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Education dept website misleading
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

The website www.chdeducation.gov.in contains

n Nursery class form of 2007-08
n Class XI form of 2006-07
n For posts of teacher under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, the form asks for attested photocopies
n The last date of submission of form for Class XI is mentioned as “26-6-2006”

Chandigarh, June 14
In a stunning violation of its own notification issued in February, 2007, the UT education department has stirred a controversy by highlighting its website in the newspaper advertisement today (Admissions for Class XI) that clearly mentions the words “attach attested copies only” in its downloadable form.

The information available on the website www.chdeducation.gov.in goes against the UT’s direction issued two years back according to which self-attested copies are sufficient and the candidate, seeking admission to an educational institute, will not have to get documents and photographs attested by some gazetted officer.

The “stale information” on the website, which is misguiding students seeking admission, also includes the admission forms of Class XI. But that form shows the year 2006-2007 not 2009-2010 and the form for teacher’s job under the Sarv Siksha Abhiyan asks for attested copies. Even the last date mentioned in the form for Class XI admissions is “26-6-2006”.

The first page of the admission form for Class XI contains wrong dates while the second page of admission mentions the “List of testimonials/documents attached (attested copies only)”, which goes against the UT’s notification.

Following the publication of this advertisement for admissions in Class XI that begins on July 2, the education department has set a poor example for city schools and colleges to follow its directions, when its own department has failed to provide the correct information on its website.

“It is time that the education department wakes up and updates its forms on the website. Besides this, a lot of information needs to be provided on the official website. As far as the implementation of the RTI Act is concerned, in the name of proactive disclosures which are mandatory on the website, only the names of CPIOs and Appellate Authorities has been given,” said RTI activist R.K. Garg.

UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas said he was not aware of the incident and would get the information corrected, if found ‘stale’.

Meanwhile, the Director, Higher Education, could not be contacted for their comments. 

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No swine flu case in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The UT health authorities today said none of the five suspected cases of swine flu here had tested positive for the infection. The samples of a woman from Shahbad were also found negative today like other four.

She was admitted to the isolation ward of GMCH-32 yesterday with symptoms of swine flu. “Her samples were found negative this evening. “We will discharge her early morning tomorrow,” said HC Gera, Nodal Officer of the UT health department. “We have no patient as of now in our swine flu wards of hospitals,” he added.

According to Gera, the hospitals are fully equipped to handle the H1N1 influenza and have a dedicated team of doctors to treat infected people.

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Nari Niketan Rape Case
Cops mull fast-track court
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
Lambasted for its alleged lackadaisical attitude in the infamous Nari Niketan mentally challenged inmate rape case, the Chandigarh Police is set to put the case on fast track on the pattern of the German tourist rape case for a speedy trial.

Sources in the police say that senior officials are mulling over the idea of treating the case on the lines of the German tourist rape case, in which the five accused were convicted on January 27, within four months of committing the crime.

Castigated by the Punjab and Haryana High Court for alleged shoddy probe into the matter, the 
police now wanted to take the case to its logical end in a rapid manner in what could be termed as a damage control exercise.

Members of the special investigating team (SIT) are recording statements of staff members of Nari Niketan in Sector 26 and of Aashreya, the home for orphaned mentally retarded children in Sector 47.

The police has taken fresh blood samples of Bhupinder Singh, who is already arrested in the case and Jamna Kumar, who was arrested on Friday, for making their DNA profiles. The profiles will be matched to ascertain who raped the victim.

A senior police officer adds that the investigators are corroborating the statements recorded by staff members of both Nari Niketan and Aashreya with the inputs and information developed from their sources to dispel the mystery.

Certain vital clues that could link the suspects, arrested by the police, have come up during the cross-questioning of Bhupinder Singh with that of Kamla and Jamna Kumar.

Gathering the scientific evidence is the only process which could delay the proceedings, as the matter of the medical termination of pregnancy of the victim is yet to be decided. The police has to wait for the DNA samples of the foetus, which will be matched with the DNA samples of the suspects, before slapping the charges against them for the trial, informed the official.

Meanwhile, the police today produced Kamla and Jamna Kumar before a local court, which extended their police custody to one more day. 

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Holes in MC’s claims on water supply
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
When it comes to making false claims, nobody can match the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC). At a time when the civic body is at the receiving end for its failure to supply adequate drinking water to the city's population, it seems to have devised yet another strategy to "befool" top functionaries of the administration and the residents.

Top MCC officials, including its Chief Engineer, unveiled this strategy before UT home-cum local government secretary Ram Niwas on June 12 when they claimed that the water was being supplied to various parts from 11 hours to 17 hours.

However, a reality check by The Tribune over the past few days found holes in the MCC claims with a majority of areas receiving water only for a few hours. And to further expose the MCC claims, it was found that people of the Phase III sectors (Sector 48 onwards) were the worst-affected as the water supply has severely been affected to the upper floors.

At the meeting, the MCC officials claimed that around 87 million gallons per days (MGD) -- 67 MGD canal water and 20 MGD underground water from tubewells-- was being distributed in the city.

While the MCC officials might have patted themselves on their back before the home secretary, the ground situation reveals the truth behind the MCC's doctored figures. For instance, the MCC officials claimed that water was supplied for 17.15 hours from the Sector 26 water works (Kirloskar side) to various parts, including the posh areas from Sector 1 to 11.

On the other hand, a Sector 2 resident Pritam Bhullar has a different story to tell. Disputing the civic body's claims, Bhullar asserted that the water supply was from 4.35 am to 9.15 am and from 6 pm to 9.30 pm. This duration -- about 8.30 hours -- was obviously in sharp contrast to the MCC's claims of 17.15 hours.

The experience of Amit Kumar, a resident of Sector 22 , is no different. The supply was no more than 6-8 hours as against the MCC's claim of about 17 hours, he alleged.

However, the worst sufferers are the residents of cooperative group housing societies where getting water from second floors onwards seems to be an arduous task. The civic body claims that water is supplied for 11.30 hours to the residents of Sector 48 to 56.

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MC fails to auction 4 parking sites
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
While the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has enhanced its revenue by putting the significant parking sites on auction, yet there are at least four parking sites located in Sector 17, which apparently, have failed to catch the fancy of the corporation.

Ironically, two of the sites are located just opposite to two prominent hotels, Hotel Taj GVS and CITCO’s Hotel Shivalikview.

The other two parking sites are opposite to the State Bank of India and Gurudev Portraits. All these sites, situated in the heart of the city, had been identified last year, but till date these sites could not be put on auction, thereby causing loss to the revenue.

Otherwise, how conscious the MC has been for charging the parking fee from the common man, could well be gauged from the fact that when most of the parking site, which get unmanned by the contractors during the lapsing tenure of their parking contract, the MC officials themselves had been seen regulating the parking and charging the parking fee.

The Estate Officials said it was a mandatory clause in the allotment agreement of these hotel sites to have adequate parking place. While the Hotel Shivalikview can, somehow, justify its stand by declaring its own parking inside the premises, the Hotel Taj do not have the same.

In the wake of Mumbai terror attack, the Hotel Taj, here, has stopped allowing parking of vehicles inside the hotel premises, but the site opposite to the hotel is conveniently catering to its own fleet and the vehicles of its elite clientele, undoubtedly, free of cost.

TPS Phoolka, Joint Commissioner, MC, when apprised of the lapse, admitted that the things got overlooked. “The programme will soon be chalked out to put the sites on auction and tabled in the house. Actually, it all got late because of election code of conduct, but now it will be taken into account soon,” he said.

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Phones in Sector 46 go dead, courtesy MC
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
Underground telephone lines at Sector 46 were damaged while laying water pipes in front of the houses of the residents, which is causing great inconvenience to them. Thanks to the ‘dig and run’ policy of the MC team who had virtually put their life to naught.

A visit to the site revealed that while excavating the area opposite to the houses of the affected residents, all BSNL lines were virtually smashed up. Later, it was discovered that it was the lying of tertiary water pipeline, which was underway in the area, and the MC had outsourced this job to a firm, Buroline Private Ltd.

Questions are being raised that what accountability the firm, which has failed to perform the task efficiently, should share in putting the residents in trouble.

While RS Bedi, XEN, public health, division No. 3, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts, superintending engineer, public health, RK Goyal when apprised of the incompetency of the firm said, “This is quiet an irresponsible attitude. Now that it has been brought to my notice, I will rectify the things on priority. The firm would be liable for its negligent conduct.”

Nevertheless, the woes it has been causing to the residents of the area were endless.

Rashmi Anand, a statistics student pursuing her PhD, rued that due to detachment of the telephone lines, she was not able to access the Internet to complete her project report.

Amrit Pal Kaur, another resident, who had just undergone a knee operation, was disturbed that her children, who live abroad, would be trying her number in the evening to know about her health. “But when I would not answer their call, they might get worried for no reasons,” she rued. 

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Scramble for advisory council berth
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
With the Chandigarh administration sending a clear signal of a widely-represented Administrator’s Advisory Council (AAC), people from all walks of life are making a beeline for nomination to the council.

A few days after UT Administrator SF Rodrigues announced the AAC’s reconstitution, apparently bowing to the directives of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the administration has been inundated with applications from prospective members wanting to “serve” the city as the members of the council.

The office of the Home Secretary alone has received at least 50 applications.

The applications have been sent to the District Magistrate for verification of records of the prospective members so that members with comparative records can make it to the AAC.

Sources say though it is the prerogative of the Administrator to select members, various lobbies and pressure groups may no longer be ignored in the recast of the council.

With the elevation of local MP Pawan Bansal as Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, the chorus for more representation to the Congress is getting louder.

It may be noted that the previous AAC, whose two-year term expired on February 9, 2009, without holding even a single meeting, was packed with bureaucrats and “favourites” of the powers that be. The non-representation of a wider section of society, including political class, was resented by a cross-section of society, inviting allegations of partisanship against the administration top brass.

“The reconstituted AAC should reflect the aspirations of different social, political and business interests. In fact, a judicious mix of politicians at the grass roots level and experienced retired people should be there in the council so that it can serve its purpose of being people’s body,” says Pardeep Chabbra, a former Mayor.

In the past years, the AACs have represented a cross-section of society and its advice has gone a long way in the formulation of policy decisions. However, the council apparently lost its relevance with the last meeting of the AAC being held on May 7, 2006.

The AAC

The AAC, with Administrator as chairman and Adviser as the vice-chairman, has senior bureaucrats and public representatives, including administrative secretaries, IGP, SSP, MC Commissioner, Mayor, Deputy Commissioner, chairmen of zila parishad and panchayat samiti, as ex officio members. Besides, other members consisted of eminent persons from all walks of life and representatives of major political parties.

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World Blood Donor Day
100 units of blood donated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
On the World Blood Donor Day, the department of transfusion medicine, PGI, in association with Indian Red Cross Society, UT branch, organised 100 per cent voluntary non-remunerated donation of blood and blood components.

President Jean Rodrigues, Indian Council for Child Welfare, inaugurated the blood donation camp. Around 100 units of blood was collected in the camp. Director KK Talwar, PGI, presided over the function.

Jean Rodrigues also released an information manual on voluntary blood donation, a unique service to humanity. She honoured rare blood group donors, including Harish Sharma, Manmohan Sharma, Jasbir Singh, Dharam Vir Yadav, Sohan Lal, RK Bharadwaj, Anshu Nangia, Pramod Sharma and Jasbir Singh.

She also honoured aphaeresis donors, including Dr Ashish Jain, Vikas Grover and Rajkumar. Jean interacted with the voluntary donors and encouraged them to continue the spree life long.

Dr JG Jolly, emeritus professor and founder head of department and pioneer of the voluntary blood donation movement in the country, was also present and congratulated the donors and urged the general public to come forward for the noble cause of voluntary blood donation.

Among other dignitaries were Deputy Commissioner RK Rao, Chandigarh, SDM-East Niharika Rai and Secretary, Indian Red Cross Society, Chandigarh, who blessed and thanked the voluntary blood donors for their noble gesture.

More than 400 blood donors donated blood in another voluntary blood donation camp organised by Nirankari Seva Mandal, Dera Bassi, conducted by the department. Thus, there was an overwhelming response from public on the occasion.

Mohali: A blood donation camp was also organised at Fortis Hospital, Mohali, today. More than 125 persons donated blood. A large number of Fortis employees also donated blood on the occasion.

According to Dr Kuldeep Singh, head of transfusion medicine department, Fortis Hospital, “The clinical demand for blood is rising throughout the world to support advancements in medical and surgical procedures. Though the pattern of blood usage varies in different countries, there is still a great need for it in the treatment of complications during pregnancy and childbirth and severe childhood anemia.”

CME on safe blood transfusion practices

To commemorate the World Blood Donor’s Day, the blood bank of GMSH-16 organised CME on safe blood transfusion practices. It was inaugurated by Dr NK Arora, medical superintendent of hospital.

Dr Saroj Agarwal, in charge of blood bank of GMSH-16, emphasised the need of voluntary blood donation camps.

She said the number of voluntary blood donation camps had increased three times in past one year. “Blood bank of GMSH-16 will be upgraded blood component separation unit soon,” she added.

A blood donation camp was also organised at the blood bank in collaboration with All-India Medical Lab Technologists Association and State AIDS Control Society (SACS), Chandigarh.

Brig ML Kataria, chairman, Health Care India, inaugurated the camp. About 58 donors donated blood.

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Chand-Fiza ‘reunion’ angers Shiv Sainiks
Tribune News Service

Activists of the Shiv Sena Hindustan protest against Chand Mohammed outside Fiza’s house in Sector 48, Mohali, on Sunday.
Activists of the Shiv Sena Hindustan protest against Chand Mohammed outside Fiza’s house in Sector 48, Mohali, on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, June 14
Chand-Fiza “reunion” today did not find favour with Shiv Sainiks. On hearing that Chand Mohammed alias Chander Mohan was back with Fiza alias Anuradha Bali, a large number of activists of the youth wing of the Shiv Sena Hindustan converged outside Fiza’s Sector 48 house here and raised slogans against Chand.

On hearing, an infuriated Chand climbed to the first floor of the house and allegedly started abusing them.

Prior to Chand’s homecoming, the Shiv Sena Hindustan had come in support of Fiza and announced to teach Chander Mohan a lesson for deserting her then.

President Nishant Sharma, youth wing of the party, said sticking to their decision, they had come to Fiza’s house.

All the while when the Shiv Sainiks were raising slogans, Fiza was talking to mediapersons in her house.

The situation turned unpleasant when Chander Mohan called his supporters who tried to shoo away the activists. But since the activists outnumbered Chander Mohan’s supporters, the police was called to intervene.

On finding no solution, Fiza had to come out and pacify the Shiv Sainiks.

While withdrawing from the place, Nishant alleged that the couple has used them for publicity. “But we stick to our stand of not allowing Chand to appear in public functions in Punjab,” said Nishant.

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Food street may lose ‘Night’ tag
Sandeep Rana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The Night Food Street, which had started with a bang a few months back, may lose its night tag soon.

Fed up with the continuous late night brawls and lawlessness prevailing at the Night Food Street, the Chandigarh Police has written to the Municipal Corporation for not allowing any activity at the food joints after mid-night.

Sources said the SSP, in a letter to the MC, asked it stop any activity at the food street after mid-night. He also asked the MC if it wanted to continue the food street late in the night, then it should depute private security guards and install CCTV cameras for stringent vigil.

Inspector Sukhbir Rana, SHO of Sector 11 police station, told TNS that a majority of people, who came to the street late in the night, were rowdy elements and no families were seen or expected to be here late in the night. He added that mainly people from discos, PGs and outsiders came to the street and created ruckus.

“We have written to it to stop any activity at food street after 11 or maximum after 12 in the night, as there is no use of giving an open invitation to the rowdy elements to create ruckus here,” said the SHO.

Visitors to the street said the place, which was supposed to be a night out joint for the city food lovers, was gradually turning into a hangout only for rowdy elements, as drunken youths outnumbered the sober visitors late in the night.

In the past, various incidents of brawls, molestation and even an attempt to pull out a woman from her car about a two months ago, have been reported from the place.

Shopkeepers of the food street opined that most of the time they had no work after 3 pm in the morning and a majority of the people, who come late in the night, create problems, which have also affected their clientele.

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Punjabi ghazals soiree enchants audience
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, June 14
The melodic vocal recital organised by the Chandigarh Sabhyacharak Manch at Randhawa Auditorium brought alive the literary beauty of Punjabi ghazals and geet, which filled mind with a romantic feel and tranquility.

Such concerts with a blend of literary prominence and musical excellence are a rarity in the region and inquisitive audience relished the programme.

After manch president SS Bhullar, former Editor, Punjabi Tribune, welcomed chief guest Ranjit Singh Bajwa and Rajbir Deswal, an IPS, well-known vocalists RD Kailey and Komal Chugh took the centre stage only to spell magic.

Kailey commenced the recital with serene Sufiana spell of Sufi mystic, Shah Hussain’s “Rabba mere haal da mehram” before teaming up with Dr Komal Chugh to render soulful poetry of Shiv Batalvi and other eminent poets.

The accomplished vocalists delineated the emotional outburst of poet laureate Shiv Batalvi, his agonised and anguished psyche in their melodic voice. Be it “Umran de sarver”, “Sikahr dupehar sirr the”, “Adhure geet di” and other songs.

With her adroit mastery in voice modulation, Chugh was simply superb in all her solo songs as also Vevel Sharma on flute.

Kailey who had composed and sung over 100 ghazals of Shiv Batalvi bared the psychic pain, agony and anguish reflected in the poetry of Shiv- the king of pathos.

Kailey rightly reflected the intended emotive feel and delicacy of couplets in full measure in his soulful singing. Another duet songs “Assin ud de prinde” by poet Sham Singh and “Dosta tur jaanian” by poet Amrik Pooni were lauded.

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Zirakpur, Mohali reel under power cuts
Tribune News Service

Mohali/Zirakpur, June 14
Unscheduled power cuts have made the lives miserable for the residents of Mohali, Zirakpur and Dera Bassi. Worst comes when power cuts are imposed during the night hours.

Against the initial two-hour cut, now the PSEB is imposing to three power cuts in a day.

As a result, the inverters installed by the residents fail due to inadequate charging.

Beside the unscheduled power cuts, tripping and voltage fluctuation has also become a norm for the past couple of days. Angry residents of Zirakpur alleged that the timing of the scheduled power cuts had also been changed daily and it would be difficult to stick to their daily routine. Power cuts in the morning hours affect the water supply.

In Mohali, the PSEB was resorting to three-hour cuts twice in a day. Since the cuts were based on reports from the Patiala head office of the PSEB, prior intimation could not be given in newspapers, said a PSEB official. The cuts would continue till September.

In Dera Bassi, the power cuts are extending beyond seven hours. Vinay Chawla, a resident of Dera Bassi, said, “We face the problem of power cut every year, but the political leaders do nothing except making false promises during the elections.”

Rubal, a resident of Bhankarpur said they were forced to postpone important work owing to the power cuts. The condition in the villages was even worse as the cuts were of a longer duration and frequently unscheduled, he added.

Local farmers urge that sometimes, the electricity is missing so long that we have to shift to generators for watering our fields. The situation has worsened now as the duration of cuts has increased, they added.

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Maharana Pratap Jayanti celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The All-India Rajput Students’ Aid Society on the premises of Maharna Pratap Hostel in west of Sector 25 here celebrated Maharana Pratap Jayanti with great enthusiasm today.

Finance minister Birender Singh, Haryana, presided over the function. Others who graced the occasion were MLA Rekha Rana, Haryana, general secretary Darshan Singh Chauhan, Haryana Rajput Pratinidhi Sabha and IAS HS Rana (Retd). About 100 inmates of the hostel participated in the celebrations.

The dignitaries and guests offered floral tributes on the portrait of Maharana Pratap. RS Chauhan, president-in-chief of the society, in his welcome address explained about the history and the functions of the society.

Birender Singh while paying tributes to Maharana Pratap narrated the sacrifices made by Rana of Chittorgarh. Later he announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh to the society. Rekha also addressed the gathering and emphasised on women education and upliftment of women through education. Meanwhile, an official website www.rajputsociety.org., of the society was also inaugurated by the finance minister.

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Panel to review schemes for Economically Backward Classes
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The upcoming visit of a team of National Commission for Economically Backward Classes to Chandigarh, the city with the highest per capita income, has generated a lot of interest among local NGOs and activists.

A team of six members of the commission, including its chairman, Maj Gen SR Sinho (retd), Narendra Kumar (member), Mahender Singh (member secretary), along with two senior officers of the commission, are going to visit the city from June 16-20.

The team is going to hold a meeting on June 17 with social workers, NGOs, individuals, activists and other volunteers who are working in this field to discuss the issues related to the economically backward classes. 

Looking forward to the meeting, Promod Sharma, running Yuvsatta in the city, said, “There is so much that needs to be done for economically weaker classes, especially in the area concerning their health and education. These issues in the city need to be addressed and what could be a better platform than this. 

After meeting with the officials, we can come up with certain guidelines that can help us to work for them.”

Confirming this, Home Secretary Ram Niwas said the team would be visiting the city primarily to review various schemes, which are being run to benefit the economically backward classes in the city, such as Swaran Jayanti Shehari Yojna, Rashtriya Swasthaya Yojna, Hamari Beti Hamara Dhan Yojna, rehabilitation of slums, old age schemes etc. 

Besides, certain initiatives, which are taken by the UT administration, such as 15 per cent reservation of students of economically weaker sections etc, may also be looked into. The committee is also expected to come up with some recommendations after reviewing the schemes, which can be further formulated into guidelines.

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Railway Info Centre
Improved system, increased response
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The upgraded touch-screen information machines installed at the railway reservation centre at the Sector 17 inter-state bus terminus are drawing huge crowd these days.

All one needs to do is feed the train number in the system and the machine provides complete details about the scheduled train, including waiting list, timings of arrival and departure, details of number of total seats and the seats left for booking.

The upgraded system also provides information about the time table, train routes, how long a train will stop at a particular station and also the availability of tickets on a particular date.

Right from rickshaw pullers to students to working women, the two machines are drawing good response due to easy usage that reduced the number of face-to-face queries.

It is surprising to witness that even the lesser educated are using the machine effortlessly. The reason: The details are provided in both Hindi and English.

The increased usage of the new system has also brought relief to the staffers at the centre as it has resulted in smaller queues at the enquiry counter.

“The public uses the machines without the assistance of the staff at all. And, surprisingly, all classes of passengers are using it with ease,” said a staff member.

Divisional Regional Manager, Ambala division, HK Jaggi said seeing the public response to the new system, more such machines would be 
installed. “Instead of everybody queuing up at the counter, people can check the details on the system and straightway ask for the ticket reservation,” he added.

Amidst criticism that this railway reservation centre at Sector 17 had been drawing for quite some time now, for it being in a shoddy condition, the rise in the popularity of these machines has surely come as a surprise for many.

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War widow gets promised land after 37 yrs
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
It was a battle that took 37 years. Now at the age of 70, Balwant Kaur, whose husband was killed in action during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, has finally got possession of the land promised to her by the state government as a mark of recognition of her husband’s sacrifice.

She was promised 10-acre land in Ludhiana district by the Punjab Government and is now in the possession of eight acres.

The remaining land is yet to be handed to her as some issue pertaining to entries are still to be sorted out.

Balwant’s husband, Hav Kehar Singh of the Sikh Regiment, had died fighting in the Leepa Valley in Jammu and Kashmir. Under the Punjab Government’s policy to help war widows, the Revenue Department initially allotted her 10 acres in the riverbed of Churwal village, near Ludhiana.

Since the area was unusable, she sought alternative land that could be used for cultivation. As the area re-allotted to her was under the possession of some villagers, she had to embark on another battle for getting its possession.

Over the years, uncooperative attitude of the subordinate staff, original files going missing and bureaucratic hassles became the order of the day. Ultimately, the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, ordered recompiling of the case file.

In 2003, the matter was reported to the Chief Minister during a public hearing, who ordered immediate action and a progress report. However, nothing moved even thereafter. It was in 2004 that the new case file reached the DC.

Though Balwant Kaur and her sons kept visiting the offices concerned regularly, there was no progress on ground. Meanwhile, an appeal filed by the then occupants of the land was dismissed by the court.

It was in late 2008 that the DC forwarded the case to the Revenue Department, but the inaptness of the subordinate staff came to the fore. Issuing incorrect orders, officials facing corruption charges and bureaucratic lethargy led to further delays.

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Workshop on fungal diseases begins today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The Centre of Advanced Research in Medical Mycology and WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Fungi of Medical Importance of the Department of Medical Microbiology, PGI, will organise six-day PGI-ICMR-WHO-INSA seventh national training course from tomorrow.

The theme of the workshop is “Diagnostic medical mycology - conventional and molecular techniques”. Doctors and faculty members from various institutes in Assam, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Punjab, Jammu etc will participate in it.

The mycology division in the Department of Medical Microbiology has worked consistently in various fields concerning treatment of fungal diseases over the past three decades. 

Recognising the importance and magnitude of work done, the division has been recognised as the National Centre for Advanced Research in Medical Mycology. It is funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) that has provided Rs 2.2 crore for it.

The WHO has made it the “WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Fungi of Medical Importance”. The centre recently developed a molecular mycology facility on the sixth floor of the Research Block A in the PGI providing all laboratory services required for the diagnosis of fungal infections under one roof.

Recently, this centre received Rs 2.4 crore for the development of “national culture collection for pathogenic fungi”.

Under this centre, the faculty of the department has decided to conduct two training courses every year to train doctors and technical staff of various hospital in conventional and molecular diagnostic techniques so that they can start or upgrade diagnostic mycology set-up in their respective institutes.

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Mountview profit surges despite slowdown
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The after effects of the global slowdown may have dented the earnings of the hotel industry in the country by an average of 35 per cent, and pulled down the occupancy rate considerably, but Hotel Mountview, the only government-run five-star hotel in the tricity, has managed to beat back recession by drawing more customers to its dining table.

During the last three months of March, April and May the sale of food items at the hotel has gone up to Rs 1.7 crore, 30 per cent more than the corresponding figure of Rs 1.3 crore. The hotel has had 40 per cent occupancy during these three months against 41 per cent.

Giving the sales another pitch and push, Mountview now plans to fix franchisees in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula for the sale of its bakery items.

The hotel also plans to renovate Rustle restaurant, Magic Wok (Chinese restaurant) and its banquet hall soon.

Despite most parts of the hotel having been closed down for renovation and repairs, Mountview registered total sales of Rs 24.2 crore and earned a net profit of approximately Rs 10.5 crore in 2008-09.

While booking of rooms contributed Rs 13.5 crore, food sales registered Rs 10 crore and miscellaneous Rs 1 crore.

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CityScope Letters
UT admn’s work needs to be scanned

In a significant and thought provoking article, “This inert administration” written by Raveen Thukral published in Chandigarh Tribune on June 8 has rightly highlighted the high handedness, inert, insensitive, arrogant and unaccountable working of the inert and unresponsive Chandigarh Administration.

In the recent cases of Nari Niketan rape case and bureaucrat’s wife’s college transfer case, the press has immaculately highlighted impropriety and insensitiveness.

On the other hand, when the egos or personal interests of officials clash, they stoop so low and they wash their linen in full public view when sobriety demands silence.

The attitude of the civil servants here is so callous that the cardinal principle of governance i.e. the ABC of governance for them is, avoid, bypass and confuse. Thus, “A” i.e. to avoid the victim or sufferer at the first instance; if he still persists, then “B” i.e. bypass and put the responsibility to others and if again persists and demands justice and his rightful due then “C” i.e. to confuse him by mixing up the things so that he leaves the hope getting any justice and his rightful due or being heard.

The shoddy investigations by the police, shielding of the culprits and the guilty officials concerned and a rap from the High Court speaks volumes of the mindset of inept and insensitive administration here. The press in general and The Tribune in particular, deserve all kudos for highly competitive and accurate investigative journalism to expose the real face of pseudo public servants and the custodians of law.

The whole system of governance in the Chandigarh Administration is an eye opener and needs an overhauling which is much overdue. The process of selecting IAS, IPS, PCS and HCS officers from Punjab and Haryana need streamlining.

There is no denying the fact that these officers are selected according to the whims and fancies of the political bosses and there is no voice or choice of the people of Chandigarh when they are expected to serve and be responsive to the needs of the public. There is ample scope for manipulations, lobbying and maneuvering in the present arbitrary selection process.

Many of the officers had manipulated the mechanisms of their stay in the Chandigarh Administration artistically. When they complete their full term for the specific post, they manipulate their names for the other department or post and remain on deputation.

There is a different charm of being an integral part of this insensitive non-accountable administration where bureaucrats are the real modern day maharajas with no social and political accountability unlike their parent states.

And if they manage the patronage of the power that be or the clout that matters, they can do what suits them and their interests. Hell to the public for whom they are meant for. The propriety of the public office demand honesty and uprightness of the purpose.

The need of the hour is to revert back to the Chief Commissioner like set up with consultative and advisory committees to overview the functioning of the administration.

In the meantime, the Union Home Ministry in collaboration with the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) should form its own panels to select the officers to be sent on deputation to Chandigarh as the state government panels are being maneuvered and are proving counter productive.

People should get united and raise their voice against the highhandedness and insensitivity of the bureaucrats and make them accountable.

Harbans Singh Chopra

II

The article published was highly thought provoking. The writer has aptly described how the authorities concerned in the Chandigarh Administration are dealing the Nari Niketan rape case by covering it up instead of exposing the wrongs.

How a city bureaucrat was blatantly misusing his power to transfer his wife from one college to another and how certain bureaucrats misused public money for study trips along with their families?

It certainly is shameful to see that the city bureaucrats do whatever pleases them for their selfish motives. Yet the guilty officers are not held accountable for their misdeeds or lapses.It seems to be true that politicians select the IAS and IPS officers from Punjab and Haryana on deputation to the UT at their whims and fancies.

It won't be inappropriate to read IAS as "I am shameless" and the IPS as "I prefer shamelessness"! The law that the CBI must obtain the government permission before procuring an officer to the rank of joint secretary or above must be repealed, as it smacks of corruption at the highest political level.

The front page news, “Coming, bill to shield babus from netas" in The Tribune (June 9) says that the Centre proposes to introduce a bill in Parliament that will insulate top bureaucrats from political pressure, is a welcome sign.

This bill also seeks to ensure accountability for the civil servants to the system of governance and for effective delivery of public services. Let us hope that the government does it to clean up the once highly respected image of the civil services.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

III

There is no doubt that a few senior bureaucrats and others at the helm of Chandigarh Administration have nurtured the feeling that they are above the law and well established norms of governance which has been rightly reported by Raveen Thukral in the Tribune (June 8).

They can manipulate anything favouring them, they don’t bother from the of fear of accountability, they don’t give respect to the popular public opinion and take decision based on their personal liking and disliking, they even go up to an extent to get false and fabricated cases registered against their seniors, who does not fall in their line.

Perhaps keeping these traits of our bureaucrats, Indian bureaucracy has been adjusted the most inefficient bureaucracy in Asia.

This survey has been conducted by an agency of international repute. This is not only sad but shameful. How the best paid, looked after elite service in India is graded so poor like this?

It is heartening to compare that in the country where Lord Ram, who on an off the cuff remarks of a member of public, made a supreme sacrifice to abandon his faithful, faultless and pious wife just to upheld the values of public service, and in contrast, a bureaucrat blatantly misused his delegated power to transfer his wife against the norms.

It was also reported in the press that certain officers on deputation to the administration had made foreign trips along with their families on the pretext of promotion of various interests of the UT government; their visits yield no results, hence, they went abroad for other purposes wasting huge money of exchequer. 

Why these officers were not held responsible for this avoidable waste? Why the bureaucracy has become so myopic and insensitive? Why they don’t understand that public is much aware now and everything is known to everyone? We hope it is not happening with the blessings of the Administrator to use them? Otherwise how such scandal can go unnoticed. 

Another thing came to notice that wives of certain senior IAS officers of Punjab working as lecturers in Panjab University have been put on long term deputation at Delhi just to facilitate their stay with their husbands posted at Delhi ignoring all norms and similar facility extended to other needy ones.

In a democratic set up, all officials are public servants; they are paid to act impartial, as per the norms without any favour of personal benefits and have to exhibit unflinching integrity and honesty. They are required to be above all greed and temptations and must feel contented when the Almighty has given the status, which should not be compromised with anything else.

Such work style and attitude is deplorable, they must keep up the lofty standards of public life, if they are unable to do so better quit from the service. It must be remembered that we all are accountable to the court above all courts on earth for our deeds and misdeeds.

The Central government must scan the working of the UT Administration, each case must be thoroughly checked and the guilty must be brought to justice.

Capt Amar Jeet Kumar (Retd) Mohali

IV

This inert administration reminds of Shiv Batalavi where he says, “Main massiha vekhia bimar ter sheher da rog ban ke reh gya he pyar tere shehar da,” meaning that doctors of the city have become sick and where there is no justice. Where the doctor has a feeling that “Mera bhala sarbat da bhala" and they are busy for their own welfare insensitive to people.

One shivers to feel the state of affairs in those areas of the nation where people have not heard of the newspapers.

But brave journalist and journalism is the only medicine for the sick doctors who are bound to be cured though it may take time. Keep it up.

KK Garg

V

The UTs are directly governed by the Central government through its Ministry of Home Affairs. Of course, Home Ministers’ Advisory Committee is there to assist the minister, but like all other committees, it also does not work.

It is very rare that a meeting of the committee is called. Under the circumstances, the UT administration is left at the mercy of officers, be at local or Central ministerial officers. Most of the time, these officials are not accountable to anybody and lesser to the democratic set up.

Naturally, the arrogance persists in their working without any let up. In Chandigarh, conditions are worst as here democratic forces have been kept at bay so much so that local MP, who happens to be a Cabinet minister, does not see eye-to-eye with the power. None of the officials of the UT congratulated the minister on his arrival in the city after elevated to the Cabinet rank.

The condition of the advisory committees is even worse, either they do not exist or they have been rendered defunct by obvious reasons. So the conditions are peculiar in Chandigarh, but still, there is a hope. Recently, after efforts by all sorts of residents, the Home Ministry has started monitoring the affairs and happenings in the UT have also issued instructions to revive advisory committee.

As such, we hope that democratic set up will be revived and the administration will start behaving controlled and contained.

Keshav

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Dev Samaj College for Women
College Admissions-2009
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
“Acquire knowledge, build character” so says the college moto of Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45. The college that started with a modest beginning now boasts of a number of courses.

Meanwhile, a new computer lab is under construction to enhance the computer department this year. Besides the basic graduate level courses that invite good number of students to the college, it also hosts a number of add-on courses for the students.

These include insurance business, computer-based accounting, communicative English, cosmetology, web designing and multimedia, entrepreneurship development, advertising and sales management and event management.

The vocational course include Information Technology, fashion designing and office management and secretarial practice. Meanwhile, the diploma courses include postgraduate diploma in computer applications and fashion designing.

The college has one hostel for girls that has an accommodation of 200.

In addition to four other computer labs, additional 40 computers are also being added in yet another lab.

Important dates

Forms will be available from: June second week

Last date of submission of completed forms: July 1

Merit list out on : July 7

Admissions continue between 14th July to 21st July.

Courses offered at Bachelors’ level

BA 600 seats

B.Com 140 seats

BBA 45 seats

BCA 80 seats

Add-on courses ( 30 seats each for all )

Insurance Business

Computer-based accounting

Communicative English

Cosmetology

Web designing and Multimedia

Entrepreneurship Development

Advertising and Sales Management

Event Management

Vocational course:

Information Technology

Fashion Designing and Office

Management and secretarial practice

Postgraduate diploma:

Computer applications

Fashion designing

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Schools upgraded, but remain headless
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
In a classic case of misplaced priorities, the Chandigarh education department has been upgrading schools without creating posts of principals or heads for them.

In the last more than 12 years, the department has upgraded around nine schools in the city, but till date, no posts of principal, headmaster or headmistress have been approved by the Ministry of Home Affairs for these schools.

Sources revealed that Kaimbwala school was upgraded from middle to high and at present, its status is of senior secondary school, which was recently announced by the administration.

Surprisingly, till date, no post of principal has been sanctioned for the school and incharge of the school keeps on changing as per the wishes of the administration.
Sources revealed that similarly, Government High Schools of Sectors 19 and 31 were upgraded from middle to high school. But till date, both schools have temporary incharges, holding the post of headmaster.

Sources said in 1996, Government High School, Maloya, was also upgraded to Government Senior Secondary School, for which neither the post of principal nor other staff has been sanctioned so far.

One of the senior officials of the administration revealed that it seemed that the officials of administration were not pursuing the matter with the ministry seriously.

It is strange that for the last 15 years, Home Ministry has not approved the posts of principal, headmaster or other staff for the school upgraded for a long time.
Sources further said in last two years, the administration has upgraded schools at Sector 56, Kaimbwala, Khuda Lahora, Khuda Ali Sher, Behlana and Rai Pur Khurdh, but the administration has yet to receive the sanction of the posts of principal for these schools from the union ministry. Most of these schools were having lecture or headmasters as acting principals.

Officials said if the administration was not getting the approval of the earlier posts, why it was upgrading the schools on stand by arrangements? Officials said how the authorities could expect good results from the schools, which were headless, because of which its teachers were not accountable to anybody.

The Home Secretary, Ram Niwas, said they had been regularly tabling the issue with the ministry, but they had yet to receive the sanction of the posts from the ministry.

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College Admissions
Violation of UT orders continues
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
Lack of information about a notification of the UT administration issued two years back to simplify the official procedure in educational institutes by doing away with attestation by gazetted officers has proved the effort of the administration futile as websites of most city colleges still demand attested copies.

Even the information about self-attested copies of documents being sufficient at the time of admission is not being given to students at this crucial time resulting in harassment for many.

This is in gross violation of the UT direction in February 2007, which says “now the job applications, admission seekers, persons seeking benefit under various government schemes, services, including electricity and licenses, would not have to get their copies and photographs attested by some gazetted officers.”

Admission seekers to majority of the colleges in UT continue to go through the exercise of getting their documents signed from gazetted officers against the UT orders earlier this year.

It may be noted that presenting the original copies at the time of interview or admission is sufficient as per the guidelines and only the columns given in the form are to be filled correctly at the time of submission of forms. Meanwhile, the websites of even the most prominent city colleges are not upgraded on this front.

“We had to run to different places in the city to get our documents attested because of lack of information about the self attested copies being accepted. The college prospectus mentioned that attested photocopies of Class X and XII result cards had to be attached,” said a harassed father of a student, who came to seek admission for his child in GGDSD College, Sector 32.

On being questioned as to why the UT administration directions were not updated in the college prospectus, AC Vaid, principal of GGDSD College, passed the buck to the university saying, “We have not been given any direction by the Panjab University to change any guidelines in the prospectus.”

When contacted, PU registrar SS Bari pleaded ignorance about the issue. Meanwhile, the UT Home Secretary assured that strict action would be taken against any such college not following the administration’s directions.

“We will not let the students suffer at the time of admissions and will take strict action against any such college. In case any student faces such a problem, they may contact the director (higher education) or me directly,” he added.

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