C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Three brothers arrested for raping minor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The police today arrested three brothers on charges of gangraping a 16-year-old girl living in their neighbourhood in Nehru Colony.

One of the accused, Nitin, claimed that he had an affair with the girl and she had gone with him on her own, the police said.

According to the police, the victim alleged that she was repeatedly gangraped by the three at an undisclosed destination in Panchkula before being dumped near her house late last night.

She brought the matter to the notice of her maternal grandparents, to whom she had come a few days ago in search of work. The girl hails from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh.

Police station-36 SHO Devinder Sharma said they registered a case on the victim’s complaint against the accused -- Nitin, Sonu and Monu --and arrested them in the afternoon. Nitin was a safai karamchari.

Narrating the incident to mediapersons at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, the victim’s uncle, Ranbir Singh, said the girl reached home last night and narrated the incident.

He said she had gone to Phase VII, Mohali, along with her grandfather for work on September 10. On her way home, Nitin, travelling in an autorickshaw along with his brothers, offered to drop her at her house. However, they took her to Panchkula and raped her.

They dropped her near her house around 10 pm. Her family then took her to the police post in Sector 61 to report the matter.

However, head constable Jasbir Singh told them to go to the Mohali police, which in turn asked them to go to the Chandigarh police.

Fed up with the police attitude, they returned home. The victim complained of uneasiness around 3 am and was taken to the GMSH.

Her medical examination confirmed rape and the matter was reported to the police. The police, however, denied allegation of inaction levelled by the victim’s family.



Road to controversy
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 16
In a controversial move which may trigger a territorial row between Chandigarh and Punjab, the state local bodies department has planned a 30-metre-wide road through the UT to connect Kansal and Naya Gaon, included in the Naya Gaon notified area committee (NAC).

While planning the road alignment, an effort has been made to "favour" certain vested interests, including a member of the local civic body and a politician whose land falls along the road.

In a draft master plan of the NAC released recently by the local bodies department, it has been stated that since Khuda Ali Sher village of UT was jutting into Punjab territory, integration of essential services like road, water and sewerage was not possible, unless allowed by the UT.

Sources said to facilitate land sharks, the state local bodies department had proposed to use the well-connected road network laid by the UT in its villages -- Khuda Ali Sher and Kaimbwala --that joins the sectoral grid behind the Sukhna Lake.

A senior official said the matter had been referred to the UT by Punjab. The
integration of services had been sought as a bypass had been proposed from
Chandigarh to Mullanpur.

It would pass through the Naya Gaon NAC and Khuda Ali Sher (UT) before touching Mansa Devi Complex in Panchkula (Haryana).

“Whatever damage has been done, it has been done by Punjab in the north east and illegal urban mushrooming needs to be checked,” the official said.

In a reply to Punjab, the UT wants to know the load of essential services and planning aspects like the floor area ratio and bylaws.

Since the matter involves three states, the UT has also advised Punjab to get in touch with Haryana.

But the UT has categorically told Punjab that its plan to join a 30-metre road with the road that opens on the Sarovar Path (near Sukhna Lake) would not be allowed as vehicular pressure on the road would increase in the area.

This would come as a shock to the local bodies department as it had planned to use UT’s road network with regard to a proposed multi-storeyed housing project of the Tata Housing Development Corporation in Kansal.

For the road, the developer is learnt to have also purchased around 3 acres adjoining Kaimbwala village of UT.



GMCH-32 faculty set to retire at 60
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The retirement age of faculty of the GMCH-32 is set to be enhanced to 60 years. A meeting of senior officials of the administration was held today in this regard.

There was consensus on the issue, aimed at retaining the top faculty. The meeting, chaired by finance secretary-cum-home secretary Sanjay Kumar, was “favourably inclined” to the demand of the faculty.

A final decision would be taken by UT administrator soon, official sources said. In April 2007, the Punjab government had announced an increase in the retirement age of the faculty in medical, dental and ayurvedic colleges from 58 years to 60 years.

The decision was apparently taken to prevent the Medical Council of India (MCI) from slashing seats in the MBBS, MD and MS courses in government medical colleges following shortage of staff.

The administration usually follows the Punjab government in major policy decisions and the GMCH is also plagued with shortage of faculty.

Retaining senior faculty has been a major challenge with the mushrooming of private medical and dental colleges and hospitals which offer hefty pay packages to attract senior faculty members from government hospitals.

The sources said the decision to enhance the retirement age was necessitated by the flight of senior faculty to the PGI, where the faculty retires at 65 years of age, and the private sector.

“While we cannot extend the same offer to the GMCH faculty as the PGI is an autonomous body, the least we can do is increase the retirement age to 60 years as an incentive,” a senior official told The Tribune.



Not till death does us part
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The incident where 35-year-old Ryan International teacher, Shubhwant Kaur, was allegedly set on fire, has once again brought to the fore the issue of growing incompatibility among couples in the city.

While her husband, Vikramjit Singh, a senior executive with an MNC, claims to be innocent, he says he can't stay with his wife.

While Shubhwant and Vikramjit have been married for 13 years and have two children -- one 9 years old and the other 11, instances of couples wanting to part ways merely a month or two after marriage are also becoming increasingly common.

If one goes through court records, one would feel that 'wedding age' (read number of years in wedlock) has no bar when it comes to divorce.

From people married for a quarter of a century to ‘weeks old’ couple are knocking the doors of court for separation.

And the reason primarily remains the same -- incompatibility. It may have to do with infidelity, impotency, extramarital affair, differences with in-laws (or vice versa) and lack of mutual respect.

A couple that had eloped to get married went their separate ways after only a month as the woman had got involved in an extramarital relationship.

The couple got a divorce after a separation of two years and the woman got married to her new-found love.

Going by the recent figures, there are more than 672 divorce cases pending in the district courts here. In one year alone, the number has gone up by over 200 from 458 cases last year.

Blaming it on “women's liberation”, a counsellor and advocate Madhu P. Singh said: “The main reason is difference of opinion and intolerance.

Women are now more aware of their rights and are vocal than before. This leads to ego clashes and divorce seems the easy way out.”

In another case, an old Muslim couple started facing problems in their relationship after a marriage of more than 25 years.

They differed on the marriage of their son. The man wanted his son to marry a girl within the family while his wife objected to it.

Another advocate, Navkiran Singh, said: “Women are now more educated and brought up with a liberal mindset, because of which they have stopped complying. Ours is a male dominated society and women were considered as 'pair ki jutti'. They are no longer dependent on men and can support themselves. So, it is easy to opt out of the relationship.”

Citing various reasons, additional professor of psychology at the PGI, Dr Adarsh Kohli, remarked: “Women are now economically independent and not ready to compromise. If they have to make adjustments, they prefer to live alone and decide to let go of such relationships.”


Cops brutalise sugar mill workers
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The Chandigarh police today virtually went berserk and bashed up agitating sugar mill workers from across Punjab in Sector 17, here, this afternoon leaving several protesters severely injured.

Chaos ruled the roads near Sector 16 Cricket Stadium, where the police chased and thrashed the protesters paying scant regard to the vulnerability of the motorists.

No sooner than the protestors tried to crossover the barricades, the policemen first splashed them with water cannons to disperse them.

The police initially hurled tear gas shells to disperse the workers but when they failed, they resorted to a lathicharge.

However, what surprised even the bystanders was the brutality with which the cops chased and dragged workers from their vehicles and beat them.

Even those who surrendered to the khaki’s might without a protest by lying down on the road, with their hands up, were not spared.

The cops mercilessly rained lathis on them, a grim reminder of the way the Haryana police bashed up Hero Honda workers in Gurgaoan a couple of years ago.

“We are not criminals,” cried a protester lying on the ground but his plea fell on deaf ears as three policemen kept hitting him on his legs and back.

The cops did not pay heed to prtesters who were seen begging with folded hands requesting the burly cops to spare them. The drama, which began at around 3:15 pm lasted fro over 40 minutes.

The policemen also smashed windowpanes of the buses belonging to the protesters while ordering them to leave the spot.

The police arrested Kashmir Singh Zira, chief advisor of the Cooperative Sugar Mills Workers Federation, Punjab along with 16 others and registered a case against the president of the federation Karnail Singh Lakhmipur on the charges of violating the prohibitory orders and assaulting public servants under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code.

The disgruntled sugar mills workers had come to the city to stage a protest march to the residence of the Punjab co-operation minister Captain Kanwaljit Singh against the non-fulfillment of their demands, to which the state government had agreed in the past.

They had threatened self-immolatation in case their demands were not met. The Chandigarh police had made arrangements since early this morning and deployed about 300 policemen to contain the agitation.

The cops were equipped accordingly and arranged for blankets, a fire tender and stationed an ambulance on the spot to tackle any eventuality.

The police unsuccessfully tried to stop the protesters from entering the city, however, they managed to sneak into the city by taking different routes.

The police called the managing director of the Sugarfed, V.K. Bhalla, whose assurances failed to satiate the discontented workers.

ASP (central) Madur Verma justified police action, maintaining that it was necessary to contain unruly workers using fear psychosis for not daring to gather on the spot again. He stated that minimum required force was used to disperse the protesters.



March against attacks on Christians
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann today participated in a candlelit vigil organised by the National Christian League, Chandigarh, expressing solidarity with the minority community in the wake of communal attacks on Christians in Orissa.

Around 200 protesters held the march near parade ground in Sector 17 here this afternoon. Mann led the march.

He said: “The police acted as mere spectators to the accesses being committed on the Christians for six months and instead of helping them, they abetted the violence and never intervened to save the hapless Christians and their institutions.”

They handed over a memorandum to Punjab Governor Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) highlighting the plight of the Christian community in Orissa and demanded immediate suspension of chief secretary, home secretary and director general of police, Orissa.

“The Christians have been chased and hunted like animals, nuns raped, priests and religious workers injured in hundreds. Over 40 churches have been destroyed, as we gather data from the victims and the kin of the dead,” stated league president Jagdish Masih.

“The perpetrator of violence is the Sangh Parivar and its component elements — the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajrang Dal, the Vanvasi Kalyan Sangh and groups connected to the VHP”, Masih alleged.

They also insisted that the CBI should investigate the incidents and Kandhmal district of Orissa be handed over to the Indian Army.

Compensation must also be given to the next of kin of those killed and the churches should be rebuilt.

They demanded the setting up of a fast-track criminal court to try those found guilty of violence.



Theatre fest begins with Gursharan’s
Dhamak Nagare Di

S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, September 16
The theatre artists under the aegis of Suchetak Rang Manch, Mohali, celebrated the eighteenth birthday of their thespian mentor, Gursharan Singh in a style by organising a three-day theatre fest of his plays here at the Randhawa auditorium.

The festival, fifth in series, commenced with staging of a play “Dhamak Nagare Di” written by Gursharan, over three decades ago under the direction of Kewal Dhaliwal, for Manch Rangmanch Amritsar.

The play structured in the rule of Emperor Akbar, unfolds a slice of history, which constitutes the exalted valour and patriotism of legendary warrior, Dulla Bhatti, who fought the oppression and tyranny of the Moghul Empire.

The play depicts the transformation of a juvenile landlord of Sandal-baar region, Dulla Bhatti, to a rebel after his mother disclosed how his father and grandfather revered as Messiahs of depressed and downtrodden people, were tortured to death.

Dulla dares to rob the affluent rich, even the Suba Panj Hazari, and distribute the
booty among poor farmers. He fought the imperial forces by raising an army of the
local residents.

In a patch up move, the Emperor, like a coward stabs Dulla to death but the warrior and virtuous Dulla lives in the hearts of Punjabis.

The presentation was dominated by a narrative sequences both verbal and musical, which at times were overlapping.

With minimal use of props, the director relied on the immaculate musical renditions by Harinder Sohal, which gave a momentum to the play. Kewal Dhaliwal, Nishan Cheema, Jatinder Kaur and Pawandeep played major roles.



Police suspects inside job
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The Chandigarh police is looking into the possibility of some insider behind the letter recovered from the Punjab mini secretariat in Sector 9 on Monday threatening to blow up the building.

Sources in the police said the investigating officials were working on the theory among others to trace the origin of the letter.

The draft of the typed letters in Punjabi language and its timing are some of the facts that point the needle of suspicion towards the involvement of some insider, said a senior officer monitoring the probe.

The police may ask officials at the secretariat to furnish printouts from computers installed in the building to match them with the letters recovered on Monday.

The same will be sent to the central forensic sciences laboratory in Sector 36 for matching to ascertain whether they were typed on computers installed in the building or not.

Sources said the officials believed that the recovery of the letter on Monday, the first working day of the week, indicated at mischief played by some employees.

The police had evacuated the building and searched it for over four hours. Visitors to the secretariat had to undergo inconvenience, as work remained suspended during the entire operation.

The operations cell of the Chandigarh police had recently solved the bomb hoax call case of district courts.

Investigations revealed that some relatives of a woman, against whom a verdict was to be announced that day, had informed that a bomb had been planted in the court.

In the wake of the incident, the police said such a mischief being played by some insider could not be ruled out at this stage.

Meanwhile, the police today conducted a search in Bapu Dham Colony in Sector 26 as part of its ongoing operation following serial blasts in Delhi.

As many as 90 policemen were deployed in the operation, which began at 3 am and lasted over three hours.

The police rounded up 44 suspects. The suspects were later let-off after verification through local leaders.



Sec-33 apni mandi closed down
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
In a significant decision, which may come as a respite to residents but surely ruffle a lot of feathers among farmers, the Chandigarh municipal corporation has decided to close down the apni mandi of Sector 33, as it has been running illegally in a parking lot of the market.

An official of the corporation stated the decision was taken at a recent apni mandi committee meeting as several residents had vociferously raised objection to the chaos in the area on the day the mandi was organised.

A review of the land records by MC officials revealed that the venue of the mandi was a “reserved area”, earmarked for the construction of commercial booths.

The official said while the corporation was charging a fixed fee from all other such apni mandis in the city, at this particular area no fee was being paid and the entire mandi was “illegal”.

However, officials failed to give a satisfactory reply to how the MC or the administration allowed the “illegal” mandi to operate for such a long time.

Residents claimed that the mandi was being organised there for past 15 years.

MC mayor Pradeep Chhabra said the corporation was looking for an alternative site for the vegetable sellers.

A proposal has been made for a site in Sector 34 but it has been rejected by the administration on a plea that this is a central sector.

He said it was the only mandi that was affecting market business and creating problem of parking.



Vivek High School penalised Rs 5,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has asked Vivek High School in Sector 38 to pay Rs 5,000 in compensation to a resident of Industrial Area for not refunding the fee.

The forum also directed the school to refund the fee amount of Rs 18,100.

The complainant, Rajesh Goel, a resident of Industrial Area, had stated that he had applied for admission of his three-year-old daughter to nursery class for 2008-09 session in Vivek High School, Sector 38.

He deposited a fee of Rs 28,100 while getting her admitted to the school.

The petitioner stated that his daughter got selected for admission to LKG for the same session in Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Sector 26, where he deposited the fee in order to save one year of his daughter.

Vivek High School refused to refund the full fee even when the complainant’s daughter didn’t attend the school for a single day.

He said he was refunded Rs 10,000 only instead of Rs 28,100. He then moved the consumer forum.

The school argued that as per their terms and conditions, the entire fee could not be refunded and that they had already paid Rs 10,000.



IT survey at two companies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Income tax officials initiated a survey on the premises of sanitary fitting manufacturers JAL (Jupiter Aqualine) and Summit Engineery in Mohali today under the supervision of income tax commissioner (CIT-II) A.K. Kaushal.

While officials refused to divulge the details of the outcome of the survey, sources in the department said tax evasion had been detected after examination of records of JAL.

Income tax sleuths were carrying out surveys at all units of both companies in different parts of Mohali and Chandigarh.

A team of income tax officers from Chandigarh, headed by joint commissioner, income tax (range III), Manjeet Singh reached the premises in wee hours yesterday.

According to the officials, a large number of incriminating documents were seized during the survey.



City girl bags beauty crown in New Zealand
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Jannat Kaur, a Chandigarh girl, has done the city proud by bagging “Miss Indianz 2008” crown in New Zealand.

The popular and fiercely-contested beauty pageant among the Indian community, which was held on September 14 at the Auckland Town Hall, is used by the winners as a springboard for entry into Bollywood and modelling world.

It was a double crown for Jannat, as she also walked away with the Miss Photographic Model title.

Jannat will represent New Zealand in the Miss India Worldwide contest this year.

“Life ends when you stop dreaming. The more you try, the more are the chances of your success,” Jannat, who aspires to be both a successful lawyer and a Bollywood star, told Chandigarh Tribune over the phone.

Hoping to make a mark in the glamour world, she said stage appearances and showcasing talent were part of personality development process.

“Hopes and aspirations trigger activity in life,” she quipped.

The beauty pageant, which saw registration by hundreds of beauties of the Indian origin, was finally contested by 25 shortlisted girls from New Zealand. Prominent among the judges was Pooja Chitgopekar, a former Miss Indian Earth.

Meanwhile, the news of her crowning has sent a wave of happiness among her close relatives here.

“She has been very promising from her childhood and her victory has brought glory to the city,” said her uncle, Rajiv Sharma.



Forum condemns GMADA move
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 16
Residents Welfare Forum, Sector 69, has condemned the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) for asking residents to get conveyance deeds of plots, allotted to them, done within three months at new rates.

Baljit Singh Kumbra, president of the forum, said the registration of property should be done in accordance with the price at which plots were allotted to them and not at the rates that were prevailing at present.

He added that if the GMADA authorities compelled residents to get their plots registered at prevalent rates, it would amount to fleecing of residents which they would be opposing.



GMADA postpones campaign to close rear gates
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 16
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has postponed the campaign indefinitely to close rear gates, which was to start today.

It is learnt that the campaign was postponed due to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the town as the GMADA staff was busy setting the roads and other things right for the VVIP’s visit.

The next date to begin the drive had yet not been finalised.

Estate officer of GMADA Sukhjit Pal Singh said the next plan to remove rear gates, which proved to be a hazard to traffic, would be chalked out after the PM’s visit.

He said he had also received representations from residents’ welfare associations of Phases I and II which requested GMADA to reconsider its decision. The campaign was to start from Phase I.

Residents had pointed out that back gates were used by them to park their vehicles due to scarcity of open space available.

Over the years number of vehicles had gone up and GMADA should review the decision keeping the present situation in mind.

However, insiders have stated that the campaign was postponed not only due to the PM’s visit but also due to political interference though the authorities concerned have denied this.

Taking a tough stand, GMADA had issued public notices for removal of rear gates in various English and regional dailies around mid-August.

Residents were asked to remove these gates by September 15 after which GMADA would begin its campaign to close rear gates from September 16.

It had asked the municipal council to join in the campaign and also sought police help. According to its plan, the construction division of GMADA was to accompany the enforcement wing during the drive to remove the unauthorised gates and fill the gap in the walls with bricks and mortar, the cost of which was to be borne by the owner of the house.

The gates removed were also to be seized by GMADA. The civic body was asked to seize the goods of residents who had opened up shops in the rear courtyards after opening a back gate and also to impose fines for the violations.



Book fair from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The Akhil Vishav Gayatri Parivar Shanti Kunj, Haridwar, will organise a 10-day book fair at Lajpat Rai Bhavan, Sector 15, beginning September 18.

During the fair, books on religion, spirituality and other literature will be put on display. Books written by Pt Sri Ram Sharma Acharya will be available at the fair.

Um Shankar Sharma, Chandigarh trustee of Gayatri Parivar, said Madhu Bansal, wife of MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, will inaugurate the fair.



Film fest from Feb 5
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The Chandigarh tourism department in association with the Society for Tourism and Entertainment Promotion (STEPS) will hold the Third Chandigarh International Film Festival from February 5 to 8.

The festival would be centered around the contribution of women in cinema as directors, actors, writers, musicians, choreographers and designers.

Films will be categorised under movies for children, mainstream cinema and international movies.

Keeping the theme of the festival in mind, retrospective of films directed by a renowned women directors will be a special feature.

The festival will screened at Tagore Theatre, the Government Museum and Art Gallery and various cinema halls.

Celebrities who are likely to attend the festival are Dev Anand, N. Chandra, Meghna Gulzar, Deepa Mehta, Tanuja Chandra, Nandita Das and Gurinder Chadha.



Boxing assn honours Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Dr C. K. Jerath, honorary secretary, Chandigarh Boxing Association, was honoured by members of the association today.

He had acted as technical observer in boxing during Olympic Games at Beijing.

Jerath was honoured at a function held at Hotel Western Court, Sect 43 here.

The gathering comprised many officials of national and international fame. Dr Jerath had played an important role in Beijing Olympics.



Check VIP brats

This is with reference to the news item published in Chandigarh Tribune (August
31) about VIP brats. While the youth today are often found flouting laws and
indulging in crime.

The situation is pretty bad in the city as well. Kids here are not only misusing their parents’ position but are also seeking VIP treatment.

They break laws with impunity, we keep hearing of brawls in nightclubs and incidents of road rash.

It's a nightmare, both for the common man and for the police to be involved in a case in which the accused belongs to a family of protectors of law.

But, it's not that the kids of VIPs are errant by birth. It is their parents' failure to teach them as they have little time for their children.

The police should be empowered with more muscles by setting up stricter laws and no compromise should be made. Police should issue rigorous guidelines to check these violations.

Rajesh Krishan, 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.



Students pledge for green economy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Students and faculty of the department of social work observed the International Ozone Day at Students Centre, Panjab University, Chandigarh today.

The purpose of this event was to save the sky and mother earth, so that it may not turn black.

The students demonstrated with the help of placards and posters with slogans. The student community was sensitised that in order to avoid the artificial umbrellas, we have to save the real ozone layer.

Through slogans, they sensitised the students’ community that the invisible barrier that protects the earth from harmful radiations is our ozone layer.

Subhalaxmi, a student of first semester Master in Social Work, in her speech informed that the United Nations declared the 16th of September as the International Day for the Protection of the ozone layer to commemorate the 16th of September 1987, the date when the Montreal Protocol was first signed.

On this International Day, students pledge to seize more such multifaceted opportunities, and do their utmost to create tomorrows green economy.



International Ozone Day at city schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The International Day for ozone layer preservation was marked by different activities at various schools today.

While most of the schools organised talks and seminars to create awareness about the importance of ozone and causes of the fast depletion of this layer, students of Dikshant School, organised a skating rally at Sukhna Lake with impressive posters.

Also, the students of Maharishi Dayanand Public School Daria, Chandigarh organised an awareness rally on the occasion of International Ozone Day with collaboration of Department of Environment, Chandigarh Administration.



PU extends admissions till Sept 20
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
A day after confusion over eligibility criteria in counselling for various courses in Panjab University, the syndicate in its emergency meeting, held today came up with corrective measures.

It was resolved in the meeting that fresh applications be sought for admissions under the remaining seats in the SC/ST category and remaining seats in the general category as well.

The admission will be made on the basis of the ranks obtained by students in respective entrance tests.

After the list will be exhausted, seats will be de-reserved and would be transferred to open category, for which admissions will be made on the basis of merit.

Interested candidates need to submit fresh applications till September 20. Admission will be made individually in the departments from 9 am to 5 pm on September 22.

It is pertinent to mention here that on September 15, hundreds of students were left high and dry when they came to attend the admission process in various courses of PU due to wrong eligibility criteria.

These students had come to attend the counselling under the OBC category, seats for the SC/ST category (including those lying vacant and to be later converted into general category) would be filled and those seats which were already lying vacant in the general category as well as other vacant seats in general category.

However, there was a lot of confusion when in most of the departments, including UILS, UIPS etc were told that the admission in general category as well as the OBC category will be made on the basis of merit.

This irked the students as most courses were based on entrance tests rank.

“How can it be possible that during first two counselling, admissions were entrance based and not in this one?” Questioned some of the agitated parents.

The departments where the admissions were to be made included BSc (honours school), UILS (BA LL b honours), BE, Bpharma, MCA, MEd and others and also in PU regional centres.

According to sources, the university authorities instead of following the earlier criteria for admissions i.e. of making admissions on the basis of ranks in the entrance tests announced that the admissions be made on the basis of marks obtained in the last qualifying examination (provided the minimum eligible marks condition is met for that particular course).

The confusion happened as the PU syndicate in its meeting held recently had given a formal nod for making admissions on the OBC category after the university received a grant of Rs 5 crore.

It was decided that the applications under the OBC category would be invited on September 12 and the admissions would be made under this category along with the remaining general category seats on September 15.

However, due to some miscommunication of what was resolved in the syndicate regarding this, led to the entire commotion.

There was a lot of resentment in parents and candidates who had come from far off places and had kept waiting in the departments all day long.



Ronki to remain PUTA president
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Putting all the speculations to rest, PUTA (Panjab University Teachers Association) in its general body meeting held today turned down the resignation of Ronki Ram from the post of PUTA president.

In the general body meeting held today, it was resolved that Ronki would continue to be the president of PUTA.

It was also decided that the fight for central status for Panjab University would also continue and organisations such as Joint Action Committee (JAC), which was formed earlier, for the struggle and others would be revived and all will work together for common goal of the university.

However, all this came through not without arguments in the house.

There were instances of difference of opinions and allegations and counter allegations among the members on some of the recent developments within PUTA.

The general body meeting was called to deliberate upon and chalk out the future strategy that would be adopted by PUTA to press its demand for attaining central status for PU.

The house also resolved to constitute a joint action committee and decided that nothing less than central status would do for PU.

The speakers urged all the PUTA members to stay united and fight for the cause of the university than indulging into petty personal conflicts.

Meanwhile, venting displeasure, former PUTA secretary, Prof Manjit Singh, blamed present PUTA president for diluting the struggle for central status for the university.

Prof Manjit, though condemned, the work of PUTA under the current leadership but in the same breath added that the body needs to be united and supported the resolution regarding Ronki holding the presidential post.

He added, “It is painful that the current PUTA president could not do anything about Punjab state withdrawing no objection certificate issued by it to PU for the central varsity status”.

Replying to the personal allegations leveled against him, Ronki took on Prof Manjit and said, “I am fighting day and night for the university to do better, and however, there are people who do not want me to do the same. Also, I still stand by centrally funded varsity.”



Anger brews among wardens at PU
Faculty worried following authorities’ order
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Resentment is brewing among faculty members of the Panjab University particularly among the hostel wardens over the university’s stand on the recent spat between the warden of Sarojini Hostel, Seema Vinayak, and some students of the hostel.

The faculty members are agitated over the fact that how following the authorities orders of conducting checks in the hostel has cost Seema dear?

It may be mentioned here that Seema had submitted her resignation, yesterday with the dean students welfare (women), but it could not be confirmed that whether her resignation has been accepted or not.

Meanwhile, the wardens are of the view that if this could happen with her, it could happen with anyone of them.

If inside sources are to be believed, they have resented the decision of temporarily handing over Seema’s charge to another warden till the matter is enquired.

When contacted, vice-chancellor refused to comment on the issue, but added that a committee has been formed to look into the matter and would come out with the report soon.

Meanwhile, a meeting was also held two days back where in the warden along with other wardens were called in the presence of both the deans students’ welfare and the students of the hostel.

Another meeting was held today in this regard in the presence of four members
of the committee.

The authorities are making all the efforts, to amicably sort out the issue, between the students and the warden in a way that the students are also satisfied and even the warden remains there.

It must be mention here that on September 13, some girls of the hostel had staged a protest demanding the removal of warden for obeying the orders of the university to conduct checks in the hostels and issue letter to the students who were found absent during the raids.



Engineering college signs MoU with Phillips
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
In an attempt to bridge the gap between industry and academia, Punjab Engineering College (PEC) signed an MOU, with Phillips India Limited that aims at facilitation of various research programs by the PEC students to devise innovative solutions being faced by the industry today.

Elaborating on the entire agreement, Dr. Manoj Datta, director PEC said, “It is an effort to expose the young minds to current technical challenges.”

“The agreement will ensure that two leaders one in academia and another in industry will get together to thrust students to explore practical solutions in most professional manner,” he added.



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