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City’s plan budget down by Rs 4 cr
But massive hike of Rs 606 cr in non-plan head
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Chandigarh will have nothing to cheer about from the interim Budget 2009-10. A marginal decrease of Rs 4.3 crore in the plan budget estimate (BE) from Rs 304.65 crore in the last financial year to Rs 300.35 for 2009-10 is likely to have an adverse affect on infrastructure development in various sectors like education, education, transport and energy.

However, an unprecedented increase of Rs 606 crore (up from Rs 1,263 crore in from the last financial year to Rs 1,849 crore in the next financial year) in the non-plan sector is set to offer pre-poll bonanza to the salaried class which is likely to get revised pay scales and perks ahead of the next Lok Sabha elections.

A careful perusal of the plan BE revealed that except for housing and urban development, which had shown an increase from Rs 113.3 crore in 2008-09 to Rs 138.36 crore in 2009-10, all vital sectors had shown a downward trend in the BE.

The education sector is down from Rs 48.79 to Rs 40.73 crore in this financial year while health has been allocated Rs 43.64 crore in 2009-10 from Rs 43.69 crore in 2008-09.

Similarly, the transport sector is anticipated to get Rs 8.11 crore in this financial year as against last year’s Rs 10.35 crore. The vital energy sector’s outlay is down to Rs 15 crore from Rs 21.54 crore in 2008-09.

“Less plan budget for Chandigarh would mean that the infrastructure would get inadequate funds. For the city’s development and prosperity, plan BE should have been more though the city could have done well with less non-plan BE,” Dr Manoj Sharma from University Business School of Panjab University, told The Tribune.

However, UT finance secretary Sanjay Kumar claimed that plan BE could always be raised in the regular Budget in July. The administration had asked for a plan budget of Rs 600 crore, he said.

Pardeep Chhabra, media coordinator for Minister of State for Finance Pawan Bansal, claimed that a massive increase of Rs 606 crore in the non-plan BE would go a long way in meeting the financial commitments of the administration.

The increase in non-plan expenditure showed concern of Bansal for the city’s needs, he said, but he could not explain the decline in the plan budget.

Satya Pal Jain, BJP’s candidate from the Chandigarh parliamentary seat, termed the interim Budget as “directionless”.

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Budget: Little cheer for sagging industry
Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The interim budget announced by the UPA government has failed to lift the recessionary market sentiment, leaving the industry in the region high and dry. The industry here said though they were hopeful of getting some tax relief, the government had failed to come to their rescue in these difficult economic times.

Expressing disappointment at the interim budget, Rohtas Goel, CMD, Omaxe Ltd, said: “The budget was completely lackluster. While one can understand that this was an interim budget, given the adverse business sentiments, the government could have taken exception and announced some sops for reviving the market. Benefits for housing would have created a ripple effect in the market and helped in giving a positive push to the economy.”

“This is a very disappointing budget as there is nothing in this interim budget to raise market sentiment or give a boost to economy or employment. The government should have done something to reduce the depression in the market,” said former banker and financial consultant SC Dhall.

The PHD Chamber, too, expressed its disappointment at the interim budget, saying the industry was expecting a slew of measures from the government to rejuvenate the economy to overcome the demand slump.

While the chamber appreciated that the announcement of tax measures should be left to the presentation of the full Budget, the four per cent excise concession, announced as part of first stimulus package to stimulate demand, should have been continued beyond March 2009, said Ashok Khanna, former chairman of the chamber.

“Industry was expecting targeted sector specific tax incentives to kick-start segments such as housing, steel, cement, consumer durables, and passenger cars, etc. which have high output and employment intensities. The fiscal deficit is also too high and may result in credit squeeze for trade and industry,” added Satish Bagrodia, president of the chamber.

The only highlight of the budget is the hike in spending in the social sector. Krishan Goyal, former chairman of CII and managing director, Modern Steels, said though the government should have initiated steps to boost demand in the domestic sector for steel, cement and housing, they were hoping that a third stimulus to the economy would be announced later.

“But we welcome the increased spending on Bharat Nirman, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and NREGA, which is positive for the economy for spurring demand. We hope that the schemes favour the targeted beneficiaries,” he said.

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HC puts brakes on admn’s expansion plans
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The city administration will soon find itself powerless to take “ad hoc” decisions on developing the city and its periphery without a master plan for future.

Over three decades after an inter-state coordination committee came into being for planned and systematic development of Chandigarh, it will meet again within a month.

Acting on a public interest litigation, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Hemant Gupta of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the coordination committee to meet and submit a status report within six weeks.

The Bench also fixed April 22 as the next date of hearing. The directions follow precise, yet vehement arguments by senior advocate-cum-social activist Manmohan Lal Sarin.

The committee comprises union secretary of urban development and housing, chief secretaries of Punjab and Haryana, UT secretary urban development, chief commissioner and other functionaries.

The petitioner, Gurbax Singh of Sector 27, had earlier stated that Chandigarh was conceived as an administrative city, meant to cater to the population of half a million over 1,500 acres and 46 sectors.

Now “the Chandigarh administration could not be allowed to carry out ad hoc decisions at its sweet will under the garb of policy making, allegedly in public interest, without there being a proper master plan,” he said, adding that the entire development of Chandigarh and its periphery after the master plan was based on ad hoc decisions.

The setting up of a medicity and its shifting from Raipur Kalan to a site near the IT park was among the instances cited by the petitioner to build up a case against the administration.

Quoting newspaper reports, the petitioner said: “It is totally un-understandable on what basis the Chandigarh administration, without there being any master plan for future years, is planning to set up the medicity over a piece of land adjoining the IT park.

“The decisions taken on planning and developing the city on organised lines and on permanent basis by way of creating a uniform agency like the coordination committee in 1975 did not bear any fruitful results and the same remained on papers only,” the petitioner contended.

Elaborating, he said: “The co-ordination committee held number of meetings, but whatever decisions were taken on paper to bring about integrated planning and developing the periphery of Chandigarh were all violated by the UT administration or by the state governments of Punjab and Haryana.”

The petitioner recommended “the central government and UT administration, along with governments of Punjab and Haryana, should join hands and work together through the institution of the coordination committee by adhering to the terms of references.”

Directions were also sought to prepare a composite plan for the tricity “so that future planning in the periphery of Chandigarh was made in consonance with the regional plan.”

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Youth gets life term for killing parents, aunt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Additional District and Sessions Judge Raj Rahul Garg has sentenced Pawandeep Singh, who had masterminded the cold-blooded murder of his father Group Captain TP Singh (retd), mother Shibani Singh (a teacher of Bhavan Vidyalaya), and aunt Ajit Kaur, to life imprisonment.

His accomplices, Ravi Tyagi and Anil Tyagi were also sentenced to life imprisonment. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 75,000 each on all three.

Jasdeep Singh, younger son of TP Singh, was not present in the court, but his counsel said: “Finally justice has been delivered to his parents and to him. The persons who had committed this crime have been penalised.”

Pronouncing the orders, Garg held: “There is nothing to suggest that they will repeat the barbarism in future. Further, it is not a case which can be termed as organised crime or in which the murder was committed by hired killer.”

Justifying the life sentence the court observed: “It is not a case where it can be said that the sentence of life imprisonment is all together inadequate.”

Talking to mediapersons, the convicts claimed that they had been falsely implicated. No expression of remorse was seen of Pawandeep’s face as he continued to defend himself, saying that “I have not been given an opportunity to defend myself. I have not done anything.”

As he waited for the sentence to be pronounced, he said: “Nothing is going on in my mind. It’s blank.”

The convicts had murdered TP Singh, Shibani and Ajit Kaur at their Sector 34 house in 2006. While they had shot TP Singh, Shibani was repeatedly stabbed in the chest. Ajit Kaur was battered to death with a blunt object.

Shibani was a popular teacher and students have created a community “Shibani ma’am -- Forever with us” on Orkut. The community has 372 students from the school. Soon after the conviction, the news was flashed on the community and students reacted to it.

Timeline

February 7, 2006: Group Captain TP Singh, Shibani Singh and Ajit Kaur found brutally murdered in their house. Their domestic help arrested.

February 9, 2006: Elder son, Pawandeep Singh, did not attend the cremation.

February 12, 2006: Blood-stained jackets recovered from Gurgaon house of Pawandeep.

February 13, 2006: Pawandeep arrested from Nagaland.

February 16, 2006: Pawandeep reaches city and confesses to the crime.

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Fiza presses rape charge against Chand
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 16
Chand Mohammed, former Haryana Deputy Chief Minister and Kalka MLA, could be in a spot as his estranged second wife, Fiza, today lodged a criminal complaint against him with the police. Accusing him of cheating and defaming her, in her complaint to the SSP, Mohali, she stated that Chander Mohan changed his faith with the intention of raping her. “I have been hurt mentally and physically. My religious faith has also been deeply hurt by the act of the Kalka MLA,” she said in her complaint.

Seeking strict action against him, she said she apprehended that Chander Mohan might try to flee abroad along with his family.

Complicating matters for him, she has also forwarded a copy of the complaint to the National Women Council, New Delhi, Punjab State Human Rights Commission and Haryana Chief Minister. The SSP, JS Aulakh, said an inquiry had been marked to the SP (city), who had been asked to probe the matter thoroughly before registering any case. The police was examining the proof of marriage and other facts related to the marriage.

She claimed that the MLA met her in 2004 and ever since, he was asking her to marry him. Chander Mohan kept convincing her and told her that he was suffering from mental torture at the hands of his wife and children.

“I kept rejecting his proposals and he started sending SMSes, saying that he would end his life if she did not agree to marry him,” she said.

On January 2 this year, the complainant married Chander Mohan after they converted to Islam. On January 27, two persons came to meet him and he went along with them, never to return.

She also alleged that she had been receiving threatening calls from the MLA’s family. She has sought the registration of a case under Sections 295-A, 376, 420, 500 and 506 of the IPC.

He used the change of faith to exploit her mentally and physically and then deserted her, she said. She later realised that she had been cheated and that his family had regularly been keeping contact with him despite disowning him.

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Ten more houses planned for HC judges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The acute shortage of accommodation for judges is set to be eased with the city administration deciding to construct 10 houses for judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

According to sources, the modalities for the construction of the 2 kanal houses, seven in Sector 24 and three in Sector 19, were discussed at a recent meeting of the judges’ house allotment and maintenance committee. Tenders for the houses had already been received and these would be awarded after the finalisation of the layout plan from the office of the Chief Architect, the sources said.

The High Court has a strength of 48 judges against a total strength of 68 judges. Some members of the collegium for recommending the names for the elevation to judges had recently pointed out that there was a shortage of infrastructure, including chambers and houses for judges, in the city.

A substantial number of judges who were recently elevated belong to the tricity and are living in their own houses.

For several years, the administration had been hard-pressed to provide suitable temporary accommodation to newly elevated and transferred judges. If more houses are shifted to the judges’ pool, there is a shortage of accommodation for senior bureaucrats and ministers, a senior official said.

UT Chief Engineer Krishanjit Singh said the engineering department was capable of constructing all 10 houses within this year if the approval was accorded immediately.

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Industrial Policy
Consult industry before finalising, Governor to officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Interacting with a delegation of the Chandigarh Industrial Association during the public hearing session at the UT Secretariat here today, UT Administrator SF Rodrigues indicated that a new industrial policy was being finalised and asked officers to give it a final shape after discussing the details with the representatives of industry.

He said industrial indicators suggested focussing on more and more programmes for developing entrepreneurships and empowering people in partnership with the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the CII to upgrade capabilities and improve delivery systems.

Responding to the demand of Chandigarh Residents Social Welfare Federation, Rodrigues told them to develop a partnership and help the administration in the removal of encroachments and illegal structures, for which courts had already passed orders.

He asked the Finance Secretary to set up a core group to sort out the issues pertaining to the problems of residents. He also asked the MC Commissioner to streamline the working of contractors engaged in the sanitation process in the city. He made it clear that workers employed for door-to-door garbage collection must not be exploited.

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Counselling centre at Chandi Mandir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
A counselling centre for women and children of Chandi Mandir Military Station has been established at the AWWA Vocational Training Complex.

The centre will provide guidance and counselling on various aspects like understanding administrative management of mental health problems, learning life skills involving anger management, overcoming anxiety and complexes, management of stress and overcoming of common fears and phobias, coping with marital disharmony, under achievement of children, etc.

The centre, operationalised under the supervision of Nargis Gurdial, former additional director with the Punjab Government, was inaugurated by Bina Aul, officiating president AWWA, Western Command. 

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MC: 5 get job letters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh February 16
Jean Rodrigues, wife of UT Administrator SF Rodrigues, today handed over appointment letters to the dependents of five officials of the Chandigarh municipal corporation who had died during service.

Gurpreet Singh, son of Nirbhey Singh, Gurpreet Singh, son of Nachhatar Singh, Mohan Kaur, wife of Gurvinder Singh, Rajinder Kaur, wife of Jaswinder Singh, and Jatinder Sharma, son of Tarsem Lal Sharma, were appointed on compassionate grounds in accordance with the provisions of the scheme.

The MC has constituted a committee to examine the cases of compassionate appointments.

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Building Bylaws
Defaulting schools to face music
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The educational institutions of the city that are violating the building bylaws, will now have to face the consequences. The Chandigarh estate office has started issuing notices to them under the relevant section. The estate office has identified over 15 such educational institutions and notices have been served on them. The assistant estate officer, Ashwani Kumar, confirmed that the defaulters had been served notices under the Section VIII of the Capital of Punjab Act 1952.

“We are in the process of taking action against violating school managements. They have been served notices and the appeal or hearing under the Public Premises Act, in most of the cases, is under way. If they still fail to comply with the stipulated building bylaws, the institutions would be resumed”, he said.

The fragmentation between the DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, and DAV Public School has invited the ire of the estate office, besides other violations. “The school has got the “occupation certificate” for partial completion but the mandatory fully completed occupation certificate has been held up because of certain building violations,” told the officials.

At DAV Public School-15, it has been found that an extra basement in front of the hostel block and a basement under the open stage at the rear side of the building, increased height of the boundary wall and glazing in the front elevations were not part of the sanctioned drawings. Officials confirmed that the revised plan of the school is yet to get the nod from the estate office and their hearing is pending.

Officials told that St Kabir School- 26, was issued the notice for violations, like illegally increasing the height of the boundary wall by erecting fencing, making an open stadium inside the compound and the rooms along the boundary wall being used as a workshop on the premises.

The officials told that some schools had constructed auditoriums and offices in the basement, which were not only against the building bylaws and national building code, but also the “habitable use” of the basement was a major fire and stampede hazard for students.

The DPS- 41, Shivalik School- 41, St Kabir- 26 and Bhavan Vidyalaya- 27 too have been using their basement for carrying out activities involving children. At St. Stephen’s School- 45, the height of the boundary wall has been raised upto 16- foot by, allegedly, installing 10- foot fencing over the wall. Similarly, the boundary wall of Sanjay Public School- 44, has exceeded the permissible limits.

Under the Public Premises Act, the management of Vivek School-38, has appealed in the court of adviser for further reviewing the eviction notice served by the court of Chief Administrator. HS Mamik, director of the school rued that they had submitted the revised plan four times earlier. “In 2003, the planning committee had communicated to regularise the plan after submitting extension fee, which was objected on the grounds of being “non-payable” by the administration. The final decision on the matter is pending with the High Court.

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From Schools & Colleges
City don to present paper in US
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Dr Pardeep Singh Walia, senior lecturer in Commerce, Government College for Girls, Sector 11, was invited by the International Academy of Management and Business, USA, after his research paper was accepted for publication and presentation at the international conference.

The conference on ‘Management in Global Economic Crisis’ was organised by the International Academy of Management and Business, in New Orleans, USA. Dr Walia represented India at the conference and presented the research paper entitled ‘Trade Unionism and Industrial Disputes: Indian perspective’. The paper traced the origin of trade unionism in India in the pre-independence and post-independence era and highlighted its relevance and significance in the changing industrial and social scenario. He also identified the factors responsible for the initial genesis and the continuous growth in the trade union movement and its contribution in generating employee-friendly reforms.

Productivity week

As proposed by the National Productivity Council (NPC), Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, GGDSD College, Sector 32-C, Chandigarh, celebrated a national productivity week, "Prosperity through productivity" on the college premises yesterday. The event was supported by the directorate of industries, Chandigarh, and was inaugurated by SS Bhullar from NPC, Chandigarh.

As many as 42 teams from various colleges of the city participated in various events. The NPC observed February 12 as “Productivity Day” and the week from February 12 to 18 as the “Productivity Week” throughout the country.

Seminar on Dalits

The two-day national seminar on “Dalits in historical perspective in North-Western India” concluded at Government College, Sector 11, Chandigarh, yesterday. Raji P Srivastava, UT Director, Higher Education, was chief guest. The seminar had five sessions, in which more than 50 scholars from various universities and colleges participated.

Farewell

The outgoing Class X students of DAV Senior Secondary Public School, Phase X, Mohali, were given a farewell on Friday. A cultural programme was presented on the occasion, which included songs and dances. School principal Jaya Bhardwaj honoured outstanding students. A number of titles were given out.

Entrepreneurship Sensitisation Day

“Entrepreneurship Sensitisation Day" was organised by the Aryans Business School (ABS) at CII, Sector 31, Chandigarh. The event was organised to impart skills to MBA and BBA students to make them successful entrepreneurs.

Dr J Sadakkadulla, Regional Director, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), was chief guest. Many speakers from industry and academics addressed the students. The event was presided over by Anshu Kataria, chairman, ABS.

Annual day

The department of biotechnology, Government College, Sector 11, organised annual function ‘YO! VAGANZA 09’. The programme was inaugurated by Dr Rupinder Tiwari, head, department Of microbial biotechnology, Panjab University. The students also staged street play “Agdam Bagdam”. The state AIDS Control Society, Chandigarh, Punjab National Bank and Union Bank sponsored the function.

Tech festival

Students take part in a collage-making competition during the IT Festival in Chandigarh on Monday. The department of computer application, Government College, Sector 46, organised “Tech-Riti 09” today on the college premises. The main events included debugging, software development, website development, IT quiz, IT skit, DJ mixing, collage making, cartooning caricature, rangoli, extempore, power point presentation, story writing, theme dance and bhangra.

Students take part in a collage-making competition during the IT Festival in Chandigarh on Monday. A Tribune photograph

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From PU
Wi-fi usage goes unchecked
Neha Miglani

Chandigarh, February 16
The computer science and applications department, Panjab University, has no appropriate system to check the use of wi-fi by the students.

There is a free provision of internet service to the hostel students at the university, who have their laptops registered with the department from 6:00 pm to 8:30 am. But, there is no such upgraded system to keep a tab on the internet related activities. There is a manual system that keeps an eye on which sites are being visited by the students, which is done every four weeks.

A senior professor at the university said, “The real point in question is- if the university is spending money on providing facility to students, why is there no system in place to check its optimal use? There has to be an automatic system through which classification can be made between the educational usage and personal or social usage.”

“I generally use the wi-fi to check my personal mails and rarely for any educational purpose,” says Harmandeep, a M.Tech student.

K Tankeshar, director of the department, “There is no such way to classify the educational and other sites, we just check it manually.”

Echoes the systems manager, Ajay Guleria, “We generally don’t keep any graphical representation of how much the facility is being used for educational purpose and how much for other usage.”

The kind of system that the department is following makes it a tedious task to check details of each website that a student is visiting. Says another student, “For me, entertainment and keeping in touch with my friends abroad is the only use of the wi-fi.”

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Two more buses for PU students
Aarti/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
For offering internal bus services to the students of the Panjab University campus at nominal rates, the authorities are mooting a proposal of adding Rs 5 in the monthly fee of the students. As per the proposal prepared by the authorities, Rs 5 would be added in the fee of each department, from the next session, so that they can avail the bus service just by showing university identity card. The authorities have decided to start two buses under this scheme for the campus students from next session.

Official claim that the response of the bus service, which was launched by the university on trial basis, had a good response from the students on the basis of which the proposal had been prepared.

Sources revealed that earlier the student's unions suggested issue of bus pass to the student ranging between Rs 250 to 300 on monthly basis. It was proposed that the departments would issue such passes to the students to use the internal bus services.

Officials stated that while working out on the cost of the bus service, it was found that if passes were to be issued to the students they would have to be renewed on monthly basis. The university will also have to constitute a separate branch for issuing bus passes.

Besides, only limited number of students would be able to avail the service.

Officials informed that students of Dental College and UIET department have already hired private buses for which they are paying Rs 250 per month.

Dean, university welfare Naval Kishore, said they are going to discuss this proposal in the ensuing meeting with the student bodies. He said the university would be able to cover annual expenses of the bus service by charging this amount in the fee.

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Mohali man deported over mistaken identity
Shared name with KLF chief
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 16
If Shakespeare was alive today and heard the case of mistaken identity of Paramjit Singh, who had harrowing experience at the hands of Thai and Indian immigration authorities, the world of literature would have definitely missed one famous quote: “What’s in a name”.

A 34-year-old resident of Phase 5 here, Paramjit Singh, for one, realised that name could in fact land anyone in trouble.

On a leisure trip to Thailand along with friends on February 1, he paid a heavy price for being Paramjit Singh, as immigration authorities at the Thailand airport took him for Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) chief Paramjit Singh Panjwar, who has been blacklisted by the Interpol.

Apparently, the only mistake of the victim was that his name was also Paramjit Singh. After being detained and questioned at the Thailand airport, he was deported back to India. But his problems did not end there.

At the Indira Gandhi International Airport, an immigration official detained him on the basis of documents passed on by the Thai authorities.

“He kept harassing me and threatened me to put me behind bars. His colleagues addressed the official as Chauhan. My pleas to get medical help fell on deaf ears,” he claimed.

Addressing a press conference here, he said it was a harrowing experience for him. “The Thai authorities kept my $ 1,100 and driver’s licence. My friends, Jasbir and Amarjit, did not know about my whereabouts as I was being detained at the airport.”

After facing the humiliation, he with the help of human rights activists has lodged a complaint against the Thai Airways, Superintendent of Police, Thai International Airport, and Secretary, Indian Ministry of External Affairs, with the Secretary General of United Nations.

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Book on poetry launched
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 16
Former city Mayor Harjinder Kaur, chairman, Punjab Arts Council, released Dr Kulbir Kaur’s maiden English poetry anthology “Eternity in Motion” , at a function organised by the First Friday Forum, at Punjab Kala Bhawan, here yesterday.

She said such books should be written as they inspire and encourage one’s inner self to leading a better life. Noted literary persons Prof HS Mehta, poet BD Kalia Hamdam, Jai Gopal Kochhar and others offered critical appreciation on the book. Dr Kulbir Kaur has authored five books in Punjabi besides scores of articles published in leading newspapers and magazines.

The principal speaker and founder of First Friday Forum, Dr SS Bhatti, stressed upon the mysticism and sublimity of the Muse in the poetry.

NS Rattan, vice-president, Punjab Sahit Akademi, cautioned that the author must not let the praises lavished on the book affect her head, as the next book that she may write will begin from zero like the score of a test cricket match.

Surinder Bahga, chairman, IIA Chandigarh-Punjab Chapter, delivered the welcome address and SS Sekhon, principal, Indo-global College of Architecture, proposed a vote of thanks.

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Movie lovers spoilt for choice
Neha Miglani

Chandigarh, February 16
The inauguration of two new multiplexes is set to revolutionise multiplex culture in the city. These latest additions to the existing multiplexes have amplified the choice of movie buffs.

While one boasts of a four-theatre multiplex with a capacity of 1,000 people, the other has come up with three screens with a capacity of 652 with 42 leather recliners.

It also offers a pillow and a blanket as well a butler service.

“I am a movie fanatic and the opening of two more multiplexes is a special gift for this season,” quips Harmadeep, a Panjab University MTech student.

“Earlier it was a nightmare to watch a movie in the city, but coming up of so many multiplexes has ensured that if I want to watch a good movie even on a weekend I get a ticket in one of the multiplexes,” adds Ratul Arora, a student Panjab Engineering College (PEC).

With two new additions, there is still more to come as market experts expect better packages from existing multiplexes due to competition. 

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Engineers allege bias in promotions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The UT Engineers’ Association lodged protest with the Secretary, Engineering, Chandigarh administration, against the alleged dictatorial and biased attitude towards promotional avenues of the engineering department.

Members of the association, in their written representation, alleged that no regular promotion for JE or AE to SDE had been made after September, 2004 and the seniority list had not been updated. The members argued that the ACRs were not being compiled in an unbiased manner due to which cases put up under the ACP scheme for proficiency were delayed inordinately.

They alleged that additional charges had been given to senior-most AEs in the electrical and public health wings for manning the vacant posts of SDEs whereas around 10 posts, including design wings, had been lying vacant in the B&R departments.

“In addition to this, senior-most AEs in certain departments are not being given additional charges, ignoring their two decades of experience. Besides, promotions are being made in a distorted manner overlooking the prescribed criteria,” alleged Avtar Singh, chairman of the association.

Dalbir Singh, president of the association, pointed out discrepancies in the scale of AE and omission of post of JE in the notification.

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Nehru centre to accommodate 2,000 vehicles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Aware of the parking problem in Sector 34, the Chandigarh administration has planned to build a huge parking space in the upcoming Nehru Centre for Performing Arts. The parking at the centre will accommodate around 2,000 vehicles.

UT Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar recently convened a meeting to discuss the building plan of the centre. It was stated that the basement parking would accommodate 1,400 cars whereas the surface parking would provide space for 195 vehicles.

Besides, there will be provision for parking of around 500 two-wheelers in the basement.

The Finance Secretary directed officials to moot the building plan in a manner that optimally utilised the space with necessary support system to supplement the complex.

It was decided to map out a revenue source within the centre that would be utilised for the maintenance of the complex.

The centre, spread over 13 acres, will be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities essential for conducting world-class conferences, meetings and exhibitions along with presentation of different performing arts.

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e wild wild web
When Google messed it up
Anil Maheshwari

On January 31, Google search users were surprised and puzzled to find the message “Warning! This site may harm your computer” on every search result. This happened around 7 pm (IST) and lasted for around 40 minutes. The message also directed users to visit StopBadware.org to learn more.

Many users feared that their computer has been hacked, compromised or made part of Botnet.

Marissa Mayer, vice-president, Search Products & User Experience of the Google, lost no time in explaining the peculiar development in an Official Google Blog post: “If you made a Google search between 6.30 am and 7.25 am PST this morning, you likely saw that the message ‘This site may harm your computer’ accompanied each and every search result. This was clearly an error, and we are very sorry for the inconvenience caused to our users.

“What happened? Very simply, human error. Google flags search results with the message ‘This site may harm your computer’ if the site is known to install malicious software in the background or otherwise surreptitiously. We do this to protect our users against visiting sites that can harm their computers. We work with a non-profit called StopBadware.org to come up with criteria for maintaining this list, and to provide simple processes for webmasters to remove their site from the list.

“We periodically update that list and released one such update to the site this morning. Unfortunately , the URL of ‘/’ was mistakenly checked in as a value to the file and ‘/’ expands to all URLs. Fortunately, our on-call site reliability team found the problem quickly and reverted the file. Since we push these updates in a staggered and rolling fashion, the errors began appearing between 6.27 am and 6.40 am and began disappearing between 7.10 and 7.25 am, so the duration of the problem for any particular user was approximately 40 minutes.

“Thanks to our team for their quick work in finding this. And again, our apologies to any of you who were inconvenienced this morning, and to site owners whose pages were incorrectly labelled. We will carefully investigate this incident and put more robust file checks in place to prevent it from happening again.

“Thanks for your understanding.”

If the world ever needed proof that it’s Google’s Web and we just surf on it, we got it in spades last on that morning when the Search Engine That Roared declared the entire Internet one steaming fetid pile of manure.

Cringe had a dig on the Google in infoworld.com. Why is this news? For one thing, it’s always fun to see the high and mighty slip on a banana peel and land on their assets. More important, it points out the extreme power Google wields — and once again raises fears the Web is rapidly turning into a monoculture, where one product or technology dominates. Monocultures are beneficial to a point, but they also share the same vulnerabilities; if they contract a deadly disease or fatal exploit, they can be wiped out en masse.

This week somebody in Mountain View sneezed, and the entire Web went home with the flu. Next time, Google could catch something more serious — and we all could end up in the hospital.

The writer is an editor with Instablogs.com anilm@instablogs.com 

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Rajput officers get together
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Serving and veteran officers of Rajput Regiment held their biannual meet here today. A large number of regimental officers and their wives attended the event. Among them was Lieut-Gen VS Tonk, General Officer Commanding 11 Corps, Jalandhar, the senior-most serving Rajput officer in the region.

Rajput Regiment is among the oldest infantry regiments in the Army and has produced many illustrious officers, including Field Marshal KM Carriappa, the first Commander-in-Chief of the Army post-Independence.

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Importance of culture highlighted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
A three-day national seminar on the theme of ‘Globalisation and Cultural Identities: Philosophical Challenges and Opportunities’ was organised by the department of philosophy, Panjab University, here today. The seminar was inaugurated by Raji P Srivastava, IAS, secretary, education and special secretary, finance, Chandigarh.

Srivastava drew the attention of the audience towards the inner values that can provide answers to the common problems raised by present evolution and provide meaning to human life, because they raise matters related to the human identity, to the direction of human existence, aims and hopes and the ways of fulfilling man’s relation to the world.

The highlight of the seminar was a philosophical play enacted by the students with the help of the department of Indian theatre on the theme “Who am I”?

The inaugural session was chaired by professor SA Shaida, former head, department of humanities and social sciences, IIT Kanpur, and a keynote address was delivered by Professor Gopal Guru from J.N.U.

Shaida emphasised upon the new global context, where we experience specific vantage points and specific cultures receive specific meanings. Accordingly, he has highlighted the role of culture in constituting and reproducing society. According to Professor VT Sebastian, chairperson of the department, the seminar participants included different luminaries from different universities of India.

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1.5 acre land for press club soon: Co-op minister
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 16
The Punjab Co-operation Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, today said for the allotment of land for the town journalists’ house building cooperative society, the registrar, cooperative societies, (RCS) had been asked to take up the matter with the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA).

Speaking on the 10th foundation day of the Mohali Press Club here, the minister said the issue was being taken on priority.

For setting up the press club building, he said the process for allotment of 1.5 acre land in Balongi would be completed soon. The club is presently situated in a rented building.

Tirlochan Singh Mann, senior vice-president of the BJP Kisan Morcha, Punjab, who was also present on the occasion, said the Balongi panchayat had already passed a resolution to give the land to the club on the lease basis.

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Letters
Human life is cheap

The article endorsed the views that life in India is cheap. In refernce to the recent incident at Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, it has been reflected that. Each medical ward is supposed to have round-the-clock duty nurse/ attendant. It’s shocking to know that the neonatalogy unit, where ten infants were in the incubators, there was no duty staff when the fire broke. It was indeed an act of utter negligence on the part of the detailed staff. The unfortunate incident shook the nation. The principal/staff is suspended and an enquiry is ordered into this incident. We can just hope that the enquiry is conducted in true spirit and those responsible are proceeded with a strict disciplinary action to serve as deterrent to others too. The principal and the administrative staff concerned must ensure that such incidents wouldnot take place again. Proper governance, accountibility and safety of the patients must be ensured.

S S Arora, Mohali

II

The writer has explained that six infants have lost their lives and no one has been held responsible for the tragedy. It was indeed a shocking news that the infants have lost their lives in the Rajindra Government Hospital, Patiala. The incident happened due to negligence of the hospital authorities. The doctors and staff were suspended and reinstated later on. The minister concerned has also submitted his resignation to his party chief and not to the authority concerned for the acceptance.

The Chief Minister has refused to accept his resignation. The politicians have no respect for moral values. It is a reality that the three government medical colleges and hospitals in the state have shortage of staff and proper infrastructure. The Rajindra Hospital was known in the region but now, money becomes the main problem. The government could not improve the conditions of the hospitals in the state.

Sahil Garg, Chandigarh

III

Recently, the news of the death of new born infants after being charred in an incubator fire in a Patiala Hospital left churning in the pit of the stomach. In our country, where dogs get VVIP treatment, but sadly, human beings are treated like a sheer dirt. You have very rightly asked “who is responsible for the death of the children, if the MS, the principal, the doctors, the attendants, the minister, none responsible prima facie?” Well, the person on whom the whole responsibility can be fixed is the ‘Common Man’.

He is the one to be blamed, he is the one who will always get cheated and suffer by default. In your previous column

‘This system, less said the better’ (January 19), that spoke about the system has made many of us so weak that we happily agree to whatever is thrust on us, hardly ever fighting for our rights. But the irony of the matter is that we, the people comprising the system, have started allowing ourselves to becoming like the system that we fight and stand against. Casual approach, attitude and deriliction of duty are eating up the roots of our system. The lack of compassion and concern about anything happening to others is actually a problem. However, the most disturbing aspect is that we all know our limitations. Rather than owning up the responsibility and finding a remedial solution for these social maladies, we are always indulging in passing on the buck.

In a democracy like ours, the ballot is a mighty wand which can sweep away even the most powerful. While voting a party to power, the common man incidentally stakes his faith in those who will give social security, good governance etc rather than causing problems for common man. It is not at all expected that those in power make their primary duty to take care and protect only those who are the integral part of the administrative set-up and who can be helpful to the elected representatives. May be, they want to and basically follow the saying, “You scratch my back and I will scratch yours”.

IM Joshi

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A clarification

This is with reference to a news-item, “No extension to Dr SK Bhandari”, published on February 9. The joint medical superintendent of the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, Dr SK Bhandari, has denied that there was any move for his extension. In a communication to The Tribune, Dr Bhandari stated that he had neither applied for extension nor was there any such move from the department, as was stated in the report. He is scheduled to retire on April 30. Any damage inadvertently caused to Dr Bhandari’s reputation is regretted. - TNS

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