C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


LS nod to market rates for acquired land
Could put spanner in admn’s mega projects

Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
With the Lok Sabha passing the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 2007, and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007, today, the UT farmers, locked in a tug-of-war with the Chandigarh administration over acquisition of its controversial mega projects, including its flagship IT Park in Kishangarh, have finally something to cheer about.

In fact, when the Bill become a law after getting nod from the Rajya Sabha and the President, the UT farmers will hope to get compensation on Punjab pattern, besides other rehabilitation benefits.

The bills, which take care of the land compensation rate concerns and rehabilitation problems of the farmers, could put a spanner in the mega projects of the administration, particularly Phase III of the IT Park.

The administration, which had already announced a meagre compensation of about Rs 18.5 lakh per acre for the Phase III, should start the acquisition process again when the Bill becomes law in the interest of the people, Kultar Nat, a Kishangarh resident, said.

Minister of State for Finance Pawan Bansal, who could get a shot in the arm in the backdrop of the passage of the Bill in the run-up to the Lok Sabha poll, told The Tribune over phone from New Delhi that now the farmers could get “just compensation” for their acquired lands.

Under the new Bills, the acquisition for the “public purpose” had been restricted to “strategic purposes vital to the state and for the infrastructure projects where the benefits accrue to the general public".

“The provision of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, is also used to acquire private land for companies. This raises a question mark on the desirability of such state intervention when land could be arranged by the company through private negotiations on a ‘willing-seller, willing-buyer’ basis, which could be seen as a fairer arrangement from the point of view of the landowner. In view of this, it is desirable to omit the provisions of acquisition of land for companies in the Act,” the Bill says.

However, only a limited portion of the land could be acquired through state intervention after purchase by private negotiations for “public purposes”.

Taking care of another concern of the farmers about market price for acquired land, the Bill underlined that “requirement providing a fair compensation at market value commensurate with the purpose for which the acquired land would be used.”

"In view of the involuntary nature of the acquisition, adequate solatium amount should be offered to the land owners and the amount may be higher in case of acquisition under urgency, the Bill clarified.

Virtually making the farmers stakeholders in the projects, the Bill said whenever the acquired land is transferred to any person for consideration, a part of the net unearned income so accruing to the transferor will be shared amongst the persons from whom the lands were acquired or their heirs, in proportion of the value at the lands were acquired.

Meanwhile, the new resettlement policy aimed at to give a statutory backing to the provisions of the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007 and provide for a social impact assessment and making plans for the benefits of the affected families.



Cheating case against gurdwara head, 2 others
Tribune New Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The Chandigarh Police today registered a case of cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and under the provisions of the Passport Act against controversial Baba Sarup Singh, Baba Gurdeep Singh of Santsar Sahib Gurdwara, Sector 38, and an alleged terrorist Gurbej Singh, alias Sonu, for preparing fake documents to procure a passport for Sonu.

According to DSP (CID) Satbir Singh, the special crime investigation cell of the Chandigarh police received information in February regarding close links of Baba Sarup Singh and Sonu, who is presently lodged in a Ludhiana jail.

Sonu of Pakharpur village in Amritsar district, along with Manjit Singh Mika, was arrested by the Jagroan police on June 17, 2008, with 24 kg of explosives.

A case under Sections 121 (waging war against India), 121 (A), 153 and 153-A promoting enmity between different group in the name of religion, 120-B (criminal conspiracy) under the provision of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 and 4 of the Explosive Act was registered against the accused.

The DSP informed that Sonu reportedly stayed at gurdwara from November 2005 to June 2007. The police learnt that he had made two passports by furnishing different details. As per one passport (B-3780420) issued by the Regional Passport Office (RPO), Jalandhar, his date of birth was mentioned as January 20, 1982, while in the second passport (F-9644166) issued by the RPO, Chandigarh, his date of birth was mentioned as July 28, 1982. It was found that he had furnished an affidavit mentioning his place of birth, date of birth and other particulars by giving address of the gurdwara.

The police said Sonu had submitted a copy of the ration card in which he showed himself as a cousin of Baba Gurdeep Singh. The police found that while Baba belonged to a different caste “tarkhan” (carpenter) Sonu is Jatsikh. He also mentioned himself as illiterate in the documents.

The DSP added that the police conducted inquiries and found that Sonu had done his matriculation from government school in his village in 1998, in which his date of birth was mentioned as January 20, 1982. It was established during the probe that both Baba Sarup Singh and Baba Gurdeep Singh had connived with Sonu and facilitated him in forging documents to procure him a passport by concealing facts.

The police said a case had been registered against the trio and the police would move a local court tomorrow to procure production warrants for Sonu to bring him to the city to thoroughly investigate the matter. The police has already registered a case of rioting and attempt to murder against Baba Sarup Singh on January 30 and had launched a manhunt to arrest the Baba and his associates.

The police has already arrested about a dozen persons for assaulting the enforcement staff and the police which had gone to the gurdwara on January 30 to raze an illegal structure.



I-T raids on property dealers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
In a major operation to uncover undeclared wealth, officials of the Income Tax Department today conducted raids on at least five commercial premises and three residential premises of Motia’s Group at several places in Panchkula, Derabassi, Zirakpur and Baddi today.

In early morning, simultaneous raids were also launched on business and residential premises of another well-known property dealer Subhash Mangat and Company, Sector 22, owned by Subhash Mangat. The raids were continuing till the filing of this report.

According to sources, Motia Developers has three big projects of residential flats and Mall in Zirakpur, Derabasi and Baddi. Housing project “Real Estate” is one of them. The group owned by five directors includes Pawan Bansal, Krishan Kant Goyal and Keval Bansal.

Deputy Director Income Tax (Investigation) Praveen Sidhartha said the raids were part of a major operation conducted by the department at various places.

According to sources, income tax officials have detected tax evasion worth several crores of rupees during the raids conducted on both groups.

Several teams of the department, comprising more than 100 officials and supporting staff, conducted the raids.

The IT officials descended on the business premises of the two groups in the morning and carried out a detailed inspection of account books, IT returns for the past three years, documents relating to sale and purchase and physical verification of stocks.

The raiding teams were reported to have questioned partners and directors of the business houses and some of the key staff members. During the raids, entry and exit from the premises were restricted and telephone calls barred. While the officials refused to say anything about the details of raids, sources in the department revealed that these were initiated on the basis of specific information that these business groups were reportedly indulging in fudging of accounts and filing returns, which were grossly disproportionate to their sources of income.

It was learnt that the IT officials had seized a large number of incriminating documents, details of financial transactions, computer data and account books of these business houses, which were still being processed to arrive at the amount of concealed income so that additional tax liability and penalty, if warranted, could be raised against them.



Survey on premises of Alchemist promoter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The Income Tax Department also conducted a survey on the residential premises of promoter of multi-crore newly opened Alchemist hospital at Panchkula in Sector 9 here today.

The income tax sleuths started survey at the residential premises of promoter of Alchemist KD Singh in the afternoon and it was still on till the filing of the report.

However, the officials refused to divulge the details of the survey.



Rehabilitation Colonies
Admn allows extra floor in houses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
Keeping in view the requirements of people, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to allow one extra floor on the houses in the rehabilitation colonies of Chandigarh.

At present, they are allowed only two floors, including the ground floor.

However, this will be subject to structural safety of the building so that the existing floor on which the extra floor has to be built has sufficient load bearing capacity to avoid any mishap due to any weak structure or other natural calamity.

People had also represented that although they got their living spaces in the colonies any commercial activity for self-employment opportunities were not being allowed in these areas.

Keeping in view the persistent demand of the residents of the colonies, it has been decided by the Chandigarh Administration to allow limited commercial activities on part of the ground floor spaces for small, environmental-friendly cottage activities for self-employment purposes.

Officials said this would go a long way in supplementing the colony residents' income.

However, no amalgamation or partition on the ground floor for pursuing self-employment opportunities will be allowed.

Meanwhile, the administration has effected certain amendments in the Chandigarh Allotment of Prefab Shelter for the Rehabilitation of Ragpickers on Licence Basis Scheme, 2008.

The scheme would make all those applicants (ragpickers) eligible for allotment of prefab shelter, who have anyone of the said paper, namely his/her name in the voter list, a ration card, a driving licence in his/her name, his/her child admission card in government school/ college/ aanganwari centre or holding an electricity bill for a rented accommodation in a slum as on or before the date of notification.


Hallo Majra Dispute
Mayor lock horns with Joint Commissioner
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The issue pertaining to a recent dispute over opening of a window between two residents of Hallo Majra is getting more complicated instead of being solved with Mayor Kamlesh’s intervention. It has been alleged that Mayor Kamlesh is siding with that Congress leader who has not only encroached upon a public street but has also been booked by the police.

Joint commissioner TPS Phoolka, who is enquiring into this matter, said as per the records available with the MCC, it had been pointed out that he had encroached upon a public street. Top it all, the Mayor also locked horns with the joint commissioner today on the issue of where should the enquiry be held in this regard.

According to sources, the Mayor wanted to hold the enquiry in her room while as per the protocol, the enquiry was to be held in the joint commissioner’s room.

Consequently, when she asked the joint commissioner to come in her room with all his paraphernalia, including plans of the area, and other related along with officials of the building plans approval committee, he refused to do so stating that as an enquiry officer it was against the rules.

It must be mentioned here that Satish Kainth, who had once contested elections for the MCC on the Congress ticket had alleged that his neighbour, Munish Kumar, had opened a window in his house.

Following this, the Mayor along with the joint commissioner and other officials of the MCC visited the site on February 21.

The joint commissioner asked both the parties to come to the MCC today with the documents of their respective plots.

In this regard, Munish Kumar also said when the officials had come to visit the site, Mayor’s husband Banarasi Das along with Satish hurled abuses at the MCC officials and put allegations of demanding money on them.

Later when the officials left the spot, both the parties entered into a fight and the Mayor’s husband’s presence was indicated in the incident.

It has also been alleged that at the time of incident, the Mayor’s car was also there and got damaged with the windowpane of the driver’s seat also broken.

Interestingly while both the parties were called today to the joint commissioner’s office with the documents of their respective plots in the area, Congressman Satish said to be a close friend of the Mayor’s husband, chose to sit in the Mayor’s room while other Munish Kumar reached the office of the joint commissioner with his documents.

TPS Phoolka, said, “We kept calling Satish to the office where the enquiry was to take place but he didn’t turn up. The other party came and showed us their documents. If Satish had the valid documents, he could have come to the office to join the enquiry.”

On the other hand, Satish Kainth alleged that the officers have been demanding money for passing the building plans and has also demanded a CBI enquiry in this matter.

He also alleged that the officials have wrongfully approved Munish’s building plan. Phoolka said he would submit the report tomorrow to the MC commissioner and had also apprised him of the matter today.



Admn gets tough on illegal religious structures
Serves notice on Sector 49 gurdwara

Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The Chandigarh administration has decided to crack the whip on illegal religious structures encroaching upon the public land.

Close on the heels of the demolition at Gurdwara Santsar in Sector 38 (West), the administration today served notice on a gurdwara in Sector 49 for allegedly constructing the structure without getting the building plan approved.

According to sources, the gurdwara management allegedly did not make full payment of the two kanals of land allotted to it. The construction activity had been going on at the site leading to protest by residents of nearby cooperative group housing societies.

In a representation to senior UT functionaries, including the UT Administrator, the Home Secretary and the Finance Secretary, residents of the Nirwana Society, the Golden Super Society and the Verka Enclave had accused the gurdwara management of encroachment.

Meanwhile, the administration had decided to file a criminal trespass cases against the “majaar” owner at the rare side of the petrol pump in Sector 41 and EWS House no. 729/9 in the Bapu Dham Colony for allegedly encroaching upon the public land. The decision was taken at the review meeting chaired by Home Secretary Ram Niwas.

The nodal officers in the meeting apprised that 32 illegal structures were removed in the Transport Area and seven other encroachments and unauthorised constructions were razed in Sector 20, 15 and 26. A “majaar” near the cremation ground at the roundabout of Sector 24, 25, 38 and 38 West has also been demolished by the engineering department.

It was deliberated upon to plan a massive anti-encroachment drive with the coordination of SDMs and the police. It was also decided to file criminal cases against people who are repeatedly indulging in unauthorised constructions or encroachment on government lands. Decision was also taken to remove fresh encroachments or illegal constructions without prior notice.



Aerrizona Row
Admn slaps recovery notice of Rs 30 lakh
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
Taking cognizance of the amount pending against “unpaid ground rent” for substantial period, the Chandigarh Administration has slapped a recovery notice of Rs 30 lakh to the Sector 9 discotheque Aerrizona.

The UT estate officer (EO) while rejecting the sanction appeal of the management for reviving the activities at the discotheque has also pointed certain objections in its revised building plan.

It is evident to mention that all activities of this popular disc had been suspended by the administration on the grounds of “misuse of premises”, till the removal of the objectionable structure in the building.

The enforcement wing of the estate office under the Public Premises Act had also served the eviction notice to the management.

Nevertheless, asking the management to pay the ground rent of Rs 29,99,634, the EO has specifically ordered the management to revoke all activities of the discotheque till the management shell out this amount, furnish all documentary formalities and remove the building violations.

The EO pointed out that the temporary “mumty” constructed on the roof of the discotheque does not fulfill the building bylaws and the tower on the terrace of the building was installed without seeking its approval from the administration.

The documentary deficiencies pinpointed by the EO were the non-submission of affidavit regarding the general power of attorney of all co-owners and attested copy of the GPA’s validity with the estate office.

The other prominent objection was that the discotheque management had failed to remove the objections raised by the Plan Advisory Committee (PAC) through registered private architect till date.

The discotheque management voluntarily consented to suspend all activities of the discotheque in the basement till they meet the mandatory conditions of the building norms.



CM woos Nayagaon voters
Daljit Cheema SAD-BJP candidate from Anandpur Sahib
Our Correspondent

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal addresses a rally at Nayagaon in Mohali
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal addresses a rally at Nayagaon in Mohali on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, February 25
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal wooed the voters in Nayagaon, near here, this evening, directing officials to provide water and power connections within a week and issue ration cards to residents.

The Chief Minister, who was addressing a public rally at Nayagaon, said a decision in this regard had been taken at a meeting of the Cabinet, held yesterday, preceded by several rounds of meetings with officers of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), water supply and sanitation wing of the public health department, department of forests and the district administration.

Badal personally told a superintending engineer of the PSEB and an executive engineer of the water supply wing, present at the rally, to provide water and power connections. The district food and supplies controller was asked to start making ration cards of the people living in the area from tomorrow.

The Chief Minister also announced a grant of Rs 25 lakh for the community centre.

He lamented that the people living so close to Chandigarh were deprived of the basic amenities. He said it was the endeavour of the SAD-BJP government to ensure an all-round development of rural and urban segments so that Punjab could be given a face lift.

Badal also announced that adequate funds would be provided for the construction of the office of the local notified area committee. He directed the forest authorities not to interfere in the development activity of the area in the guise of Punjab Land Preservation Act.

He also announced a compensation for a victim of Durali village, whose buffaloes were burnt in a fire incident.

Badal projected Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, adviser to the Chief Minister, as SAD-BJP candidate from Anandpur Sahib Parliamentary constituency and appealed to the residents to vote for him.

Earlier, Ujjagar Singh Badali, MLA, Morinda, brought the problems of the area to the notice of the Chief Minister. He said Badal was the first Chief Minister to visit Nayagaon since Independence.

Dr Cheema said the SAD-BJP government was committed for an overall development of the state and welfare of all sections of the society.



Bees target GMSSS-33 children
Discharged from hospital after first-aid

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
Panic gripped students of the primary wing of Government Model Senior Secondary School Sector 33 here today when honeybees stung them during the school lunch hour.

The incident happened on school lawns when a child playfully hit the hive with a stick and bees attacked a group of around 40 students, who suffered from stings.

“This hive was not there earlier, but was visible for the past two days only. We were playing during the recess when suddenly a boy hit the hive and hundreds of bees attacked us. We all rushed to the classrooms for cover, but many of us had already received stings,” said Anjali, a student.

According to the school staff, a small hive was spotted two days ago only and the authorities burnt it after this incident.

The entire group of 40 students was rushed to the GMCH Sector 32 for first-aid, from where they were discharged later in the evening.

“The staff got into action immediately as teachers removed the stings manually before taking the students to the hospital. All the students are perfectly fine and have been dropped to their homes,” said Surinder Kumar, Principal.

“I had come to pick up my daughter who is in class 2 and when I heard of this incident, I was shocked and rushed to the hospital immediately. I am thankful that nothing happened to her,” said one of the worried parents.

Surprisingly, the education department officials, who leave no opportunity to display their concern for students, remained absent from the entire scene.



Joint Army-civil system mooted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, Gen SF Rodrigues (retd.) today called for institutionalising a joint-consultative mechanism between the Army and the civil administration to work in unison and set up quick-reaction teams for prompt response in case of exigencies.

Presiding over the annual Civil-Military Liaison conference between the Western Command and UT Administration, he also emphasised the need for setting up a multi-disciplinary team of civil and military officers to ensure disaster management and control of the situation at a very short notice through mobilising available resources.

The conference, attended by Lt Gen TK Sapru, GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lt Gen AN Atul, Chief of Staff, Western Command and senior officers of the UT Administration, including adviser Pradip Mehra, Home Secretary Ram Niwas, Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar, discussed security measures and other issues of mutual interest at the micro-level.

General Rodrigues said an apex body of ex-servicemen, with an institutional support structure to act as a comprehensive single window mechanism for the redressal of the problems of ex-servicemen, has been established. He said district- level chapters had also been set up for responding to the specific needs of the ex-servicemen and their families.

He also called upon serving and retired members of the armed forces to expand their role for the empowerment of people through contribution in the process of social change by utilising their experience and professional expertise in grey areas.

General Sapru, in his opening remarks, said the conference aimed to effectively coordinate and synergise joint efforts to ensure peace and security in the region. He said a soldier served the nation with commitment and dedication and it was the responsibility of the establishment to watch their interests during service as well as after retirement.



UT to preserve Corbusier’s buildings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
Sparing a thought for the conservation of the City Beautiful’s legacy, the administration is studying alternatives for preserving its old buildings, designed by Le Corbusier.

These buildings would be treated with the chemical coating to fill cracks and oxidisation problem.The project has its basis in the “restoration” of the cupola parabola on the roof of the Legislative Assembly, which is being coated with this adhesive material known as ChemSeal coat imported from the United Kingdom. The Capitol Complex in Sector 1, where the assembly is located, has been identified as the core zone for attaining the status of the World Heritage site.

Elaborating further, Chief Engineer Krishanjit Singh said: “It was during the September Haryana session when we discovered the heavy seepage due to the cracks which appeared on the roof of the Assembly. With this treatment, now the cracks on its roof have already been filled and after the application of primer, a protective coating will be applied on the rooftop. After its exposure to the sun rays it will resume the natural colour of concrete and also make the building water resistant for a longer term.”

Balwan Singh, XEN (buildings), said apart from the Haryana Asembly, the part housing the Punjab Legislative Assembly is also under threat from seepage. Work on this would also be undertaken.



Review petition of public prosecutor dismissed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The Central Administrative Tribunal has dismissed the revision filed by public prosecutor Ritu Jain, who had challenged the instructions of the Punjab government on the basis of which she was not being promoted to the post of the deputy district attorney.

Ritu Jain, applicant, had challenged the order of the respondent who had informed that she was not eligible for promotion to the post of the deputy district attorney (DDA).

The tribunal dismissed the application on the grounds that the post of the deputy district attorney is a GPA post and therefore para 3 of the instructions issued by the Punjab government on September 6, 2001, can be applied in case of the applicant who had challenged these instructions. However, the tribunal had found no infirmity in the DPC’s decision.

The tribunal held, “Circumstances of the case don’t find any substance in the averments of the applicant in review application since no patent error of fact has been proved or brought on the record.”



Rs 100 cr for southern sectors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
As part of its commitment of developing the southern sectors of the city, the Chandigarh administration has allocated around Rs 100 crore for various developmental projects, with emphasis on development of educational and road infrastructure.

In a statement issued today, it was revealed that the administration had completed projects costing Rs 43.63 crore and work on projects costing Rs 56.16 crore for the development of southern sectors was in progress.

As many as 12 projects have already been completed, while 24 are under construction. As the construction work of ISBT-43 would be completed soon, bus services from ISBT-17 will be shifted to ISBT-43 to decongest traffic from Sector 17, the statement said.

To meet the future demand of electricity in the southern Sectors, a new 66-KV sub-station is under construction, which will be operational by next year. Besides, high-mask lights in accident-prone areas have been installed.



Public prosecutors’ mass leave on February 28
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 25
The difficulties for the state government are expected to be increased in the days ahead as after the engineers working in various departments of the government have gone on mass leave from today. The public prosecutors have also announced their decision to take mass casual leave on February 28, protesting allegedly against the disparity in pay scales.

The Haryana Attorneys’ Association president Surinder Bairagi, after a meeting of the association here today, said all the members would also start wearing black badges in their respective districts from tomorrow.

Bairagi said the association had been forced to resort to agitation after waiting for years as the Pay Anomalies Committee also had failed to consider their demands submitted to it. Even allowances of the prosecution department, approved by the Haryana Chief Minister, had not been cleared by the committee, he said.

While other professionals were accorded the grade pay of Rs 5,400, the public prosecutors were placed at the initial stage of Rs 4,700, he said. “The government has denied the public prosecutors the specific assured career promotion, leaving the public prosecutors deprived a lot,” he added.

Meanwhile, sub-divisional engineers from PWD (B&R), Panchayati Raj, HSAMB, HUDA, irrigation and public health have already proceeded on mass casual leave. The association has scheduled to hold a general body meeting on March 1 at Karnal to decide further course of action.



An evening dedicated to Punjabi folk
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 25
After a hectic day full of intense deliberations and brainstorming sessions by Indian and NRI delegates at the ongoing second Punjabi World Conference organised by Punjab University, the delegates were treated to a bonanza of Punjabi folk music at the PU auditorium here yesterday.

All presentations made by the students from Punjab colleges virtually translated the soul of Punjab in the three-hour programme designed by Dr Gurpreet Kaur and aptly titled as “Ikk shaam Punjabian de naam”.

Conference president Dr Jaspal Kaur Kaang welcomed the delegates from India and abroad and the chief guest S Hira Singh Gabaria and Vipan Sobti, the guest of honour.

The programme commenced with an invocatory shabad by student artistes of Janta College, Kartarpur, while Jitender Kaur of the same college sent audience in peels of laughter in a histrionic set in pastoral idiom as Khalsa College, Amritsar, artistes brought alive the folk musical culture with sleek presentation of folk orchestra.

The audience really relished the delicacy and fineness of Punjabi ghazals in an innate choreographic spectacle staged by girls of BD Arya College, Jalandhar.

The star folk artiste Gurmit Bawa supported by her talented daughters Lachi and Glory displayed the melodic richness and dynamism of pristine Punjabi folk and Sufiana gayaki with her unmatched verve and brilliance. The trio brought alive the mysticism of Sufi saint poets in “Yaar manaale”.

Besides, the display of martial arts like Gatka and rare performances by baazigar artistes enthralled the audience.



International dance fest tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 25
The Chandigarh Administration in collaboration with the Punjab Arts Council and NZCC is organising an international dance festival on February 27 at the Tagore Theatre.

The world acclaimed Russian ensemble Roza Vetrov from Moscow and Paris based “Eurochestries”, a French group, will perform for the first time in the city.

Disclosing this at a joint press conference held at the Punjab Arts Council, chairperson Harjinder Kaur disclosed that the performances would be repeated at the Sector 17 plaza on February 28, Virsa Vihar, Kapurthala, on March 1 at 6.30 pm and HMV, Jallandhar, on March 2 at 11 am.

She added that a series of programme is a part of the year-long activities to celebrate the birth centenary of Dr MS Randhawa.

Director cultural affairs, RS Verma, assured that the administration would support meaningful cultural activities by the art promoting councils, besides the three akademies of the Chandigarh Arts Council.



Tibetans take out candle march
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
Members of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress (RTYC) took out a candle march at the Sector 17 plaza to observe the year 2009 (Tibetan year 2136 of earth ox) as black year.

The activists also organised an anti-China signature campaign at Panjab University and more than 1,000 persons signed.

They appealed to their community members to forgo the New Year celebrations and to show their solidarity to those living in Tibet.

Gelak Jamyang, president, the RTYC said, “To honour the sacrifices of our martyrs and to uphold the sovereignty of our nation, we have decided not to celebrate the Tibetan New Year of 2136 earth ox year.”

He further added that the year 2009 also marked 60 years of China’s invasion over Tibet.



Uniform must for MC enforcement staff

Chandigarh, February 25
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) has made wearing of uniform mandatory for the enforcement staff.

In a meeting of the MC enforcement committee held here yesterday, it was decided to shift the areas of enforcement inspectors after every two months. The committee also desired to give a list of enforcement inspectors to all the councillors.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of MPS Chawla. — TNS



Dons present papers

Chandigarh, February 25
The IInd World Punjabi Conference entered the second day today with Prof Bhupinder Singh, Department of political science, Panjab University, Chandigarh, presiding over the function.

Three papers were presented during the session. Dr Ronki Ram presented a paper on complexities within a community, nationality and the language. — TNS



Revised Pay Scales
Teachers’ body intensifes stir
To hold rallies, campus dharna tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The Punjab Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisation (PFUCTO) has decided to intensify its agitation following the Punjab government’s failure to implement the Ministry of Human resource and Development (MHRD) notification on revised pay scales for teachers and other equivalent cadres.

The PFUCTO will hold campus dharnas and rallies throughout the state on February 27. On March 2, regional rallies will be held simultaneously at Amritsar, Jalandhar, Bathinda, Ludhiana, Patiala and Chandigarh and on March 3, a 72-hour education bandh in institutions of higher education will be observed.

Teachers of colleges and university based at Chandigarh will hold a rally in front of the DPI (colleges), Punjab, on February 26.

In a joint statement issued here today, the teachers’ body chief Dr SS Dhillon and general secretary Dr Jagwant Singh said it was an issue of credibility of the Punjab government. If the government fails to take a decision in this regard, who will trust the govt, they questioned.

They said the teachers’ pay scales have no link with the Punjab Pay Commission and the notification of the MHRD dated December 31, 2008, had to be implemented in toto as was clear from the fact that the teachers did not get 5 per cent interim relief as was given to the Punjab government employees.

Their pay scales are governed by the same commission on the basis on which the IAS/IPS of the state are getting their salaries from the state exchequer without central assistance.

They said the Chief Minister should brush aside “flimsy objections” of the offices and clear the pay scales without delay.



Madarsa students also to get mid-day meal
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The students of madarsas, falling under the jurisdiction of the city, have now reasons to smile. For, now onwards, they will also be getting cooked food in the noon like their counterparts studying in government and government-aided schools of the city.

Putting these madarsas under the bracket of Alternate Innovative Education Centres, the city administration has decided to extend mid-day meal scheme to them with immediate effect.

There are at least seven madarsas in the city, which cater to both theological and mainstream education for over 1,000 students.

It is pertinent to mention that besides students of the Muslim community, the students belonging to other communities also get education in these madarsas.

These institutions in Chandigarh are at Manimajra, Mauli Jagran, Gobindpura, Bapu Dham, Maloya and Burail. These have been in existence for several years, and some even for decades.

The students currently enrolled in these madarsas include day scholars and boarders, most of whom are poor. These also act as orphanages as many orphans are left here by their guardians and care-takers.

This incentive is will go a long way in helping students of the madarsas, maintaining high percentage of attendance.

Ram Niwas, Home-cum-Education Secretary, said: “It was a long pending thought of providing meal to these children, for which the administration has given its nod. This very positive and encouraging step will go a long way in creating happy and encouraging environment in various madarsas of the city.”

Hailing the move, Arshad Khan, converner of the United Progressive Muslim Front, said: “We appreciate the administration’s move to champion the cause of quality education, healthcare and economic development for the minorities of the city. We have made several representations earlier to the administration to consider madarsas under the Alternate Innovative Education of the Sarva Shiksha Abihyan and extend mid-day meal to them.”



459 students get prizes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh February 25
Government College of Girls, Sector 42, organised its 27th annual prize function today.

Around 459 students were awarded prizes for their excellence in the field of academics, sports and co-curricular activities.

As many as 19 students were honoured with roll of honour for academics while 30 were honoured with college colour for outstanding performance in cultural activities and sports.

Lovewir, a student of BA III, has been declared all-round best student.

Ram Niwas, Home-cum-Education Secretary, was the chief guest. He lauded the efforts of the college in providing a number of new courses keeping in view the myriad challenges faced by the students in rapidly changing competitive environment.



From Schools
Prize distribution function at GMSSS-10
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The prize distribution function of the 17th state-level vocational competitions was held at GMSSS-10 here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Samwartak Singh, DPI (Schools), directed the principals and teachers of various vocational courses to improve the training facilities in their schools so that every vocational passout gets the placement in the job market.

Saroj Mittal, assistant director, vocational education, read out the annual report, while Sunil Bedi, SE, vocational education, spoke on the growing scope of vocational education in government schools.

“Odyssey” at GC-11

Government College, Sector 11, organised a management-cum-cultural fest, “Odyssey”, today. Dr AL Gauba, principal of the college, presided over the function. He advised the students to put in efforts in both academic and extra-curricular activities for the overall development.

Many programmes were organised on the occasion. Various management events, like role playing, one-minute manager, ad mad show and extempore were main attractions. Cultural events, like songs and skits were also presented. Games and events for faculty were also organised.

Pulse polio training

A training programme for students was organised at Government College of Education to train them for the national pulse polio campaign, to be observed on March 1, 2 and 3. Doctors of the immunisation wing, Sector 22, imparted the training to the volunteers. As the NSS unit of the college will be a part of the campaign and 200 students of the college will provide their services.



Principal’s appointment: Punjab government relaxes rules
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
Soon the issue of the shortage of qualified principals in government and private B.Ed colleges affiliated with Panjab University will be resolved as the Punjab government has relaxed the rules for appointing principals who have not passed matriculation in Punjabi at the time of their recruitment. Now, they will get one-year time to clear Punjabi Probodh Prikhya from the date of appointment.

This issue is going to be tabled in the syndicate meeting scheduled to held on February 28. For the past many years B.Ed colleges under Panjab University were facing shortage of eligible persons for appointment as principals as most of the candidates could not fill the criteria of holding Punjabi matriculation certificate.

Even the process of appointment of B.Ed teachers in the colleges is going to be discussed at the meeting. Due to the acute shortage of teaching staff in the colleges, students are now doing M.phil through distance education programme for fulfilling the eligibility of the teacher’s post.

As per sources Panjab University M.Phil through distance education programme will not be recognised from the next session for the appointment as teachers in B.Ed colleges. As M.Phil students have to do research through distance education programme, students will not be able to do quality research.

University syndicate is also going to consider proposal of the Ministry of Human Resource Development for the centrally sponsored national mission through information and communication technology under the 11th five-year plan. Under this plan the university will have to formulate a proposal for starting online and intranet interactive modules in the campus.

As per the proposal all colleges and universities will have to prepare all modules online so that any student could have access to the data related to any issue anywhere in the world.

The agenda of giving extension to K Krishan Gauba, chairperson, institute of dental sciences, will also be tabled at the meeting.



8 papers presented at seminar on development
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
On the concluding day of the national seminar on development, deprivation and maginalisation in India organised by the department of sociology, eight papers were presented.

Prof Sangeeta Bhalla, the department of laws, PU, Chandigarh, in her presentation pointed out that how a plethora of laws made for the poor are a dead word as illiterate poor can neither read those laws nor can they hire any expert.

Dr Abha Chauhan, chairperson, the department of sociology, University of Jammu, mentioned that though Mandal Commission identified 67 OBC castes in J&K, the government has recognized only 21.

Further the OBC constitutes 27 per cent of the population of J&K but only 2 per are beneficiaries of the reservation.

She explained that the OBC in the state are worse than that of the SCs as the latter have benefited from the land reforms.

Prof R M Sethi, former professor of sociology in PU, spoke on gender discrimination in society and suggested that collective economic activities and equal share in landed property to women can go a long way to empower them.

The seminar concluded with the valedictory address of Prof SL Sharma, scholar of sociology and former dean of social sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh.



Seminar on school counselling concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
A two-day seminar on strengthening guidance and counselling services in schools and colleges organised by the Centre for Adult, Continuing Education and Extension, Panjab University, and Guidance and Counselling Cell, Panjab University, Chandigarh, concluded here today.

In an ongoing endeavour to relocate the main issues of guidance and counselling within a global perspective, a panel discussion chaired by Lt Gen B S Dhaliwal was organised.

Dr Vipin Sobti, principal, Government College, Derabassi, was the chief guest of the valedictory session. He emphasised that the counselling of parents is as important as the counselling of the children.



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