C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cracked: A code to get past traffic cops
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Machhiwara, December 8
A resident of Machhiwara claims to have caught Chandigarh traffic cops on camera while taking Rs 1,000 in lieu of a code. Sukhwinder Singh alleged that the code word “enabled” him to “break rules” and not be challaned for it.

He told The Tribune that yesterday morning, he and his family, left for Barwala village near Chandigarh in a new car.

“We were intercepted by a traffic cop ahead of the Sector 43 bus stand as there was a temporary registration number on the car,” he said. After going through the documents, the cop told them that they would be fined Rs 3,000 since the temporary number had been issued a month ago.

Later, the cop said the matter could be resolved with only Rs 1,000 and they could leave immediately. “We gave two currency notes of Rs 500 denomination and managed to conduct a sting operation by capturing it on a mobile phone,” Sukhwinder Singh said.

“The cop said if we wanted to get past other traffic police officials and nakas in Chandigarh, he would write a code on my palm,” said

Sukhwinder who has a 20-second mobile phone clipping (The Tribune is in possession of the clipping) that shows two elderly persons giving money to the cop and the cop taking out a pen to mark Sukhwinder Singh’s palm.

Sukhwinder claimed that the code helped him get past traffic barricades. Chandigarh DSP (traffic) Jasvir Singh Cheema said he was not aware of the incident. “I won’t say all police officials are honest, but the ‘code’ is new to me,” he said, adding that it was a serious allegation and action would be taken.



UT police seeks latest weaponry
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Taking a lesson from the Mumbai terror attack, the UT police is all set to go for more sophisticated arms and equipment.

On Wish List

Advanced armoured van
Bulletproof full-length suits, jackets
Bomb blankets
More AK-47s, sniper rifles

The authorities want the force to be equipped with advanced armoured van, high-quality bulletproof full-length suits and jackets, bomb blankets and more AK 47s, besides sniper rifles, in an effort to enhance security in the city.

A proposal in this regard is being prepared by police officers and would be forwarded to the home department soon.

The IGP, S.K. Jain, said: “Need for more sophisticated paraphernalia was felt after the recent terrorist strikes in Mumbai. We are prepared to handle any untoward situation, but advanced and high-quality weaponry would give more teeth to the force.”

While preparing the demand chart, the police is also seeking the advice of the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory, under the department of defence research and development.

The Chandigarh police has no armoured van in its fleet, the inspector-general of police said, adding that the protected vehicle proved very effective in Mumbai-like situations while bomb blankets were used to provide emergency protection against blasts in the event of explosives detonating before these could be neutralised.

“It is not that we don’t have bulletproof jackets or AK 47s, but we need more weapons and the latest paraphernalia,” he said.

Home secretary Ram Niwas said the proposal, whenever received, would be considered on priority basis.

“We want to equip our forces with hi-tech weaponry and we will try to meet all the requirements of the force.”



PU Sports Hostel
Girls, boys set to part ways
Sandeep Rana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
A proposal to separate the sports hostel for girls and boys has been approved by the Panjab University executive body.

Going by the proposal, boys might have the entire building (a floor of which they have so far been sharing with girls) to themselves.

The proposal was recently mooted by the sports director of Panjab University, C.S. Grewal, after he visited the sports hostel and felt need for a separate girls’ hostel keeping in view the security aspect.

“Though I hadn’t received any formal complaint from the girls, but if there is a common hostel, problems might arise,” he said.

The current hostel comprises 29 rooms and has three floors. Generally, two floors are for the boys.

According to the proposal, the university and colleges affiliated to it would have to give Rs 200 per student. Vice-chancellor R.C. Sobti has already given his consent.

“Though there were objections from some principals over the amount, they relented. If the proposal gets a final nod from the senate after its approval from the syndicate, we will implement it from the coming session,” Grewal said.

Navojaban Kaur, a student of GTB College, Dasuya, who stays at the PU hostel during inter-college tournaments, says it is a good move. “We don’t feel comfortable in the hostel and don’t feel free to step out of our room,” she said.

“There is no security for girls in a common hostel and anyone can barge into your room,” says Pooja, a ball badminton player.

Isha, a PU student, however, feels that “there is no problem with a common hostel, provided that the security is sufficient.”

“When Delhi University can have common hostels, why not the PU?” another student asked.



Violation of Building Norms
MC executive officer suspended
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 8
The Punjab local government department today suspended Girish Verma, executive officer of the municipal council, for blatantly ignoring building norms while approving plans of housing projects.

The officer was also found involved in the evasion of fee to benefit colonisers. By showing colonies on smaller plots instead of group housing projects, he extended the benefit to the colonisers and caused financial loss to the department.

The exact loss suffered by the department is being worked out following an inquiry conducted by the vigilance cell of the department.

An assistant town planner, Nirmal Preet Singh, who cleared wrong building plans, has been suspended. At present, he is posted at Patiala.

A senior official in the local government revealed that it had been found that hundreds of houses had been constructed in a row without reserving land for social development.

Parking space had also not been left out. On paper, the housing plans appeared like small plans, but the physical verification by the vigilance cell revealed that it was on a bigger scale and norms had not been followed.

Though there were around 10 complaints, action has been taken in case of Preet Colony, Zirakpur. Local government minister Manoranjan Kalia had ordered the suspension of two officials.

Sources said the local government had also directed the Mohali DC to get shamlat land in Zirakpur demarcated. It is believed that the colonisers had also encroached on shamlat land worth crores.

Facing severe penalties, land grabbers in Zirakpur are now on a selling spree. Illegal constructions in Zirakpur have already attracted attention of the state government and the court authorities.

There have been cases where land grabbers have been trying to sell semi-built showrooms and plots on land that was actually part of a choe.

In the choe areas, no sale or purchase of constructed property and land would be allowed until a no-objection certificate has been taken from the drainage department.



Khadi samiti members ‘dead’ in records
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Members of the Swastika Khadi Gramodyog Samiti, Mubarakpur, Punjab, having its office at Panchkula, got a shock after finding themselves “dead” in the records of the office of the registrar, firm and societies, Sector 17, Chandigarh.

The members alleged that the “drama” had been enacted to grab commercial property purchased by the samiti in Sector 32. The matter came to light when one of the employees of the samiti came across an advertisement in a newspaper about the sale of the property by the Sector 17 regional office of Punjab National Bank, which has now been shifted to Ludhiana.

Parveen K. Jain, joint secretary of the samiti, said this “misappropriation” by officials of the Sector 22 office of the state director, khadi and village industries commission (KVIC), had affected around 1,000 workers who would have sold their products at the Sector 32 site.

“I have got an FIR registered against the guilty with the Chandigarh police, but in vain,” Jain said.

The samiti members said till date they were running from pillar to post to establish that they were alive and were the real owners of the site where the khadi showroom had been proposed.

Home secretary Ram Niwas, when apprised of the issue, said the case was fit to be inquired into by the vigilance.

“It’s a serious issue. I will brief the DIG, vigilance, to hold an inquiry into the matter,” he added.

However, denying the allegations, the state director, KVIC, N.S. Tomar, said the deed was a tripartite agreement between the KVIC, the samiti and the bank.

“When the bank sold the property for Rs 1.91 crore, I sought a stay order against it. Because of our efforts, the court has fixed Rs 3.85 crore as the reserve price of the plot.

“Since the commission has given a loan of Rs 1.8 crore to the samiti, obviously, the commission’s primary interest was to recover the loan amount,” he said.

The estate office, where the property was originally registered in the name of the samiti, clarified that since the property was no more mortgaged, it would be “illegal” to sell it under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act (SRFAESI) without obtaining an NOC.

How the bank managed to sell the property without obtaining the NOC from the estate office is questionable because the samiti claimed that the original documents of the deed were with them. “The officials of the local state directorate, KVIC, in connivance with bank officials prepared forged document of the site to sell it illegally,” Jain alleged.

The state director, KVIC, admitted that the original papers had been misplaced, but said the property had been mortgaged by the KVIC. “We have certified papers that are also with the bank and the estate office. The original papers do not hold significance when we have papers certified by the registrar, societies,” Tomar said.

Formed in 1975-76, the samiti had bought the plot and got it registered with the estate office in 1999. It had taken a loan of Rs 94 lakh from the Lalru branch of the PNB in 1996-97. “The loan was on the primary security of hypothecation of khadi stock and property of the institution at Mubarakpur and not against the said property,” Jain claimed.

In the meantime, the bank, after declaring the samiti defaulter on account of the non-payment of interest, managed to auction the plot under the SRFAESI Act. The plot, which has a market value of around Rs 5 crore, was sold off for Rs 1.91 crore.

The samiti had lodged a complaint with the police. “The matter has been brought to the notice of the SSP, Chandigarh, but no action has been taken so far,” Jain said.



Krishanjit is UT chief engineer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
The departmental promotion committee (DPC) today selected Krishanjit Singh as the regular UT chief engineer. According to sources, at its meeting in New Delhi, the DPC selected Krishanjit Singh ahead of S.K. Jaitley.

Krishanjit had been working as officiating chief engineer after Jaitley sustained a fracture a few months ago. Both officers have been working in the scale of superintending engineer.

Earlier, Jaitley had a stint as UT chief engineer, but his appointment was not regular. The meeting was attended by home secretary Ram Niwas, finance secretary Sanjay Kumar and a member of the Union Public Service Commission.


Taj Rescue Operation
Fire dept team moots study tour
Home secy opposes it, suggests intensive training for firemen
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
While authorities in Mumbai are still accessing the shortcomings in the rescue operation carried out at Taj Hotel, a team of the fire and emergency services of the municipal corporation is planning to visit the hotel to do on the spot study of the problems faced by the fireman during the operation.

A proposal to this effect was passed in the fire and emergency service committee meeting held by the corporation today. It was decided at the meeting that the chief fire officer and two leading fireman would visit the hotel for studying what problems the rescue teams faced while the terrorist was being flushed out there. They would also meet the chief fire officer, Mumbai, to get the first-hand knowledge of the report, which they had prepared on the rescue operation carried out the hotel. Committee’s chairman M.P.S.Chawla chaired the meeting.

This agenda was passed by the committee, but till date nobody has approached the fire and emergency services of Mumbai to know whether they have prepared any report of this operation or not.

In the meeting one of the members objected to the feasibility of such a visit and suggested that why the authorities were not approaching the Mumbai fire department for sending the report, through e-mail or speed post, of the entire rescue operation undertaken by them. He further added that the report would contain all shortcoming and the problems, which the fireman faced during the operation.

When contacted home secretary Ram Niwas stated that they were yet to receive any such proposal by the local municipal corporation but they were not going to approve it, as there was no need of it. He said the tour would not serve any purpose as the officials keep changing.

Niwas opined that there was need to provide intensive training to the firemen so as to handle hi-tech equipments to cope with the emergency situation in the city.

Recently, a study tour by a fire department team to those areas which had faced drastic situations like earthquake, building collapse, bomb blast and floods had been cancelled by the House on a plea that all reports were available on the Internet and there was no need to organise such a tour.



Home secretary inspects roads
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Home secretary Ram Niwas today inspected the ongoing work of roads in Phase-I of the Industrial Area. He inspected the roads in front of the Centra Mall, the Ordinance Cable Factory, that between Modern Bakery to Junction 39 and another from Hind Motors to Pasco Motors.

He directed officials to complete the recarpeting work of the road in front of Centra Mall till December 31 and set a deadline for the widening of the road leading to the railway station till April 30, 2009.

He also inspected the rough patch of the road from Hind Motors to Pasco Motors and directed the officials to recarpet the road by March 31, 2009.He was informed that Rs 55 lakh required for maintaining internal roads of Phase-I had already been finalised. The municipal corporation had to deposit the money for the same.

SSP (Traffic) H.S.Doon, director (Industries), Vandana Disodia, chief architect Sumit Kaur and chief engineer Krishanjit Singh were prominent among those present.



Kidwai opens MRI facility at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Haryana Governor A.R.Kidwai inaugurated a new state-of-the-art 3T MRI facility in the Department of Radio diagnosis, PGIMER, here today.

The new machine has facilities for a wide spectrum of investigations, including diffusion and perfusion imaging, functional MRI and multi-nuclear spectroscopy. These features will help the doctors in early diagnosis of the diseases.

The PGI was the fourth institution in the government sector in the country where such machine, having widest bore and shortest length of magnet in the industry presently available was installed.

Apart from brain imaging, early detection of cancer, especially breast, prostate etc are also possible with the help of this machine. Cardiac imaging which is not available at present will be possible to detect disease at the early stage. Musculoskeletal imaging will get another boost with the new equipment.

In addition to this, the machine will help the department of Radio diagnosis in curtailing the waiting period for the patients especially those in emergency and admitted patients.

Approximately 7500- 8000 MRI scans are performed every year, this is expected to further increase it to approximately 15,000 scans every year with the installation of this new MRI machine. This project has cost the institute approximately Rs 11.50 crore, said the PGI spokesperson.



Delhi Win: Cong in upbeat mood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
The mood in the local Congress is upbeat following the party’s victory in three states, including Delhi. In fact, Sheila Dixit's hat trick in Delhi has led the party’s top brass to believe that minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal can replicate Dixit's feat in Chandigarh.

Given a few similarities between Delhi and Chandigarh, the Congressmen claimed that the BJP's "terror card" would not cut much ice with the local electorate largely comprising of the educated middle class and the people living in the rehabilitation colonies in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

In fact, the party leaders draw several parallels between

Dixit and Bansal, who are considered to be suave politicians with astute statesmanship."The victory demonstrate the Congress' commitment to secularism, development and upliftment of downtrodden," Congress spokesman Amarjit Sethi said.

"We have won the semi-final 3-2 ahead of the elections and there is no doubt that the Delhi’s experiment would be replicated in Chandigarh and the rest of the country in the parliamentary elections, mayor Pardeep Chhabra said.

Congress leaders claimed that the victory would act as morale booster to the rank and file of the party, who had been "inactive" since long as there were not much political activities, in the run-up to the next Lok Sabha poll.

As the results of the state assemblies started coming in, it was celebration time for the Congress with senior party leaders, including president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) B.B.Bahl, president of the Mahila Congress Lalit Joshi Bhardwaj besides Chhabra, dancing to the tunes of the dhol and distributing ladoos.



Army Service Corps commemorates 248th anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
The Army Service Corps commemorated its 248th anniversary by paying tributes to martyrs in Chand Mandir today. Officiating head of the ASC branch at Headquarters Western Command, Brig Harjeet Puri paid floral tributes on behalf of all ranks at the Veer Smriti War Memorial.

Several other functions, including a barakhana and social get together for serving and veterans were also organised to mark the occasion.

GOC-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt Gen T.K. Sapru, extended his greetings to all ranks, civilian employees, their families and veterans of the Corps on this day. He lauded the professionalism displayed by the Army Service Corps personnel both in peace and war and urged the Corps to rededicate themselves to the nation.

The oldest logistic component of the Army, the Army Service Corps was raised in 1760. It’s responsible for regular and uninterrupted movement of men, material and stores in all types of terrain and in all kinds of operations besides undertaking supply functions. The Corps has also contributed handsomely in the field of sports and adventure activities.



Projects hang fire since 1977
Just 5 pc BRO troops get govt accommodation
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Just about 5 per cent of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) personnel entitled family accommodation have been able to avail the benefit. The project for the construction of houses, which began as far back as 1977, continues to hang fire.

The BRO has 42,650 personnel on its strength, out of which married accommodation is required for 21,400 personnel. According to available data, only 1,148 married accommodation units are available at present, entailing a shortage of 20,250 units.

The BRO is a specialised force functioning under the Ministry of Defence and is responsible for construction and maintenance of strategic roads in border areas, particularly in the mountainous northern and eastern sectors.

Construction of married accommodation for BRO was approved in three phases. The first phase comprising 1,277 units was sanctioned on March 4, 1977, while the second and third phases comprising 502 units and 123 units, respectively, were approved on March 26, 1987 and December 6, 1997. The period of construction for the second phase was specified from 1988-93, while no construction period or probable date of completion was mentioned for the other two phases.

In a recent communiqué to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence, the MOD has stated that 1,148 units have been completed and for meeting the remaining requirement of the BRO, the plan is under preparation and would be finalized once the restructuring of the BRO is completed. 

As far as the second phase is concerned, 502 units have been sanctioned at 12 locations. Out of these, construction has been completed at six locations, with 281 houses coming up. Construction under this phase is still in progress.

“Funding of BRO is dependent upon the General Staff (GS) Fund that is released by the Ministry of Defence and through other funds provided for agency works. The essential budgetary requirement for construction of dwelling units is met out of the funds provided for GS works as well as other agency works. However, the allotment of GS fund has been insufficient,” the communiqué states.

Non-availability of land from civilian and revenue authorities in the area where BRO is working has also resulted in slow progress in construction of dwelling units for BRO personnel, the MoD has claimed.



BS Ghuman dean of arts faculty
PU Syndicate Elections
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Following the declaration of the deans and secretaries of the few faculties of the Panjab University, elected members for the remaining faculties was declared today.

While the maximum representatives were declared elected unopposed like last year, BS Ghuman defeated his contender Raj Gill for the post of the faculty of arts.

“I am elated at the victory and will surely respect and work towards keeping the faith of my supporters,” Ghuman said.

Following were declared elected for the term 1.2.2009 to 30.1.2010 at the meetings of the faculties in the Senate Hall, Panjab University, today:

Faculty of Arts

Dean — Prof. B.S. Ghuman Faculty of Languages

Dean — Dr. Nahar Singh Faculty of Business Management and Commerce

Dean — Dr Dinesh Gupta

Secretary — Dr Keshav Malhotra

Faculty of Education

Dean — Dr Ravinder Kaur

Secretary - Dr R.S. Brar

Faculty of Engineering and Technology

Dean - Dr B.S. Pabla

Secretary - Seema Kapoor  Faculty of Science

Dean - Prof A..S. Ahluwalia Faculty of Design & Fine Arts

Dean —- Dr Gurpreet Kaur

Secretary — Dr Harpreet Kaur

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Dean —- Dr P.D. Sharma

Secretary — Dr Karan Vasisht 



Tricity auto-rickshaw drivers stand united, form panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Auto-rickshaw drivers of the tricity resolved to come on one platform by forming a joint action committee today. The panel, Chandigarh Mohali Panchkula Auto Rickshaw Joint Action Committee, will submit a memorandum to the home secretary on Wednesday.

The auto-rickshaw drivers are up in arms against the administration’s move to ban auto-rickshaws for ferrying schoolchildren from January 1, 2009. The administration, taking security of the children as their prime concern, has reportedly asked them to replace the three-wheelers with ‘maxi cabs’ to transport schoolchildren.

The auto-rickshaw drivers retorted that the administration, instead of imposing a blanket ban, could put restriction on the number of students to be carried.

Meanwhile, confusion prevailed here today when a faction of auto-rickshaw association gave a call to not ferry schoolchildren, which later turned out to be a hoax.

“Some of our former office-bearers made this hoax call. We have no intention of blackmailing the administration by putting residents to inconvenience. We are in the process of sorting out the issue after having deliberations with the administration,” said action committee chairman Kamal Kant.

State Transport Authority (STA) director Vandana Disodia said auto-rickshaw drivers would have to comply with the administration’s orders and defaulters would have to shell out hefty fines.

However, auto-rickshaw drivers rued that the administration, on the Delhi pattern, was forcing them to replace their existing diesel-run three-wheelers with those running on LPG.

“In 2003, the administration had banned auto-rickshaws over 15 years old. We got financed the diesel-run auto-rickshaws then, the installments of which are still pending. Now, we are being forced to buy LPG-run autos,” said Mohinder Singh, representing Zirakpur auto-rickshaw drivers.

The drivers also resented the challan drive conducted by the STA yesterday.

“All essential services like the PGI, the PU, High Court, reputed schools and colleges fall in Chandigarh. It will cause inconvenience to residents of Mohali and Panchkula as they will have to shift to get another three-wheeler after touching the Chandigarh boundary,” said Om Parkash, general secretary.

“Students belonging to Mohali and Panchkula, too, will not be able to go to their schools and colleges by auto-rickshaws. The administration must consider that we provide door-to-door services to these students and also save their time,” said Raj Kumar, representing Panchkula auto-rickshaw drivers.

The drivers criticised the administration policy saying that on the one hand the government was encouraged to generate self-employment, on the other the administration was threatening to close our business by impounding our auto-rickshaws.



Power Failure
Generator made operational at Tagore Theatre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
A day after fiasco at the Tagore Theatre when a play was staged in virtual darkness following a power failure, a generator set was “commissioned” at the theatre today.

Smarting under media criticism, the engineering department made the generator set “operational”. This was apparently done after the theatre management faced embarrassment last night when power snapped in the midst of the play.

Prominent among those present on the occasion were senior Haryana cadre IAS officer K.K. Khandelwal, who has been a former deputy commissioner of Chandigarh.

Sources said though the engineering department had procured a generator, is was not connected to the power system at the theatre.

Meanwhile, UT home secretary Ram Niwas, accompanied by SSP S.S. Srivastava, reviewed the security arrangements at the theatre. It was decided to install a metal detector in the theatre and six CCTVs on the premises. The home secretary also took round of the space allotted to the food court and decided to rope in big names like Barista and Café Coffee Day for providing services at the theatre.



Food Street
Install CCTV, police to MC
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Taking note of inadequate security arrangements at the recently opened Night Food Street, the UT police has approached the municipal corporation asking them to set up proper security infrastructure there.

UT SSP Sudhanshu Shekhar Srivastava said the site needed special security arrangements, as it was strategically located and was thronged by a large number of people during odd hours.

The police has written a letter to the municipal corporation, instructing it to install closed-circuit television (CCTVs) besides making adequate lighting arrangements and setting up a police booth at the site.

“Installing CCTVs there is very important to check the movement of anti-social elements at the site. Being a night food street, many people, including families, visit the place even after midnight. So it calls for adequate security cover,” said Srivastava.

The SSP added: “As the area is not properly lit, we have also instructed the corporation to make adequate arrangements for lighting there.

“Though our men have been deputed there for the entire night, the corporation has been told to set up a police booth to facilitate the policemen on duty,” said Srivastava.

Being located on the Punjab-Chandigarh border, many visitors, too, feel that the food street should be well guarded to make it a safe place for families.

“It is easy for anti-social elements to slip away after committing a crime there. If the administration wants to make the project successful, it has to provide proper security there”, said Ritu Sharma and Veer Pal, boarders at Panjab University.



Dell cab drivers go on strike
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 8
Hundreds of employees working at a call centre of Dell in Industrial Area, Phase VII, had to reach the call centre on their own as the taxis ferrying them failed to turn up.

The owners of the vehicles, plying the vehicles on behalf of Chansons Ltd, did not run the vehicles in protest against the low fares being paid to them.

The operators raised slogans against the company engaging their vehicles for the service.

The operators, Sukhdev, Harbhajan and Shankar, told mediapersons that while the company engaging them was charging more, they were being paid around Rs 5.70 per km.

However, the operator of the company, Mandeep Singh, claimed that the issue had been sorted out. “The company has to keep the profit margin and pay fee of the persons engaged for managing the company affairs,” said Mandeep.



e wild wild web
Net generation more tolerant

Lest we are caught off guard by the Generation Y (our next or next-to-next generation) for lacking even the basics of the new technology, the onslaught of the information technology in every walk of life cannot be get away. Generation Y, sometimes referred to as “Millennials” or “Net Generation”, were born between 1978-1995, and grew up in the 1990s and 2000s. It is also called the first global generation. In a new book “Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World” by Don Tapscott, who coined the term “Net Generation”, has defined the term and analysed its implication:

l They are “smarter, quicker and more tolerant of diversity than their predecessors.”

l “These empowered young people are beginning to transform every institution of modern life,” he argues. He devotes a whole chapter on this dealing with the Obama campaign titled: “The Net Generation and Democracy: Obama, Social Networks and Citizen Engagement”.

l He challenges the view that the Internet use is making them dumb, instead writing that they are the “smartest generation ever”. T.V. may make people passive, but the Internet is interactive and stimulating. There is neuro-scientific evidence for this. Video game players have been found to process complex visuals more quickly and to be better at multi-tasking than earlier generations.

l They value freedom and choice in everything and customisation and personalisation. And they expect constant innovation.

l They want their work environment to be fun, not that work should be all play and no work, but that it should be enjoyable.

All pros, but any cons to this generation?

Yes, two:

l Although the generation will be the smartest, one-third of it will fail to achieve their potential due to failing education systems in many developing and even developed nations.

l There is a lack of concern for privacy among the generation. People will post pictures and tell stories that they should keep private on such social networking sites as Facebook and MySpace. It is because of some of the lucid information and pictures on these sites that many people have failed reference tests when applying for a join. Tapscott thinks the generation will come to regret this aspect. Let us hope some of this people will relearn the value of privacy.

Tapscott also added:

l They want to customise everything. Whether it is designing their own t-shirts on Threadless.com or selecting which widgets to put on their desktop, this group wants to do things their own way.

l They have “amazing BS detectors”. They can tell when you’re not telling the truth or when you’re trying to pull one over on them. A retailer that got caught writing its own “customer” reviews would be virtually disowned by these people.

l They want you to be honest, transparent, and considerate. Also, they’re big on sustainability.

l They want to collaborate and have relationships.

l They want to have fun. In fact, 58 per cent of them say that having fun with a product or service is just as important as what that thing actually does. If you employ any of these people, realise that they also want to have fun at work.

As with previous generations, many trends (and problems) began to surface as the Millennials came of age.

l Members of this generation are facing higher costs for higher education than previous generations.

l They represent more than 70 million consumers in the United States. They earn a total annual income of about $211 billion, spend approximately $172 billion per year and strongly influence many adult consumer buying choices. They also face a greater degree of direct corporate marketing than any other generation in history.

l A 2008 survey by UK recruitment consultancy FreshMinds Talent, in partnership with Management Today, suggested that Generation Y is generally more ambitious, brand conscious and tend to move jobs more often than previous generations.

The survey of over 1,000 people, entitled Work 2.0, also suggests several possible misconceptions about Generation Y, including that they are as loyal as their predecessors and believe that their job says something about them as individuals.

l There is more experience of family breakdown. The generation has seen high divorce rates, and homes with 2 working parents are much more common. This has greatly changed their relationships at home when compared to their parents and grandparents. This may have led them to be more peer-oriented and this may be a contributing factor to the premium that Gen Y workers place on workplace culture.

l A May 2008 episode of the American news magazine ‘60 Minutes’ entitled “The Age of the Millennials” proposed that members of the generation are exceptionally tech-savvy, are especially tuned to their own value in the job market, have limited loyalty to any particular employer, and insist on working in a stimulating job environment.

l More openness in regards to sexual and romantic lifestyles than prior generations and more openness to sexual expression and experimentation.

l More cultural tolerance to the point that racism is considered almost the worst possible flaws a person can have to many Gen Yers — gay tolerance, too, is also higher.

These are characteristics and attitudes that were previously attributed to Generation X in works such as the 1999 article. They are sometimes described as an “overachieving, overscheduled” generation.

Generation Y has a nearly intimate connection to technology. In their 2007 book, Connecting to the Net.Generation: What Higher Education Professionals Need to Know About Today's Students, Reynol Junco and Jeanna Mastrodicasa>found that in a survey of 7,705 college students in the US:

l 97% own a computer;

l 97% have downloaded music and other media using peer-to-peer sharing;

l 94% own a cell phone;

l 76% use instant messaging and social networking sites;

l 75% of college students have a Facebook profile and most of them check it daily;

l 60% own some type of portable music and/or video device such as an ipod;

l 49% regularly download music and other media using peer-to-peer file sharing;

l 34% use websites as their primary source of news;

l 28% author a blog and 44% read blogs;

l 15% of IM users are logged on 24 hours a day/7 days a week;

l 8% have confessed to having an online gaming addiction at some point in their life

anilM is an editor with Instablogs.com anilm@instablogs.com



Nagarkoti is Kumaon Sabha chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Bachan Singh Nagarkoti won presidentship of the Kumaon Sabha by a huge margin. The Nagarkoti group has won all three seats.

He defeated his nearest rival Summon Shankar Tiwari with a huge margin of 754 votes during the Kumaon Sabha (regd) poll organised at Arya Samaj Mandir, Sector-27 C, here, yesterday. Nagarkoti polled 1,075 votes. 



Sec-22 police post to be vacated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
The administration has reportedly set into motion the process of vacating the Sector 22 police post. Sources said the home department had in a communication to the UT police department, instructed it to get the government accommodation in Sector-22 D vacated where the police post is functioning for the past 20 years.

Sources added that the police department had been given a month’s time (December) for taking necessary action.

“In the letter, the home department cited the court’s direction that no commercial activity or an office will be permitted to run in the residential accommodations,” said the sources.

When contacted, IG S.K. Jain said he had not received any communication so far. “The post is being set up for the convenience of the people of the area. Being one of the most happening places, the sector needs a police post so its removal would not be in the people’s interest as well.”

Earlier, the house allotment committee has in a letter asked the police to vacate the place as it falls in the residential area and the police has possessed it illegally.



Toxicology congress begins
Chandigarh, December 8
The seventh annual congress of The Asia Pacific Association of Medical Toxicology was inaugurated by Prof KK Talwar, director, PGIMER, here today. More than 150 experts, attended the congress, which took off at Hotel Mountview. — TNS



Punjabi play enthrals audience
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, December 8
The Offstage Ensemble, Moga, staged a Punjabi play “Wrong Number” on the second day of the ongoing TFT national theatre festival at Tagore theatre here today.

The play, dealing with human relationships under the best and the worst of times, was marked with its power of prolific text and brilliant performances by actors that held the crowds swayed.

The Punjabi play, seemingly, had matured to a spectacular level with such an immaculate production from young playwright director Profe Pali Bhupinder.

The play displayed a middle-class family, in which a young man became handicapped following an accident. Driven to acute frustration after becoming handicapped and confined to the walls with a fractured mindset, he doubts the integrity of her noble wife.

Exhibiting an imaginative intensity, the director had created more supporting characters to bring alive the intent of the play through crisp dialogues laced with a instant satirical wit and wisdom as well.

The winner of the Delhi Sahit Akademy award three times in a row, Kumar Ajay, portraying the handicapped young man was a terrific actor to watch and so were Gurpreet and Aman Manchanda in female lead roles besides Gurinder, Jitender and Rajesh.



Deficient service disappoints customer

I was interested in getting an internet connection. A representative of Reliance visited my residence, who promised to provide the reliance internet connection and take a cheque of Rs.500 on July 27, 2008. But after a few days, he said your area was not accessible and returned the cheque. Again, a Reliance representative, Vikram Parkash, again promised to provide the internet connection within five days and take a cheque on November 11, 2008, but, he also failed to provide the connection and have not returned the cheque hitherto. I am trying to contact him on telephone, but, he did not respond.

This is a clear case of defeciency of service and a stern action must be taken under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

Ashok K Singal, Chandigarh

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030



Finally, PU hostels get parking space
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, December 8
Finally, the university has started constructing the hostel parking, taking the cognizance of the repeated pleas of hostellers against lack of proper parking space.

The move proves vital considering the fact that earlier, there was no parking for the four-wheelers in most of the hostels. Earlier, two motorcycles were stolen from the Hostel No 4. A visit around the hostels revealed there was no safety of the vehicles and the parking lot provided by the authorities was not enough for the two-wheelers.

An official of the hostel said, “The parking facility will be soon provided to the boarders. Now, there will be no more complaints of the students and the risk of loss will be reduced.

Varun Madaan, a boarder, said, “For the past two years, it is very difficult to park a car in the hostel, but now, as the authorities have started the construction work so this will help the students.”

Kamaljit Singh, warden of Hostel No 4, said, “The decision of making the parking lot was approved in the central meeting of the university and hence, it will be constructed soon.”



Kids get ride on hot-air balloon
Tribune News Service

Ambala, December 8
PKR Jain Vatika conducted a “Hot-Air-Balloon” activity, in association with the “Star Adventure Sahasi group”, for the first time here today.

The students got an opportunity to go upto a height of 350-500 feet in the air. A 85-feet-high balloon was arranged for the event.

It was an adventure for the children, who for the first time tried their hand at such a unique experience. Even parents were invited there and had fun with their wards.

The P.K.R. Jain Vatika chairman, Bharat Bhushan, manager Rajesh Jain, School principal Uma Sharma were also there. 



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