C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘Tax-freeTreatment’ to Staff of Pvt Sector
IT Dept withdraws approval of 12 hospitals
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
The Income Tax Department has withdrawn the approval of 12 private hospitals in the tricity, which were authorised to provide “tax-free treatment” to employees of private sector undertakings.

According to IT officials, the hospitals which are set to lose their recognition include Mukat Hospital, Grewal Eye Institute, Omni Hospital, Hope Clinic and Maternity Centre, Sandeep Dhavan Prop. Lever Centre, PN Urology and Surgical Hospital of Chandigarh, Cheema Medical Complex, Greacian Super Specialty Hospital, Cosmo Medical Pvt Ltd, Liberty Hospital, Harmony Health Care Pvt. Ltd and one from Punjab-Smrita Nursing home, Rajpura.

The IT officials said the recognition of these hospitals was withdrawn after these were found lacking in the required infrastructure, in terms of doctors on pay rolls, a prerequisite to avail concessions for its patients under Section 17(2) of the Income Tax Act.

The officials said private hospitals in the tricity had to fulfil certain criteria to get recognition. Once approved, the bills issued by them were acceptable by the department and the reimbursement received on them by the patients from their respective companies were not included in their taxable income.

The scheme has dual advantage, both for the patients and hospitals. While, the patients get tax-free treatment, the hospitals get additional clientele due to the recognition.

Under the rules, the IT Chief Commissioners are allowed to give such recognition to hospitals after they fulfil the laid down condition in terms of infrastructure and doctors/nurses to beds ratio.

The officials added that all these hospitals had initially fulfilled the laid down criterion and had received the recognition for three years. However, a mid-term check by the department found that they were flouting the conditions and had actually not employed the number of doctors and nurses that they had earlier claimed to have recruited. “The number of doctors and nurses on rolls was not what was actually shown to us,” said a senior official.

The officials said under the prescribed rules, (Section 3A) at least one qualified doctor must be available on duty round-the-clock for every 20 beds and if the hospital had an intensive care unit, there must be at least two qualified doctors on duty for 24 hours.

However, the hospitals did not meet the criterion during the checks.

Two other hospitals, Ivy in Mohali and CMC here, are also under scrutiny.

Confirming the action, Chief Commissioner of Income tax, North West Region, PK Chopra, said the lack of adequate staff would obviously affect patient care. “We had approved them for quality care, but they don’t seem to be providing it. Therefore, we have withdrawn the approval,” he said.



Sacred Heart principal returns UT award
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
The principal of Sacred Heart School, Sister Sebastina, today returned the state award conferred on her by the UT administration in 2005 for her “meritorious contribution” to city education. A representative of the school returned the commendation certificate and medal along with the prize money of Rs 5,000 to the DPI (S) this evening.

It may be noted the administration had earlier decided to withdraw the award after a magisterial inquiry it had ordered proclaimed Sr Sebastina guilty of “arbitrarily” expelling Ruchika Girhotra a month after the latter was molested under apparent pressure from ex-Haryana DGP SPS Rathore.

Before the probe was concluded the local unit of Bajrang Dal had raised slogans outside the school demanding withdrawal of the award.

Though the school management, which was backed by the Catholic diocese of Simla-Chandigarh, had asserted the principal was innocent and rubbished the accusations against her as nothing but the administration’s prejudiced perception, it returned the award saying “it was not what they were serving the city for”.

“We don’t serve for awards or money. No recognition from them can ever match the 45 years of selfless service rendered by us. Driven by media pressure the UT administration has victimised the school’s principal. If they were so just then why did they confer the award on her in 2005 in the first place? At that time all knew about the allegations being made against the school by these complainants,” said Fr Thomas, official spokesperson of the Simla-Chandigarh diocese.



Civilian helps rescue hostage cop 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
An alert civilian helped rescue a traffic policeman, who was allegedly taken hostage in a truck impounded by the traffic police for an offence.

Harnek Singh, a Home Guard volunteer, was sent along with the accused to take the truck to the police lines, but the accused tried to speed away taking him hostage.

Narrating the incident, inspector Dilsher Singh said a traffic police party impounded a mini-truck (HR-57-2581) at Sectors 45, 46, 49 and 50 traffic lights intersection after its occupants failed to produce its original documents on Sunday afternoon.

The truck driver, Somu Ram, along with the truck owner, Surinder of Hisar, got off the vehicle. The police officials asked Harnek Singh to accompany the vehicle to the yard at the Traffic Police Lines, Sector 29. Harnek Singh sat in the co-driver’s seat while Somu Ram drove the vehicle.

Meanwhile, Surinder chased the vehicle and climbed on the moving truck. He asked the driver to divert the vehicle from Sector 29 toward Faidan barrier. He also directed the driver to stop the truck to let him in. Somu did as he was told and Surinder started driving the truck.

Learning that both the persons were taking him along after taking him hostage in the truck, Harnek entered into a scuffle with them. Suspecting trouble, Somu jumped out of the truck leaving his employer grappling with the cop in the moving truck.

During the scuffle, Harnek called his colleagues on his mobile phone informing them about his detention. They informed the police control room and soon police teams swung into action to trace the truck.

Meanwhile, a civilian travelling in a car saw Harnek grappling with the driver. He intercepted the truck forcing it to stop. At the same time, police teams reached the spot and nabbed Surinder.

A case of causing obstruction in public servant’s work, using criminal force against him and common intension has been registered against Surinder and Somu Ram. Surinder was arrested and later produced before a local court, which remanded him to judicial custody. Efforts were on to trace the absconding truck driver. 

F Traffic police impounds a mini-truck at the Sectors 45, 46, 49 and 50 traffic lights intersection.

F Police officials ask Home Guard volunteer Harnek Singh to accompany the driver to take the vehicle to the Traffic Police Lines, Sector 29.

F Owner of truck Surinder chases the vehicle and climbs on the moving truck. He asks the driver to divert the vehicle from Sector 29.

F An alert civilian sees the cop struggling with the driver and intercepts the truck.

F The police reaches the spot and nabs the accused.



Gajender sticks to his stand on Ashu
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 11
Gajender, who had named Ashu Girhotra in 1993 as part of his auto-lifting gang, has once again stuck to his statement.

Gajender, who was arrested by the Haryana police on Friday night from Pune, was declared a proclaimed offender when he jumped bail in 1995. He was staying in Pune with his family and running a dhaba.

According to sources, Gajender was firm on his old statement that Ruchika’s brother, Ashu, was involved in several cases of vehicle thefts with him in 1990s.

Ashu and his friend Sandeep were arrested six times between September 6, 1992, to August 30, 1993. The Haryana police tortured and humiliated the accused and their families in these cases, but later on April 30, 1997, a trial court had acquitted Ashu and Sandeep of all charges.

Ashu, in his complaint to the police on Decemeber 29, had claimed that the police framed him in the cases to pressurise the family to withdraw complaint agasint Rathore.

Though the police party accompanying Gajender from Pune reached Panchkula late on Monday night, sources said Gajender, revealing his antecedents, told the SIT members that before shifting to Chandigharh in 1990s, he was staying with his parents from Guwahati. His father was an Air Force employee and transferred to Chandigarh. They had been staying in Air Force colony of Chandigarh. Two other boys Kulwinder and Thapa who were also sons of Air Force employees were the members of his gang, he said.

Revealing his contacts with Ashu, Gajender said he was studying in Panjab University in Chandigarh when he came in contact with Ashu and his friend Sandeep. All of them were fond of smoking and playing tennis and became friendly. Ashu and Sandeep joined his vehicle-lifting gang, claimed Gajender.

Ashu and Sandeep used to lift cars for him from Panchkula and he used to dispose of the vehicles at Patna, he alleged.

Revealing about circumstances for his arrest in 1993, Gajender said it was Sandeep who was caught by the police first. Both Ashu and Sandeep used to visit a “paan” shop for buying cigarettes and smoking, he told the SIT. They were observed by the paanwala while using different cars frequently and passed on the information to the police, following which Sandeep was arrested and he revealed the names of, all leading to the arrest of Ashu and him, he told to the SIT.



Southern sectors sans basic amenities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
High-level reviews for the development of infrastructure of southern sectors and allocation of crores of rupees for their upgrading by the Municipal Corporation (MC) authorities, have failed to change the face of the area.

Assurances made by MC Commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria that the authorities would take keen interest in improving the civic amenities of the southern sectors, the picture still remains grim.

The roads are still not maintained, streetlights are not functioning, garbage is dumped in vacant plots of the sectors and public parks are not maintained well.

In December 2008, Sunkaria had announced allocation of approximately Rs 12 crore for the re-carpeting of roads in these sectors. He further assured that the instructions had been given to the electricity wing of the MC to take special care of streetlights. He also said they would soon construct community centres and develop green parks.

Residents of the area are upset with the MC authorities for not providing them the basic civic amenities after such a long time.

Some residents of the area said the roads had not been carpeted since they had shifted to this sector. They added that during monsoons, rainwater collected in the streets, as there was no drainage facility.

They felt that were living in a village, despite of it being a part of the City Beautiful.

The public parks here are also in a bad shape, as weeds and congress grass can be seen growing in it. Green belts have been developed by the administration, but, after the sectors were transferred to the Municipal Corporation, it seems as if it is nobody’s baby now.

Residents alleged that most of the parks in the sector were just garbage -collection sites, as the authorities had failed to maintain them. Kishori Lal, resident of Sector 61, alleged that last week, a team from the MC had destroyed all saplings, which the residents had planted in the undeveloped greenbelt with their own funds. The team that destroyed the plants gave a plea to the residents that as it was the government land, no resident could plant any sapling on it.

When the residents asked the team, as to when the Horticulture Department would develop the park, the team members expressed their inability to answer the question.

The angry residents said what the MC authorities were supposed to do was being done by the residents and still the MC had a problem.

“Streetlights in our sector are always out of order,” complained members of joint-action committee of Sectors 50, 51 and 63. They felt that there was no system in the administration to evaluate if the installed streetlights in different sectors were working properly. They felt driving at night had become a risky affair, as most of the drivers used high-beam lights while driving.

Jagir Singh, president of the Resident Welfare Association, Sector 49, and Member of Ward Committee said they had made a number of complaints, about their problems, to the authorities but all in vain.

They said all resident welfare associations of the area had decided to boycott the ward committee meetings, as no action was taken by the authorities to redress their grievances.

Area councillor Ram Sumer Morya said, “As this area was transferred to the corporation in February 2008 the MC authorities were taking remedial measures for speedy development of the area.


Cold wave tightens grip 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
The city continued to be in the grip of an intense cold wave even today with the day temperature remaining well below normal.

The city recorded a maximum temperature of 8.9 degrees Celsius, 11 degrees below normal, and a minimum of 5.9 degrees Celsius. The visibility in city was just 800 mm.

Chilly winds continued to sweep the city, forcing the residents indoors. “A vicious weather circle is responsible for the prevailing weather conditions. The day temperature is not rising because of the presence of fog and such conditions are the outcome of the prevailing cold weather conditions,” a Met official said.

Schoolchildren braved the cold to reach schools. In the absence of luxuries, the poor were seen sitting in groups around makeshift fire arrangements for getting some relief from the biting cold.

According to the forecast, while foggy mornings and misty evenings will persist, the sky will remain party cloudy and obscure due to the fog. There is likelihood of rain in this week, which would increase the night temperature but there is no chance of any change in day temperature.

With every passing day, the temperature is going down and chilly winds have begun to disrupt normal life of residents of the city. But the main sufferers are the poor, who are residing on footpaths or the corridors of the market places. To get little respite and warmth, they are dependent on makeshift fire arrangements.

Rickshaw-pullers say this is a testing time for daily wage earners. A cobbler said the daily business had also suffered as there were no customers. Meanwhile, the sale of woollens has shot up in the city. 

Train Arrival time Arrived at Late 
Howrah-Kalka 3.15 am 5.15 pm (2 hrs)
Mail (2311) 
Paschim Express 3:52 pm 7.22 pm (3 hrs 
(2925) 30 min) 



MC to train youths in plumbing 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has started a plumber-training programme for the youth living below the poverty line for making them self-dependent. The project is being undertaken under the Swaran Jayanti Shahri Rozgar Yojana.

Initially, 25 students would be imparted training in the six-month course, which would commence from tomorrow at the department laboratory of the public health department, water works, Sector 32.

The department had invited applications for the course and 25 students had been shortlisted. Officials said a retired professor from the industrial training institute (ITI) had been engaged to impart training to the youth. The syllabus has also been chalked out as per the ITI standards. Officials said the students would also get a stipend of Rs 100 per month during the training.

This is the pilot project of the corporation and similar training programme is being prepared for the electricians by the B&R department. Officials said the corporation hired NGOs or other organisations for imparting training courses, but it had no record of the number of students and what type of training was imparted to them.

Officials said with the introduction of such courses, the corporation could also know the capability of the students and could hire them, whenever required, to fulfil the eligibility criteria of the departments concerned.

When contacted MC Joint Commissioner TPS Phoolka said the authorities could not assure any job in the corporation after this course, but they had decided that the names of all the trained students would be added with their contact numbers on the official website of the MC so that if any resident wanted plumber service, they could contact them. He said this would be a good platform for these students to start their livelihood independently.



Admn to control fish population in Sukhna 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
The Chandigarh administration has decided to control fish population in Sukhna Lake.

At a recent meeting held here, it was recommended that the fishing rights at Sukhna Lake be leased for 15 days. This is being done to remove the fishes of bigger size that have completed their natural cycle of growth. A committee comprising the director, animal husbandry, the conservator of forests, Prof MS Johal, zoology department, Panjab University, and the farm superintendent, fisheries, has been set up to work out the modalities.

Earlier, in his report to the administration, professor Johal had pointed out that keeping in view the water surface and the average depth of water in the lake, there was an over-population of the fish. Therefore, there was an urgent need for thinning the fish population, especially the bigger size, so that a congenial environment be created for the younger generation of fish.

Stating the occasional incidents of fish mortality as a serious concern for the ecological health of the lake, he had advised the administration to operate a boat/motorboat at a very slow speed to circulate the surface water so that the obnoxious gases like carbon dioxide, which were responsible for the mortality of fish, be removed and oxygen contents be increased.



Industrial plots’ conversion to get UT nod
Original allottees to be bigger gainers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Original allottees of plots in the union territory’s Industrial Area stand to be the major gainers as compared to GPA holders while seeking conversion of their leasehold property into freehold entities. An original allottee will have to pay Rs 16.2 lakh per 1,000 square yards for conversion of leasehold to freehold property while a GPA holder will have to shell out Rs 35.1 lakh for conversion of a plot measuring the same area.

The city is all set to go the Delhi way in allowing conversion of leasehold property in the Industrial Area into freehold. The original allottees will get a further concession of 40 per cent on the rate of Rs 2,700 per square yard while the GPA holders will have to fork out 30 per cent extra as loading charges.

The matter now only requires a formal clearance by the advisor to the UT administrator. A recommendation in this regard has been made by a committee headed by deputy commissioner Brijender Singh, which included state transport authority secretary Vandana Desodia and the president of the Industries Association of Chandigarh, besides others.

The panel undertook a study of the conversion pattern in different states before deciding on the Delhi pattern. According to the latter the conversion rates work out to 10 per cent of the collector rates, which comes to nearly Rs 2,700 per square yard. According to the suggested rates the original allottees will be given a 40 per cent rebate on the collector rates, which will now work out to Rs 1,620 per square yard.

At the same time, owners of plots on general power of attorney will have to pay 30 per cent extra as loading charges. The original allottees will have to pay Rs 16.2 lakh for conversion of leasehold to freehold property while the GPA holders will have to shell out much more for this conversion.



Sector 57 gets hotline connection to waterworks
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 11
Thousands of residents will now heave a sigh of relief by getting adequate water as the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has provided a hot line connection to waterworks in Sector 57 here, therefore ensuring uninterrupted power supply to the waterworks which earlier faced power cuts.

The hot line connection was given a trial run on Saturday, after which it was made functional yesterday.

PSEB additional superintending engineer HS Boparai said the department of water supply and sanitation had deposited about Rs 3 lakh for the work, which was executed on a priority basis.

He said the residents would now benefit as no power cuts would be imposed on the waterworks and would be given power supply for 24 hours.

The power hot line project had got delayed as the department of water supply and sanitation had earlier failed to deposit a paltry sum of about Rs 2 lakh to the PSEB for connection. The functioning of the water treatment plant in Sector 57 was hit due to biweekly power cuts. Every time there was a power cut, the water supply to Sectors 63, 64, 65, 70 and 71 was hit apart from other areas of the town for which the treatment plant acts as a booster for the water supply network. The plant acts as a booster for Phases I to VII.

The 5 mgd water treatment plant was constructed by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (now GMADA) about 10 years ago. After it became functional, it was handed over to the department of water supply and sanitation. PUDA had not equipped the waterworks with the hot line connection, as there was no power cuts in Mohali at that time.

According to sources, the department had made a request to the PSEB in 2007 to provide a hot line connection to the water treatment plant so that the power cuts imposed in the town did not affect its functioning. The PSEB then prepared an estimate of Rs 1.99 lakh for the work and asked the water supply wing to deposit the amount so that the work on providing the hot line could be initiated.

But unfortunately nobody bothered to deposit the amount with the PSEB.

It is learnt that another request for providing the hot line connection was made in June last year and a fresh estimate for the work was prepared later.



Property row involving Cong MLA takes new turn
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 11
Investigations by the police into the dispute over possession of a section of a one kanal house in Phase 3B2 between Amandeep Singh, a close associate of Congress Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, and Shinder Singh, state secretary of the human rights wing of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, have revealed both had bought a disputed property and were trying to wrest control over part of the house on the basis of registry documents.

While Shinder claimed to have purchased the first and second floors of the house, Amandeep has asserted he bought the ground floor. Both invested money in the property knowing fully well it was disputed. Now, a dispute has arisen over the garage and one of the rooms of the house. Moreover, the name of Sidhu’s brother, Amarjit Singh Jitti, has surfaced in an FIR filed at the Matour police station.

Meanwhile, the fight between the Congress activist and the MLA today took a new turn with the former stating at a press conference that the MLA’s associates were trying to “wrest control over the entire property”. Claiming Amandeep and his friends were repeatedly “terrorizing” him, Shinder said he would approach the PPCC for being “harassed by his party’s leaders”.

“I’ve been engaged in signing up workers for the party. I’ll be forced to end my life if I was not heard”, he added.

Showing documents, Shinder said he bought the property in March 2009, much before Amandeep, who he said was “using muscle power to push him out” of the house. “One of my close relatives, Harinder, is helping him (Amandeep) in the case”, he added.

Thanking the police for “timely action that saved his life”, Shinder said it acted swiftly on two occasions. “Despite the MLA’s brother, Amarjit Singh Jitti, being present at the scene on January 8, the police didn’t take him into custody nor did it get a medical examination conducted on him”, he added.

On the other hand, Sidhu has been claiming the dispute was “politically motivated and was being done at the behest of the rival party”. The police, however, continues to maintain the investigations into the case are being conducted based on the available facts and circumstantial evidence. 



Cong forms panel to decide Babla’s fatePradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Caught in a Catch-22 situation over jailed party councillor of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) Devinder Singh Babla, the local unit of the Congress today broke its silence and constituted a five-member committee to decide the fate of its senior leader.

Though coming a bit too late, the formation of the committee headed by another MCC councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma is being seen as a face-saving effort by the Congress over Babla, who had brought huge embarrassment to the party.

Babla, who was initially accused of irregularities in the shed allotment at the Sector 26 Grain Market, faces charges in four cases registered against him.

Besides Sharma, the committee will consist of Subhash Chawla and DD Jindal, both Congress vice-presidents, Pardeep Chhabra, a former MCC Mayor, and Vijay Singh Singh, MCC councillor and Congress secretary.

The committee has been given three days to complete is report and further action on Babla's continuation in the party would be taken after the report by the committee, BB Bahl, president of the local unit of the Congress, said.

Till now the party had been rallying around the beleaguered councillor on the plea that he was being victimised at the instance of UT administrator SF Rodrigues in the backdrop of slugfest between Union Minister Pawan Bansal and Rodrigues. Now, the viewpoint in the party was that it was high time Babla was shown the door since he had already brought embarrassment to the top leadership and law should take its own course.

Earlier, even the House of the Congress-dominated MCC had come to the rescue of the arrested councillor when he had applied for leave till December 31. Legal opinion by UT Senior Standing Counsel Anupam Gupta was that it was the prerogative of the MCC House whether to declare the seat of Babla vacant.

Wants to surrender

Chandigarh: Devinder Singh Babla, currently in judicial custody after three fresh cases have been slapped on him, has moved an application today in the court of Balwant Singh in the sim card recovery case.

In his application, Babla has offered to surrender in the case. The court has fixed January 13 as the date of hearing. He has also moved a bail application pertaining to the appointment of the auction recorder Rajesh Chauahn’s case and the court has issued notice for January 14.

Meanwhile, the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate J Sidhu, wherein Babla had moved an application for surrendering in the vigilance case slapped against him, has issued productions warrants on him for January 12.



BJP district No. 2 poll put off 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
There seems to be no end to factionalism in the local unit of the BJP.

Close on the heels of an uproar over the election of Gurpreet Singh Dhillon as the president of the district No. 3, the election to the president of the district No. 2 had been put off in the backdrop of the allegations and counter-allegations.

As soon the election process was started by state election officer Rahgubir Lal Arora in Sector 37, a large number of BJP workers raised questions over the election to the district president when mandal elections had not been held. Heated arguments followed when Arora tried to complete the election process. Seeing the situation going out of control, the BJP leadership postponed the elections. 



Sufiana kalaams soiree enchants audience
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, January 11
The spiritual sanctity of invocatory renditions, mystical grandeur of Sufiana kalaams and romanticism of ghazal, all weaved into melodic recitals marked the Sham-e-Qawwali organised by the Pracheen Kala Kendra at their mini auditorium today.

Known for promotion of classical music arts and bringing top maestros, the kendra presented a group of qawwals led by famous Patiala gharana virtuoso Neelay Khan, who is keeping up his family legacy of qawwali genre, which is otherwise on the verge of extinction.

“The original form of qawwali, a form of Muslim devotional music, said to be created by Sufi musician poet Amir Khusro in the 13th century has been subjected to many changes especially when introduced in films. Though it gained enormous popularity but lost its original concept,” explained Neelay Khan to audience who made it to the concert despite bad weather.

Equally adept at singing folk, classical and light music compositions, Neelay Khan had learnt music from Ustad Eidu Khan, Mohd Shareef and Ustad Baqar Hussain of Patiala gharana.

Neelay Khan commenced the programme with an invocatory salutation, “Teri sabh ko hai jarurat”, which was followed by melodious couplet, “Pass reh ke bhi fasla…” before doling out the all-time hit “Dama dam mast kalandar.”

The presentation was a perfect amalgam of classicism, poetic elegance and pulsating rhythmic patterns. The romantic fervour was perceptible in the next, “Aakh vekh toni…” and “Dil dharakta hai”, for which he won applauses from listeners.

On the audience demand, the qawwals recited some other favourite compositions like “Aaye ni aaye mere…” before concluding the programme with “Tere pyar wich yaara.”

Lead singer Neelay Khan was supported by Abdul Hammed, Mehardeen, Mohd Iqbal, Budhraj, Manak Ali, Billu Khan and Amit Kumar on vocals and instruments.

Kathak guru Shobha Koser, kendra registrar, honoured the artistes.



Rotary Club honours HK Dua
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Pointing out at the depletion of nation’s valuable energy in solving domestic issues like casteism, communalism and Naxalism rather than using them to become a superpower in the 21st century, HK Dua, Editor-in-Chief, Tribune Group of Publications, delivered a thoughtful address during the felicitation ceremony organised by the Rotary Club, Chandigarh, in Sector 18 here today.

Emphasising that the focus of the nation is being lost, he said: “There are 30 crore people in the country who are still devoid of health facilities, education, clean drinking water and food. There is a sharp dividing line between the have’s and have not’s. Moreover, the frustration and anger of the educated young Indian is visible when they are forced to join extremist and communal groups.”

At the ceremony, which was organised in honour of his nomination to the Rajya Sabha, Dua also mentioned that contrary to the general perception, the nominated members might not be cut off from public. “Nominated members are accountable to all. Their failure to raise the voice of people is failure as a Member of Parliament,” he added.

He and his wife Adity Dua, former president, Public Relations Society of India, have been associated with the club since 2004-2005.

RK Saboo, former president of Rotary International, was also present and honoured the rotarians with outstanding achievements.

A presentation on the achievements of the Rotary Club, Chandigarh, was also shown during the event.

The function was presided over by rotarian Subash Mariya, who is also the vice-president of the club.

In the presence of the office-bearers of the club, former president Chanranjit Singh proposed a vote of thanks.



Red Ribbon Express to reach city in Oct
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Home-cum-Health Secretary Ram Niwas today chaired a meeting of the executive committee of the Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society (SACS).

Project director of the SACS Vanita Gupta apprised the members that the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) had implemented second phase of the Red Ribbon Express. The train will reach the Chandigarh railway station on October 13, 2010, and will stay there for three days. The train has been fabricated with the exhibitions exclusively on issues like H1N1, TB, malaria, re-productive and child health.

It was decided at the meeting that the first sensitisation programme for railway employees (class IV) would be organised in January in which around 200 employees will participate.

Ram Niwas also directed the officials to implement the Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) in schools.



3,953 administered polio drops
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 11
On the second day of the national pulse polio campaign, the polio drops were administered to 3,953 children below five years of age during a door-to-door drive carried out by 298 volunteers at 22,000 houses in the city here today.

Dr Raju Dheer, nodal official of the pulse polio campaign, said apart from the door-to-door campaign, the children were also administered the polio drops at four transit camps.

On the first day of the campaign yesterday, 6,675 children were administered the polio drops.



Save heritage buildings for better marks
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
The CBSE students can now score better marks by taking any initiative to protect and maintain various heritage buildings in the city.

The board, in its latest circular, has directed its affiliated schools to involve students in protection of monuments in their vicinity and encourage them to organise seminars, quiz, skits and exhibitions on heritage conservation.

They have also been asked to administer a related oath to all students on January 12, which will be observed as the Heritage Day.

CBSE chairperson Vineet Joshi said: "The pledge may be administered at a local monument for which schools can contact the local ASI office, state archeological department or INTACH. A separate notice will also be issued to the heads of these organisations."

CBSE has prescribed a project for Class X: “Adopt a heritage scheme” where the students are suppose to adopt a historical building in their neighbourhood and take every possible measure to protect and create awareness.

Besides sensitising the students about their social responsibility, the project shall also help them to score better in their continuous and comprehensive evaluation in Class X.



Yash Pal urges varsities to be self-regulatory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Urging universities to take a firm stand on its internal conflicts, Prof Yash Pal, former director of UGC, and chancellor of Jawahar Lal Nehru University, today inaugurated the national seminar on- ‘Relevance of Philosophy in the Era of Science and Technology’ at the ICSSR Complex Seminar Hall, Panjab University.

Talking to mediapersons, the renowned educationist said national universities must become self- regulatory and autonomous and resolve their matters on their own.

“There cannot be outside policing and the university must solve its problems. The state and ministry of human resource and development must not interfere. If the university is unable to control the internal politics, it is in a certain way creating dictators outside,” he said.

He also talked about the recommendations made by a commission headed by him to the Government of India, in which he has vouched for formation of a national education commission, under which engineering, medical and higher education should be merged to reduce corruption.

Speaking on the issue of teacher’s evaluation, he said this was a definite way of ensuring that quality education is delivered. “Teachers must find ways of making students participatory and they should be asked what they wish to study. The change in syllabi should be a teacher’s prerogative and the university must ensure upgradation of syllabus,” he said.

The eminent scientist also added that students should enjoy a substantial share in the functioning of the university.

The seminar was organised by the Department of Philosophy, PU. Chairperson of the department Dr. HP Sah gave the welcome address. Professor emeritus Dharmendra Goel offered the keynote speech, while PU vice-chancellor RC Sobti delivered the presidential address. 



PUSU students call off hunger strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Amid drama at the Law department in Panjab University here today, the demands of PUSU students were agreed upon by the university administration.

Pacifying the party workers, who had decided to sit on a hunger strike today, dean student welfare, Prof Naval Kishore intervened and held talks with the students.

Department chairperson Prof PS Jaswal was also present when the students’ council members, PU security officials along with DSW heard the petition of the students.

These students had declared a strike four days back, but had intensified the same this morning, when Udey Wirring, PUSU president, went on indefinite hunger strike. Despite this, students attended a few classes in the department.

PUSU students had demanded reduction of minimum lectures needed in each subject from 70 per cent to 33per cent, which has now been agreed upon. The power of chairperson of the department to relax lecturers will be restored to 10 per cent from proposed 5per cent, genuine medical certificate will be entertained now and reduction in migration fees (for migration between regional campus and main campus) has been agreed upon.

Among the prominent demands, the LL.B. students of Department of Law have been promised 15per cent seats in LL.M. course as is being given to UILS students. 



Animation institute inaugurated

Chandigarh, January 11
Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar yesterday inaugurated a training institute, Animation Live.

Addressing the function, Sanjay Kumar hoped the campus of Animation Live would offer opportunity to creative minds of Chandigarh and the adjoining states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. He said the world-class infrastructure and training facilities should hone the young pool of talent.

He added that the wide application of animation in diverse industries like film, television, gaming, architecture and advertising had led to a tremendous global growth of this market.

Satish Venugopal, country manager, Corel Corporation, was also present. — TNS



Nishant shines in declamation contest
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 11
The first prize was bagged by Nishant Ojha, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, Chandigarh, at Surya National Declamation Contest held at DC Model Senior Secondary School here today.

The contest was judged by eminent personalities from the field of mass communication and academics.

The contest was organised for the students of Classes XI and XII of various schools of Chandigarh, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

As many as 18 schools participated in the contest. These students delivered speeches on various topics and displayed their talent of public speaking.

The aim of the contest was to enhance rational thinking and oratory skills of the students of the schools of the region.

The second prize went to Jigyasa, New Public School, Chandigarh. The running trophy and the best principal award was taken away by Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35.

The best team was bagged by Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35. The award for best teacher guide was taken away by Parvinder Kaur, Government Model SeniorSecondary School, Sector 35.

Dr BS Sohi, campus director, Surya World, Rajpura, gave away the prizes to the winners.



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