C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


2 Army men held for rape
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 25
The police today arrested two Army personnel accused of raping a patient at the Command Hospital, Chandimandir. Naik Hottam Singh and Naik Iftikhar Khan, belonging to the Army Medical Corp, were produced before the civil judge-cum-judicial magistrate and sent to police custody for two days.

The third accused, Raja, who allegedly filmed the incident has not been traced so far. “We arrested the two after the Army authorities handed them over to us. We will interrogate them and take some more samples before producing them in court on Thursday,” Sandip Khirwar, SP, said.

The 39-year-old victim on Sunday had complained to the police that Naik Hottam Singh, documentation in charge in the neuro-surgical ward, with the connivance of Naik Iftikhar Khan, a nursing attendant, raped her in the dining hall on Saturday afternoon.

She alleged that another person filmed the rape. They threatened her that if she told anyone about the incident, they would circulate the film.

Hottam is in his mid-30s and belongs to Madhya Pradesh while Khan is around 40 years old and hails from Bihar.

The police said the victim reached the hospital around 12 noon for physiotherapy. Later, she went to meet a relative who was admitted there and decided to meet an official to get a medical certificate which was required to retain her government accommodation. She asked Hottam for directions and he took her to the dining hall and allegedly raped her.

The police, however, is yet to establish that the incident was filmed as the victim did not see anybody else there other than the accused. Hottam had told her that the rape had been videographed, the police said.

An Army spokesman said an internal court of inquiry had been ordered and if the accused were found guilty, disciplinary action would be taken against them.



Motorcyclist assaults traffic cop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
High drama prevailed at Phase I of the industrial area here this afternoon when a motorcyclist reportedly assaulted a traffic policeman after being booked for jumping red light.

Eyewitnesses said the incident took place at around 12 noon when traffic policemen stopped a motorcyclist for jumping red light. An argument ensued between a traffic cop and the motorcyclist and later both had a scuffle. The motorcyclist reportedly tore the uniform of the cop and also removed his turban.

SHO Yashpal Sharma said head constable Daya Ram, constables Satish Kumar and Mahinder Singh and a home guard volunteer were on duty. They stopped Pawan Kumar of Sarangpur for violating traffic rules and he started hurling abuses. Later, he turned violent and tore the uniform of Mahinder Singh and thrashed him.

Pawan Kumar, however, claimed that the policemen were abusive and took away the keys of his motorcycle. He asked them to return it, but the policemen turned violent. He also sustained injuries during the scuffle.

A case had been registered against the accused and he would be produced before a local court tomorrow.



Default on Payment
Chief engineer’s vehicles attached
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Additional district and sessions judge S.K. Aggarwal attached the vehicles of the chief engineer, Haryana, as the government had defaulted on the payment of nearly Rs 15 lakh to a company that was given a contract to construct a building in 1986.

The Faridabad-based company was given the contract for the building in Faridabad, which was completed in 1986. The cost of construction was estimated at around Rs 80 lakh, but some amount was not paid by the department concerned and an arbitrator was appointed.

The arbitrator was of the view that the department should make the payment, along with the interest, to the company. The amount was estimated to be Rs 14.94 lakh at the interest rate of 18 per cent per annum. The department failed to comply with it and the company filed a case.

Pronouncing the orders in 2007, the court directed the secretary and chief engineer to pay Rs 59.48 lakh to the company. The department paid around Rs 44.59 lakh and filed a revision petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking exemption from the payment of the remaining amount.

The revision petition was dismissed on September 9 this year. Thereafter, the company submitted a list of property before the court for recovering the remaining amount. This included five Ambassadors attached with the chief engineer, besides furniture.



Kohli’s Patiala connection
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 25
Maninderpal Singh Kohli, who was convicted and sentenced for the rape and murder of 17-year-old British teenager, Hannah Foster, on March 14, 2003, at the UK today has a Patiala connection.

Though he was born at Chandigarh, he was educated at the ITI here and qualified to be a draftsman. His father, Jagjit Singh Kohli, retired as junior engineer and had settled in the Model Town. His death had passed off unnoticed recently and the family is not remembered much in the area here.

Kohli left for the UK in 1994 and worked as a sandwich delivery driver there. He reportedly married Salinder Kaur, a resident of the UK, following a matrimonial advertisement in a local paper here.

Kohli fled the UK after committing the crime and was arrested in Kalimpong in North-East India. Later, he disappeared from Mohali where he had come to see his ailing mother. However, he was arrested and extradited to the UK for trial.



Hookah banned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh,November 25
The Chandigarh administration has ordered that no owner, proprietor or manager of any eatery, restaurant or hotel would use or permitted to be used any “hookah” or anything similar to it. 

This order was passed by the District Magistrate in order to prevent the misuse of 'hookahs' in such places. The order will remain in force till January 25.



Tipper runs over 19-yr-old
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Vijay Kumar, a 19-year-old Kajheri resident, was killed while his father, Amrit Lal, escaped with minor injuries when a truck rammed into their scooter near the transport lights here this afternoon.

The severely injured victim was rushed to the PGI, where he succumbed to his injuries.

According to eyewitnesses, the accident took place when a tipper hit the Kinetic Honda scooter from the rear. The youth was riding pillion and fell in front of the truck, which ran over him. They were wearing helmets.

The truck driver fled the spot after the mishap.

The police said the victims were rushed to the PGI, where Vijay died. The police had traced the truck owner and asked him to produce the driver. The vehicle had been impounded and a case registered in this connection.



2 youths held for shooting at police
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, November 25
A group of five youths exchanged fire with a police party of the CIA, Mohali, in New Defence Colony, Zirakpur. The youths, while trying to flee from the spot, kept on firing at the cops. The melee lasted for about 15 minutes.
Two of the accused, Ravinder Singh Changha and Mangal Singh, who were arrested after they allegedly fired at a Mohali police party
Two of the accused, Ravinder Singh Changha and Mangal Singh, who were arrested after they allegedly fired at a Mohali police party
SP (Detective), Mohali, R.K. Bakshi shows, the bullet mark on a car in Zirakpur on Tuesday.
SP (Detective), Mohali, R.K. Bakshi shows, the bullet mark on a car in Zirakpur on Tuesday. Tribune photographs

Two of the fleeing youths, Ravinder Singh Changha and Mangal Singh, were overpowered while they tried to flee in a Tata Safari. However, no one was injured in the incident that took place at around 2 pm.

SP (detective), Mohali, R.K. Bakshi, said their personnel escaped a gunshot when one of the youths fired at him.

The police claims that the youths were planning a robbery. A .32 bore pistol and the Tata Safari have been recovered from the arrested youths. While Ravinder Singh is a proclaimed offender in a case of narcotics, there is no case against Mangal Singh.

One of the bullets had hit a Hyundai Accent in the shootout and another shot hit the petrol tank of a Skoda car (HR-06-D-0782) in which three other youths fled from the spot in the Skoda. The skoda was tracked till Sector 12-A of Panchkula.

The police said the accused were planning to commit a robbery with the help of arms. A case has been registered at the Zirakpur police station.

The SP (D) said they had got a tip off that the youth were planning a robbery while sitting in ‘fauji dhaba’ at Zirakpur. While the police was trying to cordon the area to arrest the youths, the latter got suspicious and started firing at the police.

The police claimed that it also fired in self-defence. However, residents of the area claimed that it was the police that first fired in the air. The police is trying to trace the other accused.

Photos on P5


Urban transport development
Rodrigues constitutes core group
Tribune New Service

Chandigarh, November 25
UT Administrator Lt Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd.) today constituted a core group of senior officers for chalking out the strategy with a Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS), a corporate body of professionals, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) and Infrastructure Development Finance Company Limited, for providing services in the urban transport and infrastructure development.

After seeing the DIMTS presentation, Rodrigues indicated that active collaboration with this government’s corporate body would be helpful in speeding up the growth and development process. He asked senior officers of the administration to be more innovative in implementing various decisions and revitalising the service delivery systems by removing bureaucratic hurdles.

Rodrigues noted with concern that the officials created unnecessary procedural bottlenecks. This would put common man at inconvenience. He said the bureaucracy must not obstruct the process of development but act as a facilitator by following laid down rules and procedures. He mentioned that poor and disadvantaged people must be our priority and their interests must be protected, with no exploitation at any level.

He made it clear that the administration had to cater to the needs of 11 lakh residents and not a few individuals who are exploiting the situation for meeting their vested interests.

He said the social sector had been given top priority with a focus on empowering disadvantaged sections and making them equal partners in the social change.

He said special steps had been taken for improving the transport system and traffic management, by initiating plans for the mass rapid transport and construction of underway bridges, multi-level parkings and flyovers at required places. He suggested that the DIMTS could collaborate in all projects for speeding up the process of development.

Among the senior officers who attended the meeting were Pradip Mehra, adviser to administrator, M.P. Singh, secretary to governor, Ram Niwas, home secretary, Sanjay Kumar, finance secretary, Mohanjeet Singh, chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board, Roshan Sankaria, commissioner of the municipal corporation and a team of DIMTS led by S.N. Sahai, IAS, CEO and MD.



Executing building bylaws not an easy task
Encroachments on rise in nine villages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Executing building bylaws of 2006 in the villages, which come under the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation’s jurisdiction, is not an easy task for the authorities. During the recent survey conducted by the corporation it was found that in all nine villages, allocated to the municipal corporation, most of the construction work done by the villagers violates the new building bylaws, framed for the planned development of the villages. Even the percentage of the encroachment in these villages is very high, due to which most of the developmental projects are facing problem in their execution.

It was found that most of the buildings have been constructed by the villagers at their own will and no rules have been followed for constructing the number of floors. In some of the villages the residents even constructed four storied houses without considering any bylaws. Due to major commercial and residential encroachment in these areas very little scope has been left for widening of roads and undertaking other development works in the village.

Even substantial incentives announced as per the building bylaws for the residents of existing village ''abadis'' for collectively improving the existing civic infrastructure specially roads and other services have not received any encouraging response. None of the villager has so far turned up at the corporation’s office for improving adjoining areas of their houses.

Official said by just surveying the villages the municipal authorities could not execute the bylaws till they were equipped with adequate manpower. Referring to the recent incident of encroachment of Butrela, official stated that the labourers took one week's time to demolish a house in that area. He stated that even though the notices had been issued to the violators but there was need of follow-up by the department, which could not be done due to shortage of staff.

Official added that the building bylaws were framed by the administration for planned developed of all villages in accordance with a specific town plan prepared by it. It was promised that the corporation would be provided with extra staff for the execution and proper town planning of villages. But, so far no separate staff had been allotted for its execution to the corporation.

One of the Burail residents stated that most of the residents increased their residential areas knowing that the administration was framing new building bylaws for the villages. They were well aware that the authorities could not take any action against them till the new building bylaws come into force.

Municipal corporation’s joint commissioner T.P.S. Phoolkha stated that notices were being issued to the villagers for submitting building plans of their houses to the corporation which was planning to start a publicity drive for making villagers aware of the building bylaws. 



MC, admn to set up common complaint centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
There is good news for residents of Chandigarh as from now onwards they will not have to check the area before lodging complaints civic amenities with the administration or the MC as a common complaint centre will be set up soon.

This was decided at the finance and contract committee meeting chaired by the mayor, Pardeep Chhabra, here today. A common number would be selected where all complaints will be collected and transferred to the departments concerned.

Chhabra said as the departments of the civic amenities had been divided between the administration and the corporation, most of the time people faced harassment at the hands of officials with a plea that the particular area was not under the jurisdiction or vice versa. Recently, this issue was taken at the coordination committee meeting and it was decided to set up a common complaint centre.

The committee also approved the new rate list for city cable operators. It has been decided that the cable operator who has a sub-sector will be charged Rs 500 while those with two sub-sectors will have to pay Rs 1,000. Earlier, all operators were paying a flat rate of Rs 1,000 to the MC.

The committee, having received a number of complaints of cracks in buildings of the community centre due to the installation of telecom towers, decided that all towers would be removed from these centres with immediate effect and in future, no company would be granted permission to install a tower on the building of the community centre in the city.



Admn seeks Rs 25 cr for tourism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
The administration has sought Rs 25 crore from the Union tourism ministry for augmenting the tourism infrastructure in the city. According to sources, the administration has forwarded the demand to the ministry for various tourism projects. However, the lion's share of the amount is set to go for upgradation of various facilities at the Sukhna Lake to turn it into a major tourist destination, the sources added.

A comprehensive plan for the beautification of the Sukhna Lake had earlier been submitted to the the administration by the Chandigarh College of Architecture. A tourist information kiosk at the newly-developed lake at the Sector 42 has also been planned. 



Excise and Taxation Inspectors
Candidates claim politicking in selections
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Politics has allegedly made a victim out of them. Interviewed for the posts of excise and taxation inspectors during the Akali-BJP regime in 2001, they were allegedly left out of the process by the Congress government, only to be ignored again by the ruling combine.

The alleged plight of the candidates, almost nine years after the process began, has now been brought to the notice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court by a candidate. In his petition placed before the Bench of Justice Ashutosh Mohunta and Justice Rajan Gupta, petitioner Balwant Singh of Nawanshahr has sought directions to the State of Punjab to consider the qualified candidates.

He asserted the candidates, who had appeared for the interviews after clearing the written tests for 53 posts advertised in 1999, should be considered before filling up 160 posts in pursuance of the advertisement dated Aug 13.

Going into the background of the matter, the petitioner has asserted the candidates applied for the posts in 1999. He qualified the written test and was called for the interview on December 7, 2001. In April 2003, he represented to the secretary, Punjab Subordinate Service Selection Board. But the result was not declared. In February 2007, he was told that the Congress government would not declare the result in view of the fact the posts were advertised by the Akali government.

Arguing on the petitioner’s behalf, counsel Gurnam Singh and V.P. Singh Saidkheri contended the Akalis, after coming back to power in the state, issued fresh advertisement on August 13 for 160 vacancies, ignoring their right to the posts. He added the government was not justified in advertising the posts without adjusting the qualified candidates.

Taking up the petition, the Bench issued notice of motion to the State of Punjab and other respondents. The petition is now scheduled to come up for further hearing before the Bench on March 17 next year. 



Poets regale audience at bilingual mushaira
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, November 25
The Chandigarh administration teamed up with Haryana Urdu akademy and organised an All-India bilingual mushaira as a part of the National Integration Week celebrations at the Government Medical College -32 auditorium here today.

The event featured ten poets of national eminence, including the literary stalwarts like Nida Fazli, Ashoka Chakradhar, Padmashri K.L. Zakir, Bekal Utsahi former MP and others. After the chief guest Gen. (Retd.) SF Rodrigues, Governor Punjab performed the traditional “Shama Roshan” ceremony the poets took the centre stage only to spell bound the scant but intrusive audience with their poetic renditions of rich literary content replete with wit, wisdom and worldly experiences.

Caught between his admiration for the old rich heritage of India and the present terrorism and riot culture Nida expressed his observation as “Uth uth ke masjidon se namazi chle gye, Dehshat gardi ke haath mein Islaam reh gya”. He read out his popular Doha’s immortalised by Jagjit Singh in his album. While comparatively young poet Nawaz Deobandi in philosophical connotation lamented “Ye kaisa chiraag hai jo roshni ke khilaaf hai ” the octogenarian poet Zakir delved into romanticism. Zakir said, “Bade armaan bade bankpan se aye hain, Haseen logon ki anjuman se aaye hain/ Hamaare pas hain shabnam ki chndni ke salaam, Hamein milo ke ham unke vatan se aye hain.”

Academician poet Dr Ashok Chakradhar conducted the mushaira with remarkable proficiency and doled out record number of choicest. Former MP and noted poet Bekal Utsahi, Gulzar Dehlavi, Haq Kanpuri, Nawaz Deobandi, Asif Bareilwy, Neeladhar Janguri, Shams Tabrezi, read out their poems.



Ban on polythene a failure: NGO
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 25
The ban on the polythene carry bags was no solution to the problem rather such a ban was a failure, said Hemant Goswami, chairperson of Burning Brain Society, a pressure group that was successful to make the city smoke-free last year.

He further said, “We even remained unsuccessful in creating awareness about the rational use of the polythene, so that, it does not become a hazard for everyone.”

Hemant, who was here to deliver a talk during a seminar “Poythene, Smoking Policy- Its Objectivity” organised by the Indian Media Centre, Panckula, differing on the ban on polythene carry bags said polythene was important for the society.

However, the polythene carry bags should be banned in the hilly and coastal areas where the time period was short to re-collect the bags for the disposal. But, smoking was a mere burden on the society in the name of diseases its consumers suffered from, he said.

Speaking at the seminar, senior journalist Gobind Thukral said pollution had played a havoc globally.

While temperature was rising, the species of animals, birds and plants were diminishing gradually due to its adverse impact on the climate, Gobind said.

Panchkula deputy commissioner Rajender Kataria, however, emphasised on self policing, awareness along with enforcement of these bans.

The seminar was concluded with an interaction among speakers and representatives of the residents welfare associations.



LIC staff stage two-hr protest
Tribune Reporters

LIC employees stage protest, demanding a revision in their wages, in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
LIC employees stage protest, demanding a revision in their wages, in Chandigarh on Tuesday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, November 25
A large number of employees of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) today observed a two-hour walk-out strike in protest against the management for allegedly dilly- dallying wage revision.

The striking employees staged a dharna in Sector 17 today and demanded a hike in salary “to be commensurate with the growth and paying capacity of the Corporation”. Under the aegis of the Northern Zone Insurance Employees Association, the employees were demanding wage revision from August 2007, framing of pay scales by merging DA at consumer price index as at quarter ending June 2007, and 40 per cent wage hike across the board.

Rajeev Sehgal, divisional secretary of the association, said the wage revision in LIC and general insurance companies should not be linked to any external factors, but settled on the basis of strength of institution.

KALKA: The Northern Zone Insurance Employees Association (NZIEA), Kalka branch unit, observed a two-hour walk-out strike from 11.15 am to 1.15 pm today. Amarjit Kumar, general secretary of the union, said all union leaders severely condemned the Central Government for its anti-employees policies and not fulfilling their various pending demands, including new wage revision.

The general secretary warned that they would go for a full-day strike in future if the Central Government’s attitude remained adamant. LIC Panchkula Union Branch general secretary Anil Kumar and president Vijay Vashisht also addressed the meeting in the Panchkula branch office, added Amarjit.



Thieves targeting gullible locals on prowl
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Apart from emerging as the IT hub and a tourist centre, the city is fast turning into a happy-hunting ground for thieves and tricksters. A large number of thieves and tricksters haling from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and other parts of the country are targeting gullible locals.

Sources in police say contrary to popular perception that most of the criminal are hailing from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the case studies show that criminals from Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu are also on prowl in the city, though in small numbers. They stay in the city for about a month or more, commit crimes and leave the city before the news about their presence spreads.

Children are also found to be members of these gangs. There are several instances in which children were used for stealing the things or divert the targets’ attention for committing the crime. It is due to this that the cops have not been able to crack the Hotel Taj theft case in which children had stolen jewellery from a marriage party.

These tricksters and thieves targeted not only the labour class and commoners on the roads, but also the high profile jewellers in the city. In April this year, a five-member gang of thieves stole 16 gold bangles from Tanishq jeweller in Sector-17 this year.

The Rajasthan-based gang was busted when the local police brought on production warrant Manoj Kumar of Ajmer, one of the gang members in September this year. The police has so far not been able to trace the other four members.

Pardeep of Tamil Nadu was also arrested in an act while he was trying to decamp with a bag by diverting man’s attention. He was nabbed from the spot. He was suspected to be committed robbery in similar fashion in Sector-22 earlier.

His accomplice, however, managed to escape. The modus operandi of Pardeep matched with a Muradabadi gang, which was active in the city last year and had duped a few persons, including women of affluent families. However, the police has failed to trace the culprits.

Similarly, the Sector-36 police arrested two women and a man last week, who had stolen gold from jeweller shops in Chandigarh and Panchkula. The accused, Roshad, her mother Naseema and her cousin Babbu, had stolen ornaments from two shops in Sector-35 within a fortnight and was nabbed while targeting a third shop in Panchkula.



Admn to appoint kin of dead employees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
The Chandigarh Administration has in a notification decided to appoint dependants of deceased employees on compassionate grounds. A committee on compassionate appointments has been constituted under the chairmanship of managing director, Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation Limited (CITCO), for considering the applications for such appointment in the light of the scheme in all departments, offices under the administration.

As per the existing procedure, all applications, requests for compassionate appointment are to be sent by the departments along with the required information to the regional employment officer, UT, Chandigarh (coordinator), who places all such applications before the committee. The departments don’t send such cases to the regional employment officer for placing before the committee for its consideration.

Precious time is lost in correspondence between the departments and the regional employment officer resulting in delay.

Henceforth, it has been decided that all applications for appointment on compassionate grounds will be considered in the light of the provisions of the scheme and the instructions issued from time to time on the subject or by the departments.



Minor scuffle at PU hostel
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, November 25
In yet another incident involving violence, a minor argument between students took an ugly turn when a group of students of the UIET indulged in a minor scuffle with the students of geography department in hostel number 7 last night.

According to sources, it all started on Sunday night when a group of students from the UIET allegedly came to the hostel in an inebriated condition and got into an argument with some students of the geography department.

Both the parities argued verbally. However, on Monday night, the same group of students came again and argued with the same students, and allegedly bashed up some of them.

A complaint in this regard has been submitted to the dean students’ welfare (DSW) today. According to sources, the matter is being investigated.



Come Dec, BSNL to launch IPTV service
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
After the successfully testing Internet protocol television (IPTV) and video-on-demand (VOD) services, BSNL is now ready to introduce these services on a commercial basis. These will be available to customers from December onwards for Rs 150 per month.

With this, Chandigarh will be one of the few cities in the country to have access to IPTV services, said chief general manager, BSNL, Chandigarh circle, P.K. Paliwal. All three services- telephone, broadband Internet service and IPTV- will work together, he added.

IPTV services offer customers both free-to-air and pay broadcast channels on personal computers and TV sets. It will also have add-on facilities like VoD and gaming. The services will be made available through broadband facilities and a set top box.

The users would have to purchase a set top box for using this facility. The box is known as WICE - window for infotainment, communication and entertainment. It can be installed for a small fee after paying a security deposit of Rs 999, which would be refundable. Installation and commissioning charges will be Rs 250.

The IPTV services were launched on the experimental basis in collaboration with Aksh Optic fibre limited about two months ago. In all, 120 channels will be made available through IPTV services, said senior BSNL official.

Customers will have to approach BSNL service centres in order to enroll for IPTV services. The services will be available at all customers’ service centres in the city. Viewers can also choose from a choice of English, Hindi and other vernacular films for a price tag ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 20, the BSNL official added.



Training on internal audit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Training on internal audit of officers and staff of the Chandigarh Administration is being conducted under the guidance of the chief controller (Accounts), ministry of home affairs, Delhi, in collaboration with the UT administration from November 24 to November 26.

The course was inaugurated by finance secretary Sanjay Kumar and controller of accounts, ministry of home affairs, New Delhi, M. Mada Samy.



PGI workshop on child protection
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
A one-day workshop on the “child promotion and child protection” was organised at the advanced pediatric centre, PGIMER, here today.

The aim of organising the workshop was to sensitize teachers and school counsellors about the role they can play in protecting and promoting the child’s rights.

The workshop was organised by Childline, Chandigarh, under the National Initiative for Child Protection (NICP) funded by the National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development and Childline India Foundation, which aims at building partnership with the allied systems for creating child-friendly environment.

Raji Srivastava, director, higher education, praised the Childline initiative and urged the counsellors and the teachers to promote child’s rights in the Government School. Sunit Singhi, head, pediatrics department, inaugurated the workshop.

Prahbhjot Malhi discussed the role of schools in the child’s right to development and the role of Childline in promoting child protection in the city.

Madhu P. Singh, member of the child welfare committee, highlighted the role of the Juvenile Justice Act, child welfare committees and the legal rights of a child.

A panel discussion with counsellors was also conducted with five panelists headed Bhavneet Bharti.

A few questions dealing with substance abuse, art therapy, parenting, parent was discussed by Guneeta, head, fine arts department, Sector-11, Jayanti Banerjee, school counsellor, St. John’s School, Chandigarh, and Sahul Bharti, pediatrician and in charge, Build Healthy India Movement.

Bhavneet Bharti discussed the issues related to the reproductive health education in schools and the barriers in imparting it in schools. 



Plastic bags: Adviser for strict enforcement of ban
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Adviser to the UT administrator today called a meeting for discussing various issues related to the implementation of ban on the manufacture and uses of polythene or plastic carry bags.

It was pointed out that a few shopkeepers and rehriwalas are using polythene, plastic bags without handle to circumvent the ban. In some cases even in jute bags the inner lining carries the thin plastic sheets. A few shopkeepers have started using bags, which are made of different plastic materials. It was also noted that sweetmeat shops are using polythene sheets to wrap these boxes and printing presses are using polythene envelope to put invitation cards. It was clarified that even these are not permissible.

These issues were deliberated at the meeting and all agencies implementing this ban, have been directed to strictly enforce it, particularly on the use of polythene carry bags, including aforementioned types and take strict action as per law against the defaulters, offenders.

The medical officer of the municipal corporation health department has been directed to deal with the problems of littering with regard to the packaging materials like gutka, pan, milk pouches and other plastic material in the city. 



Now, exam fee to be deposited in departments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Today after seeing the chaotic rush at the PU fee counter, members of the PUCSC approached the vice-chancellor over the issue of depositing the fees in the respective departments. Brinder Dhillon, president of the SOPU and Sahil Nanda, president of PUCSE, complained about tuition fees of the science departments not being deposited in the respective departments, despite of the vice-chancellor’s order. Vice-chancellor called a meeting with the dean students’ welfare (DSW), dean university instruction (DUI) and student representatives from science departments.

It was decided that a committee would be formed which would look into the matter. The authorities also assured that the examination fees, which were to be deposited by December 15, would be deposited in the respective departments.

Also, during the meeting the pending demands of students pertaining to starting round- the-clock bus service and medical insurance was raised. Students were of the view that the delay in implementation of these new schemes was causing an inconvenience to students. The students also questioned that when the buses have already arrived, why were they not being used and despite the submissions of the proposals, the insurance 
schemes were not being implemented?

It was later decided that a committee would be formed with a representative from the student council for the fixation of the bus fare. The authorities claimed that the problem being faced was as how to figure out the day-to-day expenses incurred by the bus so as to put very less burden on the students. Council has urged the authorities to start the bus service at the earliest possible. Dean students’ welfare (DSW) taking upon the responsibility assured the students that by December 5 the bus service would be started.



PU evening dept demands chairman after 4 years
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, November 25
To shake the authorities in Panjab University, all it takes is a ‘flying brick’. This may sound absurd, but holds true for the department of evening studies, which was running without a chairperson for the past four years.

According to sources, it was a minor incident, which took place in the department on November 19, that made the university authorities think about appointing a regular chairperson for the department.

Following the incident, wherein, a brick was thrown by unknown students while a class of political science being taught by Mohammed Khalid was in progress on the first floor, the authorities held a meeting today consisting of the faculty members of the department, VC Prof RC Sobti, DSW (dean students’ welfare) Prof Naval Kishore, DUI (dean university instructions), Prof SC Vaidya, who is also the officiating chairman of the department.

It is pertinent to mention here that the department was functioning under the chairmanship of the DUI after an order of the High Court in a case filed by the former chairman of the department, Dr Atulveer Arora, who retired on October 31 following the orders of the High Court in the enhancement of age.

Earlier, Atulveer Arora had moved to the court after he was removed from the post, and he challenged the same in the High Court.

In the meeting, a three-member committee was constituted, which included VK Mahajan, Indu Tiwari and Sudhir Kumar, who would manage the department and reported it to the DUI. Meanwhile, the university is seeking a legal opinion in this case for the appointment of a regular chairman in the wake of the court’s orders.

A section of the teachers reportedly raised the issue of security in the department after the brick-incident, on the contrary, however, students even doubt the genuineness of the whole incident.

The same section of teachers also complained about improper lightening in-and-around the department, on the contrary, officials claimed there was enough equipment lying in the storeroom of the department and following November 19 incident, the university authorities immediately got everything fixed on the same night.



Kathakali troupe performs at Ajit Karam School
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 25
In their endeavour to acquaint the students with the diverse rich cultural traditions of the country, SPIC-Macay offered a slice of the South Indian classical dance, kathakali, to the students of Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, (AKSIPS) Sector 41 here today.

The acclaimed kathakali guru Margie Vijay Kumar and his troupe presented an episode “Salvation of Poothna” based on an epic from Bhagwat Puran. A disciple of guru Krishna Nair of kalamandlam Vijay Kumar who heads the Margie Institute of Arts, in Kerala has given performances in the USA, Canada, Europe and other countries.

Vijay commenced the recital by explaining the history and fundamentals of the dance, including mudras, gestures and facial movements before staging the “Poothna”. Through dancing sequences Vijay enacted the legend of “Pootna” in which Lord Krishna, just an infant, kills the demon “Pootna” in the guise of a lady. The students watched the music renditions by M Damo and M Babu as also playing of drums by M Retkaram and M Thampi.

School executive director Jasdeep Kalra, and principal Jagjit Sekhon, honoured 
the artistes.



New guidelines for quota in engg colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has issued fresh guidelines with the current regional imbalances in the number of seats in various engineering colleges across the country. Currently we have 2.5 lakh seats in around 1,250 diploma level institutions as against over 5.5 lakh seats in around 1,500 degree level engineering colleges. But majority of the institutions have come up in either in south India or few selected states of the other part of country.

As per new guidelines, in Punjab and Haryana, all new colleges would have to opt for three mandatory courses out of nine courses. No existing college would be allowed to start evening engineering college on existing campus as per new norms in the above states.

It has been done because the ratio between population and number of seats available in these states is higher than national level while in Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and J&K these restrictions are 
not there.



Teachers attend workshop on communication skills
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
The Regional Institute of English, Chandigarh, in collaboration with the Regional English Language Organisation, US Embassy, New Delhi, organised a workshop on “Fostering Communication and Critical Thinking Skills.” 

At least 65 government secondary and senior secondary school teachers from Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh took part in the workshop. Richard Boyum, regional English language officer, South Asian region, and Rajni Badlani, assistant regional English language officer, spoke in depth about communication methodology.

He also visited the language lab and spoke on issues like classroom teaching, teachers acting as facilitators and the concept of learning by doing.

Rajni Badlani was of the view that such interactive workshops were the need of the hour. Teachers should also lay focus on integration of skills like listening, speaking, reading and writing in any classroom situation. She mainly focused on the activity-based learning.

Institute’s director Sharda Kaushik emphasised on the need for collaborating in areas like seminars and workshops. She also spoke about new techniques like computer-assisted language learning and the use of other softwares. 



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