C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Two more bodies found
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Even as two more bodies have been recovered from the dumping ground in Sector 31 here today, the UT administration’s rescue operation lacked meticulous planning. With the recovery of the bodies, the toll has touched nine.

The family of Sukan, a teenager, and Santosh, in his early 20s, who went missing during the disaster, alleged that the authorities called off the rescue operation ignoring their pleas.

“They did not listen to us and curtly told us to go home to find them, claiming that they had checked the entire site. We were sure that they were trapped in the drain and reached the accident site early in the morning. The police reached several hours later when it learnt that a large number of people were assembling here,” Sudar Lal, Sukan’s father, stated.

The body of Santosh was traced around 12.15 pm when it came into the bracket of a JCB machine. Sukan’s body was retrieved at 3 pm when water was removed from the drain.

Rescuers broke the drain following which the water in the line filled in the trench. A mound of earth caved in and fell into the drain blocking the flow of water. The authorities pressed into sewerage cleaning machines and fire engines for water suction, but it failed to yield the desired results.

Suction machines worked for several hours, but failed to reduce the water level. In the end, the authorities decided to remove the debris from the drain to allow the water to flow. Within minutes, the water level reduced and Sukan’s body was sighted. “The manner in which the rescue teams were working indicated that the authorities did not do their homework at night, believing that there were no more bodies at the site. They came ill prepared in the morning. The way various schemes were executed was enough to expose the disaster management strategy of the administration,” a resident said.

Yesterday, the rescuers were carrying on the operation while standing on the drain and senior officials had no idea what was underneath. It was only today that the MC said it was a storm water drain with a diameter of about 10 ft.

Three personnel of the administration’s civil defence wing — Om, Amrik Singh and Dhaminder Singh — went down the drain to retrieve and body of Sukan, but had a narrow escape when a mound of earth fell on them. Sanjeev Kohli, who was the first to check the drain, led the 25-member rescue team.

The ADC, PS Shergill, said the operation started at 8.30 am and after the recovery of the two bodies, the operation was called off.

Denying that the operation was called off last night, he maintained that it was only suspended due to poor visibility and to give rest to the rescuers.

The police and Home Guard volunteers tried to prevent the families of the victim from going to the site, and in the process, a woman bit one of them.

The SHO of the Sector 31 police station said the bodies of the nine victims had been handed over to the families after a postmortem. The truck driver was still absconding.

The UT administration today marked an inquiry to the ADC, PS Shergill, to find out the reasons behind the incident. He has been asked to submit the report within 15 days and also suggest remedial measures to prevent such incidents. 



Admn again found wanting in handling disaster
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
If the rescue operations at the site of yesterday’s tragedy at a Sector 31 dumping ground is anything to go by, the city’s disaster management plan continues to be one of the UT administration’s major weak points, with a wide gap between the plan’s noble intentions and their actual implementation.

Though senior officials including deputy commissioner Brijendra Singh and municipal corporation commissioner Roshan Sunkaria were quick to arrive at the scene, the rescue teams were seen virtually groping in the dark during the operation lasting two days.

In fact, the lack of coordination between administration and MC officials was glaringly apparent with both engaged in a blame game. The rescue operation virtually turned into one single handedly executed by the MC’s fire department with other agencies being mute spectators.

Interestingly, meetings of the state disaster management authority, which is headed by the UT adviser and was set up to “evaluate disaster preparedness for different types of calamities," are reportedly not being held at regular intervals.

That is perhaps the reason that prompted UT administrator SF Rodrigues today to order the senior officials to activate the disaster management teams to meet any kind of eventuality in case of accidents. He told them to arrange proper equipment, with trained manpower in specific fields to be available round the clock, to manage crisis-like situations in case of such accidents.

In fact, the office of the DC cum civil defence director, which had been entrusted with the responsibility of looking after all matters falling within the ambit of the UT’s disaster management department, gets into action only after mishaps occur.

The incidents of the Sector 22 fire tragedy (which left four people dead), a person drowning in the Dhanas nullah last year and the 2007 incident in which a shed in the Sector 26 grain market collapsed, leaving two people dead, are cases in point.

When contacted, Brijendra Singh refuted allegations of lack of coordination among various agencies, claiming all agencies involved in relief and rescue operations reached the spot within half an hour of receiving information. “Since this was a freaky accident the rescue operations were tailored to the requirements of 
this particular accident”, he added.

UT officials claimed in such kind of accidents nothing much could be done by rescue agencies as the digging of ‘malba’ and search for bodies 
had been conducted manually, which was "time-consuming".

The UT administration had come up with comprehensive ‘Chandigarh multi-hazard disaster management plan 2008’ "to optimally utilise men, materials and available resources to prevent loss of lives and minimise loss to property."

Children of a lesser God?

Though Chandigarh boasts of having the highest per capita income in the country, yet the death of nine ‘ragpickers’ while rummaging through debris in Sector 31 appears to be big slap on the face of the "revenue-surplus" city. In a way this brings the UT administration’s social welfare policies, which leaves the lower strata of society on the margin of development, under a scanner

UT plans special cell

Apparently wiser after the tragedy, the administration now plans to set up a special cell to deal with such types of emergencies. The cell would have all equipment needed for such calamities under one roof to be mobilised at short notice, sources said



Making a living off garbage dumps
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Unaware of the tragedy that snuffed out the lives of nine ragpickers at a trench in Sector 31 here yesterday, scores of others continue with their daily grind of collecting waste paper and scrap iron across the city. During a casual survey of various parts of the city today, the Tribune team found innocent children rummaging through nauseating garbage bins.

“I work at a scrap dealer’s shop in Kajheri during the day. In the evenings, he lends me his rehri, which I use to pick up ‘booty’ from dustbins. I compete with at least six children in my locality. I leave for work at 8 am and am back at 6 pm. I get Rs 1,500 a month which I send to my parents back home. To make some extra money, I work for some hours in the evening and make about Rs 50 everyday,” says Sonu, a 12-year-old who came here about six months ago from a village near Muzaffarpur in Bihar.

The story is not different for Vicky, Velkana and Dharmendra, all street children of the Sector 25 rehabilitation colony. The mother of a 10- year-old, says: “After school, my son takes a sack and a stick with a magnet to pick up iron scrap from roads and garbage dumps. We are not aware of any scheme for children because no official ever came here.”

Mahato, a 12-year-old, says: “After selling the scrap worth Rs 120, I would leave for a marriage function to be held in Mohali, where I will work with a contractor. There are six more children from our colony and we would arrange for lights and decorate the venue, besides working as waiters. I want to run away from the daily stench that I have to bear, only to find something that I can sell to a scrap dealer. The stench is nauseating and my body reeks of it even later.”

Official figures reveal that the rehabilitation scheme for ragpickers has not yielded the desired results. As per an official survey, approximately 250 ragpickers had been identified, out of whom 100 applied. A senior official conceded: “Not all ragpickers were listed in the survey because there were certain eligibility conditions which they did not meet.”

Shambhu Ram, a migrant, says: “I have been living in Sector 25 for over a decade. My teenaged son gathers scrap and makes some money. No one came to our colony to make any offer for a rehabilitation scheme.”

As a step towards providing prefab shelters to ragpickers, the Chandigarh administration had amended the Chandigarh Allotment of Prefab Shelters for the Rehabilitation of Ragpickers on License Basis Scheme - 2008. Under the new policy, all those below the age of 18 years, whose names figured in the survey conducted by the MC, were to be provided prefabricated shelters.

A senior official stated that “total rehabilitation” of ragpickers was a complex 
issue and needed greater deliberation.



Toothless MC - I
Councillors lack will to check encroachments
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The MC may constitute teams for encroachment drives every year, but it is powerless when it comes to any stringent action against violators. Reason: councillors have never supported the agenda of revised enforcement laws in the house, tabled several times.

Whenever the proposal was tabled, the councillors rejected the plea of the authorities that it would check the mushrooming of encroachments and suggested that MC officials devise some other ways to control encroachments in the city.

As per records of the enforcement department, every month, more than 100 challans are issued under a special drive or routine checking. Nevertheless, the picture of the encroachments in most areas remains the same as the maximum fine which the authorities could impose was only Rs 500.

As per the exiting enforcement law, an inspector could impose a maximum fine of Rs 500 and confiscate articles from the spot. The encroacher could pay the fine and get the articles released from the authorities. To top it, the councillors have the power to reduce even the challan amount in their areas.

There is no clause in law which allows strict action against stubborn encroachers. Officials have proposed several times that the fine should be increased to Rs 800 and action should be taken against incorrigible encroachers.

They also suggested it needed to formulate an action plan under which the MC should conduct joint drives with the traffic police and impose hefty fines on violators. A case could also be registered against them for misusing MC land. Instead, the councillors pleaded that as the encroachers belonged to the lower section of society, the fine should be reduced to Rs 100.

“What is the point of encroachment drives if encroachers pay the fine and are back?” a senior official remarked. 



H1N1 claims 3 more lives
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Three people, belonging to different parts of Punjab, who had been suffering from swine flu died in the city today. Meanwhile, five fresh cases have been reported including a nine-year-old student of Carmel Convent School who tested positive for the virus.

Two of the victims - Anju Bala, 45, from Hoshiarpur and Harbhajan Singh, 45, from Jalandhar died at PGI while the third victim - 35-year-old Varinder from Baltana - died at a private hospital, Oxford, in Sector 19.

According to UT nodal officer for swine flu HC Gera, all three had acute respiratory tract infections. “We have informed the nodal officers concerned for quarantining the victims’ family members,” he added.

Of the five new patients who tested positive, two are from Chandigarh, two from Ambala while one case is from Panchkula. According to Gera, a 54-year-old person was admitted to Mukat Hospital while a 32-year-old person was admitted to the isolation ward of GMCH-32. The Carmel Convent School student who also tested positive for the virus is a resident of Panchkula.

The onset of winter has heightened concern among the health authorities and it is the second onslaught of the H1N1 virus that they are now worried about. With the wedding season in full swing and the influx of NRIs into the city, officials have already pressed the alarm button.

In about 80 per cent of the swine flu cases detected in the city since May the patients were aged between 10 and 45 years. The total number of those affected has now reached 168. So far, three deaths have been recorded within the city’s municipal limits while nine died outside those limits or belonged to neighbouring towns and districts. 


Parking chaos outside DC office
Underground parking used for dumping records
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Apathy on the part of the Chandigarh administration and the municipal corporation has resulted in chaos in parking areas outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office and other government offices at the Town Hall Building in Sector 17 here.

Though there is an underground parking facility for the employees, most of them park their vehicles inside the corridors or on the roadside.

The underground parking lot is being used for dumping records of some branches. Cabins have been made in it. Officials concerned have locked the entry to the parking lot.

As a result of this, vehicles are parked on the road leading to the Deputy Commissioner’s office.

The situation worsens when police vehicles used for producing suspects in the court of the SDM Central are parked on the road.

Hundreds of visitors come to the estate office at the Town Hall Building and offices of the excise and taxation, science and technology, social welfare and election departments, the pollution control committee and the regional employment office and other offices at the Town Hall Extension Building everyday.

Due to the shortage of space, the corridors in front of the Town Hall Building are choked with two-wheelers of the employees and visitors.

Enquiries have revealed that about 1,000 vehicles are parked at the paid parking lots in the vicinity of the estate office everyday.

The traffic police has put up a no-parking board on the road, but in vain.



Water meters have a roadblock — Mayor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Ignoring the fact that the municipal corporation has been suffering a loss of more than Rs 25 crore annually due to non-metered water supply to slums and colonies, Mayor Kamlesh did not allow the agenda item of installation of water meters in those areas to be tabled during house meetings for the whole year.

As per records of the corporation, residents of villages and colonies had been paying flat rates of between Rs 200 and Rs 250 per month to the corporation for the supply of water.

The corporation had been receiving only Rs 45 crore from them, whereas it was incurring a cost of Rs 70 crore on maintenance and supply of water to these areas.

Officials said due to non-metered of water supply to villages and colonies, the department had not been able to recover the operational cost and maintenance charges.

They said had water meters been installed in these areas, consumers would have to pay between Rs 700 and Rs 800 per house, which would lessen the gap between expenditure and recovery cost.

In June last, the Finance and Contracts Committee had approved an agenda item to instal water meters in many areas, including Mauli Jagran, Vikas Nagar, Indira Colony, EWS houses, rehabilitation colonies, villages and Mani Majra and it was supposed to be tabled at the next house meeting.

As per the proposal, after the installation of meters in slum and colonies, consumers were required to pay installation charges in four equal instalments.

The total expenditure likely to be incurred would have been approximately Rs 1.5 crore, but till date, no such proposal had been tabled.

Kamlesh had objected to the proposal on the grounds that the residents of colonies, slums and villages had not been getting water supply.

A number of meetings had been held between MC officials and the Mayor to convince her that water supply would improve and there would be no water theft after metering.

The officials said they would approach the administration for forceful execution by the corporation if the Mayor did not allow them to take up this issue this time.

During a recent meeting of the JNNURM, officials of the corporation had been asked to instal water meters in the city and adjoining areas and rationalise water tariff for timely release of grants for ongoing projects under the JNNURM.



Zirakpur flyover opened to traffic
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 7
The flyover on the Ambala-Chandigarh national highway was opened to traffic this evening. However, the work on laying underground sewerage is still pending.

MC officials said the work on sewerage would be completed on Tuesday evening.

Vehicles moved at snail’s pace and commuters had a tough time crossing the stretch.

The officials claimed that out of the five sewerage pipes, three had been laid and the rest would be laid tomorrow. However, the flyover was open to traffic this evening.

The flyover was closed to traffic yesterday after the authorities got permission from the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to initiate work on laying of sewerage.



Clear handicapped quota backlog, orders HS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
No appointment should be made in any department until the backlog in quota for the handicapped is cleared by the departments and no promotion should be made till the quota fixed for the handicapped is achieved.

These directions were issued by the Home Secretary (HS) during a meeting of the departments convened to ensure that the departments cleared the backlog of the direct recruitment and promotions meant for handicapped persons. At the time of review, some departments informed that though they had a backlog of quota posts, no vacancy existed.

The Home Secretary stated that whenever any new vacancy arose, the same should be fulfilled from the category of handicapped persons and the backlog should be cleared first.

The Home Secretary said as per directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, qualifications could be relaxed for filling up vacancies of handicapped persons wherever needed.

He also directed the municipal corporation, CITCO and the transport, health and engineering departments to expedite the recruitment process as these departments had the maximum backlog. In case of the transport department, there was a backlog of 24 posts for recruitment and 11 for promotion.

The Home Secretary directed the transport director to recruit conductors who were handicapped, but visually sound, for new buses under the JNNURM.

All the departments were asked to give affidavits about the status of backlog, existing vacancies and steps taken by December 12.



Hypocrisy, perfidy brought to the fore
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, December 7
Leading by example as pioneering promoters of cultural renaissance,the Chandigarh administration, in collaboration with the Theatre for Theatre, offered a theatrical bonanza, the week-long Fifth Winter National Theatre Festival. The fest got off to an impressive start with the staging of the Hindi play ‘Chehray’ at the fully packed Tagore Theatre here today.

Written by Dr Shanker Shesh, the play is a powerful satire on the hypocrisy and perfidy ailing all strata of society. The brilliant theatrical treatment employed to unmask and juxtapose the conflict between the inner self and the public life of a man under the direction of thespian Sudesh Sharma deserves special applause.

The playwright has employed the element of contrast, which runs thoroughout the play, be it the unusual ambience of a cremation ground and a dead body awaiting funeral, stalled by torrential rain, or a Bollywood cheat exploiting a rural lass for a prosperous film career, or an opposition panchayat leader criticising the performing of rituals and ceremonies, or youngsters engaged in ‘antakakshari’.

As the sequences are enacted, true selves of the otherwise respected dignitaries are revealed, despite actors losing on energy levels and long-drawn repetitive dialogues, but the overall impact of social relevance is carried convincingly in the play.

Leading the cast were veteran film actor Parvesh Sethi (Bhavani) and retired sessions judge KK Doda (Sukh Lal), besides Ravinder Happy (Sahu), Bhupal Singh (Pandit) and Naresh Bhagat (Parmanand). All youngsters, especially Kapil Kalyan (Bollywood cheat) and Guneet were more agile, articulate and expressive.

The Hindi play ‘Salesman Ram Lal’, adaptation of Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’, declared the second best play of the 21st century, would be staged tomorrow.

Inaugurating the fest, KK Khandelwal lauded the administration for the transformation of a ‘pattharon ka shahar’ into a vibrating cultural hub. Ram Niwas and Rajbir Singh Deswal sat through the absorbing play.



Bandh evokes mixed response
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 7
Commercial establishments remained closed in response to a call given by Sikh bodies protesting against spiritual leader Ashutosh Maharaj from Divya Jyoti Sansthan here today.

Shops opened for some time initially but after a few hours, protesters forced the owners to close these.

The day-long bandh call given by radical Sikh organisations to protest against the killing of a demonstrator in alleged police firing in Ludhiana evoked a mixed response in different parts of the town.

A group of protesters led by JP Singh of the Kalgidhar Sewak Jatha submitted a memorandum to the ADC, Mohali, after they were stopped from leading a march from the Amb Sahib Gurdwara in Phase 8 here.

Police personnel had been deployed in various pockets of the district to ensure a peaceful bandh.

Ropar/Kharar: A day-long bandh call given by radical Sikh organisations to protest against the killing of a demonstrator in alleged police firing in Ludhiana evoked a mixed response in different parts of Ropar district.

While complete bandh was observed in areas of Anandpur Sahib, Ropar, Morinda, Chamkaur Sahib and Nangal evoked mixed response. The day passed off peacefully in most areas of the district.

At Anandpur Sahib, activists of various Sikh bodies burnt the effigies of Ashutosh Maharaj and Ludhiana (north) MLA Harish Bedi.

While government-run educational institutes, including schools and colleges remained open, private educational institute managements chose to keep their establishments closed. Thin attendance was witnessed at the government schools.

The bandh remained peaceful with no untoward incident being reporting from any part of the district.

A heavy deployment of police force was made in various pockets of the district to ensure a peaceful bandh.

The bandh was observed in response to a call given by Sikh bodies against religious leader Ashutosh Maharaj of Divya Jyoti Sansthan. 



Health centres for Sectors 66 to 69 sought
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 7
The Defence Accounts Pensioners’ Welfare Association has demanded the setting up of primary health centres in Sectors 66 to 69 and installation of security gates in the area to protect residents from criminal elements.

At a meeting of the association presided over by Jagtar Singh, president, it was pointed out that H1N1 influenza and dengue fever were spreading in the town and as such these sectors should be provided with health centres for the convenience of residents.

Also, there was an increase in the number of theft and snatching cases and steps had to be taken to provide adequate security to residents.

The municipal council was installing 39 security gates in various parts of the town except Sectors 66 to 69, which did not fall under the municipal limits. They urged the council authorities not to neglect their sectors.

General secretary HS Pasricha said the budget of the common man had gone haywire with a drastic rise in the price of essential commodities.

Let alone people belonging to the economically weaker sections, even middle class families were finding it difficult to make both ends meet.

The prices had spiralled even when there was no dearth of commodities in the market.

He said strong political will was required to check price rise but both the central and state governments had failed to act in this regard.

He said inflation was around 16 per cent and as such the government should be proactive in dealing with the abysmal situation by effectively monitoring the demand-supply mechanism.

There was a need for proper implementation of the Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act , 1980.

The association hailed the corrective measures adopted by the Home Secretary, Chandigarh, by activating flying squads to catch offenders.

It urged the Mohali and Panchkula authorities to take appropriate steps to address the problems of the common man.

The association hailed the decision of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority to clean the nullah passing through the town at a cost of Rs 1.85 crore before June, 2010.

Such a step would provide relief to over 50,000 residents from mosquitoes and foul smell.

The authorities concerned should take up the matter with the Chandigarh administration and prevent throwing of waste into the nullah.



GMADA identifies two sites
Relocation of mechanics 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 7
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has identified two sites, one in Sector 48 and another in Phase 6, for relocation of motor mechanics.

The sites have been selected for locating the mechanics along the border with Chandigarh.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of Regional Planning and Design Committee (RDP) of the GMADA here today.

The sites would be used to house motor mechanics and those dealing in auto spares in Phase 7 market.

The sites from where the motor mechanics were currently functioning in Phase 7 here were semi-industrial sites.

With the coming up of a residential area around the market, the residents had started protesting against the activity in the motor market.

Meanwhile, GMADA has also decided to commercially exploit 1.75 acres of land in Sector 61, adjoining the UT border. The issue was also discussed at the RDP meeting.



‘Reversing global warming will lead to extinction’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Reversing the process of global warming will result in the extinction of mankind, said Dr Ritesh Arya, a geologist, while talking to to the media here. The fear and hype surrounding the phenomenon was misleading, he claimed.

He contested the theory that gas emissions and other forms of pollution had been adding to global warming. Global warming was a natural process and had no relation to carbon dioxide emissions, he said. This process had been going on for centuries and it was not possible for human beings to reverse this, he added.

Dr Arya asserted that man is too small to have an impact on a global scale to bring about global warming. He said greenhouse gases were essential for survival. It was high time we learnr to enjoy global warming, he asserted.

Citing the example of the ancient Paleo glacial lake, that burst about 800 years ago, Dr Arya said the incident occurred when global warming was at its maximum and there was no large-scale manmade industrial pollution.

He said man could control pollution and he needed better technology, but in the case of global warming, the solution was in building sustainable habitats in geologically sound locations away from shores, away from rivers, away from banks and away from coasts.



Free eye check-up camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
At least 75 patients were screened for cataract operations during a free eye check-up camp organised by the Lions Club Chandigarh Greater at Karsan here yesterday.

In a press note, club secretary Sushil Kapoor said at least 260 patients were examined by a team of doctors from Government Medical College and 
Hospital, Sector 32.

He said that these patients had come from various parts of the city and adjoining areas of Panchkula, Zirakpur, Mohali, Kharar and Kurali.

The patients and their attendants were told the importance of eye care and the necessity of signing as eye donors by Dr Sabina. The club would bear all expenses for the patients undergoing cataract operations over the next three days.



PU Notes
Campaign on violence against women
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The department-cum-centre for women’s studies and development, Panjab University, carried out a chain of activities as a part of the 16-day campaign on violence against women on PU campus here today.

The campaign is being carried out all over the world by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership from November 25.

Under the leadership of Prof Rajesh Gill, chairperson and department faculty, research scholars and MA students of the department, supported by students of social work and sociology, took out a procession from their department to Student Centre. Slogans were raised and banners displayed by the students. They also enacted street plays highlighting the incidents of eve teasing and violence against girl students.

The department will be carrying out such sensitising campaigns beyond the campus, said Prof Rajesh Gill.

Flag day

On the occasion of Armed Forces Flag Day, students of the department of defense and national security studies, Panjab University, organised an awareness-cum-donation campaign.

The day is celebrated every year and the citizens of the country remember the sacrifices made by the armed forces and show their solidarity by wearing the token flags on their dresses and making voluntary financial contributions.

Dr Rakesh Datta, professor and chairman, department of defense and national security studies, PU said: “It is intended to honour the valiant and dead, to salute the veterans and brave and to enhance the traditional bonds of cooperation and support between the citizens of the country and the armed forces concerning rehabilitation of families of battle causalities, welfare of serving personnel and their families and resettlement and welfare of ex-servicemen and their families.”



PhD entrance test exemption opposed
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
In agreement with the earlier committee of VK Sibal, legal opinion sought by the Panjab University authorities in the controversial case of PhD candidate Vijay Dhanda has also stated that exemption given to the candidate is incorrect.

Senior advocate Anupam Gupta has opined that any relaxation or bending of rules to give exemption to the candidate from the entrance test will mean lowering the PhD degree benchmark.

He has also stated that the candidate has been teaching on a temporary basis and has never been a regular faculty with the university.

Hence, he cannot avail himself of exemption from appearing in the entrance examination as per rules laid down in the PU calendar.

While PU Fellows may have chosen to remain silent on the issue during Syndicate and Senate proceedings, the decision is bound raise questions from various quarters.

Neither PUTA nor the rotation group brought up the matter at yesterday’s Senate meeting, though members of the opposing group had raised a serious objection to the matter a day before the meeting and at the time of the Syndicate elections.

The dean university instructions had earlier cleared the file of this candidate in the absence of the Vice-Chancellor, but the issue had flared up when the Vice-Chancellor reportedly objected to not having been told about the matter when he returned.

PUTA had earlier issued a press note, saying files had a particular route and pointing to one person for the discrepancy would be unfair.



150 attend NSS camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
As many as 150 students participated in a seven-day NSS camp that was organised at Janta Colony by the NSS unit of PEC University of Technology from November 30 to December 6.

The motive of the camp was to sensitise the students about their responsibility towards the society and to “learn while fun” through group discussions, games, debates.

Programme coordinator Sushant Sameer gave an overview of NSS and its activities. Programme officer Dr Anju Singla guided all activities of the camp. Electrical department teacher Loveleen Kaur encouraged the students to participate.

AK Kapoor delivered a lecture on entrepreneurship during the course of the camp.

Students undertook various projects like cleanliness drive, organised parking in campus and teaching unprivileged students of high school.

On December 1, World AIDS Day was observed and students formed Red Ribbon Club. Students also directed and executed a street play at Janta Colony and Sukhna Lake focusing on the awareness about issues like AIDS awareness, domestic violence, cleanliness, etc.

Students also visited Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, Sector 15, wherein there was a lecture on meditation, concentration and selfless social service.

On the last day, Dr ML Gupta gave his felicitation and announced the best NSS volunteers of the camp.

Students shared their experiences suggesting future projects that could be undertaken.



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