues around 10 challans everyday, besides pasting “wrong parking” stickers on the windowpanes of around 15 vehicles.

Though the traffic police is trying hard to curb increasing violations, the problem seems to be going beyond its control.

Haphazard and unauthorised parking on the road results in traffic jams. The number of accidents in the area has also gone up.

Sub inspector Kulbir Kaur said the area had become a source of nuisance for the traffic police.

“Though we are trying to check violations, the problem seems to increase by the day,” he added.



Technology Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Panchkula. May 12
Technology Day was celebrated at TBRL range, Ramgarh, here today. Trainee students from Tettra School, AF, Betul, army officers from the Western Command and science students from DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 15, Chandigarh, were shown technical facilities at TBRL range.

Dr Abhijit Mukhrjee, director, Thapar University, Patiala, delivered the keynote address.

Meanwhile, the Aeronautical Society of India, Chandigarh chapter, organised its first technical meet at TBRL. Dr Satish Kumar, director, TBRL, and chairman of the society, presided over the meet. The objective of the meet is to create a forum for exchange of innovative ideas and advances in the aerospace research and manufacturing and to create awareness about the latest trends and developments in the field of aerospace engineering and technology.

Dr Pawan Kumar, director, CSIO, Dr S.C. Sharma, head, aeronautical department, Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, Wg Cdr Badrinath, 3 BRD, Air Force, and Pravendra Kumar, group director, TBRL, delivered talks on activities and current thrust area of their establishment.

A number of scientists and engineers from 3 BRD, Air Force, PEC, CSIO, RCMA, TBRL, SASE participated in the meet. 



Gridlock leaves motorists puffing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
Traffic was held up for over half an hour following a repair work on the road dividing Sectors 34 and 35 here this morning. Motorists went through a harrowing time as they were caught in long queues due to poor management by the traffic police at the rotary of Sector 35, 34, 22 and 21.

The road that receives a heavy flow of traffic saw a huge traffic jam following the repair work being carried out by the local bodies. 



Man falls off tree, dies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
Deepak Sharma of Haryana was killed after suffering a fall from a tree at Darua village, here this morning.

According to the police, the victim was trying to pluck mangoes by perching on the branch of the tree when the branch broke. Deepak sustained head injuries and died on the spot. The family members of the victim have been informed and the postmortem examination of the body will be conducted tomorrow.



Editors Guild mourns photographer’s death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
The Editors Guild of India has mourned the killing of Ashok Sodhi, photographer, Daily Excelsior, on Sunday. He was covering an encounter between the Army and militants at Samba, Jammu and Kashmir.

Secretary general K.S. Sachidananda Murthy said Sodhi was a senior photojournalist an had covered different facets of the political and security situations in Jammu and Kashmir.

The guild has extended its condolences to the family of Sodhi and his colleagues. 



Review house allotment norms

Working norms of the House Allotment Committee need critical assessment and review immediately. Every year in April, new names are added in the running list of the applicants on the basis of the seniority of their grade rather than on the basis of date of applying.

Not only this, names of more such employees, who apply during the year through their HODs, are added to this list. This affects the old applicants making their chances of getting the government accommodation bleak.

The list must be frozen for sometime till all old applicants are allotted houses. Moreover, the seniority list under a particular category of houses must be displayed on the website.

This policy needs immediate scrutiny otherwise the old applicants will never get a government accommodation even till their retirement.

Vipin Parashar, Chandigarh

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PU moots uniform fee system
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
Panjab University has finally decided to crack the whip against its affiliated colleges that are overcharging students.

The committee, which was constituted in October 2007 to look into the possibilities of rationalising fee structures under the chairmanship of the DUI, S.K. Kulkarni, today decided the issue pertaining to a uniform fee structure across all colleges.

The committee recommended that the colleges follow the fee structure sent by the university in 2004-05. Since then, the university has increased the fee structure by about 27 per cent and the colleges could follow suit.

However, the increase will be only under heads approved in the guidelines sent by the PU for the 2004-05 session.

The university used to send fee structure guidelines to all colleges until 2004-05, after which the practice was discontinued.

Committee members observed that the colleges started charging students arbitrarily only due to the discontinuation of that practice. It was recommended that the colleges would charge only those funds/heads from students which were approved in the guidelines. All other funds/heads would be slashed in this academic session.

It was also decided that if a college wanted to introduce new heads in the fee structure for starting any new facility, it would have to send the proposed heads to the university for approval.

Also, the colleges would have to submit a report by June 30 every year on fee details. The committee would monitor the implementation of the recommendations and it would include two teachers in the sub-committee formed earlier to have their inputs.

These recommendations will be taken up at a meeting of the syndicate scheduled for May 18 for approval.



Campus Violence
ABVP stages dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
The ABVP unit of Panjab University today staged a dharna to protest against the increasing incidents of violence on the campus. The agitating students demanded that the university should take strict action against those involved in the incidents of violence that rocked the campus recently.

The students said the university would be held responsible if any students got injured or killed on the campus.

The student leaders of the ABVP said if the university authorities did not take action against the culprits, the ABVP would start an indefinite strike against the authorities. The students also submitted a charter of demands to the vice-chancellor on this issue. 



Another vehicle caught with weapons
Police fails to book driver 
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
A week after the police nabbed 19 youngsters from Panjab University for carrying sharp-edged weapons in their vehicles, another vehicle carrying weapons was caught by the university security here this afternoon.

The security personnel stopped the white Tata Safari (CH-04-C-1126) at gate No. 1 and recovered sharp-edged weapons, including two sticks, from the vehicle. The security personnel immediately informed the police, who took the driver and vehicle to the police station. However, the police released the driver and his vehicle after the inquiry.

According to SHO of the Sector-11 police station Ramesh Chander, the driver had no link with the campus or the ongoing violence. He came to drop someone at the PGI and entered the university out of curiosity.

Surprisingly, the police has not registered a case against the occupant of the vehicle, who entered the campus with weapons despite knowing the fact that the campus was being monitored by the police and private security.



Varsity getting unfair treatment: Prof
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
The relay fast being observed by the teachers and students of Panjab University for demanding the central university status for PU entered the 36th day today. The entire faculty of the department of ancient history today sat on the fast. Teachers who joined the fast included Prof N.K. Ojha, Prof Asvini Agarwal, Prof R.P. Bharadwaj, Dr Renu Thakur, Dr Suchi Dayal and Dr Paru Bal Sidhu. A scholar from the department of fine arts, Jagtej Grewal, also joined them.

Prof N.K. Ojha, former president of PUTA, said he wondered why the university was being given a step-motherly treatment by the same people who were otherwise celebrating the announcement of setting up a central university at Amritsar. Similarly, Prof Asvini Agarwal, former dean, faculty of social sciences, expressed his anguish at the manner the politicians, both at the Centre and near home, were showing utter disrespect to the university. 



Selection criteria to be revised
Recruitment of readers at dental institute
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
Panjab University has decided to revise the minimum basic qualification and teaching experience for the post of a reader at Dr H.S. Judge Dental Institute as prescribed by the Dental Council of India (DCI). Taking cognisance of a report published in The Tribune on May 1, which highlighted the issue, the syndicate members will decide upon the matter at its forthcoming meeting on May 18.

The report mentioned that the selection of a professor and four readers, approved earlier, had been held in abeyance as they did not confirm to the new guidelines issued by the Dental Council of India.

The syndicate members will also give its nod to the introduction of a two-year certificate course in Dental Chairside Assistant at Dr H.S. Judge Dental Institute. Class-XII students with science background are eligible for the proposed course.

The syndics will also give their nod to the introduction of an MPhil course in defence studies at Centre for Defence and National Security from the session 2008-09. Besides, the syndicate members will decide upon abolishing two per cent reservation of seats for sportspersons for admission to BDS course for the session 2008-09.

The syndics will also take up the proposal of enhancing 15 per cent seats for NRI/foreign nationals in MBA (off campus) and PG diplomas at the newly opened University Institute of Applied Management Sciences (UIAMS). At present, there are 300 seats in MBA (off campus) and 120 seats each in the postgraduate diploma in entrepreneurship management, PG diploma in international business and PG diploma in NRI entrepreneurship management.

The syndics will also look into the matter pertaining to the grant of provisional extension of affiliation to the colleges running four-year BPEd courses. The colleges include Government College, Sector 11, DAV College, Sector 10, Govind National College, Narangal (Ludhiana), SGGS College Khalsa College, Mahilpur, Mata Gurudev Kaur Memorial Shahi Sports College of Physical Education, district Ludhiana.

In addition to this, the syndics will also decide upon regularising wrongfully made admissions of certain students to colleges and various departments of the university.



Course on automative engineering announced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
The students, who are keen on taking automation engineering as a career, have a reason to smile. For, Connect Overseas has announced the introduction of the Advanced Certificate III course in automotive mechanical technology through Automotive Management Institute, Australia.

Nirmal Chawla, director, Connect Overseas, said representatives from Automotive Management Institute were visiting India for the first time to offer courses to students here.

While announcing the programme for enrollment of students, Nirmal Chawla said: “The programme is being started in collaboration with Automotive Management Institute and Sydney-based firm Gemco.”

The course would prepare students for automation-related training, specifically for light vehicles. With Class XII as the minimum qualification and 18 years as the stipulated age limit, the course has a flexible frame and can even allow students, who have work experience in the automation sector, to enroll without the requisite education standard.

The applications for the fresh batches of the 50- week long programme will be invited from July to 19. 



From Schools & Colleges
Students guided to make career choices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
Aryans Business School (ABS) today organised a career counselling camp on its campus on the Chandigarh-Rajpura road. The camp was organised with the objective of guiding students of Class XII as well as graduates in choosing their career. More than 360 students from Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and J&K attended the camp. Students were guided on various job-oriented courses like BBA, BCA, BSc (IT), MBA, MCA, PGDM etc. ABS chairman Anshu Kataria said: “The students should not only know the details of a course to be joined, but also the scope of that course after 3-5 years when they complete it.” Experts made an audio-visual presentation on the challenges and opportunities available in various streams.

CONTEST: Shivani Gupta from Panchkula, Parth Bansal from Chandigarh, Shivam Jindal from Malerkotla and Manya Kapoor from Hoshiarpur occupied the top slot in the Challengers State Level Abacus competition held at Aanchal International School, Sector 46, here yesterday. Students from around 1,000 centres of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Chandigarh participated in the contest.

Chandigarh mayor Pardeep Chhabra gave away prizes to the winners. Krishan Kumar, director, Challengers, said the company had already trained more than 10,000 students in India. “This competition helps a child to acquire concentration, photographic memory and listening skills. After completing this course, a child can do any type of arithmetic calculations mentally.”

COMPETITION: Shivam Garg of Aloha Learning Centre, Sector 10, Panchkula, has brought laurels to the city by bagging the first prize in the International Aloha Competition held at Malaysia. Students from different parts of the world participated. Vikas Bansal, centre head, Aloha, said Shivam completed 50 sums in less than four minutes.

Financial assistance: Government College for Girls, Sector 42, has received financial assistance of Rs 1,81,39,000 from the Chandigarh administration for the construction of a separate information technology block for the current financial plan year 2008-2009. Principal Shashi Malik said the new IT block would add new academic and infrastructural dimensions to the college and this would help in raising the academic standards of the college. Dr Dalip Kumar, coordinator of the academic programme, elaborated that the block would have four computer labs, seminar room, multipurpose hall, skill lab, placement cell, 10 classrooms and two lecture theatres.

MOTHER’S DAY: Tiny tots of Evergreen Academy Preparatory School, Sector 34-C, celebrated Mother’s Day on the school premises here yesterday.

The programme started with the tiny tots praying for the well-being of their mothers. They recited poems for their mothers, who turned up dressed in their best. A salad-making competition and fun games were organised for the mothers. A healthy baby competition was also organised wherein a team of doctors judged the babies. Principal Kuljit Suri later awarded the Evergreen Queen and Child titles to the winners.

KBDAV-7: Tiny tots welcomed their mothers with flowers and cards. They sang songs and recited beautiful lines to express their love and gratitude.

Mothers shared their memorable moments with everyone present. Children danced to the tunes of popular songs along with their mothers and played games. Principal Madhu Bahl blessed the children and joined them in their celebration.

Delhi Public School: To salute the spirit of motherhood, pre-primary students of Delhi Public School, Sector 40, organised a week-long celebrations for their mothers. The children welcomed their mothers with songs and rhymes. Mothers enthusiastically participated in the games and other activities. Principal Reema Dewan felicitated the mothers and thanked them for their support and cooperation.



Six convicted of murder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
Additional district and sessions judge Raj Rahul Garg today convicted six of murdering Randhir Malik, a resident of Plasora. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on May 15.

According to the prosecution, Prem Nath, Sunil Bhatia, Mukesh Kumar, Prem Narayan, Raj Kumar, Amardeep Singh and Harjit Singh had assaulted Randhir Malik, on February 5, 2005, in the Sector 40 market, leading to his death.

The police stated that the accused had some dispute with the deceased.


The CBI special court today recorded the statement of Dr Harpal Singh of Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, in the Inderjit Singh murder case.

Inderjit was allegedly murdered in Sector 34 in 1985. The doctor stated before the court that the blood groups of the father and mother of the deceased were O -ve and O +ve, respectively.

Thus the blood group of the deceased could only be of group “O”. He added that the blood stains on the vest of the deceased were of blood group A +ve. He added that there was probably someone else in the room at the time of the murder.



Conversion Policy 
Panel questions notification of rules
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
In a setback to the Chandigarh administration, the third Delhi Finance Commission has questioned the legality of the UT Administrator to notify rules under the Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulation) Act, 1952 — a Central Act enacted by Parliament.

By notifying the rules, the administration had notified the conversion policy to allow conversion of industrial plots into commercial plots.

The approval of the Central Government was required for notification of rules under Section 22 of the Capital of Punjab (Development and regulation) Act, 1952.

It may be pointed out that the CAG had pointed out that the conversion policy notified by the Chandigarh administration was in contravention of the Central Act.

It had stated that the conversion policy 2005 was notified without seeking prior approval of the Centre, resulting in loss of crores of rupee to the state exchequer.

The CAG had objected to the opening of personal ledger account (PLA) for utilising the money collected from the applicants under conversion policy.

The commission in its latest report said the land sale proceeds were not being promptly deposited in the Central Government account under the provisions contained in sub-section (2) of Section 3 of the aforesaid Act and under rule 6 of the Central Government Account (Receipts and Payment) Rules, 1983.

The commission has noted that Section 22 of the Capital of Punjab (development and regulation) Act authorises the Central Government to frame the rules, the same had been notified by the UT Administrator. So there was a need to verify the legality of the rules and subsequent notifications.

In view of the lack of clarity in the matter of land sale transactions, the commission has recommended to the ministry of home affairs to start a process of consultation with the ministry of finance and the CAG regarding the legality of the sale proceeds.



Arms banned in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 12
SAS Nagar deputy commissioner Rahul Bhandari has banned carrying of arms in the district with immediate effect.

Invoking special powers under Section 144 of the CrPc, the DC has ordered that arms would not be carried by anyone till May 30. The panchayat elections have been scheduled for May 26.

The DC has also banned the movement of more than three cars in a cavalcade by the candidates for the panchayat elections. In case a candidate wants to use a vehicle on the day of polling, he would have to take special permission from the returning officer. 



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