C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Anything for a home in city
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Three-bedroom flats of the CHB under the Sector 63 housing scheme have received a massive response. In a development that may redefine the property prices in the city, 1,072 persons submitted bids for 16 such dwelling units.

The two-bedroom apartments came second with 987 persons trying their luck for 42 flats. One-bedroom units drew only 275 bidders for 26 flats, sources said here today.

The scheme has been oversubscribed by over 67 times.

The CHB has come out with an assured allotment sub-scheme wherein applicants willing to pay a higher amount could bid for a specified number of apartments in various categories.

To provide a level-playing field to bidders, the CHB has worked out a unique system of allotment. For instance, if 16 persons send quotations for category A three-bedroom flat (original price Rs 39.57 lakh) with Rs 48 lakh being the price quoted by the 16th person, all 16 persons would be allotted flats at the rate of Rs 48 lakh, irrespective of the fact that the highest bidder had quoted any amount above Rs 48 lakh.

"Given the quality infrastructure in Chandigarh, owing a house in the city was been a dream. With banks coming forward to finance even the earnest money, bidding for a CHB house has become hassle free," said AK Verma, who bid for a three-bedroom flat.

Sunil Banda, a builder, said: "Since Chandigarh is the only city in India where property prices have never come down, people are willing to pay any amount to buy a house here."



Sarita Suicide Case 
Senior officers can’t escape blame
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 9
Suicide by 25-year-old Sarita at the Haryana Police headquarters here today not only reveals the brutal face of the constabulary but also the insensitivity of senior officials whose inaction pushed the young woman to end her life.

Sarita’s suicide note narrates a gory saga of brutality at the hands of the police, which claims to be “always in the service of the people”. The humiliation of being raped and then seeing her tormentors roam freely, thanks to the laid-back attitude of senior officials, was too much for the young girl to bear.

“It is better to die rather than die from humiliation,” she wrote in the note addressed to ADGP VB Singh. The note states that she was raped by head constable Balraj and constable Silak Ram of the Rohtak police at the police station where she was called to take her husband, an accused in a theft case, with her after signing papers.

Sarita in her complaint, on which a rape case was registered, had alleged that she was raped on April 10 and subsequently every other day till her husband was released on bail on April 24.

Despite the gravity of the crime, senior officials failed to initiate action against the policemen named in the FIR. Leave aside arresting them, they did not even bother to suspend them.

It was only after Sarita committed suicide that the policemen were suspended and the ADGP assured that an inquiry would be conducted. Sarita had met the DGP and the ADGP on May 29 to seek action against her tormentors.



Cops won’t listen to public prosecutor
So, he seeks SSP’s help for FIR
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
A public prosecutor (PP) has learnt it the hard way how difficult it is for the common man to lodge an FIR despite the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled that the police cannot refuse to lodge a complaint.

After failing to get an FIR registered, the PP, who requested anonymity on the plea that the episode was “too embarrassing”, has sought the intervention of the SSP, S.S. Srivastava. “I don’t want to disclose my name as it is embarrassing. If it is so difficult for me to get an FIR registered, I wonder what happens to the common man,” he said.

He had gone to the Sector 17 police station to lodge a complaint against a Sector 22 shopowner who had allegedly replaced the original speakers from his mobile phone with duplicate ones. He said he had purchased a Nokia handset from the shop on April 28. The phone developed a defect and he took it to the shop for repair.

The handset was repaired, but when he took it to the Nokia’s authorised service centre after it developed a fault again, he was told that its original speakers had been changed.

He said though the shopowner had informed him that the faulty speakers had been replaced, he did not tell him that he had put unbranded speakers in its place.

The Nokia centre refused to repair the set on the grounds that the warranty was no longer valid. He said he had been unsuccessfully trying to get the FIR registered since May 27. 



North-South Divide II
It’s no light matter here
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The city has two faces: One beautiful, green and well-illuminated and the other blotched with potholes and unkempt spaces with shrubs, heaps of garbage, dysfunctional streetlights and slums.

The issue of North-South divide is glaring. One can’t fail to notice the stark difference in infrastructure and basic amenities between the two areas separated by Dakshin Marg.

While slums dot the southern and eastern parts of the city, the northern sectors house the city’s rich and powerful. Though officials in the electricity department claim that more than 80 per cent of streetlights are functional in the city, complaints continue to pour in about the dysfunctional lights. Some roads in the southern sectors have been without streetlights for years, including the road between Sector 48 and the elevated rail track. The problem is perennial in case of sector roads, backlanes of sector markets and the city outskirts.

The apathy of the electricity department is evident from the broken junctions of electricity poles on roads with live wires protruding out, endangering the lives of road users and stray animals. The authorities are not concerned about these death traps, rsays Balkar Singh, a resident of Sector 48.

The state of sanitation is another indicator of the North-South divide. Streets and open areas are considerably garbage-free in the northern sectors, but garbage lays strewn in the open and debris dumped at will in the southern sectors.

Overgrown bushes and stagnant water remain an eyesore in the newly built sectors adjoining Colony No. 5 and Kajheri. People defecate on the road in front of Colony No. 5 unchecked. Residents staged a protest about a month ago against the authorities for failure to provide basic amenities. The sector is not connected by the CTU. Cattle owners from villagers on the outskirts of the city bring their cattle to these sectors for grazing. Kajheri and Hallo Majra villages are dotted with huge heaps of cow dung. Animals from these villages are a traffic hazard for commuters. Sanitary standards in these villages are abysmally low. To make matters worse, absenteeism among sweepers is high in these areas.



Citizens’ Grievance

The Tribune has always strived to be the Voice of the People. To provide our readers another opportunity to speak out, the Chandigarh Tribune is starting a weekly column, Citizens’ Grievance.

If you feel you have been wronged or have a grievance of not having been heard by the administration or any other public institution, write to us. We will carry forth your voice to the men/women whose duty it is to serve you- the people.

You can email your letters, with relevant documents as attachments, to citizensgrievance@tribunemail.com or send them to The Tribune Office marked to the City Editor. 



Global award for city activist
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Social activist Hemant Goswami, credited with launching the campaign against smoking in the run-up to the declaration of Chandigarh as the first smoke-free city in the country last year, has brought laurels to the city again.

This time his efforts had earned him an international honour "activist award for legal research and writing" during the fifth world conference on non-smokers right at the George Washington University Law School recently.The global conference is organised every year to discuss strategies and legal innovations to maximise public interest by legal action, reports received here today said.

The award was presented by Prof John Banzhaf, professor of public interest laws and an expert in public litigation at the law school. Banzhaf had brought legal action which required broadcasting stations to provide hundreds of millions of dollars of free broadcast time for anti-smoking messages. Subsequently, after founding Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) he helped drive cigarette commercials off the air and started the non-smokers' rights movement by getting smoking banned on aeroplanes and other public places.

Goswami said in the backdrop of smoking causing large-scale death and devastation, there was no reason to allow such a product to be marketed commercially. “We have to think about phasing out tobacco and have to define a clear time-span as we clearly know that tobacco kills 5.2 million people globally every year and this century it is going to kill nearly a billion,” he said.

In fact, awards are not new to Goswami as his missionary zeal regarding tobacco control had borne fruits time and again. Last year he was selected to receive the "young leadership award" in tobacco control at the "8th Asia Pacific conference on tobacco or health" at Taipei in Taiwan. He also has young scholars award to his credit for his study on "tobacco in movies and its impact on youth," conducted in association with the WHO and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.



No delay in airport expansion: Jaitley
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The issue of construction of transit camps and barracks on five acres to be transferred to the Army in lieu of land being taken by the Chandigarh administration for expansion of the domestic terminal is likely to be resolved soon.

“The barracks and transit camps were to be constructed once the land was transferred. There is no confusion on this.The issue of constructing barracks before transfer of land is being sorted out with the Centre. The project will not be allowed to be delayed,” said UT Chief Engineer SK Jaitley.

The land to be vacated by the Army is to be handed over to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) for construction of apron area and the land transferred to the Army for 260 transit camps and barracks for the ASC Battalion.

The request for transfer of two acres of IAF land to theAAI is also pending with the Centre. Various other issues like immigration office is being discussed with the Centre and the Punjab Government.

The UT says the condition of construction of barracks and transit camp before the transfer of land is in contradiction of the earlier agreement.The proposed land required for expansion is sandwiched between the Army and IAF areas and the two forces have agreed to give 7.5 acres for expansion of facilities.

For this purpose, a committee headed by DC R.K. Rao has been formed to work out the modalities for acquiring five acres at the rear of the airfield and another 2.5 acres in front of the airport building. The administration has agreed to give the Army and IAF land in lieu in nearby locations.

The proposed domestic terminal is to be a state-of-the-art international airport in 25 acres.Besides, facilities such as availability of customs, immigration, health and plant quarantine, cargo shed, adequate size of terminal building to handle international and transit passengers will be required. 



‘Tainted’ officer appointed SE
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The Chandigarh administration has “rewarded” another officer involved in the K.K. Jerath kickback case.

Even as the hearing of the vigilance case is in its final stages in a local court, the engineering department has appointed a “tainted” executive engineer (XEN), Harsh Kumar, as superintending engineer (SE) on ad hoc basis.

The official, who was named in an FIR registered by the vigilance, was reinstated along with a former MC chief engineer, K.B. Sharma.

Sources in the administration said to enable officiating chief engineer S.K. Jaitley to have an independent charge of the post, it had been proposed that the vacant post of the SE be given on an ad hoc basis to the XEN.

Prior to the appointment, the chief engineer was holding the additional post of SE, construction circle-I.

It is learnt that though the file had been cleared at the top level, it had got stuck in the personnel department as vigilance clearance was required before an appointment was made. This is not the first time that the administration has favoured officials “facing or guilty of corruption charges”.

Former MC chief engineer K.B. Sharma and Harsh Kumar were reinstated. While Sharma was appointed chief engineer on an ad hoc basis, the XEN remained in the same position in the administration.

The administration, however, has not reinstated a former SE, electricity operation circle, V.P. Dhingra, who was involved in a corruption case of the CBI. The SE has been highlighting the manner in which the administration has been adopting double standard in reinstating officers facing corruption cases.

In spite of the orders of the Central Administrative Tribunal, the administration has not reinstated him.



Lottery Scam
Cops in Delhi to get info on Bright
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Even after 48 hours, the police has not been able to verify the credentials of Bright, a Nigerian allegedly involved in a million pound online lottery scam.

Sources in the crime branch said investigating officials had failed to extract information from him regarding the involvement of other persons in the scam. Also, the police had so far not been able to trace the place from where the emails had generated.

The sources said Bright had been claiming that the police was implicating him in a false case on the basis of mobile call details that were not his.

DSP (crime) KIP Singh said a team had been sent to Delhi to gather information about Bright. The team would try to trace his passport at the address given by him, besides visiting the institution where he claimed to be teaching.

On mobile phone, the DSP maintained that the police had sufficient scientific evidence to establish that the mobile belonged to Bright. The police was scrutinising the call details to trace his accomplices and victims. The investigating team will approach Lakinder Vir Singh, an advocate, who was also duped of Rs 4.12 lakh. Though it was early to say if Lakinder was also duped by representatives of the UK-based company “United Kingdom Online Promos”, there was a possibility of the involvement of the company in this case, too, he added.



2009 will usher in world peace: Khurana
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 9
The year 2009 will be a better year for India than this year in terms of prosperity and the next government at the Centre will be a coalition led by the Congress.
Astrologer P. Khurana
Astrologer P. Khurana during a press conference in Mohali on Monday. 
A Tribune photograph

Giving his prediction at a press conference here today, well-known astrologer P.K. Khurana said in 2009 professionals like persons in the film world, industry and the media would prosper. There would also be peace throughout the world. He said reason for this was that the number 8 was linked to Saturn as a result of which there was upheaval while 9 was a supreme number.

Khurana, who was at Dara Studio here in connection with the completion of the 300th episode of Zee TV’s programme ‘Sitarre ki Kehnde Ne’, said astrology was a divine study and based on a religious code of conduct. Dishonesty and corruption had no place in this sphere. Life and death were in the hands of God and any astrologer who claimed to give predictions in this regard was merely misleading people. He said most of questions posed to him as an astrologer these days were related to careers, romance, marriage and extra-marital affairs.

He said karma was important and he always advised young persons to firmly believe in this and not go in for astrological predictions.

Khurana, who has authored 20 books would soon come out with a new one, ‘Essence of Numerology’.



30 structures violate periphery Act
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The legality of around 30 commercial and residential structures at Buterla and Badheri villages has come under scanner. The structures have come up on around 4 acres allegedly in violation of the Periphery Control Act.

The land is adjoining Shivalik Public School, Sector 41. To ascertain the ground reality, teams of the district administration and the MC conducted a joint demarcation of the land today.

It was found that around 30 structures had been constructed illegally. The DC had written to the UT engineering department and the MC to check the status of the land under encroachments. Following this, the MC had issued notices to violators.

Later, it was ascertained that the land fell with the estate office. The land had been acquired by the administration around 30 years ago as part of the capital outlay and handed over to the engineering department.

While the land of the two villages had been transferred to the MC, that on the outer periphery of the villages was with the engineering department.

Due to the confusion, landowners had raised structures right up to the road facing AG Colony, Sector 41. Encroachers had even raised a construction on a sewer.



20-yr-old girl dies mysteriously
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 9
A 20-year-old girl died under mysterious circumstances here last night. The girl, Mandeep Kaur, from Mohanmajra village in Fatehgarh Sahib district showed symptoms of poisoning and was brought to a private hospital here from a Morinda hospital. The hospital here referred the victim to the local Civil Hospital, where doctors said she was brought dead. Mandeep’s maternal grandfather Bacchan Singh was a freedom fighter.

The police has booked the girl’s father Jaswant Singh and her stepmother Taranjit Kaur on a charge of abetment to suicide. The case was registered on a statement of the victim’s maternal uncle Sukhdev Singh.

Residents of Mohanmajra and relatives from the maternal side of the victim gathered at the local Civil Hospital this morning, where the body of the deceased was kept.

Villagers told newspersons at the Civil Hospital that the girl had allegedly committed suicide. Sarpanch Sardara Singh said no suicide note was recovered.

However, a maternal uncle of Mandeep, Balbir Singh, who is with the Chandigarh police, alleged that she had been poisoned by her stepmother. He said his sister and mother of the victim, Charanjit Kaur, had died in 2001. Jaswant Singh then got married again. Balbir Singh alleged that Mandeep was looked after well as long as her paternal grandparents were alive. Later she was allegedly harassed by her stepmother.



BSP activists protest price rise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Activists of the BSP, including women, staged a protest against rising prices at Sector 17 here today.

They protested by beating utensils and later burned the effigy of the Congress for its failure to arrest the price rise.

Addressing the gathering, BSP convener Harmohan Dhawan demanded a rollback in the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG.

He also demanded an immediate stop to outflow of surplus amount of around Rs 670 crore from Chandigarh to the central government.

He added that the money should be utilised for the setting up of quality infrastructure in the city to make it a tourist destination.



EME chief visits Chandi Mandir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Director General and Colonel Commandant of the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME), Lt-Gen A.K.S. Chandele, visited Western Command headquarters in Chandi Mandir today. General Chandele had taken over as the 26th Director General of EME on January 1.

General Chandele was briefed by Maj-Gen Nirmolak Singh, head of the EME branch at Western Command, on the engineering support activities in the command theatre. The visiting general also visited the local EME units.

During the visit, General Chandele was accompanied by his wife, Promilla Chandele. She interacted with the families of the JCOs and jawans and gave prizes to their children who have been performing well in academics.

General Chandele is an expert in radar and anti-tank gun and missile equipment. He has served in a variety of instructional, regimental and staff appointments both within and outside the Corps. For his distinguished services, he has been awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal.



e wild wild web
Dawn of Digital Dotcom

In a letter to his kids, Wired's Founding Editor has recalled the dawn of the digital revolution. 15 years ago, Louis Rossetto and his wife started this magazine which can be called the mouthorgan of the digital revolution. Back in 1993, he had only the slightest glimmer of what the Internet would eventually become. But he seemed to have a very clear idea what Wired was supposed to be about: the people, companies and ideas driving the Digital Revolution.The results of that revolution - Googling the homework, iChatting with the cousins in the United States, buying everything off eBay - seem like so much background noise to us now, but back then it was a big deal. In the very first issue, he wrote, "The Digital Revolution is whipping through our lives like a Bengali typhoon." (www.wired.com)

The letter added: “Got a lot of grief for that typhoon reference - as if it were a pretentious exaggeration instead of the understatement it turned out to be. Should have said the digital revolution was ripping through our lives like the meteor that extinguished the dinosaurs. Practically, every institution that our society is based on, from the local to the supranational, is being rendered obsolete. This is the world you are inheriting.” The ‘prophesy’ was made 15 years ago.

“…..In 1997, we published ‘The Long Boom’. Some pundits snarked that it was dotcom-stock boosterism. Instead, it pinpointed what was behind the unprecedented increase was material well-being for most of the humanity: the spread of liberal democracy, globalisation, and technological revolutions.The boom began with the introduction of the personal computer and it will continue until at least 2020, when you two might have kids of your own.

“Skeptical? Recent reports say that illiteracy worldwide has fallen by half since 1970 and is now at an all-time low of 18 per cent; more people live in free countries than ever before; the number of armed conflicts worldwide has declined by almost half since the early nineties. Indeed, the average human born in 2025 will live to be 73-25 years longer than one born in 1955.

“There's a lot of noise in the media about how the world is going to hell. Remember, the truth is out there, and it's not necessarily what the politicians, priests or pundits are telling you.”

The U.S. Presidential elections: Never before had the impact of blogging and social media on the American political landscape has been so pronounced as it is being reflected in the 2008 presidential election. Candidate appearances formerly confined to a small town are uploaded to YouTube and seen by millions. Conversations once shared by small groups spread instantly and globally. Facebook and MySpace are as important as New Hampshire and Iowa.

According to Yahoo, 51 per cent of internet users turn to blogs to gather information and communicate about politics in the US. Citizen journalists are posting stories in the blogs, blog networks and social media sites that continue to break through the campaigning and pose the hard and awkward questions to the candidates.

Authenticity is what plays with this audience. Spread misinformation or spin, and more than 30,000 political blogs (As per an estimate by Technorati) in the blogosphere or blogodom (Majority in the U.S.) are ready to call foul.

Little wonder the 2008 U.S. presidential election is being described as the social media election. The next Lok Sabha elections in India may skip the radar of the new media but successive elections would be powered by the www. That is the power of Web 2.0.

# Anil M is an editor with Instablogs anilm@instablogs.com 



Naked wires endanger lives

There are a number of unmanned open manholes, naked obsolete and broken electricity wires, choked drains, unsafe buildings and bridges seen in open posing serious danger to the lives of the citizens. Besides, there is large number of broken roads, uncovered trenches, non-functional streetlights, wild congress grass, which is a breeding ground for reptiles, contaminated water et al.

On the other hand, health and road inspectors, public health and horticulture supervisor and allied staff, who are supposed to check and plug the loopholes wherever required, but they seldom visit. The supervisory staff normally depends upon the daily rated contractual employees who mostly being illiterate, having no security of service and works not more than two hours a day.

The need of the hour is that the supervisory staff should visit and identify the dangerous spots and plug the loopholes.

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



Admission seekers throng government colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
It was a busy day at Government College for Girls (GCG), Sector-11, as well as Government College (Co-ed) Sector-11. Hundreds of students made their way to get prospectus for admissions for this session.

The rush at the Government College (Co-ed) could be seen at the gate as this year the college was giving prospectus at its gate. Till lunch the total number of copies sold were around 700 and the estimate was that the sale will cross 1,500.

The scene at GCG was same, as the beaming students were going and coming out of the college in great numbers. Till lunch the total sale of the prospectus was 1,830 and the estimate was that it will cross at least 2,500.

The city boasts of having one of the best private colleges in the city but government colleges have kept their place and year by year draw students in large numbers. Promila Kaushal, principal GCG-11, believed that the quality education is the reason behind the success of her college, “We give quality education at a lesser cost. This is our USP which speaks for the volumes of students who come here to take admissions.”

Students who come at both the colleges for getting prospectus have same views, “I came here as I want quality education, and here I am getting it at a lesser fee. Moreover, the admission here is based on merit so only those students get through who actually want to study,” said Iqbal Singh who has come from Morinda to get admission into BCA.



NSUI starts admission guidance centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
NSUI has started Admission Guidance and Information Centre in Panjab University from today. Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former Chief Minister of Punjab, inaugurated the NSUI information centre where NSUI workers were present in large numbers. National Incharge Amrita Dhawan, Avneesh Pandey, State president Nitin Goyal, Sukhjit Brar, Amarpreet Singh Mann, Maninder Singh, Manu Madaan, Bhuvan Azad welcomed the chief guest.

Nitin Goyal said besides providing free admission forms for various courses at PU, NSUI volunteers will help the students in various ways, including providing information, counselling, assistance in depositing admission forms and getting hostel accommodation too.

NSUI has also launched its admission helpline. The students can get assistance and admission related information on these numbers: 9814190069, 9914808210, 9988000699 and 9876176506. 



Students arrested for creating ruckus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Udai Bhan, a student of Panjab University, and Charnjeet Singh, were arrested on the charges of creating ruckus and disturbing peace, under the influence of liquor.

According to the sources, Udai Bhan along with an outsider came to the Students’ Centre at about 6pm. The duo was said to be under the influence of liquor, they had a scuffle with one of the shopkeepers at the centre. Looking at the argument, the police deployed on the campus, immediately interrupted and took the accused to the Sector 11 police station.

The eyewitnesses present at the spot alleged that the police thrashed the duo before taking them to the police station. Udai had contested the students’ election last year for president, under Student Organisation of Panjab University.

Students gathered in support of Udai and raised slogans against the police action. Anveesh Pandey, in charge of the NSUI, who was at the police station, Sector 11, condemned and demanded for an immediate inquiry against the action of the police. Udai Pal, sub inspector, denied the allegation of thrashing the students.



Education recruitment code being flouted
Favouritism rules the roost when it comes to Haryana cadre lecturers 
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
If the current thinking in the UT administration is any indication, the education code and recruitment rules are flouted often when it comes to making a way for Haryana cadre lecturers. Incidentally, all these lecturers have strong administrative connections in Haryana. Giving true reflection of favouritism, the education department has recently deputed Haryana cadre senior lecturer Nirupama, former principal, Saarthak School, Sector 12-A, Panchkula, to the UT cadre.

Nevertheless, since there was no vacant post of regular principal in any of the schools, the education department finds a solution by recruiting her in the Adult Education Wing, ‘for the time being’. This decision has been taken despite the fact that the stipulated quota of Haryana cadre lecturers on deputation has already exceeded. It is reliably learnt that the Punjab quota too has been consumed to adjust the Haryana cadre lecturers.

The UT cadre lecturers argue that under the guiding principles, the vacant posts are filled according to the seniority list of those in the UT cadre under the ‘promotion category’, followed by those on deputation from Haryana or Punjab under ‘direct/deputation category’. There have been a number of instances when the administration has preferred those on deputation from the parent state, especially Haryana for the post.

So far, five principals are working on deputation from Haryana in the UT as principal, which is in excess of their approved quota. They all came here as lecturers and later became principals. Sometime back, two Haryana lecturers working as headmaster in two local government high schools were promoted as principals. The administration is flouting its own rules, which otherwise say that those on deputation will have to go back to their parent cadre on being promoted.

“We resent the inflow of lecturers from outside, in a situation when the competent UT cadre lecturers are in line,” said a UT cadre lecturer. The UT cadre is governed under the Punjab Education Service (School and Inspection, Class II) Rules, 1976, but astonishingly, the Punjab cadre has always been ignored. The reasons are best known to decision makers.



Financial crunch hampering PU’s growth: Staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
On the 64th day of the chain fast, three students and three teachers sat on fast to demand Central University Status for Panjab University.

Two students, Shikha Chandel, Harmanjit Kaur and one teacher, Dr Neera Garg, from the department of botany, sat on the fast, whereas from the department of chemistry Dr Raj Pal Sharma, along with a student, Ajnesh Singh, joined them. Dr Navneet Agnihotri from the department of bio-chemistry also went on fast today.

Shikha Chandel, a PhD student, narrating the financial woes of the hostellers stated that at the time of joining a hostel a student had to shell out more than Rs 5,300, including room rent of Rs 1,620 for three months, and still 90 per cent of the students do not get independent accommodation for which they pay. They are forced to share the accommodation with other students who too have paid the same amount for independent accommodation. Girl students also have to spend an average amount of Rs 1,500 per month on food, added Harmanjit Kaur, research scholar from botany. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the middle class parents to support their wards with the rise of expenses every year.

Dr Navneet Agnihotri from the department of bio-chemistry further substantiated that each teacher is given a minimal grant to meet expenses of three MSc students, which is very less. “How can we meet the global standards of research if the university cannot provide even the basic infrastructure to the research scholars due to the ongoing financial crunch,” complained Dr Agnihotri. Comparing PU with PGI, which is centrally funded, Dr Agnihotri underlined the urgency of more funds for research and faculty development in PU. When asked Dr Neera Garg that how much grant their colleagues in the department receive for supporting research scholars in their research projects, she pointedly said, nil.



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