C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rs 384-crore central bonanza for city
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
In a development that may go a long way in the completion of various development projects in the city, the “revenue surplus” Chandigarh today got a Rs 384-crore bonanza from the central government.

The additional budget for the city was decided at a high-level meeting attended by officials of the union finance ministry, union home ministry and Chandigarh administration officials, including finance secretary Sanjay Kumar, in New Delhi. Of the enhanced outlay, Rs 184 crore additional budget has come in the shape of the plan outlay with over Rs 200 crore going in the non-plan segment, sources told The Tribune late tonight.

Though the enhanced outlay fell short of the projected demand for Rs 600 crore (Rs 400 crore non-plan outlay and Rs 200 for plan outlay), the sanction of the substantial amount would prove to be a shot in the arm for union minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal, who seems to have scored a political point over his rivals and other detractors about “inadequate funds” for the city’s development from the central government.

Recently, reacting on the alleged cut in the plan and non-plan budget outlay, Bansal shot off a letter to the UT administrator, alleging “premature” leakage of information to a section of the press by UT officials even though the meeting was scheduled for today. A visibly elated Bansal said the non-plan budget could always be raised, indicating allocation of more funds for the UT in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

Earlier this year, the union government had sanctioned a gross budget of Rs1,547.65 crore for Chandigarh, with the non-plan budget being Rs 1,243 crore and plan budget Rs 304.65 crore. Though Rs 304.65 crore was 13.83 per cent higher than the budget estimates of 2007-08 (Rs 267.63 crore), additional budget was necessitated due to the administration’s plans to make Chandigarh an IT destination, create infrastructure and develop Sarangpur as an institutional area.

Chandigarh is one of few “revenue surplus” cities in the country and is set to contribute a budget surplus of about Rs 577 crore to the consolidated fund of India this financial year. Already, certain political outfits, particularly the BSP, are up in arms against the diversion of the huge sum earned by Chandigarh from various taxes levied on residents to the central government.



Children’s Day
Not so special, after all
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
While all schools went out of their way to make children feel special on Children’s Day today, it was a different story at DAV School, Sector 8.

A “sick” student, whom the authorities suspected to be in an inebriated state, lay outside the principal’s room for about half hour before being sent home rather than being taken to hospital.

A Class IX student, Pawan Kumar Pandey, who was later admitted to the Civil Hospital at Mani Majra, was tottering when he landed up in the school this morning. Though doctors at the hospital claimed that he was suffering due to a reaction of mixing sedatives with a cold drink, accidentally or otherwise, the school authorities thought he was drunk and made him lie outside the principal’s office.

“This child was brought here by other students. I cannot say that he was drunk, but he was surely unconscious. The principal was not in school, but I asked two teachers to take him back to avoid media glare,” a school official said.

“My son went to the school fit and fine, but around noon, two teachers came to drop him. He was not in his senses and they accused him of being drunk even though he said he had been given something in a cold drink by some student. Instead of taking my son to a doctor, they dropped him here and asked us to come to school the next day. Wasn’t it their responsibility to take him for first aid? What if he would have died?” the boy’s father asked.

“If anything happens to a child during school hours, the prime responsibility is of the school to seek medical aid. It’s shocking that the principal behaved in this way. How will she justify taking medical fee if this is the way students are treated?” a senior department official said.

Speaking to The Tribune, Pawan claimed that his friends were also lying in such a state in the MC park adjoining the school. A visit to the park reflected on the discipline being enforced by the school authorities. Several students were found sitting in the park and they claimed that it was “allowed” as it was the last period.

Principal Vibha Ray was in no mood to listen about it. When contacted, she said: “Have a nice day” before banging the phone down.



Probe into building collapse
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, November 14
The deputy commissioner, Mohali, today marked an inquiry into the building collapse along the Panchkula-Zirakpur highway here yesterday. Labourers working at the site had a miraculous escape when the two-storeyed building collapsed.

The DC, Rahul Bhandhari, said the Dera Bassi SDM had been asked to probe the matter and study the building plan where the digging was going on. The SDM had been asked to submit a report within two days.

The digging was reportedly being done precariously close to some apartments nearby and residents blamed the builder for the incident. Meanwhile, the builder has covered the site with a canopy.

Sources said the district authorities were probing if the builder had adopted basic safeguards while undertaking digging. Arun Thukral, president of the New Generation Apartment owners association, said they had written to the district administration to protect their apartment from damage. The builder has started placing sand bags along the boundary wall of the apartments.



Sullying Kalpana Chawla’s vision
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Had Kalpana Chawla, the distinguished astronaut, been alive today, she would have been pained to see how her name and vision were being sullied in an unnecessary tug of war between two groups of an educational society that has been christened in her memory -- Kalpana Chawla Memorial Educational Society.

Contrary to her vision --- “The path from dreams to reality does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get on it and the perseverance to follow it” — it was the ugly reality of a clash of egos at Mother Teressa Missionary of Charity in Sector 23, where the society celebrated Children’s Day.

The groups, headed by S.C. Gupta and Vipin Kaushal, came with a milk container, two packets of toffees, fruits and some blankets, and also did not forget to call the media to cover their gesture.

“What to talk of charity, the so-called chairpersons abused each other in the presence of people who were there for charity,” an eyewitness said.

“It is shameful that in the name of Kalpana Chawla, both groups are deceiving people who invest their earnest money to get their children educated. Their real face should be shown to the public so that her name is not used by such persons to fleece people,” another person present there said.

Interestingly, while addressing children, both groups advocated for providing “safe and loving environs” to children and promised to visit again on Christmas.

Kaushal claimed that Gupta had withdrawn his claim from the society by getting back the amount he had invested in the project. “Gupta, along with his wife and brother submitted their unconditional resignation from the society in June 2008 after getting the amount they had invested, but they still claim to be office-bearers of the society,” he said.

On the other hand, Gupta claimed that Kaushal had fraudulently got his signatures on plain paper. “I have never given my consent to withdraw my claim. They have forged my signatures,” he said.

The situation apparently arose because of a dispute between the management of the society which is establishing a college (Kalpana Chawla institute of engineering and technology) over 10 acres along the Banur-Tepla road in Patiala district.



Sec-15 apni mandi can stay on: HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
The apni mandi in Sector 15 may soon come into existence again. The counsel for a petitioner who had earlier approached the high court in a related matter, informed the Division Bench of Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Jasbir Singh that his petition was not against the holding of apni mandi.

The counsel added that the petitioner had no objection against the mandi in Sector 15. After hearing the arguments, the Bench directed that the municipal corporation could hold the mandi in Sector 15 in larger public interest, if permitted by rules. The Bench also vacated the stay ordered on October 16.

The PGI Campus Residents Welfare Society, through its president R.K. Khanchi, and the Residents Welfare Society, Sector 11, had also approached the court with a prayer for allowing them to become intervener and party in the writ petition by Ashutosh Vermani and others on the issue of the closure of the mandi.

On October 16, advocate A.P. Bhandari appeared on behalf of both welfare societies and submitted that the civil writ petition had not sought the shifting of the mandi, but was for stalling the construction of book stalls.



End of a sports dream
Nidhi Arora
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
From dust bowls to success -- a cliché used often in every underdog’s story. But every cliché is not mystical, and one look at India’s recent rise in sports, brings it to life.

Dhyan Chand, Milkha Singh, P.T. Usha, M.S. Dhoni and Vijender Kumar ... the list is long. All of them have represented India at the international level, and that too, in a field where the country is yet to find a footing.

Most of our achievers have a humble background and were probably deprived of even the basics that are quintessential for a sportsman.

Are the facilities, promised to ardent players, reserved only for the rich? Nearer home, the answer is not hard to find.

The sports department here has adequately equipped stadiums covering all zones of the city like the lake and Sectors 7, 10, 16, 17, 18, 42 and 46. But the city’s representation at the national level is meagre compared to the facilities on offer for “one and all”.

Out of numerous sportspersons, only a few ever get a chance to use the facilities and train abroad under the guise of scholarships. It is no surprise that someone from an urban background finds it easier to arrange for the funds even as his more “earthen” counterpart hardly stands a chance.

Guidelines by the department concerned are put up on boards outside the stadiums, but it is ironical that these don’t really help those without the moolah.

The facilities, especially at the Sector 42 stadium, are waiting to be put to use by players, but who gives the permission to use?

The director sports, Chandigarh, I.S. Sandhu, said: “If a kid cannot afford to pay the fee to become a member, he/she will be taken care of. They will be allowed to play free of cost.We have Chandigarh Sports Council that aims at extending facilities and financial assistance to rural sports.”

However, there is no such service being extended to nearby rural areas. Dadumajra, a village that comes under the administration, has a stadium which is being run by the MC of Chandigarh.

The stadium is an apology for one. It is a barren piece of land with no sporting equipment and staff.

A Rs 22 lakh grant-in-aid (2006-07) was given to sports associations, but these don’t let a child enter the stadium if he’s poor. To check it out, six children from Dadumajra were taken to the stadiums for admission and none of them could even get an admission form.

After much persistence, three of them were told to give trials first and the rest were not even allowed to enter the Sector16 stadium.

“Vague” guidelines are a mere hurdle that have been set by the department to maximise profit and make the admission procedure cumbersome for players.

What if a child is not studying anywhere and wants to be a member? Where will he get his forms attested from? And, what if a 50-year-old person is still a student... will he be allowed to get in as a student?

Ravinder Singh, president, Azad Tournament Club, Dadumajra, said: “The Chandigarh administration has never provided us with any financial assistance. We organise an inter-village tournament every year on our own, for which we have to pay Rs 800 per day as rent to the administration for using the ground. We have an international-level golf club on the one hand, but on the other hand, there is neither any equipment nor a coach for us.”

(To be continued)



Kalam advocates joint aerospace ventures
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Former President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today called for exploring possibilities of world knowledge platform between India and partnering nations to integrate core competencies of Indian institutions with friendly countries to develop world-class aerospace technology and systems for the global market.

“It is possible for India, with core competence in multiple fields, to work with many countries in joint venture mode, bringing together multiple core competence of partnering nations leading to successful enterprises with the mission of design, development, production and marketing,” Dr Kalam said.

Visualising a virtual collaborative grid for aerospace to enable the design-to-reality product life-cycle that would enable India to realise its vision for becoming competitive in the production of aerospace systems for defence, space and civilian applications, he said the grid needed to globally connect the academia, industry, research and development laboratories along with hundreds of workcentres through a high bandwidth network to produce any type of aircraft or spacecraft in a fast but cost effective manner.

“Our experiences gives me the confidence that the vision for the realisation of a 70-seater passenger aircraft and its variants is possible through a global knowledge platform,” Dr Kalam said. “The chosen aircraft must be able to provide low cost solutions for transport and should be able to operate from airports havening minimal infrastructure and instrumentation facilities,” he added.

Felicitating the Indian Space Research Organisation for the successful Chandrayaan-I launch, he said the lunar mission was not just to study the features of the moon, but had a much greater purpose. “The moon is going to be a source of special materials, minerals and also could be an intermediate base for future missions to mars,” he said. “Such missions should inspire young minds to dream and work for many such complex tasks,” he added.

Dr Kalam, who has worked closely with ISRO and had headed the DRDO, said he would be present in ISRO’s Deep Space Tracking Station along with mission scientists when Chandrayaan’s moon impact probe would touch down upon the lunar surface.

Earlier, he inaugurated the national seminar on recent advances in aerospace technologies, maintenance and optimisation, organised by the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO)and the Aeronautical Society of India. Heads of various DRDO establishments, a host of eminent scientists from ISRO and the academia, air force officers, industry representatives and students attended the seminar.

Director, Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory, Dr Satish Kumar, stressed upon the need for free flow of information, knowledge and experience from the veterans to the younger generation. In the backdrop of phenomenal growth in space missions and defence related aerospace technologies, he said it was time to share expertise, experience and infrastructure between research and development institutions, academia, industry and the users to master the complex but very interesting technologies for space exploration.


IT Park
Single window panel goes
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Controversies seem to surround the administration’s pet project, the IT park. In a development that may raise the hackles of IT companies, the Chandigarh administration has disbanded the single window committee for the IT park.

The committee’s disbanding has come as a bolt from the blue for IT companies smarting under global meltdown as they will no longer get special treatment from the administration. Earlier, doing away with “inspector raj”, the administration’s top brass had constituted the committee to facilitate the companies and provide approval under one roof.

The committee, which had representatives from all wings of the administration, including the estate office, the municipal corporation and the Chandigarh Housing Board, was entrusted with the responsibility of giving clearance to the projects. This was apparently done to cut red tape as the UT babudom is notorious for delaying approvals.

That meant that the companies did not have to knock the doors of the departments concerned for individual clearances and routine work. However, with the disbanding of the committee, it would virtually amount to the return of “inspector raj”.

Sources said the withdrawal of the notification on the committee was a result of internal wranglings. A controversy had erupted over the powers of the chief administrator for the IT habitat project -- Prideasia. The power which was with the finance secretary at one time was later sought to be transferred to the UT chief architect.

However, in the wake of the keen interest shown in the Prideasia project by the “powers that be”, the powers of the chief administrator became a hot potato to handle for UT officials. Former chief architect Sunita Monga reportedly refused to accept the powers on the plea that she was a junior officer. The disbanding of the committee had to be seen as a result of that controversy, an official said.

The doing away of the committee would mean that the companies would have to seek approval from various departments like other promoters of the projects in the city. Recently, the administration had constituted upper and lower plan approval committees for passing building plans.

Meanwhile, sources said since the IT park was a prestigious project of the administration, a separate “broad-based” mechanism was likely to be put in place.



Mayor’s Election
Hectic lobbying starts as seat reserved for SC candidate
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
With one month left for the completion of mayor Pardeep Chhabra’s tenure, hectic lobbying has started within all parties with prospective candidates resorting to all sorts of pressure tactics to secure their candidature.

Incidentally, the seat would go to a Scheduled Caste candidate this time, as per the rotational reservation policy of the municipal corporation. With the present incumbent, Chhabra, being from the General Category and his predecessor, Harjinder Kaur, from the Women, a Scheduled Caste candidate will take over as the city’s first citizen on December 31.

Unlike earlier, the selection of the new mayor assumes significance as the Lok Sabha elections are also scheduled in the first quarter of 2009.

The Congress, which once boasted, of its “Dalit” vote bank is trying hard to identify a candidate who could reverse its 2004 Lok Sabha poll performance. On the other hand BJP, largely perceived as a Hindu party, with considerable support from the business community, is going all out to find a candidate who can appeal to the corporation’s intellect - the nominated councillors.

Despite being in majority, the Congress’s selection for a candidate, with Kamlesh (former mayor), Harphool Chand Kalyan and Manjit Singh in fray, and his successful election may not be easy because of the intense intra-party differences.

BJP’s Ram Lal and BSP’s Ram Sumer Morya are also trying to get nominated by their respective parties.



Cops shielding stabbing case accused, alleges victim
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Dhramvir, who was allegedly stabbed by a few youngsters at Janata Colony on November 8, today accused the investigating officer of shielding the guilty.

A scene was created at UT police headquarters, Sector-9, when Dharmvir with bandages on his head and arms came to meet senior police officers. He alleged that a police officer at the Sector-24 police post was shielding prime accused Jai Bhagwan. He along with his supporters and was assured prompt and fair action by the senior officers.

Dhramvir was stabbed several times by a group of youngsters with whose family members his father and brother had fought.



Mission to Moon
‘Chandrayaan-I to boost ISRO’s brand value’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Excitement and anxiety can surely create expressions that are difficult to put in words. Well that rare expression was visible on the face of ISRO’s scientific secretary A. Bhaskaranarayana around eight hours before Chandrayaan-I Impact Probe landed on the moon.

In city along with manager business development, department of space, R.L.N. Murthy, Bhaskaranarayana spoke to The Tribune on the sidelines of the national workshop of telemedicine at the PGI here this afternoon. Here are some excerpts:

Q: How do you feel about this project since it was announced four years ago?

On the day of the launch, there was a lot of anxiety. It is the first such mission by ISRO. There is no textbook example of it. So, after preparing the first mission plan, we had to execute it carefully and extend our own expertise. Since it created a lot of expectations, we had to live up to it. Though we started the mission on our own, we had foreign partners eventually in terms of payload or scientific instruments that had gone on the Chandrayaan-1 mission along with the Indian ones.

Q: Initially, people thought the launch would happen in July-August but it got delayed. What were the reasons?

The project got the government approval in September, 2003 and the team was formed in April, 2004. We had a project realisation time of five years. So, there was no delay. We are well within the schedule.

Q: What were the major challenges that you had to tackle?

A major challenge was to realise the project within the budget and the schedule. Also, we had to ensure that things were smooth — on the technical, managerial and logistics front.

Q: A few feel the project is irrelevant as countries have already done studies on the moon and even sent people there. What really motivated you while working on the project?

There are two aspects. First, research is an ongoing process. If we start saying that all studies in the subject are done then we cannot explore new things. Second, when we go for such a mission, the brand value of ISRO goes up. Such a mission will enhance the confidence in ISRO, especially in the commercial launch market.

Q: Will the mission help draw more talent towards ISRO?

One of the main objectives of the mission is not just to attract people but also retain talent, including myself. Since the project was announced four years ago, it has been easier to achieve these objectives.



Kalam for early treatment to combat typhoid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
A typhoid test kit developed by the Defence Research and Development (DRDO) establishment in Gwalior will help save many human lives as it can detect the antigen in patients’ serum in just three minutes, said Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India, at the inauguration of the 16th Annual National Conference of Medical Biochemists (AMBICON 2008) at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, today.

According to an estimate, 16 million people suffered from typhoid annually with a death rate of six lakh worldwide. In India alone, morbidity due to typhoid fever varied from 102 to 2,219 per one lakh persons, Kalam said.

He said typhoid fever was a major health problem in India. Therefore, initiating early treatment and saving human life was imperative, he added.

“I am sharing with you this information so that biochemists assembled here can study the efficacy of Latex agglutination-based test and put it to countrywide application at the earliest to help patients suffering from typhoid get faster relief.”

He gave various suggestions to the biochemists present there. He also touched upon his dreams that were part of his “Vision, Mission and Realisation”.

Over 500 participants joined the conference out of whom 15 were from abroad.

A souvenir was also released by Dr Kalam during the conference. Advisor to UT administrator Pardip Mehra presented a memento to the Dr Kalam. Prof Shivani proposed the vote of thanks to dignitaries.

GMCH director-principal Raj Bahadur, Dr Shanti Naidu, Dr Govind Raju and other dignitaries were also present.



PGI to come in purview of CAT
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
In a move benefiting thousands of employees of central autonomous bodies, societies and government undertaking, the ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions, has brought 18 organisations, including premier medical institutes such as NIMHANS, Bangalore and the AIIMS, New Delhi, under the ambit of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).

This means they can knock at the doors of the CAT for cases pertaining to service-related matters.

Other than premier medical institutes coming within the purview of the CAT, the employees of organisations like Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, will file service-related cases here.

It is pertinent to mention that the Chandigarh bench of the CAT takes up cases of five states namely Punjab, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

The litigation in the CAT is expected to double with the recent notification. Talking to the TNS, registrar of the CAT, V.K. Bawa said, “The litigation and workload in the CAT is likely to double with the implementation of this notice. As work will catch up, all pending cases of numerous employees of these organisations will be transferred to the tribunal.”

Talking to the TNS a lawyer at the CAT, G.S. Sathi, said, “With the increase in the purview of the CAT the filing of cases will increase. The BSNL was earlier with the CAT but after it changed to central public sector undertaking under the ministry of communications and information technology, the cases were withdrawn five years ago.”

The ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions, while exercising its powers conferred by sub-section (3) of Section 14 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, specified that from November 10 the 18 organisations that are societies and statutory organisations controlled by the government, will file service related matters in the CAT.

Other than the above-mentioned organisations, the CAT will also take up case of National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean research, National Institute of Ocean Technology, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Delhi Urban Art Commission, National Capital Region Planning Board, National Institute of Urban Affairs, Rajghat Samadhi Committee, National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation, New Delhi, and Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education, Gwalior.



GMCH-32 disappoints patients
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
For almost a month, patients visiting the gynaecology department of the city’s premier hospital, GMCH 32, for a colposcopy, a test to identify vaginal lesions, are returning disappointed as the colposcope has been non-functional.

With the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) being the only other government institute offering the facility, patients have to rely on private clinics, which are charging exorbitant fee.

According to S Kaur, a patient, she had to pay Rs 1,150 at a private hospital as against the listed charges of Rs 150 at the GMCH-32. Incidentally, the hospital gets about eight to 10 patients for colposcopy every day.

According to a senior doctor at GMCH-32: this test helps in identifying all type of lesions, including pre-primary stage, cancer. It also helps in viewing other pre-cancerous lesions that may grow into a cancer in future.

A city-based gynecologist, Dr Preeti Jindal, said colposcope magnified the image of integral parts of vagina, which was otherwise not visible. It gives the structure, location and size of the lesion, which is then exposed for a biopsy, she added.

Explaining the problem with the colposcope equipment, a senior doctor said the machine was over 11-years-old and gradually depleting, there was not much the hospital could do.

“The repair can cost more. That is not economically viable, so we are planning to buy a new machine,” she added.

However, medical superintendent, GMCH-32, did not have any idea about the non-functional colposcope.



E-book on dental hygiene launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
On the occasion of Children's Day Dr Sanjay Kalra’s Trigon Dental launched an e-book for dental health education for all students of tricity at Vatika High School, Sector 19.

A free dental check up camp was also organised on the occasion and oral health kits were also distributed to 118 students of Vatika School. Children with good oral hygiene were honoured with tooth fairy trophies. The chief guest, Adity Dua, wife of H. K. Dua, editor-in-chief, The Tribune, congratulated the Trigon team for their innovative efforts towards oral health education.



CITCO introduces ‘Health Cart’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
A unique concept of offering health foods on a portable cart with a note “The Health Cart, where Good Health comes to You” was introduced by the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) at The Lake cafeteria, here today.

CITCO’s general manager (tourism) A.K. Malhotra said: “The cart positioned at Sukhna Lake is expected to get popular with morning and evening walkers and also floating tourists. It will cater not only to their need for a sip-and-bite halt but will also introduce them to the world of healthy goodness from fresh herbs and other foodstuff.”



Training Command chief visits High Grounds
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), Training Command, Air Marshal V.R. Iyer visited the MiG27/29 TETTRA School at the Air Force Station High Grounds, near here, today. He was accompanied by his wife Bala lyer, president, Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AFWWA), regional.

They were received by station commander Gp Capt R.K.S. Shera and his wife Jaspreet, president, AFWWA (local), on their arrival.

During the visit, the AOC-in-C was briefed about the training being conducted for IAF pilots and maintenance staff at the station. He was also briefed on various innovations and training aids developed in house by the TETTRA school. The Air Marshal appreciated the positive changes in the work culture of the station and urged the instructors to strive for excellence in training.

During the visit, Jaspreet Shera briefed Bala lyer about various welfare activities being undertaking at the station for the families of air warriors. She visited the AFWWA centre and addressed the ladies.



Educationist dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Iqbal Chand Wadhawan, a noted educationist and former director of the State Council of Educational Research and Training, Government of Haryana, died following a heart attack here today. He was 87. Wadhawan is survived by six sons and two daughters. His cremation was largely attended at the cremation ground in Sector 25 in the evening.



Exhibition on road safety tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
A city-based NGO in association with CITCO will organise an exhibition on road safety with 300 pairs of shoes representing number of fatalities happening everyday in India.

The exhibition will be organised at Sukhna Lake on November 16 by ArriveSafe, an NGO on road safety, in association with the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation Limited (CITCO) and the AIESEC, an international student organisation.

Harman Sidhu, a road safety activist, said CITCO managing director Niharika Rai would release balloons from boats in the memory of victims, while Noortje Donders, a Dutch national, would give a saxophone recital on the occasion.



Teachers hold dharnas, rallies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
In response to the call given by Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers' Union (PCCTU), college teachers working in non-government colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh held campus dharnas and rallies for one hour to press for acceptance of their demands. The PCCTU is demanding CAS for DPE's/ librarians according to the recommendation of the UGC, restoration of 95 per cent salary deficit grant, lifting of ban on recruitment, stagnation increments, HRA for rural colleges and extension of date for completing conclusion of refresher courses and amendment of the Security of Service Act to bring back unaided posts under its purview.

General secretary, PCCTU Dr. Jagwant Singh, blamed the government of Punjab for forcing the teachers on the path of agitation. He said Chief Minister, Punjab S. Parkash Singh Badal had assured the PCCTU on January 5 that the Security of Service Act would be amended shortly. However, nothing has happened so far. Actions of the government are compelling people either to agitate or approach the court. The Chief Minister seemingly has lost control over the state administration. He said it was shameful that the Punjab government had failed to release the salary grant after May 2008. He said the teachers working in the college affiliated to GNDU area would proceed on mass casual leave on November 19 and hold rally at Jalandhar.



‘Baawli’ a poignant play
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, November 14
The ‘Virasat’ theatre group staged one of the intellectually stimulating drama “Bawali” on the fifth day of the Chandigarh Theatre Fest-2008 at Tagore theatre here today.

The socially relevant and meaningful play, written and directed by the NSD alumnus, Asif Ali, depicts the realities of many aged persons in the last phase of life. Structured into a middle class family, the director has focussed on the problem of aged parents that is ailing the society through the life of the protagonist Janaki.

A recapitulation of her not so happy after her husband expires and only son leaves her to migrate to a metro provides the plot for Asif Ali to propend the joint family system, who needs to preserve the ethics as enshrined in our holy epics.

Driven by the belief that ‘Inspired life is the virtue absolute and all else is immaterial’ seems to be the last solace and all are not blessed to relish its bounties to the last phase of their life, Janaki, lives a life of illusions.

In the deeper sense, she has accepted a young paying guest, Anand, as her own son. She has an unusual way of charging the rent, which is not monetary rather Anand has to spend few hours with her daily. Janaki, considering him her own son, creates an imaginary world that becomes a point of concern for Anand.

Anand, seized with a difficult situation, tries to bring her back to the real world, but, in vain. Perturbed and hesitant, he has no option except leaving her alone to face the truth.

Finally, facing the reality, she starts performing her rituals of ‘Pind daan’ herself in anticipation of her death.

The characters displayed their adroit mastery over the diction, dialogue delivery and expressions.



Rape of Minor
Forensic team starts investigation
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 14
Sitting idle for almost two months over the gang rape case of a minor in the town, the Panchkula police has started investing the matter afresh with the help of a forensic team here today.

The police team visited the spots with the victim where she was allegedly taken to and raped. The team, headed by DSP Samiti Chaudhary, first reached Daun village and lifted samples from an abandoned room. The forensic team was led by Dr Anita Kadyan. Later the team visited the garage of an office in Sector 4 where the victim alleged the accused took her in the wee hours and left her there to go home.

Dr Kadyan will discuss the matter with DIG S.S. Kapur who is heading the district police in the absence of SP Sandip Khirwar. Khirwar is on leave till Sunday.

The police did not find it fit to visit the place of incident till now even as it was two months ago when the victim was raped on September 16. The police also could not identify the two accused, Jatin and Chhavi, though it claimed to have arrested two of the accused, Jitesh and Aman Ahuja.



Chemist shops shut for violation of terms
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 14
Two chemist shops located at the General Hospital, Sector 6, were sealed by the health department allegedly when they were found violating the terms and conditions of the agreement here today. Earlier the shops were raided by a team of the health department on Wednesday and samples of medicines were lifted by the authorities.

A team, including district health officer Dr M.L. Garg and drug inspector Sarika Malik, reached the two shops, Deep Medicos and Dawa Bazar, in the evening and showing the orders of the civil surgeon for sealing the two shops asked the shopkeepers to follow the instructions and leave the place.

However, the shopkeepers said there were still more than six months left for the contract of running the shops in the hospital to expire.

Dr Kamla Singh, civil surgeon, Panchkula, said the shopkeepers were allowed to open the shops on the condition that they would sell the medicines at a margin up to the maximum of 15 per cent. Complaints were received that they were not extending the required discount to the patients. They were even issued show cause notices. The reply filed by them, however, was not found to be satisfactory and the hospital administration decided to close the shops till the matter was not solved, added civil surgeon.



3-day Bollywood carnival starts
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur (Mohali), November 14
There was a vast potential for developing media and entertainment related activities in Mohali district due to the road accessibility and other infrastructure facilities, said Rahul Bhandari, deputy commissioner, Mohali, today while inaugurating a three-day ‘Bollywood Carnival’ organised by the Institute of Technology and Future Management Trends, ITFT, at its campus here today.

He suggested that plans and projects should be prepared to encourage film producers to set up their production units in the area. He also released a concept paper on developing Mohali as cinematic and rural tourism destination prepared by the ITFT, Chandigarh.

Manmohan Singh, a known producer of Punjabi films, said he would start shooting his next flick shortly with 15 to 20 students from the ITFT appearing in the film.

Dr Gulshan Sharma, executive director, ITFT, said the purpose to organise the event was to create an awareness of the potential of media.

The carnival has a film city which provides a peek into the various facets of film making such as video shooting with reflectors, lights, cameras, tracks, camera, crane, direction and other activities associated with film making.

Of special interest to the visitors was a prototype of a radio station while television channels, and exhibition of clips from movies shot in northern Indian states, especially Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Chandigarh and its surrounding suburban areas, would be shown to the audience. The students regaled the audience by enacting scenes from popular films like ‘Jab We Met’, ‘Border’, ‘Veer Zaara’, ‘Rang De Basanti’, ‘Legend of Bhagat Singh’ and from some other films.



Kalam’s presence delights students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
“Knowledge makes a man great” the words echoed on the premises of Bhavan Vidyalya, Sector 27, as Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former Indian President, addressed the school students on the occasion of Children’s Day.

Surrounded by his usual aura of intellect and wisdom, he took no time to connect with students, who repeated oaths to pledge their literacy, knowledge and courage towards the development of the country.

Kalam’s presence delighted students as many of them complimented him for being their role model but what touched everybody was in addition to sharing his wisdom and childhood experiences, he chose to answer some questions mailed to him by the Bhavan students.

When a young kid asked the most expected question that which was a dearer role that of a president or a scientist, Kalam with his wings of fir said, “I love being a teacher. Every time I am with students, I feel great and I think that is what was my true ambition. My role model was my science teacher at school who inspired me and drove me to achieve these heights.”

“Question till you get right answers and you will be at the top of everything” was the simple golden rule he gave to students before he bid an adieu to them.



From Schools & Colleges
Fun and frolic marks Children’s Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, celebrated Children’s Day with fervour and enthusiasm. The school teachers staged a special cultural programme for the children’s entertainment.

Dev Samaj School: Dev Samaj School, Sector 21, celebrated Children’s Day and Sports Day with zeal and fervour. There were different races like Frog Race, Skipping, Hopping, Dress-up Race, Sack Race, Potato and Spoon Race, Tug of war etc. The event included the participation of the students from the junior wing and the senior wing.

Mount Carmel School: Mount Carmel School, Sector 47, Chandigarh, celebrated the Children’s Day on the School premises, with the students of KG to X taking part in various competitions and contests, which were held on this occasion viz. Clay Modelling (KG), Best out of Waste (Classes I and II), Stone Painting (Classes III and IV), A Creative Placard (Classes V and VI), Flower arrangement (Classes VII & VIII), Ferns and Leaves arrangement (Classes IX and X), Mimicry and Hindi Declamation (Classes VII to X).

Kendriya Vidyalaya: The birth anniversary of Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru was celebrated as Bal Diwas with excitement and gaiety at Kendriya Vidyalaya No.1, Chandimandir Cantt, today. A vibrant function was organised for the students of primary section at cluster level. Around 80 children from KV No.1 Chandimandir, KV No.2, Chandimandir, KV, ITBP, Bhanu and KV, CRPF, Pinjore, participated in inter-school group song and folk dance competitions with remarkable enthusiasm.

KV, Sector 31, celebrated ‘Bal Diwas’ with great zeal and fervor today. Students seemed to be at their creative best as they participated in various competitions like Rangoli Making, Slogan writing and Best out of waste etc.

St. Xavier’s Senior Secondary School: The Children’s Day was celebrated at St. Xavier’s Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh, with pomp and show. Competitions like slogan writing, poster making, rangoli and tattoo making on national symbols and emblems were organised. The day ended with a hilarious cricket match between the junior and senior students.

MCMDAV College: The students of MCM DAV College, Sector 36, celebrated Children’s Day with slum children and organised various activities for them. Apart from holiday panting competition at youth welfare training centre, they also distributed stationary items, woolen caps and sweets.

Guru Teg Bahadur Public School: The students and staff of Guru Teg Bahadur Public School, Sector 15, celebrated Children’s Day on the premises of Old Age Home. The tiny tots of kindergarten section came in full fervour with action rhymes whereas the senior students kept the senior citizens and others spellbond with the rhythms of Rajsthani Dance, Umbrella Dance, Dance on national integration and Aerobics.

Divya Public School: The students, staff and principal of Divya Public School, Sector 44, celebrated Children’s Day with great enthusiasm on the school premises. The principal spoke about the importance of the day and explained the achievements of Pt. Nehru.

KBDAV-7: The school celeberated Children’s Day today with zeal of patriotism, togetherness and love for the India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. Colourful presentation of cultural items by the tiny tots touched the souls of audience, whereas senior students discussed global issues by participating in debate, declamation and speech contest.

Tender Heart School: On the occasion of Children’s Day, Tender Heart premises came alive with a whirl of activities organised for the students. The children could be seen having a field day indulging in interesting events like the sack race, lemon and spoon race, bunny race and the three-legged race. The various events generated loud cheers from the spectators who seemed to be enjoying to the fullest.

GMSSS-33: Children’s Day was celebrated in GMSSS-33 with great vigour. A fascinating cultural programme was appreciated by everyone. The relevance of Nehru ji’s philosophy was discussed by teachers. Many competitions like slogan writing, poster making and bookmark making were also organised.



Boarders stage protest against college authorities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Hostellers of Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College for Girls, Sector 26, staged a protest against the lack of proper hostel facilities in the college hostel today. Girls accused the authorities concerned for overcharging them and not providing the promised facilities.

Regular classes of the college were disturbed as the students were demanding that the hostel fees charged by the college authorities is more than what is mentioned in the news published by a vernacular daily without cross checking the fee structure.

They directly published a rise in the fees structure from Rs 25,000 to Rs 28,000 whereas the actual rise in the fee structure is from Rs 25,000 to Rs 35,000, which is very clearly mentioned in the college hostel prospectus, which every student has. 



10 teams vie for laurels
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 14
Around ten teams comprising of 120 student artists from different city schools participated in the Twentieth Annual Theatre Fest, Natyotsav-2008, at the DAV College-10 auditorium here today.

The annual event was organised by the Sambhang Theatre group, in collaboration with the department of public relations, UT. SBI was a tribute to the young theatre icon, Prabhat Gupta, a gold medalist alumni of Indian Theatre.

The chief guest Harjinder Kaur, former city mayor, awarded prizes to the winners in drama competition.

GMHS Khuda Ali Sher (I), Mount Carmel-47 (II), DAV Public School- 8 (III), Histrionics -Om Parkash DAV Sr. Secondary School (I), GMSS-39 (II)

Best actor : Amandeep GMHS Khuda Ali Sher (I),Divyanshu DAV-8 (II),

Best actress: Rashmi Sharma Stepping Stones (I), Gurdeep Kaur Mount Carmel (II).

Shweta Mahendra was honoured with Sambhang Theatre Award-2008, while Sambhang Cultural Heritage award was conferred on Dr SM Knat, Dr BC Joshan, prof Manju Jaidka, Jaskiran Harika, Ms Jaswinder Kaur and Harjinder for their contribution in respective realms of art and education.



Celebrating with special kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
In an endeavour to make Children’s Day special and reach out to the special children, the department of pediatrics, PGI, organised a cultural programme by NGO “Sankalp” from Government College, Sector 11, here.

The government college students were enthusiastic and left no stone unturned vying for the attention of young special kids. Right from distributing bananas and biscuits to helping children draw and colour, they did every possible way to bring smile to them. “It, indeed, was a special moment to see children and their parents clapping to various dance sequences. A special movie- Jungle book by Rudyard Kipling was shown to the children. Dr Bhavneet Bharti said “It was a day full of fun and frolic for children.

Dr Sunit Singhi, head of the pediatric department, said through this initiative, we would like to celebrate this joy with the special children. It was a small gesture by the doctors to express that we cared for them.



Children’s Day celebrated
Tribune Reporters

Zirakpur, November 14
Mount View Public School, Zirakpur, celebrated Children’s Day and Sports Day with great zeal and fervour on the school premises here today. There were different races such as frog race, skipping, hopping, dress-up race, lemon and spoon race, etc. The event included the participation of all students from the junior wing and the senior wing. The principal spoke about the importance of Children’s Day and explained the achievements of Pt. Nehru.

Rotary Club

PANCHKULA: Rotary Club, Panchkula, organised a function to celebrate Children’s Day at Yavanika, Sector 5, with 104 children from the evening schools of Panchkula, Disha Evening School, Chetna Evening School working under the aegis of Doon Public School and Bhawan Vidyalaya, Panchkula, respectively, here today. The function was attended by handicapped children from Saket Institute of Handicapped. Drawing competition was conducted along with a simple quiz in Hindi on Children’s Day and Jawahar Lal Nehru.

Hallmark School

Children’s Day at Hallmark was dedicated to nannies and bhaiyaji’s of the school. Students apart from organising games for their caretakers showcased a vibrant dance. A round of singing and dancing was followed by the prize distribution function. Director of the school Jivtesh Garg emphasised the fact that kids in today’s globalised world need to be sensitised to the dignity of labour. Principal Neelinderjeet Sandhu said the entire show was aimed to instill the qualities of compassion and sharing among the students and motivated the kids to experience the joy of giving.

New India Senior Secondary School

Birthday of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru “The architect of modern India” was a day of children in New India Senior Secondary School, Sector-15. The function started with a flag hoisting ceremony followed by a march past and National Anthem. The weeklong inter-house sports came to an end on this day with a basketball match. The tiny tots of nursery wing presented a cultural programme.


Children’s Day was celebrated with full enthusiasm, fun and frolic at Shemrock Smiles and Bliss, MDC, Panchkula, and Pinjore today. The importance of Children’s Day was narrated to the tiny tots by the teachers with full zeal and spirit. Each and every child participated in fancy dress show.

Jainendra Public School

Many competitions like rhyme competition for KG to class II, poem recitation for classes VI to VII, solo dance competition for primary section and poster making competition for senior classes were organised.

British School

A picnic and various competitions marked Children’s Day at the school. Various fun activities were organised for them, including a quiz, rhymes, throw ball, and high jump.

Satluj Public School

The celebrations on Children’s Day began with students’ speeches on significance of celebrating the day. Some students recited poems in English and Hindi as their tribute to this great leader of India. The students celebrated with a cultural event “Freedom of expression”.

Blue Bird High School

Children’s Day was very special for the children of Blue Bird High School. This time teachers took a lead to entertain the students. They came dressed as students of the school and spoke few words for our beloved Chacha Nehru. They also spoke on how can we repay our teachers efforts and be a successful citizen of our country.

Doon Public School

Children’s Day was celebrated in Doon Public School, Sector-21, with great fervour and gaiety. Several competitions were organised by the school, which included card making, story telling and poetry recitation. These competitions provided a platform for the students to show their drawing and oratory skills. The winners were given the prizes to boost up their enthusiasm. Sweets and gifts were distributed among all students.

Gian Jyoti School

MOHALI: At Gian Jyoti School, the major attraction was the cricket match among four houses in which Krishna House won the match. The teachers played with marvellous zeal. The students of Class III were attired in colourful dresses for the fancy dress competition. Aashima from Class III-B, Kunjan from Class III-A and Navroop Kaur from Class III-A won first, second and third prizes, respectively.

Shivalik Public School

At Shivalik Public School, Mohali, the students were looking cheerfully charming in a wide array of colourful costumes. The students participated in one-minute games like tongue twister, dumb charades, enacting popular songs and quiz competition.

Jan Shikshan Sansthan

The Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS), Mohali celebrated Children’s Day as Environment Protection Day on its campus today. Around 300 students of various vocational courses like electrical technician, tailoring, refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanism etc participated in it.



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