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20-yr-old brutally killed by husband
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 18
A 20-year-old married woman, who was four-month pregnant, was brutally murdered by her enraged husband at a Phase XI house here late last night.

A quarrel between the couple reportedly took a bloody turn when the husband pierced her throat with a hedge-cutter.

The victim, Sobha Rani, along with her husband, Ashok Kumar, alias Bablu, had moved into the one-room accommodation about a month ago. While the assailant was working as a helper with the Ranbaxy plant here, the woman used to work as a maid in the house of their landlords.

Family sources said ever since their marriage two years ago, there was tension between the couple and they would often fight. After killing his wife, the man allegedly tried to end his life. There was injury on the rear side of his head and it appeared that he had either been hit or a he struck himself with an iron rod.

The murder was noticed in the morning when the victim did not come to the landlord’s house to prepare the morning tea. The room was locked from inside and no one responded from inside. Ultimately, the police had to be called and the door was broken open with the help of the couple’s relatives. To their horror, the woman was found lying in a pool of blood and the husband was lying alongside in an unconscious state.

A case of murder was registered against the husband, who was also booked for trying to end his life. Talking from the Phase VI civil hospital, Ashok Kumar claimed that his wife attacked him, to which he reacted. Repenting his act, he said he was ready to face any action for his deed.

Salinder, brother of Ashok, said the couple had moved into the house and since then, the woman wanted to go to her father’s house and the husband insisted her to stay back.

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Security at banks remains lax even after robbery bid
Tribune News Service

The Sector 7 branch of Dena Bank without a security guard and CCTV cameras
The Sector 7 branch of Dena Bank without a security guard and CCTV cameras. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Mohali, June 18
A spate of bank robberies in the tricity of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula has failed to move the authorities of various banks.

Going by the slack security at the banks, the robbers are having a field day, and each time the police comes to know about these incidents, the robbers have made a safe exit.

Even 24 hours after the daring robbery attempt at the Bank of Maharshatra, security has not been beefed up at various financial institutions, risking the security of bank employees and customers. A small distance from the Bank of Maharshatra, a lathi-wielding guard was all in the name of security at the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur. Bank officials said that the case for permission to have an armed guard was pending in the office of the Deputy Commissioner.

SSP, Mohali, JS Aulakh, said they had been advising all banks to spruce up security by installing CCTV cameras at the entrance and exit points, and also at strategic places within the bank premises and provide well-trained armed security guards. The police presence around the banks was being increased. Citing their own problems, certain banks have done little in the name of security.

A survey of banks revealed that some have installed CCTV, but do not have armed guards. PK Aggarwal, AGM, Bank of Maharsahtra, said orders have been passed to install CCTVs at all branches.

At Corporation Bank, Phase X, there was no CCTV. The bank manager said a resolution had been passed to have the CCTVs. In certain cases, the armed guard doubled up as attendant to serve water and tea to the bank staff.

Again at the State Bank of Patiala, Kumbhra village, a bank employee doubles up as an armed guard whenever required. “Since the cash transaction was less, security guard was not required,” said the bank manager. Similarly, the Matour branch of the bank has requested for a security guard from the district police. However, at the Oriental Bank of Commerce, Phase XI, there was security guard and the CCTV was functional.

Chief Manager, District Lead Bank, Malkiat Sandhu, said following the incident, the issue was raised at the bankers meeting in the presence of police officials. The meetings were held at Derabassi and Mohali. At Oriental Bank of Commerce, Phase XI, there was a security guard and the CCTV was also functional.

Panchkula

In recent times, Panchkula has witnessed a spate of bank robberies. Despite this, the bank has failed to provide security cover.

When The Tribune did a survey of city’s banks, it noticed that in most cases, the only means of security is a tired-looking guard with an old weapon in hand. Even the lone security guard was being sent on errands by employees to fetch tea or documents from another part of the bank.

At Indian Overseas bank, the security guard was found without gun, sitting inside the building. OP Matreja, a bank employee of Indian Overseas Bank, said his gun went for repair. Strangely, these guards are appointed to deal with robberies without gun. In fact, in Canara bank, they did not even have security guard on duty.

It is no wonder then that after every robbery, the police complain about the bank’s apathy to safety and security measures. During the beginning of the year, following a daring robbery in broad daylight on a busy street in Panchkula, the police criticised banks for not making any effort to secure their premises.

CHANDIGARH: A majority of city banks are turning a blind eye to the instructions issued by the Chandigarh police to take security measures on their premises.

UT SSP SS Srivastva told The Tribune that instructions had already been given to the banks to install CCTV cameras, security alarms and to have security guards to avoid any untoward incident.

He added that they had found that there were some banks which neither had CCTV cameras nor security guards. We are again visiting the banks and asking them to take preventive measures in the light of the recent robbery incidents.

A random survey by the TNS found that most of the banks were not following the instructions. A senior employee of Dena Bank, Sector 7, preferring anonymity, said there were no CCTV cameras and security guard on the bank premises. We had a guard six months ago, but after his retirement, there is no guard. The other bank of the Sector, Union Bank, also did not have any gunman for the past about two years.

Same was the plight of other banks. The manager of the Bank of India, Sector 20, said after receiving the instructions from the police, we had ordered the installing of the CCTV cameras.

The Central Bank of India, Sector 22-C, also had no CCTV cameras, while Cooperative Bank, Sector 30, neither had the CCTV cameras nor security guard. “The guard has retired and we are looking for a new guard,” said a senior employee of the bank, adding that same is the plight of most of their bank branches in the city.

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Jewellery ‘missing’ from bank locker
Victim accuses bank of negligence, officials deny charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Ornaments worth lakhs were allegedly found missing from a nationalised bank’s locker of a Sector 20 resident here today.

The victim alleged that it had happened due to the negligence of the bank. Narrating the incident, Harminder Singh Mankotia said he had come to the Sector 22 branch of Punjab National Bank (PNB) at around 1 pm to pick his jewellery as he had plans to go to his hometown in Himachal Pradesh to spend holidays with his family. However, he was shocked to find the locker empty.

He told TNS that he had kept ornaments of worth Rs 9-10 lakh in the locker and had last checked it on May 16. “There are two keys of the locker - one with me and the other with the bank - so the onus lies on the bank to secure valuables of its customers,” said Mankotia, who is a private tutor.

Mankotia has been dealing with the bank for last nine years and the jewellery had been there in the locker for last seven years. His wife, Vineeta Mankotia, broke down after the matter came to her notice. “We have lost our hard-earned valuables,” she said.

However, the bank officials denied any jewellery theft or any negligence on their part. “There are two keys of the locker. A client key, which is with Harminder, and the master key, which is with the bank. The locker only opens when both the keys are put together. We have CCTV cameras also which the police is checking, but it is showing images of the portion up to the stairs and not of the locker,” said, Subash Gupta, chief bank manager.

Meanwhile, preliminary investigations ruled out the possibility of theft on the basis of the CCTV footage. “The victim told us that he had kept two gold karas in the locker last time and the footage showed otherwise. He also told that he had not taken out anything from the locker, but the footage showed he was carrying a polythene bag. We are awaiting for the CFSL report and the picture will be clear only after that,” said Jaspal Singh, in-charge of Sector 22 police post.

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Decks cleared for scrapping of Film City
Admn gets back file from CVC

Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Decks have been cleared for the scrapping of the state-of-the-art Film City project at Sarangpur. With the Chandigarh administration getting back the Film City file from the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the administration is set to cancel the ambitious Rs 191-crore project, shattering the city's dream of emerging as the next cinematic tourism destination.

“With the Film City file back with the administration, the last hitch in deciding on the Parsvnath Developers withdrawal application from the project has been removed,” a senior official told The Tribune.

Earlier, the CVC, probing the controversial mega projects, including the Film City, had reportedly given a go-ahead to the administration to decide the fate of the project “on merit”. The CVC had clarified that the decision on the project would in no way affect the ongoing probe by the commission into the project.

The Parsvanath wanted withdrawal from the project on the grounds that the administration had failed to provide “encumbrance-free” land to the developers. It had repeatedly demanded the refund of Rs 47.75 crore deposited with the administration.

The official informed that the project memorandum of understanding (MoU) provided for termination of agreement after deduction of 10 per cent from the total money deposited by the promoters.

Agreeing that the project was “almost off”, the sources confirmed that there was no hope of the revival of the project in the backdrop of both of the parties reconciling to the fact that it could not be implemented.

The Film City project had been marred in controversies from the very start with even the UT Adviser commenting on Parsvanth's request for withdrawal, recommended a probe by a central agency into the project contending that the benchmark figure of Rs 175 crore was “grossly undervalued”.

Crying foul over the Parsvnath's request for withdrawal from the project, technical director Satish Kaushik has slapped a legal notice on the real estate giant for “unilateral” decision.

To be developed on 30 acres in Sarangpur, the project was awarded to Parsvnath in partnership with noted actor-director Satish Kaushik for Rs 191 crore in January 2006.

Finance secretary Sanjay Kumar had suggested setting up a committee comprising the Home Secretary, the Deputy Commissioner and the Director (IT) to negotiate for a mutual and amicable termination of the agreement between the administration and Parsvnath.

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Quadruplets born in PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
A Patiala-based woman gave birth to quadruplets, three girls and a boy, in the gynaecology ward of the PGI here this morning.

The newborns are in a stable condition, doctors of the PGI said. They have been placed in incubators in the hospital that have special premature baby units, said a doctor.

Sushmita (name changed) delivered the four babies, two months prior to full term, with some medical complications, said the doctor.

“This is a very rare pregnancy — something I have never witnessed over my past few years in this profession,” said the doctor. “From the initial check-up, I say that none of the babies have any sort of deformities,” said the doctor.

According to experts, in this medical condition, the mother carries the risk due to various factors including pre-term labour. On the other hand, the babies themselves run the risk of being affected with several problems. However, in spite of being born in seven months, the babies were healthy now, said doctors at the PGI Sushmita, the wife of Amanpreet, gave birth to the babies at 4.30 am. According to medical experts, the chances of a quadruplet birth are one in 800,000.

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Another suspected case of swine flu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Another suspected case of swine flu (H1N1 influenza) was reported today at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

This time, it is a 70-year-old woman, who had come to the city from the USA to meet her relative staying in Sector 37. According to the health authorities, the patient had been shifted to an isolation ward and her condition was stated to be normal.

“The samples taken from the woman had been sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases laboratory in Delhi,” said HC Gera, nodal officer, UT.

“We will get the report in two days,” said a hospital official of the GMCH-32. She reached the hospital, where doctors, finding the symptoms similar to those of swine flu, shifted her to the isolation ward, said HC Gera. This is the eight suspected swine flu case in the city. However, none of the seven suspected cases of swine flu here had tested positive for the infection, said UT health officials.

Mohali: A Mohali-based family which had visited Hem Kund Sahib reported symptoms of swine flu. The family, which claimed to have interacted with foreigners tourists, is suspecting that they might have been infected through them.The health authorities have kept them under observation.

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Marla Houses
Sec-44 resident accuses admn of harassment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The notification regarding relief to the marla house owners notwithstanding, the residents continue to face harassment at the hands of the different wings of the Chandigarh administration.

In a representation to the UT administrator, Gurdip Singh, a resident of Sector 44, alleged that the architecture wing of the administration was bent upon blocking the need-based changes allowed through the October 16, 2008, notification.

According to the notification, the projections/cantilevers on the first and second floors not exceeding three feet from the building line and three feet away from either side of the common wall in the front and the rear courtyard and more coverage areas on all three floors with increase in the floor area ratio (FAR) were the major relief to the residents.

However, the architecture department has issued the zoning plan for marla houses, according to which no cantilevers would be allowed in the rear courtyard if the covered area is increased in the plan submitted by the owner. As a result of the zoning plan, the building branch of the Estate Office is not sanctioning cantilevers in the rear courtyard for building with increased covered area in the plan even if the owners opts for non-construction of the additional room in the rear courtyard, the representation stated.

The representation also alleged that the Estate Office was not sanctioning the building plans of marla houses with mumties in the absence of any written communication by the architecture department.

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‘Income should be criterion for identifying classes’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
“The National Commission for Economically Backward Classes would consider recommending different incomes in different states as criterion for identifying economically backward classes,” echoed the visiting team of the commission comprising its chairman Maj Gen S.R. Sinho (retd), member Narendra Kumar, member secretary Mahender Singh, senior research officer Dr P.N. Ram and consultant M.P. Aggarwal from June 16-20, during a press conference organised her today.

The commission was constituted two years back to consider reservation for economically backward classes not covered under existing reservation policy and suggest quantum of reservation in government jobs and in education without affecting the existing reservation to SC/ST/OBC etc and also to suggest welfare measures for empowerment and to look into the constitutional, legal and administrative modalities coming in the way of reservation over and above 50 per cent of existing reservation and suggest modalities to overcome the legal problems coming in the way of reservation beyond 50 per cent.

Referring to incomes, roughly for Chandigarh and Punjab, the members said people with Rs 1 laqkh per annum earnings be considered as economically backward classes. Similarly, for Mumbai it was roughly Rs 2.5 lakh. For a comparatively poor state, the same would be between Rs 40,000-50,000. For neighbouring Haryana, it should be fixed at Rs 1.5 lakh.

The commission, prior to coming to Punjab and Chandigarh, already visited other states including Harayan , Rajasthan, UP, Bihar, Goa, Kearal, Chattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Jharkhand.

Also, once the commission submits a final report on the same, which would take a couple of months more, the reservation policy thus framed would be reviewed after 10 years or so, said a member.

Also, unlike other reservations like SC/ST/OBC, which continue, this reservation would not be so. If a beneficiary’s income increases, he would be out of the ambit of this reservation policy and therefore no longer be able to get the benefits under this policy.

As regards Chandigarh, the chairman said that the members met with the governor and he has many schemes and plans for the development of economically backward classes in the city.

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Army chief takes stock of war game
Tribune News Service

Gen Deepak Kapoor Chandigarh, June 18
Chief of the Army Staff, Gen Deepak Kapoor, today reviewed the end results of a high-level war game being held by the Western Command. He arrived at Command Headquarters, Chandimandir, today for an overnight visit in this regard today.

Earlier this month, some formations under the Western Command had carried certain field exercises to validate operational concepts and test their equipment.

A war game is a closed-door conceptual exercise conducted by top commanders with the help of sand models and large-scale maps, which do not involve troops on the ground. For quite some time now, the Army’s emphasis has been on war games rather than field exercises due to constraints of space and expenses involved.

War games are held at all levels every year to review existing operational plans vis-à-vis on ground developments and expose new commanders to offensive and defensive strategies pertaining to a particular theatre.

Terming the ongoing war game to be a routine annual affair, sources in Western Command said besides top commanders from the command and its field formations, senior representatives from Army Headquarters and the Army Training Command were also present for the brainstorming exercise.

Over the past few years, the Army has been focusing on fighting a high-intensity, short-duration war in a built-up urban and semi-urban environment. Fundamental to this doctrine is a networked environment enabling real time flow of intelligence, data and information as well as rapid deployment of devastating firepower across the entire spectrum of conflict.

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Pensioners’ body stages dharna
Seeks revised pension, allowances
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Members of the Punjab Government Pensioners’ Welfare Association today staged a dharna in Sector 17 in support of their demands.

Addressing the dharna, various speakers flayed the Punjab government for its “delaying tactics” in issuing notification for the revision of their pension and allowances in accordance with the recommendations of the 5th Punjab Pay Commission.

Other demands of the pensioners included Rs 1,000 as fixed medical allowance, 10 per cent house maintenance allowance, recovery of commuted pension in 12 years instead of 15 years, grant of LTC for family pensioners and 100 per cent additional pension at the age of 90 years instead of 100 years.

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Home Secy: Expedite process of e-tendering
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The Home Secretary-cum-Chief Vigilance Officer has directed the Engineering Department to expedite the process of e-tendering in order to bring transparency in allotment of tenders during a meeting conducted to review the vigilance cases.

He directed the vigilance officials to keep a special vigil on the public dealing seats and ensure that the people do not face any problem in their day-to-day interaction with the government departments.

People can complain to the vigilance helpline at 2740012 (24 hours) and 2743410 (office hours), if they face any difficulty from any government official regarding delay or demand of bribe. The head of departments should regularly monitor the public dealing seats and bring to the notice the cases of deliberate delay and roadblocks by the employees.

SP (Vigilance) G.S. Ghuman said there were 16 vigilance inquiries pending with the Vigilance Department and inquiry reports would be finalised within three months. He said a total number of 12 cases were finalised and challans were put up in the court during the last six months.

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27 city docs leave for Singapore

Chandigarh, June 18
To participate in the second part of Singapore-India Joint Training Programme on Enhanced Healthcare Management (SIGNET), a team of 27 doctors left for Singapore on Tuesday.

A team of 27 doctors, 18 from GMCH-32, eight from PGI and one from a city-based NGO, who had completed the three-day internal training course here, have left for Singapore.

This project has been brought to the city by Prof Lazer Mathew of Vellore. It envisages imparting training to 500 doctors of north India within the next three years. The first part was inaugurated by the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Gen (Retd) S F Rodrigues, at GMCH-32 a few days ago.

Prof Raj Bahadur, director principal, GMCH-32, said Singapore spent less money on health sector as compared to the USA, but provided better health services. Since the city resembled Singapore, it was thought to emulate it here and emphasis was laid on bringing our health indicators close to that of Singapore, he added. — TNS

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Swine Flu
No stock of Tamiflu at Civil Hospital
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 18
Despite increasing swine flu cases in the region, the local civil hospital does not have stock of Tamiflu to tackle the disease.

A case suspecting the disease in a family in Phase XI, Mohali, was reported at the civil hospital yesterday, which was attended by a team of doctors, including civil surgeon Dr Avtar Singh and district health officer Dr SP Surila.

The hospital authorities are waiting for Tamiflu under the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP), though they have been assured that the medicine will be supplied immediately.

The hospital has set up an isolation ward for H1N1 virus cases. Dr Manraj Singh has been appointed as the nodal officer, who will be assisted by two doctors Dr Sandeep Singh and Dr Kamaljeet Sandha.

However, the hospital does not have a helpline yet. Dr Avatar said helpline numbers have been made available to the public through the media in districts like Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur.

The hospital also lacks Virus Transport Media (VTM) vials for sending samples of nasal swabs for testing. The SMO in charge, Dr HS Sarang, said the vials will be provided to the hospital by the IDSP. Face masks were provided in the isolation ward and nursing students had been asked to wear those.

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‘False’ Cases
BJP submits memo to Rodrigues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
A delegation of the local unit of the BJP led by Kamla Sharma, president, today called upon UT administrator SF Rodrigues and handed over a memorandum in connection with “false” cases registered by the Chandigarh Police against BJP workers.

The party delegation apprised Rodrigues of the alleged false criminal cases filed by the police against BJP workers under pressure from the Congress. The BJP accused the police of taking legal action only against the BJP workers by registering “false” cases whereas the cases filed against the Congress workers during the recent Lok Sabha election were being ignored.

The delegation informed the administrator that a hot discussion took place between the BJP and the Congress workers on the polling day on May 13, but the police did not take any action against the Congress workers and instead Narinder Choudhary, BJP worker, was arrested and sent to jail.

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Veggie prices go up
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The prices of potatoes and onions, which are an inseparable part of Indian cuisines, have risen in comparison to last week’s price.

The price of potatoes has increased by Rs 18 to Rs 22 per kg compared to the price of the last week. The cost of onions available at the department stores has risen from Rs 15 - Rs 17 to Rs 17 - Rs 20 per kg.

The stock at the ‘sabzi mandi’ in Sector 26 is, however, cheaper than the vegetables available at the department stores. The prices of onions had slashed from Rs 70 per 5 kg to Rs 60 per 5 kg. There has been a stark increase in the price tomatoes from Rs 18 per kg last week to Rs 25 per kg today at the department stores. The price of green peas has also increased from Rs 35 per kg to Rs 45 per kg. The price of the poor man’s vegetable -- bottle gourd -- has almost doubled from Rs 10 per kg to Rs 20.

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Bansal takes charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal today took the additional charge of the Union Minister for Water Resources in New Delhi.

The slot of the Union Minister for Water Resources had fallen vacant following the elevation of Meira Kumar as the Lok Sabha Speaker.

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ISRO to study ‘space colony’ project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is going to examine the project on life support systems and growth of plants in space, which the five little champs of Dikshant International School, Chandigarh, presented at the 28th International Space Development Conference held in Florida, USA, recently. This was disclosed by Mitul Dikshit, director of Dikshant International School while interacting with the mediapersons here today.

He revealed the space settlement team of five students of the school, comprising Aditya Aggarwal, Amandeep Kaur, Kirti Aggarwal, Shray Gautam and Twesha Dikshit, along with himself, had submitted this project at NASA’s International Space Settlement Design Contest, where it bagged the first prize.

While talking to the media, students of the team revealed that they had researched on growing plants by making use of zero gravity as a part of their project on life support systems in space. The students planned to establish their space colony on the orbit of the earth and use the method of Hydroponic farming and LED base farming in their project. They further stated that the project lays special emphasis on Fluid Nutrient Delivery and the students had designed specialised temperature and humidity controlled chambers.

The students during the four day conference interacted with some of the leading NASA astronauts, including Buzz Aldrin - the first astronaut to reach moon along with Neil Armstrong on the mission Apollo 11th.

The students also got an opportunity to interact with members of the Chandrayaan team from the ISRO, which won the Pioneer Award for Science and Engineering 2009, headed by G Madhaven Nair, Chairman, ISRO. Madhaven Nair had recommended that the project of the school children be forwarded them for further study and research.

Amandeep Kaur, a member of the space settlement team of Dikshant International school said it was a dream come true for her to have participated in the International Space Development Conference and interacted with astronauts and space missions members about whom she had only read in books and encyclopedias.

Kirti Aggarwal commented that rubbing shoulders with Buzz Aldrin was a dream come true for her. Mitul Dikshit said the members of the team were special invited at the Kennedy Space Centre where they had the privilege to experience the new shuttle.

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40 award sheets go missing at PU
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The examination system of Panjab University comes under scanner once again, as around 40 award sheets have gone missing here today.

According to information, the sheets of the students of MSc in Nuclear Medicine had come to the department in the first week of June that went ‘missing’ today.

“We had got the sheets in June and stored them as per the procedure, but we were unable to locate these today. We then informed the authorities about this,” an official said.

The officials concerned have also expressed doubts of these being deliberately stolen to the Registrar.

“Though there is nothing much to worry about, as teachers always have a duplicate copy of the sheets. But the matter is being taken seriously and the culprit will be punished,” said AK Bhandari, controller examination, Panjab University.

Notably, last year also, four answer sheets had gone missing for a day in the UBS department and were eventually recovered. A similar enquiry was marked then also, but the result is still awaited.

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PU to have information desk from today
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 18
Acquiring information about the university’s admission process is all set to get easier for students, as the students will now have an option to approach the university’s own information window rather than help desks set up by different students’ parties.

All set to go, hi-tech Panjab University is opening its sole information desk at the UIET building tomorrow, which will be equipped with LCD screen. It will display everything from campus information to providing details about courses and even hostel accommodations.

Other than this what is going to set it apart is that the information will come from the horse’s mouth with professors and wardens sitting there.

The move is bound to prove as a boon for the students, as they will be getting apt details from dealing officials, as AK Bhandari, PU Examination Controller, said, “Taking stock of the students’ problem in the admission process, we have taken this necessary step. This would bring comfort to the students seeking admission to their respective courses. Though the students’ parties are doing tremendous in helping the students still they cannot tell everything about the university.”

Even ABVP, a students’ party, has launched its blog, which claims that it will have all necessary information about admissions, campus, hostels and even answer queries pertaining to answer sheets and reevaluation.

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Mass communication finds favour with students
Gaurav Sharma

Chandigarh, June 18
When it comes to rating vocational courses on the basis of preference, mass communication surely tops the chart. Having widened its horizons from journalism to film making, editing, PR, advertising, et all, this course has a lot to offer to creative minds. With more and more avenues opening for youngsters, most of them are all set to board the bandwagon.

“It is not only the regular field like journalism, but the scope of mass communication training today has widened and created job opportunities like never before. Even the arena of media research is fast becoming popular given the fact that media has not only created its identity as a sector, but also emerged as an international entity. This sector has tremendous career prospects,” says Archna Singh, faculty, school of communication studies, PU.

“As a sector of entertainment, media are growing at galloping speed and would continue to grow. During the time of global slowdown, this is the only sector which has not been affected,” she further adds.

AC Vaid, principal of SD College, says the course offers immense job opportunities ahead. “This is the most wanted course among all courses in Panjab University. The course has multiple job opportunities. In this field, creative and analytical mind can tip the scale in your favour,” he adds.

According to experts, students opting for this course should keep themselves updated with the latest developments across the globe. They should have an excellent command over their language as expression of language plays an instrumental role in this field.

Mass communication covers a wide area comprising of closely related fields of advertisement, communication and public relations. Almost all kinds of establishments, whether business, government or political, are availing services offered by these industries. It is, therefore, an encouraging sign for those looking ahead to making a career in mass communication.

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Plan Schemes
Edu dept to spend Rs 25 cr
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The education department will be spending Rs 25 crore on various plan schemes during the current financial year. Besides, Rs 32 crore on the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is likely to be approved by the Government of India soon, Home Secretary Ram Niwas said during a review meeting of the education department here today.

A programme for the repair and upgradation of the school infrastructure has been planned during the current financial year. The engineering department will be spending around Rs 10 crore in addition to the plan of SSA Budget to upgrade the infrastructure of the school by constructing additional rooms, kitchen sheds, pre-fab structures in various government schools.

There is a proposal to improve the infrastructure of colleges by spending Rs 2.5 crore on various development works.

The Home Secretary directed the DPI (Schools) to ensure that uniforms, school books etc should be provided to the government schools in time. He also instructed the DPI that the process of recruiting 536 teachers should be expedited and efforts should be made to place the teachers by the third week of July.

He also instructed the DPI to finalise seniority list of the teachers and hold departmental promotion meetings at the earliest.

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British council told to set up English training institute
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, yesterday asked the British Council to set up an English training institute in the state to impart quality training to the English trainers.

A decision to this effect was taken by the Chief Minister in a meeting, which he held here yesterday with a three-member delegation of the council, led by the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Regional Director, British Council Division of the British High Commission, Rod Pryde.

The Chief Minister directed the secretary, school education, Karanbir Singh Sidhu, who also attended the meeting to submit a comprehensive proposal for setting up the institute to the British Council within a week.

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PGI doc gets fellowship
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Dr Rajendra Kumar Kanojia, assistant professor in the department of orthopaedics, PGI, has been awarded with the “Depeuy Johnson Foreign Fellowship” of the Indian Orthopaedics Association for the year 2009-2010. Dr Rajendra will be visiting a centre of excellence abroad.

At present, he is working on correction of the post-traumatic and congenital deformities of upper and lower limbs, especially of leg and foot along with general orthopaedics and trauma care.

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