Price Pinch
Institutes pass burden on to students
Shruti Arora

Jalandhar, July 3
From fuel, groceries to house loans, one can feel the price pinch in almost every sphere of life. The latest addition to the long list of those inflation-hit are the educational institutes. For those interested in getting admission to a decent institute, burning a bigger hole into their pockets seems to be the only choice left.

With private institutions finding it increasingly difficult to cover their operational costs in the existing fee structure, a majority of the players have now decided to jack up the education rates.

The infrastructure of many private institutions in Punjab like Lovely Professional University, CT Institutes, Rayat and Bahara Group and GNA-IMT is being funded by banks and the hike in the interest rates have only added to their woes.

Private educational institutes are trying to tackle the situation by decreasing the operational cost by increasing the number of seats and the fees.

“We can’t afford to bear the entire burden alone so we are going to increase the hostel and course fees marginally,” says LPU chancellor Ashok Mittal.

On the other hand, the private institutes which can’t increase the number of seats are trying to fight the rampant inflation by cutting the expenses on the non-teaching staff.

“We are planning to increase the number of seats and start new professional courses in our institutes. Our hostel fee has also been increased from Rs 40,000 to Rs 42,000 a year,” says CT Group chairman Charanjeet Singh Channi.

GNA-IMT vice-principal Akhil Bajaj says, “The hostel charges have been increased by up to Rs 300 and there would be a 1 to 2 per cent increase in the course fees. We are also planning to start many professional courses.”

Rayat and Bahara Group MD C.M. Behl says, “We are going to hike the transport and hostel charges by about 10 to 15 per cent.” 



Young World
MBA semester inaugurated at ICFAI National College
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 3
ICFAI National College organised a day-long management fest “Ankur-2008” to inaugurate the first semester of the MBA session 2008-2010 here yesterday. Students presented cultural programme. Principal, Guru Nanak Dev University College, Basti Nau, presided over the function.

Retail management course

Keeping in mind the changing market trends, especially in retail sector, the CT Group of Institutions in association with the Retailers Association of India (RAI) is offering a postgraduate programme in retail management (PGPRM) through 15 chosen B-schools all over the country.

The duration of the course will be 18 months with an extra six-month internship with leading brands in the country like Pantaloons, Spencers, Titan, Shoppers Shop, Lifestyle, Provogue and many others. The CEO, RAI, Gibson. G. Vedamani, said, “The objective of the PGPRM programme is to provide students with a high level of knowledge and understanding of the concepts involved in retailing and to equip them with the operational and analytical skills for a professional career in retail sector.” The course content have been prepared by a pool of faculty members from the retail sector in India, who will deliver guest lectures in these partnering B-schools. “This will help the students in getting a meaningful interface with the industry resources,” he added.

B-Pharmacy course

The St Soldier Group of Institutions has launched the department of pharmacy under which the students would now be able to get the admission to B-Pharmacy course. Earlier also the institution had started many professional courses in medical field, including physiotherapy, B.Sc (biotechnology) and GNM.

Valedictory function

The valedictory function of the 101st training programme on “Computer hardware and desk top publishing” was held here at the Rural Development and Self-Employment Training Institute (RUDSET). Joint director, RUDSET, Pawan Kumar Gulati said during the 45-day-long training the students learnt the technical aspects of the programme. “The trainees were also acquainted with the various 
government schemes,” he added.

NASA visit

As many as 74 students of MGN Public School recently returned from an educational trip to NASA-UNO (USA). The students were accompanied by the school staff and the trip was organised to hone students’ skills in the field of science.

New dean

Dr Amit Kauts, principal of the local MGN College of Education, has been appointed Dean, Faculty of Education, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. He would be holding the post from July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2010.



Post Poll
Power trouble: Respite unlikely in near future, says PSEB SE
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 3
It has not even been a week since the panchayati raj and municipal council elections concluded, but power cuts are already back making life difficult for residents in the hot and humid weather.

Residents of rural as well as urban areas have been facing power cuts for six to 10 hours a day in the scorching heat since the elections concluded on June 30.

While the residents living in the city have been bearing the brunt of power cuts for at least six hours a day, the condition of the villagers is worse as they face power cuts for nearly 10 hours a day.

The residents of Jalandhar got power supply for only six hours (from 6 am to 6 pm) during day time on Thursday. They had to face power cuts from 6 am to 7 am, 10 am to 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm to 5 pm.

Dr. Anita Kalia, a resident of Sheetal Apartments, near Pathankot Chowk, said there was a power cut for only an hour or so during the past three months but suddenly they had to face power cuts for at least six hours a day in last three days, making life hell for them.

Sandeep of the Krishan Nagar locality said the water supply was also being adversely affected during power cuts, which was a cause for great inconvenience, especially because water was usually unavailable at the time he had to get ready to leave for his workplace.

JP Nagar resident D.P. Kaushal said most of the residents who could not install either generators or inverters on their premises were left with no option but to bear the brunt of power cuts, he said, adding even the generators and inverters were rendered ineffective due to prolonged power cuts.

A cause of concern for the residents is the fact that there is almost no possibility of respite from the acute power cuts in the near future except torrential rains in the catchment areas of the dams, said PSEB SE, Jalandhar circle, K.P.S. Kler.

Denying general perception that power cuts were back soon after elections, Kler said the power cuts were being imposed only because of a huge gap in the demand and supply of electricity.

Answering a question, he said, “As far as power cuts are concerned, the condition could become worse if it does not rain shortly.” Kler claimed power cuts were being imposed for five hours in the urban and six hours in the rural areas.



Pedestrians’ Predicament
Traffic monster ‘gulps down’ walkers, while police looks on
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 3
Taking a cue from cities gripped with the obsession of a fast-paced routine, accentuated by racing cars, hi-tech gadgets and an aggressively modern lifestyle, Jalandhar too is following suit and is fast heading towards being converted into a modernised avatar of the quiet, peaceful, complacent town that it once used to be.

But this so-called modernisation, in turn, comes with a price of its own. Things seem to be happening too much too soon for the city which in the process has landed itself into a situation ridden by utter chaos and confusion.

From the posh markets to narrow, congested lanes, almost all the key areas are blotted with traffic bottlenecks which slow down the pace of a city that otherwise seems in a hurry to be one of the keenest contenders to the list of “speed personified” towns.

Those who bear most of the brunt of the traffic chaos are none other than the pedestrians, who have no option but to make way for themselves by actually violating traffic rules.

The city has completely failed in managing the rights of the pedestrians. With no traffic signal working properly and nearly half of the footpaths encroached upon by vendors, the situation has become rather grim over the past couple of years.

Nearly half of the traffic signals are either non-functional or are running out of order, thereby adding to the woes of the pedestrians.

Above all, the absence of zebra crossings is again a big snag for the city residents.

Says Shefali Kapoor, a housewife, “The traffic police, it seems, has turned a blind eye towards the rights of the pedestrians. Unlike the A-grade cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, not even a single road in Jalandhar has a zebra crossing. To add to all this, there is an increasing number of vendors on the footpaths, which further create a problem for us.”

Whether it is the posh areas of the city like Model Town market, Lajpat Nagar market, Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar, the busy narrow streets of Rainak Bazaar or the lanes of BMC Chowk or Ladowali Road, almost every area is crowded with traffic leaving no space for the pedestrians at all.

At present, the city has a population of nearly 10 lakh, of which more than seven lakh people own motor vehicles, which clearly indicates the traffic chaos faced by the pedestrians.

According to information available from the District Transport Office (DTO), almost 1,200 four-wheelers and 2,400 two-wheelers are bought by Jalandharites every month.

Recently the municipal corporation (MC) initiated a fierce campaign against tehbazaari and dismantled a lot of shops to create more space. The MC also maintained a regular check on the encroachers but things have not improved so far.

“Our traffic system needs a revamp. The traffic police does not take much care of the pedestrians which at times leads to fatal accidents. It is just because of the poor traffic management that commuting in the city has virtually become a menace. Moreover, nearly half of the roads are always crowded by cars on either side of the road. The traffic police should not rule out the rights of the pedestrians,” said Preeti, a youngster.

When contacted, assistant commissioner D.P. Bharadwaj said, “We are trying our best to bring an end to this problem through every possible way. Recently we earmarked ‘tow-away zones’ to manage the increasing traffic chaos. But so far as the zebra crossings for pedestrians are concerned, it depends upon the availability of space on roads. We are planning to address the traffic of the city by earmarking zebra crossings very soon.” 



Gang of dacoits busted, 3 nabbed
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 3
The CIA staff of the local police claim to have arrested three members of a gang involved in murder, dacoity, auto-lifting, snatching and other petty crimes in this part of the region. The police has also recovered a stolen Zen car from the gangsters which was being used by them for the past couple of days.

Inspector Kulwinder Singh, in charge, CIA staff, claimed that the three members of the gang - Jagjit Singh, alias Sunny, of Samrala Chowk, Ludhiana, Tirath Singh, alias Lovely, and Harjinder Singh, alias Jinda, both residents of Ali Chak village - were nabbed from Chagwana.

The suspects were using the Zen car stolen from Kirti Nagar, Ludhiana, nearly three months ago, by displaying a fictitious registration number (PB-03A-9152).

Main suspect Jagjit Singh disclosed that he was involved in the Hira Lal murder case in Khanna. A case had been registered against him at Koomkalan police station. Besides, he was also wanted in over six other criminal cases.

Kulwinder Singh claimed that Harjinder Singh was involved in a snatching case in Lambra village. Harjinder Singh and Sukha, one of his accomplices, had looted a junior engineer in Lambra village some time back. Sukha is still at large. 



Sign shock: Forum directs clerk to pay up
Deepkamal Kaur/TNS

Jalandhar, July 3
The District Consumers Disputes Redressal Forum has directed a booking clerk of the Northern Railway, Lohian Khas station, to pay Rs 5,000 to the complainant for issuing him a pass without signatures.

Complainant Lokesh Kumar said he had been commuting to Jalandhar in connection with his business daily. One day booking clerk Kamaljit Singh asked him the purpose of standing at the station and he told him that he was going to Jalandhar by passenger train number 6 JF. “When he told me that I would be fined, I showed my monthly seasonal ticket and I-card to Kamaljit but to no avail,” he added.

The complainant said he even approached the assistant station master there but was fined by providing extra fair ticket for second mail express train and charged Rs 276.

However, the railway authorities pointed out that the complainant was holding a monthly season ticket without the signature of the competent authority and it was invalid as per the rules.

On the other hand, the counsel for the complainant said the stand of the Railways that the monthly ticket was not signed by the complainant amounted to deficiency in service on the part of the respondents as they were bound to issue the pass only after getting the signature.

The forum presided over by M.M. Bhalla directed the booking clerk to pay Lokesh Rs 5,000 for deficiency in service within one month from the receipt of the copy of the judgement.



3 killed in road accidents

Kapurthala, July 3
Three persons were killed and 25 others injured in two separate accidents in Phagwara and Sultanpur Lodhi subdivisions of Kapurthala on Thursday.

Gurdev Kaur (55) of Ghurka village died and 25 others were injured when a private mini-bus collided with a parked truck near Chachoki in Phagwara on Thursday evening.

In another incident at Dalla village in Sultanpur Lodhi, a head-on collision between two motorcycles led to the death of two persons identified as Harpal Singh (15) of Karah Ram Singh village and Gurpreet Singh (25) of Jafarpur village. — TNS



Cricket match: Pak deaf team to arrive in city today
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 3
The Deaf Cricket Team of Pakistan, which is on a 10-day visit to Punjab for a friendly Twenty20 deaf and dumb series between Pakistan and Punjab, would be in the city tomorrow for a match.

The series is being organised by the Deaf Cricket Federation of Punjab.

The first match of the series was played in Amritsar on July 2, while the last match would be on July 6 in Ludhiana.



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