C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


H1N1 kits: Pharma cos make hay
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 12
Even though swine flu testing by private clinical laboratories is prohibited, except after authorisation from the health authorities, medical representatives (MRs) from various companies are marketing imported “Screening Test Kits” through SMSes and emails in the tricity.

“Swine Flu Transport Media and Rapid Test Flu A+B kit available,” says one such SMS received by one of the lab owners in Mohali.

While a random survey by this correspondent revealed that so far these tests were not available at any of the reputed labs in Chandigarh, certain owners admitted that they were “negotiating” deals to get the kits. What is surprising is that a majority of the lab owners were not aware that a mandatory approval is required from the health authorities before any lab can commence tests for H1N1.

A lab owner in Panchkula admitted that he had obtained the kit from Delhi through an MR sometime back, but had returned it, as he wasn’t authorised to do the tests. However, he said according to his information, such “screening tests” were being done in Delhi for anything between Rs 1500 to Rs 2500 and some labs in the tricity were in the process to acquire them.

Sources said the kit for “Influenza Virus Type A & B Antigen Tests” costs about Rs 16,000. The H1N1 Virus is of Type A. The kit contains 20 tests and after including the costs of the “controls”, which come with the pack, each screening costs the lab about Rs 1,300.

Each test pack includes 20 strips, disposable test tubes, assay diluent, disposable droppers, sterilised swabs for sample collection and three each control swabs for Influenza A positive, B positive and B negative. Sources said the influenza A positive control swab is for inactivated human influenza virus type A/H1N1.

While a screening test can indicate that an individual is suffering from the Type A influenza, a subsequent Transport Media for Culture test is required for confirmation of swine flu. UT Nodal Officer for Swine Flu HC Gera said, “These tests are not allowed with prior approval and any lab which has the required infrastructure can approach for authorisation.”



13 more suspected of swine flu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Suspected swine flu cases continued to pour in at the city hospitals even today with 13 new patients, including two minors and two Pune girls, being admitted in the isolation wards.

With these, a total of 69 people have been admitted to the city hospitals with swine flu symptoms so far.

UT Nodal Officer for swine flu HC Gera said out of these five are from the city, three from Panchkula, one each from Mohali and Zirakpur and three from other towns of Punjab. The two girls hailing from the city and Panchkula had recently visited Pune.

Saying that the sample of the suspected patients had been sent for tests to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), Ghera admitted that they were still awaiting results of the earlier tests since there was a huge backlog of cases there. “The last negative report that was received yesterday pertains to the sample sent on Friday,” he said.

Meanwhile, city hospitals including the GMCH-32 and the PGI have made arrangements for screening of patients. The PGI administration has made arrangement at three places, including outside the gate of emergency OPD, at the entrance of New OPD block and in the Paediatric OPD (2nd floor) while the GMCH-32 has made arrangement in room number 1, Level-I in Block D.

According to press note issued by the PGI administration: “About 53 patients were reported today at screening areas which have been set up to screen the cases reporting to hospital with flu-like symptoms.” A total of 15 cases were reported in the GMCH-32 today.

According to the hospital authorities: “The samples are being sent to the NICD, New Delhi, for testing and the reports will be available in 48 hours (due to heavy rush).” However, testing facilities for swine flu will be made functional at the PGI soon. The laboratory will be set up at the PGI’s department of virology. This has been done in order to reduce the burden of testing sample for H1N1 influenza on NICD, said the PGI administration.



‘Premature to set up isolation wards’
Pvt hospitals say situation not that bad

Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
While the Chandigarh administration has identified two private hospitals - Mukat and INSCOL - for joining hands in fighting the H1N1 battle and is “exploring” the possibilities of setting up isolation wards there, the managements of the two nursing homes maintain that the present situation doesn’t warrant such steps.

Close on the heels of reports about private hospitals in other parts of the country being reluctant of joining the government’s endeavours, the UT administration seems to have jumped the gun in announcing its proposed tie-up without finalising the modalities with the private nursing homes.

While the UT Health Department has gone ahead and issued a press note (Aug 10) announcing the names of the two hospitals for the proposed tie-up, the managements of the hospitals have not received any written communication from the administration till date.

Confirming this, director, INSCOL, Dr KK Gombar, and medical director of Mukat Hospital Dr Ravinder Singh told The Tribune that whatever they have come to know about the administration’s proposal is through the president of the Private Nursing Homes Association, Dr AK Kaushal. “We have not received anything in writing from the administration as yet,” they said.

Terming that the move to set up the isolation wards in private hospitals as “premature”, Dr Gombar said, “The situation is not that bad. The number of cases are still limited and whatever rush is there is more due to panic rather than the spread of the disease.”

Maintaining that it was “too early” to involve the private sector, Dr Gomber said in case the administration wants, they would do whatever possible to help.

On the other hand, Dr Singh maintained that there had been no talk about setting up of isolation wards yet. “We have been only told by Dr Kaushal that we have been authorised only to collect samples,” he said adding that this would be done free of cost and the same would be handed over to the UT surveillance unit for sending them for tests to the NICD, Delhi.

As regards the isolation ward, he said there had been no intimation in this regard. “However, if required, we will do the needful, but the scope is limited. We will not be able to spare more that five beds for the same,” he added.

Meanwhile, the press release issued by the Health Department earlier had stated, “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. Regarding stock of drugs, PPE, N-95 masks the representative of the Senior Regional Director, Health and Family Welfare, GOI, Chandigarh, was requested to take up the matter with the Government of India for providing the more stocks of PPE AND other items to meet with the situation.”



Class X Board Exams
Schools await CBSE registration forms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
With just two days remaining for the last date, the regional office of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has failed to provide registration forms mandatory for the Class X board exams to many schools in the city.

Notably, the visit of the CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi, who was in city today, was kept under cover by local officials. Even the media was kept away from the event. While some principals claimed that they were disillusioned about the chairman’s schedule by the regional office to prevent them to approach him for their problems, the regional officer chose to remain quiet on the issue.

Since the last few days, representatives of over 35 schools had been protesting outside the CBSE regional office in Panchkula for the forms.

The last date for submission of forms is August 14.

“After the last date, the students will have to pay the penalty. The officials should be sensitive to the students, especially after resentment expressed by so many schools. We are still awaiting the forms,” said HS Mamik, president, Independent Schools Association.

The regional officer, however, said that it was an internal matter of the schools and the CBSE and the media should not intervene.



Robbers loot Rs 25,000 from liquor vend
Tribune News Service

The liquor vend at Mansa Devi Complex from where robbers took away around Rs 25,000 at gunpoint in Panchkula
The liquor vend at Mansa Devi Complex from where robbers took away around Rs 25,000 at gunpoint in Panchkula on Wednesday. Photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, August 12
After a lull of a few weeks, robbers struck again in the town, with two unidentified motor cyclists robbing a liquor vend of Rs 25,000 at gun point in broad daylight today.

The robbers, in their mid-thirties, fled towards Chandigarh on their Splendor motor cycle after committing the crime.

Sandip, an employee at the vend, said he was alone at the counter when two persons, posing as government officials, reached the vend at around 3.45 pm and told him that they were to examine the vend. When he was about to make a call from his mobile phone to the owner, one of them pointed a gun at him and took him to the room in the vend.

His accomplice, who was also carrying a revolver, collected the cash lying in the cash box. They asked him to stay inside till they left the place and threatened to kill him in case he raised an alarm, said Sandip.

According to the police, both accused were speaking Punjabi and had come from the Chandigarh side. They went towards the Chandigarh side after committing the robbery. They were noticed by the staff of an adjoining liquor vend while fleeing the spot.



Fake Currency Racket
Investigators fail to crack case
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Swinder Kaur, who was arrested by the UT Police for allegedly smuggling counterfeit currency from Pakistan on August 2, proved to be a hard nut for the national investigating agencies.

Even as the sleuths of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) quizzed her for several hours on Tuesday, they failed to extract any useful information, said police sources. “She is a trained criminal and knows the tricks to dodge the investigators. She plays an emotional card and starts crying without any reason, and then burst into laughter to mislead the officials. She did the same with the NIA officials, who failed to get anything new form her,” said police officials.

Like the NIA officials, the teams of the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) also could not extract any useful information from her. They were largely relaying on the interrogation reports of the UT Police, said sources.

Fifty-six-year-old Swinder, a mother of three, had visited Pakistan 17 times, out of which she travelled 16 times being a member of religious groups sent by the Delhi Gurdwara Parbandak Committee. She is on police remand till August 13 and allegedly has links with the ISI.

Swinder, who had allegedly smuggled Rs 4.58 lakh of counterfeit currency, told investigators that she had taken a book in Persian language carrying photographs to Pakistan and handed it over to one Sadiq in Lahore. Apart from Sadiq, she had also met one Chacha Shabir in Lahore, a cloth merchant, who gave her the counterfeit currency.

She told the investigating officials that Shabir and Sadiq told her to bring maps and pictures of some vital places in India, including cantonment areas and flyovers in bordering states, during her visit in January this year.

“Some ISI agents based in Lahore introduced her to officials of the customs department at Attrai and Wagha and the Government Railway Police officials. Name of sub-inspector BS Randhawa has emerged during her interrogation, who facilitated her in smuggling after taking money,” said a police official.

Sources said that Swinder told the police that her brother, Balwant Singh, introduced her to Chacha Shabir and other persons in Lahore. He used to smuggle currency and narcotics through those persons from Pakistan. Balwant took her to Pakistan first time on June 13, 2006.


19 to be awarded on I-Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
The Chandigarh Administration has decided to award as many as 19 commendation certificates to the people who have contributed in various fields and employees of the administration for their meritorious services on Independence Day function to be held on August 15.

On the occasion, Dr Nand Lal, Dr Firoj Singh and P.C. Sanghi would be awarded for their exceptional work in social service whereas Ankita Sharma and Akanksha Sharma have been selected for their outstanding performance in the field of art.

In sports, Rohit Bajaj, Lt. Col. J.S. Dhillon, Master Bhavdeep Singh Sachdeva have been short listed for the honour.

In other categories, the commendation certificates would be awarded to Amarjit Singh Mavi, Fireman, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, Roop Ram, Superintendent Home-III, UT Secretariat, Rakesh Kumar, MVI, State Transport Authority, Chandigarh, Shams S.Z. Shaikh, Architect, Urban Planning Department, Chandigarh, P.K. Sridhar, State TB Officer-cum-SMO, Health Department, UT, Jaspal Singh, Electrician-cum-Light Operator, Tagore Theatre, Chandigarh, Vidya Nand Singh, Head Constable, Dilbag Singh, 2200/CP and Constable Rajesh Kumar 129/CP.

Yogesh Kumar will be awarded for his contribution in the area of art and social service. Ramneek Verma would be awarded for showing exemplary courage.

The police personnel who would be honoured with Administrator’s Police Medal for distinguished/meritorious services include Inspector Gurdarshan Kaur, 211/CHG, ASI Bhupinder Singh 707/CHG, Head Constable Ram Chander, 341/CP, Constable Laxman Singh, 1931/CP and Constable Amrik Singh, 1815/CP.



Dumping of Garbage
Residents protest against DC
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 12
Residents held a protest outside the office of Mohali Deputy Commissioner here yesterday against GMADA authorities, who have asked the municipal council to dump the town’s garbage in a low-lying area near Phase VI here.

The protesters, who carried black flags, raised slogans against the GMADA and the Punjab government, demanding that the decision be reversed, failing which the agitation would be intensified.

Rajinder Sharma, municipal councillor, living in Phase VI, said the decision taken by the GMADA had been unjustified, as the proposed dumping site had been located close to the Verka milk plant, paraplegic home, two residential colonies and Phase VI.

Residents would not allow the civic body to dump the town’s garbage at the proposed site, because such a move would make life miserable for the people of the surrounding areas.

He said when earlier garbage was dumped near the Verka milk plant some years ago, the authorities concerned had moved the court, which had issued orders to stop dumping of garbage in the area.

The protesters presented a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh Mand.

The GMADA had identified a site measuring about five acres near Dara Studio for dumping garbage on a temporary basis. The council was told about the proposal at a meeting held on August 5, which was attended by senior government officials. GMADA authorities told the civic body to stop dumping garbage at the present site in Phase VIII Industrial Area because the high court had issued orders in this regard.

A controversy had earlier arisen in June in connection with the dumping ground, when the council had been asked to stop dumping garbage at the present site and instead used a site owned by the civic body, which was too small to contain the town’s garbage.

By giving reference of a decision taken at the Punjab Chief Minister’s office, the GMADA authorities had sent a letter to the civic body stating that garbage dumping should be stopped in the Phase VIII Industrial Area by June 30, after which it should be dumped in an area owned by the civic body.

The decision was, however, reversed when councillors staged a protest against the GMADA.



Industry to face power cut for three days
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 12
Recession-hit industry will now have to face a three-day power cut in Mohali, which has come as a shock to industrial unit owners.

Power would be shut down from 8 am on Saturday to 8 am on Tuesday.

President of Mohali Industries’ Association (MIA) BS Anand said here today that if the PSEB did not withdraw the compulsory weekly offs within two days, the industrial unit owners would be compelled to take to the roads in protest against the inefficiency of the government to manage the power crisis in the state.

He said the 72-hour compulsory weekly power cut had spelled doom for the industries. The industrial unit owners had to pay minimum wages to the workers, minimum electricity charges and also had to deposit VAT.

This was difficult without the availability of sufficient power to increase the manufacturing to the optimum level. The MIA had already approached different authorities at regular intervals to improve the situation of power in Mohali but their appeal had fallen on deaf ears.

He said 1,200 units were on the verge of closure due to the non-availability of power. In spite of repeated assurances by the government to provide better facilities to the industry in Punjab, the situation was worsening day by day.

General secretary KS Mahal said the global recession was already taking its toll on the industry and exporters were not getting enough business. Whatever orders they were receiving could not be completed due to the non-availability of power.



MoU certificates given to NGOs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Certificates of Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) were handed over today to private schools, NGOs and resident welfare associations under the Partnership Initiative Programme of UT administration at Hotel Mountview. General SF Rodrigues, Punjab Governor, was present on the occasion to distribute the certificates.

Home Secretary Ram Niwas and Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar and representatives of over a hundred NGOs and some principals and heads of government and private schools were also present on the occasion.

Rodrigues said the programme had been an important landmark, paving the way to bridge the gap between “haves” and “have-nots”. He appreciated the interest shown by fourteen private school managements to support government schools in sharing the infrastructure and helping in providing better teaching methodologies.

He said the administration had already introduced the concept of smart schools in four government model schools for educating the children with technological advances and equipping them with computer knowledge right from the primary classes. Meanwhile, certain NGOs and principals expressed apprehension about the implementation of the programme.

“The most important part is that the school should act as the surrogate and march with each child. The actual implementation is more important. Till now, nothing has been told about the kind of teaching methods that are devised under the program,” said a member of Hamari Kaksha, an NGO. Certain government school principals expressed resentment on being “cornered”.

“The repeated mention of a private school in Sector 26 by the education department officials today was a great discouragement for others. The favourites are obvious and the winner of the synergy award is clear right in the beginning,” said another principal.



Dr Lal Pathlabs to offer H1N1 testing facility
Tribune News Service

Dr Arvind Lal, chairman and managing director of Dr Lal Pathlabs
Dr Arvind Lal, chairman and managing director of Dr Lal Pathlabs

Chandigarh, August 12
By the end of this month, medical diagnostics company Dr Lal Pathlabs will be offering testing facility for the deadly H1N1 virus at its Okhla testing facility in Delhi.

This laboratory, along with five other private laboratories, are being considered by the government to start testing the virus as the two testing facilities (National Centre for Diesease Control, Delhi and National Institute of Virology, Pune) are over burdened.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Dr Arvind Lal, chairman and managing director, Dr Lal Pathlabs, said, “We have been approached by the Delhi government to offer testing for H1N1 influenza and we could start this (test) service as soon as our lab is approved by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) for conducting such tests,” he said.

He said the company had already placed orders for import of testing kits for Rs 10 lakh, which would help conduct 1,000 tests. “We have requisite technology like RTPCR and BSL2, whereby, we can conduct test for H1N1 influenza. The test would be conducted at our Okhla testing facility, but we will have other dedicated centers for sample collection at Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon. Depending on the need, we could add five to 10 new collection centers each month, “ he said. Dr Lal added that the cost of the test would range between Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per test.

Dr Lal was in town to announce the opening of five new laboratories in the region at Hisar, Shimla, Mohali, Bathinda and Patiala. He said they were planning to open 10 new laboratories across the country this fiscal and another 10 laboratories by March 2011. “We have earmarked Rs 150 crore for our expansion plans for opening new labs, getting into hospital-lab management and public private partnership projects for setting labs in the government run hospitals,” he said.



PHD Chamber invites nominations

Chandigarh, August 12
The PHD Chamber has invited nominations for its Annual Awards for Excellence, now in its 12th year, from entrepreneurs, business houses and social workers for outstanding achievements/ contributions towards socio-economic development.

The last date for receiving nominations is August 31. The awards were instituted in 1997 to recognise Indian businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals for their outstanding achievements/ contributions in select areas and for promoting corporate and individual initiatives in economic, social and cultural areas. — TNS



NIPER dons honoured

Mohali, August 12
Three professors of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) have been given prestigious awards. While Prof PV Bhartam, department of medicinal chemistry, and Dr Sanyag Jain, assistant professor, department of pharmaceutics, have bagged the prestigious OPPI Scientist and Young Scientist Awards for the year 2009, respectively.

Dr Shyam S Sharma, associate professor, department of pharmacology and toxicology, will receive Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Shakuntala Amir Chand Prize. — OC




Mohali, August 12
The Generation Saviour Association here at the Deputy Commissioner’s office had displayed an exhibition against tobacco yesterday.

DC Parbhjot Singh Mand while inaugurating the exhibition said the association had done a commendable job to make the district smoke free. President Amteshwar Kaur said the association was working against tobacco since 1994 in the district. — TNS



Pre-student Council Election
360 students submit memo to VC
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
With the Panjab University making a lot of noise for the pre-student council election activities, around 360 students of University Institute of Applied Management Studies have protested for not being allowed to participate or vote in the elections.

These students in association with the student group SOPU submitted a memorandum to the Vice-Chancellor today demanding their right.

“We are a part of this campus, as we follow the same calendar and also pay the same fee. However, the university’s decision to keep us away from the student council elections is unjustified. Being a student of this university it is our right to be allowed to participate in the election process,” said one of the students.

“We don’t understand what is the problem? Every time we take up the issue they assert that it is for our academic benefits only but fail to justify that how does casting our vote in these elections affect our studies. If we are a part of the process, we shall be able to voice our demands. This kind of arbitrary denial is against the democratic spirits of the university,” added another student.

It may be noted that the UIAMS was opened about a year ago and was professed as a university dream business school.

While these students were part of the campus in all ways, they were not allowed to use their franchise since day one. “We wish to convert it into an IIM and moreover given the fact that these students have only six days working and a trimester system will surely affect the studies. Nothing is forced on them they have themselves signed an undertaking. As far as democracy goes they can have their own council or even be part of students election but the recommendations have to come from institute’s director,” said RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University.

“If this can convert the institute into IIM then lets abolish all democratic set-ups like Council, Senate and Syndicate. This will make the system more transparent,” said Brinder Dhillon, president SOPU.



From Schools
Nominations for Tara Chand awards invited
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Jan Seva Trust has invited nominations for the eighth Tara Chand Saboo Excellence Awards for schoolteachers.

RK Saboo, chairman of Saboo Business Group and the trustee-chairman of Jan Seva Trust informed that details have been circulated among 260 schools in tri-city.

The last date for nomination is August 31 and awards will be presented at a public function in November.

There are categories of awards each carrying a citation, a trophy and a cash prize of Rs75,000 for Lifetime Achievement, and Rs 25,000 each for other three categories, including primary schoolteacher, secondary classteacher and for teaching the underprivileged children.

The details and nomination forms can be downloaded from the <http://tcsawards.com/>.

Inter-school contest

To celebrate Independence Day, an Inter-school power-point presentation competition for Classes V and VI was held at Kundan International School.

Students of various schools, including Sacred Heart School, Bhavan Vidyalaya, AKSIPS-41 and Delhi Public School presented interesting and thought-provoking presentations on “Are we moving towards achieving President Kalam’s vision — INDIA 2020?” and “After 62 years of Independence, are we truly independent?”

Results: Ist Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, Ashutosh Mukherjee and Rishabh Anand 2nd AKSIPS-41Vivek Thakur and Daksha Raj 3rd Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School Harsha Sharma and Ibadat Jishtu

Janmashtmi celebrated

The British School (TBS), Sector 44-B, Chandigarh, celebrated Janmashtmi and Independence Day today. The children were dressed as soldiers and posed as Radha and Krishna in their colourful costumes put up a cultural programme, including singing and dancing on different songs and tunes.

Mona Shri Sethi, director, The British School, Chandigarh, asked the children to dream with their eyes open and to develop the vision, which is required for the development of modern India.

St Joseph’s: Students of St Joseph’s were all geared up to celebrate Janamashtmi and Independence Day today. The show commenced with a prayer by Primary Block. The students also sang bhajans on and a “prayer for Moksha” was also sung. A play depicting Krishna Leela was also presented.

Quiz contest

To mark the birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo and to celebrate Independence Day, Sri Aurobindo School of Integral Education, Sector 27 Chandigarh, conducted an Inter-School Quiz contest- “A brush with India” for the students of Class VII and Class VIII and a debate contest was also held.

A total of 14 teams from schools all over the city participated in the final competition.

Mount Carmel School, Sector 47, was adjudged the winners.

Cultural programme

The pre-primary wing of the Saupin’s School, Sector 70, Mohali, performed a thematic cultural programme depicting the myriad culture of India. The function was presided over by Harmanpreet Singh Prince, vice-president of the municipal council.

The different sections represented four states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Kashmir and Kerala. The classrooms were done up according to the four states representing their culture, cuisine, artwork and dresses. The headmistress, Goldie Kapany, lauded the untiring efforts of the teachers and the young ones.


Mohali: The students of Classes VII to X of Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, organised an exhibition to showcase their talent and learning output on the parent teacher meet here yesterday.

The exhibits in the form of carts and working models were displayed in the lobby and corridors of Block-A, covering a wide range of topics such as bio-diversity, water pollution, hydro electricity, rain water harvesting, water cycle, money and credit, tundra region and planet system with solar eclipse.

The students of Class XI and XII conducted a maths quiz. All four teams comprising four participants each contested enthusiastically.



Punjabi folk dances, songs enthral audience
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 12
A series of Punjabi folk dances, songs, skits and Punjabi play presented by artistes of the Malwa Cultural and Welfare Society enthralled audience at the Government College auditorium, Sector 46, here today.

The programme commenced with a devotional shabad by Parwaaz Kaur followed by melodious folk songs by child prodigy Sanobar Rupal, Ranu and Krishan Rahi.

The folk dances, especially a jhoomer, induced warmth and entertainment, as all 10 male dancers enacted feminine gestures much to the delight of the audience.

Paramajot Singh excelled as the lead singer. Besides a giddha by the girls, Malvai giddha and songs virtually translated the soul of Malwa regional culture on stage.

A Punjabi play, “Arbad narbad dhandukara”, written by Ajmer Aulakh staged to perfection under the directions of Pritam Rupal depicted the slumbering love legends of Punjab, which defined “love” in the modern context.

The artistes portrayed the roles of committed lovers like Ranjha, Majnu, Mirza and others securing their love but the overriding priority being the bread and butter.

Earlier Jagjit Singh Shergil welcomed the chief guest, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, who lauded the welfare activities like blood donation camps by the society. NZCC director DS Saroya, MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu and Inderjit Singh also graced the function and MC Mohali president Rajinder Rana released the souvenir.



Nakul first in fancy dress contest

Chandigarh, August 12
Nakul of Blue Bird High School, Panchkula, stood first in the fancy dress competition organised by the local chapter of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). The event was organised on the eve of Janmashtmi at Hare Krishna Dham, Sector 36-B, here today.

Nandani from Sacred Heart School, Chandigarh, got the second place while the third place went to Manan from Little Flower Convent School, Panchkula.

According to Nand Maharaj Dasa, co-president, local chapter, around 55 children in the age group of 5-10 from 22 different schools of Chandigarh and Panchkula participated.

Children portrayed different characters from Ramayana and Mahabharata. Hundreds of devotees in ISKCON temple viewed and encouraged the children. — TNS



CBSE chief inaugurates plantation drive
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 12
The ‘Birds of Paradise’, eco club of The Gurukul, Sector 20, was joined by Vineet Joshi, chairman of the CBSE, New Delhi, in their drive towards making the environment greener and cleaner by planting saplings on the school campus.

Joshi was here to conduct a session in the two-day induction programme organised by the CBSE for the principals of the recently affiliated schools. Principals of schools from across Punjab and Panchkula attended the programme.

DR Yadav, regional officer, Panchkula, and Dr Sadhana Parashar, education officer, CBSE, New Delhi, were among the resource persons of the programme. Vineet Joshi interacted with the students, who were quite unsure and apprehensive about the board examinations.



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