C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Prideasia slugfest
Admn to have arbitrator
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
The slugfest between the Chandigarh Administration and real estate major Parsvnath Developers Limited is set to drive the last nail in the coffin of the ultra-luxury Prideasia housing project in the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park here.

With the Administration today deciding to appoint an arbitrator to "settle issues" with the realtor, the project, touted as an "important milestone in furthering the public-private partnership model of development in Chandigarh", has reached a point of no return.

In fact, at a high-levelmeeting presided over by Sanjay Kumar, finance-cum-housing secretary, with the Parsvnath top brass, both sides stuck to their guns.

With hardly any consensus on various pending issues, the UT Administration conveyed its decision to appoint the arbitrator.

Earlier, Parsvnath had appointed a former Supreme Court Judge, Justice D.P. Wadhwa, as arbitrator under the "nominee clause".

The two arbitrators would appoint a third arbitrator, who would decide outstanding issues between the two parties under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

The award by the arbitrators could be challenged in the court of law, sources said.

Parsvnath had bagged theprestigious project, spread over an area of 123 acres, by placing the highest bid of Rs 821 crore in 2006.

According to the agreement, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) was to be paid 30 per cent of the amount from sale of residential property, with total earnings to the tune of Rs 1,600 crore.

A substantial part of this sum was to be utilised by the board for an ambitious project of slum rehabilitation of the Administration.

While the real estate giant had deposited Rs 517 crore till date, defaulting on over Rs 300 crore, the realtor had been alleging that the CHB failed to provide encumbrance-free land and delayed the sanctioning of building plans.

The sources said that the arbitrators would virtually decide on the fate of the project, including refund of Rs 517 crore deposited by Parsvnath with the CHB and the bank guarantee.



Bursting of crackers
Post-scuffle, man opens fire
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 19
A resident of Sector 12-A opened fire following a scuffle among neighbours, which included members of the family of local municipal councillor, here today. There was panic in the area after the incident. The police booked persons from both sides under different sections of the IPC.

The incident exposed loopholes in the local police system as members of the family of one of the accused had two firearms in their possession.

All residents of the district were supposed to deposit their firearms with the administration following a notice under section 144 of the CrPC when the process for Assembly elections was started.

According to Narender Thakur, husband of municipal councillor Arti Thakur, a brawl took place last night when children of Om Uppal of house 944 were bursting crackers.

One of neighbours, K.K. Rishi, raised an objection to this, following which there were heated arguments between Rishi and Uppal’s father.

Some local residents, including Narender, pacified them, following which they returned to their respective homes.

Standing at his terrace, Uppal started firing gunshots in the air around 8:30 am today and threatened to shoot anyone who came in his way.

Uppal alleged that Narender and some other persons from the locality hit his father last night when he was not at home.

When they forcibly entered his house this morning and attacked members of his family, he had to open fire in self-defence.

Following the incident, Narender Thakur, his son Abhishek and six others were booked for rioting, creating lawlessness and causing damage under sections 323, 506, 427, 148 and 149 of the IPC.

Uppal was booked under sections 188 and 285 of the IPC for firing gunshots and not depositing weapons despite magisterial orders.



CITCO 5-star hotel project hangs fire
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
The ambitious project of a five-star hotel envisaged as a public-private partnership by the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism development Corporation (CITCO), has been put in cold storage, at least for the moment.

Senior UT officials had confirmed the project earlier this year following a meeting of the Board of Directors of CITCO. The project is learnt to have run into rough weather because of certain “technical difficulties in the project implementation”. One of the technicalities involved in the matter was the conversion fees charged on account of changing the land use of the existing plot. The current venue was a steel yard. Industrialists have expressed their resentment over the project of allowing a hotel at the current site without charging any conversion fees from CITCO.

A leading industrialist, requesting anonymity, asked how could CITCO be allowed to go ahead with the project without paying the conversion fees. We heard that the project was envisaged as a tie-up with a leading hotel chain. This would put the other competing industrialists in a direct loss situation and the amount involved is too huge.

Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar said “the administration was not considering any proposal for a five-star hotel of CITCO in the Industrial Area. Simply put, the project involves a huge amount of money that we cannot afford at the moment. The matter had cropped up only for discussions during certain meetings.

D.K. Tewari, managing director of CITCO, said “there is no concrete proposal for any hotel in the industrial area currently under consideration”.

The issue had cropped at certain senior-level meetings of the administration. Senior officials confirmed the project in the meeting and said the UT was considering over the type of hotel that would be allowed by the administration.

The project was thought to be important in the context that “given its strategic location on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway, the private sector would definitely show interest in the proposal because of its proximity to the airport and the railway station”.



Swine Flu Death
ICU of hospital sealed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 19
The ICU unit of Silver Oak Hospital has been sealed by officials of the health department after a patient died of swine flu in the hospital yesterday. Dr S.P. Surila, District Health Officer, said today that after getting information that Beenu Gupta (48), a resident of Solan, had died at the Silver Oak hospital, he went there with his team to take stock of the situation. He said Beenu was admitted in the ICU of the hospital on October 16 and died on the morning of October 18.

Her samples, sent for testing to the PGI, Chandigarh, tested positive, but were received in the evening yesterday. Surila said the ICU of the hospital was got vacated and three patients admitted there were shifted to isolation wards and were kept under observation.

A list of persons who had come in contact with the patient suffering from swine flu was got prepared. As many as 20 persons, including relatives, doctors and attendants were given treatment.



PU employee caught tampering with results
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Giving a serious blow to Panjab University’s claims of transparency in its reevaluation system, one of its employees, Gurcharan Singh Malhi, has allegedly been caught tampering with re-evaluation results to favour two candidates.

According to sources, Malhi was found increasing the marks of two second-year students appearing as private candidates.

These candidates had sent their political science and English papers for re-evaluation, following which Malhi allegedly tried to increase their marks.

“These papers had come to the examination branch after revaluation and Malhi was probably trying to increase the marks given to the candidates,” claimed one of the officials. While Malhi could not be contacted for comment, controller examination A.K. Bhandari admitted to the incident.

“We have received a complaint and after finding him prima facie guilty, we have started a detailed inquiry,” he said. He refused to divulge further details.

The inquiry panel would trace the candidates first as they were rumoured to be related to some bigwigs. It would also probe the bribery angle and table its report to the Vice-Chancellor.

The revelation caused resentment among students. According to Amit Bhatia, PUSC president, they would meet the authorities regarding the incident.



Rodrigues demands status report on development
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
The Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator, General S.F. Rodrigues (retd), in his opening remarks of the public hearing session at the UT Secretariat here today, asked the municipal corporation commissioner to submit a status report on development, with focus on basic civic amenities, including water and power supply, road network and sewerage, in villages within municipal corporation limits.

He wanted the development process in these villages to be brought at a par with the modernisation level of other villages under the control of the Administration.

Accompanied by the lady Governor, the Administrator gave a patient hearing to various delegations and individuals, who came in large numbers to present their grievances.

He directed officers to take prompt action on various issues presented to him in the public hearing session and asked for a compliance report within a stipulated period.

Responding to a request for regularising an illegally constructed religious place on government land, General Rodrigues said that there was no provision in the law for the construction of such unauthorised buildings and made it clear to the applicants and officers that the Supreme Court had given clear directions for dealing with such issues, which should be strictly implemented.

The Administrator also asked senior officers to give a priority to the promotion of rural sports and make it an annual feature in its sports calendar.

He said that Maloya village, a part of the union territory, should be developed as a rural sports centre, with a stadium and a playground equipped with efficient modern sports infrastructure.

He said that there was a great potential for kabaddi and wrestling in the area and these disciplines should be promoted by arranging training and coaching by experts. Among those present were M.P. Singh, secretary to the Governor, Ram Niwas, home secretary, Mahabir Singh, DIG, Brijendra Singh, deputy commissioner, Mohanjeet Singh, chairman, Chandigarh Housing Board-cum-secretary, municipal corporation.



Jewellery, cash worth Rs 3 lakh stolen
Tribune News Servcie

Panchkula, October 19
Jewellery and cash worth Rs 3 lakh were reportedly stolen from a house here yesterday.

In his complaint, Abuishek Datta, who is staying as a tenant at house No. 375, Sector 12, alleged that he had gone to Solan to celebrate Diwali with his relatives and when he returned he found all locks broken.



Electric crematorium dying a slow death
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
As electric crematorium is gaining popularity among residents here due to its eco friendly concept, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation on the other hand has failed to provide the required infrastructure.

Every month over 15 bodies have to be returned by the crematorium employees as only single furnace is in a working condition.

During a visit by The Tribune reporter, it was found that out of two crematoriums only one was functioning and another one was facing some technical fault for the past three months.

According to sources, crematorium had some problem in the trolley and the door attached to the furnace through which the body was shifted to the furnace.

As per records, around 30 bodies are cremated every month in electric furnace and almost equal number are returned. Sources also said if another furnace was installed, as was claimed by the company, the body would be cremated in just 45 minutes.

Interestingly, electricity generator, which was installed in the crematorium two years ago is still not functioning. Sources said authorities had installed generator, in view of the frequent electricity cuts, due to which the body could not be cremated in the furnace.

While checking the record at the crematory it was found that the electric furnace was being used by the privileged class, Army personnel and for doing last rites of the unclaimed bodies. As the cost of cremation in electric crematorium is only Rs 30 compared to Rs 1,100 in case of wood cremation, the poor people often failed to get the opportunity to get their kin cremated in the electric crematorium.

The records also revealed that the electric furnace was installed at a cost of Rs 6.21

lakh in 1975 by the Chandigarh administration. After the inception of MC in 1996, the responsibility of its operation and maintenance, including supervision was transferred to roads division of the MC.

In 1999, MC made a provision for an additional furnace in Sector 25, cremation ground to improve the dependability and reliability of the system.

Since the proposal for the new electric crematorium was abandoned and there were frequent breakdowns in March 2000, the administrations, executive engineer, being the maintenance authority, awarded the contract for the major repair of the electric crematorium to Alpha Equipment, Vadodera, for rupees nine lakh. The agency took two years to repair the furnace and handed it over to the authorities in February 2000.

Even after the major repair, furnace of the electric crematorium again developed some technical problem and a foreman was appointed for the repair of the furnace. At present, no technical personnel have been deputed to repair the crematory.

According to sources though MC officials were informed about the problem, they still have not been able to repair the snag.

MC chief engineer S K Bansal said they were not going to repair the fault in electro furnace in Sector 25, as it was expensive. He said the corporation planned to install a gas crematorium on Industrial Area Phase I cremation ground, which would be cheaper than electric furnace.



Engg dept defies MC Commissioner’s orders
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Despite MC Commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria’s directions to complete pending work on the extension of the Christian cemetery ground within a week, it seems that the chief engineer’s department has not paid any heed to the commissioner’s orders, as most of the work has been lying pending for more than a month now.

MC Commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria on September 7, 2009, had directed the department to complete work at the earliest but no plans have been chalked out for the beautification around graveyard so far.

During a visit to the graveyard, it was found that the work on boundary wall and levelling of soil were yet to be completed by the engineering department.

The administration had handed over 1.67 acres of adjoining land of the existing cemetery in 2006 to the corporation.

The administration had also directed it to construct a boundary wall and level the soil.

The corporation was then asked to hand over the cemetery to Christian community, but even after three years, the work could not be completed.

Even work pertaining to the provision of basic facilities like proper lighting, water supply and parking has not been taken up so far.

Sunkaria had also asked the department to provide facilities as per the old building plans of the cemetery. Following records of the corporation, an amount of Rs 4.39 lakh was approved on April 1, 2007, for the construction of high-brick boundary wall around the cemetery.

A senior official stated that they were trying to complete the work as soon as possible.



Handing over of medals kicks up a debate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
The issue of a large number of ex-servicemen returning their medals to the President as a mark of protest over their demands not being implemented by the government has kicked up a debate in the service community.

While some felt that they were forced to take this unprecedented form of protest as other means of reaching out to the government fell on deaf ears, others felt that it was an undignified act belittling the ethos and traditions of the military.

“Medals are closest thing to a soldier’s heart and by parting with them we are expressing our anguish,” Maj Gen Satbir Singh (retired), vice-chairman of the Indian Ex-servicemen’s Movement said. “We are fighting for our rights peacefully and within the system of democratic norms and we have resorted to this after the government closed all doors,” he added.

“We have nothing else to give,” said Col PIS Phulka (retired). “It is a symbolic form of protest to create some awakening in those who feel about the implications of having demoralised soldiers and resolve the issues.”

Several ex-servicemen associated with the returning of medals said that returning their “life’s earnings” indicated the extent of their disgruntlement and unhappiness with the government. They said that over the years their stature had been constantly downgraded.

On the other hand, some were of the opinion that medals are sacrosanct for a soldier, which reflects his selfless service to the nation and hence cannot be used as leverage to extract benefits.

Contending out that it is not the right way to protest, Capt Sandeep Bansal said a medal is a symbol of hard work in a soldier’s career, which reflects his life’s achievements and experiences and hence is priceless. “It cannot just be given away for extracting monetary benefits,” he added.

Several other veterans felt that there were other methods of achieving aims. “If those who feel deprived believe that they have merit behind their claims and demands, they can move the courts and demand justice,”

A large number of pay and pension related issues have been favourably resolved by the courts.

Recently even the Supreme Court had upheld a high court order granting relief to retired major generals, who were at a disadvantage,” he added.



4 more floors for Mohali bus stand
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 19
The bus terminus-cum-commercial centre coming up at Sector 57 here would have 21 stories instead of 17 stories allowed earlier.

The extra floors have been allowed to compensate builder in terms of the total allowed Floor Area Ratio (FAR).

While approving the conceptual plan, the design approval committee of the project, had asked the company to leave more area for bus stand related infrastructure.

The project, coming up on 7 acres would have three components, including air-conditioned bus terminus, a hotel, office-cum-commercial tower and a helipad. The company undertaking the project, C and C Constructions Ltd, is scheduled to complete the project in 18 months.

After a series of meetings with officials of GMADA and Punjab architect department, changes in the concept plan had been suggested. Sources said the multi-storied building would have stackable parking to achieve a target of three ECS parking norms.

It would have a helipad on the rooftop. The walls of the enclosed passenger concourse would have safety glass so that the movement of buses could be seen, officials added.

The passenger concourse would have remote-censored glass doors in front of each of the 98 bus bays of the terminus. An access would be provided from the passenger concourse to the rest of the project facility by means of escalators or elevators.

Passenger concourse would have facility for handicapped persons and other facilities such as bus schedule monitoring, high-tech security system, bus schedule/information display, smart card operated computerised tolling system, baggage trolleys to facilitate passengers to move their luggage, cloak rooms, food courts, rest rooms, family entertainment like games, TVs, restaurants, ATMs, phone booths, location maps and information on tourist destinations and city. The company would hand over the bus terminus area to the state government within 20 years.



City tops in green cover cities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
City has recorded a green cover of approximately 30 per cent in the total area, making it one of the leaders in the green cover in cities of the country, said a press release here today.

In an attempt to strengthen the drive, the forest department has distributed 32,840 saplings free of cost to be planted on public land.

The department has also undertaken a plantation drive to enrich the existing forests over 108 hectares to improve the biodiversity of the forest.

Within the city, the horticulture wing of the Municipal Corporation and the engineering department are undertaking replacement planting and gap filling.

According to statistics, 159.80 hectares have been brought under the plough and 11,0912 saplings have been planted. Out of this, nearly 3.73 hectares have been used during September and planted with about 9,105 saplings adding to the green cover of the city.



‘Indian drugs of good quality, affordable’
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 19
In the field of drug discovery and development, major outsourcing of pharma related work was coming to Indian cities like Hyderabad, Bangaluru and Chennai. This phase would enable the country to develop the capability to discover drugs within the next five to 10 years.

This was stated by Dr Ram A Vishwakarma, director, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu, while inaugurating a two-week intensive course on “Advanced analytical techniques: Basic principles and application for quality assessment of drugs and pharmaceuticals for export” organised by the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Mohali, here today.

About 20 participants from countries like Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Philippines, Zambia, Oman, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Palestine and Zimbabwe are attending the workshop.

He said the country was now uniquely placed in global pharmaceutical scenario. India has slowly emerged as a powerhouse of generation of medicine to the world.

Earlier Prof P Rama Rao, director, NIPER, said the country contributed 1.5 per cent by value and 8 per cent of total pharmaceutical manufactured by volume. That clearly indicates that Indian drugs are highly affordable, cheap and are of good quality.

The Indian pharmaceutical industry was exporting medicines to 200 countries, including highly regulated market i.e. the US, Australia, Europe and Japan. Prof AK Chakraborti, head, department of medicinal chemistry, NIPER, and course coordinator said the workshop would provide an update on theoretical and practical aspects of the key issues related to “quality” of pharmaceuticals.

He said the course consisted of various modules viz good laboratory practice, regulatory and intellectual property right aspects; chromatographic techniques, X-ray diffraction, UV and IR spectroscopy and NMR and mass spectrometry, impurity profiling and safety issues.

About 22 resource persons drawn from the pharmaceutical industries, research laboratories, academia and regulatory agencies will deliver lectures and participate in the deliberations.



Awareness campaign on govt’s schemes begins
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 19
With the objective of disseminating information about the Central government’s flagship programmes in the rural and remote areas, the Press Information Bureau (PIB), in coordination with other units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, will conduct a five-day Bharat Nirman Public Information Campaign in the Majri block of Mohali district, starting from tomorrow.

Ashish Goel, Joint Director, Press Information Bureau speaks to mediapersons at a press conference in Mohali on Monday.
Ashish Goel, Joint Director, Press Information Bureau speaks to mediapersons at a press conference in Mohali on Monday. Tribune photo: Vicky Garu

Addressing a press conference here today, Ashish Goyal, PIB joint director, said there was a need to create awareness among the rural masses about the Central government’s welfare schemes. Other ministries of the s were involved in the campaign so that they could sensitise the people about the programmes and policies.

He said 30 stalls would be set up free of cost by various Central and state government ministries, public sector undertakings, banks and NGOs. Army and the ITBP would also participate in the campaign so that people who want to join the forces could be given the required information.

Goyal said the main focus of the campaign was to highlight the Bharat Nirman Programme, including its six components - rural housing, electrification, supply of safe drinking water, rural roads, telephones and irrigation.

It would also focus on the programmes such as National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, National Rural Health Mission, Sarv Siksha Abhiyan, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, Right to Information Act, women empowerment, integrated child development services, PM’s new 15-point programme for the welfare of minorities, Aam Admi Bima Yojana, health insurance for poor, Indira Gandhi Pension Scheme, etc. People would have a chance to directly interact with state government officials responsible for executing these schemes. Slogan writing contests, quiz and health check-up camps would also be organised.



Theatre festival begins
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, October 19
The ninth national theatre festival-2009 commenced with the dramatic staging of five short stories by Bhopal-based ensemble Rang Vidushak at the Tagore Theatre here today.

The much-awaited week long annual theatrical bonanza is organised by the department of information and public relations in collaboration with the NCZCC, Allahabad, and NZCC, Patiala.

The opening presentation, a slice of modern experimental theatre, made an impact on audience, as it’s all together a new concept, tone and treatment to the dramatisation of thespian playwright Rajesh Joshi’s short stories on diverse yet socially relevant themes. The universality of stories like “Nai aankh, Anda chor, Bagal ki seat, Hansi and Seeng” lies in being close to aspirations and problems of the common man. Acclaimed actor director Uday Shahne measured stage movements and the relative dialects mainly of Bhopal and Lucknow. The set of actors Ghanshyam Gurjar, Harsh Daund, Wasim Khan, Parmod Kumar, Wasim Ali, Amit Bichharia and Sanjay Srivastva excelled with dialogue delivery and perfect timings in comic sequences.

Chief guest HE Shri Jagananth Pahadia, Governor, Haryana, honoured artists. AV Shukal, director, NCZCC, and NZCC, KK Khandelwal, DPR, Haryana, and veteran thespian Dr Padma Kapila graced the occasion. A play Hamsafar by NS Communications, Mumbai, will be staged tomorrow.



Foreign particles in soda bottle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Foreign particles were found in a bottle of soda (carbonated water) here, leaving a question mark over quality control by manufacturers.

An industrialist and honorary member of the municipal corporation purchased a crate of Lehar Everess soda, a brand of Pepsi, from a provision store in Sector 15 yesterday.

As he took out one of the bottles at his house, he found a small piece of transparent plastic sheet in it.

Showing the bottle to this correspondent, the councillor said that he was surprised to see the foreign particle in the bottle and doubted the tall claims of the company regarding proper quality control at the bottling plant, Aradhana Soft Drink Company, near Panipat.

He said that the company had been earning huge profits from the sale of drinks and it was their responsibility to ensure the quality of their products.

He said that such lapses on the part of the company could be detrimental to the health of the common man, who generally went by the brand name.

When contacted, Surinder Gill, local representative of the company for quality control, initially said that he could comment only after seeing the bottle. He neither visited the office for inspecting the bottle, nor did he sent any representative.



Public Information Officers filing frivolous cases: RTI activists
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
RTI activists of this region along with convener of RTI Users Association HC Arora, met the state Chief Information Commissioner, Ramesh Inder Singh, this afternoon, and brought to his notice several incidents where false and frivolous criminal cases had been filed by the public information officers, or other interested persons against the RTI applicants with a view to brow-beat them.

The issue was discussed threadbare and there was a broad consensus that the state CIC would place the matter before the full Bench meeting of the commission soon, and a sub-committee of the commission would be formed to consider this issue and formulate a consultation paper for consideration by the state government.

The RTI Users Association would submit its draft proposals before the said sub-committee.

The state information commission would also invite suggestions from public on this issue by putting the proposal on its website.

All associations and individuals would be asked to give their suggestions to the sub-committee.



Property recovery made easy for NRIs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Non-resident Indians (NRIs) who have property in Chandigarh will now have the right to recover immediate possession of residential building or scheduled buildings and non-residential buildings by simply applying to the relevant authority for immediate possession.

The UT has received a notification from the Centre regarding the extension of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction (Amendment) Act 2001.

An amendment, 13-B, has been added after section 13-A in the notification of the principal Act to bring this into effect immediately.

The UT Administration had been for long urging the Centre to make provisions or devise a mechanism for safeguarding the property of NRIs located in Chandigarh.

The Administration already had an NRI cell in place, which was established to deal expeditiously with various representations and complaints received from NRIs pertaining to their grievances and disputes, according to a press note.



Balwinder is accountant general of Haryana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Balwinder Singh, an Indian Accounts (IA) and Audit Services (AS) officer of the 1981 batch, has taken over the charge of accountant general (A&E), Haryana, here today.

In a press note issued here today, deputy accountant general (Administration) RS Dass said Singh would have jurisdiction over the maintenance of general provident fund, loan and advances accounts of employees and all-India service officers working with the Haryana government.

Besides, he would also look after the authorisation of their pensionary benefits, preparation of annual finance and appropriation accounts, inspection of treasuries, administration of divisional accountant’s cadre, etc.

Dass said prior to joining the office, Balvinder Singh was on deputation with the Ministry of Oil and Gas, Muscat, in the Government of Sultanate of Oman as finance and audit adviser for five years.

He has also held important assignments in the offices of Indian audit and accounts department at Mumbai, Chandigarh and Srinagar, Dass added.



Youth told to follow Vishwakarma’s footsteps
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 19
An Industrialist and social worker Anand Khandewal called upon the people especially youth to the imbibe the qualities of eminent architect, technologist and great scientist Lord Vishwakarma so that the country could usher in a new era of peace and progress and become the world superpower in the field of science and technology.

While presiding over during the Vishwakarma Day function organised by Jangid Brahmin Sabha at Sector 20, Panchkula, Khandelwal said the criteria for progress and prosperity in a society could be adjudged by technical know-how and advancement in science and technology. He said the jayanti of Vishwakarma was not only being celebrated in India but also abroad.

He urged the youth to come forward to eradicate evil like dowry and intoxication from the society. The only way of progress was to imbibe moral and ethical values, he added. He also donated Rs 31, 000 to the sabha.



Vishwakarma Day celebrated
Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, October 19
The local unit of Dhiman Brahmin Sabha today celebrated Vishwakarma Day with great enthusiasm at Vishwakarma temple.

Ashok Dhiman, former council president, presided over the function. Religious preachers Santosh Bharti from Khanna and Bhai Balwinder Singh from Mulanpur recited bhajans and delivered religious discourse. They said Vishwakarma’s teachings of hard work, perfection in work and dedication should be followed by all.

Ashok Dhiman, president of the sabha, highlighted various achievements of the body and urged members of the community to serve society.



PU all set to expand online attendance system
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
To keep students vigilant about their daily attendance and to bring in more accountability and transparency in the system, Panjab University is all set to expand the online attendance system in various departments.

The system is already functional in the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), south campus, since two years. Though its efficiency is yet to be perfected, the system is by far successful in monitoring the students’ turnout each day.

The departments like UIAMS, Institute of Dental Sciences and University Institute of Chemical Engineering Technology are expected to be in the first phase of the expansion.

“The online attendance system will provide instant data to the students about their shortfall. It will enable them to cover up their attendance in time rather than rushing up to the teachers at the last moment,” said Prof Anil Saijpal, director, UIAMS.

“The system will bring about more transparency also. In case a student wants to take medical leave or participates in sports tournaments, it will be instantly brought to the notice of faculty members,” he added.

The system would also enable the parents to keep a tab on the attendance of the students and their internal assessments by just logging in the account.

Meanwhile, to gather views of the students on the issue of computerisation and online fee deposit system, Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti is commencing his visits to various departments tomorrow.

Starting with the science departments, the visit would continue in the social science departments the next day.

“The visit aims to take feedback from the students on various issues, including the computerisation process and spending Rs 10 crore grant that we have received by the Central government,” said Prof Sobti.

If the system proved successful in these departments, it would save the faculty members of the confusion that prevailed at the last moment when the students rush to the respective teachers to improve their record.

The system is currently running under trial in UILS, UIAMS and certain other departments. According to senior officials in PU, though the students of the law department had opposed the move, efforts were being made by the authorities to gather consensus.

VC to visit depts for feedback

Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti will commence his visits to the science departments tomorrow at 9.30 am followed by the visit to the social science departments to inquire about the problems faced by the students. The aim is to get a first hand account of the problems being faced by the teachers and the students. The grant that we have received also needs to be utilised in the best manner, hence we will take views of the students and faculty on it — Prof Sobti



Foreign students discover school life again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Vibrant dresses, diverse culture and enriched cuisine, their description of India has got enhanced with one more feature added to it - the Indian school life. For five students, who have come to Vivek High School, Sector 38, from across the globe to study for about a semester under their students’ exchange programme, its discovering joys of school life all over again.

Smartly dressed up in their own native school dresses, Elias of Germany, Kaylin and Courtney of South Africa and Will and Thomas Yeats of Australia seemed to be truly amazed while sharing details of their schools back home with so many kids dressed up alike.

“Its a different feeling altogether to be addressing what seems to be a sea of two colours. We will also be wearing the same dress from tomorrow and be a part of the school in the true sense,” asserted Elias.

For both Kyalin and Courtney dressing up alike gives a sense of belongingness to one place and strengthens the bond with others.

Other than the dress, it’s black boards and students sitting in one room with teachers coming and going after almost every hour is what has amused them.

“Back home its us who carry our books from lockers and go from one class to another. Being in one room for almost six hours makes you feel the king of the place. Also the teachers out here are different as their conduct is not confined to professional stiffness but they are more like buddies who make learning fun,” added Will.

When confronted with their take on recent racial attacks on Indians in Australia, Thomas considered it to be unfortunate and concluded by saying, “Education is the best means to break borders and everybody has to understand and imbibe this.”



PU exam schedule out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Panjab University has released its schedule of annual examination- April 2010.

The practical examination of undergraduate classes will start before the theory exams from March 10 to 26. Examinations for BA/BSC/Bcom (general and honours) BBA/BCA will start from April 1.

Examinations for postgraduate courses, including MA/MFC/MSc (TYC) annual system/ Acharya parts I and II PG diploma in Gandhian Studies/ PG Diploma in health family welfare and population education/ diploma in statistics/ BPEd (4 years), BLib and information science and MCom (annual system) for DCS candidates, MIL and diploma in Guru Grantha Acharya and all PG diplomas will start from April 15.

On May 10, 2010, exams for BEd/ MEd/ BEd (yoga)/ BPEd/ Med (guidance and counselling)/ MEd (educational technology)/ career oriented programme (add on courses) certificate/ diploma and advance diploma of college level for BA/BSc/BCom will commence.

Meanwhile, the university has also released last dates for depositing fee for private candidates, which is November 13 2009, without late fee and for the college and correspondence candidates, the last date is December 14, without late fee.



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