C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC chief poll put off indefinitely
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 23
The district administration of SAS Nagar today postponed the elections of MC chiefs at Zirakpur, Naya Gaon and Kurali.

Citing a report of the SSP that enough security personnel were not available for the “safe” conduct of the elections, the DC issued the orders, hours before the elections were to be held.

No fresh date for the elections has been mentioned in the order.

At Zirakpur, winning candidates, led by N.K. Sharma, held a protest outside the MC’s office following the announcement of the postponement of the elections.

He alleged that putting off the elections on the last day smacked of a conspiracy. He said he would move court against the “illegal” order.

Sharma, along with nine other members of the council, reached the MC office at 4 pm for the elections. However, they found officials missing. They waited till 4.40 pm and were told by the convener that the elections had been postponed indefinitely.

The letter by the convener stated that the elections had been postponed due to the bandh and because the police was busy at other places across the district.

“The elections would be held as soon as possible,” the letter stated.

Sharma said this was a mere pretext to postpone the elections. “Had this been the reason, elections in Banur, which is only 7 km from here, would also have been postponed. Politicians should have the grace to accept defeat rather than stoop to this level,” he said.

Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu said he had come to cast his vote. He said members had not been informed in time. “This is part of a pre-planned move,” he added.

Addressing a press conference earlier, Sharma said he and his team were united and no one could break them.

He said as of now, he was not with any political group.



Bandh near-total in Mohali
Tribune Reporters

Mohali, July 23
Members of various Sikh groups ensured an almost complete compliance to the Punjab bandh call given by the Sant Samaj today. Markets wore a deserted look with a majority of shopkeepers voluntarily downing their shutters. At some places in Phases X and XI shopkeepers tried to open their shops in the afternoon but were forced to close them by volunteers of the Akali Dal Panch Pardhani.

Sandeep Singh Canadian of the organisation claimed that the bandh was complete in Mohali. Schools remained closed and government schools reported thin attendance. Commuters were inconvenienced and people had to wait for buses for hours.

The police was out in full force and tried to stop volunteers from forcing people to close shops. Minor skirmishes with the police were reported.

Some chemist shops opened in the evening. Residents were forced to hunt for daily need items and those running shops in residential complexes had a field day.

Offices running from shops remained closed and hospital and banks were the only facilities open.

Zirakpur: The township wore a deserted look. The bandh was near-total in this area as a majority of shops were not open. Traffic was sparse on national highways as people preferred to stay indoors. At Baltana, shops remained closed. According to police sources, the bandh was peaceful.



Diarrhoea claims child’s life in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 23
A seven-year-old child of Balmiki Colony died due to diarrhoea today even as three members of the same family have been admitted to the local Civil Hospital.

Deputy commissioner Rahul Bhandari has ordered an inquiry into the death of the child. The managing director of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation will conduct the probe.

About 18 patients suffering from diarrhoea visited the hospital today, out of which five were admitted.

As many as 46 patients from various parts of the town and the surrounding areas have been to the hospital for the treatment of the disease during the past three days.

District health officer S.P. Surila said Arvind, who lived in Balmiki Colony, died of diarrhoea while his mother, three-year-old sister, and a year-old brother have been hospitalised.

An infant from the same colony and Arpita (3) from Badmajra were also admitted to hospital.

The DC has asked the probe officer to find out which doctor was on duty last night and why Arvind was not admitted then.

Surila said a team of health officials had been visiting the colony for the past three days and chlorine tablets had been distributed among residents. Unhygienic conditions prevailed in the colony and samples of water from hand pumps in the area had been collected.

H.S. Sarang, senior medical officer of the Civil Hospital, said yesterday 10 patients with diarrhoea came to the hospital and three were admitted.

He said the hospital had adopted three slums, including Balmiki Colony. Two doctors, who had visited the slum to educate residents on disease prevention, had found Arvind dead when they went to the colony today.

Doctors said hospital laboratories did not function at night and it was, therefore, not possible to carry out tests on patients.



Mohali DC inspects villages
Tribune News Service

The SAS Nagar DC, Rahul Bhandari, (third from left) inspects villages in Mohali
The SAS Nagar DC, Rahul Bhandari, (third from left) inspects villages in Mohali on Wednesday.
— A Tribune photograph

Mohali, July 23
The SAS Nagar DC has ordered the immediate cleaning of areas where cases of diarrhoea, suspected cholera and dengue had been reported.

Rahul Bhandari, DC, visited Madanpura, Matour, Jagatpura and Jhota Kutt Colony along with GMADA and district administration officials.

He asked the education department to hold health check-up camps in schools in collaboration with the health department.

At Jhotte Kutt, the DC ordered the shifting of dairies being run inside the colony.

He visited villages in the township and pointed out that the area within the village boundary was the responsibility of the BDPO concerned, and the area outside the village boundary was GMADA responsibility.



15 cholera cases confirmed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 23Fifteen cases of cholera have been confirmed at Panchkula till today. The district health authorities have been informed by the PGI, Chandigarh, that the samples of fifteen patients sent to the hospital for test against the disease have been found positive, said Rajinder Kataria, deputy commissioner, Panchkula. Almost all cases were from Rajiv Colony and its vicinity, he added.

Meanwhile, a team noticed three cases of diarrhoea in Rajiv Colony today. Two cases of jaundice and a case of malaria were detected at Hangola.



Promila was killed for honour
Father, brother held

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The police today claimed to have solved the killing of 17-year-old Promila whose body was found in Sector 52 on Sunday, with the arrest of her father and brother.

Jaswant Singh and his son Sunil have reportedly confessed to having killed Promila, who was four months pregnant, to save the honour of the family.

“She was a blot on our family,” Jaswant said, showing no remorse for killing his daughter and then burning her face with acid in a bid to conceal her identity. They even tried to fake her rape by removing her salwar and strangling her to mislead the police.

The SSP, S.S. Srivastva, said Jaswant told the police that about two weeks ago, he came to know that his daughter was pregnant. He and his wife asked her to reveal the name of the boy, which she refused. They even told her that they would get her married to the boy, but she remained tightlipped.

At this, Jaswant and Sunil hatched a conspiracy to kill Promila. On the night intervening July 19 and 20, he told his wife, son and daughter to accompany him to the lavatory in Pandit Colony, where he used to stay.

On the way, he enacted a drama and entered into an argument with his wife and she went back home. They then forcibly took Promila to a garden and strangled her before smashing her head with a heavy stone.

The SSP said contradictions in the statements of the family regarding their time of sleeping and arrival at home raised suspicion in the minds of investigating officials. Moreover, spot inspection and evidence helped crack the case.

The police said her mother was a midwife and knew that it was not possible to abort the foetus at such an advance stage of pregnancy.



Herb Dhaliwal marries PU teacher
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Fifty-six-year-old Herb Dhaliwal, the first Indian-Canadian to become cabinet minister in Canada, is in the news again, but for a different reason.

He has married Neelu Kang who teaches sociology at Panjab University here.The marriage was solemnised a couple of weeks ago. For both Herb Dhaliwal and Neelu, this is their second marriage.

Herb Dhaliwal’s first wife, Amrit, died of cancer a couple of years ago. Herb has two daughters and a son - Andrea, Justin and Jessica - from his first wife.

Neelu has a teenaged son. She teaches sociology at Panjab University here. She has also worked as lecturer at Government Colleges in Ropar and Chandigarh.

Neelu is expected to visit the city later this month. Earlier this year, she had gone to Canada on a fellowship. Her fellowship, which was to end in April, got extended by two months. It is Neelu who confirmed the news of her marriage. Her mother lives in Mohali.

Herb Dhaliwal, who belongs to Chhaheru in Jalandhar district, immigrated to Canada at the age of six. In 1993, he was elected to the House of Commons on the Liberal ticket. He held the portfolios of fisheries and oceans and revenue, besides holding the charge of minister for British Columbia.

In 2003 because of his differences with the then Liberal leader and Prime Minister Paul Martin, Dhaliwal, who remained a member of the House of Commons for three terms, did not contest the 2003 elections.

Quitting politics, he is now back to business which he started from the basement of his house before joining politics.


Concessions in store for marla house owners
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Bowing to pressure from different quarters, the Chandigarh administration is finally set to grant certain major concessions to thousands of marla houses in the city bringing smile on the face of the owners.

Under the new set of relaxations okayed by a high-level committee, the administration was set to allow a covered area of up to 70 per cent in the Phase I sectors (Sectors 1 to 30). This was a major demand of the residents as the Phase II sectors (Sector 30 onwards) were already enjoying a covered area of 65-70 per cent, according to sources.

A 3-foot-wide balcony has been allowed in the front and rear after leaving a 3-foot space on either side of the building line in marla houses. However, the administration was considering marla house owners’ demand of 3-foot balcony throughout the width of the plot.

The deletion of the provision of Rule 20 for natural light and ventilation in all marla houses was also being proposed. A final decision on the relaxations would be taken soon following which a notification would be issued, the sources asserted.

Earlier, the administration had allowed a minimum 6'x 6' open-to-sky cutout for light and ventilation. Similarly, a provision for height of additional area (up to 150 sq ft) was allowed in the rear courtyard and its height was sanctioned from 7'-6" to a maximum of 9 foot in marla houses.

A senior official, however, made it clear that all additions and alterations encroaching on public land could not be regularised. However, efforts were being made to grant maximum relief to the residents, the official added.

It may be recalled that the Chandigarh Marla/Flats Houses Residents Welfare Association had been alleging that the administration was dilly-dallying on its genuine demands for a long time.



2 days gone, carcass still on road
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Callous! Nothing else can explain the attitude of the civic authorities, which failed to remove carcass of a buffalo from the road dividing Sectors 48 and 49 even after two days.

The buffalo might have been killed in a road accident during the intervening night of July 21 and 22. The carcass was found lying along the divider in the road in the morning and motorists were seen coming to a screeching halt to avoid running over the dead animal. The road bore the traces of skidding of vehicles.

To make the matters worse, the streetlights on the stretch of the road were dysfunctional. In the wake of the failure of the public health department to remove the body, the police deployed a PCR vehicle along with cops to caution the motorists from running into the carcass.

Some good Samaritans dragged the carcass to the side of the road and the police put barricades on the both sides of the body. However, the civil authorities remained oblivious of their duty and the carcass was seen lying on the road even till late tonight.

The incident has exposed the talls claims made by public health department of the Chandigarh municipal corporation that they remove dead animals within four hours after receiving information. The problem was highlighted in these columns on June 8 this year. It reported the failure of the authorities concerned to remove the carcasses of animals, which ultimately get embedded on the roads.

The current incident has also exposed the failure of the corporation to curb the menace of stray animals, which is a major cause of roads accidents. Residents of the southern sectors are suffering at the hands of the hordes of animals that are brought to these parts of the city for grazing by the people from nearby villages. During nights, one can see a large number of animals crossing the roads having dysfunctional streetlights, endangering the lives of the motorist, especially two-wheeler riders.

It is alleged that there is a racket operating behind the menace and corporation officials are taking monthlies from the villagers to allow them to graze their cattle in these areas.

City mayor Pardeep Chhabra said he was not aware about the incident and would inform the authorities concerned to remove the carcass immediately. Her said he would look into the matter and would recommend a stern action against those found guilty.



Lt-Gen in controversy over supply irregularities
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The Army has ordered a court of inquiry (COI) to investigate allegations of irregularities in registration contractors with the Army Service Corps (ASC) and discrepancies in hiring civilian vehicles for army use.

One of the Army’s senior-most ASC officers, now a lieutenant general, was heading the ASC branch at the Headquarters Western Command, Chandimandir, during the period pertaining to the said allegations. He was the registering authority for the contractors.

Sources said the command headquarters issued the convening orders for the COI on July 12, following directions of the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Lt-Gen T.K. Sapru.

Lt-Gen G.S. Dhillon, who has just been promoted and posted as the Commandant, ASC Centre and College, Bangalore, was then heading the ASC branch at Western Command in the rank of major general. He had thereafter proceeded to the Army headquarters as the Additional Director-General Supplies and Transport in the same rank. He became lieutenant general on July 21.

Sources said General Dhillon was expected to arrive here this week to depose before the COI. The COI is being presided over by the General Officer Commanding 15 Infantry Division, Maj-Gen P.S. Paul. The COI is scheduled to commence on July 26.

The appointment of the presiding officer could pose a legal lacuna because under Para 518 of the Regulations for the Army, a presiding officer of a COI has to be senior to any officer being investigated. The Army may have to appoint a lieutenant general as a presiding officer or obtain a special waiver under existing provisions to continue with the same.

Sources said it was brought to the notice of the authorities that immediate relatives of a person running a firm black-listed by the Army were registered as contractors for supplying certain items to the Army on a regular basis. This resulted in the same contractors carrying out business with the Army though under a different name.

Earlier, three MPs from Rajasthan had written to the Defence Minister, A.K. Antony, bringing the alleged irregularities to his notice.

About three years ago, two lieutenant generals from the ASC, Lt-Gen S.K. Sahni and Lt-Gen S.K. Dhaiya had been held blameworthy by different courts of inquiry for irregularities in procurement of supplies.



Explain delay in reader’s appointment, GMCH told
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has sought an explanation from the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, for the delay in the appointment of a reader in the department of surgery under the direct recruitment category.

The CAT has directed the UPSC to expedite the process of selection on the proposal sent by the GMCH for the appointment to the post and to issue an advertisement in this regard.

The applicant, Ashwini Kumar Dalal, officiating reader in the department of general surgery, said he had learnt that a meeting had been fixed to consider the candidature of Rajiv Sharma for promotion to the post. Ashwini claimed that this was against rules of recruitment and also excluded him as neither the seniority list was circulated nor was he showed as a confirmed senior lecturer in the proposal sent for promotion.

Earlier, the recruitment was made on deputation but that failed as no employee applied, making way for direct recruitment to the post of reader in the department of surgery. The applicant further stated that the first appointment to the post of reader in the department was made in 1998. The second post was filled by promotion and Dr A.K. Attri was promoted as reader in September 2004.

The post fell vacant after he was promoted as professor. Thus, the post was filled by way of deputation, failing which direct recruitment was made.

The CAT observed: “The proposal for promotion was approved by the UPSC and the DPC that has cleared the name of Rajiv Sharma for promotion in pursuance of which he stands promoted. The applicant is also working on an official basis. However, in so far as the second proposal to fill the post by way of direct recruitment is concerned, it is stated to be in the pipeline after the exhaustion of the process of selection on deputation basis.”



Sterilisation of Dogs
Animal board not happy with MC, NGOs’ work: Chairman
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has expressed unhappiness over the performance of the Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) and two city-based NGOs for not doing much work for the sterilisation of stray dogs in the city despite receiving huge funds from the board every year.

These views were expressed by the chairman of the board, Maj-Gen (retd) Dr R.M. Kharb, while presiding over the meeting convened to discuss the status of animal birth control and animal welfare activities in Chandigarh today.

Sources revealed that the board had de-recognised five of the city-based NGOs registered with the board for animal-related services. The chairman of the board even pointed out gross mismanagement and faults in the services of the two NGOs, including the Society for Prevention of Cruelty against Animal (SPCA) and People for Animals (PFA).

One of the representatives of the board, while talking to The Tribune, said the board had not found satisfactory progress of the MC and NGOs with regard to animal birth control. They found that the organisations did not have trained manpower and even the funds allocated for this purpose had been misused.

The panel of the board rejected the SPCA's proposal of running courses related to animal husbandry in the hospital, which was constructed exclusively for the sterilisation of dogs in the city.

The chairman pulled up the representatives of the NGOs on the basis of report submitted by the medical health officer of the MC. According to the report, figures of sterilisation in the status report is 6,000 whereas sterilisation of 527 dogs had been done last year and the figures this year till June was only 481. This clearly depicted that both the organisations were not utilising the funds received from the board in a proper manner. The board has decided to constitute a monitoring committee to probe facilities provided by the NGOs for sterilisation.

One of the officials stated that the training should be imparted to the dogcatchers by the trainers deputed by the board.



BJP cell to begin signature campaign against UPA govt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
A meeting of the BJP's IT cell was held here today under the chairmanship of Satinder Singh, convener of the cell, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of great freedom fighters Chander Shekhar Azad and Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

It was decided that the cell would start a mass awareness/campaign through signatures i.e. "Krantikari Gaurav Raksha Abhiyaan" against the misdeeds of the Congress-led UPA government. In this campaign, the cell will contact every section of Chandigarhians to make them aware of the misdeeds of the government and get their signatures to withdraw the objectionable chapter from a certain textbook.

Satinder Singh alleged that the central government was trying to degrade the national heroes who devoted their life for the cause of the nation and brought freedom.



BJP activists burn UPA’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The local unit of the BJP, under the leadership of its president Kamla Sharma, today protested against the UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh and burnt an effigy of the central government.

BJP workers assembled at Nehru Park and marched towards the Aroma Light point in Sector 22 shouting slogans against the central government and price rise and demanding government's resignation.

Kamla Sharma alleged that Manmohan Singh, who was known as ‘Mr clean’ till recently, had proved to be a bigger power broker than even P.V. Narasimha Rao. She said though the Congress had won the confidence vote, yet yesterday's events in the Parliament had eroded the credibility of Manmohan Singh.



Sector 34 parking contractor challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The Chandigarh municipal corporation has challaned and issued warning to the contractor of the parking area adjoining the passport office in Sector 34 for allowing more vehicles than the capacity of the parking area without appointing adequate staff to manage them.

A team of MC officials and two councillors today visited the parking area in Sector 34 to inspect whether ample space had been left for smooth movement of fire tenders in case of any fire incident in the sector. The team also found that the parking area was not being properly managed by the staff deployed there.

As per the parking norms, there should be at least one staff member available at a distance of 50 foot, but there was no one available in the entire area. The team also visited the parking area in Sector 35 for inspection.

Besides, the fire committee members and MC officials also visited Mani Majra with two small fire tenders to inspect whether these could be taken into congested streets of Mani Majra. The CMC is planning to purchase two such fire tenders for such areas.



Awareness programme inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Chandigarh mayor Pardeep Chhabra inaugurated an awareness programme organised by the Surya Foundation in Ram Darbar here last evening. The programme will continue till July 30.

While addressing the gathering, the mayor stressed on the need for such programmes so that various government schemes could be brought down to the grassroots and their implementation was made easier by awareness in the community. He lauded the efforts made by the NGOs for running these developmental programmes. He said community sewa kendras would be opened in the colonies under the Swaran Jayanti Shahri Rozgar Yojna.



Unscheduled power cuts irk residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The residents of Sectors 47, 48, 49 and other adjoining Sectors had to sweat out late tonight following a complete blackout due to unscheduled power cut. For around half an hour, the electricity went out and the residents had no option then to come outside their houses owing to the humid weather conditions.

However, the electricity was restored after sometime much to the relief of the residents.



FPAI celebrates 59th Foundation Day
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 23
Members of the Family Planning Association of India celebrated the 59th Foundation Day of the association at Sehat Bhawan here today.

IPS Bajwa, volunteer of the FPAI, highlighted the significance of the Foundation Day while recalling success stories of the branch.

Kulbir Kaur Lamba, medical officer of FPAI, spoke about the clinical and non-clinical activities of the association.



A clarification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Referring to the news item “Constable Recruitment Test: Misprint question paper” published on July 21, the superintendent in charge clarified that despite repeated queries, the candidate, Rubbi, informed the invigilator and superintendent at the last moment.

Moreover, the video recording also clarified that she did not approach anyone regarding the misprinted question paper, it was not after submitting the answer sheets, she informed the superintendent.




Curb crime by domestic help

DC R.K. RAOHAS has intensified servant verification drive. It's good news for the society.

Gruesome crimes involving domestic helps happening around the country have finally opened the Chandigarh administration's eyes to the fact that servants can be potent killers.

Even though the administration has made it compulsory for landlords to provide the police with information regarding domestic servants, paying guests and tenants, this is not enough to check the antecedents of domestic servants, as on many occasions, the details provided by them are misleading and incorrect.

A person looking for a servant's job should be asked to give local references and his first salary should be sent via money order to his permanent address.

In many cases, lack of cooperation among the state police forces helps the criminal to flee.

In order to curb such crimes, the administration should develop new strategies and actively involve the police and residents.

Rajesh Krishan

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



New recruitment policy for school teachers
No interview, no written tests

G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
In a bid to eliminate “external pressures” and having “merit” the sole criteria for selection, the Chandigarh administration has decided to do away with the process of the interviews and written tests for recruitment of teachers in city schools.

The new selection process is going to be implemented with immediate effect and the forthcoming recruitment of 506 teachers (guest faculty) will be done without the traditional written exams and interviews.

Under this significant move, qualification and experience will be the sole parameters to observe the mental and professional acumen of teachers. No written test will be conducted and no marks for interview will be given.

Confirming this, DPI (S) S.K. Setia said the need of this change was felt to avoid favouritism in recruitments. “We have skipped the written and viva test part where scope for preferential treatment was more. Now, it will be totally merit based. Moreover, the written test and interview sessions were time consuming exercises with no fair results.”

Though a first time for the city, the Punjab education department during the tenure of Amarinder Singh had introduced the same “merit-based” interview-less pattern for teachers’ recruitment. Under the scheme, 4,000 teachers were recruited without any interview or tests. Professional and academic qualifications of individuals were the only criteria for shortlisting and selection of candidates.

Under the new arrangement, candidates will just walk in for assessment of their credentials and testimonials on the basis of which their appointment will be made. This will be applicable to all categories of teachers like JBT/ TGT/ PGT.

The administration has designed a special screening format where separate markings will be done for academics, professional, additional qualification and experience.

In the academic segment, three marks will be given to MA first divisioners; two marks to second and one mark to third divisioners. The PhD/ MPhil will fetch them additional one mark. But the candidates who have done honours at graduate level will be entitled for two marks.

Same marks criteria will be adopted in the professional section that includes MEd/ postgraduate diploma or its equivalent for TGTs and BEd for JBT/ NTT posts.

For experience, one mark will be given for every single year of teaching experience.

Besides this, the candidates who have participated in the NCC or NSS activities will get one mark for B-certificate and two marks for C-certificate.



UIET students caught ragging in PU hostel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Panjab University had its first brush with ragging in the new academic session that began just a few days back.

All claims of the university to ensure no ragging is done were proved otherwise when a case of freshers being ragged by their seniors came to light on Tuesday night. The matter was brought to the notice of the authorities today. However, following quick action by the warden committee, senior students involved in ragging were identified.

According to sources, the ragging incident happened last night in boys’ hostel number 7. Around midnight, six second-year students of UIET caught hold of first-year students of the same department and ragged them. The students were asked to use vulgar language against each other. Incidentally, wardens were on round at that time and the second-year students were caught red-handed.

However, the university authorities were tightlipped on the issue even after having caught the second-year students. According to sources, warden of hostel number 7 Dr Gaurav Verma apprised DSW Prof Naval Kishore about the matter but is yet to give a written report about the same.

Confirming this, Prof Naval Kishore said, “I have asked the warden to give me a written report about the matter.” At the same time, he said, the matter would be dealt with utmost seriousness as per the Raghavan Committee’s guidelines. Serious action would be taken against those who were found involved in any kind of ragging on the campus.

According to official sources, the university authorities have already initiated action in the matter and it has been referred to a standing anti-ragging committee headed by DUI S.K. Kulkarni.

This is the first case of ragging which has been reported this year. A few days back, the VC’s office had received a hoax call saying that ragging was going on in the department of chemical engineering. However, it was later found that the call was a hoax.

Following the hoax call, the authorities were on alert and a team comprising a warden was constituted and night patrolling in hostels was intensified. It was during one such round, that the Tuesday night’s incident came to light.

Also, last year, five students of UIET had faced suspension on charges of ragging. If the students are found guilty, FIRs can also be registered against them given the seriousness of the ragging as per Raghavan Committee’s guidelines. Vice-chancellor could not be contacted as he was out of town.



PU to add more scholarships
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Brilliant and meritorious students of Panjab University and its affiliated colleges have something to cheer about as the university proposes to increase the number of scholarships for toppers of various disciplines from affiliated colleges as well as from the teaching departments of PU. Also, the university will increase the amount of scholarships to be given to them. But the fund-starved university perhaps is not able to bear the expenses alone.

Consequently, the university has proposed to hike the scholarship fund, which is taken from each student at the time of initial enrolment to PU and its affiliated colleges from Rs 10 to Rs 15.This will also include the fund for the third phase of Alumni House.

It is also proposed that 20 per cent of the amount so collected be distributed proportionately for award of scholarships to university and college students.

The annual general body meeting of PU Alumni Association held on May 18, unanimously decided that for regular flow of income to meet the escalating costs in alumni affairs, the number of scholarships and scholarship amount awarded to toppers of various disciplines in the affiliated colleges and departments of PU and for the construction of third phase of Alumni House and a multipurpose hall in the alumni house campus be raised.

The matter is due to come up at the ensuing syndicate meeting of Panjab University on July 26.

If the syndicate gives its nod to the proposal, it will benefit a large number of students who, at times despite being toppers, due to lack of funds, are not able to pursue their choice of courses.



PU physics dept recommended for CAS programme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The department of physics, PU, known for high quality of teaching and research, has once again been recommended to the University Grants Commission to continue CAS programme for the IVth Phase w.e.f April 1, 2008 to March 3, 2013.

The department has been UGC’s Centre of Advanced Study (CAS) since 1988. After the expiry of phase III of the CAS programme (1.4.2003 to 31.3.2008), the UGC review/ expert committee visited the department in May 2008.

After a very careful and critical in-depth examination of the academic achievements made by the department during the previous phase (2003-2008), the review committee recommended the continuation.

In this phase, the department has been given financial grant to the tune of Rs 1 crore for further improving the infrastructure and strengthening teaching and research activities as well.



From Schools and Colleges
60 participate in annual principals’ conference
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The two-day Annual Regional Principals’ Conference which got off to a serene start yesterday with ‘sarswati vandana’ and a melodious welcome song culminated successfully at Regional Institute of Co-operative Management, Sector 32, here, today. About 60 principals from different KVs of Himachal Pradesh, Harayana, Punjab and Chandigarh falling under the purview of KVS (CR) attended the conference. S.S. Sehrawat, assistant commissioner, KVS (CR) and his team of education officers R.B. Meena, M.S. Chauhan and K.L. Anand presided over different sessions of the conference. The galaxy of the intellectuals deliberated upon the nuances of effective school administration and academics. Concrete measures were suggested to enhance the efficiency of the institutions to attain the goals of KVS. Host principal C.P. Chaudhri proposed a vote of thanks.

SINGING CONTEST: Rivaan Singh Khera of St John’s School-26, emerged winner in the solo singing dance competition as part of Carmel's golden jubilee celebration week organised at Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, here. As many as 150 children of 13 reputed schools participated in group and individual category competitions. Arushi of Carmel Convent School and Shrishti Niyar of Sacred Heart School-26 got second and third places, respectively. In the group singing segment, St John’s team got first place followed by Vivek High School team and Mount Carmel School teams. Meanwhile, the overall running trophy was bagged by St John’s School for the second consecutive year.

ART PROGRAMME: Tiny tots of the nursery wing of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Collegiate School, Sector 26, presented an impressive artistic programme on the school premises, here, today. Principal Agamjot Kaur Mann apprised the guests and parents about the school’s achievements in the education and sports field.

TALK SESSION: A talk session on ‘Victims of Violence: Children of Kashmir’ was organised in Government College for Girls, Sector 11, here, today. Social activist Dr Kishwar Shirali was the speaker on the occasion. Dr Shirali has been working with a Srinagar-based NGO HELP (Human Effort for Love and Peace) for the past nine years. Dr Shirali, a trained psychologist, has been interacting with children who have been victims of violence in the state. She has been conducting workshops with them on issues like anger, fear and gender. She narrated her experiences in the valley, which was an eye-opener for the college faculty. According to principal Promila Kaushal, “The talk marks the opening up of the Faculty Research Development Centre (FRDC) of the college. The FRDC is an initiative to create an interface among academics and scholars through seminars, interactive sessions and research activities throughout the year,” she said.



‘Model’ dropped from school names
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The Chandigarh education department has proposed to eradicate the word ‘model’ from the names of city schools.

The department has classified the schools in two categories - urban and non-urban. The idea behind this move is to introduce English as well as Hindi medium in both category schools.

Earlier, ‘model’ schools were being understood as English medium schools and ‘non-model’ schools as Hindi medium ones.

Elaborating further, DPI (S) S.K. Setia said, “The draft proposal has been finalised and will be implemented within a few days after getting approval from the higher authorities. We have also abstained from using the word ‘rural’ and termed it as ‘non-urban’.”

“Moreover, with the introduction of both mediums, it will be in the larger interest of students and teachers both. The students will not have to go to schools far off from their places for preferred medium. Similarly, the teachers’ performance will be adjudged under different parameters for both the categories,” clarified Setia.



From Colleges
Pharmacy college holds faculty development programme
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 23
Swami Vivekanand College of Pharmacy conducted a one-day “Faculty Development Program” in its campus today. The key speaker in the programme was Prof A.K. Chakarborty, head of department of medicinal chemistry, NIPER, Mohali. The programme was attended by about 25 faculty members and laboratory staff members.

Dr Chakraborty started with the topic of the role of a teacher and expectations from him, followed through the basic teaching tips and then moved upon to discuss some specific topics.

Dr. Sanjay Bajaj, principal, SVCP, introduced the speaker and said this programme has been organised as a part of induction programme for the newly recruited faculty members as well as refresher course for the existing faculty members. The programme was intended to provide new insight to the teachers for providing quality education to the students of this institution.

Art of Living session

Airhostess Hospitality Management Institute, Phase 3B2, held an ‘Art of Living’ introductory talk in the institute. A team of experts introduced the students of AHM to the Art of Living therapies. About 150 students of the institute have already been educated and inducted to the Art of Living talks. Karan Arora, the director of the institute, said these sessions are very useful to their students as they help them ways to manage stress, concentrate and deal with various people in a calm manner.



Students sensitised on healthy living
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The department of anatomy, PGI, organised the I.J. Dewan Memorial Educational Workshop on healthy living for schoolchildren here today. More than 80 student delegates from various government model schools of Chandigarh participated in the workshop that was inaugurated by Prof B.N.S. Walia, former director, PGI.

Addressing the gathering Professor Walia said Dr Diwan had been an ideal teacher, a perfect human being and a renowned anatomist. He praised the department for carrying Professor Diwans’s message forward to the next generation. The students were made aware about the consequences of consuming alcohol and smoking and benefits of healthy eating habits and wearing helmet while driving. The normal and diseased organs were exhibited. The diseased organs comprised cirrhotic liver, smokers lung; lungs affected by cancer, fatty heart, aorta with fatty plaque and brain with extra dural haematoma. The main aim of this workshop was to educate the children about living a quality life and keep away from life-threatening habits so that they could contribute to build a healthy nation.



Gupta in charge of Ludhiana MBA centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Prof Dinesh Gupta, chairman, University Business School, has been appointed the overall in charge of the Ludhiana MBA centre.

Disclosing this here today, official sources said the vice-chancellor had issued orders that the senior most faculty at Ludhiana would act as resident coordinator and would liaise with Dr Dinesh Gupta, UBS, Chandigarh. He will also take care of the Ludhiana centre in establishing and managing the placements of students, their business club, case unit and MDPs etc.



District Court
2 acquitted in abduction case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Additional District and Sessions Judge R.S. Attri today acquitted Sonu and Saroj in a case of abduction of a minor.

According to the prosecution, the accused had abducted the 14-year-old girl on April 23, 2007. A complaint was registered by her mother Rajmati after she found her daughter missing. The prosecution alleged that Sonu was a tenant in the complainant’s house. It was alleged that he abducted the minor girl with the help of his aunt Saroj. The accused was later arrested from Agra on April 30, 2007, while Saroj was arrested on April 28, 2007.

CONVICTED: Additional District and Sessions Judge Raj Rahul Garg today convicted Sobhraj, Jia Lal and Laxman for murdering Nand Kishore and Rooplal, employees of a liquor vend in Sector 24. The quantum on the sentence will be pronounced on July 26. Meanwhile, the court has acquitted Mewa Lal as contradictory statements recorded by the witnesses.

According to the prosecution, Nand Kishore and Roop Lal were found murdered in the liquor vend on the intervening night of August 16 and 17, 2000. A case was registered on the complaint of another employee of the vend after he found the two persons dead. It was stated that lakhs of rupees were also found missing from the liquor vend.



Consumer Court
PNB told to pay Rs 25,000 to housing board
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Punjab National Bank to pay compensation of Rs 25,000 on account of harassment to the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB). The forum also asked the bank to pay Rs 3,000 as cost of litigation.

The CHB stated that under the General Public Housing Scheme floated by it in 1977, flats in Sectors 47-D and 40-B were to be constructed. For the purpose of collecting monthly instalments and other dues, the board had taken the service of Punjab National Bank where an account was opened wherein monthly instalments were deposited. The bank was supposed to provide regular information about the collection of money to the CHB.

However, amount of the three instalments paid for a dwelling unit allotted to Maya Alam was found missing from the bank statement for the relevant period.

The amount for the said instalments was drawn from Punjab and Sind Bank as the cheques were deposited by the allotee. The bank could not deny the deposition of money and they were asked by the board through the letter dated January 27, 1998, to verify the receipt of the said two payments.

The bank argued that it was in the view of the letter dated February 2, 1998, that the board neither issued the “no due certificate” in respect of the said dwelling unit nor transferred its allotment in the name of Satish Uma Chand husband of the allottee, Maya Alam.

The forum observed: “It was due to the deficiency in service on part of the bank that the complainant had to suffer financial losses to the tune of Rs 31,940. The bank is directed to pay the amount along with interest of 16 per cent per annum from January 1, 2006.”



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