C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Budget hotels hard to come by in city
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
With about a dozen major hotels under construction in the city, the lack of cheap hotel accommodation available to common visitors to the city has become all the more glaring. To make matters worse the railway budget accommodation project has failed to take off and the UT administration’s low-budget Park View hotel has been upgraded.

A random survey reveals at least 500 cheap rooms are available in ‘illegal’ hotel and motel ventures, particularly on the city’s periphery including in Burail and Kajehri, besides other places. Rooms here are available in the range of Rs 200-700 per day.

The Indian Railways’ long pending proposal to develop small budget accommodation has not taken concrete shape. Middle class businessmen and travellers with a modest budget avoid staying in city hotels where a room costs nothing less than Rs 1,200 a night on an average.

Even the two hotels run by the administration that were originally meant for low budget travellers - Shivalik View in Sector 17 and Park View in Sector 24 - have been upgraded into a higher budget bracket.

Said Sumit Sharma, a student of Banaras University: “I came to Panjab University for an academic visit. None of the hotels I visited in various parts of the city suited my pocket except this small dark room in Burail”.

According to available data, at present there approximately 1,100 rooms in the city’s existing hotels, of which less than 30 have been approved by the government. The major hotels include The Taj, Mountview, Shivalik View, Aroma and Piccadilly. Most of the comparatively lower budget hotels are located in Sectors 35, 22 and 34.

“The impact of the economic slowdown has been reflected in the slow pace of construction of hotels in the city. The occupancy rate of about 70 per cent in the leading hotels shows accommodation is readily available in the existing hotels. The number of new entrants in the industry has been an interesting development”, said AK Malhotra, general manager of CITCO (tourism).

In the wake of traffic congestion and the decreasing amount of land available in the city, the industrial area has become the latest hotel destination. As almost all major projects are coming up near the airport and the train station, these ensure easier access to visitors.

Though cheaper accommodation is available in various ‘bhavans’ scattered all over the city, these do not fulfill the requirement leading to a rush for cheaper motels located on the periphery.

Some of the major hotel projects coming up in Industrial Area include the Lalit Chandigarh, Phase II (250 rooms); Sheraton, Phase II (160 rooms); KLG, Phase II (70-80 rooms); Adarsh, Phase II (40 rooms); Sarovar, Phase I (120 rooms) and Rakeshwari (60-80 rooms). The other important projects include the James Plaza, Sector 17 (100 rooms) and Marriot in Sector 35 (100 rooms).

Said MPS Chawla, a municipal councilor: “Quite expectedly the hotel industry will eventually shift to the city’s industrial area due to the rapidly growing congestion in the city. The new venues are expected to draw a heavy rush of guests, particularly in light of easier access to the railway station as well as the international airport being set up by the administration in collaboration with the Punjab and Haryana governments”.



2 city residents die of swine flu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The city recorded two swine flu deaths after a class IX student from Kanya Vedic Girls Senior Secondary School, Mani Majra, and a 27-year-old woman fell prey to the deadly H1N1 virus. With this, the total number of deaths in the tricity due to the H1N1 influenza has reached eight.

Earlier, the six patients of swine flu who died in different hospitals of the tricity belonged to Panchkula and areas of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

According to the UT Health Department, Rani (16), a resident of Mani Majra, was brought to the PGI in a critical condition on November 29. The PGI doctors took throat swab samples immediately after her arrival but before reports confirming that samples were swine flu positive, she died.

“Five members of the victim’s family have since been quarantined and given treatment and the class IX has been suspended for a week,” informed UT health officials.

The other victim is Ganga (27), who was working as a maid in Panjab University and belongs to Kanpur. “Her throat swab sample was collected on November 28 and she died at the GMCH-32 on December 1,” said health officials.

"We tried to do everything possible once her throat swab sample report confirmed swine flu on November 29. We tried a double dose of Tamiflu too, but she did not respond to treatment," health officials said, adding that the woman came to hospital in a critical condition.

Meanwhile, Secretary Health, UT, Chandigarh, expressed concern over the increase in the number of positive cases, which are being reported from different schools. It has been emphasised that the school authorities should strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Health Department for ensuring adequate screening of the students reporting in schools.

The UT Nodal Officer for swine flu informed that one more private hospital, Chataniya Hospital Sector 44, will be roped in for the H1N1 sample collection, as this is the only children’s hospital in the city. This will be an additional help for the administration to give timely treatment to the children suffering from flu-like illness.

So far, 565 suspected cases of swine flu have been detected. Out of this, 156 cases have been confirmed for swine flu, out of which 48 cases were reported from schools.

2 cases of swine flu were confirmed from Panchkula also



Prof’s family to be kept in isolation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
In a late evening development, Panjab University Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti issued a circular, informing the death of maidservant of Prof Anil Raina of the Department of English due to swine flu.

Consequently, he ordered that the entire family of Professor Raina be kept under isolation. As a precautionary measure, Prof Raina would also proceed on leave, stated the circular.



Car bazaar to be shifted to Hallo Majra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
A piece of around 5 acres in Hallo Majra has been earmarked for shifting the Sunday Car bazaar from Sector 7 here.

This was decided at a meeting held today under the chairmanship of UT Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar. The decision was taken by the UT Administration after deliberations with the councillors, representatives of the Chandigarh Car Dealers Association and officials of the municipal corporation.

The Finance Secretary said the current space in Sector 7, being utilised for car bazaar was approximately 3 acres and keeping in view the future demands, a bigger chunk of land had been earmarked for its shifting. The land would soon be released to the MC for setting up of the necessary infrastructure required for the car bazaar, including pavements, toilets etc. The MC has been given three months for developing the site.

A decision to shift the car bazaar from its original location on the Madhya Marg was taken about two months ago after persistent demand of the Sector 7 traders and residents who complained about inconvenience being caused to their customers and families.

Till the earmarked site in Hallo Majra is developed for the shifting of the car bazaar, the bazaar will continue to be organised in Sector 7. The site once developed will be used as normal parking of trucks, buses etc for rest of the days.

Prior to it, the city’s car bazaar was shifted to the Industrial Area but due to inadequate space, it was brought back to Sector 7.



Poaching Case
Chargesheet filed against ex-shooter GS Sandhu
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
After Bollywood stars, poaching seems to have spelt trouble for the father of world trap-shooting champion, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, GS Sandhu, as the CBI, after a three-year-long investigation, finally filed a chargesheet in a poaching case against the latter.

It was after a series of investigations and inquiry reports that the complaint was formally given today by MPS Sinha, DSP, CBI, New Delhi, through special CBI public prosecutor Pawan Dogra in the CBI court of J Sidhu.

The chargesheet has been filed under Section 49/51 of the Wildlife Protection Act after all recovered articles, which were sent to the Wildlife Institute, Dehradun, for scrutiny, confirmed the genuineness of the recovery.

It may be recalled that it was during a CBI raid at the Sector 39 flat, allotted to Gurbir Singh Sandhu by the then Sangrur MLA and arms dealer, Arvind Khanna, in October 2006, that the CBI had found evidence of poached wildlife items.

About 151 photographs of Manavjit and his father Gurbir, posing with arms and the kill, were recovered from the flat. A team of forest officials had seized the photographs, 12 rolls of negatives, 33 wild boar tusks and a pair of sambar horns. The investigation was handed over to Chandigarh Wildlife Department.

During the investigation, it was found the wildlife animals covered under Schedule I such as leopard, black buck and bison, and Schedule III animals such as wild boars shown in the pictures are mainly found in the southern parts of the country.

In fact, under the 2003 immunity scheme of the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests, GS Sandhu had declared a total of about 25 articles, including wild boar tusks, sambar antler pair, mounted wild boar head etc.

An all-India ban on hunting was imposed in 1991-92 and any hunting undertaken since then could only have been under a special permit for killing either wild-animals-declared-vermin or man-eaters.

It was in 2008, almost a year after the Chandigarh Forest Department inquiry report found him guilty of poaching, that the CBI had accepted the case for investigation.

In November 2007, the UT administration had recommended the case for investigation to the CBI, Delhi, after the preliminary report submitted to the UT Forest Secretary by the inquiry officer (UT Wildlife Warden) found Manavjit and his father Gurbir Singh Sandhu, a former international trap-shooter, guilty of killing Schedule I and Schedule III wild animals. However, the chargesheet doesn’t mention the name of Manavjeet.


When accidental death case went awry
Four-and-half-year-old Krish was knocked down by a car on Nov 7

Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Blame it on the ignorance of the family or the negligence on the part of the authorities concerned, a case of road accident death registered today after a lapse of almost a month has apparently lost sheen.

Four-and-a-half-year-old Krish Gupta of Sector 32 was allegedly knocked down by a recklessly driven Hyundai I20 car (CH-04-J 3050) on the road dividing Sectors 31 and 32 on November 7. Krish reportedly suffered multiple injuries on his body and fractured his skull in the mishap.

The car driver, Ashwani Dingra, a resident of Sector 50, rushed him to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital in his vehicle. Krish, however, died the next day during treatment. He was a UKG student of the Air Force School in 3BRD.

The family, out of ignorance or in good faith, did not ask anyone to make a medico-legal case of the injured child. In the process, the police was not informed about the mishap and death of the child. Further complicating the case, the family took away the body and later cremated it without the post-mortem examination.

The victim’s father, Sanjeev Gupta, said Dingra went away after admitting his son to the hospital and he remained busy attending to his son. “I was in a state of shock after the untimely demise of my son and could not inform the police about the accident. One Parminder Singh of Phase X, Mohali, was an eyewitness to the mishap,” Gupta told the police.

Realising his fault, Gupta lodged a complaint on public window at the police headquarters in Sector 9 on November 12. Assistant sub-inspector Harjinder Singh from the Sector 31 police station recorded his statement on November 17 and verified the facts before registering a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving against Dingra.

Sources in the police said the delay would adversely affect the case. In the absence of any post-mortem report, it would be difficult to ascertain the exact cause of death. Moreover, the spot inspection of the accident scene has also lost its meaning after such a long gap. The mechanical examination of the car would also turn out to be a futile exercise since the car owner might have got the car repaired by now.

The police said it would be difficult to investigate the case and to take it to a logical conclusion. The police, however, said the statement of the eyewitness would be recorded to try to reconstruct the scene. The family had failed to report the matter soon after the accident took place, which resulted in complication, the police added.



Water Woes
Forum seeks separate pipeline for Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 2
The Citizen’s Welfare and Development Forum has demanded that a separate pipeline from Kajauli waterworks to Mohali be laid to meet water shortage in the town.

The forum pointed out at a meeting held here that Mohali was getting only a small share of water out of the four pipelines coming from Kajauli waterworks to Chandigarh.

Chandigarh had agreed to give only five million gallons a day (mgd) of water from the fifth and sixth pipelines that were yet to be laid. Forum demanded that efforts should be for a separate pipeline for Mohali or to get the share raised from five mgd to 10 mgd.

The forum also demanded that a hike in power tariff should be withdrawn and said the Punjab State Electricity Board, which was installing power meters out, should take the responsibility of these meters and in case of any fault due to rain or any other reason, it should be replaced without taking any money from residents.

Streetlights on roads leading from Phase XI to Balongi and PTL Chowk, PCL Chowk to Sector 71 were switched off before 6 am, causing inconvenience, especially to girls while going to their work places.

The forum said dispensaries, schools and community centres should be constructed in areas like Sector 66 onward. Mohali, Phase I, was about 40 years old and still had no community centre. Residents could not depend on Phase VI or Phase II for social functions.

Sanitation in the town was in a state of neglect and to bring about an improvement in the working of safai sewaks, a certificate should be taken from welfare organisations before payments were made to contractors.

The forum also demanded that a sewerage treatment should be made functional soon, a local bus service should be started in the town to save residents from being cheated by auto-rickshaw owners and unauthorised colonies should also be removed by concerned authorities.



Rs 80 cr for medical devices’ centres
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Ashok Kumar Mohali, December 2
The Central government, through the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, is investing Rs 80 crore in setting up high-end national centres for medical devices at Ahmedabad and Gujarat to boost the technical support to the growing medical devices’ industry in the country.

To be set up on 114 acres, the Centre would provide common facilities apart from doing R&D in the medical devices sector. Being 50 per cent stakeholder in the project being set up in collaboration with the Gujarat government, the Centre would also offer testing facility to private players, said Ashok Kumar, secretary, DoP, while on a visit to the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) here. A multi-national investor was in talks with the DoP to invest in the project.

Such centers would also be set up in Chennai and Andhra Pradesh. The secretary said a pre-feasibility report on the project being prepared by a consultant firm had indicated the market of medical devices was worth Rs 12,000 crore and it would grow at 15 per cent annually for the next few years.

Presently, a large number of devices like cardiovascular and neurological products, opthalmological implants, orthopaedic appliances, prosthetics and other equipments are imported at a high cost.

The Centre would enable the government and industry to provide cheaper devices. Besides, the model of unbranded drug stores (jan aushadhi centers) was being replicated elsewhere in the country. Giving details, the secretary said after Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh; Rajasthan, Delhi and Orissa was following the suit. The Rajasthan government had handing over the work to cooperative federation. The secretary, who had recently visited northern cities to see the success of the model, said the number of unbranded drugs was being increased from present 228 to 300. And 100 another new unbranded generic medicines were being added.“Our target is to have one such store in every district in the country. By 2012, the Pan India would be covered,” added the secretary.



TB claims over 2 million lives annually: Experts
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 2
Tuberculosis (TB) infects approximately 32 per cent of the world’s population and kills over 2 million people annually.

Ashok Kumar, secretary, department of pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, who was at NIPER, Mohali, to participate in a three-day seminar on “Emerging trends in the diagnosis and experimental chemotherapy of tuberculosis”, said the emergence of multi-drug resistant strains of M tuberculosis and the apparent synergy between the human immunodeficiency virus and TB are the burgeoning dreaded dimensions of human TB.

India is the highest TB burden country in the world and for 2008, the prevalence of TB has been estimated to be 3.8 million cases.

The seminar was being organised in collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health, USA.

Sharing facts about TB, he said everyday, more than 5,000 people develop TB and nearly 1,000 people die, resulting in two deaths every three minutes. In India, TB exacts a devastating social cost, more than 3,00, 000 children abstain school because their parents suffer from TB, and more than 1,00,000 women with TB are rejected by their families.

For morbidity alone, the estimated annual direct and indirect cost of TB to India stands at US $ 3 billion. Most of the presently available drugs for the treatment of TB are nearly 50 years old and, unfortunately, no new anti-TB drug has been introduced in the market over last more than 30 years.

He added that NIPER had a total of 94 research papers are published, 5 patents filed, 1 data base has been created in the area of TB.

Presenting Key note speech on ‘importance of tuberculosis research’, Prof, Barry Bloom, Harvard School of Public Health, USA said that, currently 2.5 Billion People Infected with TBM, 10 per cent will develop disease over a lifetime, 15-33 per cent of AIDS patients die of TB and case fatality rate of untreated TB is 50 per cent. Eight per cent of global TB is in 22 high burden countries, India is the highest TB burden country and it was equal to one fifth of all TB. He added that India has made significant progress since 1993.

Earlier Prof. P. Rama Rao, Director, NIPER welcomed the guests and participants. He said that NIPER has been awarded an Indo-European Union (FP7) collaborative project “New Approaches to Target Tuberculosis”. He added that NIPER is actively involved in bio-availability, absorption, permeability and metabolic studies of existing anti-TB drugs. Extensive work on Fixed Dose Combination (FDC) products has been carried out at NIPER by WHO approved protocols. Arun Jha, Joint Secretary, Dept. of Pharmaceuticals, also spoke on the occasion.

About 13 invited speakers from USA and India will deliver invited talks on the various areas of TB for more than 50 participants, who are attending the workshop.



Recovery rate of vehicles poor
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
If your vehicle is stolen from the city, just think its gone for good.

Of the total number of vehicles stolen from the city, only five per cent have been recovered till now.

The record available with the Chandigarh police reveals that out of the 955 vehicles stolen from the city till October 31 this year, only 53 have been recovered from the accused arrested in motor vehicle theft cases.

Even if the vehicle is insured, one has to make several rounds of the police stations and courts to claim the loss from the insurance company. “Getting a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the police and then getting it accepted by the court and the insurance company is an ordeal in itself, which one realises soon after loosing his vehicle,” said a city resident, who hasn’t got an NOC for the past four months.

Though the police is contemplating over several proposals, including sealing of sectors during nights, yet the ever increasing number of vehicles stolen from the city are giving them sleepless nights. Claims of the local police of having a “high” rate of recovery of the stolen vehicles seems to fall flat, as a number of persons, who never got back their stolen vehicles, is far higher in the city.

A perusal of figures available indicated that the recovery of the stolen vehicles is far less in the city. In all, the local police has recovered 165 vehicles till October 31, this year. The number included the vehicle lying unclaimed in the city, which the police took into its possession.

Statistics hint that motorcycles top the priority of thieves, followed by the cars. As many as 409 motorcycles have been stolen from the city, ensued by 303 cars, 128 scooters and 86 jeeps. Interestingly, till October 31, five trucks have been stolen from the city, against one in the corresponding period.

Even if a stolen vehicle is recovered, there is a long and tedious process involved in getting it back. Involvement of any vehicle in some crime haunts the owner thereafter.



Society opposes continuation of Rodrigues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The executive body of the Mani Majra Farmers’ Welfare and Environment Protection Society met today to finalise the details pertaining to the signature campaign planned by various civil society groups of the city highlighting “anguish and pain” of citizens at the continuation of UT Administrator SF Rodrigues.

The society said the Administrator, who is facing the CVC and the CBI probe, was continuing in his office even after his term had ended on November 16. The society also demand strict action against all the errant and corrupt officers of UT administration.

The society discussed the issue pertaining to the scrapping of the Film City project. The society questioned as to how the set of officials of the Chandigarh administration who were defending the mega projects like the Film City, the Amusement Park, the IT Park and the Medicity by issuing clarifications through paid advertisement campaigns in various newspapers some months back, had now decided to scrap the project.

President of the society HS Johl said the CVC and the CBI probe into the Film City project and other projects was now forcing the officials to these projects as they fear that detailed investigations by these agencies would fix the responsibility of the officials and would expose their “misdeeds” and “wrongdoings”.



Comedy plays mark cultural programme
Our Correspondent

A child artiste performs at the Bol Punjab de held at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16, Chandigarh
A child artiste performs at the Bol Punjab de held at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16, Chandigarh on Wednesday. Photo: S. Chandan

Chandigarh, December 2
The Punjab Secretariat Cultural Society presented the 14th edition of their annual cultural programme titled, “Bol Punjab De”, at the Randhawa Auditorium here today.

The participating amateur artistes included either employees of the Punjab Civil Secretariat or their progeny.

The programme commenced with invocatory recitals of a shabad by Neeraj Sharma and Ganesh Vandana by Baby Arzoo before the vibrant Punjabi folk singers and dancers filled the stage with an action song “Asaan nachna”.

A comedy play, “Vande Matram”, written by Raman Mittal brought some seriousness and laughter with stray brilliance under the direction of Raman Mittal.

Film artistes Rupinder Rupi, Arshdeep, Gurdip, Jassi and Daljit were convincing.

After another captivating comedy play, “Vauhati kadon aavegi”, directed by Jarnail Hoshiarpuri, the female artistes presented a giddha to the admiration of their colleagues and family members.

The programme concluded with a thrilling bhangra performance by the employees.

Chief guest Such Singh Langah, cabinet minister, Punjab, encouraged the artistes and announced a monetary grant to the society.



Play on AIDS awareness
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, December 2
Realising it as a social responsibility to debate issues related to social and community relevance in public, artistes of Citi Entertainment Network repeated their 15th show on AIDS awareness.

The popular street play originally titled “AIDS in City” penned by Sumer Singh was staged in a new avatar as “Zara Bachke Ji” at the Sector 17 Plaza here yesterday under the direction of Gaurav Sharma.

The comedy play not only created awareness about the killer disease but also negated many misgivings about it.

The eunuch claiming to have contracted AIDS after having bitten by a stray dog and the greedy policemen tracing the master of the dog, who initially mistaken to be a pet of their boss and later a stray dog provided crisp entertainment. Mukesh, Abhimanu, Padam and Jasbir played main roles. Director Gaurav Sharma explained more details and preventive measures to avoid interacting the deadly disease before and after the show.



Employees’ body protests banning of rallies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Members of the Punjab Mulazim Sangharsh Committee today held a protest against the summons sent by the Chandigarh Police regarding the rally they had organised in Sector 34.

The representatives of the protesting employees said the police had sent summon saying that they had organised a protest in Sector 34 on November 27 without seeking permission.

The employee leaders said they had decided to send a written reply to the police to inform that they had conducted a peaceful protest that day. Besides, they would also take up the issue of banning peaceful rallies in the city, which was a direct attack on the democratic rights of the employees unions.

The leaders said they would also rope in others organisations to highlight the issue.



Beopar mandal awards announced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) today announced awards for the markets maintaining best cleanliness and parking arrangements.

While Sector 17-E (from Sagar Ratna to Leons) and Sector 17-C (SCOs rows of Kapsons) were awarded for cleanliness and free pedestrian flow, the Sector 9 market bagged the prize for best landscaping, president of the CBM Charanjiv Singh said here today.

The Sector 22 market (Jewellers market), Sector 19 (Manchanda block), Sector 19 (Apollo Studio block), the Sector 17 market and the Sector 46 market were awarded for systematic parking.

Meanwhile, Kapsons was given award for excellence in trade (first prize) while Sindhi Sweets and Hot Millions got the second prize in this category.

A jury comprising TC Gupta, former IAS officer, and Krishanjit Singh, selected the winners.

The award ceremony will be held at Hotel Taj here on December 4 where the UT Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar will be the chief guest.



Schoolboy declared ‘fit’ days before testing H1N1 positive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The practice of procuring bogus medical certificates for various purposes, including applying for leave, appears to have percolated to even the city’s private schools that have asked their students to produce anti-swine flu fitness certificates.

This precautionary measure adopted by various institutions has now come under the scanner after a schoolboy was able to obtain such a certificate deeming him fit from none other than a PGI doctor, days before he tested positive for H1N1 influenza.

The startling revelation was made in a letter by UT health secretary Ram Niwas addressed to the PGI director PGI, highlighting the case of a six-year-old student of St John’s, Aarush, who tested positive for the virus despite being issued a ‘fitness certificate’ by a doctor at the prestigious institute’s Advanced Paediatrics Centre.

The letter, which requested the PGI director to mark a full-fledged inquiry against the doctor for issuing a fake certificate, said: “The certificate issued to the schoolboy by a PGI doctor stated the student was fit to attend school, whereas the boy later tested positive for swine flu on the basis of a test conducted by the PGI’s virology department. This act on the part of the doctor in issuing the ‘fitness certificate’ should be viewed seriously and an inquiry should be marked, the report of which should be submitted to the health secretary for further action”.

According to sources, the concerned doctor had issued the certificate without even checking the boy, whose father happens to be a PGI employee.

Meanwhile, the incident has given a serious jolt to several private schools that had recently decided to demand such certificates from students, without seeking any approval from the education or health department.

“We did receive many complaints from students’ parents who claimed the measure to be nothing else but harassment. These schools, which collect so much money for their health funds, should have got one doctor to screen all kids. Moreover, according to regulations every school is required to have a medically trained professional inhouse at all times. We will very soon begin checking the use of money collected for health funds and schools found indulging in irregularities will be dealt with seriously”, said a senior official.



PU to award medals after colleges give verification
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
In a crucial decision taken by the Panjab University authorities today, submitting verification of the candidates who participate in any sports or cultural event in the university will now become mandatory for the colleges concerned.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the annual athletics meet on the campus today, Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti said “increasing professionalism” to succeed in inter-college competitions was marring the quality and purpose of such events.

Consequently, the students who were representing their colleges in any event would have to be confirmed by the respective colleges and they would sit in the college of the university examinations.

“Even in the ongoing sports meet, the medals of the students will be in the university’s possession till the time we receive verification or affidavit by the respective colleges notifying that they are the students of the college and the university,” said Sobti.

The announcement comes in the wake of the discrepancy found in the issue of forging identities by a few students of GGN Khalsa College, Ludhaina, who performed in the youth festival of another university.

These students were later found enrolled in both universities and had performed in the bhangra team of both universities.

The case was brought to light when some other participant’s complained to Punjab Technical University (PTU) that these students had participated in both PU and PTU Inter-Zonal festivals and had won the first prize in both.

Later, all eight students of the bhangra team gave affidavits to the PTU, stating they were students of their university and not the PU.



Student’s Confinement Case
Clean chit to school
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
The Panchkula police after conducting an inquiry has issued clean chit to St Xavier Primary School, Sector 20, over alleged confinement of Namrata, a student of KG, in the classroom.

SP Manish Chaudhary said the police did not find anything, which could prove that teachers confined Namrata in the classroom.

It was on November 20 when the parents of Namrata alleged that the teachers of the school did not let her leave the classroom when the school was over.

Namrata’s mother Nisha told she did not turn up at the school’s gate even when all other schoolchildren had left for home.

When she went to her classroom, she found that Namrata was made to sit in the classroom alone after being told she could go only after she deposited Rs 80 as the annual function charges.

Namrata’s father Naresh said he refused to pay Rs 80, as she would not attend the function.

Taking cognizance of the reports appeared in the media, SP Manish Chaudhary had asked DSP Rajesh Kalia to conduct an inquiry into the matter.



Dance, mime mark annual function
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
New India Senior Secondary School celebrated its annual function at Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, Chandigarh, yesterday.

The function started with the vandana.

Tiny tots of nursery and pre-nursery performed a dance.

“Ja Re Natkhat” and a couple dance of primary classes stole the show.

DK Bansal, MLA, was the chief guest on the occasion. Principal of the school Sharda Gupta welcomed the gathering and threw light on important events and achievements of the school. Some theme-based items, including “Tota-Tota” on world peace, mime on female foeticide and “Jawan HoYarron” on bonded labour mesmerised audience.


Students of The Gurukul interacted with Jenny Valentine, a British children's novelist and one of the eminent writers in the UK.

Her first novel “Finding Violet Park” was published in 2007 and won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. The novel was also shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. Her latest novels are “The Ant Colony” and “Iggy and Me”.



Rs 28 cr for Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
In order to revamp the existing facet of Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA), the UT administration has decided to spend around Rs 28 crore in this financial year.

Elaborating upon the break up of the fund utilisation, home secretary Ram Niwas said an amount of Rs 2.22 crore would be spent on the AIE centres and free textbooks would be provided to the students to the tune of Rs 1.25 crore.

Similarly, Rs 53.48 lakh would be kept for the students with special needs.

Around 136 new classrooms will be constructed in various schools with two smart classrooms to be started on pilot basis.

The department is also in the process of recruiting 200 contract teachers under the SSA to meet the requirement of teaching staff in various educational institutions of the city.

It was also decided to provide facility of maternity leave to the female employees under the SSA.



Yadavindra alumni meet on Dec 5
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The Aitchison Yadavindra Old Students association (AYOSA), Chandigarh chapter, will organise a get-together on December 5.

An inter-house golf tournament will be held in the morning on the same day. It will be sponsored by an “old Yadavindrian” (OY) from Bhagat Motors, Patiala. General secretary of the association Jaspal Sekhon said more than 40 players would take part in the tournament.

In the evening, a dinner would be organised at the North Park, Panchkula. Prominent personalities like NPS Aulakh, DGP (NSG), Amarjot Singh Gill, DGP (CRPF), Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP, Vijay Inder Singla, MP, and a number of bureaucrats, professionals and sportsmen would be honoured by Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal (an OY) on the occasion. Alumni from overseas have already started arriving for the function.



Teachers complain staff crunch
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA), in a press release issued here today, said teachers were over-burdened due to workload and staff crunch.

Following a survey by PUTA, despite addition of new courses, there is a depletion of faculty in the ranks of university. PUTA general secretary said during the past few years, courses offered had doubled in some departments, while the faculty strength had depleted by half.

He said despite reminder by PUTA, the gap between the sanctioned posts and the regular faculty was widening.



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