C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Special MC house meetings
Public money goes down the drain
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Elected councillors of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) don’t care when it comes to wasting public money. This was evident from more than half a dozen special house meetings this year, which were called and then adjourned without even discussion on the issue for which these were convened.

As per records, this year, six special meetings were convened and the cost of one meeting comes around Rs 2 lakh each to the corporation, which includes the honorarium to councillors, printing of agenda, arrangements of tea and food and expenditure on electricity. Besides these MC officials, clerical, enforcement and police personnel are also exclusively deployed for such meetings.

Interestingly, most of these special house meetings were adjourned abruptly by the MC Mayor with the explanation that “the agenda was not having enough to be discussed or the house would discuss this issue later”.

As per the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, a Mayor could only convene a special house meeting of the MC when there is an emergency to clear the agenda immediately.

But if one glances through the records of this year’s special house meetings, three were convened by Mayor Kamlesh to discuss the garbage-processing report prepared by the sub-committee of the house, headed by Congress councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma.

The first special house on garbage report was adjourned within 15 minutes, as Sharma a day before the schedule of the meeting, sent a letter to the Mayor demanding its postponement. The second meeting on the same issue was adjourned within half an hour, with the plea that the house should not discuss the report of the sub-committee till the Central Pollution Committee, formed by the administration, submits its report on the garbage-processing plant, Dadumajra.

In the third meeting, the councillors unexpectedly realised that they do not have any power to take action against the company of the garbage plant, so they should not take up this report in the house for discussion.

Similarly, the MC mayor convened three special houses to discuss action taken report of the development works of the city, but till date, no discussion has taken place on this report.

As per the past records of the corporation, the former mayors convened two special house meeting, once when many cases of diarrhoea had been reported in the city for chalking out a strategy to deal with it affectively.

Another meeting was convened when there was an incident of cow death in the city, which hurt religious sentiments of one community to clarify that it was by accident and there was no involvement of any caste in that incident.

Talking to The Tribune, former MC Mayor Subhash Chawla said it was strange that this year, Mayor Kamlesh convened special houses on such issues, which were routine matters and could be discussed in the normal meetings. He said earlier also, action taken reports were tabled in the house, but for that, no special house was convened. Questions were raised as to whether the so-called representatives of the people would care to take up the issues of public importance, for which they had been elected to the civic body. If not, there is no need to waste the hard-earned money of the income tax payers' amounting to lakhs of rupees for running civic bodies, whose record of providing basic amenities to the public has been lacklustre, to say the least.



Conveyor belt at airport stops functioning
Fault likely to be rectified in two days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Causing great inconvenience to passengers, the conveyor belt at the local airport stopped functioning today. As a result, the passengers who were supposed to depart from here and those who had arrived at the airport faced a lot of hardship to locate their luggage.

Different airlines authorities tried to manage the matter by putting extra staff to carry the luggage on trolleys and distribute it among the passengers.

“I don’t know what went wrong suddenly when I went in for picking my luggage after I landed here. The belt was not working at all. I moved in different directions. However, I could not locate my bags. It took around 45 minutes for the airline staff to get my luggage from the aircraft,” said a harried passenger.

“When we tried to enquire about the reason for belt not working and any alternative arrangements, we were told that it had been closed for maintenance. If that was so, we should have been informed in advance and alternative arrangements should have been in place before we landed,”another passenger said.

While the aviation authorities chose to remain mum on the issue, a senior official of one of the airlines said the belt would not work for at least two days. The airport authorities had already informed about the matter.

A senior citizen said we tried to contact a senior official in order to lodge our complaint. However, no one guided us to the right authorities.



3 more test positive for swine flu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
There is no slow-down in cases of swine flu in the city, with three more persons, including a PGI doctor, and one more student from Moti Ram Arya School, Panchkula, testing positive for the H1N1 virus today.

The total number of confirmed swine flu cases in the city has now gone up to 118.

UT Nodal Officer for swine flu HC Gera said, “A doctor (junior resident) of the PGI, who has been tested positive for H1N1, was exhibiting symptoms of swine flu like running nose, high fever and bad throat. We had collected his swab samples yesterday and his report has come positive.”

“His condition is stable and he is responding well to treatment. Due to the nature of work, doctors and other hospital staff have become more prone to infection. We instructed them to take all precautionary measures and to remain extra cautious,” said Gera.

So far, more than 15 doctors in the city, including those in the PGI, GMCH and GMSH have tested positive for the H1N1.

Other victims include a student of Moti Ram Aarya School, Panchkula, who is a resident of Chandigarh and a 33-year-old person from Mohali. The UT health authorities have told health officials of Punjab to quarantine their family members at his residence in Mohali.

Experts believe the exposure to the carriers of the virus followed by the lack of immunity form the basis of the H1N1. “Exposure to the virus is a major factor for the progression of the infection. Hence the working class and active people, who are on the move, meeting people, or schoolchildren who mingle with others at the public places are the most affected lot,” a doctor said.



Health Secy convenes another review meeting
Checks preparedness to deal with H1N1 infection
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
To check the preparedness and readiness to deal with H1N1 situation in the city, the Secretary, health, today convened another review meeting with the representatives of the health and education department.

The Health Secretary desired that all government, private schools and parents should come forward and help in implementing the guidelines of the department so that a check could be kept on the spread of the infection.

The Nodal Officer, swine flu, informed the members about the recommendation of the advisory group, which met on Friday. The Health Secretary was apprised of the decision of the advisory group regarding the strategy for closure of schools / suspension of affected classes, prophylaxis treatment to the close contacts, unauthorised testing by private laboratory and the home quarantine system.

The district education officer was requested to compile the data of all schools in the past week with regard to percentage of absentees due to flu-like illness and the total number of students with cold and cough conditions sent back by each school. The data will be provided to the Nodal Officer, swine flu for analysis.

Regarding various functions, events and other social gathering in the city, it was decided that advisories would be displayed at all such places at the point of entry. Similarly, a team of doctors will also be available at large functions for events and social gathering to be organised in the Chandigarh. However, for social gathering in government and private schools, the authorities will continue to observe the guidelines given by the health and education department.

IT health officials said that there was no need to panic for H1N1 as the health department and the UT Administration was fully equipped with sufficient drugs and other medical facilities. The Health Secretary emphasised that all positive cases had been treated well and had been cured in the hospitals and at their homes as the family members were quarantined too.

The latest update on the swine flu cases was discussed with the members. The Health Secretary was informed that 115 confirmed cases were reported in Chandigarh, out of which 20 cases belonged to Punjab and 24 to Haryana. This also includes cases of Swine Flu cases detected by private labs. It was emphasized that all cases have been treated and cured.



Fashion show shifted from Sukhna Lake
It’s a silence zone, says Admn
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Following last-minute intervention by the Chandigarh Administration, a mega fashion show by Talwar Jewellers, which was to be staged at Sukhna Lake tomorrow evening, has been shifted. It will now be held at Taj Hotel.

The show was cancelled following intervention by Home Secretary Ram Niwas as the venue is a declared ‘silence zone’. Confirming the development, the Home Secretary said “Sukhna Lake is a protected area of the city, particularly for the migratory birds during this part of the year. Nowadays these avian visitors can be seen and even if they were not here, we cannot have a blasting music system at the venue. The administration is heavily committed towards protecting the natural environs in the vicinity of the lake”.

The ‘Forever collection: 2010 designed by Talwar Jewellers is featuring certain leading models Dipannita Sharma and Indrani Das Gupta, besides others. Zeenat Aman is the special attraction at the show.

“Glaring lights and a blaring music system would have been a very disturbing feature at the site. The administration would have earned the wrath of the environmentalists in case of any permission”, he added.

Dhruv Talwar, an organiser, said the venue had been shifted to Hotel Taj, following official intervention.

Interestingly, the venue was okayed by the Lake Club. Besides objections raised by the local lake enthusiasts, the organisers had not taken any permission from the Deputy Commissioner’s office for the sound system.

“They have taken permission from the Lake Club, however, they did not have permission for the sound system, which is the main issue under contention, at the venue. The permission is given by the Deputy Commissioner and they had not even applied. Even the Lake Club has now cancelled permissi on for the function”, the Home Secretary said.

An event organizer said, “There are reports that certain functions have been allowed near the venue, earlier. Even if the function was not to be allowed then why did the Lake Club, which is also a wing of the administration, allow so in the first place? Now the organizers will have to spend a large amount of money in shifting their performance gadgets, including light and sound system, to the venue which means a financial loss in addition to the accompanying inconvenience”.


Honeybees attack students, one hurt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
High drama prevailed at Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11, today when a swarm of honeybees attacked a group of nearly 50 students in the college campus, leaving a girl student badly injured.

Not having realised the gravity of the situation earlier, it was only when Sonam Walia, a student of MA I, surrounded by nearly 100 bees screamed for help that two boys and college staff came for rescue and an effort of 20 minutes was required by them to pacify the honeybees.

Much later, smoke was also released in the air to get rid of the honeybees.

A resident of Azadpur Mandi, Delhi, Sonam was later rushed to Government Medical Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, by the staff. During the incident, college officials, including principal, were busy in a function where the Municipal Corporation Mayor was the chief guest.

“The college faculty was with the girl in the hospital. Her parents had been informed, who had reached later in the day. The doctors have kept the girl under observation for 12 hours. Her condition is stated to be better now,” said Aparna, a college official.



Surprise check on cyber cafes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
In a bid to tighten the noose on cyber cafes, SDM (South) Prerna Puri along with the police conducted a surprise check on cyber cafes in Burail and Sector 44.

Many cyber cafes were not complying with the directions issued by the Deputy Commissioner. They were allowing customers to surf Internet without providing adequate identification and even the record of visitors/users identity and specific computer being used was not being maintained by them.

Action against the errant cyber café owners is being initiated under Section 188 of the IPC. The orders issued by the Deputy Commissioner under Section 144 of the CrPC clearly provide that cyber café owners have to maintain records of a user name, address, phone number and are required to keep a photocopy of the ID proof.



Property rates soar in Panchkula extension
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 21
Even as the engineering and architecture wing of the Town and Country Planning Department is giving final touches to the amendments to the Panchkula Extension-2021 AD plan, the property rates in the upcoming sectors have already witnessed a sharp jump over the past couple of months.

A survey of the area revealed that the prices of residential plots have gone up by 30 per cent after the HUDA authorities decided to set up a hospital, a lake besides extending the IT park.

Initially, HUDA had planned to set up seven sectors (23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 31) for residential purpose with a residential density of 100 persons per acre for plot development and 250 persons per acre in group housing areas. The projected population of area was 1.2 lakh.

Later, another extension of 24 sectors in Kot Billah-Alipur township was proposes for which HUDA was still assessing the viability in the light of a recent judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding construction activities in the proximity of forest areas.

While in Sectors 23, 25 and 27 sufficient commercial area had been proposed in addition to the commercial area to be developed in other residential sector in the form of shopping centres, the area around Nada Sahib Gurdwara has been proposed as a special zone for development of ancillary activities of the religious body. The special zone also had the IT Park. The area of Sector 32 adjoining the IT park, earlier reserved for recreational activities, has now been converted into the extension of the IT park.

A water body is proposed to come up at a site adjoining the Ghaggar in Sector 26 and the approval to spend around of Rs 16 crore on the project is expected any time. A proposal to set up a hospital on the pattern of the General Hospital in Sector 23 has also fuelled demand of property in the area.



Investors shying away from fixed income plans
Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Despite surge in fixed income investment plans across India, the northern region continues to be enamoured with private equity investment in start-up ventures. As against 75 per cent investment in fixed income investment plans across India, only 25 per cent investors in North India are investing in fixed income plans, including mutual funds (MFs).

This was stated by Santosh Kamath, chief investment officer (CIO) with Franklin Templeton Fixed Income, here on Friday. “Because of lack of awareness and the recent crash in the markets, investors are not very keen on MFs and other fixed income plans. Being one of the largest fund houses, we have observed that over 70 per cent of the investors here are investing in private equity,” he said, adding that of the Rs 30,000-crore funds under management for Franklin Templeton India, only Rs 14,000 crore was in equities and the remaining was in debt management.

Kamath said they were now trying to make people realise that fixed income investments could help one earn steady income, diversify the portfolio and lower overall portfolio volatility. “As part of this strategy the fund house is now bringing more fund managers to interact with investors in this region and regular awareness camps are being organised at Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Chandigarh. We are designing products where asset allocation is done based on the age of the investor,” he added.



Legal studies need ‘practical’ boost: Expert
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
In Germany, the scales are clearly tilted in favour of practical legal education, while in India theory gives way to practice only after a student leaves a law institute - at least this is what young Punjab and Haryana High Court advocate Harpreet Sandhu has to say.

Sandhu’s book “German Indian Law - a comparative study” was released by Chief Justice President Klaus Scheuer at his office in Landgericht Regional Courts, Frankfurt, Germany. The book is based on personal experience gained during his visits to Germany courts for comparing the structure there with the India legal system.

Former Additional Advocate-General of Punjab Sandhu says the students there primarily pass through two stages while studying law for six years. The first stage spread over four years primarily involves “legal studies at the university level”.

The first stage is essentially followed by compulsory practical training of two years. The process helps the young students in the process of familiarising themselves with the minutiae of law.

Both stages eventually end with state examinations, covering the “entire scope of law”. The students do not specialise in “training for specific legal professions; and only after passing both state examinations, the young lawyer is referred to as an “assessor” and is theoretically qualified to adopt any legal profession, including that of a judge.

Sandhu says his interaction with judges and other top honchos of the legal profession revealed the intention behind making the entire programme so comprehensive was to ensure they were groomed well in basic laws.

In India, on the other hand, the entire focus remains on the theoretical aspect of legal education, with the youngsters armed with bookish knowledge left to find their way through the corridors of justice in the courtrooms.

Elaborating, he says: “The monologue lecture scheme adopted in the law schools with practical training totally neglected or marginally implemented at the level of moot courts, court visits and legal research will not make good lawyers in today’s scheme of legal profession.”

He adds: “The minimum qualification for being an advocate is LLB degree - generally a three-year course after graduation in other disciplines. A debate on its efficacy in the recent past led to a five-year integrated course after intermediate or plus-two.



UT nod to mobile mammography unit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The UT administration has approved the proposal of GMCH-32 to procure a portable mobile mammography unit that will facilitate check-up for breast cancer at the doorstep of patients.

Confirming the move, Dr Raj Bhadur, director principal of GMCH-32, said the administration had approved Rs 1 crore for this unit. “The aim of this mobile mammography unit is not only to encourage women to get tested with ease but also to create awareness about breast cancer and establish the importance of getting tested on a regular basis. Time-tested screening methods help in detection of breast cancer at an early stage and treat it before it spreads,” Bahadur said.

“Most of the women do not go for a mammography simply because it will take half a day in a hospital. That is why we sent a proposal for a mobile mammography unit,” said GMCH-32 officials. This unit will go from door-to-door and test those willing within 15 minutes at their doorstep. This should substantially increase investigation, and most importantly, early detection, added officials.

Suspected patients following this protocol can be brought to tertiary care hospitals like PGIMER and GMCH-32 and can be treated effectively by surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which is existing in these hospitals, thedoctors at GMCH-32 said.

According to the oncologist, breast cancer if detected at an early stage is 100 per cent curable. Earlier, statistics that claimed that one out of every 58 women in India suffered from breast cancer has now changed to one out of every 28, according to the latest findings by the World Health Organisation.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Indian women. Also this is more of an urban disease than rural. The escalating figures are due to the lifestyle of the modern urban woman that includes long working hours, delayed child birth and absence of breast feeding. Usually, most projects aimed at women’s health are concentrated in rural areas. However this is one that needs to be supported in the urban milieu,” Bahadur said.



DRDO project on potato cultivation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
With potato accounting for about 40 per cent of the fresh vegetables supplied to troops based in remote, high-altitude areas, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is undertaking a special research as regards cultivation of potatoes in cold regions.

Based upon a decade-long research on potato crop in cold desert conditions, the DRDO has now brought out a book, Potato Production, Storage and Marketing, authored by Dr Narendra Singh, a senior scientist posted with the Leh-based Defence Institute of High-Altitude Research.

Thousands of troops are stationed in high-altitude areas in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, which remain cut off from the rest of the country in winters due to heavy snow. The recommended quantity of potato is 140 gm per soldier per day and the cost of potato transported from other regions goes up to over Rs 200 per kg.

This necessitates the need for local cultivation and storage of potato during summer months.



Symposium on vertigo at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The departments of ENT, neurology and orthopaedics at PGI Chandigarh organised a symposium on vertigo.

Various speakers stressed on the importance of multidisciplinary approach for management of vertigo. This helps in early and correct diagnosis of the problem and effective management. They said one should spread awareness about the optimum approach for the management of unsteadiness.

According to doctors, vertigo is a medical parlance for “unsteadiness”. It is a symptom that remains a puzzle for medical professionals and it is truly difficult to reach a definite diagnosis. Prominent participants in the symposium included Dr Anirban Biswas from Kolkata, Dr SK Gupta, Dr Vivek Lal and Dr Vivek Gupta from the PGI.



Thousands participate in Jagannath rath yatra
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The local unit of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) organised the 21st Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra in the city with great religious fervor and enthusiasm here today.

The main attraction of the programme was the 50-feet high chariot (rath) having multi- coloured canopy and a mechanical system to reduce or increase the height of rath.

The rath carrying idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladev, Devi Subhadra and Srila Prabhupada started from Sector 15 market with large number of devotees sweeping the road before the rath could pass, while other devotees were pulling the chariot and danced to the tune of mridanga and kartal during the procession.

The rath yatra passed through Sectors 16 to 23 of the city and concluded at the ISKCON centre, Hare Krishna Dham, Sector 36-B, at about 7-30pm. About 8,000 participants feasted on the dishes earlier offered to Lord Jagannath.

Thousands of ISKCON devotees across the country and abroad participated in it, Nand Maharaj Dasa Prabhu, co-president, local unit said. The prominent saints, who graced the occasion included Gopal Krishna Goswami, ISKCON governing body commissioner, and BBT Trustee, HG Vaiyasaki Das from the USA.



Pankaj Udhas mesmerises audience
SD Sharma

Panchkula, November 21
“Ghazal uss ne chhedi mujhe saaz dena, zara umar-e-rafta ko awaaz dena”. Essence of the above couplet seemed to be reaction of the inquisitive audience at the Inderdhanush Auditorium as the versatile ghazal maestro Pankaj Udhas spelt magic of his velvety voice in a Shaam-E-Ghazal here today.

The concert was organised by Rudra and Akirity. Audience relished the programme.

Accompanied by an array of accomplished musicians, Pankaj with Nasir Kazmi’s geet numa ghazal “ Mein kapde badl kar jaaon kahan..” before a romantic yet philosophical number “Deevaron se mil kar rona..” written by poet Qaiser Ul Zafri mesmerised all.

The maestro has established a rapport with audience and he extracted full pleasure from the performance. While audience shouted for their favourite numbers, he doled out “Jien toh jiyen kaise ”. He seemed to be at his best with a nazm “Dukh sukh ho sabka ek” wherein he depicted the transition of life style and psyche of four generations of a family from grandfather to grand son. This later melted into another romantic ghazal “Aaah re aahista …” rich in lyrical content and melody. Failing to defer it more, Pankaj belted out the boisterous “Chithi aye hai” from the film Naam. After another master piece “Aaj vahi geeton ki raani” from album Nayaab, Pankaj went on baring the literary aspect of ghazal with straight approach to emotional motif. Musicians from Bollywood, including Rajender Singh (violin), Nasir Qureshi (mandolin), Anupam Chatterji (key board), Rakseh Chaurasia (flute) Arshad Khan (Tabla) and Santosh Kataria (dholak) from Chandigarh. Pankaj gave them enough chance to showcase their talent and technical virtuosity.

Chief guest Randip Singh Surjewala, Haryana Cabinet Minister, honoured artistes.



BJP councillors seek Babla’s dismissal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The BJP councillors today condemned the rescuing of Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla by city Congress MP and Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.

The BJP councillors called a special meeting on the action report passed by the Municipal Corporation on the development programmes here today.

The absconding Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla had sent a letter to the corporation Mayor seeking an exemption from attending the meetings of the house.

In a press note released by the BJP councillors, it was stated that according to the Municipal Corporation Act, any person who remains absent consecutively for three meetings, ceases to be a member of the house of the corporation.

The BJP councillors also alleged that Pawan Kumar Bansal deferred the meeting by misusing his powers, which is in violation of the Act.

The councillors also demanded an immediate resignation of the Congress MP on the moral grounds. They demanded that the corporation should comply with the provisions of the law and dismiss Devinder Singh Babla immediately.



Rail link electrification hits roadblock
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 21
The electrification work on the Chandigarh-Morinda rail link has hit a roadblock, thanks to the Punjab forest department.

A number of eucalyptus trees at the old Morinda railway station are coming in way of the 25 KV feeder line, which is being laid to supply power to the Morinda-Chandigarh section. Till the trees are not removed, connecting the feeder line could result in a major mishap.

For the last few years, correspondence between the Railways and the forest department has been going on. But the trees are still standing. As per the norms, the minimum distance between a railway line and trees should be 30 metres.

“After spending around Rs 15 crore on installing the electric poles and overhead traction lines, the electrification work has come to a standstill. The trees also pose threat to human lives,” said an official of the electrification wing of the Railways.

Ropar DFO K Kanan said he would be able to comment only after going through the file. As per the procedure, an application has to be written to the forest department and on getting the necessary clearances, joint inspection is carried out. Railway officials claim that the joint inspection has already been carried out.

As a stopgap arrangement, the section is being electrified from the Ghaggar feeder through Chandigarh. But an alternative and permanent supply has to come from the 12 km long Kurali feeder. It can be connected after the trees are removed.

So far the Railways has set up the apparatus for 42 km long Chandigarh-Morinda track. Once electrified, travelling on the section would become faster. At present, trains on this section are being run on diesel.

The electrification of the track also means faster connectivity between the city and Anandpur Sahib. The travelling time of the Jan Shatabdi running between Una and Delhi-via Chandigarh would also be reduced.

Sources said without the electrification, the rail connectivity to Chandigarh had been a major hurdle despite the new track. All major routes in North India were electrified.

Due to the electrification, it would be possible to divert long-distance trains running on the Ambala-Rajpura-Ludhiana section to the Ambala-Chandigarh-Ludhiana section. The Chandigarh-Morinda link would ultimately link Ludhiana and would offer direct rail link between Chandigarh and other parts of Punjab, including Jalandhar, Amritsar, Ferozepur and Pathankot.

The work on the remaining 67 km Morinda-Sahnewal-Ludhiana track is going on.



Probe ordered into illegal confinement of girl
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 21
Panchkula SP taking cognizance of alleged illegal confinement of a 5-year-old girl by Saint Xavier High School, has marked an inquiry.

The newspapers’ reports suggested that the child was confined illegally by the school authorties and DSP Rajesh Kalia has been asked to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit the report so that appropriate action could be taken, SP Mansish Chaudhary said.

It was yesterday only when the parents of Namrata, a KG student, alleged that school authorities did not let the child go home after the school was over because they had refused to pay Rs 80 for the annual function of the school.

Naresh Kumar, father of Namrata, said he went to the office of district education office to lodge a complaint against the school management, he was told that the office would be opened on Monday.



Theft at two places
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 21
Laptops and LCDs worth Rs 50 lakh were stolen from a computer shop here last night. According to the police, thieves entered the first floor of SCO 322 at Sector 9 and decamped with goods worth Rs 50 lakh from Spurpeck Computers.

Similarly, thieves decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs 3 lakh from a house at Sector 21.

Subhash Puri, owner of the house, said he, along with his family, had gone to pay obeisance at Vaishno Devi Temple. On their return today, they found cash and valuables worth Rs 3 lakh missing form the house.



PhD Row
Candidate plans to move court
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
In a fresh row over the exemption given to PhD candidate, Vijay Dhanda, from appearing in the entrance examination, she has claimed to take up the legal course of action to seek justice.

However, regardless of the objection raised by the candidate, the Panjab University authorities have maintained that the case has no merit.

The university functionaries have also asserted that in case the court decides to give relief to one candidate, not only will other similar candidates demand relaxation but also the regulations will require modifications at the level of the University Grants Commission (UGC).

“The case has no merit at all. For any modification in the rules at the UGC level, it will take another 10 years. Many such cases will emerge if the relaxation is given to one candidate,” said Prabhjeet Singh, a member of the probe committee.

“Since the candidate has never taught on permanent basis and is not NET qualified, the exemption cannot be given in this case. Her claim that she is an approved faculty does not hold true for all times, since she had never taught as the permanent teacher,” said a senior fellow of PU.

Meanwhile, the candidate claims that there should be a provision in the university calendar for research scholars like her, who wish to do research after a long gap. “The university should find a way out rather than giving the matter a political turn,” said Vijay.



Vivek school’s rock band adjudged best
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 21
The rock band of Vivek High School was adjudged best in a concert held at Satluj Public School, Sector 4, here yesterday.

A total of 10 rock bands, including Rhythmic Powers, Frequency, Scifi, Hyper Blast, Origin, Cool Dude and Wingspan from various schools participated in the event.

Mount Carmel’s band Origin won the first prize, while St John’s band Wingspan and Hansraj Public School were declared runners-up.

Titles of the best guitarist, best vocalist and best drummer went to Vivek High School, St John’s School and Mount Carmel School, respectively.

Prizes for Most Enthusiastic Participation and Best Guest Performance were given to Hyper Blast (Satluj Public School) and Aishwarya Sharma (Satluj Public School), respectively. Principal Krit Serai was the chief guest. He said, “Rock shows encourage youngsters to showcase their talent.”



Research scholar to attend programme in Japan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Ngairangbam Diana Chanu, a research scholar in the department-cum-centre for women’s studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh, and a trainer at the Environment Society of India, Chandigarh, has been selected by the Government of India as a trainee participant for the programme “Nature Conservation” to be held in Japan from November 23 to December 10.

Meanwhile, another research scholar Upneet Kaur Mangat from the same department has been selected to participate in the programme “WAVE -Women Aloud: Video blogging for Empowerment”. The project involves training young women in India (one per state) by India’s leading documentary filmmakers, who will screen video stories about positive change in their communities to an international audience online. Duration of the project will be nine months and during this period trainees will have to research, script and shoot video clips of 2-5 minutes each on issues related to community development such as health, environment and economy.

Ex-prof dead

Dr Suman Sharma, former professor of political science, department of evening studies, passed away yesterday after a brief illness. She was 63-year-old. She is survived by her husband MM Sharma, former fellow, PU and a daughter Suparna Srivastava.

Best paper awards

Rishi Kapil and Monica Thappa, research scholars at University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), Panjab University, have bagged best paper awards in poster and oral presentation categories, respectively, at the recently concluded 30th Annual Conference of the Indian Association of Biomedical Scientists (IABMS) at Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR), DRDO, Sector 37, Chandigarh. Over 50 papers were presented by various researchers from across the country at the conference.


Vikram Jeet Singh, campus ambassador of software giant Microsoft, yesterday visited Gurukul Vidyapeeth at Banur for interaction with students of the institute during a workshop on Microsoft technologies. During the workshop, he interacted with over 300 students pursuing various engineering courses in the institute. He inaugurated the registration of students of Microsoft Imagine Cup contest for students of Gurukul Vidyapeeth.



Dev Samaj college first in one-act play

Chandigarh, November 21
As many as 10 teams from various colleges and schools participated in a one-act play contest during the 21st Annual Natyotsav at Government College for Men, Sector 10, here today. The event was organised by the Sambhang Theatre Group.

The play was staged in memory of theatre actor Prabhat Gupta, who sacrificed his life while performing on stage to save a child. Mayor Kamlesh was the chief guest on the occasion. Rich tributes were paid to Prabhat for his excellence in art and real life. The chief guest released a book “Kavya Chetna”. Dr DS Gupt has edited the book. A poetic symposium was also held.

Results of the contest are: Colleges: Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, 1, GGSW, Sector 26, 2 and Government College for Men, Sector 10, 3; Schools: Mount Carmel, Sector 47, 1, DAV Secondary School, Sector 8, 2 and Stepping Stones, Sector 38, 3. Amrik Singh, GCM, Gita Thapa, GGSW-26, Nishant, Mount Carmel, and Himanshi, DAV-8, were declared best actors. — OC



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