C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Ness in Mess
Mohali SSP lodges complaint with DC
Chitleen K. Sethi and Akash Ghai

Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 25
In a serious turn to the heated spat that took place between the SAS Nagar SSP R.S. Khatra and IPL Kings XI Punjab owner Ness Wadia on May 23, the SSP has today given a scathing representation to the deputy commissioner (DC) alleging that he was subjected to “verbal abuse”.

He pointed out that “whole series of these IPL matches have been marred with the accusations of racial discrimination, use of liquor and flouting of smoking laws”.

The spat has also led to the Mohali police slapping a bill of Rs 1.75 crore on IPL for its services rendered during the matches, when, according to the SSP, IPL engaged in “cross commercial activities”. The bill has to be paid before the next match on May 28.

Relating the incident that took place at the PCA stadium during the Kings XI Punjab and Deccan Chargers on May 23, (first reported by the Chandigarh Tribune), the SSP said besides abusing him, Wadia used derogatory language against the administration. The SSP added that Wadia’s parting shot was “I do not want to talk to small and mean people.” The PCA president I.S. Bindra who had come to resolve the spat was also reportedly present when this was said.

The SSP and Ness Wadia had a heated argument when Wadia leveled serious allegations against the police. He had alleged that the police was marketing tickets in black and had stolen T- shirts and liquor. He had also alleged that the police were terrorising his men deployed in the stadium. Objecting to the allegations Khatra tried to reason with Wadia.

“I emphatically contradicted the allegations and pointed out that only 50 per cent tickets were sold and IPL’s own men were selling the tickets during the ongoing match. “When the tickets are available in ample at the sale counters how is it possible that people are purchasing tickets in black? I added that the private security personnel deployed by the IPL at the entry gates had not allowed any illegal entry into the stadium,” held Khatra.

Khatra alleged, “It has been closely observed during the IPL matches that these were not played with the spirit to boost sports, however, it is established that the people connected with this tournament i.e. players, owners and BCCI have engaged to have pecuniary gains,” said the SSP adding that IPL had engaged in a cross-commercial activities.

When contacted the DC SAS Nagar Rahul Bhandari confirmed that he had received the letter from the SSP. “Suitable action would be taken after the panchayat elections,” he said. Ness Wadia could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

The SSP has sent a copy of the letter to the Punjab home secretary, the DGP, the IG Zone and the DIG range.



Sloshed cops give admn the jitters
Hic Hic Hurray: Liquor flows free on poll eve
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 25
On the eve of the panchayat elections, the district administration here has a new problem at hand: dealing with tipsy poll duty officials.

With candidates trying to outdo one another in serving liquor, alcohol is flowing like water in villages. The administration is wondering how to keep its own army of 4,000 men on election duty from having a “peg or two”. The liquor is high quality and free of cost, an irresistible combination.

The problem seems to be acute among cops, though the polling staff is also a source of concern to returning officers.

Something similar had happened during the zila parishad and block samiti elections two weeks ago. A senior cop on the condition of anonymity revealed that a large number of his men on duty were drunk the night before the elections and many of them were not even in a condition to report on duty the next morning.

At some polling stations, the cops could be seen half-asleep, probably due to a hangover.

Senior police officers in charge of various stations have been told to ensure that their men do not join late night liquor parties at houses of candidates and their supporters.

Similar get-togethers are arranged on the evening of the elections and the days of counting.

Women staff on duty are apprehensive due to this. “My wife is a school teacher and was on duty during the block samiti elections. In the evening, when the results started coming in, she had to stay back until midnight. By this time, most candidates and their supporters were drunk. Some men on poll duty were also drunk. She called me and I stayed with her until her duty was over,” a shopkeeper said.



Woman, paramour end their lives
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
A 23-year-old mother of two was found hanging from a tree along with her 21-year-old paramour in the Sector 4 jungle area here this morning. The police, quoting a suicide note, said the victims had held no one responsible for their deaths.

The highly decomposed bodies were noticed by a drug addict who went to the area in search of marijuana at around 10 am. Horrified at the sight, he informed the police. The bodies were hanging by a single rope and looked to be three days old.

A bedsheet, a packet of medicines and a driver’s license belonging to the victim, Sanjay, was recovered from the spot.

Initially, the police faced difficulty in identifying the deceased as the license bore a wrong address. Later, the police managed to track down the woman’s family in Palsora village.

The woman was identified as Kulwinder Kaur, married to Paramjit Singh, a labourer. The man was identified as Sanjay, a painter and resident of the same locality. He hailed from Sonepat district.

The suicide note was written in Hindi and signed by both. Kulwinder said she had come with him on her own and their families had no role in it.



Arms Act
Baljinder gets judicial remand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Even as a local court today remanded Baljinder Singh, the prime accused in the Anuradha murder case, to judicial custody in the Arms Act case, he will be in police custody until tomorrow in connection with the murder case.

The police yesterday claimed to have seized three licensed weapons, including a .12 bore riffle, a .22 bore riffle and a .9 mm pistol, along with 150 cartridges. The cartridges recovered from his flats were beyond the permissible limits.

According to the public prosecutor, the police is still to investigate the reason behind purchasing three weapons and the cartridges in the past one year. He told the court that the police was yet to find out why Baljinder possessed three guns and the grounds on which he applied for the licenses.

The role of investigating officials has also raised some doubts as they were seeking extension in his remand to trace Noor Kataria, allegedly having an affair with him. When she was traced, the police began proceedings against her in a fake driving license case which was not even recovered from her possession.

The police reportedly stumbled upon the license during a raid conducted on his flat. The license was used by her to buy a mobile connection.

Legal experts are of the view that the police is using Noor to fill the holes in its theory as it has not been able to find strong evidence against him.

The way the police hastened to record the statement of Noor under Section 164 of the CrPC and gave her a clean chit in the murder case indicate that the police wanted to use her to fix Baljinder. Noor, who denies her involvement in the conspiracy, was in touch with Baljinder throughout the night of the murder. Baljinder and Noor would be produced in court tomorrow.



Class VI student gangraped; 4 minors held
Tribune News Service

Kharar, May 25
Four minors from the Mundi Kharar area have been arrested for allegedly raping a Class VI girl of a government school last evening.

The victim had gone to visit her aunt, Gurmeet Kaur. Her mother, who is blind, told the police that when the girl’s father and brothers came home at 9 pm, they found that she had still not returned.

They went to the aunt’s house and were told that the girl had come at 3 pm, but left soon after. Her family started searching for her and at around midnight, they found her on a deserted road. She couldn’t walk and her clothes were torn. She was shocked and kept crying.

She told them this morning that when she was returning from her aunt’s place at around 4 pm, her neighbour’s son waylaid her. She was given some sedative and kidnapped. She was taken to a place where three more of his friends were present. She alleged that they then raped her. When she regained consciousness, they abandoned her on the road.

Her parents approached the police today. Her medical examination confirmed rape. Two of the accused work in a nearby factory while one assists an electrician. The fourth accused works at a motorcycle repair shop.



55 DAYS GONE still counting ...
Post should go to Punjab

The delay in the appointment of the home secretary has once again put the focus on the issue of the vital post going to Haryana. For various reasons, the post has become significant as it allows bureaucrats to cultivate power.

Ideally, the post should go to Punjab as per the formula of the 60:40 ratio. As the home secretary is always from Haryana, the interest of Punjabis has been neglected during land acquisition and announcement of compensation.

The process of rehabilitating slum dwellers has been done at the behest of Haryana bureaucrats. The post of deputy commissioner should also go to Punjab and the post of finance secretary to Haryana.

Also, lobbying for the post has set an unhealthy trend and it should be checked.

— Angrez Singh, president of Pind Bachao Committee



Alcoholics Anonymous has turned 12
Pradeep Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
The Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) movement in the tricity has achieved another milestone, with the Samarpan Group of Alcoholics Anonymous, Panchkula, completing 12 years of bringing back smiles on the faces of recovering alcoholics and their families. In fact, today was the big day for AA in the region as recovering alcoholics and their families joined together at the grand celebrations at the Community Centre, Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, Panchkula, in a bid to create awareness about alcoholism as a disease.

Three legacies of AA - recovery, unity, and service -found a prominent place in the discussions of AA members as they shared their experiences, strengths and hoped for the for the recovery of other alcoholics. It was highlighted that alcoholism as a disease could be controlled ‘one day at a time’.

Sharing the history of the group, Shyam, a member, said it was on May 21, 1996, that a small band of hopeless alcoholics gathered at the Little Flower Convent School, Sector 14, Panchkula, to break free from the shackles of alcohol. Since then the group meets at the school on Thursdays and Sundays and has grown from strength to strength.

Parveen, another member, said it was a hopeless state for his mind and body when he reluctantly joined the group about 10 years back after dialling the AA helpline (94170-37358). “With no job and family, I had lost everything worthwhile in life and was a slave of alcohol. The insatiable craving overpowered me 24 hours a day,” he recollects. “I wanted to quit but there seemed to be no way out, but getting sober on a daily basis after attending meetings put my life back on track. With God’s grace, I lead a normal life, minus liquor, today,” he said.

The AA is a community of men and women who share their experiences, strengths and hope to find a common solution to the problem of alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for membership.



Shortage of Rs 10 notes
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
After the small coins, it is now the turn of currency notes of Rs 10 denomination to do the vanishing act. Blatant misuse of this smallest currency note for making garlands for weddings is largely responsible for the shortage in its circulation.

Though the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) denies that there is any shortage of Rs 10 notes, people in the region claim otherwise.

S. Jain, a chemist in Ludhiana, says that for the past couple of months, only soiled and mutilated Rs 10 coins are in circulation. “I have gone to various banks asking for coins and Rs 10 notes, but am often turned away,” he alleges.

Sources say that the new notes of Rs 10 and 20 denomination that are supplied to the banks are not enough to match the demand. All these new notes are being used for making garlands, so what remains in circulation is the mutilated and soled notes.

Though RBI has pleaded asking public not to use banknotes for making garlands, decorating pandals and places of worship or for showering on personalities at social events, it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

Top officials in the regional office of the RBI here said they had been sending exclusive remittances of Rs 10 notes to ensure that there is no shortage in supply.

“In January, we sent 77 lakh pieces to the currency chests and remitted 30.31 lakh pieces of Rs 10 notes from our own counter. Similarly, in February, 123 lakh pieces were sent to the currency chests in the region and 26. 2 lakh pieces were remitted from the RBI counter, while in March 77 lakh pieces were disbursed to the banks and 16.5 lakh pieces were remitted through our own counter. With such good remittances, there is little scope for the shortage in coins,” said the official.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the government is planning to roll out Rs 10 coin later this year. The finance ministry has okayed a proposal for manufacturing 30 crore pieces of Rs 10 coins amounting to Rs 300 crore.

These coins will be cupero-nickel (alloy of copper and nickel) in the centre while the rim will be of al-bronze (aluminium, copper and nickel). In addition to the Rs 10 coin, the government has also decided to roll out 200 crore and 80 crore pieces of Rs 2 and Re 1 coins, amounting to Rs 480 crore.



Violation of building bylaws
MC issues notices to villagers
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
In a bid to rein in haphazard construction in villages under its jurisdiction, the municipal corporation has issued notices to residents asking them get their building plans sanctioned before carrying out constructions.

Sources in the estate office of the corporation said the department had lately been issuing notices to violators in 10 villages coming under the municipal corporation.

Around 15 to 18 notices have been served in each village, including Attwa, Burail, Badheri, Buterla, Kajheri, Hallo Majra, Dadu Majra, Maloya, Palsora and Mani Majra.

The department has asked villagers to get their building plans approved lest buildings not complying with the rules shall be demolished. Buildings constructed before 2006 have been exempt from the drive, said MC officials.

A visit to the villages revealed that certain residents have constructed guest houses, hotels and multi-storey buildings to rent these out while giving the go-by to the building bylaws.

During surveys, it has been found that in some cases the owners have indulged in construction on old structure without bothering about the strength of the exiting building.

A senior MC official said constructions were being carried out without getting the building plans of the building approved.

It was found that such structures were unsafe for dwelling and could endanger lives.

Also, certain building were raised above the stipulated height of 35 feet in violation of the bylaws.

“The enforcement wing of the estate office pulled down an unsafe five-storey building at Kajheri village on May 20. The owner had carried out construction over the old and weak structure. Even razing such dilapidated building involves risk. The department has launched a special drive recently and taken action against violators under the Building Bylaws Rules for Villages, 2006”, said T.P.S. Phoolka, joint commissioner-I.

On May 15, the enforcement wing of the corporation had confiscated building material along with scaffolding of three houses under construction at Kajheri village.



Rain keeps party going
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
It’s been an unusually cool May this year. With city witnessing intermittent showers for the past one week, residents are heaving a sigh of relief.

Though the beginning of the month saw temperatures soar over 40 °C, the past 10 days have witnessed a shift, with maximum temperature remaining between 30 and 35 °C.

As rain lashed the region this afternoon, residents came out in huge numbers to enjoy the respite from scorching heat.

It being a Sunday, residents made the most of it by thronging Sukhna Lake, Sector 17 piazza and other public parks. As the cool breeze swept the city, residents were seen taking a leisurely stroll in the evening.

As the weather turned pleasant, many adventurous souls decided to go uphill and enjoy the drive in the cool climes.

Manjit Sandhu, a local businessman, decided to take his wife and kids for a drive to Chakki Ka Mor. “We had a wonderful picnic there and returned in the evening,” he said.

Meanwhile, the weathermen have predicted that the weather will continue to remain pleasant for the next two days. Met officials said western disturbances over North Pakistan and upper air cyclone circulation over Northwest Rajasthan and adjoining Central Pakistan had led to rains in the region.

“It is a temporary phase. One or two spells of rain can be expected with a cloudy sky tomorrow. The maximum temperature is expected to remain around 31 °C,” he said.



Sec 26 a new hangout for gastronomes
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Sector 26 is coming up as a new hangout for foodies of the city with the emergence of specialised food joints there.

A monotonous sector once, which stood out for its dusty vegetable market and hardware retail outlets, is now coming up as a hotspot for restaurants.

Eating joints coming up in this sector have cultivated a culture of more organised and specialised service in the fast food industry.

Most restaurants set up in this belt have been developed with ample space to provide better services to customers.

Not just city residents, those from Panchkula, Mani Majra and Chandi Mandir are also being catered to by these restaurants.

Managing director of Sundaram’s S. Sundaram said after Sectors 17 and 35, this was the only sector that was developing at such a fast pace.

He said the idea behind opening a food outlet there was that most restaurants in the vicinity were out of reach of the common man.

He said while the area had quality restaurants around, ordinary eating joints were completely missing.

Owner of Hotel Aroma Manmohan S. Kohli said the entire belt of sectors on the Madhya Marg was coming up as a new fast food hub of the city.

The reason being that these were the only sectors that provided ample space for eateries to open, while sectors like 34, 35, 22 and 17 faced space constraints, he said.

Parking problem was yet to surface in the area, making it a more customer-friendly area.

Another hotelier of the town, Ankit Gupta of Himani’s, Sector 35, said their sector was now more known for hotels and banquet halls than fast food joints.

Most joints that opened in Sector 35 were faced with space constraint and parking problem. He added that the rent of showrooms in the belt were lower than those of the other main sectors.



Transfer of ownership
CHB receives 1,000 applications
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
With just over a week left for the expiry of the three-month deadline fixed by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) to apply for transfer of ownership of dwelling units under the GPA transfer policy at normal rates, the board is receiving a good response.

After June 4, the applicants will have to shell out five per cent extra as transfer fee.

A spokesperson for the board said over 1,000 persons with either GPA or agreement to sell had so far applied for transfer of ownership of dwelling units ever since the board issued a public notice announcing the policy on March 5.

This was apart from those applying for transfer of ownership under the existing mutual transfer policy.

While simplifying the procedures under the GPA transfer policy, the CHB had said that it would not allow fresh transactions that took place through the execution of GPA or agreement to sell, etc. after the publication of its public notice on March 5.

Those intending to sell or purchase the allotment of CHB dwelling units after the date of publication of the notice have to approach the board under the already existing mutual transfer policy.

Under the simplified policy even those who had purchased the dwelling units before the allotment/handing over of the physical possession to the original allottees through GPA or agreement to sell were allowed to apply to the CHB for the transfer under the GPA transfer policy within a period of three months by paying a transfer fee at the rate of 15 per cent of the revised consideration money.



Panchayat Elections
237 polling stations declared super sensitive
Tribune News Service

Election officers going along with election stationery to their respective booth on Sunday.
Election officers going along with election stationery to their respective booth on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, May 25
The district is all geared up for the panchayat election tomorrow. Almost 200 polling officers and another 2,000 cops are on duty for election to 290 gram panchayats. As many as 3,342 candidates are in the fray for elections to 2,276 seats of panchs in the district. About 85 panchayats have been elected unanimously in the district and elections to the gram panchayats at Nimbuan, Kakrali, Harlalpur and Jagatpura villages have been countermanded.

A total of 488 polling booths have been set up across the district. Out of these, 237 polling stations have been declared super sensitive.

The competition for the posts is expected to be most tough in the Kharar block of the district. For 900 seats 1,434 candidates are in fray here. Initially, almost 2,300 candidates had filled the nomination forms out of which 226 were rejected and another 631 withdrew their nomination papers.

In the Majri block, a total of 1,354 nomination forms were received, out of which 72 were rejected and 609 withdrawn, leaving only 673 candidates in fray for 597 seats. In the Dera Bassi block, for 779 seats, 1,235 candidates are in fray. Here 2,203 persons had filed their nominations, out of which 133 were rejected and another 835 withdrew from the elections.



2 held for pasting obscene posters
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 25
The police today arrested two persons on the charges of pasting posters carrying obscene information regarding a woman candidate contesting the panchayat elections from Mullanpur Garibdass village. According to her family, they had nabbed a person while allegedly putting the posters. The other accused managed to flee.

Following information given by the accused, they tracked down the other miscreant at Jayanmti Devi this morning. Later, they were handed over to the police.

The accused had been identified as Sukhvinder Singh and Shelley, both residents of Mullanpur Garibdass. A case has been registered against them.

The victim’s family, however, alleged that the police initially tried to hush up the matter and registered the case when the media was informed.



Complete projects without bias, says Kang
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 25
Former Punjab minister Jagmohan Singh Kang yesterday strongly condemned the SAD-BJP government over its apathy, attitude and lacklustre approach towards ‘Saka Chamkaur’, a theme park project envisaged by the previous Congress government at Chamkaur Sahib, to commemorate 300 years of martyrdom of the elder sahibzadas of Sri Guru Gobind Singh.

Kang said in spite of the issue being taken up with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal a number of times, it had failed to elicit any positive response from the government. He said the previous government had decided to set up a world-class monument to mark the martyrdom of elder sahibzadas of the tenth Sikh Guru in the battle of Chamkaur Sahib. Although the first phase of this project was completed and inaugurated by the then Chief Minister, but ever since the present regime took over, further work on this important historic project had come to a stand still.

He added that similarly at Saheri village near Morinda, a memorial was raised to mark the martyrdom of Mata Gujri and younger sahibzadas. He said like the Sikh Heritage Complex at Anandpur Sahib, which was started by the Akali government during 1999, was completed by the Congress government without any discrimination, these historic projects should also be brought to their logical end in the same spirit.

Kang said besides these, the tourism projects initiated by the previous Congress government which were duly sanctioned by union, tourism and culture minister Ambika Soni in public interest, had been stalled or were going on at a slow pace. He added that he had appealed to the Punjab Chief Minister earlier also to expedite the tourism projects but nothing concrete had been done.



UT vs Punjab
Bacchus war hots up
Buying liquor in UT may land you in jail
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Blame it on competition or overzealousness, the liquor war between the excise departments of Chandigarh and Punjab for earning more revenue is getting ugly.

And in this competition, the consumer is no more the king. Rather those who “dare” to enter Punjab after buying liquor from a Chandigarh vend are made to pay for it.

The UT excise policy allows the lifting of unlimited quota of liquor and at a lesser price, about 15 per cent per bottle.

Incidents of musclemen stopping and searching vehicles, smashing liquor bottles and manhandling those who insisted on carrying liquor are being reported daily at inter-state border points where vends are located on both sides.

Complaints are being received from various vends in the adjoining areas of Mohali district.

As per the amendment to the Punjab Excise Act, bringing sealed bottle or any quantity of liquor in a sealed packet is not allowed in Punjab without paying duty.

A notice board warning against bringing liquor from Chandigarh and the consequent penalty has been displayed at the border by the Punjab excise commissioner.

But the law does not allow breaking of bottles. Vendors have their own musclemen to prevent the “illegal import” of liquor from a neighbouring state. Even those who get half-consumed bottles are forced to surrender the liquor.

An excise official of Punjab admitted that it was illegal to break bottles, manhandle consumers or seize half-consumed bottles.

“Punjab and other states should be complaining against the smuggling-oriented policy of Chandigarh,” he said.

A UT excise official said nothing could be done to stop the practise as each state had its own law. While in the UT one could carry 18 bottles of whisky or 36 bottles of beer, the quantity in Punjab is four bottles of whisky and six of beer.

Punjab contractors are supposed to lift a fixed quota of liquor whether they are able to sell it or not. This has resulted in accumulation of stocks of IMFL with the contractors.



From Schools
Eye care camp at Golden Bells
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 25
Golden Bells Public School organised a free eye care camp yesterday in collaboration with the Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib Eye Hospital Trust, Sohana. Doctors highlighted the harm of self-medication in eye infections. School director Col C.S. Bawa appreciated the effort put in by the doctors and teachers in organising the event.

BIRTHDAY: Students and staff members of Swami Ram Tirtha Public High School celebrated the birthday of their director Sujata Sharma with great enthusiasm yesterday. The students gave magnetising performances on various dance numbers.

COMPETITIONS: Essay writing and painting competitions were held on the eve of International Bio-Diversity Day in the school. About 30 students took part in the essay competitions. Bio-diversity of Punjab has disappeared and students were guided how to save and conserve it. School principal Renu Bala addressed the students regarding bio-diversity.

ELECTIONS: A student council was constituted at Anees School, Sector 69, here, yesterday. Elections took place to the post of the head boy and head girl. Sanya Sharma presided over the elections. Mohan and Shreya were chosen to the posts. Harsimrat and Ayushi were chosen as vice-head boy and vice-head girl. The council was awarded with a badge by director Aneet Goyal.

ANNUAL DAY: Students and staff of Guru Arjun Dev Public School, Salamatpur, held their annual day function yesterday. Students were given prizes for their achievement in academics and extra curricular activities. Sonu Verma, manager, Max Life Insurance, was the chief guest.



Anuradha Murder
Siblings continue to live apart
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Even as Baljinder Singh, suspected to be the mastermind behind the killing of his wife Anuradha, promised his sister-in-law of not letting his children — Osean and Uday — get separated, the siblings continue to live apart.

Emotionally charged Baljinder Singh had promised his sister-in-law, Rekha, of upholding Anuradha’s wish of keeping the children united.

According to Anuradha’s family, she was concerned about the wellbeing of her children and had never allowed them to stay away from her for very long.

Anuradha did her schooling from Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37, and Shishu Niketan School, Sector 22.

A graduate from Government College for Girls, Sector 11, Anuradha got married to Baljinder Singh Sandhu around 13 years ago. It was her second marriage, as her first one was annulled within a week.

Baljinder married Anuradha against the wishes of his family and did not invite his sisters to the marriage.

Anuradha taught her children at home and started a boutique from home so that she was with her children at all times.

She took keen interest in their studies. Osean is a topper and it was due to Anuradha’s efforts that Uday, who was weak in mathematics, won a gold medal in the subject recently.

“She always made it a point to be with her children and ensured that the family, including Baljinder, took dinner together. They use to go for picnic every Sunday”, said her sister Rekha.



Jan Shatabdi extended to Una
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
The Jan Shatabdi that has been running between Chandigarh and Delhi has now been extended to Una. The Northern Railway has decided to extend the train by next month.

A senior railway official said though the same train would run up to Una via Morinda and Anandpur Sahib, it would get another name for the journey between Chandigarh and Una, which will take around two hours.

The train was being extended on a trial basis after a survey was conducted.

Extending the train to Una will provide a direct link between the city and the holy city of Anandpur Sahib, besides catering to the tourist segment headed to Dharamsala and Manali. Both are a few hours journey from Una.

It will also benefit passengers from Nangal, Anandpur Sahib, Morinda, Kurali, Kharar and Mohali.

The official said a diesel locomotive would pull the train between the two stations, as the existing track had not been electrified so far.

The electrification of the Chandigarh-Morinda track was in progress and would take a few more months, said an official.



Jain bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Vidya Wati, the mother of former BJP MP Satya Pal Jain, died following a heart attack here this evening. She was 90.

She is survived by four sons. Her body will be cremated at Kharar tomorrow.



Check absenteeism

The new commissioner of the MCC did a surprise check of the sanitation system in village Burail, Sector 32 and 33 on May 17, and found several persons absent from duty. Though the commissioner took disciplinary action against the erring officials on the spot and warned that if such callousness is repeated in future action would be taken against the supervisory officials as well.

Nothing was achieved with this warning, as again on May 20 Dr Roshan Sunkaria carried out an inspection and found 18 sweepers absent from duty in different parts of the city. It is not only the sweepers who were absent but there are large number of employees working in different branches who are frequently absent from their work.

This can not be done without the nexus of contractors, supervisors and the grass-root level staff. To break this nexus, it would be more appropriate if the concerned authorities concentrate more on sins than sinners.

S.K. Khosla, Chandigarh

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New entrepreneurship course soon
‘Be a job provider not a job seeker’

G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
The GGDSD College, Sector-32, has come up with a two-year master degree course (four semesters) specifically designed to impart practical and managerial skills of business.

Affiliated with Panjab University, this innovative postgraduate programme, “Masters in entrepreneurship and family business,” (MEFB), is an integrated approach to entrepreneurial studies.

The students would be prepared to deal with the challenges of business in the emerging realities of the global market.

The teaching methodology, which includes practical projects, handling live case studies and extensive industrial visits, has been aimed at creating the entrepreneurs well equipped with all aspects of setting up a new business.

Talking to The Tribune, principal Dr A.C. Vaid said, “Our logo is ‘be a job provider not a job seeker’. This novel course, specially granted by the UGC to the college, would be a boom for the entire business community and all those students who wish to start their own business.”

“The skills, thus acquired, would enable them to deal with the challenges of dynamic business world more effectively,” says Vaid. He added that “the college’s eclectic blend of faculty, academicians, researchers, professionals, would be contributing in grooming the students as competent professionals and will equip them to meet the challenges in the fiercely competitive environment.”

“The brain storming sessions, group discussions, real-case studies, project presentations, seminars, summer internships, prominent guest faculty lecture, off-campus industrial visits etc. would be a part of the course,” told the course co-ordinator Nisha Angrish.

Structurally, the curriculum is a flexible combination of two dimensions.

The ‘entrepreneurship’ segment would provide the students with a perfect blend of analytical, theoretical and practical aspects thorough professional advisors.

The other study track, family business, has a major element which would teach the students to develop their own individual potential skills like goal setting, decision making, problem identification and solving them with an analytical approach.

The eligibility criteria is any bachelors/masters degree from any recognised university with a minimum 50 per cent marks in aggregate or pass the examination conducted by The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India or The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India or The Institute of Company Secretaries of India.

The number of seats is 40. The basis of admission is merit ranking for this year only. From the next session onwards admission would be through an entrance test conducted by PU, Chandigarh.

Scholarships are available to meritorious and deserving candidates.



Educomp to expand operations
To open 50 centres in the country
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Leading e-learning enabler Educomp is planning to expand its operations outside of the national capital region. The group is planning to roll out 50 state-of-the-art coaching centres across the country.

These ‘smart’ coaching centres will be rolled out this year, with the first centre being set up in Ludhiana next week. Talking to The Tribune here today, Chandan Aggarwal, a top functionary of the company, said they would be targeting students taking CBSE examinations and would be setting up centres in places where there is a huge concentration of CBSE students.

“We have decided to have a pan-India presence in the next five years and after opening centres in places having CBSE schools, we will be setting up centres in places where there are more ICSE-affiliated schools. Later on, we will also be developing education content for the different state boards,” he said.

Special content has been indigenously developed by Educomp and teaching will be done using computers and LCD boards. The students will be given worksheets at the beginning of the class and entire session will be videographed so that the students can get back to the recording and clarify their doubts, if any.

Aggarwal said teachers for the coaching centres have been carefully selected and a quality control team has been put in place to assess them. “Even the students at our centers are allowed to judge the performance of the teachers,” he added.

With the opening of these centres, Educomp is diversifying into actual classrooms from the virtual classroom concept that it had initiated three years ago. “We decided to set up actual classrooms as the e-tutoring concept was not scalable and acceptable to a larger audience,” said Aggarwal.

It may be noted that Educomp has developed India’s largest K-12 (kindergarten to class 12) content library with over 12,000 modules of 3D content, and currently has nearly 6,000 public-private partnership school projects with several state governments.



Fund crunch stalls mass comm dept’s plans
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Panjab University’s department of mass communication and journalism, which is one of the oldest departments and has produced some of the greatest media stalwarts, is all set to offer a variety of courses and opportunities to students. The only thing stopping it is the fund crunch.

After postgraduate diploma in Hindi and Punjabi journalism, the department is now planning to introduce honours degree in journalism and mass communication for the students after they complete Class XII.

The department has just prepared syllabi for the bachelor’s degree course to be started in the affiliated colleges of the university from this session. The subject of journalism is being introduced as an elective subject at the undergraduate level for the first time. “As a five year planning under the 11th five year plan, we submitted a series of proposal to the UGC team that visited the university. Besides bachelors honours degree, a masters degree in Advertising and public Relations was also listed,” said Mohanmeet Khosla, chairperson of the department.

Besides, this proposal, the department has also submitted a proposal to start a community television and radio programme and asked for a grant under the head of emerging areas and innovative programme. The proposal was one of the many proposals by the ministry of information and broadcast for community education, literacy and awareness programme open for NGOs, social organisations, and universities.

Among many proposals of the university, we chose a digital point programme for Rs 25 lakh. Under this plan, the content that will be broadcasted will be social, cultural and educational within a distance of 20 km.

After, the department gets a final nod for the television and a radio station; it also plans to start certificate courses in news anchoring, radio production, single camera production and multiple camera production.

The department is also offering a Phd programme for the first time, the last date for applications is June 9. We also plan to start an MPhil programme in the department,” she added.

Recently, the department has also been renamed as School of communication studies under the newly introduced school system in the university.

The only hitch that remains is the shortage of faculty members in the department and other basic facilities, including more computers, technical equipments like cameras et al. “Had this university been a Central university there would have been no hurdle both in terms of faculty and facility,” rues Mohanmeet.



Relay Fast
Rain fails to dampen spirit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Harsh weather, vacation and holidays had no dampening effect on the ongoing struggle of teachers and students for the central university status for PU. Students and teachers from the basic medical sciences sat on chain fast in pouring rain. It was the 49th day of the fast today and the JAC is preparing for the show off tomorrow to mark the 50th day of the chain fast.

Kewal Singh, directorate of sports, Ravi Kiran, department of bio-chemistry, Bimla Nehru, department of bio-physics and A.R. Rao, department of the UIPS along with his four research scholars, B.

Laxminarayana, Bala Kumar, Kiran Kumar Akula and Ramesh M. sat on the fast today.



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