C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police secures its office, ignores other buildings
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

; A man passes by a non-functional metal detector at the main entrance of the Chandigarh railway station. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, December 2
Like charity, security seems to begin at home for the Chandigarh police. While the UT police has gone all out to “secure” its own headquarters in Sector 9, it has apparently done little to do the same for the other government offices in the city and the public places.

In an obvious fallout of the Mumbai terror attack, the UT police has put barricades to bar the entry of vehicles in the area in front of the offices of its top brass. However, the police has made no such efforts for the safety of other important buildings located in its vicinity. The recovery vans of the Chandigarh traffic police were seen making announcement on public address systems installed on their vehicles, instructing the motorists not to park their vehicles in the restricted zones.

The offices of the UT inspector-general of police S.K. Jain, DIG (headquarters) Vivek Gogia, SSP S.S. Srivastva, DIG Mahabir Singh, SP (traffic and security) H.S. Doon and other senior police officers are located in the police headquarters.

Sources inform that the police has not taken such measures to protect other vital installations in the city, including UT secretariat. The offices of the top brass of the UT administration, including home secretary, chief secretary, finance secretary, advisor to UT administrator, chief architect, chief engineer and director public relations are housed in the UT secretariat, which is adjacent to the police headquarters.

A visit to the area revealed that the restrictions have only put the visitors to the building to inconvenience in the wake of ever shrinking parking spaces. Employees of the deluxe building, adjacent to the police headquarters, rue that the “enhanced security” of the top brass has become a source of inconvenience for them. “The police officers have now started parking their vehicles in our part of the building, forcing us to leave our vehicles at far off places,” said an employee.

On the other hand, a random survey of the city reveals the security of other vital installations, including hotels in Sector 35 and other parts of the city, educational institutions, hospitals, two ISBTs and religious places has seen no change. The metal detector at the railway station was not working and there were no security personnel on duty to frisk the visitors.

UT SP (traffic and security) H.S. Doon maintains that the parking was prevented in the area for security purposes and it would remain there for some time in future.

Meanwhile, the police informed that special checking drives were carried out in various parts of the city. The police checked vehicles coming from neighbouring states. It conducted search at district courts, ISBT, Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital, hotels in Sector 22 in front of ISBT, Sector 17, Mani Majra and at railway station. The police also searched hotels, guesthouses and madrasas in Sector 22, Sector 45, Attawa, Sector 29 (J & K Colony) and Bapu Dham Colony in Sector 26, besides checking Fun Republic and Neelam Cinema.

The police also requested the public to inform about any suspicious person or activity to the Police Control Room phone numbers 100, 0172-2749194, 2749874 and Crime Stopper Cell on its phone number 2544444.



City cops remain on toes
Dera chief to appear at Punjab police HQ today
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The Chandigarh police is keeping its fingers crossed in the wake of the anticipated rush of followers of Baba Ram Rahim Singh, who is appearing before the Punjab police at its headquarters in Sector 9 here tomorrow.

Throughout the day, the top brass of the Chandigarh police remained on its toes, conducting meeting with its officers to make arrangements so that the day passes off peacefully.

Sources in the Chandigarh police said intelligence reports suggested a huge rush of about 35,000 people at the time, when Baba will appear before the Punjab police.

Meanwhile, in a late night development, it was found that the followers began assembling near the Leisure Valley in Sector 10 late tonight. The police tried to persuade them to go to the Sector 25 rally ground, but the latter refused to budge.

Senior police officers called an emergency meeting, in which all deputy superintendents of police, station house officers of all 11 police stationS and in charges of police post and various cells were called to discuss the law and order and security-related issues.

A senior police officer told TNS that in all, 1000 police personnel would be deployed on security duty. The Chandigarh police would take care of the route of the followers of the Baba and law and order situation. The Haryana police would bring the Baba to the headquarters. The Punjab police would be responsible for security inside the building.

The city police has set up barricades around the Punjab police headquarters and would turn the place into a “no vehicle zone”. Even the media persons would not be allowed to go near the building.

A senior officer said five companies each from Haryana and Punjab police had been requisitioned for Wednesday. The police has installed pickets at all entry points in the city and is trying its best to persuade the organisers of the dera to not to come in large numbers to the city.

The Bathinda police had booked the Baba on the charges of inciting and hurting the religious feelings of the Sikhs by donning the attire of the 10th Guru Gobind Singh during a ceremony conducted by his dera.

Sources said the UT police was having sleepless nights to make foolproof security arrangements in the wake of the terrorists attacks. The police is also apprehensive that Sikh extremists, who may strike tomorrow, as several attempts had been made by them to eliminate the baba.



Asst registrar draws coop bank GM’s pay
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Can an assistant registrar (Cooperative Societies), Chandigarh, draw his salary as the general manager of the cooperative bank? And can a person who is not a government servant hold the post of the assistant registrar, whose salary has to come from the government’s consolidated funds?

The answer to both issues is apparently “No.” But, Risal Singh Sangwan, assistant registrar, defies both. Not only does he continue to draw salary as the general manager of the Chandigarh State Cooperative Bank, a post that he relinquished two months ago but also continues to hold the charge of the assistant registrar even though he is not a government servant.

While Sangwan claims that there is “nothing wrong” with either his appointment or his getting salary from a post that is occupied by another person, rules clearly say that only the administration or government officials who draw their salaries from the consolidated fund of India are entitled to be the assistant registrar. Senior officials of the cooperative bank, on condition of anonymity, confirm that there are “irregularities” in disbursement of his pay from the bank.

When contacted, Ram Niwas, home secretary, said he would certainly look into the matter and check out if the rules were being flouted. However, Deputy commissioner-cum-registrar, cooperative societies R.K.Rao could not be contacted for comments.

It is alleged that the Administration has made “special provision” for accommodating this official. “The orders of the Deputy commissioner-cum-registrar, cooperative societies were also confusing. Sangwan was ordered to be relieved from the general manager’s post and another senior most man appointed in his place. But simultaneously, the orders say that Sangwan’s salary was to be disbursed as that of the general manager”, disclosed an official of the bank.

Nevertheless, Sangwan came on deputation from Haryana State Co-operative Apex Bank Ltd (Harco) to be appointed as the general manager of the Chandigarh Cooperative Bank, the post he has given up in October. In a recent communication, Harco Bank has asked the Administration to repatriate Sangwan.

It is alleged that the dillydallying tactics being adopted by the Administration for repatriating this official to its parent cadre also reflects its pick and choose policy. Disagreeing, Sangwan admitted that he had received the repatriation letter on November 26. “ I have been called here on deputation by the home secretary office for the cooperative department only,” Sangwan added.

But as per his deputation orders dated July 14, 2005, his services have specifically to be placed at the disposal of Chandigarh State Cooperative Bank Ltd for appointment as the general manager only.

Sangwan worked as the general manager of Chandigarh State Cooperative Bank from July 2005 to October 2008 and the administration had handed over the additional charge of the assistant registrar (Cooperative) also. This move was criticised by the directors of the bank because it had enabled him to be his “own boss”. On one hand, he used to note down the proceedings of the board of directors meetings, while as the assistant registrar he had the powers to confirm or reject the proceedings. Sangwan replied that all powers rests with the registrar (Cooperative) only and he never took any decisions on his own.

It was the same bank, where a few high profile officials while flouting their area of operation norms, invested Rs 11 crore with PUNWIRE terming it as ‘short-term loan’. This move has cost the bank a whopping loss of over Rs 30 crore as calculated till date. The Tribune highlighted this fraud on November 18 but despite the fact that the Administration has served “surcharge notice” to the guilty officials for recovery of the amount but the action is still awaited.



Today is World Disabled Day
‘I’ve learnt to celebrate life’
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
Sixteen-year-old Suneel has once again proved that physical deformity is not an impediment in the path to success. Hard work and the determination to succeed have made this young boy, who has no upper limbs (hands), do things, which people with all abilities fail to do.

Having won several accolades, including the National Award for Best Creative Special Style, for his unique achievements, this little wonder (as he’s lovingly called), who incidentally was deserted by his parents after his deformity, is all set to receive yet another award of outstanding student from Haryana Governor tomorrow.

Unwanted by parents, Suneel's determined spirit has not only helped him survive but has brought out the best out of him. He can write, wear his own clothes, play cricket and even play a casio with his feet. Highly inclined towards arts, he loves to draw pictures, a passion which won him gold medal in drawing at National Abilympics meet in Mumbai last year. However, one thing that this boy cannot do himself is eat himself.

But this doesn’t dampen his spirits as he says, ''I knew I had to fight it out. I knew I could not let my handicap cripple me”. Talking to TNS, he said ''I live in the present and not dwell on the past, I have learnt to celebrate life.''

He secured 88 per cent marks in class VIII examination and 60 percent in class X exams. ''He writes with his feet and has mastered the art of writing so well that he does not even need extra time to finish his paper,'' says his Hindi teacher KL Sharma. ''In the beginning, it was very difficult, but he did not lose heart,'' adds Sonika, his primary class teacher.

When asked about the unfortunate amputation of his upper arms, he did not like to talk about it. Sonika told TNS, ''He was flying a kite on the terrace of his house when he was electrocuted after coming in touch with a live wire. He was rushed to the PGI, where his arms were amputated, but his parents never took him back.'' But all that is past now, and Suneel has fixed his eyes on the future.

He wants to become a computer engineer and to achieve his goal, he is taking professional training from a technical training institute.



City, not so friendly for physically challenged
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
When it comes to dealing with physically challenged the UT administration’s words don’t match action. While hoards of functions will be held tomorrow to mark World Disability Day, the city is not at all friendly for them as it lacks basic facilities like ramps in schools, colleges and government offices.

While most of the city’s educational institutions reserve 3 per cent of their seats for physically challenged and some even boast of trained teachers and special software most of their buildings have failed to comply with the Urban Planning department’s directive of having ramps for special kids and everybody has reasons to cite for such a lapse on their part.

“Construction of a building involves architecture and engineering department so it’s them who have to take care,” asserts Samwartak Singh, DPI (S), UT, who is supported by Raji P. Shrivastava, director, Higher Education (UT). She adds, “Every new building has such a provision. I take the point that ramps are missing in city colleges and are necessary but again its essentially engineering department’s prerogative.”

Though the situation at Panjab University is still better as far as the needs of the disabled students are concerned. While the university is one of the very few educational institutions in the city, which have ramps for physically challenged students.

It’s rather ironical that being one of the oldest universities, its was only last year on World Disability Day that the authorities realised the urgency for having ramps in the various departments. Vice-chancellor R.C. Sobti had even sanctioned Rs 14 lakh for constructing ramps for such students. While, the arts block I, II and III has ramps now, the work in rest of the blocks is in progress.

It’s not only the educational institutions but the administration buildings like 30 Bays, Sector-17, that houses major offices like the industry department, Haryana; directorate of secondary educations, Haryana; food and supplies department, Haryana; also lacks the ramp.

Even the municipal corporation’s office has a ramp for ground floor only and no lifts even, as the proposal to install one is still pending and the chances of its implementation prove remote.

However, the most disturbing is the railway station that has no connecting ramp between platform Nos. 2 and 3 and at any point and time one can find the physically challenged people struggling on the stairs.



Zirakpur colonies lack basic amenities
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 2
Cancellation of the licenses and invoking bank guarantees of erring private colonisers by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) in Zirakpur has not helped the unsuspecting occupants of the colonies.

Be it a private coloniser, GMADA or the civic body, the residents are still devoid of the basic amenities. Exactly this has happened in the case of Guru Gobind Singh Nagar, Dhakoli. On account of flouting the norms under the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act, 1995, the license of coloniser was revoked last year.

Following the revocation of the license, GMADA found that around Rs 18 lakh was lying against the security deposit of the colonisers. “The amount is not even adequate to do boring for erecting tube well and operating it. Since then the things are lying as such”, said an official.

After spending about Rs 4 lakh on some amenities, the remaining Rs 14 lakh was lying with the GMADA. Its engineering wing has not been able to spend the remaining amount. The residents are still waiting for potable water facility and other amenities. “We have been meeting GMADA officials for the past one year. They keep on preparing estimates. But, nothing happens”, said Satnam Singh Sondhi, president, Guru Gobind Singh Nagar Resident Welfare Association. Now, the resident have requested the GMADA officials to handover the colony to the local civic body so that the things are set right.

Occupants of Shalimar Enclave, Zirakpur, also apprehend the same fate. The license of the promoter of Shalimar Land projects colony was recently revoked by the GMADA after the former was found violating the building plan. Now, the ACA (Mohali), GMADA, has been asked to take over the colony and its engineering department told to prepare estimates of the remaining development works in the colony.

The promoter had sold plots on the land reserved for sewerage treatment plant and the untreated sewage was being discharged into the Singh Nullah choe.

Sources reveal that in case of Guru Gobind Singh Nagar, there were few lakhs pending against the security deposit of the promoter.

There was little chance of GMADA being able to sell rest of the plots to recover the money to be spent on development works. Gurdev Singh Saini, president, residents’ welfare association, Shalimar Enclave, said the promoter had not developed the colony as promised. They hope that GMADA would be able to provide better amenities.

A GMADA official did not rule the possibility of the occupants being asked to pay more to avail various amenities.



Increase in number of conveyance deeds
Kulwinder Sangha
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 2
Despite a demand to get conveyance deeds done at the allotment price instead of collector rates, the number of property owners going in for conveyance deeds has shown a steady increase in the town.

The average number of conveyance deeds done per day before the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) had issued a public notice, asking property owners to get conveyance deeds done within three months, failing which resumption proceedings would be initiated, was about two a day.

The number of property owners getting conveyance deeds done, however, had steadily risen between eight to 10 each day, after the GMADA’s notice was published in the last week of August.

Going by the records available at the tehsil office, the number of conveyance deeds done by the registering authority were four on July 4, three on July 14, and one each on July 22 and July 29, coming to a total of nine conveyance deeds in four days. However, the number of conveyance deeds done was six on November 3, 10 on November 10, seven on November 17 and 14 on November 26, with a total of 37 in four days. The figure had gone up by more than four times in November as compared to July.

Although allottees, who have paid their dues, are approaching the GMADA office here to get their conveyance deeds executed, a large number of them were saying that it was difficult to pay huge amount needed to get the property registered in their names at the prevalent collector rates, which stood at Rs 10,000 per sq yd. They demanded that plots and houses should be registered at the allotment prices.

Municipal councillors, too, had unanimously opposed GMADA at the meeting held in September for asking residents to get plots and houses registered within three months at the prevalent rates.

GMADA officials, however, argued that the residents had violated the terms of the allotment by not getting plots and houses registered in their names after the full and final payments were made by them. If they were now opposing conveyance deeds at the prevalent collector rates, they could have done it in the past, when these rates were low. Moreover, if the collector rates had gone up, the value of plots and houses allotted to them at lower rates had also increased manifold. As such they did not lose in any way.



Punjab to implement APMC Act: Chief secy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Organised retail has an excellent future, provided they involve farmers in a holistic manner. It’s expected to grow four-fold for achieving market share of around 16 per cent from the present 4 per cent. This will mean a tremendous improvement in the quality and standards of the “food-value chain.”

This was the general consensus at the international conference on the “Impact of Organised Retail on Food Value Chain” organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (northern region) in association with the Agro Tech-2008.

Chief secretary, Punjab, Ramesh Inder Singh, said: “Organised retail chains are inevitable and the Punjab government is keen on fresh investments by the private sector in this area.”

Urging the industry to be more responsive towards the growth of the agricultural sector, he said, “It is imperative that the industry invests in backward linkages, which benefit the farmer. This is necessary for the overall success of the organised retail. There are many opportunities for the industry here,” he added.

“Punjab will soon implement the APMC Act and private players will be able to set up their own market yards. However, the industry must ensure that the skills of the existing players who earn their livelihood from the present setup are suitably enhanced and they are redeployed,” he urged.

Giving an overview, Agro Tech conferences chairman Gokul Patnaik said: “A silent revolution is taking place in the organised retail sector.” Talking about the importance of this sector, he said in India, food retailing accounted for 88 per cent of the sales and 80 per cent of employment.

The percentage share of the organised trade had been rising steadily and was expected to go up to 16 per cent in the coming years.

He focussed on how organised retail would provide direct-farm linkages and an increased revenue for farmers, lower costs, brought about diversity of products, allowed year-round availability and had close monitoring on the quality of food, etc.

In her theme address, research associate, ICRIER, Nirupama Soundararajan, cited a report stating that even though the GDP of India had come down because of the global crisis, the consumption of food had not reduced.

She highlighted the problems of wastage and a lack of transparency at the statutory mandis where farmers sold their produce.

“Lack of hygiene while handling food grain and unsanitary conditions prevailing at these mandis were other major issues,” she said.

Earlier, CII, Ludhiana zonal council, chairman and Mrs Bectors Food Specialities Ltd managing director Akshay Bector talked about how the organised retail supply would lower prices for consumers and increase employment opportunities for skilled and non-skilled workers.



No fresh agenda in coordination committee
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Contrary to the loud claims of speedy clearance of long-pending agendas in the specially constituted Coordination Committee of the Chandigarh Administration and Municipal Corporation, the committee has failed to approve even a single major project in the last one year. Interestingly, the list of agendas, which were put up in the meeting every month, has not changed.

Last month, a special meeting of the chief architect, Chandigarh, and MC officials was convened to discuss the pending projects and get them cleared at the earliest. Surprisingly, no project has been approved in the last one month.

In a special meeting last month, mayor, MC, Pardeep Chhabra, raised the issue that the space earmarked for shopping centre in Mauli Jagran should be transferred to the MC so that the drawings for shopping centre could be cleared from the chief architect.

Besides, Chhabra also took up the issue of pre-fab shelters for taxi stands, review of the rate charged for the land allotted for religious places.

Also, he discussed about the Dhanas bridge and high-quality lights to be provided in parks and green belts, as the lower light points are prone to theft. The issue of the repair of government houses in the sectors, especially, in 13-type houses where roof leakage problem is common was also taken up.

Meanwhile, the issue regarding roads of Sector 49, 50, 51 and rest of the sectors, which are to be transferred to the MC were discussed that they would be transferred immediately and martyrs gallery be set up at the war memorial site.



Kalapini creates musical magic at Tagore Theatre
S. D. Sharma

Chandigarh, December 2
After a hiatus of many months, the melody of classical music wafted at the Tagore Theatre hall as the doyenne of Gwalior gharana, Kalapini Komakli, gave an entrancing recital here today.

The classical vocal progaramme, organised by the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademy, was a celebration of the crowning achievement of music stalwart Pandit Bhim Singh Joshi, who had been bestowed with the coveted Bharat Ratna honour.

The illustrious disciple-daughter of legendary Pandit Kumar Gandharav and Vasundhara Komkali, Kalapini commenced the recital with an immaculate of exposition of an evening raga “Purva-Kalyan”.

She planted the musical notes in the rendition with her powerful, yet mellifluous, voice, which swooped down from a splendiferous high octave (Tar saptak) to a deep resonant low (mandar saptak).

Kalapini was apparently at her best while doling out a bandish “Ye sabh khel”, especially composed by Kumar Gandhrarav in raga Malav-Bihag with the city beautiful as his perceived theme.

Kalapini, however, added the folk flavour of her Malwa region.

A thumri “Banke Sanwaria” in raga khamaj induced a thrill of romance in the audience, while a Chandershakhi bhajan and more submerged them in devotion.

A feeling heart, fecund mind and bubbling youthful voice seemingly forged an alliance to spell only melody throughout the concert.

She brought alive all the salient features of her inherited gayaki style. Padamashri Mehmood Dholpuri led the accompanying artists, Sanjay Deshpande, Anurudh Jain and Priyanka Sharma.

Earlier, Akademy chairperson Kamal Tewari welcomed the chief guest Padmabhushan Dr B. N. Goswamy, who honoured the artists. He emphasised that in the best and the worst of circumstances, we must strive to preserve and propagate our rich cultural heritage.

Two-minute mourn was observed as a mark of reverence to the victims of Mumbai terror attacks.



College teacher succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 2
Paramdeep Singh Bhullar, a 53-year-old Punjabi professor at a government college, Dera Bassi, succumbed to injuries at PGI, Chandigarh, on Monday. He had been admitted to the hospital after the scooter he was riding had met with an accident with a truck at Zirakpur on Sunday night.

According to the police, Paramjeet Singh Bhullar, a resident of village Dau in Kharar had met with an accident near Lohgarh village. The police stated that the accident had taken place when a recklessly driven truck, coming from Chandigarh, hit the scooter hard. Victim’s son, Vikramjeet Singh, who was coming behind him on his motor cycle, rushed him to the hospital.



Workshop on cyber crime
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
In an attempt to keep the police abreast of the latest technology for curbing financial frauds and cyber crimes, ICICI Bank in association with the Chandigarh Police and Cyber Security Research Centre organised a workshop at Punjab Engineering College, Sector 12, here, today.

UT finance secretary Sanjay Kumar inaugurated the workshop on the 'Prevention and Investigation of Financial and Cyber Crimes'. Citing the recent incidents of violence in the country he said the government agencies would have to train their men to cope with rising threat from criminals using electronic equipment, including computers, Internet and other latest gadgets.



Road mishaps on decline: Study
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
A study conducted by the accident cell of the Chandigarh Traffic Police revealed that there was a decrease in number of fatalities in road accidents till November 30 this year in the city as compared to the corresponding period last year.

According to sources in the police, a total 443 road accidents had been reported to the police since January 1 to November 30 this year, out of which 133 were fatal. The last year had seen eight more deaths against the corresponding period this year. Similarly, the total accidents and non-fatal accidents are also less by 61 and 62, respectively, this year.

The traffic police attributed the decline in the number of fatalities and mishaps to its enforcement drives and other measures taken to make the roads safer.



Seminar on disaster management
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
A Seminar on “Disaster management with a focus on Mumbai” was held at the Centre for Defence and National Security Studies, Panjab University. Lt Gen B. S. Dhaliwal, in his speech, covered various disastrous situations that metropolitan city of Mumbai had passed through. Pointing at the recent disasters, where terrorists had seized the city for sixty hours targeting the areas, the General, being from the Engineer Corps, said we should conceive plans to combat such terrorist actions in future. He equally pointed at 944 mm rain that proved disastrous three years back. Dhaliwal explained in detail the various vulnerabilities that could expose any town to man-made, natural and attacks from overseas.



Poll to elect new mayor on Jan 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The notification of the election of the mayor of the local municipal corporation has been formally issued by deputy commissioner R.K.Rao today. According to the notification, the election of the new mayor will be held on January 1 in the assembly hall of the corporation.

The code of conduct has come into force with effect from today.

The date of filing the nominations for the posts of mayor, senior deputy mayor and the deputy mayor is till December 26.

As per Section 38 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, as extended to the Union Territory, Chandigarh, by the Punjab Municipal Corporation Law (Extension to Chandigarh) Act, 1994 (Act No. 45 of 1994) the corporation will, at its first meeting in every year, elect one of its members as chairperson to be known as the corporation’s mayor.



Defence personnel, a neglected lot

It is heartening to note that irrespective of caste, colour or creed, the entire population of the country stood together against the terrorist strikes in Mumbai.

The moral and financial support came from all and sundry (including the state governments and private sector). But what happened to the families of deceased defence services personnel in case of the three major wars of 1962, 1965 & 1971. There was hardly any financial support then or even now.

The successive governments have only been successful in downgrading the defence services status (both official status vide the official list of precedence & protocol and financial status vis-a vis civilian counterparts vide successive pay commissions etc).

Currently, employees of the central government have been paid the arrears, but the current government could not finalise the pay of defence services even at par with civilian counterparts till date and is trying to bargain for lower scale for defence services officers, what to talk about rewarding the serving personnel, families of deceased or disabled personnel.

Is it not a shame? Should not the public also advocate countering this injustice or gradual degeneration, as the personnel in uniform cannot speak for themselves as they cannot form trade unions to speak for them?

Group Capt Vinod Jaiswal (retd) Zirakpur

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at [email protected] or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030



Panchayat elections

Chandigarh, December 2
The UT administrator has directed that the general elections of members of the gram panchayats of Kishangarh, Mauli Jagran, Daria, Raipur Kalan, Behlana, Raipur Khurd, Dhanas, Sarangpur, Khuda Alisher, Kaimbwala, Lahora and Khuda Jassu villages shall be held by January 5, 2009. — TNS



Ragging: PU not to re-admit students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Six students of the department of Indian theatre, Panjab University, who were expelled for indulging in ragging and sexually abusing the freshers would not be readmitted as per the legal opinion sought by the authorities.

In August at least six Ist year students of the department of Indian theatre were sexually exploited, forced to indulge in obscene activities and stripped naked for more then three hours.

In perhaps the most reprehensible ragging incidents of all times, these six students hailing from Sonepat, Patiala, Allahabad and Himachal Pradesh were tortured in the name of ragging by their six seniors and six fresh pass outs of the same department.

According to sources, the incident took place when around six students of first year were sitting in room No. 38 of hostel No. 2, block V and at least 12 senior students, including six pass outs, barged inside the room. The seniors started ragging the students, first by asking them to hurl abuses at each other. This went on for about an hour or so till the seniors asked them to remove their clothes and subjected them to sexual exploitation till 3.30 am.

According to the sources, the seniors were reportedly in an inebriated state and figure among the brightest students of their class.

The incident came to light yesterday when four of the six victims submitted a written complaint to the warden and apprised him of the matter. The matter was then brought to the notice of other university officials and an emergent meeting was called last night to decide on the action against the accused. The anti-ragging committee, headed by DUI S.K. Kulkarni, sought a written report about the entire incident in which it was decided to expel the six students involved in the incident. As for the recent pass outs of the department, the university is contemplating to get an FIR lodged against them.



PU Notes
Project on industrial pollution sanctioned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Dr Meenakshi Goyal, reader in the department of chemical engineering and technology, PU, has sanctioned a research project entitled “Design Parameters and Theoretical models for the Adsorption of Toxic Chemical Compounds using Fixed Bed Activated Carbon Columns” amounting to Rs 12 lakh by the ministry of defence, government of India.

The project duration is 3 years and it aims at developing an activated carbon technology for industrial pollution control.

Dr Goyal is already working on two research projects entitled “Surface, Structure, Characterisation and Adsorptive properties of Modified Activated Carbons” worth Rs.14.95 lakhs sanctioned by the ministry of defence, government of India, and “Adsorptive Removal of Toxic Vapours and Gases by Activated Carbons” worth Rs.15 lakhs sanctioned by AICTE.

At present, four students are working under the supervision of Dr Meenakshi Goyal on different aspects of activated carbon adsorption and environmental clean up.

Training programme

A four-week-long in-service training programme for college teachers and university teachers conducted by the Academic Staff College, PU, was inaugurated by the vice-chancellor, Prof R.C. Sobti.

In his inaugural address, he stated the mandate of academic staff colleges had changed and was gradually changing in the past few decades. He further said teachers now had an added duty to bring the estranged students into the mainstream. It is the teachers who could through demonstration, through example and through stimulation of mind, could lead the students to a balanced perspective.

Prof S.K. Sharma, director, Academic Staff College, briefed the participants about the UGC rules and regulations and presented a vote of thanks. 44 participants from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Kerala are attending the programme, according to S.K. Sharma, honorary director, Academic Staff College, PU.



College opens automotive engineers society’s chapter
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 2
The executive director of Maruti Udhyog, I.V Rao, inaugurated the chapter of the ‘Society of Automotive Engineers Collegiate’ at Indo Global Colleges here today.

The top official of Maruti is also the senior vice-chairman of the north India chapter of the society. He appreciated the work done by the faculty and the students of the college. An auto-quiz and auto-poster competition was organised in the college on the occasion.

Rao, who is in the research and development section of the Maruti, took keen interest in the project entitled “All Terrain Vehicle” (ATV) made by final year mechanical students.

Earlier, Manav Singla and Dr RN Nauhria, CEO and principal of the college, addressed the students. Nauhria presented a brief overview of the Indian Automotive Industry and “ACMA Automotive Mission Plan 2016”.

The college authorities requested Rao to recruit graduate engineers and management trainees in Maruti Udhyog.



Jainendra school to take part in science congress
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
Students of the science stream of Jainendra Public School have been selected for presenting their project at the national-level children science congress. This is the third time that the school team will get the chance for taking part in the congress.

School principal Sudha Babbar said they won at the state-level children’s science congress, which was organised at RBS Model School, Rewari, on November 29 and 30 where 115 teams from 18 districts of Haryana showcased their research or survey-based projects.

The projects with social impact in four categories were displayed in the congress.



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