C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Top tax payees not bigwigs this time
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
What would you expect the city’s highest taxpayer to look like? Obviously someone rich, who drives around in a swanky car -- if it’s a man, perhaps, dressed in Armani or a woman in an expensive silk saree with chunky jewellery and flashy business cards with CEO, MD, or president written in bold letters.

If this is your idea of a high tax payee, hold your breath because you are wrong. The bigwigs of the city, who one would assume to be in the highest bracket of income taxpayers, have been pipped in this race by an unassuming down-to-earth middle-aged woman, Rita Saxena, who still drives around in the good old Fiat.

In fact, earlier top taxpayers were generally businessmen, but with skyrocketing land prices in the city, lot of people have made crores of rupees. Incidentally, the top three taxpayers owe it to gains from land deals.

With a tax payment of a whopping about Rs 1.45 crore, Rita Saxena tops the list of city’s highest individual income tax payees.

When contacted, Rita Saxena, a resident of Sector 10, refused to comment on her source of earnings, but admitted to paying the huge amount as tax on her income of Rs 6.44 crore.

Efforts to know more about her proved futile as even her neighbours knew nothing about her. “She’s a quiet woman and stays aloof,” was what her immediate neighbours had to say about her.

Second on the list is Prittam Arjan Singh of Sector 9, with a return of Rs 73.26 lakh on an annual income of Rs 3.23 crore. While he could not be contacted, the huge return could be due to cricketer Harbhajan Singh who bought his lavish four kanal house in Sector 9.

Ajay Grover, proprietor of KL Grover and Company, is third on the list. He coughed up Rs 72 lakh. He stays in Sector 18 and said his income was not much, but he had made some capital gains.

A surprise entry to the list is Vivek Sibal, nephew of union minister Kapil Sibal and a lawyer, who paid Rs 64 lakh as tax against an income of Rs 1.99 crore.

Meanwhile, with an 18 per cent increase in its target, the Chandigarh region is number 10 on the list of “top 10” cities paying the highest income tax. With a collection of Rs 9,724 crore, the region has left behind fancier cities like Jaipur, Bhopal, Kochi and Bhubaneswar. The region has grown by 39 per cent to Rs 9,743.96 crore in 2007-08 against Rs 7,007.74 crore in 2006-07.



Finmin’s no to proposal
BJP seeks Bansal’s exit
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The reported rejection of a proposal of the ministry of home affairs to increase the police strength in Chandigarh by the union finance ministry has snowballed into a major controversy with the BJP today demanding the resignation of union minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal for his "failure" to protect the interests of the city.

Giving a political colour to the issue, six councillors belonging to the BJP accused the MP of being "least worried about the safety and security" of the people of Chandigarh.

Recently, the finance ministry had rejected an ambitious project of the Chandigarh administration to recruit 3,080 more personnel in the police.

Since Bansal is the minister of state for finance, the rejection is seen as an offshoot of his tug-of-war with UT administrator S.F. Rodrigues. However, Bansal has reportedly denied these allegations.

The BJP today played the development card, alleging that certain proposals sent by the administration to the central government were being blocked by the MP.

The creation of 3,080 additional posts could have created job opportunities for the local youth, besides instilling a sense of security among residents at a time when major cities, including New Delhi, had been rocked by bomb blasts, the BJP claimed.

While Bansal could not be contacted, his confidant and mayor Pardeep Chhabra, refuted the BJP’s "wild allegations". If Bansal was taken into confidence by the administration, he would have ensured that it was okayed by his ministry, the mayor added.



Mayor reaps what ex-mayor sowed
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Mayor of the Municipal Corporation (MC) Pradeep Chhabra seems to be reaping what perhaps his predecessor Harjinder Kaur sowed.

Chhabra, who assumed the office as first person of the city in January, 2008, has yet to open his account as far as getting any major project for the city from the administration is concerned.

He has completed three-fourth of his tenure. The only project which Chhabra claims is the inauguration of community sewa kender and the project of bio-methical gas plant that will soon be inaugurated. The idea of blind park has been mooted by him to the administration.

However, senior deputy mayor Anju Beniwala stated that she was not aware about any new project chalked out for the development of the city till date. When asked about the ongoing development project, she agreed that these were initiated by the former mayor of the corporation.

Chhabra’s lengthy list of inaugural ceremonies clearly reveals that he is fairly enjoying the fruits of his predecessor. He doesn’t manage to get even a single new project neither from the Administration nor from the Union Government.

All major projects, being multi-level parking or the night food street or modernisation of dhobi ghats or project of blind park, were mooted by Harjinder Kaur and approved by the house during her tenure only.

The project of night food street in Sector 14 was the dream project of Harjinder Kaur, which she mooted and got it approved by the house. As per the estimates, a sum of Rs 14 lakh will be spent on this project, which was also approved by the house. The present mayor laid the foundation stone of the street to be constructed Sector 14.

The decision of converting the existing dhobhi ghats into automatic laundry marts was also decided during her tenure and work was allocated to the company but the present mayor did its inauguration.

The proposal of blind park was mooted up by the team of councillors, who went to Singapore for study tour during the tenure of Kaur.

While looking at the agendas of the house meeting of the corporation since January, no major project was tabled in the house for its approval and not even any proposal was discussed by the present ruling in the coordination committee meeting of the administration and the municipal corporation.

Ex-mayor Harjinder Kaur stated that when the head of the corporation is not taking up any issue in the house what is the fault of the members. She said the present ruling party was not taking any interest in the development of the city and busy in resolving petty issues.



Completion of vital road links sought
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
With the city being showcased as the future destination for investors and developers, providing world-class road network has caught the attention of the Punjab government.

On the basis of regional plan 2008-2058, prepared by a Singapore-based company Jurong Ltd, the Punjab housing secretary Arun Goel has written to the UT secretary engineering Sanjay Kumar to complete work on two vital road links that are expected to take the load of traffic moving between Chandigarh and Mohali. Work on both the roads has been pending with the UT engineering department for lack of funds.

The matter came up during a recent meeting on inter-state issues of integrated development held between UT and Punjab officials. Sources revealed that the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has, on priority, sought completion of the Sector 51 road before it passes through sectors 62 and 63. Another missing link was between sectors 54 and 55.

On the other hand, UT has sought Rs five crore from the union ministry of surface transport to four-lane the Sector 51-52 road that leads to YPS School, Mohali. This road ultimately joins the eight-lane road, planned around the proposed central business district in Sector 62.

The UT has already allotted the work of four-laning of the remaining portion of road from Sector 47 to SAS Nagar, which runs parallel to the Chandigarh-Ludhiana railway line.

However, it is not only the road sections moving east to west from Chandigarh to Mohali that need to be opened up and widened, the roads running from north to south within the two cities also need widening, said a UT official while quoting the vehicle number being registered every year in the two cities.

In the UT, the total number of vehicles registered has touched the seven lakh figure. Every year, 30,000 new vehicles (excluding commercial ones) are registered with the registering and licensing authority, Chandigarh, and in Mohali, 20,000 new vehicles are registered every year. By 2010, there will be 90,000 vehicles on roads in Chandigarh.

In Mohali, perpendicular roads that run within the township and cater to Mohali residents are already bursting with vehicular traffic. The main arterial road that connects various phases remains choked throughout the day. This road has markets, hospitals, houses and link roads into residential areas on either side.

But GMADA claims that it was undertaking work of widening of all major roads in the city.

The pressure in Mohali region is going to increase manifold as private residential projects that dot Mohali’s periphery are located on roads that spread out to Banur, Kharar and Fatehgarh Sahib.

The proposed international airport is going to put further load on the infrastructure.

What needs to be done

  • Multi-level transport system
  • Effective use of vertical and horizontal road linkages
  • Widening roads on a priority basis
  • Better use and maintenance of cycle tracks
  • Planning new projects keeping in mind the traffic handling capacity of roads
  • Regulating the movement of public transport
  • Mandatory adequate parking for multiplexes, shopping malls and other big projects
  • Taking off vehicles from congested areas



MC to engage consultants for water supply
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Keeping in view the development of the city, the MC is going to engage consultants for augmentation of water supply and sewerage system in Chandigarh. The consultant will prepare the feasibility reports and, thereafter, project report for the submission to the ministry of the urban development under the JNNURM.

Consultancy services of the augmentation of the water supply and sewerage system in areas will be studied in urban sectors of Chandigarh from Sector 1 to 56, the building of Punjab and Haryana Secretariat, Vidhan Sabha, High Court and lake and Industrial Area, Phase I and II, Chandigarh, Manimajra Town and Mauli Jagran Colony.


UT to launch city card on Sept 27
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The Administration is all set to celebrate World Tourism Day in the city on September 27.

The administration has planned to launch city card, introduction of tourism police squad, organising of musical night, senior citizens' picnic, rides and tourism run.

The Governor of Punjab and Administrator UT, Chandigarh, General S. F. Rodrigues (Retd.) will launch the city card at Hotel Mountview. The city card costing Rs 100 will entitle tourists and visitors for discounts at CITCO restaurants, free entry to Rock Garden, government museum and art gallery and free rides on hop-on-hop-off bus. The card will be made available from September 27 at railway station, Tourist Information Centres and other tourist places and will be valid for three days.

A squad of 100 police personnel under the tourism police will be introduced at Sukhna Lake who will provide assistance to the tourists round the year round the clock. They will be deputed at major tourist spots like Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden and City Plaza.

A run for tourism will be organized with the support CITCO from Sukhna Lake to Rock Garden, which will terminate at the lake. A picnic at Kansal Forest for senior citizens of the Old Age Home will be organised by CITCO and flagged off from Lajpat Rai Bhawan.

International Food Festival will also be hosted by CITCO at Hotel Mountview to mark the celebrations of World Tourism Day. The festival will offer Mexican, Lebenian, Italian and Continental Cuisine. The cuisine would be made available at a packaged rate of Rs. 399 from 12 noon to 11.00 pm on this Saturday and Sunday.



‘Many women sleep without food everyday’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
“As many as 350 million people in India, sleep everyday without food; a majority of them are women,” said Prof Pam Rajput during a special lecture organised by the Centre for Women’s Studies and Development, Panjab University, on the eve of the mid-term assessment of the Millennium Development Goals by the United Nations. Speaking on the theme, “Women in Public Policy in India”, Professor Rajput, the founder director of the Centre, declared that women had, by and large, remained invisible in policy making.

“There are three kinds of policies. First, are those policies, wherein women are treated as of no concern. These policies are gender-neutral and gender blind, such as the macroeconomic policies in the era of globalisation. For example in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs), the women workers get a token, even to go to the washroom and if they go for more than a specific number of times in a day, their salary is cut. Second were the women specific policies such as the National Perspective Plan for Women and the National Policy on Empowerment of Women and third were those policies wherein women have a specific concern, such as those in the health and education sector. However, laxity in implementation has resulted in increased vulnerability of women. Gender inequality results in unbearably high-economic costs for the entire nation”, she said.

Earlier, welcoming the guests, Prof Meera Malik, director of the centre, said the centre had embarked on a journey wherein it hoped to rope together all sections of the population in building a gender-just society. As a first step in this direction, the centre has started a series of lectures on women’s studies in which eminent persons, both male and female from various walks of life will be invited to present their views before the faculty and students of the university.



20 dengue cases reported
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Triggering an alarm, the health authorities today confirmed 20 cases of dengue in the city. And around 9 suspected cases are under treatment at various hospitals here.

The patients, suffering from fever and low count of blood platelets, are pouring in from the Manimajra, Mouli Jagran, Sector 20, 42, 38 West, 46, 26 and Sector 7.

Two positive cases of dengue were reported recently. Two men, named Amit and Alok, were confirmed of having the tropical viral disease. Both are under treatment at the GMSH-16 Hospital.

Dr SK Bhandari, joint medical superintendent, GMSH-16, said nine patients with suspected dengue were under observation. He, however, put the number of confirmed cases at 19. People have also been told to ensure mosquito-free sanitary conditions.

According to the emergency medical officer, PGI, the number of people with high fever was increasing and almost 5-10 patients were reported daily. Doctor at the PGI, though said there was no need to panic and the patients were recovering.

The symptoms of serious dengue fever include high temperature and severe body ache. The fever and pain is accompanied by cough and congestion in the eyes. The fever has a course of five to seven days and afterwards the blood platelet count becomes normal.



Bees attack councillor at rose garden
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The Municipal Corporation at last woke up to initiate a special operation to clear beehives in the rose garden when a councillor was stung by honey bees during his routine morning walk today.

Nominated councillor M P S Chawla stated that the incident occurred this morning when one jogger entered the rose garden and was attacked by the bees and stung by them. He tried to run away but the bees also stung people, which were around that area at that time. Chawla said when he tried to save him from the bees, he was also attacked by the swarm and had to get immediate medical treatment.

An official of the medical health office stated that during the day, a special operation was launched up by the office to destroy the beehives from the garden.



Decorated poet being harassed by cops
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Shiv Nath at his Phase-X residence in Mohali
Shiv Nath at his Phase-X residence in Mohali

Mohali, September 24
Shiv Nath, a poet laureate from Punjab, is in search of justice. He is allegedly being harassed by his next-door neighbour and the Mohali police for the past over two and a half years.

A celebrated poet, Shiv Nath, who was conferred with Shiromani Sahitkar Award by the Punjab government in 2003, eked out his living by distributing magazines in Mohali and Chandigarh. He alleged that policemen taunted him asking, “Old man, do you have sexy magazines also?” and never took his complaints seriously. Fed up with their indifferent attitude, the dejected writer took up the issue with the SSP Mohali J.S. Aulakh but to no results so far.

The 74-year-old writer told TNS that he lodged a complaint with the SSP on Monday. The SSP immediately issued instruction to the police station concerned and told him to meet the SHO. Expressing doubts over investigating official, Shiv Nath told SSP that the accused had become bold at the “support” of the policemen, as instead of initiating action they began shielding the accused. As a result, the accused dared to threaten him in front of investigating officer Sohan Singh, who made no attempt to stop him.

When he showed the SSP’s instruction to the SHO, he first took offensive of it and asked him to come some other time. Later, he sent a policeman to his residence asking him to come to meet him at 11 am on Tuesday. When he reached there on appointed time, the SHO told him that the second party did not come and asked him to come on Saturday, said Shiv Nath.

“I confronted with him as to why they were harassing me by making rounds of the police station for all these years, paying scant regard for my old age and ill-health, the SHO shouted at me and told me to get lost” said the visibly upset poet. “The Punjab government has issued me a special privilege card, but it seems that card has no value before such policemen”.

It all started in March, 2006, when his next-door neighbour illegally constructed a room, thus depriving the staircases leading to his fourth floor residence of sunlight. The staircases plunged into darkness and due to his ill-health and problem in his eyesight, he found it too difficult to climb the stairs. He reported the matter to GMADA, after he failed to convince his neighbour, Prem Pal, to stop the illegal construction.

“After GMADA issued notices to Prem Pal, he manhandled me and also hurled abuses on me and his family. I reported the matter to the police and following which he tendered a written apology on March 26, 2006. As he did not demolish the illegally constructed room, the GMADA sent him a notice informing him to resume his flat and he again began harassing him. I lodged a complaint with the police and after over two weeks the police, surprisingly, sent the matter to GMADA to resolve our issue”.

The SHO of the Phase XI police station Deepinder Singh admitted that Shiv Nath was asked to come on Saturday as the other party could not come. Denying harassment, he, however, stated that the matter pertains to GMADA.



MC staff gherao police station
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 24
In protest against the registration of a case against an MC employee following the death of a stray bull last Wednesday, MC employees today gheraoed the Phase 8 police station and raised slogans against the police.

Later, they blocked traffic on the busy Chandigarh-Sohan road for over an hour. They then employees moved to the office of the deputy commissioner and staged a dharna there.

The employees have threatened that if the FIR against the employee was not withdrawn and action taken against Lambian residents who assaulted MC men on duty were not met, they would intensify their agitation. The employees threatened to disrupt essential services if their demands were not accepted.



Finally, shopkeepers allotted booths
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 24
After months of waiting, shopkeepers of Phase 3B1, Janta rehri market, were allotted booths in a draw held by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority here today.

The draw was conducted in the presence of the state cooperative minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh. As many as 369 persons were allotted the booths and eight cases were withheld. The ACA, Mohali, Balwinder Singh Multani, said the draw was held peacefully.

At the rehri market, at least 130 booths were ready to be occupied. Shopkeepers have been asked to shift temporarily to a site near Phase 3A. All 377 kiosks were destroyed in a fire that ravaged the market last year.

The draw was held after the government decided that single booths would be allotted in cases where the names of husband, wife and their minor children were separately mentioned in the list of claimants.



Cops play down firing incident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The police seems to be in a denial mode about the last night’s fracas that it had with certain Punjab police personnel in the industrial area. Though officials are now denying that any such incident occurred, eyewitnesses claim that even one shot was allegedly fired in the air by one of those involved in the incident.

The incident reportedly occurred last night when a police patrol spotted two persons standing near the industrial area police station. When the police party stopped to check their antecedents, some argument ensued between them following which the duo was asked by the personnel to accompany them to the police station.

The eyewitnesses claim that one of the two persons, who was later identified as Suresh Kumar, a PAP (36 Battalion) constable, managed to escape. As the UT cops were chasing him, a white Toyota Innova made a screeching halt close to Suresh and pulled him in. Before the vehicle sped away, a shot was fired in the air.

The UT cops were, however, brought the other youth, Vinod Kumar, also a Punjab Police constable, to the police station. He was later interrogated by senior officials, including DSP (East) P K Dhawan. However, none of the officials are willing to comment on record about the case.

However, in a bid to play down the incident, the officials are claiming that Suresh recorded his statement today claiming that he had gone to Bahadurgarh as he got scared seeing the UT officials. However, UT officials are unable to explain what was the need for a cop to runaway after seeing or being questioned by his UT counterparts? They are also not willing to comment how Suresh reached Bahadurgarh at the unearthly hour and why the UT police officials who chased him failed to catch him?

The eyewitnesses claimed that Suresh was taken away in the Innova bearing a Delhi registration number, which is in the knowledge of the police.



Special police squad to help tourists
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Concerning the security of the tourists and residents, the Chandigarh administration will start Chandigarh tourism police at the Sukhna Lake on the occasion of World Tourism Day on September 27.

Training programme for the tourism police squad was conducted at the Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management recently. The training programme was sponsored by UT’s department of tourism. A total of 100 police personnel were trained during the programme in four batches of 25 each.

Objective of administration behind the starting of the tourism police is to promote safe tourism in the city. Director tourism, Vivek Atray, said there was a need for such a specialised force as the city, being the hub of three states (Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh), was fast becoming a preferred tourist destination.



Subway in industrial area mooted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
A subway connecting Phases I and II of Industrial Area has been mooted to decongest the busy Ambala-Chandigarh highway. In fact, the subway would go a long way in improving the movement of traffic between the two phases and come to the rescue of the hapless pedestrians, a representation from the Industries Association of Chandigarh, said.

With traffic chaos ruling the roost at Tribune Chowk and the area adjoining Centra Mall, the subway was need of the hour, association president Pawan K. Aggarwal, demanded. Thousands of vehicles, including state government buses, passed through the Chandigarh-Ambala highway and the roads adjoining the industrial area. Accidents were a routine affair and industrialists' proposal for the subway had been hanging fire for a long time.

Similarly, the extension of the road in front of Centra Mall up to the slow carriageway running along the Chandigarh-Ambala highway was also waiting to be implemented for years now, honorary secretary of the association Sanjeev Gupta added.



O.P. Nayyar’s widow dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Saroj Mohini Nayyar(75), widow of legendary Bollywood music director O.P. Nayyar, who traced her roots to Chandigarh, died in Mumbai today.

According to Rakesh Arora, her younger brother, Saroj was the lyricist of the hit song “Pritam aan milo” composed by noted music director of yesteryears C.H. Atma. She is survived by three daughters and a son.



Brisk-walk contest today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The Chandigarh police and the Senior Citizens Association will organise a brisk-walk competition at Sukhna Lake, in the morning tomorrow.

The competition will be organised for both male and female.




Roads need proper repair

Condition of 50 per cent roads of city are in bad condition. Failure of MC has come on the surface in the recent rainy days. The potholes on the roads created problems on September 20.

In front of Phase I of Industrial Area, a bus, saving a scooterist who implied brakes seeing the deep potholes on the road, climbed on the divider resulting in injuries to its passengers.

The municipality workers fill up the potholes with mud and gravel instead of proper material. The potholes will appear if there is rain again.

G. K. Chopra

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PU Senate Polls
Five elected from graduates’ constituency
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Panjab University’s Gymnasium Hall was abuzz with activity today as the counting for the 15 seats of graduates’ constituency began today. Five candidates from the graduates’ constituency were declared elected to the Panjab University Senate after the first round of counting concluded at the Gymnasium Hall, Panjab University here today.

A total of 66,540 votes were polled in the constituency, out of which 55,387 votes were valid and 11,153 votes were declared invalid.

While candidates were elected from three reserved seats, including one from Chandigarh and two from Punjab, to the Senate, two other candidates cleared the quota of 3,462 votes fixed by the returning officer for the graduates’ constituency.

Director (colleges) of the DAV Managing Committee, M. L. Aeri, pocketed the maximum number of votes totalling 5,337, another candidate sponsored by the DAV Managing Committee, Junesh Kakaria, cleared the quota by getting 4,007 votes. Junesh Kakaria is the principal of HMV College, Jalandhar.

The only seat reserved for candidate from Chandigarh went to first-timer Rajbans Singh Gill, who was polled a total of 2,580 votes. Presently, he is a lecturer in department of public administration at Punjabi University, Patiala.

Talking to The Tribune, an elated Rajbans said he would work for the promotion of job-oriented courses for the students.

The other two reserved seats for Punjab went to Jagpal Singh and Jarnail Singh, who got 3,222 and 2,083 votes, respectively. While Jagpal is a lecturer of political science at SCD College, Ludhiana, Jarnail Singh is head of the department of mathematics at DAV College, Hoshiarpur, and is presently officiating as the principal of the college.

Interestingly, both Jarnail Singh and Jagpal Singh have been earlier contesting from lecturers’ constituency.

Meanwhile, counting for the second round will begin at the same venue tomorrow.



PU Student Council to take oath today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Finally, after a long delay, the newly elected Panjab University Campus Students’ Council gave in and will sworn in tomorrow.

Earlier, the council members had refused to take oath of the office on the pretext of finalising some demands. However, according to sources, it was an open secret that the council members were adamant on their stand and had vowed not to take oath and assume office till the ‘kingmaker’ Brinder Dhillon got admission in the department of laws.

Even though the PUCSC will be officially taking over the office tomorrow but some of the newly elected student-council leaders have already started working from the council’s office. The delay was inevitable as few of the elected representatives were not present in the city prior to this date, said the dean students’ welfare.

Interestingly, in all the city colleges, the installation ceremonies of respective student councils were done the very next day.

Dean student welfare, Naval Kishore, said: “The date was fixed taking into consideration inability of all the members to attend the oath-taking ceremony.”

The council members are planning to take out their supporters on a religious trip to Amritsar and Vaishno Devi following the oath.



Educomp launches learning programme
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 24
One On One (O3) computing-enabled learning system was launched at the Millennium School here on Monday.

The path-breaking O3 system, enabled and empowered by IT giant, INTEL, and education solutions provider, Educomp Solutions, was inaugurated as a pilot project at a ceremony at the school that witnessed a group of over 70 students of the school receiving laptops or Class Mate PCs (CMPCs) from Navjot Kaur, additional deputy commissioner, who was chief guest on the occasion.

Sonia Handa, head, strategic alliances, Educomp Solutions Ltd, said introducing next-generation computing in classrooms would supplement and empower the traditional text-book learning, which would be an added edge to the students, who had to face the challenges of aggressive learning systems being introduced worldwide.

Mandeep Bhandari, business lead, World Ahead Program, Intel India, said Intel-powered Class Mate PCs would be able to integrate the technology and existing education ecosystem to provide a holistic and locally relevant solution that enriched the Class Mate PC experience.

Komal Singh, principal of the school, said students of Classes III to VI were selected for the pilot project, and the laptops or Class Mate PCs (CMPCs) from Intel would leverage classroom and notebook ecosystem. He added that the efficacy and advantages of the O3 programme would be analysed at the end of current academic year.



Mentors go unnoticed during youth fest
Himani Chandel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Punjabi folk instrumental music came alive today at the youth festival being organised at MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36. Clad in traditional colourful dresses, the girls gave mesmerising performance depicting the exuberant culture of Punjab. But the ones, who went unnoticed in the entire affair, were the accompanists or the mentors, who were behind all the talent performances.

Chipping-in for years in the youth festival to train the participants and make them prepare for the final event, they have become integral part of the competition.

“I am coaching the participants of the youth festivals for years. We are always excited to take part in it as it keeps the winning spirit alive in us,” said Nidhan Singh, the accompanist and mentor of Jitender, a student of GCG-11, who bagged second prize in folk music (instrumental). Nidhan Singh is a professional Sarangi player and has performed in big events in India and abroad.

Though being professionals in their concerned area of music, the accompanists are happy to serve themselves for the youth festival at a small price. “Although I am playing dhol since past 20 years, but performing at the competition with these participants is a different experience. It is like a challenge as we keep our fingers crossed to bag the first prize,” said Rana, one of the accompanists of the orchestra team of GCG-11.

However, it is not always the talented students, who are put to be trained by these professionals. There are amateurs who have won prizes after being coached by them. “We have trained students with no background in the concerned instrument and they have won prizes too,” he said.

Jyoti Sarup Kaur, the winner of folk instrumental and a student of Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, took only three weeks to learn to play tradition Indian earthen pot (ghada). “It is all because of our teacher who, in such a short time, made me so confident that I was able to win first prize,” said Jyoti.



Designations of GMCH-32 faculty changed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Chandigarh administration has approved change in the nomenclature of the designations of the GMCH-32 faculty from old designations of senior lecturer, reader and professor to assistant professor, associate professor and professor in their respective scales.

Director principle of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Dr Rajbhadur, said the faculty of the college was aspiring this for long time. He said almost all the institutions in the region, including AIIMS and PGI, the faculty is designated as assistant professor, associate professor and professor.

According to a professor at GMCH-32, the designations of lecturer and reader give an erroneous impression of lecturer anywhere in the school or degree colleges and reader working in the court. Faculty is indeed very happy to have changed designations, which shall boost their morale.



From Colleges
GCG-11 conducts maths quiz
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Mathematics association of Government College for Girls, Sector 11, organised ‘Mathe-mania’ today. The students of the college showcased their innovative skills in the form of presentations on diverse topics of wide-ranging interest. ‘Mathe-mania’, the quiz containing brain-twisting questions to check the mathematical ability of the students was conducted, which invited a huge participation of the mathematics students.


Liz Batra’s IEGC Agency was today awarded the Best Performing Agent Trophy in recognition of their performance on behalf of New Zealand educators. This marked the third year in a row that Liz had won the award, which was keenly contested by members of the New Zealand-Indian Education Representatives group (NZIER).

Job fair

Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology, Ramnagar (Banur), conducted Mega Job Fair in a series on its campus from September 14 to September 22, in which 51 colleges were registered for joint campus placements and over 4,500 job seekers from the North region, comprising Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pardesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttranchal and Chandigarh, thronged the premises of SVIET.



Ruskin Bond’s story enacted at YPS
S. D. Sharma

Chandigarh, September 24
Junior-wing students of Yadavindra Public School (YPS), Mohali, staged their annual drama production ‘The Blue Umbrella’ at the MRA auditorium here today. The musical play in English had been evolved from a popular story by Ruskin Bond, which fairly depicted the innocence and uprightness of the children and inmates of a sleepy village. The play, which progressed under the direction of noted actor Zubin Mehta, bared the human psyche of falling prey to the evils of avarice, hypocrisy and temptation, besides highlighting the virtues of ethics and didacticism.

Zubin employed two sets of narrators to link the sequences, besides relying upon the soothing light and sound effects, while the choir songs by Komal Anand. Rain and umbrella dances were the main attraction of the play, which evoked encouraging response from the audience. Jansher, Hargun, Parth Kohli, Anhad, Sanya, Tushar and Mehtab played lead roles with over hundred artists on stage.

Earlier, Komal Anand, introducing the play, welcomed the principal, Harish Dhillon, who shared his latest interaction with the author Ruskin Bond.



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