C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Labourer dies week after police torture
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 24
A 35-year-old labourer, Hira Lal, died here today after he was allegedly tortured by policemen at the Sector 14 police station on the night of Diwali.The family of the deceased alleged that the policemen had robbed him of Rs 350, due to which he could not get medical treatment.

The deceased had been living in a jhuggi in Sector 14 here with his wife and two children.

Protesting against police highhandedness, relatives and neighbours of Hira Lal sat in dharna in front of the police station this morning.

The police dispersed them and shifted the body to the General Hospital in Sector 6 for postmortem examination.

Putting the blame on the police for the death of Hira Lal, his neighbour Mukesh said he and two others, Anil and Kamlesh, from the hutment were playing cards on the night of Diwali when two policemen in plainclothes came on the spot and took them to the police station.

Hira Lal who was standing nearby, was also taken to the police station, he said.

“Anil, Kamlesh and I were slapped by the policemen and released after a few minutes, but not before the money in our pockets was taken by the policemen,” he alleged.

However, Hira Lal was beaten up as he was under the influence of liquor and tried to resist the policemen who were searching his pockets, he alleged, adding that the amount he had was not much.

While Hira Lal had about Rs 350, the three of them had around Rs 100 each, said Mukesh.

The other residents alleged that it was routine for local policemen to bully jhuggi dwellers and loot them while they kept mum, fearing that their jhuggis could be removed as a backlash of the protest.

Phoolwati, the widow of Hira Lal, was numb of shock. The neighbours said she was expecting her third child.

Hira Lal returned writhing in pain from the police station and fell on bed, from where he never got up, she said.

They had no money other than what Hira Lal had in his pocket and it was taken by the policemen, following which the he could not get medical treatment, she alleged.

Inspector Aman, SHO of Sector 14, denied the role of policemen in the death of Hira Lal. He was never taken to the police station, claimed the SHO.

Superintendent of Police Amitabh Dhillon said following allegations of members of the family, he requested the health officials to constitute a board of doctors for postmortem examination.

Moreover, statements of Mukesh, Anil and Kamlesh would also be recorded to know the truth, he added.

This was not first time when allegations of highhandedness were levelled against the local police. In January, four persons were arrested from Sector 10 for creating ruckus on a dhaba at night. The accused claimed that they were framed in a criminal case when they asked for money from a policeman who was leaving the spot without paying for boiled eggs he ate at a roadside vend.

On August 9, Rahul, a 17-year-old engineering student, was allegedly tortured by the police following his arrest under Sections 332 and 353 of the IPC. Rahul, who was managing the rehri of his father that day, had allegedly invited the wrath of the police when he did not comply with their order to shift his rehri in Sector 15.



One hurt in firing as groups clash
Tribune News Service

Kharar, October 24
One person was injured as two groups clashed at Machhli Kalan village, near here, early this morning. The incident took place near the fields of Kuldeep Singh of the same village.Meshi and Didar, residents of the Bangala Basti area in Mundi Kharar, laid a trap near Kuldeep’s fields last night to trap wild cats.

According to the police, they went to the fields around 5 am today to check if any animal had been trapped.

At the time of their arrival, Kuldeep was watering his fields. He asked them the purpose of their visit, following which the three began arguing.

In the meantime, two wild cats got trapped and Meshi and Didar killed those. Kuldeep decided to teach them a lesson and called his friend Vikram Singh from the village.

Vikram came with his gun. He first fired shots in the air and then shot at Meshi and Didar. The splinter of one of the bullets hit Meshi.

He was rushed to the civil hospital. Both Kuldeep and Vikram were absconding. The police booked them under section 307 of the IPC.

A team of wildlife officials, headed by range officer Surinder Singh, visited the spot and took the bodies of the wild cats in their possession.

They arrested Meshi and Didar and presented them before a duty magistrate later in evening. Chief wildlife warden RK Luna said killing wild cats was an offence.

They were booked and arrested under section 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act. Under the act, offenders could be fined Rs 25,000 or sentenced to three years’ imprisonment or both.

Meshi and Didar killed wild cats for their meat, Luna pointed out, adding that these animals were often killed in winter for their warm fur.

He added that wildlife officials had been sounded to keep a check on illegal activities like laying traps.

Mostly migrants indulged in killing wild animals, he claimed, asserting that wildlife officials would keep a check on such practices.



Another doctor has swine flu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
One more doctor tested positive for swine flu in the city today, taking the total number of cases to 51.The victim, a doctor with the paediatrics department of the PGI, had been residing in the hospital complex.So far, at least 12 doctors in the city, including those at the PGI, the GMCH and the GMSH, had tested positive for H1N1.

UT nodal officer for swine flu HC Gera said this was the seventh case of a doctor at the PGI contracting swine flu.

The doctor was undergoing treatment and had been administered Tamiflu. Other samples which were collected yesterday reported negative today. 



Babla’s posters to dot city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
A local court today ordered the pasting of posters of Devinder Singh Babla, a Congress councillor wanted in connection with forgery.His posters would be pasted at public places all over the city, seeking public cooperation in locating his hideout. The passing of such an order by court was rare in the city.

On August 19, the police booked Babla and Rakesh Sahni, president of the Arhtiya Association of the Sector 26 grain market, for allotting platforms in the grain market to 10 ineligible persons.


City relishes Kashmiri craft, cultural bonanza
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, October 24
Poet Firdaus has rightly said, “If there is heaven on earth, it’s here in Kashmir” and this testimony was fairly felt by those who relished the Kashmiri craft and cultural bonanza during the first-ever Chandigarh craft mela at the Kalagram here today.As many as 125 musicians and folk dancers brought alive the diverse dance traditions of the Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh region.

Colourful ruff dance of Kashmir, Dogri, Hafiz Nagma, Gojari folk songs, Jabro and Ladakhi folk dances and Pahadi folk songs kept audience enraptured.

Various cultural performances by artists showcased the beauty of Jammu and Kashmir in the form of their traditional dances, which were based on themes like harvesting season and the beauty of the Kashmir. The beautifully inter-woven dance steps conveyed the message of unity in diversity and drove home the concept of national integration.

Dharam Vir, Chief Secretary, Haryana, inaugurated the gala evening, which presented performances by folk dancers and artists of Jammu and Kashmir and Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, Srinagar, led by director Miphem Otsal and lead choreographer Randhir Kumar.

Though folk dances, including Dhamali, Bachnagma, Chakri, Band Pather, Geetru, Kud, Gojri captivated audience, the main highlight was Ladakhi folk dance, which drew attention of over 25,000 visitors, said Sanjiv Kumar, academy’s event coordinator .

A live performance by classical Bharatnatayam dancer Padmashri Devayani will be held at 6 pm at Kalagram tomorrow. 



Renditions by Pt Vidyadhar mesmerise audience
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, October 24
Besides, young classical vocalists Vineeta Gupta, Sagar Veena and Noor Zehra Kazim from Pakistan, an acclaimed doyen of Gwalior ghrana Pandit Vidyadhar Vyas made a stalwart presence on the second day of ongoing INT Chandigarh sangeet sammelan at the Bhartiya Vidya bhavan here today.

Baring the melodic character of raga Bhoop in bada khyal and tarana, Pandit Vidyadhar Vyas virtually illuminated the horizons of melody. Another captivating spell of a composition “Tori yaad meion kaise bhulaaon ” in medium tempo was followed by “Ajhoon na aaye mere”. Pandit Vyas was at the epitome of melodic perfection while delineating “Sadho mann ka maan tyago” in raga Miyan ki Malhar, which submerged audience in devotion and scintillating reverie. Vinay Mishra on harmonium and Avirbhav Verma accompanied the maestro.

Earlier, young virtuoso Vineeta Gupta presented raga Shudh kalyan with reposeful alaap and raga vistar. However, she was at her best in doling out compositions like “Man taji deejo”, “Ratnaare nain” and “Chapel chapel mrigan” in Vilambat Ek tal, Mdhya lya Teen tal and Drut Ek tal, respectively. Tabla maestro articulated the melody meter.

Enthused with display of the special string instrument, Noor Zehra Kazim successfully attempted to showcase the technical virtuosity of new musical instrument. She played alaap in raga Des and other compositions. Navita coordinated and conducted the sammelan with admirable competence.

Sangeetacharya Pandit Vidyadhar Vyas will again give a magical musical spell tomorrow from 10.30 am. 



Development day observed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 24
Quest Group of Institutes celebrated the World Development Information Day on its campus premises here today.

Experts and students from various disciplines like computer science, electronics and communication engineering and MBA exhibited their skills on the global development.

Various presentations were shown by students.

Narinder Singh, vice-chairman of the institute, said modern information technologies like Internet and mobile telephones could solve problems of trade and development. 



Food samples sent for testing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
Law students of boys hostel No. 4, Panjab University, today raised objection to the quality of raw vegetables being stored at the hostel mess.

The food inspector visited the hostel and issued a challan to the mess contractor. Food samples were also taken for testing. The warden of the hostel said if the samples failed purity tests, stern action would be taken by the authorities. 



Students move their body in ‘Tap Duel’
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 24
‘Tap Duel’, a dance competition was held at Manav Mangal Smart School, Mohali, today.

The competition was held in two groups. One group comprised of students from classes III to VI and the other from classes VII to IX. Students had to dance in pairs, performing freestyle dance. They were judged on the basis of co-ordination, rhythm and presentation, which included the use of props, makeup and confidence.

A fancy dress competition was also held for students of pre-nursery and nursery. They came dressed up as characters from fairytales.

Classes I and II participated in “page to stage” competition, a choral poem recitation. Apart from the competitions, 306 students from classes III to IX also participated in the National Talent Search Examination on environmental education. The examination was organised by the Indian Council for Environmental Education, an organisation working in the field of protection, conservation and improvement of environment.

Delegation to leave for Beijing

A six-member delegation of Friends of China Association headed by its president Balraj Singh Shergill is leaving for Beijing on October 25 on a 15-day visit for friendship with foreign countries and Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education. Participants from different nations will present their papers.

On October 31, the delegation will reach Shanghai to attend the 5th Annual Jiangsu International Forum for school principals organised by Jiangsu Provincial Education Department, where educationists, administrators and principals from more than 160 countries will gather and discuss about the changing trends in the fields of education. 



Problems faced by youth take centrestage
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, October 24
A plethora of problems faced by the youth in India with their cherished dreams getting shattered due to scant career opportunities and exploitation of all kinds found an eloquent focus in a play, “Hawalaat”, staged by Backstage Allahabad in the ongoing national theatre fest at the Tagore Theatre yesterday.Written by Sarveshwar Dyal Saxena, the play after a mundane start flourished under the able direction of Parveen Shekhar. 

The play bares the concern of the youth in an unusual satirical through the three educated but unemployed youth unable to bear the extreme cold, who wish to be put into the hawalaat.

Their series of narratives, discussions rather negotiations with a policeman on duty juxtapose the loopholes in the governance, socio-economic and political set ups.

After both youth and sepoy symbolising the administrative power share the common issues of concern, which affect the sepoy as an individual and employee, who after self introspection comes to realise the plight of those innocent youth wishing to be put in the hawalaat.

Neeraj Upadhya, Ashutosh Partap Singh and Satish Tewari portrayed the youth, while Sachin Chandra enlivened his character of a sepoy and the poems by Kedarnath Aggarwal enhanced the impact of the play. 



Streetlights fail to glow
Roads remain dark in southern sectors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
Despite a number of representations and complaints by the residents of the southern sectors of the city continue to remain engulf in dark due to non-functional streetlights, causing inconvenience to the residents.

Drivers and pedestrians have to virtually find their way in the dark as most of the streetlights are of order for the last more than a year.

A quick survey of the southern sectors revealed that a majority of streetlights are non-functional due to absence of clear-cut demarcation of their maintenance.

The electricity department maintained streetlights for which the civic body had been paying lakhs of rupees to it. As the civic body has no mechanism to check whether proper maintenance of the streetlights is being undertaken, it ends up only in paying huge amount of money to the department. Even after paying hefty amount, the streetlights remain out of order end.

Theft of costly equipments like stabilisers, timer switches and TPN switches from a number of feeder panels, which control the functioning of the streetlights of the respective roads, has made the situation worse. Though the Municipal Corporation had lodged complaints with the police, little effort had been made to recover the equipment costing lakhs.

According to area residents, the matter has been brought to the notice of the authorities concerned several times but no steps have been taken to address the issue. Some months back, employees of the electricity department carried out some repairs, but many streetlights went off the very next day.

Driving has become very risky during night hours as most of the drivers are forced to drive their vehicles on high beam due to complete darkness on the roads. Residents of Sector 38 West alleged that last year an accident occurred due to non-functional streetlights on the road. After the infuriated residents met the authorities, they ordered installation of lights on the roundabout. However, even after repeated requests to the authorities, the situation has not improved.

While area residents fret over the situation, the MC, which is entrusted with the maintenance of streetlights, has done little. All efforts of councillors and residents to draw the attention of the authorities have fallen on deaf ears.

A number of councillors of the southern sectors pointed out that they have taken up the issue in the MC House also and despite assurances given by the officials to repair streetlights, nothing has been done so far. 



Chhat Puja
Devotees take dip in Sec-42 lake
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
A sea of devotees, mostly from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, performed Chhat puja this evening by offering ‘arghya’ to the setting sun at the Sector 42 lake here today.Women offered prayers to the Sun God besides observing a daylong fast during the festival, wishing for the betterment of their family and society. Some of the men, who had also observed fast, could also be seen taking a dip in the lake. 

Even as the administration had set up seven ‘ghats’ at the lake, chaos prevailed as those who arrived earlier hardly gave passage to the others.

There was a fair-like scene at the lake as devotes, including young boys and girls, attired in colourful dresses thronged the lake to take part in the festivities. The devotees burst crackers, illuminated their houses and organised ‘langars’.

Chhat is a holy festival that has a special place among north Indians, especially people from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and parts of Chhattisgarh. The festival continues for four days.

Chhat is marked by rigorous fasting for two days as even water is prohibited to the one observing the fast. It is harsher than the ‘Karva Chauth’ - fast observed by married women in Punjab.

According to the historians, the real name of the festival was ‘Ravi Khashti Vrata’, which meant a fast for sun, and was observed six days after Diwali. The historians traced the origin of this fast to the days of Mahabharata and claimed that even ‘Kunti’ used to observe it.

After offering ‘arghya’ to the setting sun, the devotees would hold a religious ceremony called ‘kosi’ in their homes with ‘puja’ and ‘Chhath’ hymns. Then, ‘arghya’ would be offered to the rising sun tomorrow, after which they would break the fast.

The Chandigarh administration and the police and made elaborate security arrangements at the venue for the smooth holding of the ceremonies at the lake. Local MP and Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water resources Pawan Kumar Bansal, senior BJP leader Satya Pal Jain, and UT Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar were among those who also performed the puja.



‘Padyatra’ for a cause
Tribune News Service

Tajindra Virck with his wife Charanjit Kaur in Chandigarh on Saturday.
Tajindra Virck with his wife Charanjit Kaur in Chandigarh on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, October 24
Tajindra Virck (60) began his ‘padyatra’ for humanity from the city and will conclude at New Delhi on November 8.

The enthusiast spreading awareness about humanity on his ‘Chandigarh to Chandi Chowk yatra’ has sealed his mouth with a piece of cloth.

Virck will make his formal utterance about his mission on November 8, coincided with the birthday of Lal Krishan Advani, a senior BJP leader. He is accompanied by his wife Charanjit Kaur.

Virck ran a hotel in Agra before he retired and settled in Zirakpur. “I have sealed my mouth because I want to concentrate on the walk and the subject matter before I speak at New Delhi,” he wrote on a slate and showed it to the reporter.

The walk, which began from the Open Hand Monument in the city, is dedicated to “three great world leaders and mentors of world peace keeping force including FD Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin, he said.

The card which he is carrying has an appeal for educationists, leaders of all political parties, the UN Secretary General and all religious and spiritual leaders to come forward and work together for humanity. 



GMADA to don role of development agency 
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 24
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is all set to don the role of main development/maintenance agency instead of the Mohali MC, if the outcome of a recent meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal is to be believed.

Despite a heavy top, the state government has announced to appoint a PCS official as the additional chief administrator (Development), GMADA. The new post would be in addition to the post of additional chief administrator, Mohali, being held by Balwinder Singh Multani.

Stating that the development of the city required extra attention, the post of ACA (Development) would do justice to the development. Interestingly, there are several officials from top to bottom in GMADA to look after the development of the greater Mohali area, specially the urban area.

“Instead of providing more funds to the MC and making it accountable, an additional official is being posted in GMADA for reasons best known to the government,” said a GMADA official.

While blaming the Congress ruled MC for failing to carry out the development and maintenance of the city, SAD leaders believe that giving the task to GMADA would ensure enough funds and proper execution of the job.

The politically smart move, apparently to bypass the Congress ruled elected civic body, entails appointing the ACA (Development).

The ACA could be given additional charge of the MC.

District Planning Committee chairman NK Sharma, who was also present at the meeting, said the Deputy Chief Minister had ordered accelerating the implementation of the ongoing projects.

“The MC faces shortage of funds. Residents want better development,” he added.

Not denying that the initiative could be good for the future of the city, political analyst believe that it suits the future political aim of the SAD which was apparently projecting NK Sharma as the leader of the area.

While asking the chief administrator of GMADA to submit a prospective development plan within one month, stress has been laid on the development, maintenance and landscaping of roads, parking areas and community parks.

The sector-level committees are to be motivated to help the government in maintenance of over 500 parks in the residential areas.



Potholes surface again
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, October 24
Just over a month after a small stretch on the Chandigarh-Ambala Highway near petrol pump in Zirakpur was repaired, potholes again surfaced. The repaired work was carried out by the PWD department.In an apparent attempt to justify the “lapse”, PWD official asserted that they had only carried out the temporary repair and estimate for the final repair had been forwarded to the higher officials.

Deep potholes on the highway leading to the Zirakpur flyover have become a virtual nightmare for commuters. One of the petrol pump employees said in the absence of streetlights on the highway, minor accidents were routine affair during night, as the commuters failed to notice the potholes, he added. PWD XEN Karnail Singh stated that the PWD team visited the stretch and it would be repaired after the finalisation of the estimate.



‘Doctors’ job not money-making game’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
Medical students are brilliant but brilliance alone does not make good doctors. Doctors need a noble heart and a zeal for a missionary work because medical profession is not like any routine job. This was stated by leader of the House of Parliament, Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition, Sri Lanka and President of the World Health Assembly Nimal Siripala de Silva while addressing the convocation of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, here today.

He said in the current scenario a large number of medical practitioners were largely engaged in the money making game. “Money is important, but the jest for serving people, particularly the needy, is expected to be an indelible ingredient of a doctor,” he added.

Speaking exclusively to The Tribune on a question pertaining to the Swine flu, he said, “Precaution is the best possible safeguard against the disease. There is a need for greater public awareness.”

After completing the convocation, the two-day annual conference of International Medical Sciences Academy (IMSACON 2009) started. The theme of the conference was “Advances in Medical Sciences”, where renowned faculty from India and abroad deliberated on various aspects of advancements of the medical science.

Director principal of GMCH Dr Raj Bahadur in his welcome address gave an account of academic activities and faculty achievements of the institute. On the sixth convocation, 100 students of GMCH and 71 fellows of IMSA received the degrees and fellowship.

In the second scientific session, director of the PGIMER Prof KK Talwar highlighted the risks involved in coronary artery disease in young. The day’s proceedings were summed up by Prof BS Chavan, head of Psychiatry Department. 



Talwar is NAMS chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
PGI Director and Head of Cardiology Department, Dr KK Talwar has been elected as the President of National Academy of Medical Sciences (India). He will take over the post on October 31.An eminent cardiologist, Talwar has significantly contributed in the field of clinical and research activities. He pioneered the use of endomyocardial biopsy in tropical heart muscle diseases and documented the occurrence of inflammatory myocarditis in Takayasu Arteritis resulting in heart failure.

This unique contribution has earned him the membership of the Scientific Council of Cardio Myopathies, World Health Federation and Asian Region of Global Physicians Network on Myocarditis and related disorders and Fellow of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences.

He has also been appointed as Honorary Consultant to the Armed Forces Medical Services in the discipline of Cardiology and awarded Padma Bhushan- 2006.



Rodrigues-Bansal Spat
Jain seeks judicial probe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
Former Member of Parliament Satya Pal Jain today sought a judicial probe into the ongoing spat between UT Administrator SF Rodrigues and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pawan Kumar Bansal over alleged irregularities in the allotment of land in the UT.

Addressing a press conference here today, Jain said: “This is for the first time in the city when the Central ministers - Ambika Soni and Bansal - are on a warpath with the Governor, who is also appointed by the Centre.”

He said: “A judicial inquiry is needed as both the groups hold senior position.” He also sought compensation for all the farmers whose land had been acquisitioned at “throwaway prices”.

“I have been forced to speak because Bansal has levelled allegations against me for being close to Rodrigues.”

Jain said it was tragic to have witnessed a drama in the form of a continuous tussle between the MP and the Administrator from the past five years. It is surprising that the Centre has not even interfered in the matter, he added.

“One thing clear from the ongoing spat between the two parties that the land owners have been the biggest sufferers. The government should fix accountability and compensate the farmers adequately,” he said. 



60 attend workshop on swine flu
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 24
An orientation workshop on Influenza-A (H1N1) was organised by the state Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) and health officials of Mohali in the auditorium of Punjab Health Systems Corporation in Phase VI here recently.

More than 60 medical practitioners, doctors from various private hospitals from Mohali, Kurali, Dera Bassi and Kharar along with SMOs participated in the workshop, which was inaugurated by Dr SPS Sohal, director, Health Services, Punjab.

Sohal said proper knowledge about H1N1 cases, diagnosis and treatment was need of the hour since it could be fatal.

State nodal official (IDSP), Dr Deepak Bhatia, gave the presentation regarding overview, prevention and treatment of the H1N1.

He said early detection and isolation was the key to control the disease and full course of the medicine was given free of cost to the H1N1 positive cases. The cost of laboratory test was also borne by the health department.

Pathologist, Dr KS Sandha, civil hospital, Mohali, gave details about the procedure for sample taking, isolation and various methods of detection of this viral disease through his presentations.

Dr SP Surila, district health officer- cum-nodal officer, Mohali, briefed about the present status of Mohali and various steps being taken by health officials for containing the disease.

He said members of the district rapid response team met the suspected patients and also took appropriate measures like taking of samples, starting treatment and isolation and quarantine, etc.

Earlier civil surgeon, Dr Ravi Kumar, Mohali, welcomed the chief guest and also asked the participants to act as per the guidelines issued time to time by the health department, Government of India, so that the disease could be controlled.

He thanked the participants and appreciated the efforts put by IMA president, Dr Ashwani Kansal, in organising the workshop.

ICU sealed

Officials of the health department have sealed the ICU of the Silver Oak Hospital after a patient died of swine flu here.

District health official, Dr SP Surila, said after getting information that Beenu Gupta (48), a resident of Solan, had died at the hospital, he went there with his team to take stock of the situation.

Her samples were sent for testing to the PGI, Chandigarh, which tested positive.

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



54th Mahindra rally ends
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 24
More than 80 Mahindra SUVs participating in the 54th edition of Mahindra Great Escape, one of India’s most loved off-road adventures, concluded here today.

The rally was flagged off at 9.30 am by Yashpal Singhal, ADGP, Haryana, from Hotel North Park and culminated at the same place in the afternoon. About 82 Mahindra SUVs, including Scorpio, Bolero, Getaway and the evergreen Legend, Major and Classic negotiated 44 km of daunting terrain, which included riverbeds, rocky and sandy terrains.

Vivek Nayer, senior vice-president, marketing, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, said the rally aimed at spreading awareness among consumers about the toughness and rugged nature of Mahindra SUVs. Recently, the Mahindra Great Escape was held at Hyderabad, Munnar in Kerala, Coorg in Karnataka, Goa and Shahpur near Mumbai, he added.



Labourer falls off building, dies

Zirakpur, October 24
A 24-year-old labourer was killed after falling from an under-construction building in Zirakpur. The deceased was identified as Kurban, who was working as a helper at the construction site.

The incident took place at around 4.30 pm when he was working on the second floor of the building. Suddenly, a shuttering plate slipped from its place and he lost his balance. The construction employees rushed him to the civil hospital, Dera Bassi, where he was declared brought dead. The investigating officer stated that a post mortem would be conducted tomorrow and further investigations are on. — TNS



Students get tips on flight safety
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
As a part of ongoing flight-safety campaign launched by 12 Wing here, an awareness programme was held for students of the Government Senior Secondary School, Raipur Khurd near here today. This is the second phase of the campaign covering educational institutes in and around Chandigarh.

Station Flight Safety Officer Wg Cdr Pankaj Chopra explained how proper disposal of garbage and food items could reduce aircraft accidents due to bird hits. He also emphasised the importance of keeping the surroundings clean, which could reduce accidents, involving both air force and civilian aircrafts.

A film on carrier opportunities in the air force and a motivational movie, Akash Yodha were also screened. Aircraft posters, pamphlets, caps, copies, pencils, pens, calendars, wall clock, pen stand and key chains with flight safety slogans were also distributed to the students and the school staff.

Meanwhile, about 50 school students from Jawahar Navodaya Vidhyalaya, Sector-25, visited 12 Wing for an educational tour, wherein they were shown various transport aircrafts. They were also taken to the air traffic control, from where all air traffic is controlled and managed. Later, the students were explained their responsibilities towards flight safety.



Shayer first in debate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
It was an atmosphere of heated debating session and equally engrossing question-answer round at Vivek High School today with students from various schools contesting with each other.To mark its fourteenth Founder's Week Celebration, the school hosted an inter-school English debate today.Nearly 28 students from 14 schools participated in the debate, which was open for students of classes X to XII.

It was an extemporary debate, where students were given various topics, only two and a half hours prior to the actual deliberation, by a draw of lots.

Participants expressed their views on five fundamental issues like “destiny is a greater player then freewill”, “these are the best years of our lives” , “satellite communication has created an equalitarian society”, “standardised testing is not possible in a diverse socio-economics mileu” and “it is better to bend then risk breaking”.

Shayer Majumdar (Vivek High School, Chandigarh) and Nilanshu Rangi (Army Public School, Chandimandir), who spoke for the motion, were adjudged first and second, respectively, while Srajit Sakhuja (St John’s High School, Chandigarh) and Saaniya Ojha (Vivek High School, Chandigarh), who spoke against the motion, were adjudged first and second, respectively.

This year, the Mc-Millan India Trophy went to Vivek High School, Sector 38, Chandigarh, but being a host school it cannot hold the trophy, which went to the second best team from Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, Chandigarh. 



Faculty blues at PU
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
The Panjab University (PU) authorities are having a tough time finding suitable faculty for the eight new hybrid courses in science and technology. They have set a target of one month to fill the seats lying vacant in these departments.

Currently guest faculty from various departments in the PU and other technical institutions are teaching the students in these departments. The primary cause of the problem is the relatively new subjects in the curriculum, which many teachers are not well versed with.

Six of these departments are of forensic science and criminology, nuclear medicine, public health, microbial biotechnology, system biology and nanotechnology. All the departments offer masters degrees.

These new departments have been drawing a huge response from students and have managed a 100 per cent placement for their last batch. In the recent past, companies have shown interest in recruiting such students.

“The placement of the last batch of medical physics, for example, was 100 per cent. It was more than what was expected from a new course. The problem of faculty will be solved by the university soon,” says Prof AS Ahluwalia, dean sciences.

A major problem being faced by the authorities is the lack of expertise of faculty members in these subjects.

“The main problem is that a teacher can teach some specific part of the syllabus, but may be not the other. These subjects are new. Students who are aware of the latest trends have come for enrolment in large numbers, though we have limited seats,” he added.



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