C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Swine Flu
11 more suspected cases in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
As the country grapples with the H1N1 outbreak, 11 more suspected swine flu cases were reported in the city during the past 24 hours. Besides, six more patients, including one each from Mohali and Panchkula, were also admitted to the PGI.

With the 11 new cases from the city, the total number of suspected swine cases has gone up to 56. The number of positive cases detected so far stands at seven.

According to UT Nodal Officer HC Gera, all suspected patients have been quarantined at various government hospitals - GMCH-32, GMSH-16 and PGI. “They all had flu-like symptoms and we have kept them under observation,” he said.

Gera also revealed that a “negative’’ test report had been received from the NICD of one of the suspected patients who was admitted to the GMCH-32 on Friday. He said of the four patients admitted at PGI, three were from Punjab (Ropar and Bathinda) and one from Yamunanagar in Haryana.

The panic caused by eight deaths continues to keep residents of the tricity on their toes, as even today several people approached the hospitals with requests for tests. While various hospitals in the city have reported about 15 per cent to 20 per cent increase in such patients, even the civil hospitals in Mohali and Panchkula, which are authorized to collect samples, have registered a steep hike in numbers.

A doctor at General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, admitted that while one or two persons had been coming with requests for swine flu tests earlier, their number had increased considerably since the deaths in Pune and other parts of the country. “We are receiving at least 15 to 20 patients now,” he said, adding that in the past four days they had sent eight samples for tests.

Meanwhile, a meeting between UT health officials and the management of those hospitals, which have been identified for setting up isolation wards, has been scheduled for tomorrow.

Dr AK Kaushal, president of Private Nursing Home, Chandigarh, said the step was being taken to increase the number of nursing home designated for the treatment of swine flu cases. However, the UT surveillance wing would collect the samples from these hospitals and send them to NICD.

“The identified hospitals from the private sector will be provided with requisite stock of anti-viral drugs, PPE/ N-95 masks and triple layered masks to deal with the patients,” said UT health officials.



Swine Flu Scare
DPS sends back more students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
In a bid to show extra cautiousness over swine flu, over 50 students, from different classes, were sent back home by Delhi Public School, Sector 40, today. Though the school authorities maintained that it is a major requisite for safety, the parents claimed that such an act is creating panic among students.

Some other schools had also called up the parents to take their wards back as a precautionary measure. About 10 students at Bhavan Vidyalya School, Sector 27, 15 students at St. Anne’s Convent School, Sector 32, three at Saupins School, Sector 32 and certain other government school students were sent back home today, said sources.

Meanwhile, the anguished parents of Delhi Public School objected to the authorities move. “ My child and six others from her class were sent back home today. Now even the neighbours have cautioned their kids not to play with her. The school has created an unwanted panic. When I consulted two doctors, they confirmed she does even show symptoms of flu,” said Manjeet Singh of Department of Sociology, Panjab University, whose child is in Class V-A.

Another student, Shubham of Class VIIIth C, of the same school had visited his hometown in Himachal and had reportedly caught cold.“ The child was sent back for a week along with eight others from his class. He was not even permitted to take the test,” said his mother. On being contacted the school principal Reema Dhawan said that the school will take care of the syllabus missed by these students and the same has been updated on the website.

Meanwhile, other schools in the city have put up posters on notice board telling the students about do’s and dont’s, the safety measures and even sent circulars to the parents. Others have ensured double sanitisation of washrooms and other places in the school.

“ Instead of creating a panic among students, we have started conducting informative seminars for students and teachers about the flu. In addition we have also put up posters to make the students aware,” said an official of the Carmel Convent School, Sector 9.

While Panjab University is yet to take any such major steps, a letter has reportedly been sent to all hostels directing them to get ill students clinically examined immediately. According to Naval Kishore, DSW, PU, “We have asked all the hostellers who are ill for quite some time now to get a proper check up done”.



HC passes strictures against estate office, police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The speed at which the UT estate office functionaries work “in case of fraud certainly needs commendation,” the Punjab and Haryana High Court has mordantly observed while passing strictures against the office and the Chandigarh Police.

Justice Rajesh Bindal has also made it clear that the High Court wants the administration to get the estate office’s functioning investigated. Directions have also been issued to hand over the investigations of a property fraud case “to a senior official so that all the links in the chain are complete.”

The strictures and the directions come on a pre-arrest bail petition filed by PS Kapoor in a case registered in a property matter on July 1 under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC.

Turning down the plea, Justice Rajesh Bindal asserted: “He is a suspended employee of the Haryana Excise and Taxation Department, who is engaged in the business of property dealing at the cost of the state from where he must be getting subsistence allowance to the extent of 50 to 75 per cent, he is not only engaged in property dealing business, but also in fraudulent deals.”

“While rejecting the anticipatory bail plea filed by the petitioner, the court is constrained to make observations regarding the manner in which the entire fraud is being investigated at different levels and also the casual attitude with which the final action against a suspended employee is pending, letting him enjoy paid holiday at the cost of the state and indulge in business of property dealing and other fraudulent activities,” Justice Rajesh Bindal asserted.

Giving directions to forward the copy of the order to the Haryana Chief Secretary, Justice Bindal added: “As far as the role of the estate officer, UT, Chandigarh, is concerned, the speed at which the officials work in case of fraud certainly needs commendation. A common man cannot get a file moved for months together, even after visiting the office regularly, whereas in the present case the application of issuance of no objection certificate was filed on May 1, which was issued on May 18. The sale deed was registered on May 20, and even the letter of transfer of ownership in the name of the vendee was issued on May 29…”

“A copy of the order be sent to the Advisor to the Administration, UT, to get the matter regarding the functioning of the estate officer investigated,” Justice Bindal asserted.



Non-compliance of forum order
2-yr jail for ICICI Bank manager 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Failing to comply with the orders of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, the forum directed the branch manager of ICICI Bank, Sector 9, to undergo two-year imprisonment and pay a fine of Rs 10,000 under Section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

On May 18, the bank was directed to pay Rs 3 lakh as compensation for forcible possession of a car from their customer. Even after three months, the bank failed to comply with the orders following which an execution application was filed.

The forum has issued non-bailable warrants for branch manager of the bank to be issued on September 4, 2009, for his arrest and detention in jail to undergo imprisonment awarded to him.

The complainant, Gaurav Aggarwal, then a resident of Manimajra, had filed a complaint with the forum alleging that he purchased Tata Indigo car in April, 2006, after availing a loan of Rs 4.8 lakh from the bank. The loan was to be returned in equated monthly instalments. It was alleged that all formalities were completed and the bank had also taken post-dated cheques from the complainant as security. It was averred that due to personal financial difficulty, the complainant could not deposit three instalments for September-November, 2006, and on November 24, 2006, six recovery agents of the bank forcibly confiscated his car.

After he moved the consumer forum, the bank was directed to pay the complainant Rs 4 lakh as compensation along with refund of Rs 1,34,467. The bank was also directed to pay Rs 5500 as costs of litigation.

After the bank filed an appeal against the order, it was modified and the bank was directed to pay Rs 3 lakh instead of Rs 4 lakh on May 18, 2009. The bank failed to comply with the order and the complainant then filed an execution application.



GMADA hikes reserve price of residential plots
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 11
A few weeks ahead of the proposed auction of residential plots here, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has increased the reserve price of residential plots in the Mohali urban estate.

The revised rates would also have bearing on the urban estates being planned in the local planning areas of Mohali and Mullapur.

The rates have been increased from Rs 10,000 per sq yard to Rs 12000 per sq yard for plots sized 100 sq yard and above. For plots sized less than 100 sq yard, the rates have been increased from Rs 5000 per sq yard to Rs 6000 per sq yard. The decision was taken at a meeting of the executive of the GMADA held recently.

In 2008, the rates were Rs 7,950 per sq yard and Rs 3150 per sq yard, respectively. These rates are revised for the allotment of plots through auction. “Since the urban estates planned by GMADA might take a long time, the revised rates would have a bearing on the reserved price of plots put under the hammer,” said an official.

Sources added that the rates had been increased, as rates of institutional, commercial and other sites were based on the reserve price of residential plots. Also, the rate of extension fee for the non-construction of plots was calculated on the basis of the reserve price. After the increase in reserve price, the extension fee being charged from this month would also register an increase of Rs 480 per sq yard.

In a recent revision of allotment rates for residential plots in the state, PUDA has fixed very low rates for plots less than 100 sq yards, but for anything beyond that, the buyer will now have to pay through his nose.

Recently, GMADA increased the allotment price for the land allotted to government institutions. Against the earlier allotment rate of Rs 7,500 per sq yard, the new rate comes to around Rs 9,200 per sq yard, a hike of 20 per cent.

However, no decision of the rate of land to be allotted to 13 cooperative house building societies has been taken. No decision on the proposed rate of Rs 10,000 per sq yard has been taken, as the rates in neighbouring Chandigarh and Panchkula were being studied.



Merchant navy officer dies at airport
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Sukhwinder Singh (64), a merchant navy officer, died after he collapsed at the Chandigarh Airport here this morning, a few minutes before boarding a flight for Mumbai.

The police ruled out any foul play behind the death and termed it a case of natural death.

According to eyewitnesses, they saw froth coming out of Singh’s mouth, which led to a suspicion that he might have been drugged.

According to sources, he was immediately rushed to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital where he was declared brought dead.

A police official said it was later found out that the deceased was a heart patient and suffered a heart attack. The police had informed the family about the death.


‘Wah Chandigarh’ tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The Chandigarh administration, in collaboration with the CII, Chandigarh, will organise “Wah! Chandigarh -- Celebrating the Spirit of Chandigarh” on August 13, 2009, at CII building, Sector 31, here.

This was disclosed by the UT Home-cum-Cultural Affairs Secretary Ram Niwas in a press conference here today.

“Chandigarh has taken a huge leap forward in its uniqueness by being a smoke and polythene free city. The significance of its emblem, Open Hand, conveys the social message of peace, harmony and unity in diversity that is "open to give and open to receive”.

Asserting that Chandigarh is Walker’s paradise, Niwas said to retain this rare distinction, the administration had planned to develop six theme parks in the city at an estimated cost of Rs eight crore. The city administration had also planned the first ever marathon “Chandigarh Marathon- 2010”, a full marathon of 42.195 km, the route for which will include areas of Mohali and Panchkula on February 7, 2010.

The administration has also decided to organised a ten-day cultural festival titled “Chandigarh National Crafts Mela. The fair will be organised on the pattern of famous Surajkund mela in collaboration with North Zone Culture Centre from October 24 to November 2, 2009, in Kalagram.

Partap Aggarwal, chairman of the CII Chandigarh Council, said the event had been organised with an aim to provoke and cultivate ideas that could further transform the city into one of the best cities in the world in terms of quality of life, social infrastructure, green and clean environment, embalm and accentuate the art, culture and heritage of the city.

Charu Mathur, regional director, CII Northern Region, said, “The convention is basically an initiative, which will engage the country’s stake holders to create a campaign spread over a period of three months through activities engaging local populace like conferences on Chandigarh; open events across the city at various spots; blogs and social network on the Internet; Competitions on essay writing, poetical recitation and poster making.



MRTS draft plan submitted 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The Draft Comprehensive Mobility Plan for the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) for Chandigarh Urban Complex has been submitted and uploaded on the Chandigarh administration website www.chandigarh.gov.in.

The administration has invited suggestions from the general public through the website, which would be compiled and sent to the Urban Planning Department and Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) for further scrutiny. The suggestions should be sent within 30 days.

The draft Comprehensive Mobility Report (CMP) report, consisting of 256 pages, is based on the analysis done by RITES through collecting data from primary and secondary sources regarding the transport system of the Chandigarh Urban Complex.

The study has revealed that the road worthy capacity and travel speeds are generally adequate but on some roads speeds are declining. Many junctions particularly on Madhya Marg, Himalaya Marg, Dakshin Marg, Jan Marg, Purv Marg, Udyog path etc have very high approach traffic volumes and most of the junctions with rotaries have exceeded their capacity.

Components of the medium and the long-term traffic and transportation plan within the Chandigarh Urban Complex included mass transport system, metro system, bus rapid transport (BRT) system, city bus system, bus terminals and additional depots, road Infrastructure parking facitlity etc.

The outside the Chandigarh Urban Complex has bypasses, road widening, commuter rail system and bus rapid transit system.

RITES has observed that the situation at these junctions were likely to deteriorate with provision of underpasses and retaining of rotaries the traffic would move smoothly because of the route being straight. This also helps maintaining the aesthetics of Chandigarh.

Since most of the major roads with four and six lanes have limited scope of widening this indicates judicious use of available space. In that direction, there is need to adopt transport system management measures, the study says. 



35 yrs on, Mohali lacks stadium 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 11
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has failed to construct a stadium for sports lovers in Mohali, lamented a municipal councillor.

In a letter written to GMADA Chief Administrator Kuljit Singh Bedi said it was unfortunate that the city, which came into existence about 35 years ago, did not have any stadium for sports lovers till date even though the state government had been making tall claims about the town’s development.

He stated that it was GMADA’s responsibility to provide such facilities, but unfortunately it had failed on this front. Sports lovers were left with no option other than going to Chandigarh stadiums for which they had to spend extra time and money.

Sports lovers and politicians of the town had repeatedly urged the GMADA authorities to construct the stadium but to no avail.

Sportspersons had various arrangements besides temporary tracks for practising their games in the Phase VIII ground after spending money from their own pockets. But, these have on numerous been damaged by those who organise social and religious functions at the venue. Even the state government was not interested in providing some facilities to the sportspersons. The municipal council had even cleared a proposal for constructing sports stadium in the town, but the government failed to react to the one sent by the civic body.

He said PUDA had wasted crores of rupees in the name of a sports stadium, which had not come up so far. Only a boundary wall was constructed and gate erected in Phase IX but no other construction work had been carried out on this project for the past 10 years.

He urged the GMADA authorities to give due importance to the construction of the stadium besides other facilities in the town failing which he along with sportspersons would stage a dharna and if needed would not hesitate from approaching a court. 



Squash centre opened in Attawa village
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Satinder Bajwa, mentor of eight-time world squash champion Jansher Khan, has opened a squash centre, Khelshala, at Sector 42 Attawa village with an aim to give life-time benefits to the village kids by training them in the sport.

“We will select 16 kids in the age group from 8 to 14 years and train them free of cost,” said Bajwa, who is currently working as a director and head coach of squash at Harvard University.

He told The Tribune that over Rs 1 crore had been spent to build two squash courts here. Two coaches and a few volunteers would be available at the centre. The kids, both girls and boys, will attend training after their school hours from 2.30 to 5.30 pm. They would give kits and other required material while practising here only.

“About Rs 3,000 will one trainee cost per month and we will also make it open for outsiders on a payment of a membership fee, which would give financial support to the centre. Efforts will also be made to engage in corporate sectors for sponsorships,” he said.

Speaking about Khelshala, Bajwa said it hoped to transform the lives of disadvantaged children, starting with one village a time.

“The sport of squash has been accessible to students and individuals from privileged backgrounds. But with Kehlshala, I want to show that this game is not only restricted to rich people. I want to produce world-class players in squash,” he said.



Policemen save girl from drowning
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Alert policemen today saved a girl from drowning in Sukhna Lake, here, who accidentally slipped into the murky waters from the staircases this morning.

According to the police, the victim, 17-year-old Kamaljit Kaur of Darua was sitting on the steps when she accidentally fell into the lake. The incident occurred near the police post and a policeman on duty noticed the girl falling into the water. He raised an alarm and assistant sub-inspector Sukhchain Singh, constables Vijendra Singh and Nasib Singh, along with CPO Udesh Kumar, rushed to the spot and fished out the girl.

She was brought out in a semi-conscious state and was rushed to the Sector 16 Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, where doctors resuscitated her.

The victim told the police that she had failed in an exam and had been depressed and had fallen into the water while being engrossed in thoughts.



CITCO gets new directors

Chandigarh, August 11
Umesh Kapoor among others has been appointed as new director in the Board of Directors (BoD) of Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation Ltd (CITCO) with an immediate effect.

The other two new appointees include director Atul Khanna, Durga Dass Foundation, and ex-chief architect Renu Sehgal, Chandigarh. Atul has been inducted as the new director to replace Surinder Kumar. Kumar had submitted his resignation during the last meeting of the BoD held recently. Meanwhile, Renu has been appointed in place of general manager Namgial, Small Industrial Development, Bank of India, Chandigarh. — TNS



IAF study: Smoking leads to hearing loss among aircrew
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
An IAF study has linked smoking to increased prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss amongst its personnel. The study also found that personnel engaged in technical trades were more prone to noise -related hearing loss.

Pointing out that smoking and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) are known to have a synergistic relation, the authors’ the report said, “We found the prevalence of HINL among smokers to be higher among technical as well as non-technical trades. The present study confirms the deleterious effects on smokers exposed to high-noise levels.”

The study, undertaken by Air Vice -Marshal RC Kashyap, Principal Medical Officer, Western Air Command, New Delhi, and Lt Col S Nair, ENT specialist, Command Hospital, Bangalore, has been published in the latest issue of the Medical Journal Armed Forces of India, the professional official publication of services’ medical fraternity.

The study states that though the mechanism is not clear, it is hypothesised that smoking may damage cells due to due to reduced blood flow to cochlea or by increasing carboxyhaemogolobin and reducing available oxygen.

As part of the study, an audiometric survey among 1,000 IAF personnel from various trades, ages and exposure groups was carried out at an operational base.



Sham-e-Ghazal impresses audience
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 11
After organising a grandiose recital by Anuradha Pal, a tabla maestro of international eminence, the Pracheen Kala Kendra featured local ghazal singer Vinod Sood in a Sham-e-Ghazal concert at their auditorium here today.

Backed with a sound learning and teaching experience in Hindustani classical music and mellifluous voice, head of Kendra’s music department Vinod Sood displayed versatility, verve and deep emotional feelings, a forte of the ghazal format.

The programme commenced with an invocatory Saraswati Vandana by Kendra students before Vinod spelt magic with rendition of a ghazal, “Sham dhalte hi tujhe yaad kiya karte hain”, followed by more compositions.

Vinod established a romantic aura with a Bashir Badr classic, “Khuda mujh ko aise khudayi na de” and Mirza Ghalib’s, “Koi umeed barr nahi aati”.

The audience relished the intoxicating number, “Halaat maikde ke karwat badal rahe hain”. The maestro interspersed his presentations with soothing couplets of relative themes.

He concluded his recital with favourite ghazal, “Yu hi besabab na fira karo, koi sham ghar bhi raha karo”, amidst applause.

Accomplished musicians Gautam Dhar on tabla, Neeraj on keyboard, Goldy on guitar, Rajesh on sarangi, Laxman Neeta on octopad embellished the concert. Kendra secretary Sajal Koser honoured the artistes.



Mohali boy drowns in Rajpura
Parents allege foul play 
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, August 11
Parents of a 21-year-old youth from Mohali, who drowned in the Bhakra-Narwana canal branch yesterday, are not ready to buy the police theory of it being an accident.

On Monday evening, Sahil Sharma, a student of SD College, Sector 32, Chandigarh, and his seven friends reached the canal near Mandoli village in Raipura after the college hours. They came in two cars and a bike to take bath in a canal adjoining the river.

As per the police, one of cars got stuck in the mud and Sahil pushed the car our. He later went to wash his hands and slipped into the river, the police added.

Sahil’s father, Mohan Lal Sharma, however, alleged that there was no possibility of drowning as there were six boys standing besides Sahil when the incident took place.

“Even if they had shouted for help, a large number of people could have come to their rescue from the nearby bridge. Many villagers often sit together on the bridge,” he said.

He added that the statements of other boys also don’t match. A visit to the spot revealed that there was no provision on the bank to wash hands, he said.

The victim’s father added that some villagers informed them today that a boy was standing between two cars and was apparently upset.

“It is shocking that police officials investigating matter are also corroborating odd statements of boys who accompanied Sahil,” said the victim’s mother, Neera Sharma.

She said the family had hired divers to trace the missing boy but no clue was found till late in the evening. She added that the clothes, mobile phone and keys of Sahil’s car were found from the vehicles of other boys. Sahil’s car was parked outside the college premises in Chandigarh.

The boys who accompanied Sahil said the two cars were on different sides of the river but villagers said the cars were parked at one side together, said the parents.



Man dies mysteriously

Chandigarh, August 11
Rajwinder Singh Attwal (38), a resident of Sector 37, died under mysterious circumstances at his residence here this afternoon.

Though Attwal’s wife Saapanpreet Kaur in her statement recorded before the police said Attwal came home drunk at around 1 pm and died due to excessive drinking, Attwal’s relatives in Canada expressed doubts over his death.

Attwal’s brother-in-law from Canada told the SHO of the Sector 39 police station on phone to wait for them before initiating any action into the matter. A father of two sons, Attwal was a property dealer and had several properties and shops in his name in Punjab. — TNS



Tribune Impact
PU orders cleaning of water tanks 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Taking cognisance of a report highlighting monkeys drinking and bathing in the water tanks in Panjab University boys hostel no. 6, the varsity has decided to initiate series of steps to curb the menace.

Dean, Students Welfare, (DSW) Naval Kishore, has ordered an immediate sanitisation of tanks. “The problem is major so I have directed those responsible to get the tanks cleaned immediately. We have also asked the authorities to make proper security arrangements so that these monkeys cannot get inside the tanks,” said the DSW.

It was highlighted in these columns yesterday that given to the broken or missing lids of water tanks, simians were bathing in the water being used for drinking purposes by the inmates of Hostel no. 6.

Warden Gurmeet Singh said that as the hostel was near the green belt, the monkeys created nuisance all the time. “We take all possible measures. It’s not that the lids are missing, but these monkeys damage them and get inside the tanks. We are now getting double latches welded on all tanks and are also getting bigger locks installed. One of the tanks was installed recently and it will be immediately fenced,” he added. 



Only 9% clear LLM exam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
With the result of LLM (first year) being declared today, the department registered an all-time low pass percentage of 9, with only three out of 27 students clearing all subjects.

Following the result that has shocked students and faculty alike, around 12 students have failed to secure promotion to second year as they have failed in more than one subject.

While many might attribute this to lack of effort on students’ part, the latter are in no mood to take it and have blamed it on some faux pas in the checking of their answer-sheets.

“This result is unprecedented. Of course, the batch quality and teaching standards have not dipped this bad, the problem is somewhere in the checking of answer-sheets only,” said one of the students.

It may be noted that a group of these students approached the Vice-Chancellor office with this claim and demanded grace marks in lieu of this “mistake” on evaluators’ part.

However following a denial from the authorities they settled for a speedy re-evaluation.

“This kind of result indicates some major flaw in the preparation of result. So we had gone to meet the Vice-Chancellor, asking him to give us grace marks. He, however, denied it, as it was against rules and asked us for revaluation,” said one of the students.

“This is not acceptable. We are suffering for some folly of the authorities only. We could not have gone for re-evaluation initially as it would have taken six months but now the Vice-Chancellor has promised to get its result out in just one month. If the marks get better, it’s fine otherwise we shall have to look at some other option to solve this issue,” added another.

“The result is truly surprising but the only thing we can do is get a re-evaluation, which is going to be very speedy to facilitate the students. Any further thing can only be said after this re-evaluation result only, ” concluded Naval Kishore.



Panel to probe student’s complaint
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Taking the cognisance of the complaint of Simran Kaur, a student of MA-II in the department of French, accusing her teachers of exhibiting biased behaviour by granting her less marks in various subjects, the university has constituted a committee to look into the matter.

In her complaint addressed to the dean, university instructions, Simran had asserted that despite attending classes and submitting the projects in time, she was given a zero in an internal assessment of one of the subjects.

She had demanded an immediate enquiry as given to the fact that she was the only student in the department, who completed MA-I during 2008-2009, was the gold medallist of BA French (Hons) such a result was unacceptable.



Regional identities in PU
Strong Manipuri presence
Jyoti Rai

Chandigarh, August 11
One possibly cannot ignore the cultural diversity that arrives in Panjab University with the inflow of students from various regions and cultures.

On of the most culturally motivated regional association in the university is the Manipuri Student Association.

The association stands strong with more than 2,000 Manipuri students behind it.

It calls itself “autonomous,” denying any political link-ups with leading student parties in PU, however, it actively participates in any student initiatives.

The association has active links outside the university also. The association stands strong to help Manipuri students in most parts of Punjab and Haryana.

Answering how the association invites new Manipuri entrants in the university, the association president, Milan, said: “We send our invitees for a freshers’ party. In order to reach out to maximum students, we even ask the faculty to ask their Manipuri students to be a part of it. This is a very popular and successful affair in the university.”

He further adds, “Soon the juniors get to know how to contact us, if they face any troubles. The seniors in the association try their best to help make it easier for freshers to adjust and adapt here in the university.”

Months after the formal elections of the association, an annual sports meet is organised. Next, a literary meet is organised in January or February, for which the association tries to romp in a Manipuri MP or any leading alumna from the city as chief guest.

Meritorious Manipuri students are awarded in this meet. Other highlights of the event include dancing, singing and theatre competitions.

Another member of the association, commenting on the wider perception about Manipuris in the city, said, “Contrary to popular belief, Manipuri society is very conservative. We have to go out of the way to mingle with people. The most important role of this organisation is to help us achieve that together.”

The association tries to break several stereotypes generally associated with them. Blending with the Northern culture, they never give up on their originality. Together they stand through and make their presence, their identity and cultural brilliance felt through their association.

Tomorrow: All Ladakh Student Association.



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