C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘Resumption notice’ for wrong reasons
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Strange but true! In a bizarre incident, the UT Estate Office has apparently served a wrong 'resumption notice' to a Sector 44 B resident for allegedly furnishing a false affidavit to obtain a house in the city.

Though the notice to Jai Ram (name changed) claims that the affidavit was false as his wife was allotted a house by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) in 1953, it seems ridiculous since neither the CHB nor the “wife” were born then. While Jai Ram wife was born in 1954, the CHB came into existence in 1976.

These blunders have gone unchecked right up to the top. The adviser, Pradip Mehra, too signed the notice without noticing the goof-up. Jai Ram, who has been trying to resolve the issue with the administration for a long time, is scheduled to appear before Mehra tomorrow.

Further, the UT Estate Office gave reference to the house in Sector 40 B, whereas the house exists in Sector 44-B. yet again, today, the Estate Office, issued another letter (no 30086), dated November 3, to Jai Ram, regarding RTI information carrying the receiving date as ‘November 6’.

“I have suffered a lot of harassment due to the ‘incompetence’ on the part of the Estate Office’s stereotyped orders wrongly mentioning the antecedents of the case,” said Jai Ram.

Allegations imposed by the Administration on Jai Ram stand null and void because when the affidavit of “not having any ‘residential plot’ in city” was submitted, Jai Ram or his wife never owned any residential plot.

The Tribune is in possession of papers, obtained through Right to Information Act, which clearly stated that Jai Ram Sharma, enrolled as a member of the Progressive House Building Society on March 31, 1980, submitted an affidavit through the society for “not owning any residential unit in his or his wife’s name” to the Estate office vide letter no 11 dated June 8, 1983. His wife was allotted a CHB dwelling Unit (H No 558, 41 A) on September 26, 1983 nee… 1953 (pun added). This property too was sold off long ago.

Secondly, the resumption notice stands for House No 1448, which lies in Sector 44 B not 40-B. Neither the Estate office nor Society is ready to shoulder the responsibility of acknowledging or rectifying the mistake

Jai Ram along with his family has been living in House No 1448, Sector 44B since 1989, after obtaining sanction for plan and getting the Occupation Certificate through a competent authority. To top of all, the conversion deed from leasehold to free hold has also been accepted by the Administration. “How come the Estate office questioned the validity of my house when they had already accepted lakhs of rupees from me to furnish mandatory formalities?, he questioned.

Ashwani Kumar, assistant estate officer, when contacted, said the Estate Office cannot be held responsible for it as it was for the Registrar Cooperative Societies to see.

But, how the resumption notice was served to Jai Ram, when it was not a matter related with Estate Office is yet to be understood.

Not the first time

In similar “stereotyped orders” served by a former assistant estate officer (AEO), Chandigarh, the High Court (CWP No 16344 of 1995) had directed to quash the resumption orders for as many as 19 such cases. The High court had also instructed the allottees to get the cost of Rs 5000 each for the harassment suffered by them at the hands of the officer. The amount of Rs 95,000 was recovered from a former assistant estate officer’s account for initiating illegal and unjust proceedings for resumption of site after the petitioners had constructed the buildings.

‘Connections do pay’

In yet another similar case, recently a local Congress leader, managed to restore his house allotment and was given a clean chit by the Administration.



Public hearing session but no listening
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The much-hyped public hearing session of administrator S.F. Rodrigues has failed to achieve its objective of redressing the grievances of the general public.

Blame it on the general indifference of the bureaucracy or lack of any follow-up action, a majority of the complaints failed to reach their logical solution.Tall claims of transparency and formulation of people-friendly policies by the administrator during the public hearing sessions between March and October this year seem to vanished into this air, if the data collected through an RTI application by RK Garg, a Sector 27 resident, is any indication.

While the highest number of 118 complaints and issues pertained to the offices of the Deputy Commissioner, Registrar of Cooperative Societies(RCS) and the Estate Office, which are held by DC RK Rao the other important public offices like home secretary, the finance secretary and the IGP have substantial (over 40) complaints each against them.

In fact, in complete disregard of administrator's directives the authorities concerned have virtually tried to sidetrack the issues. For instance, during one of the public hearing sessions, the administrator wanted that “a necessary framework governing the functioning of the group cooperative societies should be re-examined and necessary amendments should be proposed.”

However, adhocism rules the roost in the RCS with a comprehensive policy still eluding cooperative housing societies. Similarly, the administrator's directive to the municipal corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) on an anti-encroachment drive and the preparation of action plan for 17 rehabilitation colonies still hangs fire.

Another "public-friendly" directive to the administrative secretaries to ensure that the dealing officers should remain available to the general public between 9 am to 1 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays remains on paper only. The directive that no official meeting should be held during public hours so that the general public was not inconvenienced is observed more in breach.

Official sources, however, claimed that all directives could not be complied with since a majority of the complaints were individual in nature. A complete action taken report is regularly sent to the Raj Bhavan about the compliance of the orders, a senior officer added. 

To UT's credit

The babus may not be implementing the administrator's directives yet the officials have scored on one count. The reply to the RTI application was sent within a period of two day in the electronic form. The information technology director MS Brar, who coordinates the public-hearing sessions, sent the reply on October 18 for the application filed on October 16.



Admn provides wrong info
Says never sought legal opinion in any case

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Meet deadlines even at the cost of the authenticity of the information provided under the Right to Information Act (RTI). This seems to be the only agenda of the ‘babus’ of the Chandigarh administration while dealing with the RTI applications.

Ravi Kakar, a resident of Mohali, who had filed an RTI application seeking details about the number of times the administration had taken legal opinion on the appointment of food inspectors in the directorate of health services, is yet another victim of this official apathy. Though the reply under the RTI Act states that the administration had never sought a legal opinion in the case, the truth is otherwise.

Ravi, who was engaged in a legal battle with the health department over the issue of appointment of health inspectors, had sought the information in order to file an appeal against the order of the Additional Sessions Judge, Ravi Kumar Sodhi, delivered on March 8, 2008.

He had challenged the appointment of the inspectors on grounds that they did not fulfil the laid down qualifications. Though the court held the appointments of five inspectors as null and void, the administration referred the case to the lower court, which confirmed that the case was not fit for appeal.

However, the administration referred the case to the Directorate of Health Services, Government of India, which opined otherwise, leading the administration to file an appeal.

Surprisingly, while the RTI reply on hand claims that it had not sought any legal opinion in the case, the officials have enclosed a copy of one of the lower court advises in their response to Ravi Kakar.

Meanwhile, Ravi has filed an appeal before the appellate authority-cum-director health and family welfare, Chandigarh administration, that he was not satisfied with the information provided to him.



High cost of PID drug pains patients
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
“No matter wherever I had to go, I would go. I even quit smoking to save every penny that I could. It was a question of my son’s life. He required drugs worth Rs 2,500 every month to remain alive. Now when the cost of the same drugs has shot up to Rs 16,000, my meagre savings serve no purpose and I don’t know what to do,” says a dejected Karamjeet Verma, whose six-year-old son Swastik is suffering from primary immune deficiency (PID) disorder.

Many more parents find themselves in trouble as the cost of PID drugs, immunoglobulin, has suddenly gone out of reach, rising from Rs 2,500 to Rs 11,000-16,000 in just six months. According to Dr Surjit Singh, additional professor of paediatric allergy and immunology, department of paediatrics, PGIMER, PID patients need life-long medication to keep their immune system functioning. Such patients need injections of immunoglobulin every three to four weeks as antibodies protect the patient from life-threatening. infections. He said one of the common types of the disorder was called Bruton's disease which affected only boys. "If these boys are left untreated, they rarely survive beyond the first few years of life."

Dr Singh said a child weighing 30 kg required 12-15 gm of immunoglobulin every month. The cost of the therapy increased in proportion to the rise in the weight of the child. Citing the reason of the increased cost, area sales manager of Claris Life Sciences, Surjeet Singh said due to the shortage of human plasma, the price of this drug had increased.

“As the manufacturing plant is not available in India, it is imported from China,” he added. Parents of such patients are now planning to mobilise support to seek help from the government.

What’s PID?

Primary immune deficiency (PID) disorders occur when a part of the body's immune system is missing or does not function properly. It can be either acquired or inherited. The cost of PID drug, immunoglobulin, has gone up from Rs 2,500 to Rs 11,000-16,000 in just six months due to shortage of human plasma, which is imported from China.



Sukhna Tragedy
Father alleges murder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
A day after Ranjan Nelson was drowned to death in Sukhna lake, his father, Ashok Nelson, alleged that Ranjan was killed by Yaman, his employer’ son out of professional rivalry. He termed Yaman as the “mastermind” behind the killing of his son and demanded registration of a murder case against him.

Ashok Nelson today lodged a complaint with the UT SSP demanding action against the accused. Acting on the complaint an inquiry has been marked to the ASP (central) Madur Verma to look into the allegations.

Nelson in his complaint said that his 23-year-old son, Ranjan Nelson was a professional photographer. He was working with the Ashok Arora, father of the accused, Yaman and with passage of time purchased his own camera. Yaman got annoyed with the success of Ranjan as he could also do his own work and he was nursing a grudge against his son.

The father alleged that Yaman called his son to Sector 48 from where they went to the lake in Yaman’s car. Yaman, with an intension to kill Ranjan, took him to a secluded place at the backside of the lake. He then, enticed Ranjan to climb over a tree trunk leaning on the deep waters. Yaman pushed Ranjan from the tree and the later fell into the water and drowned. He also did not inform them about the incident.

Nelson further alleged that when he reached the spot, Yaman threatened to implicate him in a case if they named him in the episode, as he had links with police.

Raising doubts over the statement recorded by Yaman before the police, Nelson held that had his son wanted to be photographed, he would have had carried his own camera along with him, which was not with him at the time of the incident. He also held that Yaman stated that he took the picture with his mobile phone camera, which was also highly doubtful.

Earlier in the morning, both the families reached the Sukhna lake Police Post and had a heated arguments. Ranjan’s mother and his sister, who were inconsolable, were saying that Yaman took Ranjan to the lake and was responsible for his death. On the other hand, Yaman maintained that Ranjan had called him on his mobile phone.

About the post mortem the police said it could not be conducted today as the family was insisting on registration of a case and was lodging a complaint with the senior officials. The body is meanwhile kept at the morgue of the Sector 16 Government Multi-Specialty Hospital and post- mortem would be conducted o Wednesday.



Asstt prof booked for sending hate mail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The cyber crime investigation cell of the Chandigarh Police today arrested Bhupinder Singh, an assistant professor of the Cyber Security Research Centre, computer sciences department of the Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Sector 12, on the charges of sending a mass hate mail against his senior.

Investigating officer sub-inspector Hardit Singh said a case of impersonation and damaging someone’s reputation had been registered against the accused on a complaint lodged by his superior, Sanjeev Sofat, professor and co-coordinator of the department.

The police said that in his complaint, Sofat had alleged that a mass hate mail was sent to the college authorities by “Harry Sadu”, claiming himself to a student of NIT, Jamshedpur. The sender said that he had appeared in an interview before Sofat and was rejected. The mail had attachment about showing certificates of Sofat alleging that he was second rate in academics and had a poor record.

Hardit Singh said they checked the headers of the mail and found it was sent through a BSNL connection. The BSNL told the police that the mail was sent from house number 604, PEC, from a connection belonging to Bhupinder Singh. After getting all the digital proof, the police registered a case and arrested the accused.



Regularisation of structures
Sohana residents feel the indifference
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 4
Residents of Akal Ashram Colony, Sohana, have alleged step-motherly treatment by GMADA and the Punjab government for not regularising their structures.

While a section of the colony on the one side of the Mohali-Landran road was regularised about seven years ago, the remaining have not given the same benefit.

Under the banner of the Akal Ashram Colony Welfare Society, the residents have claimed that the state government had either exempted or re-allotted land to Radhaswami Satsang, Golden Bells School, Ratan Professional College, Judges and Officers Cooperative House Building Society and some other private institutions. On the same pattern, their land should also be exempted from the acquisition.

In a representation to the Chief Minister, they lamented that about 40 residential and commercial structures that existed prior to the government’s notification in 2001 and 2005 were regularised, the other pocket having around 20 similar structures have not regularised. The sword of the Periphery Act still hangs on them, said Satpal Kaur Toor, president of the Akal Ashram Colony Welfare Society, Sohana.

They point out that since the Punjab government was sorting out the disputed cases of land acquisition in Sector 76 to 80, their case should also be settled under the programme. The residents, who had bought the land from farmers, have not accepted the land acquisition rates offered by GMADA.

A senior GMADA official said at the time of exemption, the structures were approved and re-allotted. But most of the sites, which were vacant, had not been exempted. GMADA is not contemplating any action and is maintaining status quo.



Prison Management
Human rights approach has ‘brought down’ crime rate
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
In India, the human rights approach to prison management has largely brought down recidivism or habitual-relapse-into-crime rate to just 5.6 per cent, says Institute of Correctional Administration’s deputy director Dr Upneet Lalli.

No wonder, she wants the country to invest in prisoners for effective reintegration of offenders in the society. In fact, that’s the mantra she gave to the delegates at an international conference on prison administration at Prague.

Lalli was the sole representative from India. Addressing over a gathering of delegates from 60 countries, Lalli said effective reintegration could take place only when offenders felt accountable for their actions in a constructive and restorative manner.

As such, it was being increasingly realised that investing in prisoners “in terms of money and human resources was in the interest of the society”. Such an investment was essential to “assist them during the transition phase, as well as help them at the time of readmission to the society”.

Talking to The Tribune soon after her return from the six-day International Corrections and Prisons Association Conference (ICPA), Lalli said facilitating the reintegration of offenders into society as “constructive and law-abiding citizens” was also crucial for effective crime reduction.

Elaborating, Lalli asserted the objective could be achieved through human rights guided prison administration as it focused not only on safe custody and security, but also on reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration of the offenders.

She added in India human rights approach to prison management was gaining momentum and was helping in successful re-entry of the prisoners in the society by providing for constructive regimes and trying to restore the dignity of the prisoners.

Giving details of the “wide range of efforts being made to prepare and support offenders for a successful return to the society”, she said almost all major prisons in the country were having programmes for reformation and rehabilitation.

“Prisons, which were hitherto a closed world are opening up to increasing transparency and accountability through community participation in treatment programmes, particularly educational and vocational training, along with cultural and spiritual programmes,” she said.

Going into the background of the matter, she said previously there was some resistance to opening up of the prison system. But the Indian prison system soon learnt that the only way to bring prisons and prisoners into “focus was by doing good work through their association with the community”.

Panchayats or selective community of prisoners in some state prisons across the country were involved in the prison management and were associated in tasks like educational programmes, legal literacy, legal aid, canteen management and work programmes, besides social and cultural activities, sports and recreations.



Demolition team razes 28 flats in Sector 47
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Stone pelting and causing damage to JCB machines mark the demolition drive being carried out by the enforcement wing of the Chandigarh Housing Board at Sector 47-C, here, today.

Sensing the trouble the CHB officials called the police assistance following which a posse of policemen reached the spot and dispersed the mob. The residents were alleging that the officials carried out the drive in a partial manner. Interestingly, none of the representatives of the political parties turned up.

The drive was started from first floor of house No 2865 and an unauthorised room was demolished. Meanwhile, when the JCB machine reached near house No 2883, the agitating mob took out the JCB operator forcibly and then flattened the tyres and broke the windowpanes of the machinery.

Though the operation demolition was stalled for few minutes, it was carried out again after the police party led by decaf (South) Jaswant Singh Khera reached the spot.

Some of the residents also protested against the indifferent and aggressive attitude of the demolition squad. Several houses adjoining the ‘faulty’ houses also got damaged in the process.

When this lapse was pointed out to the CHB officials, they assured compensation.

More than 28 flats were targeted under the drive. Besides the illegal openings, the CHB team, accompanied by a team of policemen, removed garages and toewalls on government land, illegally built rooms and other structures.

“We have targeted those flats which have built rooms in the courtyard, raised the height of the garage, parapet,” told the enforcement staff.

The residents, the officials claim, had been given ample time to remove the illegal structures raised in their flats but in vain. “This drive has been conducted after receiving detailed report from our Zonal officers along with photographs of illegal structures thereafter notices under Section 15 were served to the violators to remove the illegal construction but when they didn’t do it on their own, we were compelled to carry out this demolition drive”, said Kamlesh.

Taking note of the incident, the police registered a case of rioting and obstructing public servants from discharging their duties against several persons and arrested one Maninder Singh, a resident of house No 2779/2, who was allegedly accused of pelting stones on the demolition squad.



Landscape Architecture Conference
Big names to share dias
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Some of the big names in the field of landscape architecture will take part in the first-ever international conference on “emerging trends in landscape architecture” at the Government Museum and Art Gallery here on November 9.

To be organised by the Saakaar Foundation, in collaboration with UNESCO, the Swiss Arts Council, the Archi Design Perspective and the Foundation for Architectural and Environmental Awareness, the conference will see experts from Switzerland, Turkey and India sharing their experiences in the landscaping architecture.

Salman Khurshid, former minister of state for external affairs and a senior Congress leader will be the chief guest.

The conference will be of great value not only for India but at the international level too as the issues being deliberated upon are common to the whole world, architect-author Sarbjit Bahga of the Saakaar Foundation, said here today.

While H.S Johl, president of the Environment Society Punjab, will give the introduction to the conference theme Sudhir Sarup, editor of the Archi Design Perspective, will deliver the welcome note.

S.S. Bhatti, former principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture, who will delineate a refreshing vision of landscape architecture that is both holistic and futuristic, will deliver the Keynote address.

Among the speakers, Prof Günther Vogt, practising landscape architect of Switzerland, will give an audio visual presentation on “european landscape architecture”. Mustafa Var, professor at Karadeniz Technical University in Turkey, will speak on “urban transformation implementation”.

Another landscape architect from Switzerland, Andy Schonholzer, will speak on “urban transformation processes”.

Olivier Lasserre, a landscape architect from Switzerland, will deliver a lecture on “landscape structure as a pattern for the project”. He will compare the landscape patterns of Switzerland with Chandigarh, with respect to various issues. Prof Samir Mathur, an eminent landscape architect from New Delhi, will provide the Indian perspectives. He will deliver his talk on “cities, open spaces and modernity”.



Officials underplay ‘Parkview’deadline issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
After failing to meet its own deadline twice (August 31 and October 31) for completion of the renovation of Hotel Parkview in Sector 24, the CITCO officials are yet not in a position to give the final date of opening the hotel in its ‘new avatar’.

Home Secretary, Ram Niwas when asked about this said that the hotel would be “reopened” somewhere in the first week of December. However, taking cognisance of the newsitem “CITCO has miles to go and promises to keep”, published in these columns, Ram Niwas, also Chairman, CITCO, today visited the hotel site for an on-the-spot assessment of the renovation work underway at the new block.

Though CITCO officials attempted to underplay the delay by insisting that the “deadline” for the completion of the work was November 30 and not October 31, as reported, the hotel booking registers speak otherwise as rooms in the incomplete block were reserved from November 1.

The investigations made by The Tribune revealed that as many as five major bookings were made for the month of November.

On November 1, as many as 23 rooms were booked in the name of M.S. Chahal vide booking registration No 4385. It had specifically been mentioned in the records that this booking is for the ‘new block’. Interestingly, this booking, which was later cancelled on October 30 only, was made through a senior official of CITCO only.

How come CITCO officials started accepting the bookings for the month of November when they knew that the renovation work would not be completed before November 30?

On other occasions, CITCO sources confirmed that as many as 14 rooms were booked for November 8, seven for November 18, six for November 21, seven for November 29 and 14 for November 30. Sources confirmed that all these bookings were supposed to be made keeping in mind the “enhanced accommodation” that was to be made available with the coming up of the “new block”.

However, Ram Niwas said, “I personally took a round of the newly constructed floors and asked for details about the entire process and the material being used. I too was not satisfied with the work being done over there. I have instructed the contractor to check for silting and seepage problems and made it clear that no payment would be made if the work is not according to expectations”.

With the additional upgraded 66 rooms, this hotel is would be the only hotel in the region with a total of 170 rooms, making it the biggest “budgetary accommodation” available in Chandigarh.

Meanwhile, the Home Secretary also visited Hotel Mount View, Sector 10, to inspect the construction of the newly built health club, open terrace restaurant.. “This club, with the facilities such as spa, saloon, and gymnasium would be opened on November 10 and the open air terrace will be inaugurated on December 25.

Another ‘break-and-make’ move

Sources confirmed that the management has yet again decided to refurbish the first floor (Block ‘A’) at Hotel Mountview in February. The hotel staff has been instructed to stop accepting the bookings for Block A February onwards.



Education Dept feels the heat
Transfer sword hangs on 100 clerks
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
As many as 100 clerks of various educational institutions are in trouble as the Department of Higher Education is ready with the reshuffle order according to the Central Vigilance Commission directives.

The move, comes almost two months after the identification of those flouting the directives prohibiting a continuous stay in an organisation for more than three years, will disturb many who have stuck to a place for 10 years.

“This is not done. My stay has been of seven years but I have never taken anything for granted. This school is near my home. If they wish to reshuffle me then do it” said a clerk in a government school.

“There are many teachers also who have overstayed. Why spare them?” quipped another.

However, the news seemed to have delighted many principals as one of them termed it as end of "clerkraaj".

“Most of them have overstayed on 'sifarish' and thus take principals for granted. They take liberty of not working seriously. Though the move seems promising, I doubt if it will materialised. Moreover, there is an acute shortage of clerks and many teachers are doubling up as clerks. So the administration is planning to pay attention to them as well,” said a city principal.

Meanwhile, Raji P Shrivastava, director, Higher Education (UT), said, “The orders are ready and will be out anytime. It took so much time because we have considered factors like proximity to residence, medical fitness, etc. We have no plans for fresh recruitment but will look into the matter of teachers doubling up as clerks”.



Rajputs visit Kolkata
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Punjab and Chandigarh chapter of the Rajput Officers’ Association organised a trip for veterans and their family members to Kolkata and Port Blair. During their stay at Kolkata, they interacted with serving and retired officers of the Rajput Regiment settled there. A social meeting was organised by GOC-in-C, Eastern Command, Lt Gen V. K. Singh, who is also from the same regiment.

The city chapter of the association will also organise its annual dinner meet this week, where the Colonel of the Regiment Lt Gen M. L. Naidu and several serving and retired officers are expected to be present.



Just one counter for 10,000 students
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, November 4
A single counter for around 10,000 Panjab University students for the sale of university examination forms is bound to result in total chaos.

With the university setting up just one counter to sell the examination, reappear, re- evaluation and other forms is causing a huge rush, resulting in long queues and causing inconvenience to students. When this Tribune correspondent visited the spot many students expressed their anger over this mismanagement.

“Where is the administration? They are selling all forms at one counter only and the entire process is very slow. I waited for more than one hour to get the form. Does it take to be a genius to foresee the chaos caused due to a single counter?” complained a regular student, Sushil.

“They take us to be fools. These people sitting inside are taking their own sweet time to count the cash and give the form. I have been waiting here to get form for my sister since long and there was also a minor scuffle also between students. This university can never be student-friendly,” quipped another student, Vishal.

What worsens matters is that this counter, catering to regular candidates, opens only for three hours during a day. The chaos seems to have become a regular characteristic of examination form sales as every year students demand some more counters but to no avail.

“Every year it’s the same story and they promise better management next time. We will surely take up the matter with the university administration and see to it that it is dealt with,” said a student leader.

Despite repeated attempts to contact him, Prof Naval Kishore, dean students’ welfare, was not available for comments.



Irregular students under UIET scanner
Parents to be kept informed about their ward’s attendance, performance through e-mails

Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) has devised a novel way to deal with the students skipping their classes by making a database of e-mails ids of the parents to keep them informed about their ward’s regularity.

The institute is working on the software that will generate automated mails to the parents. This exercise comes exactly after a year of the launch of attendance and assessment package in the institute.

Earlier, the officials in the institute used to post the attendance record of the students along with their performance on the website of the institute.

Interestingly, the students of the institute developed the software for the purpose and they even have access to their attendance online for a reality check.

Under this system, the students were provided with a unique ID number and a password which helped them know their attendance status and performance.

According to sources, this was done in the wake of allegations from the students that they fall short of attendance at the end even though they claim that they had attended classes.

Director of UIET B.S. Sohi said, “This step will help the students to become responsible as they will know that they are being monitored and their parents are being apprised about their performance and attendance in the class.”



Ruckus in PU mess over room service
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Residents of boys hostel number 4 today created a ruckus over discontinuation of room service in their hostel. The students boycotted the food in the mess and a group of students didn’t allow anyone to take dinner.

According to sources, the ruckus took place when students of SOI met warden Karamjeet Singh earlier in the day and asked him about the discontinuation of room service. Though in the university rules, there is no provision of room service in the hostel, the students were being served in their room till last year in hostel number 4.

The service was discontinued and the students were irked at this step.

According to sources, Parambir Singh Sunny of the SOI, along with others, went at 4 pm and informed the contractor that they would boycott the mess tonight and he should not prepare the dinner. However, many students later tried to have dinner at the mess only to be stopped by Sunny from doing so.

A group of students from the ABVP resented the move of the SOI students.

According to the sources, Karamjit Singh was trying to pacify the students and even told them to speak to the dean, students welfare, tomorrow.

Later, DSW Naval Kishore said, “The matter has been resolved and the mess is now open for students to have dinner”.



From Schools
Science exhibition begins at State Institute of Education
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The 34th State Science Exhibition was inaugurated today by Pradip Mehra, adviser to the UT administrator at State Institute of Education, Sector 32, here.

The exhibition was organised in collaboration with the NCERT, which will continue till November 7. Based on the theme ‘Science and Technology for Global Sustainability’, students of around 60 schools exhibited around 140 models pertaining to subjects like agricultural and food security, harnessing energy, conservation of natural resources, combating climate change, disaster management and mathematical modelling.

“It is nice to see the awareness and sensitivity towards environmental preservation among students. The work displayed exhibits innovation and dedication,” said Mehra.


Members of the coordination committee of UT teachers met Samwartak Singh, DPI(S), to appeal for the implementation of the demands accepted by former home secretary. Among the demands, there were issues regarding release of a fresh seniority list, confirmation of all eligible teachers and salary hike of SSA teachers.



PU all out to ‘favour’ old-timers
Chairpersons of depts shot off letters to DUI, V-C suggesting more remuneration to the retired teachers for their lectures

Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
It seems that the Panjab University authorities are going out of their way to prove their affinity with the recently retired teachers, for not only the retired lot is being offered re-employment, but also being considered for the guest faculty.

Perhaps it’s hard to let go these old-timers even for the chairpersons of the departments as they are advocating more remuneration for the former for their lectures.

According to the sources, some of the chairpersons have suggested the university authorities and have even sent letters to the DUI, Prof S C Vaidya, and vice-chancellor Prof R.C. Sobti that Rs 250 per lecture, as is fixed by the university authorities yesterday, was too less an amount for any senior teacher.

They suggested that it should be Rs 500 plus travelling allowance as the teachers who would come to deliver lectures would spend from their own pocket for travelling to the university, said a letter sent by one of the chairpersons.

The reason given for it is that Rs 250 would mean compromising on quality of teaching. More remuneration means better quality. Moreover, if the university agrees to pay more, the lectures can be videotaped for future use and the teachers can make PowerPoint presentations during the lectures. More so, it has also been suggested that the age limit of 65 years should be relaxed in case of Professor Emeritus and they should be paid Rs 750 per lecture.

It has also been suggested that in case a Professor Emeritus comes for guest lectures, he or she should be given all financial and physical support.

Nevertheless, the young breed of lecturers and research scholars who were till now looking forward to getting opportunities to prove their mettle and teaching skills in the university are once again glum.

For even now, they are speculating that the university would prefer old teachers to them to teach as guest faculty.

“Why is the university hell-bent on bringing them back when the court has already rejected their plea? Everybody has a time period and the university should give chance to younger people now,” said a PU lecturer.

When contacted, chairperson of the department of geology Prof A.D. Ahluwalia said, “Either the bright young teachers should be kept on ad hoc basis for making up for the staff crunch, or senior teachers should be allowed if only they are bright. But in case of a senior, the university should give them what they deserve.”



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