C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Day 2: No end to CAT woes
Technical snag at Mohali centre forces students to wait for over 12 hrs
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
A technical snag at the CAT online exam centre in Mohali today compelled students to wait for over 12 hours, thereby marring the second day of the exam as well.

Prometric, which has been authorised to conduct the CAT exam, later issued apology letters to the students.

Due to a glitch in the lab 4, out of the five labs, of the Rayat and Bahra Biotechnology Centre of Excellence, rescheduling of the exam was done for many students.

Although students were annoyed due to the prolonged wait, the college authorities claimed that this information was given by the CAT conveners through their website after yesterday’s breakdown. Not having read the same, nearly 50 students returned without giving the exam today, out of which 36 students were of the first shift.

“After the problems faced by the students yesterday, the information was available on the Cat website. The technical problem was on the software part, and the college claimed to have given its best support to the students. Out of 50 students whose schedule was changed, 33 had come since they did not get information. These students were told that the exam would be rescheduled according to their convenience,” said Sandeep Kaura of the Rayat and Bahra Biotechnology Centre of Excellence.

Notably, the students of the first shift (10 am to 12:30pm, who had come from far-flung districts, had reached the centre by 7 am). They were subsequently told that their exam would be rescheduled. They waited in the centre till about 7pm, some of them along with their parents, when they received apology letter from Prometric.

“We got up at 3:30 am and reached the centre at 7 am since the exam had to start at 10 am and we wanted to be well in time. We were shocked to find out that our exam is being rescheduled. We got a letter from Prometric in late evening,” said Ritu, a student from Patiala.

The letter issued on Prometric’s letterhead said they apologised for causing inconvenience to the students and the exam would be rescheduled according to the convenience of students.

Meanwhile, the site supervisor, also an NIIT official, said, “ There were 36 students of the first batch whose exam was rescheduled due to technical hitch and exam of some students of second shift also had to be cancelled due to same reasons. But we are doing our best and giving the students an alternative time.”

The angered students, however, claimed that the whole scenario had left them shattered.

“We have put our one year’s effort in this exam. All this un-professionalism makes us feel like we are taking a class test instead of CAT exam. It is a mockery of the prestigious exam and the MBA schools,” said a final year BA students from Barnala.

The students also expressed their contentment at the treatment given by the college to the students, as snacks and tea was served during the day, they claimed.

Meanwhile, there were complaints of delay in the exam at the other two centres also. In Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology, Mohali, the process of scrutiny by checking fingerprints of students and taking their photographs took a long time, thereby stretching the shifts by nearly one hour.

At the Indo Global College of Engineering Abhipur also the exam started 20 minutes late. 

Yesterday’s questions repeated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
In another deviation from the last year’s CAT exam, some questions that appeared in the online exam today were the same as those that appeared in the exam yesterday.

While this might have been a pleasant surprise for students, the same came as a jolt to many professionals who had been preparing students for the exam for years.

Meanwhile, many CAT exam-takers alleged that nearly 15 questions in today’s paper were the same as those appeared in the past few years.

Today's online CAT exam had three sections, with 20 questions in each section.

However, experts maintained that the exam continued to be simpler as compared to the previous CAT exams even on day two.

“The exam again had three sections, RC,Yesterday’s questions repeated quantitative aptitude and DI, with 20 questions in each of them. CAT used to be all about time management and speed, but this time, it seems that CAT has also focussed on special skills,” said Akash Gautam, a consultant with a company at the national level.

Experts also believe that the cut-offs are now expected to soar higher this year due to the easy level of the exam.

Keeping in view the current trends to crack the English section, one must have a good reading habit. There were some questions that had their basis hidden in the class VI mathematics, said Akash, who took the exam.



‘Navratnas’ hold key to Babla's fate
MC meeting set to be stormy
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
The "Navratnas", nine nominated councillors in the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), hold the key to any decision on Devinder Singh Babla, Congress councillor on the run in the illegal shed allottment case in Sector 26 Grain Market, at a meeting of the civic body here tomorrow.

In fact, the civic body meetinng which will also discuss the grant leave to Babla is set to be stormy, with Opposition BJP today urging the Chandigarh Administration to intervene in the matter in the wake of Mayor Kamlesh's "partisan role" in the matter.

Even though the majority Congress, having 16 members, including Pawan Bansal, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources, is all set to defend its recalcitrant councillor, the going may get tough for him, as the Congress does not enjoy majority in the 35-member corporation.

For passing Babla's leave application, the Congress naturally wants nominated councillors' support, which may not come easy since Babla faces serious charges and his bail application has already been rejected by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In the 35-member House, the Congress has 16 members, BJP-SAD seven, BSP four, besides the nine nominated councillors, who would have a decisive say in the current scheme of things. Babla last attended the MC meeting in August and he must be present or get his leave sanctioned at tomorrow's meeting to save his membership.

According to the Punjab Municipal Act, as extended to Chandigarh, failure of a councillor to attend three consecutive meetings without approval can attract expulsion.

“If during three successive months, a councillor is without permission of the corporation absent from all meetings, the MCC may declare his seat vacant," the Section 36 (1-A) of the Punjab Municipal Act says.

However, even if the House approves his leave application, the UT Administrator enjoys vast powers to reject the MC’s resolutions. In view of the war of words between Rodrigues and Bansal, it is unlikely that the former will let the absconding councillor off the hook even if the MC comes to his rescue and passes a resolution in his support.

A senior administration official said all depended on the MC House's decision on Babla tomorrow. The Administration would chalk out its future course of action after receiving a written communication from the civic body on the issue, he added.



Rising Crime
20 more police stations to be set up
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 29
With the crime graph going up with a substantial increase in the registration of cases in the district, at least 20 more police stations are in the offing.

Ever since the new district was created, the need to upgrade the administrative infrastructure has also gone up.

Not only creating new police stations, the shortage of space to house existing police stations and special investigative wings has forced the authorities to accommodate its force either in community centres or other public buildings.

Taking up the case with the Home Department, the district police authorities have sought that new police stations be notified so that necessary infrastructure could be created.

Sources said regular police stations had mainly been sought in Balongi, Industrial Area, Matour, Phase 11, Kurali, Kharar city, Airport, Sohana, Sultanpur, Nayagoan, Baltana, Mubarakpur and Handesra. With the proposed coming up of the International Airport, opening of the Chandigarh-Baddi road and coming of the new townships in outer fringes of Mohali city, the need for new police stations would also go up.

Beginning with Balongi , the district police has taken on lease 8 kanals of village panchayat land on 33 years lease on a yearly rent of Rs 30000 per acre. The land, adjoining the PSEB sub-station in the village, has been leased out under the rule 12 A of the Punjab Village Common Land Act (regulation) Rules, 1964, after the approval of the Financial Commissioner, Village Development and Panchayat Department. After every three years, the lease money would increase by 10 per cent.

For the district police line, the Balongi village panchayat has passed a resolution for leasing out another 23 acres. The issue has been forwarded to the Rural Development Department. Presently, the police line is housed in a congested community centre of Phase XI here.

The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) had allotted 3920 sq yard of land on a lease of 99 years at a rate of Rs 6 per sq yard in sector 71 for housing the Matour Police station. Presently, the police station is running from the community centre of Sector 71. Around Rs 8 lakh had already been deposited by the police department with GMADA.

And for the Sohana police station, the department plans to shift to Sector 109. The Emmar MGF Ltd, a housing company, has offered around 4 kanals for the purpose.



MC wastes precious public money on futile job
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Workers of a contractor remove old footpaths to replace with the new ones in Phase II, Mohali.
Workers of a contractor remove old footpaths to replace with the new ones in Phase II, Mohali. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, November 29
The Mohali Municipal Council appears inclined to spend precious public money on laying footpaths across the town even if the condition of many existing footpaths is perfect.On the other hand, the battered condition of roads has failed to catch the “vigilant” eyes of the MC officials. In the last over one year, the civic body has been in an “overdrive” in passing estimates for laying of paver block footpaths in different sectors.

Inquiry revealed that in some cases, the contractors engaged by the MC officials had been using the old base of “gatka” and concrete and cover with new interlocking paver blocks. On paper, the entire work is passed on as new, resulting in the pocketing of a substantial amount of money by influential persons concerned.

In some classic examples as to how the MC officials have been plundering public money, chequered tiles were laid from H.no 1416 to 1454 in phase XI at a cost of Rs 2.34 lakh in 2000, and again in 2008, Rs 4.95 lakh was spent on laying interlocking paver block in the same area. Similarly, tiles were laid at a cost of Rs 2.63 lakh near H.no 1200, Phase X in 1997 and again Rs 7.73 lakh is spent in the same area this year. Many such examples exist in different phases.

In other cases, the breakage of the old and damaged material is never entered in records and these appeared fudged to hide facts, reveal investigations. “It is never brought in the house whether there was requirement to replace the old footpath and lifespan of the construction,” said sources in the MC. The fact can be verified wherever the existing work was going.

How and why this is happening is a matter fit for investigation by the authorities, but it can be safely assumed that considerations other than professionalism have weighed with the officials.

“It is nothing less than a scam. Lakhs could be saved if the MC carried out periodic repair of the damaged portions of footpaths and spent money on other necessary works in the Mohali,” confided an official.



Motorists harried by stray cattle
Tribune News Service

Stray cattles block traffic during late evening hours in absence of street lights at Sector 26 in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Stray cattles block traffic during late evening hours in absence of street lights at Sector 26 in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, November 29
Motorists on a road near the Police Lines and forest area in Sector 26 continue to face harrowing times because of stray cattle roaming freely here. The problem is heightened during evenings because of absence of streetlights.

Naresh Sharma, a bank employee, said, “I had come from Mani Majra to get weekly supply of vegetables from the grain market. On my way back I had a narrow escape when my motorcycle rammed into a bull running on the road.”

Sharat Kumar, a school teacher, said, “The municipal officials have turned a blind eye to our problems.”


Dangerous stops at roundabouts

ON THE Chandigarh-Delhi highway, in the city, it is a common sight of un-authorised bus halting on the roundabouts to provide boarding to passengers. One among several places is the roundabout of Sectors 29\30\31\32, besides certain others on the road towards the ISBTs in Sectors 17 and 43.

The authorized bus-stops, a few metres away from the roundabouts bear an empty look. Needless to say that traffic boarding at roundabouts is a traffic menace. The times of heightened discomfort for the drivers near the roundabouts are the early office and schools hours and matching hours when they return home.

Shakshi, a school teacher, had a narrow escape, last week, from a speeding car which came at a screeching halt near her when she was running to board a bus. The sweating teacher said “we don’t have any other option boarding for our destinations because the buses don’t stop at the stop, a few metres ahead. I am sure things would be different incase the officers moved out of their comfort zones and traveled on the buses, at least sometimes”.

Bhatti at it again

Slighest opportunity is enough for poker-faced comedian Jaspal Bhatti to tickle the funny bone. And the two-day Chandigarh Carnival, otherwise synonymous with fun and frolic, provided the perfect opportunity to the Bhatti and his team of Madarts Film School perform a spoof on rising vegetable pricesm and amuse the visitors.
In fact, the weird stall put up by Madarts displayed small quantities of vegetables and pulses and invited onlookers to try their luck by throwing rings.The entertaining spoof interspersed with social message was enough to provide some comic relief to common man at the receiving end of the burgeoning prices of the vegetables and pulses.

And it was not without reason that Punjab Governor and UT Administrator S.F. Rodrigues and First Lady Jean Rodrigues could be seen throwing rings on vegetable and packs of pulses to win them home!In the end Bhatti in his unique style did not forget to thank government for taking inflation to "dizzy heights". The banks and other financial institutions should grant loans on cheaper rates to common honest man to buy vegetables and ration items, Bhatti said in his typical tongue in cheek style.

Shameful incident

Though I never failed to admire Vice Chancellor, Prof R Sobti’s forthright attitude and simple ways, like badly hurting his back while traveling in an ordinary bus, jumping up from his chair in the middle of a function to set the projector right or even the effort he makes to control his annoyance on occasions but ends up yelling. His modesty and diligence wins hearts of even his foes.

But I strongly felt that the signal sent by those at the helm of affairs, on last Wednesday’s incident, was disappointing beyond measures. That day some student leaders had locked the departments, which they claimed was done to express resentment since the clerks had refused to deposit fee. Nobody, and I mean nobody, should be allowed to challenge the administration’s power to maintain law and order in campus, however big the excuse maybe. How dare the student leaders, particularly the council members, continue to lock departments for an hour without the management having inkling about it? And subsequently what action, as per rules, was taken against them?

Had the VC realized the magnanimity of the issue, he would have taught a lesson to the defaulters. The students should have been immediately suspended from the varsity to teach the others that such indiscipline would not be tolerated. I fear that if the PU authorities are not courageous enough, they should be prepared for the day when any student could enter any department and hijack the chairperson’s or dean’s room.

It was a shameful incident, more so because nothing was done about it.

New-look matrimonials

Don’t get shocked if one morning you find an advertisement in the matrimonial section that need a bride or bridegroom having an income between rupees one crore to five crore. These days’ marriage bureaus are adding category of family income, besides caste, education qualification, date and place of birth in matrimonials. Recently I received a mail from a marriage bureau claiming that they have four types of family clients with them as eligible bachelors having minimum income between Rs. 25 to 50 lakh, Rs. 50 lakh to one crore, Rs. one crore to 5 crore and Rs. five crore plus. The advertisement also stated that they would send 4 to 6 matches to the interested families on compliment basis.

Khakhi loses its sheen

Men in Khakhi fail to shed their image of pulling up their socks only after a crime has happened. In one such classical example, a day after Rs three lakh was stolen from a vehicle in phase 5 market of Mohali, cops swooped on unauthorisedly standing vendors in commercial areas. They were warned not to stand near banks.

But the drive was restricted to two days. The vendors are back and there is no cop to regulate them. A resident of phase XI told the sentinel that few months back after a robbery attempt at Bank of Maharashtra, police swung in to action and visited all banks to review their security. But now there is no follow up. It seems that another happening would again wake the police and it would carry out the exercise again and again.

Time to act

Aiming to reduce road fatalities by 50 per cent by end of 2020, over one thousand delegates from 140 countries met during the First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety at Moscow between November 19 and 20. As per WHO figures, 13 lakh people perish in road accidents each year worldwide. Besides this tens of million are injured or disabled. According to expert’s appraisals the death rate will increase twice by 2020 year, said Harman Singh Sidhu, president of ArriveSAFE, a city-based NGO participated in the conference.

The drive is aimed at combined efforts towards global level for mobalising political will as well, for “Decade of Action for road safety” from 2011-2020. The delegates resolved to encourage the implementation of the recommendations of the World report on road traffic injury prevention, improve national data collection and comparability at the international level to develop reliable and harmonized data systems. Strengthening the provision of pre-hospital and hospital trauma care and to evaluate the progress five years following this conference.

Contributions by Sanjeev Singh Bariana, Pardeep Sharma, Neha Miglani, Aarti Kapur, Rajmeet Singh and Ramanjit Sidhu



Half-eaten body of man found
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
The police today recovered a half-eaten body of Tehar village resident in a jungle near Lalru here this evening.According to the police, the deceased has been identified as 50-year-old Ranjit Singh, a driver in Punjab Roadways. He had reportedly gone missing on November 19.

The police has shifted the body to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, for conducting post-mortem.

According to Sanjeev Bhatt, SHO of the Lalru Police Station, villagers informed the police about the body lying in the jungle near their village.

The police reached the spot and recovered the body in a bad condition. “The body was eaten by animals,” said the SHO. On November 24, the family had lodged a complaint with the police alleging that Ranjit had gone missing.

Meanwhile, the police has initiated an inquest proceedings.



Industrialist BK Mehan dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
BK Mehan, a pioneering industrialist of the city, died here today at 11.30 am. He was 85.Chairman of NCI India, which he established 50 years ago, Mehan was also the chairman of Sri Aurobindo Society and School, Chandigarh.

An early settler in Chandigarh, he came to the city as it was being built in 1953. He was a charter member of the Industries Association of Chandigarh and the Rotary Club of Chandigarh, both of which he headed later.

Actively involved in the development process of the town, he was a keen philanthropist and active with the Ramakrishna Mission and Divine Life Society.

He is survived by his sons, Anil, Arun and Arvind.

His cremation will be held on Tuesday, December 1.



Family’s denial on girl’s kidnapping
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 29
A day after media reports on behalf of the Chandigarh Police that Jiya (2) was kidnapped by Whisky on October 20 from Panchkula, the family of the girl has denied any such possibility.

The Chandigarh Police was behaving irresponsibly and disseminating wrong information to media, exposing the family to the criminal, who is still free to commit any crime, said Malkit Singh Kang, grandfather of Jiya while talking to TNS.

It was yesterday only when I was contacted by the Chandigarh Police and I went to the crime branch, said Kang. I was shown the picture of Whisky and I could not identify it, as it was an old picture, he added. However, the hairstyle and forehead of the person in picture had some similarity with the kidnappers, who handed over Jiya to us after taking ransom, said Kang.

During the incidents of kidnapping and release of Jiya, we never came across any of the women as was being claimed by Chandigarh police, said the grandfather. And even I did’t know that Jiya was given an injection so that she could sleep while in the captivity of her 
kidnappers, said Kang, adding that it is a matter of surprise for me that under such circumstances how the Chandigharh Police was claiming such things despite the fact that they are yet to arrest any of the accused.

Panchkula SP Maneesh Chaudhary said the poclie was working on many leads. As Whisky was involved in crimes in the area, his possible role in the kidnapping and dacoity in the town was also being probed, he said.

It would be premature to pinpoint about the accused involved in the kidnapping at this stage, said Chaudhary.

It was on October 20 that Jiya was kidnapped when she was playing in the courtyard of her house in Sector 7 with her siblings.

The girl was, however, released after the family paid a ransom of Rs 25 lakh.



Mishap rate high on Zirakpur-Lalru stretch
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, November 29
The rising number of accidents on the Zirakpur-Lalru road at National Highway-22 in Mohali district has become a matter of concern.

Going by the police records, around 84 persons were killed in 156 road accidents from January to November.

Even after one year of the four-lane of Chandigarh-Ambala Highway, no improvement has been seen in terms of rising number of accidents on this stretch.

Approximately one life is lost every day in the road accident at this stretch.

Most of the victims were two-wheeler riders or those travelling by cars and auto-rickshaws.

A view of different accidents that took place on the Zirakpur-Lalru road recently
A view of different accidents that took place on the Zirakpur-Lalru road recently. Files photos

Maximum numbers of hit-and-run cases are reported regularly. According to the police, loaded trucks, tractor-trailers, buses and other speeding vehicles were involved in 90 per cent of the accidents.

In Dera Bassi, on November 27, two motorcyclists were killed after they were run over by a speeding truck near Janetpur village on the Dera Bassi-Ambala Highway.

In Lalru, a 22-year-old girl was killed after being hit by a speeding truck on the Ambala-Chandigarh National Highway.

Last week, Sandeep Doda, a resident of Zirakpur, was killed after being hit by an unknown vehicle on the Chandigarh-Ambala Highway near Singhpura village in Zirakpur.

Also, 52 mishaps were reported in which 34 persons lost their life, including 31 men and three women, while 35 persons were injured in various.

As per the information provided by the Lalru Police Station, 50 accidents were reported in which 30 deaths, including 28 men and two women.

Around 104 persons were injured in road accidents this year. As compared to 2008, more than 61 accidents were reported till date in which 33 persons lost their lives and 44 were injured.

In Zirakpur, 54 accidents occurred in which 22 persons were killed, including 16 men, five women and one child.

More than 70 persons were injured. In 2008, 36 accidents were reported out of which 21 persons died.

Raghav Gupta, a Panchkula-based advocate, said drunk driving was one of the biggest causes of accidents.

In past few years, there is an increase in liquor vends on highways. He said the traffic police should put nakas in the night and must conduct breath analyser test. Drunk drivers must be challaned, he added.

Nandna, a social activist, said the authorities concerned should put reflectors on the roadsides and speed limit boards should be mentioned along the highway.

She said the marriage palaces and dhabas along the highway had no parking lots, as a result visitors parked their vehicles along the highway.

The local administration should check on such violations, she added.

However, Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, said he held a meeting with Mohali DC Prabhjot Singh Mand, regarding the issue. "We are planning to set up an advisery committee to solve the problem,” he added.



Homoeopathic therapies introduced at hospital
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 29
In order to provide better health services to patients, the state government has decided to provide multiple options of treatment under one roof in all government hospitals.

Taking a step further in this regard, homoeopathic and ayurvedic therapies have been started at Panchkula hospital.

Though the OPD services, along with all diagnosis tests, were already being provided in two shifts at the hospital, patients visiting here would have other options as well, according to their choice of treatment, said DR VK Goyal, medical superintendent.

Two homoeopathic and ayurvedic doctors were already available in the hospital during morning and evening, he added.

The hospital is providing free-of-cost therapies to patients.

Dr Goyal said other therapies like body massage, shirodhara, vaman and virechan would soon be started at the centre.



Chandigarh Carnival ends on high note
Tribune Reporters

KK performs during the Chandigarh Carnival on Sunday.
KK performs during the Chandigarh Carnival on Sunday. A Tribune photograph 

Chandigarh, November 29
Chandigarh Carnival 2009 “Chandigarh Rocking” concluded today on a melodic note with the rocking Bollywood playback singer Krishankumar Kunnath, enrapturing the vast crowd of tri-city music lovers.

The strains of scintillating songs wafted across the Leisure Valley, as KK doled out his hit numbers in the mega “musical nite”. KK commenced the performance with a soulful song “Dard mein bhi thhe muskuraate” from “The train” which melted into a hit from “Sathiya”.

He modulated his voice to create a romantic feel in “Rehna hai tere dil mein.” KK maintained the melodic tempo with renditions of songs like “Tu hi meri Shab hai”, “Kyon aaj kal neend kam”, “Ikk nazr mein bhi pyar hota hai.” He was at his best with “Yaaron ji bhar ke jiyen” and the audience responded with applause.

Earlier, the programme commenced with the lighting of traditional lamp by chief guest Pradeep Mehra, while Ram Niwas, Home Secretary, and Amandeep Kaur, director of Tourism, honoured the artists. Sonia Arora and her troupe presented three dance numbers, including “Kajrare kajraare.”

The NZCC artistes presented traditional dances like mayur dance of UP, kalbelia of Gujarat, purlio chhau of West Bengal, panthi of Chattisgarh and Kashmiri dance followed by special singing items by Punjabi artists like Sarbjeet Basin, Bittu Bajwa, besides, Chandigarh choir performance.

It was an opportunity for budding artists to explore their talent at the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akadmey stall.

The Chandigarth Sahitya Akademy held a literary quiz with the participation of students from various colleges of Chandigarh. The first prize went to Panjab University and MCM DAV and GCG -42 bagged the second and third prizes, respectively. The consolation prize went to Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Chandigarh.

The Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademy also organised a photography competition with the theme "Chandigarh Carnival". First prize was bagged by Harvinder Singh and second and third by Deepak Arora, Narenderjit, respectively and consolation went to Abhimanyu Sharma.

Meanwhile, the pavilion of Le Corbusier displayed the souvenirs and memorabilia of Le Corbusier's artwork. The other attraction the carnival was the Budapest Exhibition put up by Hungary, exhibiting their stamps.

The EUNIC film festival screened seven foreign films of different counties. The Rock Garden replicas of Nek Chand were other attractions for the visitors. The Museum and Art gallery in association with NGO had a special section a static Punjab digital Library that had exhibited the all digitalised hand manuscripts.

An outreach activity centre, an artist corner in the carnival, near an amusement park had special activities for art lovers.

“Demonstration on paper sculpture” by Vishal Bhardwaj and Rajinder Kumar attracted many artists of different age groups. The photography exhibition arranged by Major Amarjeet Singh, the 26 photographs depicted heritage and lifestyle of the land of five rivers of Punjab.

To motivate all exhibitors, Chandigarh administration gave the awards to the best three exhibitors in the carnival and also to 10 best-dressed competitors who participated in the Chandigarh parade with the theme "Sea Carnival".



Admn to set up food processing centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
The Chandigarh administration has decided to set up a food processing training centre (FPTC). An expression of interest (EOI) has been sought to this regard from Central and state governmental organisations, educational and training institutions, schools and colleges, ITIs, NGOs and cooperatives.

The grantee organisation will be required to run the FPTC for a minimum period of ten years without charging any fee of training course from EDP trainees/workers. All other recurring expenses to run the training centre shall be the responsibility of the grantee organisation.

The organisation will have to impart training to at least 50 trainees per year with minimum of two batches per year.

It has been sought that the organisation should have an FPO license for FPTC for fruit and vegetables processing after installation of plant and machinery and before applying for seed capital. It is also required to make arrangements for sale of their products to the cooperatives/departmental stores, marketing association/food processing industries/local markets. 



80 students attend Gita recitation contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
The local chapter of Sri Gita Prachar Samiti in collaboration with Haryana Sanskrit Academy, Panchkula, celebrated the Gita Jayanti-2009 by organising Gita recitation competition at Sikhya, Sector 46-A, here today.

More than 80 students of various schools of tri-city participated, said Ravi Gulati, secretary of the samiti.

Prof Raj Bahadur, director principal of the Government Medical College and Hospital, was the chief guest.

Sona Channi, principal of the school, presided over. Dr Rameshwar Dutt Sharma, director, Haryana Sanskrit Academy, and Dr Shankar Jha, head, department of Sanskrit, Panjab University, also graced the occasion. The aim was to acquaint students with the importance of moral values at their formative age.

The best student award went to Ujjwal of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 47, and the best school award for overall performance trophy was captured by the students of Sikhya.

While Madhu, Anjali, Tannu Ranju,Terannium and Shazma (all from Sikhya) got cash prize of Rs 2,500, Rs1,500, Rs 1,100 and Rs 700, respectively, Hema, Anita, Ruchika Singh ( KV- 3BRD ) and Anusuya Chandermani (DAV, Mohali ) bagged cash prizes of Rs 700 each, along with trophies and books on moral values for reciting a whole chapter of Bhagvadgita.

In a group competition contest, students of KV-47, Chandigarh, won a cash prize of Rs 1,100 along with a trophy.

The other contestants who were awarded with trophies and books on moral values include junior group- Ojaswita-I, Shubhankar-II, Varnita-III (DAV, Sector 7, Chandigarh) Ujjwal -I, Ankita Dutta-II, Vashnavi-III ( KV-47) Somya-I (KV-3BRD), Anchal Bhalla -I (DAV Mohali). Senior group: Vinayak-I, Pearl -II, Anmol-III (DAV, Sector 7, Chandigarh) Sushmita-I, Diti Anand-II, Abhinandan Ojha -III (KV-47).

Chief guest gave away prizes to the winners. He also appreciated the efforts of the samiti in association with Haryana Sanskrit Academy to strengthen the Indian ancient tradition and stressed that there was need to propagate the sacred message of Gita across the world and work selflessly for the welfare of mankind.



140 examined at camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh,November 29
The Chandigarh Press Club in association with the health department, Chandigarh, organised a free multi-speciality medical camp for members and their families on the club premises here today.

Consultants from Government Multi-speciality Hospital, Sector 16, including Dr Vijay Chopra, consultant physician, Dr Sandeep Chander, eye surgeon, and Dr Jagseer, orthopaedic surgeon, examined patients. Besides, Dr Gaurav Thapar, a noted dental surgeon, also examined patients.

According to a press note issued here today, over 140 persons were examined at the camp.



Dhillon heads sports medicine panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
Dr Mandeep S Dhillon, department head of orthopaedics, physical therapy and rehabilitation, PGIMER, has been elected as chairman, Sports Medicine Committee of the Indian Orthopaedic Association, at the recently concluded 54th National IOA conference at 

He is the first incumbent of this post and aims to coordinate between the IOA and the Commonwealth Games committees, so that all sports injury related problems are looked after.

Dr Dhillon has already been nominated to the Medical Commission of the Commonwealth Games.

Prof Dhillon has worked in the field of sports injury management and has looked after all the sports related injuries and orthopaedic problems of top professional athletes 
of India, Sri Lanka and other countries.Dr Dhillon was instrumental in starting the sports injury clinic at PGIMER and for developing the arthroscopy services in North India during the past 20 years.



Salary hike for wagers announced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
PU Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti has announced an enhancement in the salary of daily wagers as per the new pay scales.

All employees working before 2007 will get salary as per revised pay scale between Rs 1,500 to 1,800 per month to their existing salary.

Salary of library assistants working on contractual basis has also been increased from Rs 9,000 to Rs 10,000 per month. The revised salary will be effective from December.



Labs at govt schools cry for attention
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
Going by the evaluation scheme of CBSE, emphasis is laid on practicals and carries more weightage in terms of marks in science.

Laboratories of various government schools, however, continue to be in a sorry state to support the plans.

Interestingly, the board, on one hand, in order to nurture scientific attitude among students, is revamping the evaluation system and prescribing to start practical exams from Class I in several schools, but unfortunately fails even to attend to the needs of Class XII students.

It may be noted that last year, in an inspection carried out by the education department, 90 per cent of government and aided schools were found lacking in one way or the other.

Though majority of schools had upgraded labs on record, in reality the situation is different.

In some cases, months old acids find place in chemistry labs and it is same with biology labs, where samples had outlived their prescribed ages.

However, worst was the condition of the rural or non-model schools, which at times never had a room to spare for lab or the lab was transformed into classrooms or unofficial staff restrooms.

According to officials in estate office, out of 60 pending school projects more than 20 are related to building or repair of labs.

To make things difficult, it is the callous attitude of the education department that has worsened the situation.

Though these schools were notified to check all faults within a month, the officials so far have not cared to revisit the schools and if sources are to be believed all inspections start and end in principal’s office.

“We were surprised to find that many schools though had full record of expenditure of science funds and purchases for the labs, labs were still in the bad condition. It’s not just denial of education to students, but also mismanagement of science funds collected from students and grant provided. Home Secretary had one talked about forming a special committee to look after this, but it never happened,” said a senior official.

“In many schools practical classes are never held and students are asked to make practical files by copying from lab manuals and marks are awarded as per teachers’ wishes. No one cares to look after labs because till date practical exams have failed to gain importance in academics. We go to schools and at times find that teachers use practical periods for theory and then demonstrate some activities just before the exam. This attitude should be changed and the department should play a more vigilant role,” said another official.



NSS camp at Dev Samaj college
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, November 29
An NSS camp was inaugurated at Dev Samaj College of Education today.Bikram Singh Rana, liaison officer of NSS, UT Administration, inaugurated the Herbal Garden on the college campus.

Dr Jyoti Khanna welcomed the chief guest and then spoke on the importance of the NSS campaign for the session 2009-10.

The programme commenced with the college prayer followed by the NSS song depicting the theme “Not Me But You”, Chetna Verma, MEd student of the college, showed a presentation on various activities that were conducted for the session 2008-09 and also focused on the activities that would be undertaken for the current session 2009-10 to be held at Buterla village from November 29 to December 5. Activities like free medical camp, blood donation camp, sensitisation programmes on Aids, safe blood donation, leprosy, women empowerment, training on disaster management and prevention of child labour will be organised during the camp. A play on “Drug Abuse” was presented by students of the college followed by a patriotic dance.

Bikram Singh Rana appreciated the efforts of the college and praised the initiative taken by the college for “School On The Move”, the first mobile school of Chandigarh. He also inspired and congratulated all NSS volunteers for being a part of this social cause. The function was concluded with a vote of thanks. 



Workshop on motivation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
The department of psychology and women cell of DAV College, Sector 10, hosted a five-day workshop on sensitivity, awareness and motivation.

The workshop was attended by about 30 participants from Panjab University and local colleges. The workshop was inaugurated by Prof Poonam Dhawan and chaired by Prof Pam Rajput.

Dr Shruti Shourie, coordinator of the workshop, said the workshop aimed at helping women equip themselves with skills to sail through their personal and professional lives with ease and to increase the participation of women in higher education management for better gender balance.

Prof Raj Hans Gill was the guest of honour.

Principal Dr BC Josan thanked participants and the resource persons.

He said participants should have a meaningful application of their learnings in everyday life.



Open House
Review government role in private schools

WE appreciate educational institutions run by charitable organisations. Now, imparting education has become a business and trusts & societies are run by business enterprises. On one hand schools get their recognitions from the educational departments and affiliations with the state educational boards and on other hand raise hue and cry for their accountability and responsibility. No doubt the government should not meddle with the affairs of schools but if the situation arises the government should be in a position to address the grievances of the public at large against the management of the institutions.

Ravi Mallik,Chartered Accountant, Sector 44-B, Chandigarh

Pvt schools dependent on govt?

I agree with your thought that "It is not practically possible for private schools to behave independently.” Why is it that children of government officers need to be put into private schools? Are the government schools not good enough, and if not why? I am in whole-hearted agreement with the unnamed "director" who felt that a list of the officer's recommendations, for admissions, should be circulated. In short, these officers first use pressure to get their children admitted to these schools, and then misbehave with the authorities.

Shivneet Singh

Independent monitoring body needed

There is no doubt that the private schools are doing a yeomans service by providing quality education and also by filling the gap between demand and supply in education sector. The administration more often than not interferes not in public interest, but for its vested interest. The remedy to this malice lies in setting up of a permanent Independent Monitoring Body under the chairpersonship of the Mayor of Chandigarh, with three members from Independent Schools Association, one member of DPI schools and one public member who may be the municipal councillor/president of the welfare association of the ward/sector in which the school is situated.

Sumer Singh Wg. Cdr.(Retd.) Zirakpur

Increase number of government schools

For the very first time, a fairly impartial assessment has been made and placed before the public by Sanjeev Singh Bariana. Usually in their spirit of one up-manship and rivalry, the reporters print outrageous and sensational headlines with little regard for truth.

My mother is a teacher in a government school, whereas I’m a senior teacher in one of the reputed private schools of Chandigarh and the difference between the two, in terms of child development and child care, is undisputable. Teachers in my mother’s school rarely take any personal interest in their children whereas I get pulled up if I don’t call up parents who have been absent for two PTM’s.

The most telling fact on the deplorable condition of government schools is that many teachers send their children to private schools especially for early education. So why are the misdemeanors of government schools not highlighted while the administration is ready to jump down the throats of private schools?

The main reason I feel is that there is a class difference between those studying in government schools and those in private schools. Barring a few, most government schools cater to a class of society that is economically not as sound as their private school counterparts. The teacher of my driver’s daughter tore her register and flung it at her face.

And the administration which cannot run its own schools properly is certainly not qualified to monitor private schools. Instead of training its guns at private schools, administration must increase the number of government schools which in terms of quality should be at par with private schools. In the USA only the very rich opt for a private school.

Roshnee Sharma

Dedicated staff at pvt schools

Missionary schools like St John’s have provided our children wholesome education imparted by a dedicated staff. My own son is an alumnus of this great school and passed out some 25 years ago. Things may have changed since then, but I very much doubt this considering the mad rush for admissions to this school, which was not so acute in those years. Obviously the school has, not without reason, developed an enviable reputation! How many bureaucrats, have their children, (including those of the ones gunning for St John’s now), studying in schools, which are run by the government?

KL Bhasin

Laws must be followed

“Show me the person and I will tell you the rules “, is an old quote, which goes well with the Chandigarh Administration i.e. “Show us the school and we will tell you the rules”. There is no fixed ideology/ rules. The controversy about promotion of pornography in St. John’s has been blown out of proportion, because complainant happens to be a PCS officer. It should have been settled /solved at the school level. In the extreme case if some individuals were suffering, matter should have been reported to the police with solid proof.

Chandgarh Administration sleeps over anomalies/ flouting of rules by the private schools run by influential persons/bodies. For example, a school in sector 15 C is being run in a building /land meant for ‘sarai’, ignoring all bye-laws, without sewerage/ water connection /occupation certificate and administration shuts its eyes. The school is not recognized by education department, but has managed affiliation with CBSE. The estate office should ensure strict implementation and follow up of land and building bye-laws etc.

This is not the isolated case. So many other institutions are flouting the rules in the name of being minority educational institute. Minority Institute status doesn’t give licence to make mockery of bye-laws pertaining to land, building, state administration and the board to which they are affiliated. The CBSE / ICSE boards should ensure that schools affiliated with them follow bye laws i.e. service condition of teachers, adherence to syllabi and welfare of students etc.

Er. B.P.S. Waraich

Arm twisting by officials

Why we are made to forget that the issue at St John’s is related to a teacher who had been provoking the children to visit adult sites and this should have been addressed as the primary issue by the school authorities. If some one suggests the administration to remain mute on the issue,then it would be too much to ask for. Allegation of arm twisting by the management of the schools by the officers of the administration seeking admission in them for their favoured also has no relevance. Arm twisting should be thwarted.

The school conducted the enquiry but did not complete it because the parents of the students allegedly did not cooperate in the matter of enquiry. That does not amount to denying enquiry by the education department or any other agency to conduct an independent probe. Since the administration has conducted an enquiry where in the parent of the child has also provided proofs against the teacher and there is an indictment against the teacher, so the school should further probe to satisfy itself on the basis of the facts enumerated in the enquiry. The enquiry does not pass judgment against the teacher or the school but bares the facts of the case.

Satish Chandra Sharma,Progressive Enclave, Chandigarh

Improve education

There are over hundred government schools and unlimited funds for these institute run by the education depart. Are these able to compare with the private schools. No, not necessarily. Instead of assessing the performance of private schools while sitting in AC rooms the authorities should come out and take steps to improve the education in government schools. By the way how many children of IAS,HCS and PCS and other officers are studying in government schools I am sure none of them will ever agree for a government school.

R K Garg Convener RTI Chandigarh

Chalk out fresh plans

It is estimated that there are 12 crore children going to 9.5 lakh government schools for which total annual budget outlay for 2008-09 was Rs.27, 850 crores. It works out to be Rs 2320 per annum per student expenses. Result of which is, single teacher schools, open air schools and less than 50 per cent pass results. World’s largest school feeding programme the Mid-day meal scheme is well known for it’s substandard food.

School holidays for IAS examinations, school children being taken to welcome VIPs and even to political meetings is a common thing for government schools.

It clearly shows that government has miserably failed to provide quality education in it’s schools, fresh plans should be chalked out to streamline the education system.

Lissum Sharan Panchkula



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