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Admn orders probe into garbage plant
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
In a major embarrassment to the MC top brass, the city administration today ordered an inquiry into the “non-functioning” of the controversial garbage processing plant at Dadu Majra here.

The Home Secretary-cum-Secretary, Local Government, Ram Niwas, marked the inquiry to the DC, RK Rao. Rao would inquire into the current status of the project, why it was non-functional and the alleged violations of terms and conditions by the promoters, Jai Parkash Associates. He would submit an interim report within 15 days.

Official sources said the inquiry had been ordered to bring out the truth behind the allegations that certain top MC officials were trying to favour the Jaypee Group.

The promoter had been given five extensions, besides the usual time frame, for the completion of the project. The pallets-to-power technology plant, considered to be the first of its kind in the North, had been mired in controversy for a long time. After the signing of the MoU between the civic body and Jai Parkash Associates on July 8, 2005, the plant was scheduled to start within a year. However, it was only after the third extension that UT administrator SF Rodrigues inaugurated it in May last year.

The inauguration sparked off a controversy with the then Mayor, Pardeep Chhabra, and Congress councillors boycotting the function. Chhabra wanted either the Union Home Minister or Union Minister for Urban Development to inaugurate the project but MC officials finalised Rodrigues’ name.

Welcoming the inquiry, Chhabra alleged that MC officials and Jaypee Associates were “colluding” with each other to deprive residents of the benefits of the state-of-the-art plant.

“The inquiry should fix responsibility on government officials, who had caused huge losses to the state exchequer by withdrawing the show-cause notices and not imposing a fine on the company for violating the terms and conditions of the MoU,” he said.

Constructed at a cost of Rs 30 crore on build-operate-own-transfer model, the plant was touted to be a milestone in processing garbage in an eco-friendly manner. However, the non-functional plant has forced residents of Dadu Majra to live in awful conditions as garbage is reportedly dumped in an adjoining dumping ground there.

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Fiza appears before SP
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 20
Responding to the notice issued by the Mohali police, Fiza, the estranged ladylove and the second wife of Chand Mohammed, former Haryana Deputy Chief Minister, today appeared before SP (City) Varinder Pal Singh.

She was questioned for about an hour by the cops. While talking to mediapersons at the SSP office in Phase I here, she said she was limiting herself to the contents mentioned in her criminal complaint.

The SP (City) said she had been asked to bring various documents in support of her complaint. The documents would be produced on the next date of hearing. On the other hand, the representative of Chand Mohammed had sought some time before replying to the query. A representative of the Kalka MLA said they had yet to get the complaint.

It may be mentioned, citing violation of the human rights, the Global Human Rights Council has moved a petition before the Punjab Human Rights Commission stating that the SSP, Mohali, had failed to act on the criminal complaint filed Fiza against the Kalka MLA.

Acting on the petition, the Commission has summoned the SSP, Mohali, and the MLA for February 25. The human rights body in its petition mentioned that though the victim had accused in her complaint the MLA of cheating her by changing his faith with the intention to rape her, the police had failed to act and register an FIR. The police was dilly-dallying in registration of case.

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Police only for VIPs?
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 20
VIP duties have taken a toll on investigation by the police here. Shortage of staff, coupled with a substantial number of police personnel busy with VIP duties, anti-encroachment drive and traffic management on highways, ensures that criminal investigation takes a back seat.

The police has failed to solve dozens of criminal cases, even as police officials, on the condition of anonymity, said a major chunk of the 700-odd police personnel remained busy with managing the movement of VIPs who were either staying in the town or visiting it.

Panchkula houses the headquarters of a majority of government departments, including police, pollution, Shakti Bhavan, HSIIDC, HUDA and the Haryana Housing Board.

This forces the police to spare a big part of its staff for making VIP movement smooth. Two highways running through the district also aggravates the problem as the traffic has to be managed.

Besides, the district shares borders with Punjab, Himachal and the UT, making its border porous, officials said.

For hundreds of villages and three towns of Raipur Rani, Kalka, and Pinjore, the district is equipped with only 700 police personnel and 13 control rooms.

There have been times when the police had to postpone the rounding up petty criminals so that VIP duties were not hampered, a senior police officer admitted.

Meanwhile, residents continue to feel insecure. “Even as successive governments claimed to have developed the town on a par with Chandigarh, the residents are not even provided with a secure environment,” SK Nayyar, president of the Citizens Welfare Association, said.

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Govt school playground marriage venue
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mullanpur Garibdass (Mohali), February 20
Even as the annual examinations of the Punjab School Education Board are beginning tomorrow, the panchayat continues to distract students of Muna Lal Puri Government Senior Secondary School here. On a nominal charge of Rs 1,000 each, the panchayat today allowed two marriages in the school playground.

Tents were pitched in front of the main entrance of the building. Not only did the blaring music distract the attention of students, some students were seen roaming around the tents. The organisers had covered the ground right up to the outer boundary wall of the school.

The district education officer, Niranjan Singh, said he was inquiring into the matter as it had been brought to his notice earlier in the day. It was unfortunate that the panchayat was allowing the use of the playground for such purposes, he said.

“It is a crucial period for students of Classes X and XII. It is not the first time that marriage functions are being held here,” a student said.

Dewan Singh, sarpanch, while confirming the renting out of the playground for marriage functions, said it was panchayat land and the money went towards the welfare of the village.

He, however, admitted that the activity affected students. “We are trying to find an alternative place for holding such functions,” the sarpanch said.

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Rose Fest: Visitors get thorny reception
Neha Miglani

Chandigarh, February 20
It is an irony that a potted plant of a local college principal was drawing much more attention on the Day 1 of the Rose Festival than the roses in the flowerbeds at the Rose Garden. The much-publicised Rose Festival will come to pass without the roses in the flowerbeds at the Asia's largest Rose Garden.

Thanks to the weather conditions this year coupled with the need to replace the old plants, the visitors on Day 1 appeared to be disappointed at the barren flowerbeds.


Schoolchildren perform a dance on the first day of the Rose Festival in Chandigarh on Friday. A Tribune photograph

Those tourists who had come to the city after a long time could make out the difference. “I am visiting Chandigarh after seven years and I am shocked to see the state of the garden. There are hardly any roses in the flowerbeds,” said Dr Sukhbir, a visitor who is in city for a visit to the PGI. Samanpreet, a student from Panchkula added, “I have been coming to the Rose Festival each year with my parents, but this year the roses are very less as compared to last year.”

The existing plants at the garden have grown old, with dried leaves and desiccated branches and also the sprouting of roses has stopped in those flowerbeds.

Additionally, the weather has played its role. “There is an increase in the temperature as compared to past few years, the most appropriate temperature for roses to blossom being 12-22 degree Celsius,” informs Surinder Pal, director, agriculture meteorology department.

Chief engineer, Krishanjit Singh remarks, "We have called for about 250 new species and some of them have been planted while others are yet to planted."

Though the authorities claim to add more species this year, the fact remains that the flowerbeds remain devoid of roses even as there is an exorbitant display of potted flowers at the festival. Reacting to this an official from the horticulture department said, "We are adding new varieties of roses and by next Rose Festival, the garden will have ample roses.

It is pertinent to mention, that there are more than 5,000 species of roses in the world and Chandigarh Rose garden contains more than 600 of them. But the catch is that when an event of such magnitude is taking place, the authorities could have planned, the replacement of roses well before time. The new species being called for will further need time for sprouting and budding.

So while the Chandigarh Tourism claims the mega event to contain music and dance performances, fashion show and musical nights, the real beauty of the Rose Garden has gone missing in all this glitter without the most important ingredient of the festival — the roses.

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Major embarrassment for Mayor
Commissioner refuses pay to two employed at camp office

Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Employing two persons in her camp office in Sector 24 has landed Mayor Kamlesh in trouble after the Municipal Commissioner reportedly refused to pay their salaries from the MC account.

To top it all, he has also sent a letter to Home Secretary-cum-Secretary, Local Government, in this regard.

According to sources, Kamlesh had on February 10 told the Commissioner in writing that she had kept two daily wagers - Khyali Ram and Mayanand - at her camp office.

In the letter, she stated that the two had been employed in class IV category and they be paid from the account of the engineering wing of the MC as was the practice. She had ordered to give their salaries in retrospect from January 1.

Kamlesh, who was elected as Mayor on January 1, had employed the two on the first day of office itself and without bringing it to the notice of officials.

In reply to her letter, Commissioner Roshan Sankaria referring to a notification on February 27, 2004 stating that as per a notification for employing any person on permanent, temporary, daily wages, part time or any other, either the post should be advertised in newspapers or names be asked from the employment exchange.

He also stated that employing daily wagers was already barred in UT.

The Commissioner added that according to the Punjab Municipal Act, which is applicable to Chandigarh, Section 71 B(1), only the Commissioner had the right to employ/recruit a worker.

According to Supreme Court’s ruling, no backdoor entries could be made in any government office, he noted.

The Commissioner stated that if the Mayor needed the two employees, she should have sent a letter to him after following proper procedure and employment should have been made.

Therefore, both class IV employees as kept by the Mayor cannot be paid their salaries under any account of the MC, he added.

During her previous tenure as Mayor, Kamlesh had bought furniture for the same camp office. Then, the issue of payment of furniture bills had snowballed into a major controversy.

Ram Niwas, Home Secretary-cum Secretary, said all rules should be followed and no violations would be allowed.

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Female foeticide: Mohali fails to nail offenders
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, February 20
Even though the sex ratio of Mohali district is 805 to 1,000, the authorities have failed to nail even a single offender under the PNDT Act since the formation of the district about three years ago.

The records of the district police reveal that since 2006 there have been only three cases of booking of alleged offenders. Two of these cases have been recommended for cancellation by the police while one has made little headway.

There has been no report in the recent past of the designated health officials sending decoy customers to clinics, nursing homes or other premises using ultrasound facility under suspicion to find out the truth with the result that the loathsome practice continues with impunity. As many as 36 ultrasound centres are registered with the health department.

As per police records, a case under Sections 313 and 120 B of the IPC and relevant sections of the MTP Act, 1971, was registered against the owner of a maternity home & general hospital in Phase I, a doctor of Chandigarh, and two women on February 16, 2006, on a complaint of SMO in charge of the Civil Hospital Lalit Mohan. All the four were arrested by the police.

The SMO had raided the private hospital with a team of doctors after he got to know that a female foetus was being allegedly aborted. A dead foetus and instruments used in the abortion were allegedly recovered by the raiding team. A number of sub-inspectors investigated the matter from time to time and an inquiry into the case was later done by a DSP.

The DSP stated in his report that based on the statements of witnesses, available record and medical opinion it was found that a woman had delivered a 27/28 week old foetus, which was not a violation of the MTP Act and as such he recommended the cancellation of the case and release of the arrested persons.

The second case was registered against a doctor of a clinic in Phase III B I under Sections 4 and 5 of the MTP Act, 1971 after a team of doctors from the Civil Hospital raided the clinic and allegedly recovered instruments used in abortion activities. The case was probed by a Kharar DSP who had recommended its cancellation since no woman indulging in female foeticide was found by the raiding team and no complaint was received against the doctor from any public person.

The third case registered against a woman and a man of a clinic in Landran under the MTP Act made little headway as a team of doctors was not called for seizing instruments used in carrying out abortions and instead the seizure was done by police on its own.

Mohali Civil Surgeon Avtar Singh today admitted that nothing much had been done regarding female foeticide ever since the Mohali district came into existence. He said, however, he had recently sent a show cause notice and later a warning to a hospital in Sector 71, which had purchased a colour Doppler machine, used for echo cardiography and not informed the authorities concerned in this regard.

This month the licence of a hospital in Zirakpur was suspended for a week as the owner had failed to maintain a proper record and also to put up the prohibition board regarding sex determination in Punjabi language. Similarly, a show cause notice was also sent to a hospital in Baltana for not putting up the prohibition board in Punjabi, added the Civil Surgeon.

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Protest against Justice Uma Nath
Bar boycott continues

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
The standoff continues. It seems that the compromise arrived at by the Bar and the Bench this afternoon to suspend the agitation over Justice Uma Nath Singh’s way of functioning has ended in a fiasco.

It only means that the boycott of Justice Uma Nath Singh’s court by the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association continues.

Justice Uma Nath Singh had on Thursday indicated he would issue a contempt notice to the Bar Association president and a counsel, MK Tiwari.

The Judge was visibly unhappy with the way Tiwari was arguing a matter on January 20 and had warned him of contempt notice. Tiwari had taken up the issue with the Bar Association, which in turn had discussed it with Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur.

Available information suggests Justice Uma Nath Singh had taken strong exception to the way the issue was being handled. Reacting to the move to issue contempt notice, the Bar had, on Thursday, resolved to stay away from his court.

In an attempt to resolve the crisis, a committee of Justice JS Khehar and Justice Jasbir Singh appointed by Chief Justice Thakur held an hour long meeting with the Bar at around 11.30 am.

It is believed the two-Judge committee proposed that Justice Uma Nath Singh would neither head a Division Bench, nor sit single.

The Bar’s executive then placed the proposal before the General House during a meeting held at about 1 pm. The Bar, subsequently, accepted the proposal “coming from the Judges’ committee”, while reiterating the demand for Justice Uma Nath Singh’s immediate transfer.

The decision, however, evoked sharp response — vocal from the Bar, and silent from the Bench. Some advocates, particularly the younger lot, were of the firm belief the Bar had simply accepted the proposal coming from the Judges, and making Justice Uma Nath Singh sit as a junior Judge in a Division Bench was just not enough.

A section of Judges, on the other hand, was of the view Justice Uma Nath Singh was being made a victim in the entire process.

In any case, a three-page resolution suspending the agitation, signed by Bar secretary Harkesh Manuja and president Rupinder Khosla, was presented to Chief Justice Thakur.

Later in the evening, Khosla said the agreement was “in limbo”, as the Bar wanted adoption of stringent measures.

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Koser Award for tabla maestro, dancer
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 20
Keeping the tradition of excellence in promoting the deserving artists and the Indian classical arts alive, the Pracheen Kala Kendra presented the fifth annual “Guru Madan Lal Koser - Guru Shobha Koser Award” for their lifelong contribution in their respective realms of performing arts.

Padma Shree Nek Chand accompanied by IAS SK Monga conferred the honour with Rs 51,000, a citation, memento and shawl each to Kokata-based tabla wizard Pandit Shankar Ghosh and Kathak queen Guru Sunayana of Benarasr gharana from Mumbai in a felicitation function at Randhawa Auditorium here today.

Kendra registrar Shobha Koser and secretary Sajal Koser welcomed the chief guest and introduced the artists.

The concert of music and dance that followed the ceremony left the audience spellbound. Shankar Ghosh displayed his ingenuity, which ushered in a new style of playing tabla. He began his recital with traditional starting point Peshkar in a rarely heard 9 matra beat cycle.

Shankar introduced a wide range of phrases and sounds and explained their significance before delineating the Qayida, Relas, Tukre and Chakradar Parans, Paltas besides tukde and a chakradhar composition on tabla with utmost precision. Navtej Singh accompanied the maestro for Nagma on 
harmonium.

Guru Sunayana Hazarilal also regaled the audience with her fine combination of intensive abhinaya and technical expertise while executing the fundamental patterns of the Banaras gharana kathak after a vandana recital. Then she presented pure kathak sequences to the point of perfection. She concluded her recital with a jugalbandi with tabla. Somnath Mishra (vocal) and tabla maestro Kalinath Mishra provided excellent support to her.

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Transplantation Act grossly misused, claims doctor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Loopholes in the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994 have played a havoc with women and poor in the country as it not only makes it possible for the wealthy and influential to purchase kidneys but also forces women to part with one of their kidneys to save their ailing husbands.

Studies have revealed that women consist of 90 per cent of total kidney donors.

Prof RK Gupta, founder president of Indian Society of Renal and Transplantation Pathology, here today said the Act restricted organ transplant to blood relatives (father, mother, son, daughter, wife, husband, sister and brother), near and distant relatives and also those who came forward to donate out of love and affection.

The inclusion of wife as relative and last category of donors out of love had become handy for the rich and influential, he said.

Professor Gupta, who was here to attend a three-day International CME on Renal and Transplantation Pathology, which started at PGI today, said 90 per cent recipients were found to be men.

It was the outcome of considering spouse as relative while husband and wife are not relatives, he said adding that marriage was a contractual arrangement. This was being exploited by unscrupulous elements.

There were several instances wherein the rich from abroad had come to India and married young girls before they extracted kidney from their wives and fled to their destinations, leaving the hapless women to die in the absence of costly follow-up of post-transplantation treatment, he said.

In developed countries, organs for transplantation come from dead as there is a mechanism to transport or airlift it where it is required immediately after it is donated by the relatives of deceased.

On the contrary, in India kidneys are transplanted only when a living relative agrees to donate one, said Dr Gupta.

There was a huge requirement of kidneys to save renal patients as every year around two lakh people are converted to non-treatable cases while the availability of kidneys was as low as just 2 to 5 per cent, he said.

And this shortage leads to kidney transplant scandals like at Gurgaon and Amritsar, added Dr Gupta.

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Conference on clinical research, training
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 20
A three-day symposium on “Clinical Research and Training” was inaugurated today by Prof Ranjit Roy Chaudhary, clinical pharmacologist and chairman, Apollo Task Force for Research, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Punjab.

Dr Vasanta Muthuswamy, former deputy director-general, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, delivered the keynote address.

Prof Ranjit Roy Chaudhary said, “I have been closely associated with NIPER and have admired the commitment of this institute towards the excellence.”

He added that health comes to the centre stage with the development phase of our country and in the field of health, medicines play a very important role.

Talking about the National Rural Health Misson (NRHM), he said the empowered state where this programme was running; there were plentiful drugs available at the health care centres.

He further said every fifth drug was produced in India. He added, “We have shown our strength by the production of retroviral drugs at a cheaper cost.” Talking about drug discovery, he said almost 14 compounds discovered in Indian laboratories were undergoing clinical trials.

Prof P Rama Rao, director, NIPER, appealed to the participants that this symposium would give an excellent opportunity to come together and exchange ideas with reference to the clinical research. He said through this, a model syllabus would be developed that would fortify the clinical research training in broader aspects.

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Girl dies, parents allege murder
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 20
The parents of a six-year-old girl from Ramgarh have alleged that their daughter was poisoned, leading to her death here yesterday. The girl, identified as Pratibha, had died under mysterious circumstances after she was admitted at the General Hospital on Wednesday.

The father of the deceased said the girl returned home after playing outside and started vomiting. Since then her condition started deteriorating and they took her to the hospital by 6 pm where she did not recover and died. However, no complaint was lodged with the police.

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Cash Scam
Ravinder’s plea rejected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
The CBI Special Court of Jagdeep Jain today dismissed the application of Ravinder Singh, an accused in cash-at-judge’s door case, wherein he had sought for dropping of charges against him before the investigation was completed.

Dismissing the application, the court held, “The court cannot direct the investigating agency to drop charges against Ravinder as the investigation is still pending.”

The case was adjourned to April 17. The other accused arrested in this case, former Haryana additional advocate-general Sanjeev Bansal and Panchkula-based property dealer Rajiv Gupta, had claimed that the money belonged to Singh. Rajiv had claimed that he had delivered Rs 15 lakh at a judge’s house after the first packet containing an equal sum of money had landed at Justice Nirmaljit Kaur’s house.

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Family ‘assaulted’ by cops
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 20
A resident of House No. 286, Phase VII, lodged a complaint with the SP (City) alleging that he and his family was being assaulted by the police when they had come to search his house yesterday.

Yogesh Kumar Sharma, who works at a printing press in Panchkula, alleged that when a police team led by DSP-level officer had come to raid his neighbour’s house, they even searched his house and assaulted him and his family. He claimed that when his wife asked for search warrants she was also assaulted by the police. The police told them that they had come in the search of pirated CDs on a tip off.

The complainant had come with his complaint to SP (City) Varinder Pal Singh. The inquiry has been marked to DSP-I, Mohali. Police officials said action would be taken if any police personnel was found guilty.

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Rodrigues visits Sec-20 mosque
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
UT Administrator SF Rodrigues visited Jama Masjid and listened to the problems of members of the Muslim community in Sector 20 today.

Rodrigues exhorted them to be instruments of change and contribute effectively in different fields of endeavour by active participation and involvement.

“It is time to change our mindset and attitudes and avail of the opportunities in education and other fields to empower ourselves for seeing a better tomorrow,” he said.

He said the proposed education city and medicity had ample programmes to benefit the poor and needy.

He added that according to a survey in the city, there were 394 religious places of different faiths but only 96 were legitimate.

The courts had already taken a serious note of the trend of illegal structures and a holistic approach must be adopted to lead a life within the paramters of law of the land.

Mullana Shakeel Ahamad and Azmal Khan put forth a charter of demands.

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F&CC meeting deferred

Chandigarh, February 20
The F&CC meeting of the Chandigarh municipal corporation that was scheduled for today was postponed for tomorrow. However, some issues that were discussed included widening of V5 and V6 roads, increasing of ward development fund of each councillor from for Rs 30 lakh to Rs 40 lakh, development of Industrial Area, 24-hour food streets, opening of community centres and community parking at an estimated cost of Rs 5 crore, MC guest house at a cost of Rs 2 crore beside others. — TNS

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De-addiction centre filthy, says SDM
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, February 20
A surprise visit at de-addiction centre Chetna in Dhakoli, here, by the SDM, Dera Bassi and the DSP revealed that the condition of the centre was filthy.

According to the sources, it was found that around 32 inmates that were admitted at the de-addiction centre were living in an unhygienic condition.

The sources said they all were adjusted in a single room that had only three beds and the room was in a very bad state. The SDM said the detailed report would be submitted to the district administration.

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Communication trends discussed

Banur, February 20
Two-day national conference on emerging trends in communication started today at central SVIET campus, Ramnagar.

Various speakers in the conference discussed a wide range of interdisciplinary topics as next generation networks, sensor and ad-hoc networks, wireless communication, embedded systems, data acquisition system, nano-photonics, Wi-Fi and WiMax, antenna and many more. — TNS

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Guv for forming NSS alumni body

Chandigarh, February 20
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator SF Rodrigues, while honouring the NCC cadets and officers from Punjab and UT who took part in the Republic Day parade at New Delhi, advocated the need for creating an alumni association of NCC cadets to periodically meet and share their perceptions with the focus on ensuring linkage with the ideals of discipline, commitment and service to the nation. Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal pleaded for motivating the youth to join armed forces. — TNS

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EDUCATION
 

Bogus Degree Case
Education dept yet to take action
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Its been over three months that the departmental inquiry in the bogus degree case of Amar Singh, lecturer (under suspension) Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, has concluded but the department is yet to initiate any further action.

The report that was officially released in October last year declared that the masters degree possessed by Amar, on the basis of which he was promoted as a lecturer, was fake but in the light of the sequence of events leading to obtaining a degree, it cannot be positively said that he had obtained the degree fraudulently.

The report also recommended a thorough probe by some investigating agency to further investigate the charges of sending a fake reply to the department on behalf of Magadh University confirming the genuineness of his degrees.

In December 2007 education department claimed to have discovered that the degree on the basis of which Amar was promoted as a lecturer was bogus and had been arranged through unscrupulous elements from the Magadh University, Bodh Gaya, Bihar.

The teacher was caught unaware when a special team of officials of the education department on a visit to Bihar University reportedly found that the teacher never appeared in the exams.

The team reported to the department about their findings, implying that the degrees were fake. Amar was working as a maths lecturer at GMSSS during that time when he ‘managed’ to obtain a degree in mathematics from Magadh University, in 1992.

The investigating team reportedly verified that no one in the name of Amar appeared and he never took any leave during to take any examination.

It was even alleged that he produced fake letters on behalf of Magadh University with fake signatures claiming his degrees to be genuine. Following which a case of cheating and forgery under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC was registered against him on the complaint of the DPI (S) who later marked an inquiry into it.

The inquiry report has been submitted and even department’s inaction is perturbing many, including Amar himself.

“The report has declared that my degree is fake so the department is free to go forward and cut the increment provided to me on its basis and reinstate me. The report has also given me a benefit of doubt as nowhere the charges of fraud have been proved but the department has not cancelled the chargesheet also. I have submitted several representations but of no use. The department is sitting on the report and I am still suspended,” said Amar.

Amar will have a hearing with Ram Niwas, Home Secretary (UT), who when questioned on department’s failure to recruit a probe agency, as recommended by the Inquiry Officer, to investigate said, “Department is not bound by the inquiry officer’s recommendation.”

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Battle for VC’s post hots up
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Though the tenure of the existing Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University completes in July, the corridors of the campus are agog with discussions on the likely extension of RC Sobti or new candidates who are in fray for the post of Vice-Chancellor.

Well wishers of Sobti are of the view that, as he has been recently awarded with the Padma Shree, he would be getting extension for the next term also. But persons in the opponent camp feel that there is a long list of new candidates who would be more suitable for the post.

Sources in the campus reveal that those candidates, who were in the fray in the last term, are suitable candidates for the VC’s post, including Vir Singh, former DUI of the university. Beside this, other names which are in speculative list from arts faculty includes BS Ghuman, Ronki Ram, JK Chauhan and Deep Mohan Singh.

Candidates from Amritsar University and Patiala University are also in the fray. Though a number of names were in the fray but due to ensuing Lok Sabha elections the picture would be clear only after its outcome, sources added.

Experts opined that the National party, which is in power, influences the search committee. Those candidates who have no political back up find less chances of even approaching the search committee.

If one goes by the trend, preference is usually given to the senior professors of the university. Experts stated that for the last two tenures professors from the science faculty had been selected but this time it is expected to be from the arts stream.

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Teachers seek uniform pay
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
A meeting of All-India Federation of Polytechnic Teachers’ organisation (AICTE) was held here today to discuss the implementation of the AICTE pay scales.

The meeting was attended by more than 50 affiliated members. R Bhaskar, vice-president of the AIFPO while stressing that the research activities and consultancy projects be encouraged demanded uniform implementation of pay scales and service conditions in all states and UTs.

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