C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT remains blind to e-waste disposal
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Definitely among the top per capita information technology users in the country, Chandigarh remains blind to e-waste disposal. With lakhs of computer terminals, mobile phones and associated accessories in the market and an equal number, if not more, discarded material, it has not earmarked any solution to the problem looking straight into our face.

Keeping in mind the pace of the changing technology, a significant portion of the existing hardware sets are outdated.

A large number lies dumped in back offices of schools, colleges, university, government departments, hospitals and business set-ups.

The machinery at the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Information Technology Park will definitely be among the top takers for the e-waste disposal facility in the city.

Allowing the IT industry in the Industrial Area will be another big addition to the specific waste, in the near future.

Life without gadgets is unthinkable and the need for its scientific disposal is natural. A sight of the e-waste, lying untreated, can be witnessed at ‘kabari’ shops in Dadu Majra.

The waste includes computer monitors and electronic products for telecommunications, data processing and entertainment.

The e-waste also includes electrical and electronic waste. While simplifying our problems, it is adding a different kind of a lesser addressed problem for a safe future.

Old and useless electronic items are largely not biodegradable. These are largely collected by the scrap dealers. More disturbingly, the waste material in this category consists of zinc batteries, nickel metal hydride, silver oxide, carbon and zinc, besides others.

It is also felt that land filling is not the correct method for e-waste disposal. The dumped chemicals are a threat to soil and underground water.

Careless breaking or recycling can result in harmful side effects for soil, air and underground water.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, MS Brar, Director, Information Technology, said, “The IT park does not pose any threat of any major e-waste because this one is largely a software industry. At the same time, e-waste disposal is a big question for the future. I have asked officers with me to give me feedback on the overall perspective of the IT industry, and in the city in particular. We plan to work out a data report for a correct action plan shortly and forward it to the wings concerned in the administration.”



CHB auction flop show
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
The auction of commercial property by the Chandigarh Housing Board(CHB) turned out to be a flop show here today. Of the 23 booths in Sectors 38 (West), 49-B and 51-A, there were bidders for only one booth in Sector 38 (West).

However, that bid was also withdrawn as the price of Rs 33.32 lakh as against a reserve price of Rs 33.28 lakh did not “come to the expectations” of the board.

Meanwhile, Satpal, who bid for Rs 33.32 lakh criticised the CHB for withdrawing the booth when more than three bidders were available. If the board expected more than Rs 33.32 lakh for the booth, it should have raised the reserve price, he complained.



Teachers’ Selection
Result without merit, waiting lists
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
The education department’s act of “evading” the declaration of merit and waiting list with regard to the recruitment of teachers has raised many an eyebrow.

In an unprecedented move, the department has displayed the list of successful candidates in various categories, but is reportedly clueless on the merit details and has even failed to declare any waiting list for reasons best known to the officials concerned.

The department had selected various subject teachers based on the score of the candidate in the written test conducted by an external agency and interviews held by the administration. Following this, the list of selected candidates was displayed on the Net, but trouble began when people started approaching the department to enquire about their merit and waiting list.

“It is against norms. Every department declares the rank list, besides a waiting list. When I went to ask the department officials about my position on the waiting list, they told me no such list had been made.” one of the candidates claimed.

“As per norms, a waiting list is always declared with the result. What if some people don’t join? How will those posts be filled? Will the posts be advertised again to make more money? We had expected transparency after the recruitment scam,” another candidate stated.

When people sort the information under the RTI Act, the department passed the buck to the external agency, saying that the record was lying with it. When a similar RTI was filed with the agency, it forwarded it to the education department, informing the candidates that only the administration could answer their queries.

Candidates are wondering what stopped the department from getting the records even after two months of the declaration of the results. Also, the department has not given the status for quota seats and whether these have been filled.

HS makes frantic calls

Initially, Home Secretary Ram Niwas claimed that the merit list was in the agency’s computers and the waiting list would be released only if any post remained vacant. This was followed by another call saying that the detailed merit list and the waiting list would be available within a week, but within minutes, he called again to say that the department was in possession of a sealed packet with all the details, which would be made public tomorrow



Non-LPG autos can’t ply after March 31
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Non-LPG autorickshaws would not be allowed to ply on the city roads after March 31. This was stated by Home Secretary Ram Niwas after a meeting to review the progress of the conversion of non-LPG rickshaws into LPG autorickshaws.

The Home Secretary said financial assistance had been arranged from the Delhi Financial Corporation and other institutions for the purchase of LPG autorickshaws. Till date, 2,820 permissions had been granted for the purchase of LPG autorickshaws, out of which 1,900 LPG autorickshaws had already started plying.

He said autorickshaws from Panchkula and Mohali must be converted or replaced with LPG and had to be countersigned from the Secretary, State Transport Authority, Chandigarh, before March 31. After this date, no countersigning or permission would be given to any autorickshaw owner.



Ruchika Case
Lawyer fought for free
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Pankaj Bhardwaj, who set an example in social service by waging a 19-year-old legal battle in the Ruchika molestation case -- free of cost -- is a sad man today. Though the former DGP, SPS Rathore, has been convicted, Bhardwaj says: “I am ashamed of the quantum of sentence. The court should have given him exemplary punishment.”

Even when the complainants and the accused were in the media glare yesterday, the lawyer made a quiet exit from the courtroom.

“Had the CBI filed the challan under Section 306, IPC, in the court 10 years ago, the accused could not have got away so easily,” rues Pankaj.

What was mentioned about Ruchika by the CBI was mere eyewash. The CBI had stated in the chargesheet that she was depressed and had committed suicide. “We disagreed with the CBI even then, despite it being the prosecution agency,” he says.

Also, her brother had given a 30-page statement before the Patiala Sessions Judge, which finds no mention. Had that been brought to the fore, abetment to suicide could have been made, he states.

Recalling the trauma that Ruchika and her family went through, he says: “After Ruchika was shunted out of school on frivolous grounds, she was literally confined to her house as wherever she would go, she would be hounded by hooligans at the behest of the accused. Her brother was paraded half naked in their locality in a false theft case.” Pankaj also faced his share of harassment with two cases of defamation slapped on him by the opposite party.




Anand overwhelmed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Life has turned a full circle for Anand Parkash and his wife Madhu. A day after the conviction of the former DGP, SPS Rathore, the couple, who fought for their daughter’s friend, are overwhelmed by the public reaction.

From the Rajya Sabha, where Brinda Karat raised the issue, to the studios of national media houses, the case has become the talk of the nation, and so has the couple.

“The response we have got from the media and the people across the nation is overpowering,” an ecstatic Anand says. “I never thought that just a day after the judgment, the case would reach the Rajya Sabha. I am really touched,” he says.

He, however, feels that being a former DGP, Rathore should have been given a much severe punishment. “How can the punishment for a common man and custodian of law be the same? He owes greater accountability to society,” he emphasises, adding that he would continue to fight to get those booked as well who helped the accused all these years.



Rent Reality — I
Cheap housing hard to come by
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Essentially envisioned for the salaried and the middle class, Le Corbusier’s dream city, Chandigarh, is getting harsh on the pockets of tenants. Even as the city’s periphery is witnessing a construction boom with thousands of apartments coming up, residential rentals in the city continue to travel north showing a growth of 10-20 per cent in the past about a year.

The location, floors and quality of construction of the residential accommodation showed a wide variation in rates with the northern sectors (up to Sector 30) comparatively costlier than the southern sectors, a survey by The Tribune revealed.

Depending on the location, a kanal house was available on rent from Rs 30,000 to 45,000 per month while houses (10 to 14 marlas) were quoted between Rs 20,000 and 25,000. The 7 to 10 marla houses were available from Rs 12,000 to Rs 20,000 while the rent for houses below 7 marlas was up to Rs 12,000.

“Rents in the northern sectors were much higher as top MNCs and big corporates house their top executives in posh sectors,” property consultant JD Singh stated.

On the other hand, the southern sectors and thousands of Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) and cooperative group housing societies (from Sector 48 onwards) have caught the fancy of the middle and lower classes looking for affordable accommodation.

Society flats are obviously the first choice because of better designs and assured parking on the ground floor for residents. The rent in the societies was in the range of Rs 15,000 to 20,000 for Category A flats(four bedrooms), Rs 10,000 to 15,000 for Category B (three bedrooms) and up to Rs 10,000 for Category C (two bedrooms) flats.

The rent for CHB flats was slightly cheaper than society flats as a majority of them did not have separate car parking and the design was old-fashioned.

Observers remarked that with Chandigarh emerging as a major educational and employment hub, good accommodation was at a premium. Since a majority of people had the paying capacity, rents were higher in the city.


Sector 17
Squatters continue to rule the roost
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Developed as the heart of the city by Le Corbusier, Sector 17 seems to have virtually turned into encroachers’ paradise. With the problem of illegal squatters assuming alarming proportions, prominent traders are up in arms against the municipal corporation and the police for turning a blind towards the menace.

“The prestigious shopping centre has become squatters’ paradise due to the lack of effective enforcement drives against encroachers, who sell duplicate goods and unhygienic foods, create insanitary conditions, block passage and obstruct free public movement,” alleges JPS Kalra, general secretary of the Sector 17 Market Association.

The traders allege that squatters seem to have no fear or respect for the law of the land. In fact, the challaning drive of the MC enforcement staff seems to have come a cropper with the number of encroachers on the prime commercial increasing with each passing day.

“We are fed up with submitting representations to the civic body as no follow-up action seems to have been taken. Though the MC has declared Sector 17 market an encroachment-free zone, various drives have miserably failed to clear unauthorised encroachers,” alleges Kalra.

In fact, the mushrooming of illegal squatters seems to be surprising as the MC office is just a stone’s throw away from the market. To top it all, the police post is within the market itself.

To check the menace, traders say criminal cases should be registered against them. They also urge the elected representatives to support the efforts of the officials to curb the menace of illegal squatters.

“The ever-increasing illegal vendors are a blot on the face of Sector 17 as they present a shabby look. Besides giving a shabby look to the major commercial centre, a substantial number of illegal squatters serve unhygienic eatable to visitors,” DS Sandhu, a regular visitor to the market, rues.

Meanwhile, a special meeting of prominent traders called up the civic body to step up the campaign against encroachers, failing which they would be forced to move court.

Prominent among those who attended the meeting were Arun Talwar, Neeraj Bajaj, JPS Kalra, Kawaljit Panchhi, LC Arora, Rajinder Manocha, Harpreet Singh, JS Sethi, Sudhir Talwar, Karanbir Singh, Sanjay Abbot, JS Sodhi and Sunil Bansal.



Mock drill draws flak
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
The mock drill by the Chandigarh Police at Sector 17 plaza on Monday invited criticism from various organisations for projecting terrorists as members of two minority communities.

The NGO, Lawyers for Humanity, today took up the issue with the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), National Human Rights Commission and the UT Director General of Police seeking an apology from the latter for hurting feelings of the minority communities.

Another NGO, Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI), urged the chairman of the NCM, HS Hanspal, to look into the matter.

Talking to TNS, Tejinder Singh Sudan, president of the LHRI, said they had objections over the traditional attires of the terrorists, identifying them with certain communities, besides the manner in which the drill was conducted.

Hirdepal Singh, general secretary of the Lawyers for Humanity, said: “If we see pictured of terrorists involved in Mumbai attacks and those linked to ULFA or LTTE, they are wearing casuals and not traditional clothes of any community.”

The elements of surprise had taken the police by a shock as people ran for their lives and were hurt also, he said. It is learnt that teachers of a private school cautioned their students to hide under the desk as terrorists had attacked the city.

Hirdepal added: “Had a visitor having some licensed weapon plunge into the gunfire out of heroism to help the police and had shot the dummy terrorists, who would have been responsible for the causality.” 



Looking Ahead: 2010
Municipal Corporation
MC holds out hope for better times ahead
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
If one were to go by the claims of the municipal corporation, city residents can look forward to 2010 as a ‘people friendly’ year with several major projects that have long been in the pipeline likely to be completed. These would put more facilities in place, making life a little more comfortable. However, the proof of the pudding would lie in its eating: Commitments undertaken in the past have almost invariably come to naught.

On paper the authorities have planned a number of projects to upgrade civic amenities in the city. These include water supply for 16 to 18 hours, multilevel parking lots, community parking projects, more parks in various sectors, better streets and community centres in the southern sectors. However, residents will have to get ready for a water tariff hike and imposition of house tax in the new year.

The authorities do not intend to set up any new commercial parking lots due to construction of the city’s first multilevel parking site in Sector 17, which will boost its revenues. It is expected that the pilot project of the community parking in Sector 19 would be completed by March. This would not only fulfill the long pending demand of the area’s residents but, if proved successful, then most of the sectors that are facing a parking space problem would also be covered.

Commencement of work on a Rs 171 crore project to expand the water supply scheme for Phases V and VI, recently cleared by the central government, may be a step forward in achieving 24x8 water supply, but it would not an easy task to achieve.

The authorities will also have to positively fulfill the JNNURM targets next year by imposing minimal house tax, raising the water tariff and installing water meters in the city’s slum areas in order to get the funds earmarked for the ‘mission’.

Though the authorities tried their best this year to table these agendas in the MC house and get them approved, mayor Kamlesh did not allow them to be tabled or have discussion on them in the house. Hence, the new year will present a challenge to the authorities to get the agendas approved by the house to get the funds for the ongoing projects under JNNRUM.

Though a rosy picture might have been painted for next year, if one glimpse through the activities and achievements of the present year, which is almost closing, one finds that it was full of controversies without any constructive work. Kamlesh, who assumed office in January 2009, was busier picking up petty quarrels with the MC commissioner and other officials over various issues for gaining more executive powers.

On every petty or big issue the mayor commented, “I’m powerless - officers don’t listen to me. Calling them for discussion on development works doesn’t come under my jurisdiction”. Strangely, in the current year, the mayor made a record of calling special house meetings that ended up with adjournments without any discussions on the main issues for which these were convened.

Meanwhile, in order to record the decisions taken by the civic body Kamlesh decided a ‘yearly booklet’ would be published in this regard from this year onwards.

Likewise last year, a proposed garbage-processing unit again remained in the news for the entire year with the formation of a number of committees and regular controversies over the functioning of the plant.

The ruling Congress party took all the advantage to run the civic body according to their whims and fancies. Congress councilor Chandermukhi Sharma skipped all house meetings that were called to discuss the report on the garbage processing unit. On the other side, when a request by the Congress councilor, Devinder Singh Babla, to be exempted from the house was tabled in the MC house meeting, the Congress did not allow the councillors to discuss it and approved it with a majority.

The ongoing controversy between UT administrator SF Rodrigues and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal overshadowed the MC’s proceedings for the better part of the year. Rodrigues set up a committee headed by nominated councillor Pallav Mukherjee to review ways to improve the functioning of the civic body.



No let-up in cold wave conditions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Cold wave conditions persisted in the city and its adjoining areas even today with the city recording below normal temperature. People in the city battled the severe chill for the third consecutive day as the minimum temperature dip to 5 degrees Celsius. Weather officials said the minimum temperature was likely to plummet further. The city today recorded a maximum temperature of 21 degrees Celsius.

As the chill continued unabated, people were seen surrounding around bonfires, particularly during the morning and evening.

Meanwhile, the Jet Airways Delhi-Chandigarh-Delhi flight was delayed by an hour due to fog. The flight, which was scheduled to arrive in the city at 10.05 am landed at 11.05 am. Similarly, it took off at 11.30 am instead of 10.35 am.

“Snowfall at the higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh is the reason behind the cold wave conditions here,” said a Met official.

He said cold wave conditions were prevailing over many parts of neighbouring Haryana and Punjab and things are not likely to improve till Friday.

The weathermen warned the situation might worsen in the coming days. The condition in other parts of north India was no better. The weatherman predicted clear sky with fog/mist in the morning with no respite from the chilly winds in the next couple of days.

The weather experts stated that the extreme conditions were likely to prevail as the western disturbances, which had earlier moved across the Himalayan region, have once again started moving towards this region.

The cold conditions have also hit the day-to-day life in the city. Business was also affected due to chilly winds. Some of the markets of city, including Sectors 24 and 39, which used to close around 9.30 pm wore a deserted look at 8.15 pm. today. 



PESCO starts vocational training institute
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 22
In order to diversify its activities and to create employment opportunities for ex-servicemen, their wards and others, PESCO has started a Security and Vocational Training Institute, which was inaugurated by Sewa Singh Sekhwan, minister for defence services welfare and information and public relations, in Phase VII, Industrial Area, here today.

While addressing a gathering the minister said the Punjab Government was committed to provide employment opportunities to ex-servicemen. The government had proposed to start 10 employment oriented courses through PESCO and it would make all efforts to provide maximum facilities to the newly opened institute here.

He said PESCO had already provided employment to 5,500 ex-servicemen and now by offering fire fighting course and human relation sleep course it would be able to help people in creating self-employment opportunities.

PESCO was running courses for director (general resettlement) and director (employment generation and training), Punjab. Security training under the Private Securities Agencies (Regulations) Act, 2005, and Punjab Government Rules, 2007, framed there under were commenced at the local training institute.

PESCO would further enhance its scope to start computer training and managing training after getting recognition from the Punjab Technical University and the Indira Gandhi National Open University.



Mohali police dons role of MC
Clears encroachments from markets
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 22
Alarmed at the increasing incidents of thefts of vehicles and valuables from vehicles in markets across the city, the Mohali Police has donned upon itself the role of municipal council in clearing encroachments from the markets.

Reason, the stalls of vendors are becoming favourite spot for burglars and robbers to keep an eye on their targets. After identifying their victims, burglars chase their targets and strike at a convenient time.

Acting tough, a police party from Matour village today removed all encroachments from Phase VII market, especially in front of Gobind Sweets. The drive was carried in other markets.

SSP (Mohali) GPS Bhullar said after it was revealed that burglars were targeting those withdrawing cash from banks, the drive had been intensified.

The police swung into action after the arrest of dismissed Chandigarh Police constable Dilbagh Singh revealed that he, along with his accomplices, used to come to these roadside vendors in the markets to identify their targets. In two recent incidents, burglars had stolen Rs 4 lakh in two separate incidents in Phase V market.

The gang had stolen over Rs 15 lakh in five separate incidents. The incidents of burglars breaking the glass panes had also been reported from markets of Phases IIIB2, V, VII, IX, X and XI. “If the total loss in terms of car thefts from markets was calculated, the loss could be in several lakhs,” admitted a police official.

Police officials are unhappy with the MC for not doing its duty of removing encroachments. The vendors are becoming favourite centres for anti-social elements.

It has been seen that the fruit sellers have tried to encroach upon the footpaths along many roads creating traffic hurdles and shopkeepers have encroached upon the verandahs in market areas.

The problem has been brought to the notice of the authorities concerned many times but to no avail.

Shopkeepers have stacked their goods, including gas cylinders and burners, in verandahs.



Panchkarma centre opens in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 22
Prof Laxmi Kanta Chawla, health and family welfare minister, Punjab, inaugurated Panchkarma Therapy Centre in the Civil Hospital here today as part of the AYUSH programme.

While addressing district ayurvedic, unani as well as other medical officers, Chawla said this centre was first of its kind in this region and the people of this area need not to go to Kerala for their treatment using panchkarma therapy.

This type of treatment would be available at this centre and medical specialists of panchkarma had been deputed to provide the services. She further said this system was one of the oldest systems of health care and through this system the diseases were treated at the root-level and the body was purified by eradicating causative factors from it.

Earlier, while talking to mediapersons, the minister said the response of residents to the panchkarma centre would be seen for three months. If it was found encouraging, such centres would be set up in other districts of the state as well. The government had the resources to open such centres in all 20 districts of the state.

Chawla said the government was planning to start five ayurvedic hospitals in Punjab. One such hospital would be opened in Ram Tirth in Amritsar and the places for other four hospitals were yet to be selected.

Diseases caused by kapha dosha like diabetes, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis and obesity were also treated with panchkarma therapy. This therapy is anti-aging as well as rejuvenating, which could be given to healthy as well as un-healthy people.

Dr Rakesh Sharma, director, ayurveda, Punjab, said during the tenure of the health minister, Punjab, the grant in aid of approximately Rs 892.83 lakh was released by the Central government and out of that Rs 523.37 lakh were utilised. 



Hooda: Media losing credibility
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
The media has been losing its credibility as the public had stopped taking it seriously, said Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Haryana Chief Minister, here today.

He said it was unfortunate that news was measured with money and the media had been deviating from the laws, ethics and principles that it should follow.

Nowadays, news and events were being sensationalised on the electronic media, he said, addressing the media at a seminar on ‘Challenges before media’ at the Press Club here.

It was sad that the media, that should do investigative reporting to find out the truth, had instead, been doing negative reporting, he added.

Indeed, the media today no longer cared about the responsibility it had towards the public, that of bringing out the truth ethically and objectively without hurting anybody’s sentiments, Hooda said.

Sanjeev Srivastava, BBC’s India affairs editor, said today’s media actually sensationalised news. Giving out facts and details to the public which were not true, or even worse, manufacturing those had become the latest trend.



Tribune art critic honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Art critic of The Tribune SD Sharma has been awarded the Pracheen Kala Kendra Award for 2009 for his meritorious service in the field of art and culture.

The award was presented by Ashok Bhattacharya, director of the Roop Kala Kendra, Kolkata, at the annual convocation of the kendra at Kolkata on Sunday. The award carries a cash price of Rs 11,001, a momento and a citation.



Additional stocks of Tamiflu ordered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Close on the heels of sounding an alert that swine flu has spread in the community, the UT health department has ordered additional stocks of antiviral drug - Oseltamivir (Tamiflu).

According to official sources, a consignment of 500 bottles, meant for swine flu-infected children below the age of 14 years, will be received tomorrow along with the supply of 2,000 capsules of 45 mg dose for children. Besides, 10,000 capsules of 75 mg will also be procured.

“We have received approval for additional stock from the Union health ministry and will receive it by tomorrow. Oseltamivir is the generic name of the drug. The brand name of Oseltamivir capsules produced by one pharmaceutical company is known as tamiflu. The syrup is usually given to patients whose body weight is below 40 kg,” said an official. So far, over 600 cases of swine flu had come to city hospitals, of which 280 were tested positive, including six fresh cases, including a PGI doctor. Of the positive cases, over 40 were students, including schoolchildren and college-going youth.

UT nodal officer for swine flu HC Gera said there were stocks of these medicines and syrups. “The Central government has assured us all support and it has said that we should get back to them if there is shortage,” he added.

Meanwhile, the UT health department has also decided to authorise 10 private doctors for prescribing tamiflu. “We haven’t received the list of doctors yet,” said Gera. 



PGI gets hi-tech machine to control cancer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
A new high-tech linear accelerator machine, which controls cancer with minimum damage of normal tissues, was inaugurated by PGIMER Director Prof KK Talwar here today. The machine, costing Rs 6.5 crore, has been installed in the department of radiotherapy.

Explaining the features of machine, Dr SC Sharma, Professor and head of the radiotherapy department, said the new machine was fitted with multileaf collimator and portal vision system for doing intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and 3-D conformal radiation (3-DCRT). With this machine, high dose radiation is delivered to the tumour with minimum radiation to the surrounding normal tissues, he added.

With the addition of the new machine, the department of radiotherapy has now three linear accelerators, two of which are having IMRT facilities. Hence, the department is in a position to offer radiation treatment to cancer patients immediately without any waiting period. The department now offers all types of latest radiotherapy techniques, both in external beam therapy and brachytherapy, commonly known as radium treatment.

The department has three brachytherapy machines, which provide all the latest radiotherapy techniques. The department is also involved with the department of neurosurgery for delivering stereotactic radiosurgery with gamma knife to the brain tumours with high degree of accuracy and precision. 



Workshop for people with HIV
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
The Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society, and Chandigarh Network of Positive People (CNP+) organised a workshop for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHAs) here. The function was attended by 70 people living with HIV/AIDS.

Dr Vanita Gupta, project director, Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society, spoke to the PLHAs about the various government and non-government schemes present for supporting PLHAs.

Dr Kavita Chavan, deputy director (STI), CSACS, interacted with the PLHAs and told them about the importance of treatment of the STIs and their relationship with the HIV.

Dr Archana Mohan, consultant care, support and treatment, CSACS, reiterated the importance of adherence to drugs taken for HIV treatment and various facilities available for the PLHAs in the city.

Pooja Thakur, president of the CNP+ and regional co-ordinator INP+, interacted with the PLHAs, encouraging them to increase their participation in the network activities.

She exhorted the PLHAs to spread the message that saving general population from the epidemic was a moral responsibility of positive people.

She also informed that a regional workshop would be organised on December 28 and 30 on need assessment of people living with HIV/AIDS at CYP ASIA Centre. This would be an initiative of INP+CNP+.

It was brought forward that one of the members of CNP+ had adopted an orphan HIV+ child.

Dr Vanita Gupta mentioned that this kind of an initiative of trying to help others who were suffering from the same disease would set an example for others.

She also mentioned that the cost of education and daily necessities would be provided to the adoptive parents to help them support the child as well as to motivate others to take similar steps.

Also, the PLHAs were encouraged to visit the drop-in centre and learn the trade of stitching and embroidery as a means to supplementing their income.

The Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society would attempt to purchase machines for trained PLHAs who wanted to start their own work. 



IIMs to favour girls
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Concerned over the disproportionate ratio of girls at the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), a ‘deliberate known bias’ for girls is now being planned by these premier institutes to balance gender for the upcoming 2010 admissions.

With hardly 16 per cent girls currently pursuing MBA at IIMs, efforts have begun for a ‘positive affirmative approach’ to increase the number of girls, although no fixed reservation has been decided yet.

The information will be uploaded on the website of IIMs and the Common Aptitude Test (CAT) shortly. Dr Devi Singh, Director, IIM, Lucknow, made these revelations in an interview to the Chandigarh Tribune today.

He was the chief guest at the inaugural session of an international conference on ‘Management and valuation of intangibles’ organised by Panjab University’s University Business School (UBS).

In another crucial statement, he said IIMs took the responsibility of the crash in the CAT online examination this year. He added that the students who had faced difficulties in the first go were given a second chance.

“We are professionals and we will handle the matter in a professional way. A meeting of the IIM directors will be held soon and the entire issue will be reviewed. If Prometric, the company which has been authorised to conduct the CAT online examination, is found to have failed in its task, the contract will be discontinued,” he said.

Answering a question on the new emerging areas in management, Dr Devi Singh said the trend of broad-based programmes at the MBA had now started. He appreciated the efforts of the students of the UBS in putting up a commendable show.

“In the wake of the fact that Chandigarh is fast emerging as a knowledge hub, ther UBS will be among the most sought-after institutes in the region. Since the time we were students, the UBS has occupied the most crucial place after IIMs. It has a very good alumni network and has a great future ahead,” he said.



‘Make your own identity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
An international conference on ‘Management and valuation of intangibles’, organised by the University Business School (UBS), today began at the English auditorium, Panjab University.

Dr Devi Singh, Director, IIM, Lucknow, was the chief guest. Satnam Singh, chairman-cum-managing director, Power Finance Corporation Limited, New Delhi, was the guest of honour. Prof RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, was the presiding officer.

“The identity of the individual should be made by the person himself,” said Satnam Singh, heading a company with a turnover of Rs 70,000 crore.

The keynote address was delivered by Dr Gaurav Vallabh, Director, Institute of Charted Accountants of India (ICAI).

The inauguration ceremony was followed by a panel discussion in which prominent names from the industry and the alumni of the UBS participated.

The chairperson of the department, Prof Dinesh Gupta, also addressed a press conference, in which the announcement of a silver jubilee alumni reunion was made.

Prof Deepak Kapoor and Prof Karamjeet Singh of the UBS held the convener’s chair. The discussion was followed by technical sessions and a cultural programme.



New principal

Chandigarh, December 22
The Sikh Educational Society has appointed Dr Charanjeet Kaur Sohi principal of the Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26.

Dr Sohi pledged to make the institution one of the best study centres, asserting that improvement in infrastructure, introduction of job-oriented courses, an active placement cell, introduction of research-oriented courses and better coordination between faculty and students would be her priority.



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