C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


40 students could not take CAT
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Nearly 75 students were affected today by the disruption in the CAT online examination conducted at three centres across the region. Out of these, 40 could not take the examination due to log-in errors in the server.

In the tricity, out of a thousand students who appeared for the test, nearly 26 of Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology, Mohali, returned disappointed while more than 50 encountered problems at Rayat and Bahra Biotechnology Centre of Excellence.

In the third centre, Indo Global College of Engineering Abhipur, Mohali, the examination reportedly started over half hour late. The delay affected the second shift from 3.30 pm to 6 pm since the first shift, scheduled to end at 12.30 pm, started very late.

While some students complained of slow server which made it difficult for them to swiftly go to the next question, the others rued that they had to log-in several times since the system started hanging.

“My system did not start initially. When it started, it was hanging repeatedly. I sought help, but no one turned up. I lost nearly 45 minutes and other students also panicked because of problems in their system,” Neha, a student of UIET, Panjab University, stated.

“There were technical problems and the system kept hanging. With only 40 minutes to go, my system acted up again. When I called someone for assistance, the system showed that my test had already been submitted,” Deepika of MCM DAV College said.

“Many students complained of an inefficient server and other problems. Prometric, which was given the contract by the IIMs to conduct CAT, failed to take stock of the ground realities,” Hridesh Madan of Bulls Eye claimed.

Some students also said numerical, mathematical figures and other images did not appear on the screen, leaving them clueless. “In the last one hour, the images stopped appearing. I could only see the text and I sought help. It wasted time and affected my frame of mind,” Eeksha, a student of BTech, said.

This has caused anxiety among students who are to take the examination in the coming days. “After hearing about today’s experience, I am nervous. Tension of the new online system was already there and this has only compounded my fears,” a student said.

Meanwhile, experts, who have been guiding students for years, said the situation was not alarming and students must prepare well since the examination was simpler than last year. “Prometric has been conducting GRE for years. It is being blown out of proportion. There are important lessons to be learnt and even if 1 per cent of students were affected across the country, it is normal,” Akash Gautam, a consultant with Career Launcher, stated.



Swine Flu
Pvt doctors unaware of guidelines
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
While city residents are primarily depending on private practitioners to detect preliminary symptoms of swine flu, the latter are themselves in the dark. The health authorities have claimed to sensitise people about swine flu, but they have failed to extend it to doctors, especially general physicians.

The last meeting of private practitioners and officials of the Chandigarh health department was held over a month ago and not a single word was heard from the administration after that, Dr Zora Singh, president of the local IMA, stated.

The suggestion by the IMA to conduct a CME programme for physicians was brushed aside by the authorities on the pretext of insufficient funds, he added.

The administration, in addition to setting up diagnosis centres at government hospitals, has allowed only two private hospitals in Sector 34 to treat swine flu patients. However, several patients who visit their family doctors are finding it hard to get the actual diagnosis as well as treatment.

Dr Neeraj, MD of Chaitanya Hospital, said even as the guidelines over the diagnosis and treatment were being updated frequently, private practitioners were in the dark as no mechanism had been devised to keep them informed.

Patients with fever, cough and cold were thronging nursing homes and doctors were not sure if it was a viral fever or H1N1 influenza, he stated.

The situation has become more chaotic with schools asking students to furnish fitness certificates, for which parents are relying on the practitioners.

Most schools collect health fund from students, which demands that each school shall have a full-time doctor and a trained nurse. However, not many schools have this provision and only provide emergency care from a nearby doctor in case of an accident or injury.



Wardriving for UT cyber security accomplished
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
“Wardriving” as a follow-up to the survey of the Cyber Security Research Centre reveals no danger zone for outside data infiltration in the UT, at the moment. More than 300 Wi-fi networks in the city are at present under study for any distress signals or data pocketing by outside sources.

“Wardriving” is the act of searching for Wi-fi networks by a person in a moving vehicle using a portable computer or personal digital assistant (PDA). The wireless networking represents the future of computer and Internet connectivity worldwide. Wi-fi continues to be the pre-eminent technology for building general-purpose wireless networks.

Wardriving had been initiated following Mumbai terrorist attacks. Confirming the development, MS Brar, director of information technology, said: “Cyber security had gained greater importance in the changed global scenario of IT. We have surveyed hotels, commercials establishments, educational institutes, government offices as well as residential buildings in the city at random at this stage.”

He said managing IT was a complex issue. An unaware system user could become an unknown party to questionable sites. A majority of common computer users were not aware about the hidden dangers of hacking or interference by outside sources. Schoolchildren were a very high risk group and “we have held workshops at educational institutes. Even a regular Internet user needs to be aware of the system safety network available in the market”.

The software for wardriving is freely available on the Internet, including NetStumbler for Windows, Kismet or SWScanner for Linus, FreeBSD, NetBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Dragonfly BSD, Solaris and Kismac for Macintosh.

The UT has already implemented the GPRS CDMA based PCR van tracking systems. Police vans are on monitor screens of a central control room. The modern control room is part of the surveillance system for the traffic police from markets, naka borders and police posts.

The control room is fit with a digital map. A senior officer said: “In case of an emergency, the control room would be able to locate the nearest van near the site and give necessary orders.”



RJD demands Babla’s arrest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Local MP and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has always used the municipal corporation as a tool for creating an atmosphere of tussle between the Mayor and civic officials. This was stated by Ravinder Krishan, president of the local unit of the RJD here today.

Now, Bansal was trying to create a rift between the mayor and the judiciary. Ravinder alleged that the mayor was trying to protect Congress councillor Davinder Singh Babla, who evading arrest for the past three months, by not allowing him to attend two general house meetings on the ground of the domestic work. Instead of helping the police in hauling him up as a proclaimed offender, the mayor is helping him in escaping from its clutches.

The RJD has brought to the notice of the administrator a few irregularities of the outgoing market committee chairman Babla. They urged the administration to inquire into the irregularities so that the legal process could begin against the culprits.

The RJD urged all Opposition and nominated councillors to oppose the malafide action of the mayor. He alleged that Bansal had asked the Congress councilors not to meet the administrator and also not to attend any function being presided over by him. As a result, there has been no exchange of views between the mayor and the administrator for the past two years. If Bansal and the Congress councilors have any personal grudge against the administrator they could abstain from functions hosted by him. But by boycotting the official functions of the administrator, the councillors were hampering the development works of the city.

The RJD condemned such an action of the local MP and congress councillors and urged residents to Bansal’s function so that the tendency to lowering the administrator’s image could be checked.



Wife bats for him over phone
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Leaving no chance for the rejection of the request of Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla to exempt him from the house meeting which will endanger his membership, his wife Harpreet Kaur Babla is making telephone calls to all councillor to request them to ensure the approval of his application.

Babla had sent a written request to Mayor Kamlesh, seeking permission for exemption from the house meetings till December, which would be tabled at the house meeting scheduled for November 30.

A number of elected and nominated councillors confirmed that Harpreet had personally made telephone calls to them, asking them to support the exemption application in the house without raising objections.

The councillors stated that she even told them that if they did not want to support this agenda item, they should remain neutral, which would also help in clearing it easily.

However, Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee president BB Bahl convened a special meeting to direct Congress councillors to support their party councillor and get this agenda item approved at the house.

As per sources, a few councillors stated that they would decide on this issue after judging the pros and cons of the Babla case and then extend their support to this agenda item.

Even nominated councillors had, so far, not decided on the issue of application of Babla and were planning to hold a meeting to chalk out the strategy whether to support it or not.

As per the Municipal Corporation Act, if any councillor skipped meetings for three consecutive months, the house could cancel his or her membership. Babla had last attended a meeting in August.



PGs in residential areas
Info officer blames estate office for delay
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 28
In connection with the imposition of a penalty on the public information officer (PIO) of GMADA for causing a delay in providing information to the chairman of the coordination committee against paying guests (PGs) in residential areas in Mohali, the PIO has stated that delay has been on the part of different branches of estate office.

HS Sodhi, the PIO, has said the application of the coordination committee regarding PGs was received on October 13, 2008, which was transferred to assistant estate officer-cum-assistant public information officer Gurbaksh Singh and ADO (co-ordination) on October 17 under clause 5(5) of the RTI Act.

Under clause5(5), the entire responsibility lies with the official or branch concerned to whom the case is transferred and he is deemed to be the PIO in the particular case. The estate officer has failed to perform his duty as per the Act.

The GMADA administration has been informed that various branches of the GMADA are not supplying the information within the prescribed time limit as per RTI Act.

The GMADA administration has already issued the office orders to the branches of GMADA that if any penalty is imposed to the PIO office for the delay, the same will be recovered from the erring responsible official(s) of the branch concerned and disciplinary action will be initiated against the erring official(s) for the delay.

As per these orders, the penalty imposed on the PIO has been transferred to estate officer of GMADA for recovery from the erring official(s). Proceedings on September 29, 2009, have not been received at the office of the PIO.



Parks littered with leftovers; residents fume
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Garbage littered in a Sector 44 park in Chandigarh.
Garbage littered in a Sector 44 park in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Chandigarh, November 28
Organising ceremonies in parks of various sectors in the city might have made a few cheerful but for majority of the residents it is proving to be a nightmare. Garbage and leftovers remain littered near venues like community centres and parks for days together. Such events not only deface and destroys the parks but also add to the noise pollution.

In fact the situation is turning from bad to worse with organisers and the municipal corporation paying scant attention towards the cleanliness of the areas around such venues. “Who gives them the permission for using parks for organising family ceremonies?” remains to be answered.

Those living in Mani Majra, Sectors 21, 22, 41 and 44 and a few colonies have similar grievances. Sudhir Sharma, a resident of Mani Majra, said almost every week, some ceremony takes place in the colony. The music is so loud that it becomes difficult for us to sleep. And the parks have been completely destroyed. But nobody cares about cleaning or maintaining the park once the function is over, as the corporation does not impose any fine or penalty for destroying the park’s beauty. A resident of Sector 44 said they were “sick of the carefree attitude” of those residing in the colony who didn’t give a damn about anyone else and hold marriages at the cost of neighbours comfort. He said littering had become a norm rather than exception and repeated attempts to get the area cleaned from the civic body or the organisers fall on the deaf ears. He demanded that the parks and open grounds should be for strolling purposes only and some other places should be earmarked for hosting such functions. Prem Sharma, a resident of Sector 41, revealed that a marriage was organised last week in a park, which is located just across the road near the residence. When a few residents protested against the loud music being played late in the night during the ceremony, a few drunkards manhandled and even beat up residents for objecting to their enjoyment.

Sharma said as this happens regularly so they had stopped complaining. “When all people get drunk and loose their sense there is no point in fighting with them. Basically, it is plain and simple “dadagiri”.

Demanding the imposition of heavy penalty on the offenders, residents said it spoke poorly of the civic sense of the people of the well-planned city. The problem becomes more acute when the stray cattle feed on the leftovers.

An official of the corporation when contacted said the organisers were bound to clear the garbage and leftovers, and, in fact a written undertaking was taken from the organisers, while giving them permission, in this regard. But, there isn’t any team to keep a check on the implementation of these norms.



Excise officers’ dharna on Nov 30
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The All-India Association of Central Excise Gazetted Executive Officers will hold a dharna and peaceful procession from Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, to the Parliament on November 30 in view of stagnation and serious pay erosion. The memorandum to the Prime Minister and Finance Minister will be submitted after proceeding to the Parliament.

In a press note issued here today, AK Sharma, president, CCEGEOA (Chandigarh Zone), stated that the association had been forced to give a call for the dharna and peaceful procession from Jantar Mantar to Parliament on November 30.

The officers posted in the offices of Chief Commissioner/Commissioners would also stage a dharna on the same day, throughout the country. He further said more than 100 officers from Chandigarh Zone comprising Punjab, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh would be proceeding from Ludhiana and Chandigarh to join hands with the members of the association at Delhi on Monday.

Superintendents of Central Excise numbering 11,481, the highest number of group ‘B’ gazetted executive officers in any of the departments under the Central government, were suffering from prolonged stagnation and financial degradation due to pay erosions and social humiliation in officio-social hierarchy due to in responsive attitude of the Central Board of Excise and Customs.



Soulful rendition of poetry in motion
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, November 28
Exuberance, exhilaration and excitement with a poignant emotional feel at times pervaded the auditorium of the Government College, Sector 46, as acclaimed playback and ghazal singer Vinod Sehgal presented a repertoire of soulful ghazals here today.

The occasion was commemoration of the World AIDS Day, falling on December 1, by the Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society.

The fully packed hall, with presence of doctors, social scientists, functionaries of NGOs and some HIV-positive persons, bore testimony to their mission being accomplished.

The musical soiree featuring Vinod Sehgal got of to a majestic start, with the Shiv Batalvi ghazal “Saanu prabhji”. Switching over to ghazals, he rendered “Ikk dua ne bacha liya hai hamein” and “Shayari ki hai mein” before doling out “Hain aur bhi duniyan mein” from the television serial ‘Mirza Ghalib’.

The audience requested for his hit songs and Sehgal reciprocated to the receptive audience with “Chhod aaye woh galian” from the film ‘Maachis’.

The enraptured audience burst into applause with every couplet, especially replete with romanticism, while noting down the ‘sher’.

He especially welcomed music director Kanwar Iqbal and sang his Punjabi composition “Kurti satt rang di” before concluding with the evergreen hit “Laung da lashkara”.

Sehgal presnted ghazals, interspresed with ‘sher’ in his inimitable style. Tilak Raj, Ujagar Singh and Debashish Dhar accompanied the maestro on their instruments.

Project director Dr Vineeta Gupta welcomed chief guest Dr MS Bains and other dignitaries, BC Gupta and Gurdip Singh.



Bakr-Id celebrated with fervour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Thousands of Muslim devotees offered prayers on Bakr-Id at various mosques in the tri-city. Children and women celebrated the festival with spiritual fervour and gaiety.

The festival marks the tradition of sacrifice, as it is believed that Hazrat Ibrahim was ordered by Allah to sacrifice the life of his only son. The devil tried to stop him but he moved ahead with his mission. Seeing the devotion of Ibrahim, Allah placed a ‘dumbas’ on his son’s head. Thus, Hazrat Ibrahim’s son was saved.

People belonging to other communities also exchanged greetings with their Muslim brethren.

Bassi Pathana: Members of the Muslim community celebrated Id with great fervour and enthusiasm at Zama Masjid in Killa Mohalla here today. Devotees offered prayers. Ismar Maulvi of Zama Masjid performed rituals and delivered religious discourse. People exchanged greetings and distributed sweets. A cultural programme of kawalis was also organised.



Chaos at Mani Majra level crossing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
A level crossing in Mani Majra that connects the area with Sector 26 remains clogged with the traffic throughout the day. The problem worsens as the street is narrow and there are no streetlights near it.

Sushmita Sharma, a bank employee, said: “I always get late to my office these days as there is chaos once the level crossing opens.”

Ramesh Kumar, an employee of a showroom in Sector 8, said: “The situation is no better even in the morning. There is hardly any cop to control the vehicular traffic during the rush hours. There isn’t any streetlight and the road, too, is broken.



Easy to bell CAT this year
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
In the initial analysis of Common Aptitude Test (CAT) online exam, as judged by experts, the level of difficulty was found normal and the paper was said to be simpler than past few years.

The good news may overcast the nervousness of students, who appeared in the online exam for the first time and had a harrowing experience due to login errors and system break down.

CAT exam, a gateway to the prestigious IIMs, was conducted online for the first time this year. More than two lakh students are expected to take the exam this year in 105 centres across 32 cities in the country, but with the exam going online, several factors will contribute to grabbing decent percentiles in various sections. For instance, in English section, comprehension passages require a lot of concentration, but the readability on the computer screen is reduced by 30 per cent as on paper. Hence, the students must tune their time accordingly.

“For the first time in the history of CAT, some questions were same as previous years. The overall level of the paper was average despite the fact that students faced hiccups in the examination centres due to system failure,” said Hridesh Madan, regional head, Bulls Eye.

Students, who took the exam today, also confirmed the occurrence of familiar questions that appeared in past years. Today's exam had three sections, with 20 questions each.

“With our B-schools entrances becoming analogous to B-schools aboard and with CAT going online this year, our students will be valued at a global level and it is a good sign. The acceptability of our students at a massive level will be more,” said Akash Gautam, consultant with the Career Launcher, India.



Non-Medical TGT Posts Applicants a worried lot
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The UT education department may have taken long to overcome the recent cash-for-job scam, but applicants still seem to be having its hangover.

Going by the claims of officials concerned, declaration of interview results of non-medical TGT posts has worried a lot of applicants. “Education department is not dealing with recruitment results, but we know that interview results of non-medical category have been delayed. Due to the recent scam, the delay has created fear among applicants, as officers are getting several calls,” said an official.

According to sources, doubts were raised as the results were announced before conducting interviews. Even the result of medical category was also declared and withdrawn from the Internet. “We recently got many queries about medical result being withdrawn from the Internet. The fact that the result is being delayed raise doubts, but we know that its being compiled and being an important category it’s taking time,” added another official.

Meanwhile, DPI (S) Sunil Bhatia rubbished it and asked applicants not to get panic. “No result has been withdrawn and it will be released by next week,” he added.



Dikshant International celebrates founders’ day
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 28
Dikshant International School, Zirakpur, celebrated its founders’ day at the Indradhanush Auditorium here today. NK Tiwari, chairman of Indian Public Schools, was the chief guest. Also present were eminent filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and actor Mahie Gill. The function started with a Disney parade by pre-nursery and nursery children.

Children dressed up as Disney characters marched passing through the audience, reaching the stage and dancing to their heart.

As many as 750 students from KG to Class IX and a few teachers performed a musical classic “The Blue Bird” written by Maurice Maetelinck, designed and directed by Prof Harish Bhatia Mitul Dikshit-director of the school, read his annual report.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |