C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Stephenian tops tricity with 96.6 pc
G. S. Paul

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Regularity with classwork was the key to success this examination season, if one goes by the mantra revealed by toppers of the ICSE Class X examination. The examination, administered by the Council for Indian School Certificate Examination, declared the results this evening.

With most students vouching that it was the revision of classroom teaching all through the year that helped them fare well in the examination. Tuitions had no role to play in the performance and complete faith in themselves and their alma mater was the guiding force till the end.
"I was regular in my studies and focussed on the schedule prepared by my mother. My goal is to be an IAS officer. — Pranshu Sharma

Pranshu Sharma of St Stephen’s School, Sector 45, topped the tricity and the region by scoring 96.6 per cent marks. He opined that the focussed study after school for a couple of hours is more than enough for a good percentage. “I focused on the schedule prepared by my mother. I want to go in for IIM but my ultimate goal is to be an IAS officer,” said Pranshu. Actually, it was his late grandfather Tek Chand Sharma’s dream that he should be an administrative officer, which he has vowed to fulfil, said V.K. Sharma, his father.

Bableen Kaur Bedi, who topped the Class XII ISCE board exam, with her parents in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Bableen Kaur Bedi, who topped the Class XII ISCE board exam, with her parents in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan
"Studying by heart is my mantra of success. My teachers and parents have played a very important role in my achievement. — Bableen Bedi

Another Chandigarh-based girl Divyaleen Kochhar brought laurels to the city by being just close to the local topper but emerged top in the entire Hoshiarpur region. Divyaleen, a student of St Joseph’ Convent School, Hoshiarpur, scored 96.3 per cent marks. Not advocating tuitions or extra coaching to gain good success, she said the consistency with hard work is key to be on the top. “You should be able to keep up in class all through the year. It is not just a matter of a few weeks. Besides, focus on exhaustive training on ways of attempting papers will be helpful”.

Nishant Sharma of St Stephen’s School, with 95.9 per cent who occupied the third place in the region and second in the tricity, said “Classroom teaching provides a compact learning environment and competition among classmates encourages one to study harder. Tuitions hardly serve any purpose other than burning holes in the pocket.”

Nishant has scored 99 marks in environment application and wants to pursue his career in engineering. Nishant’s father Dr Vinod Sharma is a lecturer with Panjab University while mother Sunita Sharma is with the research department at PEC, Sector 12, Chandigarh.

Not lagging much behind was Himmat Singh Brar of Yadavindra Public School, Mohali, who scored 95.8 per cent marks. “This achievement is no more a surprise for me as I was already expecting this much because I had put in a lot of hard work.” He said he would take up medical stream and keen to join AIIMS.

Karan Gupta of St Stephen’s School, Sector 45, scored 95.6 per cent marks. With 95.4 per cent, Ishan Sood from Little Flower School bagged the first position in Panchkula. ''The credit for my success goes to my parents and teachers," said Ishan Sood, who aspires to be an aeronautical engineer.

St Stephen’s School achieved 100 per cent results and there were 278 students who scored first divisions in the examinations.

At St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, all 102 students, who appeared for the examination, have been passed. As many as 21 students have scored between 90 per cent and 94.1 per cent. Harsimran topped the charts with 94.1 per cent, closely followed by Gargi Gupta with 94 per cent, Isha with 93.29 per cent, Abha Kapoor with 93.29 per cent and Vanya Aggarwal with 93 per cent.

Aditi Bansal from Tender Heart School, Sector 33, got 94 per cent marks followed by Deepak Uppal 93.1 per cent marks.

Mohali: Jaikar Singh Punian bagged the second position in the town by getting 95 per cent marks. Though he had worked hard for the board examination, he liked to give more credit to his parents and teachers for his success. Ravina Nain stood third by getting 94.33 per cent marks. Two students Himmat Partap Gill and Navtej Singh secured 93.17 per cent each while Simran got 93.16 per cent marks.

Two students of St Xavier’s School, Sector 71, here got more than 90 per cent marks in Class X. They are Ujjal Didar Singh (93.14) and Sakshi Rauthan (92.57).

Panchkula: All Panchkula ICSE schools achieved the 100 per cent success in class X exam. Out of 178 students, most have secured first division and 12 have got 90 per cent or more.

The Little Flower School squad Kanika, Shravan, Aayush and Ishani, scored 94.42 per cent, 94.14, 94 and 92.71 marks, respectively. Besides, seven students secured 90 per cent marks.



Himmat does it in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Himmat Singh Brar, who tops in Mohali with 95.6 per cent.
Himmat Singh Brar, who tops in Mohali with 95.6 per cent. Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

Mohali, May 20
Himmat Singh Brar of Yadavindra Public School (YPS) has topped the ICSE class X examination in the township by securing 95.8 per cent marks. The result was declared today.

Pleased with his performance, Himmat said he was expecting more than 95 per cent marks and the result had not surprised him.

He said he had put in a lot of hard work. “Even though I am very fond of cricket, I had stopped watching TV or playing for around three months before examination, devoting my time to studies,” he said.

He has taken up medical stream and looks to join AIIMS after his schooling. His aim is to become a cardiologist.

He said his teachers and his parents had a vital role to play in his success.

Ishant Sood, Panchkula topper, with 95.4 pc.
Ishant Sood, Panchkula topper, with 95.4 pc.

YPS vice-principal Anita Kashyap said 25 students of class X had secured over 90 per cent marks.

Jaikar Singh Punian bagged the second position in the town by getting 95 per cent marks.

He gave credit to his parents and teachers for his success. He said he had studied for around four hours daily and taken tuitions in mathematics and science.

Planning to pusue non-medical stream, Jaikar aims to make it to the IIT.

Ravina Nain came third by securing 94.33 per cent marks. Himmat Partap Gill and Navtej Singh secured 93.17 per cent each, while Simran followed them with 93.16 per cent marks.

Two students of St Xaviers Senior Secondary School, Sector 71 — Ujjal Didar Singh (93.14) and Sakshi Rauthan (92.57) — secured over 90 per cent marks.

Other students of the YPS who secured above 90 per cent marks are: Govind (93.8), Jotbinder Singh (93), Chitwan (92.67), Ajit Inder (92.8), Shubreet Kaur (92.8), Aanchal (92.3), Harman Bir (92), Nasreen (92), Harkiran Brar (91.8), Udit Vinayak (91.3), Tarini Chawla (90.5), Anshparteek (91.6), Soumyadeep (91), Jaikar Singh (90.8), Anubhav (90.33), Sukrit (90.67), Jairaj (90.67) and Harkirat (90.5).



Jannat tops in commerce
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 20
Jannat Sethi of Yadavindra Public School (YPS) has topped in commerce stream by securing 91.6 per cent marks in the ISC examination (ISCE), the result of which was declared here today. Abhayjeet Singh stood first in medical stream who secured 87.4 per cent marks.

Students of commerce stream performed better than those of medical and non-medical streams.

Jannat said she was feeling great after knowing that she had topped in the school. She said she was expecting a good result as she had put in a lot of hard work. She believed in devoting quality time to her studies rather than quantity. She was an all-rounder in the school and plans to take up B.Com or mass communication. Manav Narang stood second in the commerce stream by securing 90.4 per cent while Shaandeep Singh was third with 90 per cent marks.

Tajvinder Bains was placed second in the school in medical stream by securing 86.8 per cent marks while the third position went to Jairoop Riar, who got 82.8 per cent marks. In non-medical stream, Kunal stood first by getting 84 per cent marks and Gurnain Kaur stood at second position by securing 81.8 per cent.



Coaching goes a long way: Bableen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20“Studying by heart is my mantra of success,” said Bableen Kaur Bedi of St Xavier’s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44, who topped in the city schools by securing 95 per cent marks in the Class XII (commerce stream) of the ISCE, the results of which was declared today.

An elated Bableen, unlike the Class X toppers, feels that extra coaching and tuition indeed help in grooming one’s academic skills. “I am of the opinion that extra care is taken if you take coaching from specialised institutions. I also took coaching in English and accounts.”

Though excited at her success, Bableen had never expected it to be so good. “Actually, the feeling has still not sunk in. My teachers and parents have supported me and played a very important role in my achievement.”

Though Bableen has not yet zeroed down on what she wants to be in life but she expressed her inclination to be a language interpreter.

Equally delighted are her parents over the success of their daughter. “We are proud that she has brought laurels to her school, her teachers and us,” said her mother Arvinder Kaur and father N.S. Bedi, a sales supervisor with a multinational company.

Her classmate Chirag bagged the second place with 94 per cent marks, followed by Shivali 93 per cent, Bhupinder 91 per cent and Ayush Dutt 90 per cent.

In science stream, Damini topped the city with 87.3 per cent while in humanities, it’s Jaspreet Kaur who topped with 88 per cent marks.



64 pc, yet no mean feat
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Shweta Arora Panchkula, May 20
Mocking at her physical handicap, Shweta Arora has brought laurel to Little Flower Convent School, Sector 14, Panchkula, by securing 64.5 per cent marks in the Class X examination.

The gutsy student has not let her handicap and cervical nerve damage stand between her and the success as she came out with flying colours in the prestigious exams. Her disability causes dimness of vision in one eye that cannot be cured. She also cannot walk properly as her legs cannot bear her weight. Shweta during the course of studies had be operated upon five times since 1992. Her mother used to drop her at school daily and father pick her up.

Her proud mother Pooja Arora said, “She was not like that when she was born. However, gradually her body started reacting after five years and her legs stopped feeling sensation”, added Pooja.

However, the ICSE results today brought smile on the faces of the family as it was a dream come true for them. “I was expecting more, but I am satisfied with what I have scored. It is the first step towards fulfilling my dreams. I want to become an IAS officer,” Shweta told Chandigarh Tribune at her residence in Baltana near here.

The family is thankful to her school for integrating her with regular students. 



Contempt of Court
HUDA chief, EO get 2-yr jail
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 20
The Panchkula District Consumer Court has sentenced T C Gupta, chief administrator of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), and Mahavir Kaushik, Panchkula estate officer, HUDA, to 2 years of imprisonment for the contempt of court. This punishment has been awarded to the officials for their failure to allot a residential plot to NRI K. C. Bhatia.

The court, in another case, also sentenced Gupta and Sonepat estate officer, HUDA, for one-year imprisonment. In both cases, the three have been fined of Rs 10,000 each.

Bhatia had complained to the consumer court that HUDA did not allot him a residential plot of one kanal according to the policy of the authority.

The complainant was allotted an industrial plot in Industrial Area phase II, Panchkula, in 1991. HUDA had a policy that the NRIs setting up industry in the state would be provided residential plots as well.

On this basis, he was entitled to a one kanal residential plot in the town, pleaded the complainant. However, when HUDA did not allot him the plot, Bhatia lodged a complaint with the consumer court and the court disposing of the case in favour of the complainant ordered HUDA to allot him the plot within one month on November 11, last year.

However, the respondents in the case did not comply with the order and Bhatia filed an execution application under Section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act following which the court sent the notices to chief administrator and estate officer. When both officials failed to represent in the court, bailable warrants were issued. The officials again failed to comply and the court sentenced the officials for two-year imprisonment and a fine of 10,000 imposed on each of them.

In another case, a resident of Sonepat lodged a complaint with the court, stating that HUDA had cancelled the allotment of his booth no. 30 in Sector 13 in Sonepat. The complainant said he purchased the booth for Rs 11.50 lakh in an auction in November, 2004, by depositing Rs 10,000 as the bidding amount. However, the authorities later refused to allot him the plot and cancelled the auction.

Though the court ordered to allot the property to the bidder, the authorities remained fail to comply with the order. Subsequently, the officials even did not appear in the court on the stipulated dates.

The counsel of HUDA, however, has, submitted a civil miscellaneous application for recalling of the order.



Double Murder Case
Baljinder’s lawyer seeks narco test
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Baljinder Singh Sandhu being produced in the local court in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Baljinder Singh Sandhu being produced in the local court in Chandigarh on Tuesday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, May 20
Even as a local court remanded Baljinder Singh, accused of masterminding his wife’s murder, to three days of police remand, his defence lawyer sought Baljinder’s narco-test to prove his innocence.

Baljinder told The Tribune that he was nowhere involved in the killing of his wife. “ I love my wife and am innocent. My servant is falsely implicating me to get away from the case. I have no link with Noor Kataria or with any other girl, and even the allegations of another flat are false. I am ready to prove my innocence”.

Meanwhile, SSP S.S. Srivastava denied the arrest of Noor Kataria, who was said to be allegedly involved in an extra-marital affair with the accused. The city-based model was a resident of Sector 45.

“Surely, we will interrogate, whosoever is linked with the case. Till now, Noor is nowhere to be blamed. She will be called to join the investigation, if required at a later stage”, he said.

Till know, whatever Nikku had told the police was true, which was certainly indicating Baljinder’s hand in the murder, added the SSP.

The police said the case would soon come to some conclusion.

Sources in the police said there were a number of questions that were to be clarified, which would bring forward the involvement of Baljinder. He took nearly 20 to 25 minutes to reach home from discothèque, where the actual distance was about 10 minutes, why did Baljinder take more time to reach home? Another doubt that went against the husband was that he was in regular touch with Noor, even after the murder.

Baljinder had called Noor for nearly an hour from his mobile number 9914600101. Moreover, the statement of both accused, Vijay alias Nikku and Ashok, was matching with each other. The police had seized the clothes of Sunil from Baljinder’s house.

Nikku had no reason to kill Anuradha. If robbery was the motive, he could have easily taken away money from the house. There were time when Vijay had more than Rs 10 lakh with him.

In his statement to the police, Nikku said, “Baljinder had told him to kill his wife and take away cash and other expensive items. The amount robbed would be more than enough for the duo for four months. The next instalment could be handed over, when required. Baljinder had promised to send me to abroad, which too was apart of the deal”.

Nikku told the police that he had called on Anuradha’s number and said, “I have killed Sunil”. But, interestingly, the phone was with the daughter, which Vijay didn’t realise. But the police is yet to confirm this with the daughter.

The police searched other flat which is in the name of Himmat Singh and will investigate into the bank accounts and other property of Vijay.

Though, the sources said the girl had no link in the murder, she could be a reason behind the killing. The couple had strain relations since a long time. The police has also seized the weapon which was used in the incident.

Public prosecutor Ashok Rohila demanded a remand for five days pleading that the accused was not cooperating in the course of the investigation.

A.S. Sukhija, the lawyer of the accused, said before the court that “My client is cooperating with the investigation. The police is insisting and interested to know about the relation that the client had, which has nothing to do with the case. The defence counsel demanded for narco test of Baljinder.

“If the police does not move the application for the narco test, I will move the application tomorrow.”



Garbage plant inauguration
Cong to boycott, oppn to attend
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Conceived as a model for the entire country, the garbage processing plant at Dadu Majra is mired in petty politics. In a development that bodes ill for the smooth functioning of the municipal corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), the ruling Congress today decided to boycott the inauguration ceremony for the bureaucracy's alleged role in "lowering the dignity of the mayor's chair. "The plant is to be dedicated to the public by UT administrator SF Rodrigues tomorrow.

The decision to boycott the inauguration ceremony was taken at a meeting of the councillors presided over by the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) president BB Bahl. The Congress councillors, including the mayor, will stay away from the function for raw deal to the mayor, Chander Mukhi, spokesman for the party said. He, however, added that the Congress had nothing against the administrator and protest was against the bureaucracy's efforts to undermine the position of the mayor.

Meanwhile, MCC officials today tried to come clean on the issue claiming in a note to the mayor that the Jaypee group approached the UT Administrator directly and the officials had nothing to do with the invitation cards.

However, the Congress seemed to be on a sticky wicket in its effort to garner sympathy for alleged raw deal to the mayor as all other parties--the BJP, SAD and the BSP--and the nominated councillors are attending tomorrow's function.



Protest over move to close down health centre
Our Correspondent

Protesters raise slogans against the government move to shut down a primary health centre in Phase III BI, Mohali, on Tuesday.
Protesters raise slogans against the government move to shut down a primary health centre in Phase III BI, Mohali, on Tuesday. Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

Mohali, May 20
Councillors and leaders today staged a protest against the reported move of the Punjab government to close down the primary health centre in Phase III BI here. The centre is proposed to make way for an ayurvedic centre.

The protesters, including municipal council president Rajinder Singh Rana, raised slogans against the government and demanded status quo, as its closure would adversely affect patients from economically weaker sections.

Rana said the primary health centre was centrally located and had been running for the past over 20 years.

He said councillors would meet with the minister in this regard. In case their request was turned down, the protest would be intensified, he added.

Among others present were councillors Gian Chand Aggarwal, Manjeet Kaur, Rajinder Sharma, and Congress block unit president G.P. Singh.

The government had also reportedly asked employees to vacate the five residential quarters currently occupied by a pharmacist, two ANMs and two class IV employees.

The health centre has one operating theatre and a dental OPD wing. Around 70 patients visit the health centre every day.



Cover for differently abled extended to city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
‘Nirmaya’, the health insurance scheme for special children and others has been extended to the city. The National Trust, ministry of social justice and empowerment, New Delhi, has chosen Chandigarh as one of the centres for implementing the health insurance scheme for people with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities. An official spokesman said under the scheme, it was proposed to provide health insurance to one lakh such people.

In the case of people living below the poverty line, the National Trust would pay the entire premium whereas in the case of others, the premium will be Rs 250 per lakh per annum.

The Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children, Sector 32, here, which has been appointed the State Nodal Agency Centre (SNAC), is in the process of receiving applications for the scheme.

Dr BS Chavan, joint director of the institute, said this was a laudable initiative by the Government of India. People, who could not afford the treatment, will benefit from this scheme.

Families having members with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and multiple disabilities can contact Vani Ratnam or C. B. Pahuja personally or on telephone 0172-2647760 for deriving the benefits under the scheme.



Top floor of unsafe building demolished
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The estate office of the municipal corporation today demolished the top floor of a five-storey unsafe building in Kajheri village as a part of its ongoing drive against unsafe and illegal structures in the city.

A team of MC officials led by joint commissioner-I TPS Phoolka began demolishing the structure in the morning and the operation lasted till late in the afternoon. The entire operation was executed manually and the demolition squad was able to bring down part of the top floor of the building. The operation will continue tomorrow, said an MC official.

According to the MC, the building belonged to one Joginder Singh of the village. He did not get the building bylaws plan approved and carried out the construction work paying scant regard to safety. He had constructed rooms in the five-storey building to give them on rent to migrant labourers.

Giving details of the violations of building bylaws, Phoolka said the height of the building was found to be 50 feet against the permissible limit of maximum 34 feet. The top floor area measured 2,500 sq yards. Moreover, the building was tilted to one side possibly owing to its weak foundation. It was structurally unsafe and could endanger the lives of the occupants.

He added that the building would be examined in every respect and whatever portion was found to be unsafe would be pulled down. The department had served a notice on Joginder Singh about six month ago under the Building Bylaws Rules for Villages, 2006, and the MC officials, including junior engineers, had been informing the owner about the violations.



Infrastructure in Shastri Market
Traders-MC partnership mooted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The traders of Shastri Market, Sector 22, here were today offered a partnership with the municipal corporation to improve the infrastructure in the market.

The offer was made to the traders by the UT Administrator, Gen SF Rodrigues (retd), during a public-hearing session held at UT secretariat here yesterday. The General said this kind of strategy had been a very successful experiment in different markets of various sectors in the city.

Reiterating his earlier instructions, he told the senior officers to find solutions in a time-bound manner and fix the deadline for complaint redressal.

During the camp, complaints relating to the Estate Office, Chandigarh Housing Board, rehabilitation of handicapped and mentally retarded children, names omitted in the biometric survey for rehabilitation of slum dwellers besides personal property disputes were received.

The Administrator directed the chairman, Chandigarh Housing Board, to complete the necessary formalities for the construction of 25,000 flats for slum dwellers. The deputy commissioner was directed to initiate legal proceedings against the management of different cooperative societies that had committed irregularities in the allotment of houses and also defaulters who did not follow the guidelines.

Later, the administrator released a coffee table book entitled “Chandigarh, the City Beautiful” with captivating collection of photographs from award-winning entries in various competitions. Some of the photographs are also from the collections of eminent residents of the city.

Divided into sections depicting “modern heritage’, “life and its colours” and “gardens”, the book depicts Chandigarh in all its glorious colours.

Appreciating the effort, he asked director, tourism, Vivek Attray, to bring out a publication on ‘moods of Sukhna’ and also execute various schemes for the promotion of tourism in the city.



UT’s action plan on foeticide out
Focus on child’s healthcare and education
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
With the skewed sex ratio staring the city in the face, the UT today came out with an action plan for gender sensitisation and removing girl child discrimination.

Despite relative prosperity, the tendency to view the girl child as a burden is assuming critical proportions in Chandigarh, Raji P. Srivastava, special secretary, Finance, and nodal officer of the project, said here in a presentation.

However, the Administration's concern was not just improving the sex ratio at birth but also to focus on the 0-6 age group which was critical for advances in healthcare and nutrition, she said.

Unveiling the action plan, UT Administrator S.F. Rodrigues impressed upon participants the need to show care, concern and deep involvement in this gender equality programme and work collectively for narrowing down the gap of discrimination between male and female child by building partnerships in all sections of society.

The action plan focuses on child's early healthcare and nutrition and looks at education as a vehicle to economic self-reliance. The Chandigarh model will act as a beacon of hope for it is gender sensitive and participatory in nature.

It is non-intrusive and accords primacy to the dignity of women. It builds on the inter-connectedness among enforcement, education and empowerment strategies. “We will work to ensure the survival of unborn girls and a life of dignity and self-reliance for our daughters”, Raji said.

Sanjay Kumar, finance-cum-health secretary, said the participating agencies and individuals would do their best for implementing this programme in letter and spirit.



Malhotra is vice-chairman of CII

Chandigarh, May 20
Mukesh Malhotra, president of Gates India Pvt Ltd, has been elected as vice-chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry. He has been elected for a period of one year.

Special offer: As part of the first anniversary celebrations of Chevrolet Spark, GM India is offering its small car at a special price of Rs 2.89 lakh till May 31. The Spark anniversary offer is clubbed with incentives. — TNS



City Concerns

For the past many days, Panjab University teachers, under the banner of PUTA, are on a relay strike, demanding Central University Status for the premier institution.

They claim the status of a Central University will automatically draw in critical improvement and enhancement to the availability of finances both for research as well as teaching and learning.

Curiously though, the Punjab Government continues resisting Panjab University's move to a Central status, no one wants to be quoted on this, but the real reasons for the opposition appear to be political rather than academic.

Chandigarh Tribune invites readers to send in their views on: Could the status of a Central University improve things at PU like the teachers are saying?

Please mail your responses, in not more than 250 words, to rthukral@tribunemail.com or send it to The Tribune Office, marked to the City Editor by May 23, 2008.



Urgent need to fill home secretary’s post

It is unfortunate that the post of home secretary has not been filled up for a considerable time owing to lack of understanding between the UT administration and the MHA. Because of the vacancy of this key post, it is ultimately the people who are suffering. There should not be any personal equation from any quarter to get the post filled up as the office of home secretary is a public office and the incumbent, whosoever may be posted according to seniority-cum-merit, should be responsible to the public. Since several officers in the administration are already holding different charges, in addition to their own, this post needs to be filled up without any delay.

S.K. Khosla, Chandigarh

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030



UGC pay review panel meeting
Incentives for lecturers recommended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The two-day University Grants Commission (UGC) pay review commission meeting began at Panjab University today under the chairmanship of Prof G.K. Chadha, member, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister.

Vice-chancellors and representatives of principals, faculty members, librarians, directors of Physical Education/sports officers, teachers,associations of 14 universities of the region and state education secretaries and eminent educationists are participating in the meeting.

The UGC team comprising G Padamanbhan, Dr Manimala Dass and Dr DVS Jain was also present.

Dr M.A. Querishi, representative of vice-chancellor, Kashmir University, said, “There should be better pay packages for in-house teachers rather than hiring guest faculty and paying them more. Also the UGC should look into increasing the age of retirement from 60 to 65 years in case they do not want more and more lecturers to switch over universities.

Dr R P Hooda, vice-chancellor, Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, said one of the greatest challenges that the universities faced nowadays was that there were hardly any good teachers coming forward.

As a result, students were losing interest in studies. He advocated incentives for teachers if the standard of higher education was to be improved.

The main points, which were discussed by vice-chancellors and representatives of different universities, included those related to revision of age and also regarding providing extra incentives to the lecturers so that quality of education was not compromised besides incentives to the lecturers who were also involved in research work.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Lokesh Verma, R P Bajpai, vice-chancellor, Kurukshetra University, besides others.

The meeting will conclude tomorrow after some more deliberations.



Central Varsity Status
Foreign students join relay fast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Foreign students enrolled in different courses in Panjab University today sat on the 44th day of the relay fast for central university status for PU.

There are nearly 390 foreign students from various developing countries such as Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Iraq, Zambia, Afghanistan, Nepal, Thailand and Tibet. There are nearly 100 foreign students on the campus and most of them are enrolled as research scholars doing PhD or M.Phil under the cultural exchange programme, said Prof Shelley Walia, dean, foreign students.

Around nine of them sat on the fast today. Besides foreign students, two teachers -- T.R. Bharadwaj and Karan Vashist, and three research scholars from the UIPS and Abha Sharma from the department of education also sat on the fast.

Md. Mehdi Pasandideh, president of the international students on the campus, said a large number of students like to study in Chandigarh as Panjab University is rated very high in the above-mentioned countries. If its status was elevated to that of central university, the liberal grants from the Centre would provide much better infrastructure to the foreign students and many more would prefer Chandigarh as their destination for higher education, he stated. Esmail Hadidi, another research scholar from Iran not only supported central status for the university, but also wished it to be an eminent university for whole of Asia due to its heritage, quality of education and geographical location.



Doaba college holds farewell party
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 20
The annual function-cum-farewell party of Doaba College of Education (DCE) was organised here yesterday at Doaba Group of Colleges. The chief guest for the occasion was Jeet Singh, chief administrator of the group. In his valedictory speech he inspired the students to become good teachers and better human beings.

DCE principal Dr Urmila Sharma read out the annual report of the session 2007-08. She gave a detailed description of various important activities and achievements of the college.



From Courts
Nokia Care Centre to pay Rs 16,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum directed HCL Infinet (Nokia Care Centre) in Sector 22 and Tushar Communication in Sector 32 to pay Rs 16,250 as compensation for harassing a resident of Sector 32.

Petitioner Dr Avinash Abhaya had gifted a mobile (Nokia 7710) to his friend Virender Singh which was purchased for Rs 19,000 from the said shop. The mobile developed some technical snag and was repaired several times but to no avail. The shop owner offered to replace the handset with Nokia N70 which was an inferior model.

Dr Avinash said he was asked to deposit a sum of Rs 1,300 on collecting the replaced handset after repair for which no receipt was given. Later, he was told that Rs 1,300 were taken from him for the calls he had made to Nokia Care Centre which were said to be free.

The respondents stated that the petitioner was not satisfied with the handset so another mobile was given to him and they were not deficient in service. The forum stated that the facts showed the petitioner was harassed by the respondents in replacing the defective phone.

ACQUITTED: Additional district and sessions judge S.K. Aggarwal acquitted five in an attempt to murder case after the witnesses turned hostile. According to the prosecution, the five accused, Kanwar Pal Singh, Brij Pal Singh, Satpal Singh, Jaspal Singh and Ajaypal Singh attacked Praduman, a resident of Burail on October 2, 2004. The complainant Praduman stated that he was passing by the market in Burail when the accused approached him and entered into an altercation with him.

The altercation later turned violent. The accused lost his eye in the incident and a case of attempt to murder was registered against the accused.



Jaitley is UT chief engineer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The Chandigarh administration today handed over independent charge of the UT chief engineer to SK Jaitley. By handing over the current duty charge to the chief engineer, he has been relieved of the dual charge of superintending engineer, Construction circle-I.

Even the post of the CHB chief engineer is held by a superintending engineer.

It is the UPSC which has to clear the name of the regular chief engineer.

The last regular chief engineer, VK Bhardwaj, retired in November 2007. He was offered a three-month extension which was reportedly not accepted by the technocrat. Citing crucial project, the previous finance secretary, SK Sandhu, had recommended one-year extension to Bhardwaj. But rules came in the way.

After retirement of Bhardwaj, appointment of a regular chief engineer has been hanging fire. Sources reveal that the UPSC had sought certain clarifications in December 2007. But the same have not been given so far. The process to fill the top post should have started six months in advance from the date of retirement of the last chief engineer, Bhardwaj.



18 sweepers found absent
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Municipal corporation commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria, along with other officials, carried out an inspection and found 18 sweepers absent from duty in Sectors 52 and 61 and Kajheri village today. Fourteen weepers of the contractor posted at Kajheri village and four sweepers in Sector 61 were found absent. The commissioner took immediate disciplinary action.



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