C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Black marketeers ruled amid cops
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 2
The heavy police bandobust during the one-day international match between India and Australia at the PCA Stadium did not stop unscrupulous elements from selling match tickets in black.

Making a fast buck, black marketeers sold the tickets of various stands much higher that the original cost.

Despite the presence of the police in khaki and mufti, the black marketeers were seen selling the tickets at various locations around the stadium.

The Tribune team was witness to the sale and purchase of tickets while the police personnel behaved like mute spectators even though in some cases, the black marketeers were rounded up and taken to the police station.

Throughout the day, these people were seen selling tickets near the Phase X market and the residential area near the PCA stadium at a high premium, depending on the desperation of the ticket seeker. Most purchases were made by gullible college students.

Instead of checking the illegal sale of tickets, police officials were seen attending to VVIPs and their families who descended on the scene. No police official confirmed that any black marketeer had been booked or rounded up. 



Please don’t be seated!
Fans with pavilion terrace seats were not allowed to sit since batsmen were having
problems spotting the ball
Vaibhav Sharma
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 2
The PCA authorities bowled a bouncer and a few hundred fans could do nothing but “stand up” and face it. The authorities had sold the seats for the pavilion terrace, which come at quite a premium, but people were not allowed to take their place. The reason: batsmen were finding it hard to see the ball coming out of the bowlers hand with a sea of people in the background. That only leaves one question to be answered — why were these seats sold in the first place?

Kamal Sharma from Ferozepur said: “I paid for these seats, therefore, I have the right to sit and enjoy the match. Instead, I have been pushed and tossed around for the past six hours. It isn’t just me, a lot of people are complaining why the authorities sold the tickets for these seats if we can’t sit here. Cricket is not run by the board, it is run by the money people like us spend on watching it. We deserve better.”

Hued scoreboard

Among the unusual things one spots during a cricket match like weird head gear, crazy masks and direct hits by Indian fielders, the PCA authorities added their own unique style with pink and fluorescent green scoreboard plates, maybe for better visibility at night. Although they deserve a pat for an innovative thought, they don’t realise the power of their floodlights.

Just beat it

The packed stadium has a voice of its own, with the Mexican wave forming shapes of its own, and every single stadium in India has a character of its own.

The Mohali ground, which is probably the most picturesque in India, is known for the dhol-beating and tup-thumping crowd. Although not many musical instruments were allowed inside due to security reasons, a fan who somehow got through with his dhol, was enough to keep the crowd on their feet all through the day.

Despite the usual glitches that are part of any international match, it will remain etched in the minds of people who saw Tendulkar almost get 17,000 ODI runs. 



Mohali schools closed today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Mohali, November 2
In wake of the Punjab bandh call given by the Panthic Morcha in support of the ’84 riot victims, the UT school bus operators have decided not to ply buses to Mohali and other neighbouring towns tomorrow.

There is apprehension that buses may be damaged and they don’t want to compromise with the safety of students.

Since the schools in the UT were open, parents would have to make their own arrangements to send their children to school, Manjit Singh, president of the school bus operator association said.

However, there was no confirmation if autorickshaws ferrying school children would also remain off the road. Around 150 buses of Chandigarh-based schools ferry children from Mohali.

On the other hand, a majority of schools in Mohali would be closed tomorrow.

A spokesman for the YPS Public School said the school would remain closed tomorrow. St Soldier School, Phase 7, and Lawrance Public School would also remain closed.

Various religious bodies in Mohali have supported the bandh call given by the Panthic Morcha. 



Suicide by Prof
Wife’s inputs of no help
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The police is confused over the reason that forced Dr Bhupinder Singh, assistant professor in the computer science department at Punjab Engineering College (PEC) to commit suicide here yesterday.

Sources in the police said his wife, Amrit Kaur, could not shed any light on the circumstances that had forced her husband to take such an extreme step.

“She told us that one could not see what was going in somebody else’s mind. She said she had spoken to her husband on phone and he was sounding normal,” the SHO of the Sector 11 police station said. 



Of PM and makkhan jeans
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

 A jubilant Mukanda A jubilant Mukanda.ATribune photo

Chandigarh, November 2
Nostalgic about the humane touch of Dr Manmohan Singh in the economics department of Panjab University, Mukanda, the then cleaner, is eagerly awaiting the PM’s arrival on the campus.Recounting incidents, Mukanda, who is better known by the PM as “Pagdi wale babaji”, hopes to meet him. “He is a big man today. He may have forgotten me after so many years,” he says.

When he sent his best wishes to Dr Singh on assuming the post of RBI Governor, he received a warm reply that touched his heart. The letter was addressed as “My dear Mukanda”.

“I have no misgivings that he did not reply to me when I congratulated him on becoming the PM. He has always been a simple man. He may not have received my letter,” he says.

Mukanda recalls that a reader in the department, after studying Dr Singh’s hand, predicted that he would reach the top.

“He often advised us and guided us on our children’s education. He would walk to the department and would reach 15 minutes before the class. His students were also punctual. He was a disciplined teacher and was only concerned with his study. He never indulged in politics,” he recalls.

Taking about his habit of chewing his handkerchief while reading books, Mukanda says that Dr Singh could be spotted in “makkhan jeans” and coat-pant in those days. “I often got his lunch box from his house. He preferred simple food like dal and chapatti,” he says. “Once he had complained of chest pain and we had taken him to the PGI. He was admitted for a few days and we would visit him regularly,” he adds. 



Motorists will have to reveal faces to enter city
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Visitors will have to roll down their car windows and switch on the light inside to reveal their faces before entering the city through the Zirakpur barrier on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway.The Chandigarh Police is working on the project of installing high-powered CCTV cameras at all entry points to the city to capture the images of those crossing the barriers.

 The UT engineering wing is working on the project in association with Punjab Engineering College and a private company.

The police has installed a notice board on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway, ahead of the Zirakpur barrier, asking motorists to “roll down the windows of their vehicles and glow the inside light”.

In all, eight cameras have been installed at the barrier which would capture the faces from the sides and also take footage of the vehicle from the front as well as the rear, including the registration number. The UT administration had already sanctioned Rs 45 lakh for the project.

A senior police official informed that those caught ignoring the notice would be treated as suspects and would be prosecuted against. He said the project was at the final stage and the engineering wing had changed the yellow lights (the cameras could not capture clear footage) with white floodlights.

Sources in the engineering wing told The Tribune that though the technical part of the project was almost complete, they were facing small roadblocks.

In order to get better footage, the vehicles must move at a slow speed. Earlier, the police had set up barricades leaving a narrow passage for vehicles, but it led to congestion.

“As speed breakers are prohibited on highways, we decided to install rumble stripes, but when we put it to test, we found that these could not endure high volume of traffic. We have to think about some other option,” he said.

The cameras would function round the clock and could retain 15 days of recording, which could be written on DVDs if required. The city has 11 entry points and each point would have its own recording device and would function independently.

A police official said to keep a record of the motorists coming in and going out of the city, the police had decided to install cameras at all entry points in the city early this year.

“So far, engineers are working to install the cameras to get a better view of passengers sitting in vehicles. Once it is through, technological surveillance will help the police in solving various crimes, including motor vehicle theft, which is a major source of headache for the police.”


2 Dogra celebrates 150th Raising Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
A special sainik sammelan and release of the First Day Cover marked the commemoration of the 150th Raising Day of 2 Dogra, the senior-most battalion of the Dogra Regiment today.

Addressing the sammelan, Brig SL Kapur (retd), senior-most Commanding Officer of the Battalion exhorted all ranks to strive for professional excellence and uphold the glorious tradition and ethos of the regiment. The oldest surviving member of the battalion, Sepoy Pala Ram, who had joined the unit in 1935, too was present at the occasion.

Serving and retired officers, JCOs and other ranks, including some veteran war heroes, were present.

A book authored by Sqdn Ldr (retd) Rana TS Chinna, “Team -38”, depicting the history of 2 Dogra, was also released on the occasion.Lt Gen (Retd) HS Bedi, and Maj Gen (Retd) Karam Singh were among other senior officers to attend the regimental function. It was on this day in 1965 that the battalion was honoured with its 22nd Battle Honour.



PU prof to talk on e-learning in Lanka
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
In the age of information technology, e-learning has become an important tool to reach out to the masses for the spread of education and it has given a fresh boost to the concept of distance education.

To gain a deeper understanding of technological advances in the field of information and communication technologies and knowing how these advances will ultimately impact development and our future in the region, a three-day conference, eASiA-2009, will be held in Colombo from December 2.

The conference is Asia’s premier event on information and communication technologies.

To make such innovations helpful to the people and giving a closer look to the perception of students and teachers to e-learning, Dr Ravi K Mahajan from the University School of Open Learning, Panjab University, has been invited to present a paper at the conference.

He will present a paper on “Students’ perception or teachers’ profile: What restrains e-learning?”.

The paper suggests that the environment, as of now, is not congenial to the growth of e-learning as neither the majority of teachers are conversant with the basics of this technique nor students perceive it as an ultimate proposition.

The paper makes a strong case for blended learning and puts forth a model to boost e-learning culture which in turn promises optimum utilisation of resources.

Earlier, Dr Mahajan was invited to present a paper on “e-Learning and Pedagogical Challenges: A Study in Student’s Response” at 2009 International Conference on Distance Education and Open Learning held in Singapore. He also chaired a session at the conference, first time by a teacher at an international conference on distance education since the inception of the University School of Open Learning.

Sharing his experience, Dr Mahajan said he was dejected over chinks in operational aspects of distance education in India. “While experts from other countries talked about their experiments and models for reaching out to the masses more efficiently, we are still vying to provide quality print martial to the students,” he said.

On various methods adopted by the university to use distance education as a mode of education for the masses, Dr Mahajan thanked Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti, who, he said, had given a boost to the concept by envisioning an element of “openness” by transforming the Department of Correspondence Courses to the “School of Open Learning” to reach out to the masses.



PM to visit PGI, PU today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
With two full-length rehearsals of the special convocation and rigorous mock drill of the security arrangements, the Panjab University is all set to welcome Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here tomorrow.

“The Special Protection Group is guiding us on the security front. The one-hour visit of the Prime Minister in PU is divided into two halves. The special convocation will be followed by the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the multipurpose auditorium at 3.30 pm,” informed PU Registrar, Prof. SS Bari. The entire look of the campus has been revamped for the PM’s visit.

Before heading to PU, the PM would visit PGI in the afternoon. 



Judges stress mutual resolution of cases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
A seminar on the mutual resolution of cases was held at the Judicial Academy today, where the key speakers included Supreme Court Chief Justice T Sathsivam, Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice TirathSingh and Sri Lankan Supreme Court Judge Saleem Marsoof.

Considering the resolution as the best tool of judiciary, Justice Sathsivam asserted, “The best way to do away with any dispute is to get two parties to talk and mutually resolve the cases. Most of the times in absence of such mechanism, certain cases which otherwise can be easily resolved continue to linger on for years thereby effecting everybody.”

“Almost 50 per cent of the cases coming to the courts can be mutually resolved and if this happens it will surely help us to deal with the prolonged pendency. The judiciary in all respects should try to get both parties to communicate and solve the issue in a way best suited to both,” added Justice Tirath Singh.

Considering the concept to be of universal importance, Saleem Marsoof said the judiciary across the world should get together to promote it.



Admn to tighten noose on pvt schools
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
After the government schools, it’s now their private counterparts that the administration is out to tighten the noose on.

After ordering a mass audit to combat the financial irregularities in the government schools, UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas has invited the Parents Teachers’ Associations of all private schools to voice their grievances, which according to him will be immediately attended to.

The move according to him primarily aimed to deter any unjustified fee hike in lieu of the upcoming admission season.

“All round the year I get complaints that the private schools collect various funds or arbitrarily increase their fee in name of providing more facilities. This will not be tolerated now so I want all PTA associations to give me memorandums about any such problem with a private school and I will immediately deal with it,” said Ram Niwas.

The fee hike has for long been a controversial topic with the private players insisting it to be their sole purview, however, the Home Secretary denies it.

“As per their allotment letters these schools cannot make money at their whims and fancies. If they take certain waivers from the administration then they have to abide by its law also. We plan to review the current fee structure of these private schools and if they fail to rectify the shortcomings their affiliation might also be cancelled,” he added.

Though the idea seems to be promising but prior to this also many efforts have been made in this direction, which have proved futile.

Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar and ex-DPI (S) SK Setia had asked all private schools to submit their balance sheets for review and even maintained that fee could not be increased on plea of ploughing back the money by providing more facilities.

Following this when numerous PTA associations accusing major schools of increasing the fee approached current DPI Samwartak Singh, he also marked a review and enquiry of all balance sheets but unfortunately anything is yet to come to fore.

“What has not happened in the past will happen now because it’s not just the balance sheets but the view of parents that will matter. Every school will have to give a visible and documentary proof of all facilities that it claims to provide and no fee hike will be allowed without consent of the PTAs,” concluded Ram Niwas.



Founder’s day play
NSD to direct Vivek kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Vivek High School’s founder’s day play, “Mohey Rang De”, is expected to be a real treat for many with Amal Allana, chairperson of National School of Drama, New Delhi, and her husband Nissar, director of Dramatic Art and Design Academy, joining hands with the school’s 50 young enthusiasts.

In the city to direct and design the sets, the duo sees the endeavour as a golden opportunity to catch “them” young for the evolving field of theatre.

“One thing that really drew me towards the play was the fact that it was not just a handful of kids who would come on stage to perform but the entire wing of 50 students. With every single kid getting a role to play, the enthusiasm and energy has risen manifolds, a situation deemed to be boon for any performance,” asserted Amal.

Interestingly, the entire play has been penned in Punjabi with the students writing their own dialogues.

The play, which primarily deals with the immigration issue, is the director’s attempt to keep the script objectively close to reality where she has been supported by the signature imagery aesthetics of Nissar Allana.

Excelling as always with his choice of “mitti”, “eent” and bamboo, Nissar considered the thematic propriety indispensable to any production.

“For any story to strike a chord with audience and artistes to get into the character, the entire set up has to be apt to the theme and times of the play. Gone are the days when a school-level play would mean managing with self-created or hired props, now the lighting and composition details are also an integral part of the play,” said, Nissar, a recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi award.

It’s not just the script or sets but also the music that proves to be a brownie with the urbanised version of Punjabi folk merging with the Sufi school of music. To get the right “soul of soil” notes, Amal has collaborated with Madan Gopal Singh.



Ballet on Lord Krishna’s life
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh November 2
The Shri Ram Bharti Kala Kendra, New Delhi, presented a captivating ballet, “Krishna”, under the aegis of Haryana Kala Parishad at the Tagore Theatre here today.Staged over 2,000 times during the last 32 years in India and abroad, the ballet depicted the life of Lord Krishna in all its manifestations.

The audio-visual effects enhanced the level of presentation of episodes like makhan chori, kalia daman, droupadi vastra haran and ultimate deliberations of Geeta.

Padmashri Shobha Deepak, director of the opus comprising 26 accomplished actor-dancers, including 14 female artistes, disclosed that foreigners take deep interest into the raasleela of Lord Krishna.

Portraying the important role of Radha, Indonesian artiste Vidya Sharma disclosed that while doing her bachelors in economics her heart fell to the compelling charms of Kathak dance, which she learned at Jakarta and later at the Bharti Kala Kendra, as the ICCR scholar.

Earlier parishad vice-chairman KC Sharma and director Usha Sharma welcomed the chief guest Urvashi Gulati, the newly appointed chief secretary of Haryana.

She blessed and honoured the artistes.



Guru Nanak page on Twitter unveiled
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, November 2
Replete with spiritual wisdom and ethical content, the ideals and teachings of visionary saint prophet Guru Nanak Dev had been influencing the life of people since centuries, maintained noted author and scholar Roopinder Singh, an assistant editor with the Tribune.

Speaking on the subject, “Guru Nanak’s message in the digital age”, at the ongoing book exhibition in the Punjab Kala Bhavan, he emphasised that Guru Nanak Dev’s message was universal. The world needs to understand and adopt the Guru’s message of oneness of mankind.

The youth and the world at large is seeking Guru Nanak’s message and we have to provide it to them through every means possible, said Roopinder Singh, as he unveiled Guru Nanak page on the popular website “Twitter”, which is devoted to the teachings of the founder of Sikhism.

The Twitter page (http://twitter.com/gurunanaksays) is an attempt to reach beyond where his book, “Guru Nanak: His life and teachings,” had reached, said the author of the book.

The page would be updated daily with a new message in English everyday.

Quoting Guru Nanak’s bani, Roopinder Singh said the Guru emphasised on “shub karam”. Now, if we look at the cyber world, we see that people are working together across continents and civilisations without knowing each other physically. What bind them is their work ethic and the ability to work together. Delving on the socio-cultural relevance of mysticism in the contemporary times we have a cyber sangat, which extends the reach of the message far beyond normal geographical limitations.

The websites such as SikhWiki.com, Sikhnet.com and SikhChic.com have brought out various aspects of the Gurus, Sikh religion, art and culture for the world to see.

Guru Nanak sought unity in diversity and we have to find bonds of commonality and weave these threads of love in our lives to enrich them, he said.

Besides Chandigarhians, a number of foreign students were also present.



e-waste disposal: Admn, MC yet to frame policy 
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The Chandigarh administration and the municipal corporation that have been passing the buck as far as the management of the e-waste in the city was concerned have failed to chalk out a policy so far.

A joint committee has been constituted to work out the modalities for managing the e-waste, but it seems to be gathering dust in the files. Sources said a committee was constituted on handling e-waste, under the chairmanship of Arshad Khan along with an official from the corporation, Chandigarh Pollution Control Board, Chandigarh Administration and an NGO. The committee met two years ago for discussing the issue and 13-point recommendations were submitted to the administration, but till date the committee has not received any response from the administration. It is clearly mentioned in the Municipal Act that the civic body would manage all waste then, what is the need of constituting this committee. Officials said the administration could only provide land for the e-waste project, but the collection and handling of the waste comes under corporation’s jurisdiction.

The official said about five years ago, a proposal demanding an acre and Rs 2 crore for disposing of the e-waste. The administration had rejected the demand, on the grounds that Punjab was also coming up with similar project in Dera Bassi and the authorities could tie up with them for e-waste disposal. Official asked why the corporation had not pursued their case with the Punjab government on this issue.

Nominated councillor, Arshad Khan, said the committee had submitted their recommendations to the administration and now it was for the administration to take action.

As they don’t have any separate e-waste disposal ground so they are using their dumping ground to dispose it of. The official said it wasn’t clear whether this comes under municipal corporation’s purview or the administration?

This had been taken up in the house of the corporation, a number of times, but so far no decision has been taken on this issue.

Environmental experts stated that due to the lack of governmental legislations on e-waste, standards for disposal and proper mechanism for handling these toxic hi-tech products, mostly end up in landfills or partly recycled in a unhygienic conditions and thrown into waste streams.

With the extensive use of computers and electronic gadgets and frequent update, people are getting into the habit of dumping old electronic goods. Its number is increasing steadily.

Mostly the computer waste is generated from the household, the government, public and private sectors; computer retailers; manufacturers; foreign embassies; secondary markets of old PCs. 



Colony No. 4 residents living in hell 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
There is no end to sufferings of those residing in colony no. 4, near industrial area, phase I, as the sewage continues to block the streets and enter houses, making their lives a virtual hell.

To top it all, a few families have raised the plinth of their houses, above the street-level and revamped their entrances thereby blocking the flow of sewage. The sewage, therefore, forces their entry into the low-lying houses, leaving the occupants with no alternative but to flush it out. Moreover, the stagnant sewage also pollutes the potable water supply to these houses.

The affected residents stated that five years ago, Chandigarh Housing Board had allotted 250 houses for rehabilitating the residents near colony no. 4. Then, the authorities had promised to renovate the houses and develop proper infrastructure like streetlights, roads, sewerage for them. But so far the board hasn’t taken any action and the plight of residents is miserable.

Residents revealed that for the past four years they had been approaching the officers in the administration and the corporation to rectify their problems, but, as usual, they have been passing on the bucks to each other and nothing concrete has been done to solve the problem.

Residents stated that out of 250 houses about 140 have leakage problem due to use of substandard material during construction. They have submitted a number of complaints to the housing board, but all in vain.



Dr Yash Paul conferred with Indira Priyadarshini Award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Dr Yash Paul Sharma, Additional Professor and former Head, Department of Cardiology, PGI, Chandigarh, has been selected for the prestigious Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award 2009.He will receive the award on the eve of 90th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in New Delhi during the National Unity Conference scheduled to be held on November 18.

This award is given to eminent Indians for promoting national unity, integration and brotherhood. Dr Sharma has various national and international research papers, achievements, copy rights and patents and books in his credit. His most important Copyright and Patent of discovered theory and his research based on “Yash India Technique: Eating With The Help Of Brain Signals And Its Impact” has been appreciated worldwide. 



Swine Flu: Sec-8 DAV student tests positive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Samples of one of the four patients, who reported to the PGI with swine flu symptoms yesterday, were found to be positive The patient identified as a resident of the PGI complex is a student of DAV Public School, Sector 8.

The authorities have decided to suspend the class for a week. The students accompanying him said those coming to a school bus have also been asked not to attend classes for a week. Families of all of them have been quarantined, HC Gera,the nodal officer for swine flu, said.



Yoga camp for elderly
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Keeping in view the welfare and good health of senior citizens in the city, the Patanjali Yog Samiti is organising an evening yoga camp in a park of Sector 40 here.

Som Raj Saini in a release to the media recently said they were organising the camp as it was difficult for senior citizens to attend it early in the morning. 



Raising day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The Army Aviation Corps, the Indian Army’s third dimensional arm, celebrated its 24th Raising Day yesterday with great pomp and show.

The Army Aviation Corps came into being on November 1, 1986, after it was converted from the erstwhile Air Observation Post.

The day was celebrated in the true military traditions in the Western Command and followed up with a nostalgic gathering of all aviators in the lawns of the SOI, Chandimandir. Many senior serving and retired officers’ joined in the celebrations and graced the occasion. 



Traffic restrictions on PM’s visit 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Those commuting on the VVIP route will have to face inconvenience due to restrictions imposed on the movement of traffic all along Madhya Marg and other parts of the city.

The Chandigarh police today carried out a mock drill to sensitise the routes through which the Prime Minister’s cavalcade is scheduled to pass. The entire exercise was supervised by senior police officials. They also discussed various discrepancies in the drill to make it a foolproof affair.

However, they refused to divulge the details of various alternative and VVIP routes. Police personnel would be deployed in large numbers all along the Chandigarh-Ambala highway, Madhya Marg and in and around the PGI and Panjab University.

Though the Chandigarh Traffic police said they had chalked out the things in such a manner that people were not inconvenienced, yet they had advised the motorists to avoid VVIP routes if possible. A senior traffic police official said in any case they would not impose restrictions on two intersections on the route to allow free passage to the VVIP cavalcade. 



Seminar focuses on challenges before women scribes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The Chandigarh Journalists’ Association organised a seminar on the role, contribution and impediments in the path of women journalists at the Chandigarh Press Club, here today. They also discussed problems faced by women as far their career in journalism was concerned.

Union Minister for Housing, Poverty Alleviation and Tourism Kumari Selja was the chief guest. She laid stress on the fact that men and women need to work in harmony.

She said Indian women were either revered or exploited, while the need was for an equality in all spheres for the overall development of society.

Women has to face challenges and shoulder more responsibilities. While at one end women journalists need to struggle hard with their profession, they are also supposed to manage household chores effectively, she added. Therefore, women have to struggle that extra bit to prove themselves.

Dwelling on the topic, PK Roy said the role of women in media had seen a marked increase in the past five years. He also highlighted that men and women journalists need to be equal partners and exploitation should be checked at all levels.

Rajya Sabha member from Himachal Pradesh Viplove Thakur said though women were struggling in all spheres, but their male counterparts were also helping in creating a dynamic balance.

She said women journalists were not posing a challenge; they only want to come out in support of their male counterparts.

Director, Kurukshetra University’s Mass Communication Centre, BK Kuthiala, said media should not judge society. He highlighted the need for setting up of a media council on the pattern of the Medical Council of India.

He also said the contribution of women journalists was of utmost importance, as finding solutions to various problems comes easier to the fairer sex.

Senior journalist Nanki Hans said at least 40 per cent of the women serving in media had not been promoted since long. Women had got accustomed to bearing the exploitation ‘silently’. She highlighted the fact that a mere 25 women were in the filed of journalism in the North-East.

Himachal Pradesh Cabinet Minister Sarveen Chaudhary spoke on steps taken for women empowerment in the state. She said it was time women assume the role of leaders in various walks of life.

Senior journalist Dr Renuka Nayyar was of the opinion that women were still devoid of the position they deserved as far as a career in journalism was concerned and they still needed to prove themselves vis-à-vis their male counterparts.

The seminar was attended by journalists from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, New Delhi, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan.

Prominent among those present on the occasion were Dr Suniti from Mauritius, Sheel Didi from the USA, Pratibha Shukla from New Delhi, Shashi Rana from Haryana and Ambika Sharma from Himachal Pradesh.



Two lakh devotees throng Nada Sahib
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 2
At least two lakh devotees from all over the region thronged the Nada Sahib gurdwara here on Guru Nanak Dev’s birth anniversary today. The devotees started reaching the gurdwara as early as last midnight and the number of visitors swelled to several lakhs by this morning.

The gates of the gurdwara were thrown open at 2.45 am. The administration and the police made adequate arrangements for devotees.

The police was deployed at various places near the gurdwara. Cops in plainclothes were posted near the premises to keep a check on miscreants.

Nakas were laid from the old Ghaggar bridge to the gurdwara on NH-73 and the road linking NH-21 and NH-73 passing through sector 3 to regulate the heavy flow of traffic.

Long traffic jams were witnessed on the roads till the evening. A fireworks show and a gatka show were organised at the gurdwara.

Special arrangements for langar were made. Sweets, fruit and pakoras were among the items especially prepared for the occasion.

Prominent among the visitors were local MLA DK Bansal, Kalka MLA Pradeep Chaudhary, and Punjab MLAs Jagjivan Singh Khirian and Kewal Singh Dhillon.

At least 50 devotees were baptised and 200 persons donated blood at a camp organised on the occasion.



Pashans claim threat calls from Sofats
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 2
Even as the Panchkula police is yet to nab Ludhiana-based Dr Sumit Sofat, the Pashan family, whom Sofat allegedly attempted to frame in various criminal cases, claimed to have been getting threatening telephone calls.

The local police booked Sofat on July 19 when he alleged that Ramesh Pashan, a Ludhiana resident, and his two sons attempted to kill him in the Morni hills, resulting in bullet injuries to his driver.

He had also alleged that the Pashans robbed him of Rs 33 lakh, that was lying in his Tata Safari at the time of the incident.

Sofat’s driver Nelson was injured as he received bullet injuries inflicted by the alleged looters.

Finding it a cooked-up story by Sofat to frame the Pashans, the police had registered a case of attempt-to-murder against Sofat.

Later, in August, the Uttarakhnad police registered a case under section 376 of the IPC against Sofat after a woman disclosed to the police that she was asked to lodge a complaint with the Dehradun police, alleging that Ramesh Pashan, a Ludhiana businessman, and his friends had raped her.

Meanwhile, Sofat had filed an anticipatory bail application in the Panchkula district and sessions court.

Failing to get any reprieve from Panchkula court, Sofat had moved the high court, where his application was scheduled to be taken up on November 4.

Now Simmi Pashan, wife of Ramesh Pashan, alleged that the family had been getting threatening telepone calls from Sofat.

“We have been living under constant fear as Dr Sofat is leaving no stone unturned to harm us,” she said.

“I got a call on my phone on behalf of Sofat a few days ago,” she added.

“The caller, claiming to be the wife of Dr Sofat, said Sumit will never let us sit comfortably and scores will be settled soon,” Simmi alleged.

“I have recorded the call on the telephone and a copy of the recording has been sent to the Ludhiana and the Panchkula police,” she said.

Panchkula DSP Varinder Singh, when contacted, said the local police had conducted many raids at Ludhiana and Mohali to nab Dr Sofat, but the accused always managed to escape.

However, it was expected that he would be caught soon, said the DSP.



10-day festivity at Kalagram ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The 10-day festivity at the first Chandigarh National Craft Mela, which was held at Kalagram, culminated today with memories to cherish for the mela lovers. The gala closing ceremony was marked by a number of colourful activities.The post lunch event began with a prize distribution ceremony. All winners of the contests, “Kala Mani”, “Kala Giri” and “Kala Nidhi”, were felicitated with certificates and mementoes.

The chief guest of today’s evening was Kumari Selja, Union minister for tourism. The ceremony was followed by a cultural programme, which went throughout the evening.

All 10 days had a terrific response, be it the food court, stalls or the cultural evening extravaganza. More than 200 artisans, all of whom are national and state awardees in their respective fields and 300 folk dancers from all across India has set an example for other states to follow.

The Chandigarh administration and North Zone Cultural Centre did their best to invite the participation of the best artists from different states like Assam, Nagaland, Pondicherry, West Bengal, Gujarat, J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Haryana, Delhi, Manipur, Sikkim, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

This craft mela provided a platform for the artwork and folk dances from all over the country. All 10 days had exclusive cultural evenings by different participating states. The special highlights of the events besides wonderful exhibitors, were the food festival at various hotels in Chandigarh, folk dances of various states, sky dining, food court, village like ambience, beautiful Madhuban paintings on huts, live demonstration of pottery making, Gohana’s famous jalebi, applique work of Orissa, wood inlay work of Karnataka, filigree silver of Andhra Pradesh, huge wooden sculptures of Andhra Pradesh, Madhuban paintings of Bihar, paper machine work of J&K, patachitra work of Orissa and tanjore paintings of Karnataka.

The highlight of today were the wood inlay and lacquer furniture by Punjabi artisan Parminder Singh, who has been to more than 38 countries to display his art in different international events. He has displayed Punjabi traditional material like chaattai, madani, bahlgari, tables, chairs, chess box and kitchen items.

Paramjeet makes all artwork with sesam wood and dry wood. The special section in his stall is the wooden and jute chairs. He exports his stuff to Germany, Taiwan and European countries.

He further said, “I am glad to be associated with this event, my work has been appreciated by all.”The craft mela has left a mark of perfect blend of cuisine, craft and culture on the minds of all and is all set to come back again next year.



10 cops rewarded

Chandigarh, November 2
The UT Director-General of Police recently rewarded 10 personnel of the police control room, who played an active role in nabbing three snatchers and two liquor smugglers.

On October 26, the PCR staff nabbed two motorcyclists who snatched a mobile phone from a man near Kisan Bhawan. Similarly, the PCR staff chased two trucks, carrying 830 cartons of liquor, which was being smuggled out of the city. In another incident, the police arrested miscreants after they snatched a purse near Sector 43 ISBT.

The DGP gave them first-class commendations certificates along with cash prize to constables Gurmail Singh, Ram Chander, head constables Samim Ahmed, Bal Ram and Avtar Singh, home guard volunteer Parveen Kumar, Prithvi Singh, Baisakhi and Anil Kumar and lady constable Meena Rani. — TNS



HR Summit
Stress on right strategies to counter financial crisis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Right strategies with regards to human resource development taken at the right time can make organisations overcome financial crisis besides leading to growth during turbulent times.

This consensus was evolved at a HR summit organised by the National HRD Network (Chandigarh chapter) and Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology (GJIMT), Mohali, recently.

The theme for second North-West HR Summit was “Winning HR Strategies for Turbulent Times”, which was attended by top HR professionals from all over the region.

Arum Kumar Jain, an eminent authority in HR, laid emphasis on developing and utilising the human resources in constructive sense.

Sofi Zahoor from Quark Media Ltd suggested the corporate world to take appropriate measures to recruit best HR professionals to curb the financial crunch.

He emphasised that hunt for good professionals was an important task expected from HR professionals. It was the HRD that took care of building human resources for companies in any situation.

Others who spoke included PK Verma, HR head, Alchemist Group, and SK Batish, AMD, Markfed.



Workshop at Gaudiya Math ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The Chandigarh chapter of the All-India Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math concluded its month-long workshop on the practices of attainment of highest objective of human life with spiritual fervour.

The workshop began on September 30 and concluded recently at Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, Sector 20-B, here. Many renowned preachers and scholars attended this workshop, said Hariballabh Das, press secretary.

The Appearance day of founder-acharya Madhav Goswami Maharaj was also celebrated. The celebrations began at 8:30 am followed by maha-arti of the founder acharya. The president acharya also highlighted pastimes and teachings of the founder which were based on the teachings of Sriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.



Interactive session on employee retention
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
As part of its ongoing series of ventures, the department of research and development, Gurukul Vidyapeeth, under the guidance of Manmohan Kumar Garg, CEO, organised an interactive session on employee retention at the CII here.

Addressing the session, Garg stated that “Increasing turnover ratio is a big issue in the development of organisations, which also gives rise to problems like increasing recruitment costs, training cost and insecurity among these employees. Organisations should decrease the turnover ratio in order to have a healthy environment for employees."

He gave various strategies and ideas to retain employees and also to intake talented and skillful people. He said employee retention involved taking measures to encourage employees to remain loyal to the company.

“In today’s environment it becomes very important for organisations to retain their employees, as getting new people and training them is costing higher to the company,” he added.

Rakesh Sharma, business head of a national daily, was the chief guest and Rajiv Khosla, CEO, Reliance Broadband, was the guest of honor. Sharma threw light on various critical issues, new ideas, techniques and methods of making employees loyal to organisations.

The presentations made by the speakers answered several questions. More than 50 industrialists from the region participated in the workshop and emphasised on the importance of employee retention strategies.

During the valedictory session, Deshraj Thakral, director, Gurukul Vidyapeeth, concluded the programme by taking the feedback from participants.

The vote of thanks was delivered by IK Kataria, managing director, Gurukul Vidyapeeth.



Choked network harrows cricket fans
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 2
It was a day of chaos for thousands of mobile users who had come to witness the one-day international match between India and Australia.

Due to heavy traffic on mobile networks operating through mobile towers around the PCA Stadium, users were unable to contact their friends.

Many were seen repeatedly calling their friends, who were standing in long queues to seek entry into the stadium.

Mediapersons were also troubled by the clogged network. Left with no option, many had to make their call from a landline phone. Explaining the problem, an official of a mobile company said, “The network has been designed as per the requirement of the area. But during any match at the PCA Stadium, traffic on the network increases manifold leading to clogging of the network.”

The PCA authorities have repeatedly been asked to tie up with telecom companies to upgrade the capacity of towers. Not only the visitors, those living in houses around the stadium also faced the similar problem.

“Whenever there is a match at the stadium, a lot of inconvenience is caused,” said a resident of Phase IX here.



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