C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Cocking a snook at RTI Act
Veil over details on ‘VIP deputationists’
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
The Chandigarh Administration continues to maintain the veil of secrecy over information regarding “VIP deputationists” to the UT from other states. Cocking a snook at the provisions of the RTI Act 2005, the administration has denied information on hundreds of deputationists, who have been overstaying in the UT for several years.

However, information on senior IAS, IPS, IFS, PCS and HCS officers, which was in the public domain, has been provided. Apparently in violation of the RTI Act, vital public information relating to doctors, lecturers, other gazetted officers and employees, a majority of which are wives and close relatives of bureaucrats, politicians and influential persons, has been denied.

In fact, the information had been denied on flimsy grounds. A communication to Hemant Goswami of the Burning Brain Society, Superintendent of the Home-cum-Central Public Information Officer, said: “It is beyond the scope of the Act for public authority to create information. Collection of information, parts of which are available with different public authorities, will amount to the creation of information which a public authority under the Act is not required to do.”

Besides the IAS, IPS, IFS, PCS and HCS officers, the applicant had sought information on all gazetted officers on deputation in the Chandigarh for more than five years. The date of each extension given to the officials and length of their stay in the UT was also sought in the application. Going a step further, the application asked for a list other officials, who have been overstaying in Chandigarh for over 10 years.

The total strength of the employees on deputation in the administration from Punjab, Haryana or any other state according to the category of the officials, was demanded in the application.

Goswami has applied to the superintendent, home-cum-CPIO, and superintendent, finance-cum-CPIO, in a bid to cull information from bureaucracy. While the CPIOs advised the applicant to “obtain the information from relevant departments directly”, the appeal with the appellate authority almost met the similar fate. As expected, the appellate authority did not find “any legal infirmity” in the orders of the CPIOs.

Hundreds of “VIP deputationists” had been overstaying in Chandigarh for several years now despite repeated requests from their parent states for their repatriation. While the “well-connected” deputationists enjoyed their extended stay in Chandigarh, hundreds of others continue to serve in the district headquarters and field posting away from their families.

Pandora’s box
Official sources said information on the deputationists could open a Pandora’s box, as majority of them were VIP kin. Since Chandigarh happens to the Capital of Punjab as well as Haryana, besides housing UT headquarters, it was the most sought after location for the “VIP deputationists”. In fact, most of the gazetted officers and other employees managed to spend a major part of their careers in Chandigarh as their “well-connected” spouses remain posted in the state headquarters



Four held on betting charge
Tribune News Service

Four bookies who were arrested in Chandigarh on Saturday.
Four bookies who were arrested in Chandigarh on Saturday.Tribune photo: Vinay Malik

Chandigarh, October 31
The Chandigarh police arrested four bookies here this evening for betting on the third one-day international cricket match between India and Australia in Delhi.

They were using a laptop, 40 mobile phones, three recording sets, two televisions and other technical instruments for contacting their customers.

The police arrested Abohar-based Vijay, Sunil Malhotra, Sagan Lal and Vicky from their rented accommodation in sector 51 while the match was in progress.

The accused, during investigation, told the police that they were planning to bet on the fourth match, to be played at the PCA stadium in Mohali on November 2.

The accused were constantly in touch with main bookies at their offices in Mumbai and Delhi and were betting on every ball during the match. When the police raided their residence on the basis of a tipoff, at least 25 customers were in touch with them on their mobile phones.

The SP, city crime cell, Madhur Verma, said bookies were adopting new techniques to remain in touch with customers. The police said the bookies received the current rate from Mumbai and kept the minimum of cash with them.

The bookies had acquired instruments and software which, besides recording orders of their customers, recorded orders received on their the mobile phones.

The bookies had been active in the city for the past many years and the one of them had taken the house in sector 51 on rent. A case was registered against the accused under the gambling Act. The police was investigating the involvement of more persons in the case.



14-yr-old Karnal girl dies of swine flu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
A month after the death of a 12-year-old student from Ambala, 14-year-old Srishthi, a resident of Karnal died of swine flu at the PGI here today. With this, the death toll in this region due to the H1N1 virus has risen to three, health authorities said.

The victim, a student of Nirmal Dham School, was admitted to the PGI yesterday. UT Nodal officer for swine flu, HC Gera, said: “Her condition had deteriorated by the time she was brought to the hospital. She was suffering for the past 10 days and was being treated in a private hospital at Karnal.”

“As soon as Srishthi reached the hospital, she was administered Tamiflu and her samples were sent for test. She was eventually tested positive for H1N1 today. She died in the afternoon” added Gera.

Though it is the third death due to the swine flu in tricity, a total of 362 suspected cases have been reported so far from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh since May, when the first suspected case of swine flu was reported. The first 10 patients had history of foreign travel.

Later, the infection spread among doctors and students as it got localised. At least 14 doctors have been treated for H1N1 while 57 confirmed cases have been reported at the city hospitals so far.

Meanwhile, the UT health authorities have home quarantined 12 members of a family, residing in Sector 23, Chandigarh, as they were reportedly in close contact with an H1N1 victim. They were put under surveillance and preventive medication. “None of the family members, however, have shown any symptoms of swine flu as yet,” Gera said, adding that they will be physically examined twice a day.

“The family will not be allowed to move out of their house for seven days and no visitors will be allowed to see them as well. The drugs will be administered along with regular physical examination.



Now, pvt housing societies under RTI purview
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
In an important decision that could give right to those residing in housing societies to seek information, the Central Information Commission has upheld that the private housing societies would henceforth come under the purview of the Right to Information Act (RTI).

A decision in this regard was taken by ML Sharma, Central Information Commissioner, New Delhi, in a case where Pritpaul Singh, a resident of Sector 40, was denied information by the local Super Cooperative Building Society. He had sought information pertaining to certain payments, audit report and an appointment letter of a new contractor, besides on some other issues.

The president had, in his reply, argued that the society was not a public authority so it wasn’t required to provide any information under the Act. It was also argued that ‘when the society does not have an administrator and is managed by a managing committee, it cannot be deemed to be a public authority, particularly when it has not received any finances from the Central or the state government for their instrumentalities’.

Quoting the relevant portion of the Act, the commissioner clarified that “information means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which could be accessed by a public authority under any law from the time being in force”

The order noted that ‘the relevant clause indicates that such information can be called from a private body as can be accessed by a public authority under any law for the time being in force. The registrar of the Cooperative Societies in Chandigarh has the authority, under the law, to seek information from the society, in question.

The commission has directed the UT Registrar, Cooperative Societies, to exercise his powers under the Punjab Cooperative Societies Act 1961 and sought that part of information from the management of Super Cooperative House Building Society, as he is empowered to do, and provide it to the appellant.



Cops go slow on cases against influential people
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Transparency and fair play are the first casualties in the Chandigarh police in cases involving influential people, with the track record showing that it prefers to proceed against those with the “right connections” in a hushed manner. Contrary to the police’s claims of being transparent and treating everyone as equal before the law, it has been observed that the “strict” directions are issued to police officials probing cases involving influential persons not to divulge details about the proceedings.

Take the infamous case of the cash-for-job scam in which the name of DPI (Schools) Samvartak Singh came up. The cops remained tightlipped throughout the investigations until it submitted the report, in which the official was given a virtual ‘clean chit’, to the UT home secretary.

Despite the fact that the police probe indicated hundreds of phone calls had been exchanged between Singh and Jolly, the prime suspect in the case, the cops did not find it fit to examine the DPI’s mobile phone. On the other hand they had got three cell phones of Jolly examined by the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory. The examination of Jolly’s phone could not provide any “vital clues” to the police about his connections with the DPI as the CFSL experts could not extract information from the phones for want of proper data cables, said a police official.

Another glaring example of the police being lenient towards the high-profile people is that they did not bother to call the DPI to join the interrogation in person, sending him a questionnaire instead. Not only this, the police kept on waiting for his reply for days.

Similar was the situation in the case involving a senior Punjab bureaucrat’s son, Zorawar Singh Aujla. The police initially played down the incident saying there was nothing “serious” in it. Though it was alleged that the gunshots were fired in the brawl the cops failed to invoke the provisions of the Arms Act into the case. A police officer had said it wasn't required as they had slapped Section 336 of the IPC (Endangering Life With Negligent Act).

“When the police admits gunshots were fired they should invoke the Arms Act, under which a case is non-bailable. Section 336 of the IPC is bailable and only imposed when a gunshot is fired negligently. In this case there was a scuffle between both parties during which gunshots were fired. In this situation a case of attempt to murder should have been registered”, said a legal expert.

In other high-profile cases involving Baba Sarup Singh of Santsar Sahib Gurdwara for attempt to murder and other offences, Baba Pritpal Singh, chairman, Shiromani Sant Khalsa International Foundation, Gur Sagar Sahib (Jheel Wala) Kaimbwala Village in a cheating and forgery case for allegedly grabbing land of an NRI woman, and Devinder Singh Babla, former chairman of the Chandigarh market committee, the police had failed to arrest any of them despite raising a hue and cry. 



SHO suspended for taking Rs 1.5 lakh bribe
Tribune news Service

Panchkula, October 31
SSP Amitabh Dhillon today suspended Raipur Rani SHO Deepak Kumar for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 1.5 lakh from a liquor contractor.

The SSP took this step after allegations were levelled against the SHO for releasing a truck loaded with liquor worth lakhs of rupees after it was seized at Raipur Rani yesterday night.

The authorities came to know about this matter when the Dera Bassi police informed them that the truck loaded with liquor passed through their area after telling them that Rs 1.5 lakh had been paid to the Raipur Rani police for letting them pass the barrier. The cop had directed him to go via Dera Bassi.

The SSP said the prima facie allegations against Deepak were found to be true and an inquiry has been initiated against the SHO after putting him under suspension. 



Bid to loot petrol station
Judge acquits 6 for lack of proof
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 31
Much to the embarrassment of the local police District and Session Judge SP Singh has acquitted six persons, who were allegedly arrested while planning to loot a petrol station in the city.

The judge did not find the proofs presented before the court substantial enough to pass a sentence against accused Charanjit, a resident of Mauli village, Vikram from Railly village, Vimal and Dara, both residents of Sector19, and Ram Singh and Ramesh, both from Abhaypur village in Panchkula.

The police arrested all of them on May 23. While registering a case under Section 399 and 402 of the IPC the police alleged that they were planning to loot the petrol station in Sector 4.


CSIO turns 50
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
As Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) moves into the 51st year of its foundation, it is venturing into the arena of photonics, the application of which has become an integral part of day-to-day life.Photonics covers all technical applications of light in science and a large number of gadgets are based on this. Besides introducing post-graduate academic and training programmes for young scientists, it has also expanded its technical infrastructure and business development activities.

Some of the recent work undertaken in the recently established research and development infrastructure for photonics includes developments of sensors for monitoring the health of buildings and concrete structures. Development of biometric instruments for the handicapped and artificial joints and robotic limbs, safety sensors and low vision aids has also been developed.

A multi-disciplinary and multi-dimensional laboratory under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIO was set up in 1959 to stimulate the growth of indigenous instrument industry in the country through development of contemporary technologies. Initially located at New Delhi, CSIO moved to Chandigarh in 1962.



Action against errant sweet sellers sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Can food adulterators be booked for cheating and causing hurt under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code? A former UT councillor has raised the vital question of law.

In a communique to the UT director, Health Services, ex-councillor Ranjana Shahi has sought the booking of the errant sweet sellers under Section 326, who deals with voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means and also for cheating under Section 420 of the IPC.

Shahi has asserted along with food adulteration Act, those who are found indulging in adulteration should be proceeded under Section 326, while those compromising with quality be booked for cheating. She has also demanded that the Health Department officials and test-laboratory staff be booked for criminal conspiracy in case of connivance with the adultrators.

Shahi added the Health Department this Diwali collected samples of eatables, specially sweets and sent these for test. The outcome of the test results should be made public and it should be ensured no manipulation is done in the process, Shahi said.



Book on ’84 riots released
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Picking shreds of life from the rubble of the 1984 Delhi riots and helping to weave a web of life for those who bore the brunt, ‘Scorched White Lilies of ‘84’ by Reema Anand is an endearing effort showcasing rehabilitation of more than 925 families in Delhi who faced the turmoil in the aftermath of the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Published by Rupa publications, the ‘Scorched White Lilies of ‘84’ is a poignant ensemble of an enduring effort in rehabilitating 925 families in the Tilak Vihar locality, in particular and also certain families from the adjoining areas of Mongolpuri and Nand Nagri.

The seed for the book was sown when Reema Anand set out meeting the riot victims as an effort towards writing a book. The living condition of the widows, in particular, upset her so much that she dropped the idea of writing any book and instead started working for their welfare. “It was not easy convincing them to come forward because they held in suspicion any outsider coming to them. I was slowly able to convince them to start making ‘pappads’ and other cottage industry products. The effort bore fruit ultimately,” she said.

Finance Minister of Punjab Manpreet Singh Badal released the book. Chief of Bureau of The Tribune Prabhjot Singh conducted an interactive session on the book. It was pointed out that the “history has always been a mute spectator of deeds and misdeeds of people across generations. Twenty- five years after the tragic events, the book is a tribute to those orphans and wives who have struggled endlessly to live life in a respectable way”.

Born and brought up in Punjab, Reema Anand is a Post Graduate in NGO management. As a filmmaker, she has directed at least half a dozen films and is a regular contributor to leading national dailies, including The Tribune, The Indian Express and The Times of India.



Chaos on Zirakpur roads, courtesy PCA
Tribune News Service

Chaos prevails at Zirkapur-Kalka intersection in the absence of traffic police on Saturday.
Chaos prevails at Zirkapur-Kalka intersection in the absence of traffic police on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Zirakpur, October 31
In absence of traffic police on the busy traffic intersections, an hour-long traffic jam was witnessed at many places here today.A senior traffic police official stated that traffic cops who were posted at Zirakpur had been sent to Mohali for One-Day cricket match between India and Australia on Monday.

As a result, commuters had to face a horrifying time as long queues of vehicles were witnessed at all major intersections. Rajan Bhalla, a resident of Delhi, said there was no cop to regulate traffic at any of the points. It was really difficult to cross the town, he added.

Similar chaos was witnessed at various other sections, including Patiala-Zirakpur light point, Zirakpur-Kalka point and Dhakoli Chowk.


Land Acquisition
Mullanpur residents intensify stir
Tribune News Service

Mullanpur residents, led by former Congress minister Jagmohan Kang, stage a dharna on the Chandigarh-Mullapur road against the acquisition of land by GMADA for road widening on Saturday.
Mullanpur residents, led by former Congress minister Jagmohan Kang, stage a dharna on the Chandigarh-Mullapur road against the acquisition of land by GMADA for road widening on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Mullanpur (Mohali), October 31
The Illaqqa Ujjara Roko Committee, Mullanpur, has intensified its protest against the acquisition of their land to four-lane the Chandigarh-Mullanpur road.

Around 150 acre is being acquired in Mullanpur Garib Dass, Ferozepore Bungar, Parol, Pharongian, Hoshiarpur, Majra and Sultanpur for road widening.

Dr Gurdeep Singh Sohi, one of the affected landowners, said residents of Mullanpur village, while constructing houses/shops on either side of this 33-feet road, had voluntarily left an 80-feet vacant corridor for future upgrade of this road.

Now, the government plans to construct a 200-feet wide road from the UT border to Kurali Siswan T-junction. A perusal of the alignment plans of this proposed road shows that around 87 dwelling units and 138 shops would have to be demolished due to the land acquisition.

After the government had issued a notification under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, for acquisition of land for the proposed road, the house owners, shopkeepers, owners of small workshops and workers of Mullanpur Garibdas village are spending sleepless nights, in the fear of losing their livelihood and also their shelter to live.

“We have urged the government to reconsider the proposal. The government can widen the 33-feet existing road in the 80-feet vacant corridor left by the residents and build a bypass on the western side of Mullanpur,” said Dr Sohi.



Close shave for 40 kids
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, October 31
Lives of 40 students of DAV School, Malout district, Muktsar, were endangered when their bus collided with an Indica at the sale tax barrier on the Zirakpur-Ambala highway, here today. Though no one was injured in the accident, the car was damaged from one side. Later, the matter was solved after both parties reached a compromise.

According to information, the students of DAV School, Malout, including 25 boys and 15 girls, along with four staff members, were on their way to Chandigarh. The incident took place around 1.45 pm. A police team reached the spot and took both parties to police station where the matter was solved.



Central Status
PM’s visit raises expectations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Expectations run high in various quarters of Panjab University ahead of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s visit to the university on November 3 for the special convocation.

Having raised the issue of granting a Central status to the university before Union Minister of Human Resource and Development Kapil Sibal and Union Sports Minister MS Gill recently, the Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) has now planned to take up the issue in a major way again.

A memorandum will be submitted by the association to the PM in this regard.

The Prime Minister’s visit is being viewed as a milestone in the university’s history and it has also raised expectations of staff and other officials.

Last year, the association had organised a hunger strike to highlight the issue of Central status for the university.

“The Punjab government has assured us that it has no objection to it. We have also received a letter in this regard by the government,” said Akshaya Kumar, general secretary of the association.

Prof Manjit Singh, president of the association, said a statement in this regard would be issued on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the campus student’s council (PUCSC) is yet to meet to decide the contents of representation to be given to the PM.

“The council will highlight the issue of Central status for PU in its representation to the PM. In addition to this, the problem of shortage of staff in the university will also be raised. A meeting of the council members and party representatives will be held shortly in this regard,” said Sukhdev Kundu.

Besides, four student’s council members and nearly 57 representatives of various departments of the university have also been permitted by the PU authorities to witness the event.

Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti was not available for his comments on whether the university authorities will raise the issue before the PM.



‘Be-Libaas’ exposes hypocrisy in society
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, October 31
If a theatre is deemed to be an instrument of social change for articulating and shaping an enlightened conscious, then the play “ Be-Libaas ( the naked ) ” staged at the Tagore Theatre was a bold venture for exposing the sentimental idealism, hypocrisy and hideous realities, which are otherwise concealed by accepted ideals of holy matrimony, parental authority and human relationships.

The rare theatrical bonanza “Be-Libaas” by the Sufi Foundation of India is a masterpiece of playwright and director Aziz Quraishi, who is a renowned thespian and football player of international eminence.

Aziz, obviously inspired by social fervent of time, brought into focus human relationships in all their manifestations, including those, which are liable to get twisted at office, neighbourhood and home. It raises fundamental issues concerning internal conflicts pitted against external pressures. The play through narrative and enactment of six stories negates eventual submission and tells how women surrender to the lusty wishes of bosses or the affluent, while it largely deals with the subject on exploitation of women. The most accomplished lead actors Teekam Joshi and Laxmi Rawat with adroit acting spells made the play to operate on an intellectual level recovering logical and explosive naked truths on relationships. The play presents a mirror of society where there are both victims and victimisers leaving a lot to the curiosity of discernible audience. The actors played multiple roles with instantaneous shifts into other characters with consummate ease, including director Aziz Quraishi, who played the role of a villager. Manish Shukla, Mohan Yadav and Mala Kumar were the supporting actors.

The programme commenced with a Sufi kathak dance recital by Thopee Behbin from Tehran. She presented a devotional kathak bandish and a tarana displaying nimble footwork, facial gestures in mudras and eloquent dancing movements.

The Sufi foundation extended a warm welcome to chief guest HK Dua, Editor-in-Chief of the Tribune Group of Newspapers.

He, along with foundation president and former DGP Punjab AA Siddiqi and IPS SK Sharma, lit up the traditional lamp and honoured artistes.

Urdu poet Prof Nasher Naqvi conducted the programme with admirable competence. 



City in poetic imagery
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 31
“We often relish the compelling charm of exquisite panoramic natural and cultivated splendour of the City Beautiful, but the literary exponent Dr DS Gupt has virtually translated the soul of city in his poetic endeavour titled “Kavita Ke Ayne Mein Chandigarh”, said Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Pawan Kumar Bansal, who graced the occasion as the chief guest.

The function was organised by Chandigarh Sahitya Academy and SRIJAN, an institute of creativity, at the Government Museum here today.

While releasing the book, which comprises 108 pictures of important tourist spots in Chandigarh and its surroundings, he complimented the author, along with the department of tourism, Chandigarh, for their contribution.

A comprehensive historical depiction of evolution of the City Beautiful and sequence of events from the conceptualisation of this idea by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru and to its full blossom today is documented in the book.

While Dr DS Gupt has penned down poems on popular spots in the city and adjoining areas, all 108 photographic marvels adorning the book eloquently speak about the visual aesthetic excellence of photojournalists Manoj Mahajan, Pradeep Tewari, S Chandan, Parvesh Chauhan, Vinay Malik, SM Dhami and Dev Arts. Chairperson of the academy Prof Manju Jaidka welcomed the chief guest, while advocate Chaman Lal Sharma introduced the poet and his works.



Never bribe children, says psychologist

Panchkula, October 31
Children between 3 and 4 years of age start playing with other children, become friendly and cooperative, begin understanding, develop fears and have greater control over their hand and arm muscles.

The need at that age is to develop their language abilities through books, science and art activities, games and songs and to help them develop better physical coordination.

This was stated by Delhi-based clinical psychologist Kamini Mustafi here today. She was addressing a gathering of parents at a workshop on children’s schooling problems at the British School here.

She added that one should never bribe children. She did not favour buying a child a bicycle on doing well in examinations. She asserted that a child should be given such things on the basis of needs, not performance.

Earlier, Kabir Mustafi, former principal of Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, addressed the gathering. He said children between 2 and 3 years of age became more aware of others and their own feelings and often got stubborn and threw tantrums.

He said they required opportunities to sing, talk and know language, develop better hand coordination and do more things themselves. — TNS



Two PGI docs awarded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Dr KL Gupta, professor of nephrology, and Dr Pratibha Singhi, professor, department of paediatrics, PGI, were awarded during the 49th annual conference of the National Academy of Medical Sciences in Lucknow today.Dr Gupta was awarded for his contribution in highlighting the high incidence of angio-invasive fungal infections of the kidney sand in renal transplant recipients in the area. 

He had contributed to research, postgraduate training and patient care.Based on his data regarding the occurrence of fungal infections in renal patients, he had shown that angio-invasive fungal infections were an important cause of acute renal failure, even in immunocompetent hosts.

Dr Singhi was the honorary consultant in charge with Prayas, the rehabilitation centre for disabled children, since 1985. Dr Aman Sharma, department of internal medicine, Dr Rakesh Kapoor, department of radiotherapy, Dr Vikas Gautam, department of medical microbiology, and Dr Sumeeta Khurana, department of parasitology, were awarded membership of the National Academy of Medical Sciences.



Varsity demands Rs 12 lakh for info
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
The office of dean, student welfare, has asked a student of Panjab University (PU) to furnish a receipt of Rs 12,22,378 for seeking information under the RTI Act.

Varun Malik, a student of LLM, who had filed the application, provided the information at a press conference at the student centre here today.

Charging Rs 2 per per page, the office stated in the letter that the information sought was detailed and involved large expenses.

Varun had sought details about the expenses of PU hostels, including the annual use of electricity, the money spent without prior permission by hostel wardens and the money collected from late entry fee in hostels.

“I will go to the state commission since the authorities are now threatening me. The university is answerable for the contents in this letter. They cannot stop anybody from asking questions,” he said.

Neither the dean, student welfare, nor the deputy registrar, who had issued the letter, could be reached for their comment.



PGI ex-prof awarded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Dr SM Bose, former senior professor and head of the department of surgery at the PGI here and former president of the Association of Surgeons of India, has been given the Award of International College of Surgeons, Indian chapter, for 2009.

He delivered Dr Ginde memorial oration during the conference at Amritsar today. He spoke on “Disappearing art of clinical practice”.

He said a large number of present-day doctors had not been following the medical practice of thorough examination of the patient, which could give diagnosis in a large percentage of cases.

Instead of this, market forces had been pushing doctors to go in for complicated and costly investigations, he added.

Dr Bose presented a large number of cases where investigations had misled doctors and a go-by to frequent clinical examinations had complicated cases.

He stressed on rational investigations, good communication skills and good doctor-patient relationship.



Protest against ‘London Dreams’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Activists of the Bajrang Dal yesterday protested outside Batra cinema here in Sector 37 to ensure that a part of the song in movie “London Dreams” in which Hanuman Chalisa was recited should not be viewed.

The activists, along with other organisatiosns, assembled outside the cinema hall and raised slogans. The police reached there and placated the agitated protesters. The police called the cinema authorities and later it was decided that a part of the movie containing the sequences of the song would be shown to the protesters and the police to remove the objectionable part from it.

Cinema authorities shown the parts of the song to the activists in the presence of the police and the media. The authorities agreed to ensure that the objectionable part in the song would not be shown.



Picnic leaves parents worried
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
There was high drama at the Shishu Niketan in Sector 43 here today when at least 370 students who had gone to a picnic to the Morni hills did not return hours after the scheduled arrival time.

Parents of children gathered at the school and raised slogans. According to them, the children were taken to the Morni hills in six buses.

They were supposed to be back by 6 pm, but except one, none of the buses were back till 10 pm.

“We got to know that the buses reached Morni around 2 pm. When we reached here, the children had not returned,” said one of the parents.

“They are not able to tell us the exact location of the buses. Morni is not far. When one bus has returned, what has held back the others,” asked another parent.

While the police reached the spot to control the agitating parents, the school authorities refused to say anything.



World Thrift Day celebrated

Chandigarh, October 31
The World Thrift Day was celebrated by the local unit of the National Savings Institute (NSI) in association with the Directorate of Small Savings, Chandigarh Administration, at Kendriya Sadan here yesterday.

Pirthi Chand, joint secretary, Chandigarh Administration, who was the chief guest, highlighted the significance of small savings in the country’s economic development.

He said Rs 440.10 crore had been collected under the small savings scheme during the last financial year, out of which Rs 343 crore had been contributed by agents.— TNS



Committee constituted to fill vacant Chairs
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Ahead of Dr Manmohan Singh’s visit, the Panjab University authorities have constituted a committee to fill the vacant Chairs of academic research and excellence, including Dr Manmohan Singh’s Chair.

According to information provided by Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti, RP Bambah will head the committee, which will select suitable candidates for nearly 14 Chairs that have been lying vacant. Members of the selection committee include Jitender Mohan, IS Chadha, SV Kesar, PL Mehra and BN Goswami.

Finding a capable researcher to fill these prestigious Chairs has always been a challenging task for the PU authorities. The task is to choose candidates, who can do meaningful research in their respective fields.

Some of these Chairs include PN Mehra Chair, Ravi Das Chair, Tagore Chair, Bhagat Singh Chair, Baba Farid Chair, Baba Vir Singh Chair and the recently established Manmohan Singh Chair.

“It is a personal opinion that a research Chair is only a small way to honour a living legend like Dr Manmohan Singh. Relevance of any Chair or its establishment is at an idealist level. People feel inspired to work at that level. Many times we do not find such persons, who are capable of working at that level, and not just here throughout the world it is the same predicament,” said Jitender Mohan, one of the selectors.

Stating that the main aim of the Chair is to inspire people to research, he said, “Dr Manmohan Singh is an example of professional excellence and ethical standards.”

“Rising from academic background to the highest political office in the country, Dr Singh has been a source of inspiration and pride not only for teachers but also for the next generation,” added Mohan.

Informing about a meeting scheduled for working out the modalities of selecting these candidates, RP Bambah, head of the selection committee said, “ The meeting is schedule on November 3 and we will discuss the procedure of selection and other details.”



Vigilance Awareness Week in schools

Chandigarh, October 31
Taking a serious view of corruption in public life, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to observe “Vigilance Awareness Week” in all government and government-aided colleges of Chandigarh from November 3 to November 7. A letter to this effect has been issued to the Education Department by Home-cum-Education Secretary Ram Niwas.

The week-long celebrations will include rallies and marches, speeches, debate, essay-writing competition, painting and cartoon-making competitions.

The main objective of the vigilance awareness week is to make the Gen-X aware about evils of corruption and how to stop it.



Seminar on green computing
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 31
Quest Group organised a seminar on green computing here.Dr Manoj Bali, Dean, engineering, deliberated upon various topics, including designing, manufacturing, using and disposing of computers, servers and associated subsystems.

Dr NK Maheshwari, Dean, management, encouraged industry to adopt green technologies and practices, including green buildings and green computing infrastructure. Thanking the resource persons, Monika D Mehta, head, training and placements, said Indian IT-BPO companies were walking the talk when it came to “Green IT”. The companies took the concept beyond a fashion statement or fad to a realm, where it fundamentally shifted the way businesses operated.



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