C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


4 students caught guzzling beer in school bus
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The plan to ‘cheers’ their way back home turned sour as four students of KBDAV, Sector- 7, were caught drinking beer in a school bus by a schoolteacher. These Class X students had smuggled beer cans into the school. They had even consumed some beer during the school hours but were caught midway their ‘celebrations’ in the bus.

“They had opened the cans in the class also but used a room freshener to subside the smell but were caught after a classmate found them drinking it inside the bus and complained to the schoolteacher. This time also they had used room freshener to subside the smell, ”a fellow student said.

“The entire school knows about it and the in charge of senior wing ‘identified’ them and took them to the principal who called their parents. They have not come to school since then. Teachers claim that the two have already been rusticated, ” another student added.

However, Madhu Bahl, principal, denied having taken any action so far. Though she confirmed being aware of the incident.

“The matter was brought to my notice, but I am yet to identify the students as I was busy in the press conference for the Ram Lila to be organised in the school. It may be a rumor also as it has never happened in our school earlier,” she added.

Meanwhile, numerous staff members on the condition of anonymity confirmed the report.

While speaking to The Tribune a senior teacher said,” It’s shocking but true. The boys were caught by a Class X teacher and the matter was reported to the principal. Requisite action has also been taken against them. The entire incident happened three-four days ago and teachers are bothered about the increasing incidents of indiscipline among students.”

The matter has also raised concerns amongst parents. “When my daughter came and told me about this I was shocked. Things are getting worse and what I cite as the major reason is that school authorities are busy in all other things but are least bothered about students, ” one of the parents quipped.



Celebrating World Tourism Day
City to shed its just-a-stopover image
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Le Corbusier’s masterpiece-Chandigarh-is finally shedding its image of just being a stopover for those on their way to Himachal Pradesh and is fast emerging as a tourist destination in its own right. In fact, 35 per cent of the tourists have exclusively come to visit the city in the recent past.

A survey conducted by University Business School, Panjab University, has shown that there has been 10 per cent increase in tourists visiting the city since the last year. The survey conducted between August and December 2007, covered 500 tourists. During 2007-2008, at least 7.5 lakh tourists had visited the city. Out of this 33,000 were foreigners against 26,000 in the previous fiscal out of 6.75 lakh tourists.

The survey also revealed that the city has emerged as a big shopping centre and a hub of business activities. As per analysis, it has been found that 80 per cent tourists visited shopping centres while 34 per cent come mainly for the business purposes.

“The survey has confirmed that the city has chalked out a special place for itself in the filed of tourism”, according to Vivek Atray, director, Tourism Department.

“Chandigarh is a tourist destination par excellence with pleasant climate throughout the year due to which foreigners prefer visiting the city first of all while touring India,” claims R.K. Thaman, a tourism expert.

A clean city with open and wide roads, large number of parks and so many tourists’ destinations in and around the city, is unprecedented, says Thaman.

This coupled with Chandigarh’s connectivity with almost all parts of the country through rail, bus and air offered certain advantages to the city as compared to other cities in the region.

With the city all set to get international airport and metro, the tourism will get boost in the years to come. Besides, projects like the medicity, education city, the theme park and the multimedia film city are on fast track and will go a long way in making the city a tourist destination of the North India.

Officials said the initiatives such as the launch of tourism police; city card and bed and breakfast scheme would further boost the tourism in the city. The excellent infrastructure would only complement administration’s efforts in making the city a sought-after tourist destination, they added.



Peace Festival
200 ‘buddies’ to play host to foreign students
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

A few students who have been selected to play hosts to those coming from foreign countries and other states of India. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, September 26
A guest at home was never so exciting. At least 200 students have been busy throughout the week just to ensure that they play a perfect host to those coming from Pakistan, Nepal and neighboring states to celebrate the “Peace Festival” being organised in the city from September 28 to October 2.

“Before this I could never understand why mother freaked out about the house decoration whenever guests came. But now, I am sailing in the same boat. Since the day I came to know that I am supposed to be a buddy to a Pakistani girl I am leaving no stone unturned to ensure that she enjoys her stay here and I am remembered as a nice host,” said an excited Deep Gambhir of DAV College, Sector-10.

“I have never cared to even notice the colour of my bed sheet but I have shopped for the entire week just to ensure that my house impresses her. I have even sat and jotted down the menu. I am so excited about the entire thing and strangely I have butterflies in my stomach already.” chirps Navpreet as she tries to fit in a plump cushion into a newly -embroidered cushion cover.

The festival is being jointly organised by the UT Education Department, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, New Delhi, CYP Asia Centre, KB DAV Senior Secondary Public School, NSS Unit of DAV College, Gurukul School and Yuvsatta.

At least 250 students from Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Iran and different states of India will take part in the event and have a ‘buddy’ each who will not only lodge them in his house but will also facilitate them with everything.

For Priyanaka, a Class IX KB DAV, Sector-7, student it’s first experience.” Its so amazing that we will play hosts to students from a different culture altogether. I have always been curious about Pakistani culture and I am so happy I will get a slice of it very soon. Other than the arrangements, I am ensuring to look best while I exhibit ‘Athiti Devo Bhava’.

According to Madhu Bahl, festival’s co-convener, such events provide a platform for increased cross-fertilisation of ideas through greater interaction. And good part of the programme is that visiting students will be reaching Chandigarh on World Tourism Day.”



City has an inhospitable face too
Himani Chandel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Though, administration is all set to celebrate World Tourism Day tomorrow, tourists coming to the city continue to be harassed by rickshaw pullers, taxi drivers, beggars and at times the police as well.

According to the tourists visiting the city, guides, auto and taxi drivers, beggars and shopkeepers continuously hound them once they enter the city. They return with memories of hospitable India is only a myth.

With the problem getting worse day-by-day, is the city really the first choice of foreigners visiting India?

“People rush towards us madly which leads to embarrassment and fear of getting physically harassed. Sometimes it takes long for us to convince the guides that we really don’t need them, “said Marianne Bernadette 
from Germany.

From inaccurate information provided by the guides, tourists information centre and even by the roadside vendors to the names of unfamiliar cuisines on the menu card, most of the tourists opt for hit and trial basis.

“Even if somebody doesn’t have the right information he would never say no to your query. Rather he would guide you to unknown direction. Today morning when we asked the police about a hotel’s location in Sector-17, three of them simultaneously pointed their fingers in different directions,” she added.

While unscrupulous guides swindlers mislead travellers, inadequate signages, right from the airport to a hotel, ensure that a tourist gets lost in city’s entity. “We always have to reconfirm the information given to us by the people or by our guides,” added Marianne.

The biggest apprehension for another tourist from Germany, Bernadette, a medical student, is that why shopkeepers four times more compared to Indians.

“The thing which cost an Indian Rs 20 would given to us for Rs 100. Even after paying so much, one can’t be sure of its originality and durability,” she added.

“It is something which makes us feel cheated and discourage us from purchasing things or trusting shopkeepers,” she added.



Gang of robbers busted; 3 held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
With the arrest of three persons, the police today claimed to bust an inter-state gang of robbers involving in over 12 incidents. The police said they had looted a man on the knife point in Industrial Area, last month.

The accused have been identified as Raju Khan alias Mohammad Zahoor alias Irfan of Colony number 4, Hardeep Singh of Bapu Dham Colony and Monu Joshi of Mauli Complex.

However, their accomplice Soni Kaju is still at large. Raju Khan is said to be a notorious criminal arrested earlier in several cases of robberies and snatching, including in an attempt to murder case.

Yashpal Sharma, SHO of the Industrial Area, said on August 18 the accused had robbed Tilak Kumar of Panchkula and stabbed him before fleeing. They robbed him of Rs 400, a mobile phone and his bicycle in the industrial area. He was working as tubewell operator in Darua village and was admitted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital. The police said Khan had several hideouts in Punjab an Uttar Pradesh.



Special drive to check vehicle thefts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
To check vehicle thefts as well as other criminal activities, the local police with the CRPF erected special ‘nakas’ at various points under a special drive launched in the city tonight.

The police sealed sectors 35, 36, 43 and 61. “Besides checking thefts, we are also issuing challans to traffic violators. This step is being taken to curb unlawful elements during night time,” said Davinder Sharma , SHO Sector 36 police station. As many as 25 challans were issued till the filing of the report.



A correction

In the news item, "IT dept cracks whip on MLA's kin", published on Friday, it was erroneously stated that Arun Ummat, against whom the IT department has launched recovery proceedings, is reportedly the son-in-law of Congress MLA Brahm Mohindra.

In fact, Arun is related to senior Congress leader and former Punjab cabinet minister Harnam Dass Johar and has no relations with Brahm Mohindra.

We regret any embarrassment inadvertently caused to Brahm Mohindra on this account.



Illegal constructions dot city, periphery
CHB sleeps after issuing notices
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Despite issuing notices to violators by the authorities concerned, haphazard construction leading to unsafe buildings continues to plague the southern parts of the city.

As many as 500 demolition notices under Section 15 and equal number of show-cause notices have been issued by the Chandigarh Housing Board for various violations committed by the dwellers. Similarly, the Estate Office, Chandigarh, has around 1200 such still-to-hear cases.

Assistant estate officer Ashwani Kumar said the illegal construction which was six-month-old is treated under Section 8 A and older constructions were dealt with under Section 15. “We have issued around 200 notices under Section 15 lately and the occupants are given ample time to hear their side.”

The officials admitted that the authorities, too, become lenient in taking action because the building bylaws continued to get amended and the fresh guidelines had not been finalised as yet.

The illegal construction has been done by residents on terraces of flats in the entire belt of southern sectors. A survey by Chandigarh Tribune revealed that the hundreds of MIG flat residents of Sectors 45-A, 47-C & D, 44-A & D, 40 and 46 have added illegal floors. Many people who have done so have given these units on rent. In some cases, they have accommodated their growing families on what is actually CHB’s land.

The officials at the CHB said action against the violators was taken on three grounds, the construction has been done on government land without getting the approval, the structural stability of the houses is disturbed or the rights of neighbours or others are being encroached upon. The board also took notice of commercial activities being carried out in the residential accommodation like running coaching centre or any type of academy, barber shop, etc.

However, the occupants have been allowed to use part of the area of the dwelling units subject to maximum of 150 sq. metre for the installation of STD, PCO, fax or photostat machine, etc but subject to the permission taken from the secretary of the board.

Besides this, professional consultants such as doctors, advocates, architects and property dealers are allowed to use maximum of 25 per cent of the covered area of the dwelling unit but the board does not allow clinical laboratories in the dwelling units.



Villages marred by illegal construction
Aarti Kapoor
Tribune News Service

Illegal structures have come up in Balongi Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Chandigarh, September 26
Haphazard construction continues to plague the city despite it being considered as the one of the most planned city in the country.

Unsafe buildings are coming up on the periphery of the city and also in sectors under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Corporation in violation of building by laws of the Chandigarh Administration Rules, 2006, which prohibits any new construction without the approved building plan.

Most parts of the southern sectors and colonies in the city are fast developing into a concrete jungle. Not just villages, haphazard and unauthorized construction can be seen in the backyard of houses in most sectors. Villages surrounded by sectors have shops, workshops, guesthouses, hotels, godowns and multi-storey houses.

Many villages, including Burail, Attawa, Kajheri and Hallomajra, have narrow lanes, buildings with dingy living conditions, hanging electricity cables, lack of adequate ventilation and sunlight.

One of the officials of the corporation opined that keeping in view the growing needs of the people, there was dire need to modify the building bylaws. Official pointed out that in most of the villages there is no provision of parking of vehicles which creates a mess in the villages with the passage of time.

Official added that under the rules, the minimum height of a habitable room should not be less than nine feet, which is applicable to kitchen, verandah and other parts of the building and its minimum size should not be less than 100 sq ft. He said in case of any eventuality, it is difficult for firemen to carry out a rescue operation. Besides, there should also be no opening in the common wall and minimum ventilation should be 10 per cent of the floor area.

MC joint commissioner T P S Phoolka revealed that a video footage of all encroachments in the villages has been prepared during the survey conducted in those areas. He stated that the MC authorities would now easily detect the illegal construction in various villages and issue notices to the violators. He said a special drive is going on for checking the illegal guesthouses being run in those areas and also the illegal construction in guesthouses.



Vote politics ruins city’s neighbour
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Spots circled shows the location of unauthorised colonies in Mohali district

Mohali, September 26
Vote politics coupled with policies to favour the alleged land mafia has ruined Punjab’s area on the periphery of Chandigarh.

The land under the Periphery Act, where change of land use is prohibited, has been drastically reduced with the state government’s carving out civic bodies one after the other, the last being the Nayagaon notified area committee. The end result has been haphazard constructions, endless litigations and genuine plot seekers losing their money to colonisers.

Of the total 1,36,660 acres of land on the periphery control area, around 25,000 acres have already become the part of the civic bodies of Zirakpur, SAS Nagar, Kharar, Dera Bassi and Nayagaon. An official in the housing and urban development department said by constituting civic bodies, politicians have found a mechanism to circumvent the Periphery Act. “Constituting civic bodies where illegal constructions come up are always political decision. The basic parameters are always ignored”, said an official.

The duplicity of enforcing agencies, the local government and the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), has compounded the problems of the common man who is finding his hard-earned money blocked in illegal colonies. Officials reveal that since 1990, around 350 such colonies exist in Zirakpur, Kharar, Kurali, Derabassi, and Majri area. Around 100 cases were still pending with the police for registration of cases.

Balwinder Singh Multani of GMADA said whenever any case was detected, intimation was sent to the police for registration of an FIR. Recently, the GMADA had got 19 cases registered against colonisers of Kharar and Zirakpur. A senior police official said under the Act, the GMADA authorities enjoy the powers of deputy commissioner and were competent enough to demolish the illegal structures.

“ Cases should not be registered against the colonisers alone. Action should be taken against the GMADA and police officials, who are negligent of ignoring the structures at the initial stage”, said Jagwinder Singh, a resident of Zirakpur.

The fight between the Department of Local Government and the Department of Housing in Punjab over the issue of approving colonies in the state has hit the common man the most.

The Housing and Urban Development Department has pointed out that the town planning (TP) scheme of the local government has virtually ruined towns by allowing unbridled colonisation. While the housing department has been seeking amend in the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act 1995 (PAPRA) by including the group housing apartments, approved by the Department of Local Bodies, to be included in the definition of “colonies” given in the Act, the local government has opposed the inclusion.

Since the PAPRA was applicable to the entire state, including municipal areas, the Local Bodies Department was sanctioning colonies in the name of group housing schemes. While the colonies approved under the PAPRA have to follow strict rules to ensure that the consumer was not taken for a ride, in the municipal areas there was absence of strict regulatory control.



Govt sitting over Mullanpur’s master plan
Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

The shaded area of Mullanpur indicates the proposed local planning area

Mohali, September 26
It appears that the Punjab Government is taking too long to make public the draft master plan of Mullanpur’s local planning area, submitted by Jurong Ltd, the Singapore-based consultants of Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA).

Though the secretary, housing and urban development, Punjab, Arun Goel, denies any delay, sources say since the land use freezes once the master plan is notified, any changes, if required, are possible only at this stage.

“We are soon coming out with the draft plan. It does take some time to study various aspects of the plan submitted by the consultants,” said the secretary.

With certain influential persons, including politicians, having a stake in the area, the department is apparently sitting over the plan to give a better deal to the beneficiaries. Interestingly, the IAS-PCS Officers’ House Building Society has purchased land in Mullanpur and Shingariwala villages, located on Chandigarh’s periphery. The society proposes to have residential and commercial area in their project.

Some private builders also have plans to set up housing and commercial projects in the area. “While the builders have already entered into land deals, land use was the key to further investments. They want to cash in on the proximity of the area to Chandigarh,” confirmed the revenue officials who have facilitated the land deals.

The master plan does not alone serve the interest of those having land holdings around Mullanpur Garibdass, prime chunks of land along the Kurali-Mullanpur road and areas falling along the Chandigarh-Siswan-Baddi road have been notified last year as the Mullanpur local planning area. These days, sources say, VIPs are on a land-buying spree in the areas locked under the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900.

A separate proposal to have a NAC which would include 29 villages in the jurisdiction of the Majri block of Mohali district is pending with the state government.

In the regional plan 2008-2058 of the greater Mohali region, Jurong has indicated the character of Mullanpur as a tourism and recreational centre. Tentative residential, commercial and industrial zones have been shown in the regional plan. But the final shape would be known once the draft master plan is released before notifying the final plan.



UT police lathicharge students protesting against N-deal
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Members of the Punjab Students Union (PSU) faced water canons and lathis on the road dividing Sector 7 and 8 here this afternoon when they tried to cross the barricades in their bid to march toward the Punjab Raj Bhawan.

The agitating students, who had assembled in the city from across Punjab, were protesting against the Indo-US nuclear deal and were demanding to revoke it. Terming the deal as anti-national, they said Dr Manmohan Singh-led Central government had surrendered the sovereignty of India. Lashing out at the Chandigarh police, the representatives of the union said using force on peaceful demonstrators was nothing less than crushing their democratic rights.

UT policemen bash a student leader during the protest and (right) a girl student being taken away by lady police officials on the road dividing Sector 7 and 8 in Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

The students began assembling in the city since morning. They held a rally at the Sector 7 and 8 rotary before proceeding towards the Raj Bhawan. A contingent of the Chandigarh police stopped them at the barricades installed, but the agitating students refused to relent. When some students tried to cross over the barricades, the police splashed them with water canons. The policemen also pushed girls accompanying the protestors.

The police chased students while raining lathies on them, thereby leading to a chaos on Madhya Marg.

Several students sustained minor injuries. At this, some of the students began hurling stones at the policemen. The police retaliated and did not spare even those who fell on the road. Among others, Gurmukh Singh Mann, general secretary of the union and Beant Singh of Patiala, sustained injuries. Some of the policemen also suffered injuries during the clash. The police, however, did not register any case against the students, who later dispersed.



Reformist order of Juvenile Board on paper only
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The “reformist” order of the Juvenile Board directing a 16-year-old boy to perform two months of kar sewa at a gurdwara in connection with the murder and rape of a city-based woman has yet not been complied with.

The order was pronounced by the Juvenile Board (II) on May 2 this year. The boy was arrested along with two others in connection with the murder and rape of 65-year-old resident of Sector 15 on August 29, 2006. The FIR in the case was registered on September 2, two days after the recovery of the deceased’s body in her house. The victim was reportedly staying alone.

After conducting a speedy trial, the board in its order directed the SHO of police station, Sector 11, to get the reformatory “punishment” executed. However, till date the boy, who is suffering from tuberculosis, has not complied with the order and interestingly no written intimation has been submitted before the board regarding this.

What is shocking is that the boy was admitted to a hospital the very next day after his release from the juvenile home. Sources said his condition was so bad that he could hardly walk and was suffering from acute cough and fever.

He was subsequently diagnosed with tuberculosis and even till date he continues to be unwell. The juvenile has not moved a written application to inform the board about his health. However, one of the board members claimed that they had been verbally informed about his condition. However, no written intimation was either sent to the SHO Sector 11, who was supposed to get the reformist order implemented or the management of the Sector 22 gurdwara where he was to undergo the kar sewa.

Interestingly, the management of the gurdwara has not received any official information about the order. “I had read it in papers but till date neither the police nor the boy have come here to inform us,” said Narender Singh, the gurdwara in charge. On their part even the police hasn’t received any written orders from the board. SHO of the police station Sector 11, Ram Chander, said, “We have not received any orders through proper channel, so I have not kept a tab on it.”

Meanwhile the boy’s parents are emotionally shattered with the turn of the events. Coping with stigma of their son’s involvement in such a heinous crime and his health concerns adding to their exiting, they don’t know where to look for help. The father said, “My son has been taking treatment for TB for the past four months and has become very weak due to which he was not able to perform kar sewa”. They insisted that once he recovers, he would comply with the directions.

Meanwhile, lawyers are of the opinion that this entire “mess-up” is due to lack of communication. They maintain that in view of the boy’s physical condition his “sentence’’ can even be waived but a proper application has to be made by the defence counsel.



Mumbai-based magazine devotes issue to city
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Chandigarh, an architectural wonder created by Le Corbusier, never ceases to inspire and awe the architectural community. This time the city has caught the fancy of renowned architectural journal "Indian Architect and Builder", a Mumbai-based magazine, which has devoted a major portion of its recent issue to topics concerning "contemporary Chandigarh".

The special issue assumes importance at a time when Chandigarh is in the midst of "development dilemma", whether to go in for modernisation or maintain its traditional character in the backdrop of the edict of Chandigarh.

Befitting the occasion, the special focus in the magazine begins with a soul-stirring tribute to late Aditya Prakash, "an esteemed educator and larger-than-life human being" before graduating to contemporary issues confronting India's most-planned city. An article by Ashish Nangia on "Genesis, myth and future", set the tone for showcasing the works of leading contemporary architects.

In the backdrop of Chandigarh making a bid for the UNESCO heritage status, the last section seeks views from leading architects, including S.D. Sharma, Surinder Bahga, Jit Gupta, Renu Saigal, Renu Khanna and Sangeeta Bagga.

Meanwhile, talking to The Tribune, Surinder Bahga said the special focus on Chandigarh would dispel some of the myths and put at rest to certain controversies. "It is a rare occasion that a city is specially featured in a renowned magazine like Indian Architect and Builder," he added.



e wild wild web
Crowdsourcing, a new feather in Web 2.0 cap

Crowdsourcing is not an advertising term; one where a sales agent goes out in a crowd and shouts out his agenda. "Crowdsourcing" is just another feather into the web 2.0 world of open communication, knowledge sharing and media news explosion. It seems to be having unparalleled options for a creative marketer for his services.

Similarly, crowdsourcing is not another jargon. It is a very real and important business idea. Definitions and terms vary, but the basic idea is to tap into the collective intelligence of the public at large to complete business-related tasks that a company will normally either perform itself or outsource to a third-party provider. Yet free labour is only a narrow part of crowdsourcing's appeal. More importantly, it enables managers to expand the size of their talent pool while also gaining deeper insight into what customers really want.

Outsourcing is when someone hires another person or agency to perform a service and they do it and that’s the end of the relationship. That’s not much different from the way employment has worked throughout the ages. We’re talking about bringing people in from outside and involving them in this broadly creative, collaborative process. That’s a whole new paradigm. It is the Internet age and every entrepreneur is out to take advantage of the networked world.

Now the productive potential of millions of plugged-in enthusiasts is attracting the attention of old-line businesses, too. For the last decade or so, companies in the US and Europe have been looking overseas, to India or China, for cheap labour. But now it doesn’t matter where the laborers are - they might be down the block, they might be in Indonesia - as long as they are connected to the network.

Therefore, crowdsourcing can be defined as an act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call. Jeff Howe, a contributing editor to Wired magazine, first coined the term "crowdsourcing" in a June, 2006, article. He writes the blog crowdsourcing.com. His recent book: How the Power of the Crowd is driving the future of Business is on way to become one of the bestsellers.

Don Tapscott, a well-known business guru, has recently become an evangelist for mass collaboration in his book, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. Though the term is new, there are examples of projects being run on similar models for some time. In the 19th century, for example, the Oxford English Dictionary was written from volunteer contributions of millions of slips of paper. In our own time, the compilation of Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia written and edited by its users, is the best-known example of crowdsourcing.

With the rise of user-generated media such as blogs, Wikipedia, MySpace, and YouTube, it's clear that traditional distinctions between producers and consumers are becoming blurry. It's no longer fanciful to speak of the marketplace as having a "collective intelligence" today that knowledge, passion, creativity, and insight are accessible for all to see. As Time explained after choosing the collective "You" as the magazine's 2006 Person of the Year, "We're looking at an explosion of productivity and innovation, and it's just getting started, as millions of minds that will otherwise have drowned in obscurity get backhauled into the global intellectual economy."

In another article Jennifer Alsever says that crowdsourcing can improve productivity and creativity while minimising labour and research expenses. Using the Internet to solicit feedback from an active and passionate community of customers can reduce the amount of time spent collecting data through formal focus groups or trend research, while also seeding enthusiasm for upcoming products. By involving a cadre of customers in key marketing, branding, and product-development processes, managers can reduce both staffing costs and the risks associated with uncertain marketplace demand.

Google is sending satellite-positioning devices to India and enlisting volunteers to chart the country’s roads on Google Maps.

However, the inherent shortcoming with the crowdsourcing is that crowds are not employees, so executives can't expect to control them. Indeed, while they may not ask for cash or in-kind products, participants will seek compensation in the form of satisfaction, recognition, and freedom. They will also demand time, attention, patience, good listening skills, transparency and honesty. For traditional top-down organisations, this shift in management culture may prove difficult.

Moreover, it is like a double-edged sword. If you throw it open it can run a mess and get you defocused or the people contributing can feel offended if their ideas are not implemented, yet we lose the potential of a great idea if we don't. Therefore, it should be treaded with care.

The Economist tells the story of the Cambrian House, a pioneer company of for-profit crowdsourcing that encouraged people to send in ideas for new software products, had the community evaluate them, and then funded the winners (sounded like a great idea) but had to sell its assets recently and its chief executive acknowledged that its business model had failed.

The related terms of Crowdsourcing include:

Ideagoras: Democratic marketplaces for innovation. Proctor & Gamble taps 90,000 chemists on innocentive.com, a forum where scientists collaborate with companies to solve R&D problems in return for cash prizes.

Prosumers: Consumers who have also become producers, creating and building the products they use. The hit online game second life lets its user/residents write and implement software code to improve their virtual world.

Worksource: Tapping a crowd of people to complete repetitive tasks or piecework projects. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is a worksource initiative for tasks (such as sorting or classification) that are best served by human oversight.

Expertsource: A narrower form of crowdsourcing that involves soliciting input from technical experts in various fields.

AnilM is an editor of Instablogs.com




Pinjore Heritage fest from Oct 3
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The third Pinjore Heritage Festival will be held from October 3 to 5 at the Yadavindra Gardens, Pinjore, said Haryana minister of state for tourism Kiran Choudhry.

She said the annual festival would be inaugurated by Union Minister of Tourism and Culture Ambika Soni and Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda would preside over the function. Governor A.R. Kidwai will be the chief guest at the closing ceremony on October 5, she added. The event is being organised in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Tourism.

Choudhry said the festival would also showcase handloom and handicraft items made by artisans of the state. A street bazaar, reminiscent of the Mughal times, would be created with shops and clusters of stalls, tented pavilion, food plaza and performance stage. The entrance gate, parking area as well as the entire gardens would be illuminated in the evenings in a manner which would enhance the pristine beauty of these gardens by highlighting its architectural, aesthetic and landscape splendour, the minister said.

She said cultural evenings would be organised on all three days by the teams selected by NZCC, Patiala, and NCZCC, Allahabad. Renowned artists had been invited to regale the audience, she said.

The programmes for October 3 are: Rhythm and Harmony - classical dance by national awardees Prathiba Prahlad, Sovana Narayan, Ranjana Gauhar and Bharati Shivaji Group from New Delhi. October 4: Panchashar and Vedna - dance drama by Pt Rajendra Gangani and his group, New Delhi, and for October 5: Qawalis by Sayeed Sabri and party of Jaipur.

Performers during the day would be Siddi Goma Traj Pipla-Surat, Kalbelia Sapera Dance-Jaipur, Kacchi Ghori-Jaipur, Puppet Show-Jaipur, Dhol Nagara-Banchari-Hodal, Bagpiper-Kaithal, Been Sapera-Panipat, Bhangra and Gidda, bioscope and folk dances.

The transport authorities would make the arrangements for plying buses on the Chandigarh-Pinjore route up to 11 p.m.



Corruption Charges
CAT orders to reinstate dismissed cops
Departmental proceedings may be initiated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Quashed the orders of dismissal of a sub-inspector and a constable passed by the UT police, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) directed the authorities to reinstate the two within two weeks. However, the CAT held that authorities concerned had the liberty of initiating departmental proceedings against the two after following due process.

Sub-inspector Diwan Singh and constable Jasbir Singh were dismissed from the police after they were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on charges of indulging in corruption.

SI, Diwan Singh, appealed in the tribunal challenging his dismissal. He stated that he was posted as in-charge of Sector-61 police post, when the CBI arrested him. He stated that on April 22, 2008, he was asked for accompanying the electricity-department team for conducting raids in village Kajheri.

A case of electricity-theft was registered against Prem Singh on the complaint of electricity department. However, Prem Singh approached the CBI with a complaint that Diwan Singh had been demanding bribe of Rs 20,000 for not arresting him. On the basis of complaint, CBI arrested Diwan Singh and Jasbir Singh under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act on April 25, 2008.

Diwan Singh and Jasbir Singh were dismissed from service on April 30.

Diwan Singh and Jasbir Singh argued that the disciplinary authority had applied the provisions of article 311 (2) (b) by concluding that it was not practicable to hold the inquiry. It was strange that instead of taking an action against Prem Singh, an accused, authorities had used a shortcut method of dismissing them from the service. Strange enough, no such provision was applied in other 25 cases against other policemen, many of which are very serious in nature.

The administration and senior superintendent of police stated that the two were caught red-handed while accepting the bribe. So the orders for their dismissal were justified.



Pedestrians’ Passage
Whose responsibility is it? MC, admn unsure
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Authorities of the Chandigarh administration and the municipal corporation are in a fix as to who actually is responsible for the upkeep of the passage used by the pedestrians adjoining the houses in Sector-19, Chandigarh.

They have yet to decide as to who will block this passage being illegally used by the two-wheeler drivers as a short cut thereby causing inconvenience to the pedestrians.

Due to this there has been rise in the incidence of crime in residential area as it is easy for the criminals to escape from this passage and merge in the traffic.

The Sector-19 residents are also in a fix at whom to approach, as they themselves are not aware which department is actually responsible for maintaining this passage. Though the authorities are aware that this is an illegal passage, but they have failed to fix the responsibility of any department for resolving this crisis.

Bhupinder Bakshi, a resident of the area, said, “Petty crime like chain snatching have been reported from this area. My wife, too, had become a victim twice in two months. But, nothing has been done, as snatchers are able to escape easily. It is strange that the authorities instead of beefing up the security in this area, are blaming each other for the delay. I and other residents have made numerous representations to the administration and corporation in this regard but all in vain.”

Another resident revealed that a delegation of residents had also met police, administrative and corporation officials for resolving this issue, but nothing has been done so far. I have, on numerous occasions, seen young boys drinking in this passage and creating a mess in this residential area, the resident added.



Scientific adviser calls for focused research
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Stressing upon the need for basic research to strengthen technologies needed for development of strategic systems, principal scientific adviser to the government of India, Dr Rajagopala Chidambaram, called for utilisation of scientific knowledge for uplifting living standards in rural areas.

Delivering the golden jubilee oration on research and innovation at the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL) ranges in Ramgarh near here, Dr. Chidambaram said focus on fundamental research would help India become self-reliant in critical nuclear and defence technologies, which had been denied to the nation since a long time.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), of which the TBRL is a part, is observing its Golden Jubilee this year.

A nuclear scientist, he opined that excellence in research was needed for enhancement in the knowledge base whereas innovation was required for development of better products to make the country prosperous.

TBRL director, Dr. Satish Kumar, highlighted the achievements of DRDO since its inception on January 1, 1958. DRDO today consists of over 50 laboratories spread across the country, engaged in research in weapons technology, life sciences and allied areas.

Dr S.K. Vasudeva, director, DRDO headquarters, ex-directors of TBRL and scientists from sister DRDO establishments like Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment Regional Centre for military airworthyness, Food Research laboratories as well as other institutions like Central Scientific Instruments Organisation, Panjab University and Punjab Engineering College, were present on the occasion.



CSIO inks pact with Rajasthan firm
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) here signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Rajasthan Electronic and Instruments Limited (REIL) for joint exploration of market potential of technologies developed by CSIO.

The MoU was signed today by Dr Pawan Kapur, director, CSIO, and S.P. Singh, additional general manager, REIL. CSIO is a research institution under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research while REIL is a state government public sector undertaking.

Under the public-public partnership model of the MoU, REIL will use its business strategy to find a market for potential instruments and technology developed by CSIO. Based upon customer response, the investment will be made by REIL to bring out the products, in the shortest possible time, with the technical inputs from CSIO and launch them in the market.

A suitable mechanism for royalty and profit sharing would be mutually agreed upon by both establishments on a case-to-case basis. The new model of collaboration is expected to bridge the time-gap between technology development and product launching. Meanwhile, CSIO also observed the CSIR foundation day today by having an open house for the general public. The foundation-day lecture was delivered by the vice-chancellor of Kurukshetra University, Dr R.P. Bajpai, who is also a former director of CSIO.



ASI-Exam Scam
Exam again on Sept 28
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Considering the application of police personnel Yashpal Singh and 18 others regarding assistant sub-inspector (ASI) paper-leak scam, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has directed the home department to hold an inquiry into the case, and identify those responsible for it.

CAT has also directed the UT police to hold test for the said post on September 28, but its result would not be declared.

CAT stated that if, after the inquiry, the Home department would be able to identify the miscreants then the result of the previous test would be considered, otherwise, result of the recently held test would be considered.

The applicants stated that they had appeared in written test on December 23, 2007, for which an interview was held on January 21 this year. Yashpal stated that all the applicants, along with the respondents, namely Multan Singh, Ravdeep Singh Bhatia and Chander Mukhi, were declared selected by the authorities concerned.

However, the respondents, Multan Singh, Ravdeep Singh and Chander Mukhi, had earlier appealed before the tribunal after declaration of the result, wherein they had sought quashing and setting aside the selections to the post of ASI on the grounds that the written examination had not been as per the syllabus prescribed, and the question paper for written examination had got leaked before the test was conducted.

It was also alleged that in a similar selection for identical posts in Delhi police, the paper got leaked and the question paper was changed before the examination, but UT administration had not done the same.

CAT disposed of the previously filed application after the UT’s counsel stated that the administration had decided to annul the selection process from the stage of written test and interview.

The applicants, thereafter, filed the application challenging the cancellation of ASI exam held in December 2007.



Asthma on rise among traffic cops
Tribune News Service

A traffic cop wears an anti-pollution mask to man traffic on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway at Zirakpur on Friday. A Tribune photograph

Zirakpur, September 26
A large number of traffic policemen are falling sick due to the high-level of pollution in this township. With incidence of asthma on rise among these cops, they have now started wearing masks to protect themselves from smoke, dust and other pollutants.

According to sources, at least 28 traffic cops are stationed in and around Zirakpur to man the heavy flow of vehicular traffic. The sources revealed that thousands of vehicles daily pass on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway through Zirakpur. The constables remain on duty from 8 am to 8 pm. They virtually breathe dusty and polluted air, due to which a few of them fall sick every month.

DSP (Traffic) Raka Ghirra say, “Anti-pollution nose mask is good for traffic cops’ health as they have no choice but to do their duties in a polluted atmosphere. The traffic cops keep on standing throughout the day on this stretch thereby affecting their health.

“The area is full of dust and pollution. It is good that anti-pollution nose masks have been provided to us,” says traffic cop on duty.

Another cop says, “Earlier we would avoid doing duty in a polluted area, but now we are ready to do our job at any place”.

Zirakpur traffic in charge Sanjeev Kumar says, “It’s a timely decision taken by our seniors.”



Police to hire 100 ex-servicemen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
With the ministry of finance shooting down proposal of the Chandigarh administration to recruit 3,080 personnel to fill vacant posts at various levels, the police is now constrained to hire about a 100 ex-servicemen on an 
ad hoc basis.

They will initially be deployed on traffic management duties.

“The makeshift arrangement will take place from October 1 and the personnel will be called Community Police Officers (CPO)”, Chandigarh IG SK Jain said. “The CPOs will help regular force in controlling the traffic flow”, he added.

For the purpose, the department has approached the Ex-servicemen Sainik Welfare Board to “outsource” the required 

The CPOs will be given proper training as well as the “khaki” uniform and the department will bear the whole expenditure.

According to an estimate, the department has to spend over Rs 5000 per personnel.

“The department is facing acute shortage of staff so we have to make such arrangements to cope with the situation”, the IG said.

On being questioned whether the cops from the traffic wing will be shifted to another wings after the inclusion of the CPOs, Jain denied: “The festival season is about to start and that is the time when the city roads witness huge traffic flow. So all CPOs will look after the traffic management along with the regular force”.

Sources in the department added that in the wake of terrorist threats, the city needed extra force, especially during the festival season. But the shortage of staff in the department is not taken seriously by the Centre.



SBI adopts 50 girl students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The State Bank of India’s chief general manager, Chandigarh Circle, Ajay Swaroop, today presented cheques to 50 girl students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10-D and Government Model High School, Sector 12, under the "Adoption of Girl Child" scheme by State Bank of India, Medical Institute, Chandigarh, for their education during the function held at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, here.

Swaroop explained that more than 642 girl students had already been adopted for education by the State Bank of India in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and J&K.

SBI regional manager V.K. Garg explained the scheme "Adoption of Girl Child" that the bank would provide financial assistance for books, note-books, uniforms, school fee and for upkeeping of the child who is excellent in study and belong to a poor family either orphan/destitute or physically handicapped between the age group 6 and 14 years, should have secured 50 per cent marks in the last passing examination.

Manjula Swaroop, president, SBI Ladies Club, Chandigarh Circle, and Rajshree Gupta, vice-president, also distributed the cheques to girls.

Principals of the schools Indra Beniwal and Kamlesh Aggarwal thanked Swaroop for the good gesture.



MC okays amusement park for Sec 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The Finance and Contract Committee of the municipal corporation has approved various important agenda items, including designing, developing, running and operation of amusement park with games in Sector 17 on lease basis, putting up of temporary stalls for Eid-Ul-Fitr at seven various venues and development plan of Maloya village at a meeting yesterday. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of mayor Pardeep Chhabra.

Besides, the committee has also approved rough cost estimate for the construction of toilet block in Sectors 17-A and B, allotment of the district court complex parking area, Sector 17, to the District Bar Association. Rs 6,000 rent has been fixed for using open ground in Mani Majra near Housing Board Chowk for holding circuses. Municipal commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria was also present.



Flood scare among villagers
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 26
The fear of flood has been haunting villagers after a major landslide blocked the Ghaggar’s path in Morni. Those living on the banks of Ghaggar are scared as nearly 15 houses in the same villages were washed away after a major landslide hit the area 20 years ago.

According to sources, a large volume of water has got accumulated in the Ghaggar. A downpour and the gushing water would wash away all houses in five villages around the Ghaggar. The villages affected due to the landslide are Thana, Sirmara, Umri, Dangranwala and Kumwala. Though the fear flood 
is writ large on their faces, hardly any official had visited the spot or given any assurances in the case.

Divisional forest officer Pratap Singh said: “We are keeping a close watch on the entire situation.” Earlier, we were trying not to touch the landslide area but if the problem takes a serious turn, we will have to remove the blockage.



Intl flights from city by April
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 26
We are expecting international flights to take off from Chandigarh International Airport by April 2009. This was stated by Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, principal secretary to the Punjab Chief Minister, and PIDB director, here today.

Speaking during the World Tourism Day celebrations at the Chandigarh College of Hospitality, Landran, he said,“ Punjab has the potential of becoming one of the best tourist destination. The Punjab government has joined hands with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) for promoting tourism in the state.

He informed that the government was planning to make two circuits, one around Chandigarh and another near Amritsar, as both cities would be have international airports. About 100 acre around these cities will get a total uplift in order to make it tourist friendly.



Joy ride for kids

Chandigarh, September 26
Almost 100 students of the kindergarten wing of Dikshant International School took a ride on the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus on the eve of World Tourism Day. The ride started from Hotel Shivalikview and the kids visited all tourist destinations. The students were much fascinated by the Rock Garden and enjoyed their visit to the museum. — TNS



Senior deputy mayor refutes remarks

In response to the story, “Mayor reaps what ex-mayor sowed”, published on Thursday, Municipal Corporation senior deputy mayor Anju Beniwala, in a written statement, has said she was misquoted and had never talked to the reporter concerned.

“It is a matter of regret that how such version has appeared in the newspaper when no such conversation has taken place between me and the correspondent”, she said.

Aarti Kapur responds: I stand by my story. I had spoken to her on Tuesday on her mobile phone at 7:15 pm from my office landline. In fact, I had first called her up at her residence and on her husband’s instance I spoke to her on the mobile while she was in the market. During the conversation, she specifically mentioned about the Blind Park and multi-level parking projects being old. She made no mention to keep the conversation “off the record”.

Interestingly even now in her letter, she hasn’t denied any of the other contents of the story. In fact, this morning she had promised to provide a list of projects proposed during the present tenure of the mayor. However, no list was given.

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



Four new faces make it to senate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Sept 26
The final results for the remaining 10 seats of graduates’ constituency of Panjab University’s senate declared late this evening turned out to be a nail-biting experience for the candidates as till the last count, it was unpredictable.

Anu Chatrath, Dharinder Tayal, Malwinder Singh Kang, R K Sharma, Parbhjit Singh were among those who were re-elected. It was Rabindernath Sharma whose happiness knew no bounds as he got elected to the senate for the fifth time.

According to final tally of votes, Rabinder Nath Sharma got 3,284, Munishpal Singh 3,081, Malwinder Kang 2,844, Dharinder Tayal 2,774, Anu Chatrath 2,761, Prabhjit Singh 2,725, Kailash Nath Kaul 2,611, Surjit Singh Randhawa 2,646, R K Sharma 2,635, D P Singh 2,601.

As many as 19 candidates were eliminated today during the different rounds of counting.

Four new faces also made it to the senate. They include D P Singh Randhawa, former campus students’ council president, Kailash Nath Kaul, principal, DAV College, Dasuya, S S Randhwa, principal, Khalsa College, Mahilpur Collegem and Munish Pal Singh.

In the concluding rounds, it was a close contest as Paramjit Singh Pammy got eliminated after he got just three votes lesser than D P S Randhwa.

Similarly, Ranbir Singh Bhullar from Ferozepur lost the seat by a whisker.

Even till the last round of counting, nobody was sure on whom the luck was going to smile as there was a stiff competition among four candidates for the remaining three seats and finally it was Praveen Sharma who had to exit in the most unexpected and dramatic manner.


  • Sitting senators, who have lost the elections, are Praveen Sharma from Ludhiana, who was fielded by the RSS lobby and considered to be a close confidant of Punjab state president of BJP Rajinder Bhandari. It was a big jolt for the party as two out of the three candidates fielded by the BJP lost, including Lajwant Virk.
  • S S Hundal of the CPI also could not make it to the senate this time.
  • No action was taken even after a complaint regarding tampering of ballot papers was given to returning officer Prof S S Bari by 10 candidates. 



Grooming session for CBSE principals
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 26
Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) organised an induction course for principals at Jainendra Public School, Sector 1, here today. About 80 principals from Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh attended the two-day course, which was started today.

D.R. Yadav, regional officer, CBSE, Panchkula lighted the lamp. Sudha Babbar, principal Jainendra Public School, welcomed the chief guest and all the principals. She said that this course would help the principals to groom their outlook regarding school education.

Speaking on the occasion, Uma Sivaraman, education officer, CBSE, stressed on the key issues in school education. R.P. Sharma, academic consultant, CBSE gave his views on improving science and maths education. Sugandha Sharma, education officer expressed her views on changes in social science and evaluation pattern.

Yadav, while summing up the course, shared his views on examination pattern. He said the course was informative and educative for the principals to achieve excellence in the field of education. 



Engg students sensitised on AIDS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
To make the college students aware about the social and economic aspects related to AIDS, Commonwealth Youth Program (CYP) in association with the NSS unit of Punjab Engineering College organised an AIDS awareness session at the college here today. The main focus of the session was to clarify doubts and myths associated with the issue, said Shveta dhawan, CYP ambassadors for positive living.

Aminul Islam Khan, the programme manager of the CYP was the chief guest on the occasion. Dr Jolly from government hospital, Sector 16, enlightened the youth on HIV/AIDS. A quiz and an open house were also organised to make the session more interactive.

Students showed keen interest and took active part in the discussion. A new concept of ‘Magic Box’ was also adopted where the students could ask their doubts without mentioning their name.

Commonwealth in collaboration with the NSS has also being working very eminently in the past to create awareness amongst the masses about AIDS and have been trying to reduce the stigma associated with it.



Personality development workshop at GC-46
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The Placement Cell of Government College, Sector-46, organised a two-day personality development workshop. It is aimed at giving greater exposure to those students who desire to enter the corporate world. During the first day, Ashutosh, business head of Career Launcher, spoke about the various career alternatives after graduation.

Seminar: University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, a department of University of Cambridge, along with the British Council, organised a seminar for principals from leading schools in Chandigarh to discuss how English language skills of children can be enhanced. Komal Singh, the Cambridge representative, emphasised skill-based learning and listening.



Seminar on law and technology
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS) and University Law Students’ Association, Panjab University, is organising a national level seminar on law and technology on September 27-28 in association with the Asia Pacific Jurist Association and Department of Technology, Chandigarh.

Justice, Surya Kant, of Punjab and Haryana high court would be the chief guest at the inaugural function.

Dr Gurjeet Singh, vice-chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala would be delivering the keynote address.



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