C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Staff selection panel rejigs interview
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Physically challenged candidates wait for their turn for interview near Staff Selection Commission office in Sector 2, Panchkula, on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, October 30
Appearing for an interview was a nightmare for hundreds of disabled who came from far-flung areas to the Haryana Staff Selection Commission office here today.

The candidates, including the blind and physically handicapped, reached the office in Sector 2 with the help of attendants. No proper arrangement had been made even for drinking water.

The authorities found it difficult to handle the rush and ultimately asked the candidates to return, saying that the interviews would be resumed from November 17 and go on till November 24.

The commission had advertised a notice for walk-in interview for 122 posts of lecturer and teacher on September 14. Aspirants were asked to appear for an interview on October 30 at 9 am. Hundreds of candidates gathered at the venue and by 9 am, the entire office complex of Sector 2 was crowded with the candidates.

There was utter chaos. “I left my house yesterday so that I could reach for the interview on time. I spent the night here and spend hundreds of rupees,” Ram Mehar from Gurgaon said, adding that while the authorities were not going to take any responsibility of the expenses, they had been asked to go through the same thing next month also.

Similar were the views of Surender, Manohar, Mukesh and Seema who had been camping here since last night after they reached the town from places like Mahendragarh, Bhiwani, Rewari and Narnaul.

“This only reflects the mindset of the bureaucracy towards the problems faced by these people,” said Dr V. Jaswal, president of the All India Physically Challenged Association.

“These persons, many of them with PhD, were asked to commute between Panchkula and other parts of the state on the whim of the authorities who failed to plan properly,” he added.

Brig N.L. Poonia, chairman of the commission, said they had expected only around 400 candidates, but over 1,000 candidates reached the venue with their attendants. Many candidates were accompanied by more than one attendant, resulting in chaos.

Moreover, a majority of them, who did not have the required qualification or the state domicile or disability certificate, also reached for the interview, which continued till 7 pm, he said.

To avoid any such situation, it had been decided that the interviews would be resumed from November 17 to 24 at Panchkula as well as other districts, he added.



E-bikes a menace on road
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

A girl is seen riding an e-bike without a helmet in Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune photo: Vinay Malik

Chandigarh, October 30
Terming the growing number of e-bikes as a “serious traffic hazard”, the UT administration has written to the union ministry of shipping, road transport and highways, seeking amendment to the existing rules to make driver’s license and registration compulsory for such bikes.

On the basis of recommendation by the traffic police, the UT home secretary wrote a letter to the joint secretary, union ministry, on October 24 in this regard.

“A study conducted by us revealed that on an average five to 10 e-bikes are sold in the city everyday. Their growing number is posing a traffic hazard as these don’t have a registration number. Also, the rider and the pillion rider are exempted from wearing helmet. These bikes are popular with teenagers between the age group of 12-14 years and they tend to drive at high speed,” H.S. Doon, SP (traffic), said.

A traffic police officer said if these were used by anti-social elements, it would create more problems for the police as identifying these bikes would not be easy.

The battery-operated e-bikes have a maximum speed of 24 km per hour and are manufactured by four companies in the country. The union ministry of road transport, through a notification dated September 16, 2005, in accordance with the Automotive Research Association of India certification, exempted e-bikes from registration and license.

New variants of e-bikes have a speed of over 50 KMPH.



Leasehold Industrial Plots
New policy to make transfer easy
Pradeep Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
The transfer of ownership for leasehold industrial plots sold on general power of attorney (GPA) in the industrial area here is set to be hassle-free and industrialist-friendly.

With the administration proposing a new transfer policy, hundreds of industrialists holding the GPA of leasehold industrial plots can breath easy.

A broad consensus on the issue was hammered out at a recent meeting of industrialists with the UT top brass.

At present, there is anomaly between the transfer of freehold and leasehold plots in the industrial area. While for the transfer of a 2 kanal freehold costs around Rs 20 lakh, the transfer of a leasehold plot sold on the GPA costs a whopping Rs 1.5 crore.

Sources said while legal disputes between sellers and buyers were a routine affair, the UT lost crores of rupees by way of stamp duty as a majority of GPA holders did not go in for the transfer of industrial plots. The UT got lease money of only about Rs 700 per year from a 2 kanal plot, sources said.

Also, GPA holders face difficulty as banks and financial institutions do not advance them loans.

A senior official confirmed that the industries department had been asked to submit a proposal and a decision would be taken at the level of the UT administrator soon.

The decision was a result of the long-pending demand of industrialists and was another initiative to make the industrial area a business and commercial hub, he added.

Meanwhile, Rajiv Gupta, general secretary of the Federation of Small Scale Industries, welcomed the decision, saying that it would go a long way in boosting the trade and industry.

Of the over 2,000 plots in the industrial area, a majority of them had been sold on the GPA.



NAMS Award for six PGI professors
Tribune News Service

Prof Amod Gupta

Prof GD Puri

 Prof Jagat Ram

  Prof Kusum Joshi

Chandigarh, October 30
Prof Amod Gupta, head, department of Ophthalmology, PGI, has been awarded with Dr VR Khanolkar Oration 2007-08 by National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS).

NAMS has also announced its prestigious fellowship to five other PGI professors also namely Prof Kusum Joshi, head of the department of histopathology; Prof AJ Kanwar, head of the department of dermatology; Prof Madhur Gupta, former head of the department of anatomy; Prof Jagat Ram, department of ophthalmology and Prof GD Puri, department of anaesthesia. The awards will be formally conferred during the 48th Annual Conference of NAMS to be held in Jammu.

Prof Amod, a leading clinician and research scientist of international repute in the field of retina and uveitis with significant original contribution in the field of diabetic retionopathy, tuberculosis of the eye and endopathalmitis, will be bestowed Dr VR Khanolkar Oration for his work. With 194 publications to his credit, Prof Gupta is recipient of Dr RN Mathur Award and AW Sherrit Memorial Award. He was the president of Viteoretinal Society of India and the founder president of Uveitis Society of India.

Similarly, with major research contributions in the field of breast pathology, oncopathology and renal and transplantation pathology, Prof Kusum Joshi has 186 publications in indexed journals, 34 other publications and 8 chapters in books/monographs. She has delivered Dr BK Aikat Presidential Oration on Understanding Transplantation in the 21st century and Dr Devaraju Krishnamurthy Memorial Oration (NIMS Hyderabad) on ‘Breast Cancer- changing face over three decades, 2007’.

Prof AJ Kanwar , head, department of dermatology, venereology and leprology has been elected a fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences , New Delhi. Dr Kanwar has more than 425 publications in various national and international journals.

Prof Madhur Gupta was the former elected president of North India Anatomists Federation for 2003 and vice-president of National Anatomical Society of India for 2005. Her work on post-natal development of choroid plexus was awarded HK Chatterjee Memorial Gold Medal in Embryology and Tetraology by Anatomical Society of India. Her work on muscular attachments of scapula published in the journal of Radiological and Surgical Anatomy is cited in the various text books, including Gray’s Anatomy.

Prof Jagat Ram is the only ophthalmologist from the country who has been awarded the fellowship of NAMS for 2008 for his work on cataract surgery. He was awarded WHO fellowship in the field of Phacoemulsification at Storm Eye Institute, Charleston, USA, 1993-1994 and another fellowship in “Advanced phacoemulsification techniques and Pediatric Cataract Surgery” in 1998. His work on “Posterior capsule opacification after cataract surgery and in-the-bag fixation of intraocular lenses” received WHO award for best research work. He is the author of a prestigious International Review Journal “Survey Ophthalmology on Elimination of cataract blindness: A global perspective in 2000”. He has published a unique textbook on “Pediatric Cataract Surgery” in 2007.

Prof GD Puri , a cardiac anaesthetist and intensivist at PGI, was the former professor and chairman, department of anaesthesia and critical care, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, from 1999 to 2001. He was awarded British Journal of Anaesthesia Scholarship (UK) 1989 and PN Berry Scholarship in 1993. He has to his credit more than 70 peer reviewed international publications widely cited in national and international journals and books. He de vised and patented the Closed loop Anaesthesia Delivery System (CLADS) and first of its kind in the whole world the Automated anaesthesia delivery system for intravenous as well as inhalational anaesthetics.



He defied odds to reach the top
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
A burning ambition, an unmatched grit and a determination so strong that even the fates took a bow. This is the story of 39- year-old Daniel Chopra, who defied adversity and misfortune to establish one of the biggest shipping companies in India, Doehle Danautic India.

Daniel Chopra

Born in Mumbai, his happy-go-lucky childhood was cut short by the sudden demise of his parents in a car crash. At a tender age of seven, with no other family member to look up to, he was taken in by a church Mt Marys Parish in Bandra. It was here that he spent his childhood and teenage years, before he decided to join the merchant navy as a cadet. Since then there has been no looking back for him, as he runs his shipping business of 95 strong fleet of ships.

“The orphanage where I grew up was along the seaside in Bandra. I would often sit by the seaside and was always awed by it. The caretaker at the orphanage sensed my love for the sea and guided me to join the merchant navy. Though I served in various shipping companies and steadily rose the ranks, I always wanted to set up my own shipping company. So, in year 2001, I quit my job and with Rs 4 lakh in hand, I started my own venture Danautic,” he reminisced.

Danuatic was initially into crew management, technical management and communication management.

The company was doing well, but it got into the big league after its tie up with German shipping giant Peter Doehle in 2006. Rechristened as Doehle Danautic, since then the company has been growing from strength to strength and now has a turnover running into several hundreds of crores (Chopra is superstitious about revealing the actual turnover).

Talking to TNS here, Chopra said the sky was the limit and his ambition was to grow into the biggest shipping company in the world. “I want to be bigger than even the steel magnate, L.N. Mittal. And we are already working in this direction. We are now set to venture into logistics and are in advance stage of talks with Reliance industries for their Krishna Godavari basin project,” he said.

It is laudable that his burning ambition has not made him immune to the sufferings of the under-privileged. Chopra is actively supporting an NGO that works on imparting vocational training to the differently-abled persons. He is not only employing these persons in his company, but also helping in getting them employment in the corporate sector.

“I was recently injured in the Delhi serial bombings in September. It was then that realisation struck that we have one life to live and we must make the most of it. I want to give something back to society, and this NGO helps me fulfill this wish,” he said, adding that he is now setting up a local chapter of the NGO in the city. 



Sibal for deemed university status to CSIO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
The Central government is introducing a bill next week that aims to give incentives to the scientific community for creating intellectual property, Union minister of state for science and technology and earth sciences, Kapil Sibal said here today.

Stating that the bill would be put up to the Cabinet next week, Sibal said one-third of the amount would be given to the scientist who created the intellectual property in the form of royalty fee and the next one-third of the money would be given to the department that ventured for the intellect property.

Union minister of state for science and technology and earth sciences Kapil Sibal examines a head-up display installed in a mock-up of Tejas cockpit during his visit to the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation in Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Speaking to mediapersons after delivering the 49th Foundation Day lecture at the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) here today, Sibal said that he has proposed that CSIO be granted the status of a deemed university so that it can teach and spread scientific knowledge.

Sibal further said there was a need to expand the agricultural sector to keep pace with the rapid global changes. Seamless flow of information to the agriculture sector was the need of the hour to increase productivity. He said though India boasts of the largest satellite communication system in the world, it still needed doppler radars, automatic weather stations and monitoring of seismic activities to help improve weather forecasting for agriculture.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Pawan Kapoor, director, CSIO, said one of the major activities undertaken for the 11th Five Year Plan period was the Supra-Institutional Project of Appropriate Technological Solutions for Societal Applications for the health monitoring of living systems like plants and humans.

Flays politics of regionalism

Flaying those indulging in politics of regionalism, Kapil Sibal said some people were trying to divide society and strong action should be taken against them.

Speaking in reference to the recent attacks on north Indians in Maharashtra, Sibal said some politicians and political parties were trying to destroy the secular fabric of the country in the name of regionalism.



Central govt plans incentives for creative scientists: Sibal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
“Change of mindset, work culture and thinking will enable our country make rapid progress in science and technology. The times are changing fast and the present scenario offers immense opportunities for creating knowledge as wealth, unlike in the past,” said Kapil Sibal, union minister for science and technology and earth sciences, while laying the foundation stone for Centre for Emerging Areas in Science & Technology (near botany department) on the Panjab University campus here today.

“Evolving new dynamics in collaboration with private sector will help achieve this objective,” he suggested.

He said the US was spending $ 224 billion on research, out of which 40 per cent came from investments from private sector. The government was going to present a Bill in Parliament that would provide incentives to creative scientists who will get 33 per cent as royalty, another 33 per cent will be given to the institution and the rest will be spent on promotion of science and technology.

Earlier, while laying the foundation stone, he offered support to the university. Sibal emphasised the need for close collaboration with neighbouring institutions as the collective synergy would bring about desired results.

Prof R.C. Sobti, vice-chancellor, Panjab University, in his welcome address, briefed the minister about the achievements and challenges being faced by the university.

Prof Akhtar Mahmood, chief coordinator, Centre for Emerging Areas in Science & Technology, said seven new courses in stem cell research, tissue engineering, microbial biotechnology, public health, nuclear medicine, medical physics, system biology and bio-informatics nano-science and nano-technology would be conducted during 2008-09.

For guest faculty as well as research collaboration, MoUs had been signed with the PGI, the CSIO and the IMTECH.

Sibal also witnessed the signing of an memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Panjab University and CSIO for arranging training for MTech students in the field of analytical instruments, signal processing, soft computing, bio and nano technology, photonics and medical instrumentation.



Discussion on action-taken reports of past projects
MC to convene special meeting in Nov

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
On the unanimous demand of councillors, mayor Pardeep Chhabra has decided to convene a special meeting of the house of the municipal corporation in the second fortnight of November to discuss the action-taken reports of all projects passed by previous house since January, 2007.

During a discussion on the agenda in the house today, a number of councillors rose to their feet and said they could not allow the house to continue with the agenda till they were apprised of the status report of projects passed by the house in the past two years.

Nominated councillor Brig Kuldip Singh Chanpuri said it seemed that most projects and policies passed by the house in the past one and half years were yet to be executed by the corporation in the city.

On the policy relating to framing of dog bylaws and promotion policy for fire and emergency services, he said nobody knew when these were going to be implemented.

Beside, it was decided to construct a martyr gallery, a football and athletics ground in the city but the house had not been informed about the status of these projects so far.

Congress councillor Davinder Singh Babla also supported the argument and said councillors had become rubber stamp of corporation authorities, who passed the agenda tabled in the house.

It was strange that councillors made suggestions about the needs of their area but had no say in the preparation and execution of the schemes in their areas.

On the agenda of submitting wrong information by XEN horticulture Arun K. Kansal in reply to a query of Congress councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma, he said it was contempt of house so strict action would be taken against the official.

In response to this, MC commissioner Roshan Sunkaria said Kansal had not misguided the house so there was no need of inquiry against the officer.

However, Sharma threatened that he would resign from the house if no action was taken against Kansal.

Kansal stated in the house that all information was given to him by his staff, which he further passed on to the house. If the information was wrong, he would apologise for it, he added.

During zero hour, there was uproar in the house on the issue of reducing challan fee of unauthorised rehri owners. All elected representatives favoured reduction in fee, whereas nominated councillors opposed it on the plea that it would increase encroachments in the city.

Nominated councillor Dr Amrit Bolaria suggested that the corporation should fix few areas where rehri owners could set up their stalls by getting licence from the corporation. It, besides solving the problem of encroachment, would enhance the revenue of the corporation.

Chhabra said he would look into minutes of the enforcement committee meeting in which the councillors had given their suggestions on the issue and then take any decision.

Meanwhile, the house various approved agendas, including rough cost estimates of strengthening and widening of roads. These included Kajheri in Sector 52, Ram Darbar, Dadu Majra, Maloya.

Besides, estimate for work on installation of tube-wells in Sectors 12 and 37, augmentation of water supply at Hallo Majra and deposit estimates for shifting of electricity cables for multi-storey parking of Rs 1 crore twenty two lakh were passed.


  • MC commissioner Roshan Sunkaria said he wanted to give a bonus of Rs 500 to employees instead of Rs 250 as decided by the house but there was no such norm for giving such bonus
  • Sunkaria congratulated the enforcement staff for their services during festival season
  • Nominated councillor Pallav Mukherji offered his services for updating the corporation website and gave his email id: [email protected] where anybody could send their grievances



California, city mayors meet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
Harvey L Hall, mayor of Bakersfield in California, USA, accompanied by John Hefner, vice-president of Sister City Corporation, along with four other members held a meeting with Pardeep Chhabra, mayor, Dr Roshan Sunkaria, municipal commissioner and other senior officers of Municipal Corporation Chandigarh (MCC) at Punjab Bhavan, here today. The delegation was on its study tour to the heritage cities in the country.

Dr Sunkaria has given a brief overview of the MCC’s working, including sanitation system, water works, electricity and other functions of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh.

Briefing about the sanitation system, he said the city spread over an area of 114 sq km and the total municipal area was about 84 sq km. The city had best sanitation services in the country. He said the corporation was giving highest per capita supply of water- 332 LPCD, as against the National average of 190 LPCD.

Chhabra briefed about some projects, including automatic management of water supply through SCADA, most modern automatic slaughter house in public sector in the country, Biomatheniation Plant, 100 per cent solid waste management, remediation of landfill (closing & capping of existing landfill site and development of sanitary landfill), plan for 100 per cent sewage treatment, latest fire-fighting equipment and machinery and the well-maintained green belts and parks of the city.

While informing about the working of Bakersfield, Hall said the annual budget of the Bakersfield was approximately $375 million for developmental works only. He said there were only seven council members in Bakersfield and 17 different departments. He appreciated the beauty of the city and was impressed with the greenery in the parks and green belts.



Burning of Waste
Junk dealers a headache for residents
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, October 30
Junk dealers in the city have become a major headache for local residents as they have not only encroached upon public land but have also been indulging in burning of waste products, thus causing them inconvenience.

The city has imposed a ban on burning of dry leaves and other material. However, junk dealers throw rules to the wind by burning large quantities of waste material like rubber products and plastic.

A visit to colonies like Raipur Khurd, Palsora and Dadu Majra revealed that junk dealers were blatantly defying pollution norms while pollution control board was sitting pretty on the issue.

Though officials seem to be unaware of the environmental hazards caused by unplanned burning, experts opine that furnace should be used as a safe means to dispose of such waste.

Officials admitted the fact that such burning was a cause for concern and advocated immediate intervention to check the menace.

A Raipur Khurd resident said: “We find it hard to sleep at night as these dealers generally burn their waste material then. The harmful gases emitted during the exercise can cause breathing problems and even cancer, thus posing a grave health hazard to local residents.”

“I have requested many a time to officials concerned to solve the problem but no action had so far been taken by them,” said Harish, a resident of Raipur Khurd.

Municipal councillor Manjeet Singh Chauhan said: “Junk dealers have encroached upon land and indulge in burning of waste products, causing nuisance and threat to the lives of people. I have approached the higher authorities to take some steps to solve the problem but to no avail.”

Pawanjit Singh, member secretary, Chandigarh Pollution Control Board, said: “This is not our responsibility but the department concerned should take stern action at the earliest.”

P.K. Sharma, additional commissioner, municipal corporation, said: “We are working on the issue and collecting fine from the defaulters. The problem will be solved shortly.”



Woman alleges illegal detention
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
A Badheri resident lodged a complaint with the UT inspector-general of police (IGP) alleging highhandedness and illegal detention by police officials at the police station-39.

Kamaljit Kaur of Badheri in her complaint alleged that she was forcibly evicted from her matrimonial house by DSP (south) Jaswant Singh Khera, police station-39 SHO Janak Rana along with other police officers on October 18 and booked in a false case.

She also alleged that the SHO snatched her mobile phone and kept her along with her mother at the police station for over three hours.

Demanding a high-level inquiry into the episode, she sought cancellation of a false case of trespass registered against her.

Besides, she insisted on registration of a criminal case against the police officials involved in the incident and other accused.

Kamaljit Kaur told the IGP that the inventory prepared by the policemen about her search did not mention recovery of any mobile phone from her.

The policemen along with her in-laws hatched a conspiracy to oust her from the house, she alleged.

Even as she had a matrimonial dispute, the policemen did not refer the matter to the women cell. She alleged that the complaint was lodged at the police station after the incident took place, whereas sub-inspector Dharam Vir mentioned that the complaint was given to him on the spot.

She also requested the officials to review the CCTV footage as evidence.

On the other hand, the SHO maintained that the mobile was recovered from the woman and it was mentioned in the police record.

He told her to bring court’s order to take back her mobile phone. He, however, refuted the allegation of highhandedness and termed them baseless.



Opening of home for special children put off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
The Chandigarh administration today put off the inauguration of the halfway home for mentally-challenged children in Sector 47 with UT administrator S.F. Rodrigues directing officials to modify the existing plan and put in place all infrastructure before the inauguration.

During his visit to various sites, he directed the officials to prepare a plan for a comprehensive support system for the mentally challenged and develop adequate infrastructure, constituting their accommodation, food and other essential things.

He also emphasised that the plan should be drafted keeping in view the contemporary and futuristic requirements so that it could be expanded further.

Rodrigues also visited the construction site of the home for mentally challenged in Sector 31. He directed officials to expedite the construction work and complete it by January, 2009. Later, Rodrigues visited the Working Women Hostel, Sector 24.

Secretary to Governor M.P. Singh, UT home secretary Ram Niwas, director health services M.S. Bains, director social welfare Amandeep Kaur, director-principal of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, and director, Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children, Prof Raj Bahadur accompanied the administrator.



15-yr-old rape victim gives birth
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
At an age when she should be attending school and playing with gay abandon, 15-year-old Rakhi (name changed), who was allegedly raped by her stepfather, is rocking the cradle of her five-day-old baby girl.

With a blank look on her face, she sat on the hospital bed when this correspondent saw her earlier this week. Her gaze rested on her baby, whom she would often pick up to cuddle.

With no family member to tend to her needs, an attendant from the Nari Niketan, which is now her home, is all she had for company.

Destiny has been harsh and there seems to be no end to her miseries. Her health and that of the baby’s is a matter of concern for doctors, who say that both are weak. The baby was premature.

Meanwhile, members of the child welfare committee visited Nari Niketan and were satisfied with the services being provided to the victim.

Sources in the hospital said the blood sample of the newborn had been taken for a DNA test to establish that the accused, Chanderpaul, had raped her.

The girl so far has no clue that her real father, Dharampal, who had deserted her mother 11 years ago, has filed a case for her custody. The case was to be taken up before the SDM (South) today, but it was adjourned as the victim was not in a condition to depose before the court.



Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha
Joshi elected youth wing’s media in charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
Vineet Joshi, national executive member of the youth wing of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), has been appointed as the national media in charge of the youth wing.

The appointment was announced by BJYM national president Amit Thakker.With this, Joshi has made it to the national executive body for the fourth consecutive year.

Son of veteran BJP leader Jai Ram Joshi, Vineet began his career as an ABVP leader in Chandigarh way back in 1987. He has been instrumental in party’s several successful election campaigns in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh for past over one decade. However, Joshi’s most crucial assignment came by way of Bharat Suraksha Yatra led by BJP national president in 2006 which saw Joshi as media in charge.

Besides, Joshi was also entrusted with media responsibility of the morcha’s Yuva Kranti Yatra that concluded a couple of months back.



Play bares evils of regionalism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
A street play, ‘Des Mein Pardes’, was staged by Samvaad Theater Group at the Sector-17 plaza today.

The play is based on recent incidents in Mumbai wherein North Indians have been targeted by activists of a political party.

The play showcased the shallow tactics adopted by small political parties in order to gain popularity.

“The souls of martyrs in heaven are perturbed by events unfolding in Mumbai and Yamraj comes down to earth to deliver a message of peace to activists involved,” said one of the performers.

Film director Mukesh Sharma said the play tried to disseminate the message that instead of targeting North Indians coming to Maharashtra, such activists should work towards the welfare of Marathis spread all over the country.



Seminar on explosives technology
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
A two-day national symposium and exhibition on “Trends in Explosives Technology” is being organised by the High Energy Materials Society at Ramgarh as a part of the Defence Research Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Chief controller DRDO and CEO of Brahmos Aerospace, Dr A S Pillai would inaugurate the seminar, while Dr S Banerjee, director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), would be the guest of honour. Around 250 scientists from leading research institutions and universities would be presenting papers at the seminar.



Society told to give possession to member
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
The Joint Registrar Cooperative Societies (JRCS) has restrained the Super Cooperative House Building Ist Society Limited, Sector 49, from charging an amount of Rs 90,000 from a member of the society, S.K. Sharma.

Acting on a complaint filed by Sharma, the JRCS also directed the society to hand over the possession of the dwelling unit to him.

It has been asked to decide on the issue of charging of additional Rs 90,000 at the general body meeting of society.

Meanwhile, in a complaint to the JRCS, Sharma has alleged that the in spite of the orders of the JRCS, the society management, allegedly in connivance with certain officials of the office of the registrar cooperative societies, was not handing over the possession of the flat to him.




Panchkula, October 30
Varinder Chopra, former Haryana Ranji Trophy player, has been appointed stadium in-charge and liaison officer of all teams of the Indian Cricket League (ICL) during the matches. — TNS



PU not a centrally funded varsity: HRD ministry
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
The Union ministry of human resource development (Department of higher education) today made it clear that Panjab University (PU) was neither a central varsity, nor a centrally funded institution.

In an affidavit filed before a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, director in the ministry, Upamanyu Basu, asserted PU could only be treated as an inter-state varsity.

The affidavit was today taken on record by the High Court while taking up a bunch of petitions for enhancing the retirement age of PU teachers from 60 to 62.

The matter will now come up for before the Division Bench of Justice Ashutosh Mohunta and Justice Rajan Gupta for final hearing on October 31.

Basu’s assertion is significant as one of the questions before the Bench was whether PU was a centrally funded university.

The Union of India, on the previous date of hearing, had stated it would get instructions from the ministry concerned as to whether the letter dated March 23, 2007, issued in the matter of retirement age was to be implemented across the country by the centrally-funded institutes under the ministry’s preview.

The counsel had, rather, asked for time to clarify whether PU was included in the category of centrally-funded institutes.

Basu, in the affidavit, today said a meeting in this regard was chaired by Union home secretary on October 24.

It was attended by secretaries in the department of expenditure (ministry of finance), education (ministry of human resource development) and legal affairs (ministry of law and justice).

It was also attended by officers of ministry of home affairs and secretary in Punjab department of higher education. The UT home secretary and finance secretary, besides PU vice-chancellor, were also present.

“The deliberations have amply clarified that Panjab University does not come under the category of central university/centrally funded institution. It can only be treated as an inter-state university, where the only other state now involved was the union territory,” he said.

In one of the petitions filed by Dr A.C. Julka of the Economics department, directions had earlier been sought to the authorities concerned to quash the letter dated July 23, 2002, vide which the Union of India had refused to approve the regulations framed by the PU for enhancing the age of retirement of varsity teachers from 60 to 62 years.



PU Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
UBS students to visit old age home, school for the blind
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
Stage is set for the culmination of year-long Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Panjab University. While various teaching departments have chalked out conventional plans to mark the d-day, the faculty members of University Business School (UBS) have unique plans up their sleeves.

On November 1, when most of the departments will have conventional seminars for students, the budding “managers” of UBS will be visiting Old Age Home, School for Blind Children, mentally retarded children, so as to learn the real corporate social responsibility.

“As a part of their curriculum, students are taught what is the corporate social responsibility but meeting the less privileged people of the society will be an altogether different experience for them. This will give them an insight into their lives”, Meenakshi Malhotra, faculty member of UBS, said.

Satish Kapoor, another faculty member, said, “After visiting the underprivileged and challenged people, the students will share their experiences and video clippings with Swami Brameshanand, secretary of Ramakrishna Mission, who will interact with students”.

The students will interact with the inmates, listen out to them and then share it with others in the department.

In fact, the students are very excited about the idea and upbeat about the whole development.

Dinesh Gupta, chairman of UBS, said, “The idea came about after brain storming sessions between the faculty members on what should be done on the culmination. Finally, we decided to arrange visits for students to meet the less advantaged people of the society”.

“By and large, today’s generation is driven by money and power. But in the long run, money is not everything. After some time, the students should know about their duty, their personal lives, elations and their priorities. It is an opportunity for students to learn that there are things beyond money, their duties towards their parents, peers. The aim is to sensitise students and stir compassion for disadvantaged people.”



7 city schools to have cooking sheds
Midday meals project revived
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
Finally, one out of the pending list of ‘ambitious’ projects of ex- DPI, (S) UT, SK Setia, is ready to take off. This idea of constructing exclusive cooking sheds for preparing mid-day meals in seven city schools to cut on the cost involved in outsourcing seems all set to materialise.

The project that had been almost worked upto the final level, according to Ram Niwas, home secretary, UT, wanted more funds.

“We have revived the previous project. The project will not only enhance the hygiene but will also cut the cost involved in transportation of food drastically. We have forwarded the proposal to the finance department for approval of utilising available SSA funds and reimbursing them later,” he said.

The new DPI, Samwartak Singh, seems excited too, “It will reduce the transportation cost involved in getting the food from the centres to schools. These schools have a large number of students, enough space and infrastructure to have cooking sheds that will be well equipped with facilities like cold storage. If possible, we might think of supplying the food cooked here to nearby schools as well.”

The project that aims to benefit 104 government schools and seven government-aided schools in future is being termed as old wine in new bottle in corridors of the department.

“It is being professed as a new initiative here, however, the basic groundwork was already done by Setia. If they claim lack of funds, a reason to postpone it, then do they have it now? And if, they have to use some other fund then why not then,” one of the officials said.



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