C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Undersized trees axed in Perch forest
Contractor flouts felling rules
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Perch (Mohali), January 18
The permit granted by the Punjab forest department for felling of 27,000 different species of trees in the forested area near Perch village is being misused to chop down undersized trees, which is strictly illegal.

Not those that are undersized, trees standing on slopes have also been marked for felling by the contractor who seems to have brushed the stringent rules on tree felling in the ecologically fragile Shivalik Hills under the carpet. And this is happening right under the nose of senior forest officials sitting only a few miles away in Chandigarh.

Conservator of Forests, Shivalik Hills, Parveen Kumar said since the Ropar DFO had given the permit he would enquire about the matter from him.

Falling under the Kharar range, the forest has been opened for tree felling after six years. According to the forest department rules no tree having a girth less than 60 cm can be chopped down. When The Tribune team visited the area on January 17, ‘khair’ and other species of trees having a girth less than 61 cm were found to be marked for felling or had already been chopped down.

Some of the trees with a girth of just 43 to 54 cm have been singled out for felling in gross violation of the rules, which also state any tree standing on an erosion prone slope cannot be felled. The marking of trees to be chopped down is supposed to be done in the presence of forest officials.

At certain spots the basic rule to mark trees for felling to avoid opening of a canopy in the forest appears to have been given the go-by. The Tribune team found different groups of woodcutters from Nepal, who were camping in temporary huts in the area, were busy cutting down the trees.

Moreover, to allow movement of tractor trolleys to ferry the wooden logs, a JCB is apparently being used to cut through the forest cover along the embankment of the low-gravity Perch dam to widen the passage till a seasonal rivulet.

Throughout the day the tractor trolleys move along the path on their way to the yard, where the logs are being stored.

In certain pockets that are inaccessible by tractor trolleys camels have also been engaged to ferry the chopped wood.



CBI asks Rathore to join probe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
After recording the statements of the Girhotras and Anand Prakash and his family last week, the CBI has served a notice on former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore to join investigation in the Ruchika molestation case.

According to sources, the CBI sent the notice to Rathore yesterday and asked him to join investigation by Friday. The 20-member CBI team had taken the charge of the probe on Wednesday from the special investigation team of the Haryana police.

It was on January 15 that a team of the CBI, probing into the three fresh FIRs registered against Rathore, recorded the statements of Subhash Girhotra, father of Ruchika, and Anand Prakash. The next day the statements of Anand Prakash’s wife and his daughter Aradhna, a key witness in the case, were also recorded.

The same day, Ashu, brother of Ruchika, who was allegedly implicated in false criminal cases by the police at the behest of Rathore in 1992 and 1993, also recorded his statement.

The sources confirmed that the two co-accused in the case from the Haryana police — Sewa Singh and Haripal Walia — also joined the investigation at the CBI camp office especially set up to probe the case at Sector 18 yesterday.



At 5.2 °C, city colder than Shimla
Tribune News Service


Chandigarh, January 18
Once again, Chandigarh remained colder than Shimla with the minimum temperature touching 5.2 °C in the city while Shimla recorded 5.6 °C today. Even Patiala and Ludhiana were warmer than Chandigarh with the minimum temperatures being 8.4 °C and 7 °C, respectively.

As per met records of the past four days, Chandigarh recorded a minimum of 4.3 °C while Shimla stood at 4.5 °C.

On why the city was colder, met department director Chhatar Singh said the phenomenon occurred each year for a few days when dense fog persisted in plains. The falling day temperature did not mean that the city was getting colder. The drop was for particular days alone and the average temperatures remained unchanged.

Meanwhile, the cold wave continued to affect life. There was a thick blanket of fog in the city, which reduced visibility below 100 metres. The fog, however, lifted in the afternoon. The maximum temperature was 15.4 °C and the minimum 5.2 °C.

Early morning fog, coupled with icy winds, hit rail, road and air traffic. An airline official said all flights for today and tomorrow had been cancelled.

By evening, clouds had replaced the fog. The met department said foggy conditions would prevail for some more days. There had been a dip in temperature, especially at night. “We are expecting a further plunge in temperature because of the cold wave across the region,” met officials stated.

Clear skies meant more cold. In the next three to four days, fog would lift, but there was a possibility of a cloud cover. Cold wave conditions would continue and fog might return, the met director said. 



Social worker at 16
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
At 16, Jaimeet Singh has achieved what others only dream of. A Class XI student of commerce at Vivek High School, Jaimeet has done the city proud by winning the Global Scholar Education World Young Achievers Award for social work.

A state-level basketball player, he has been involved in social work ever since the neighbourhood kids decided not to burst crackers on Diwali years ago.

He was felicitated with a citation, a trophy and Rs 25,000 at a function in Mumbai on January 8. He left the jury comprising the Sheriff of Mumbai, Indu Shahani, Dr Prasad, head of the Leprosy Association in India, and Chairman of Scottish School, among others, spellbound with the presentation of his work.

Ask him about his inspiration, and he is quick to say: “My father, a doctor, has always inspired me. My mother also taught me to be honest and truthful no matter what.”

He makes it a point to take out time for teaching poor kids and helps his father hold free medical camps. He is also involved with a gurudwara association and environment.

He is also the recipient of the Duke of Edinburgh international award for young people and Round Square Award. A project also took him to South Africa for social work. Jaimeet doesn’t much care about awards though -- a quality appreciated by the jury as well.

His father, Dr Sarvinder Gandhok, says: “His answer to the jury’s question on what medals and awards meant to him and if he was doing social work only for these, impressed everyone present at the function.”

The award, which saw 1,500 applicants in the category alone, was given to him after a telephonic interview followed by a five-hour grilling session by experts regarding his work to verify his credentials. This was followed by a final question-answer round in front of a packed audience.

Keen to pursue economics (honours) from St Stephens, Jaimeet is equally good at studies. The school and the CBSE has already awarded him certificates and commendation letters for academics as well.

Jaimeet believes in the words of Edmund Burke, “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little” and is already the role model of several students.

“I wish the government could ensure that every child went to school and parents who forced them to work, were penalised,” he stated.



Sanjay Tandon new city BJP chief 
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
On the lines of having a younger national president, the BJP’s local unit today elected 46-year-old ‘young turk’ Sanjay Tandon, son of former Punjab minister and BJP veteran Balramji Dass Tandon, as its head.

However, his "unanimous" election as president was not a smooth affair with intense lobbying preceding the election at a meeting of the party’s ‘core committee’.

Besides Tandon the meet, held at Punjab Bhavan here, was attended by Rajiv Pratap Rudi, central election observer, Kiran Ghai, co-in charge for Chandigarh party affairs, former MP Satya Pal Jain, acting president Purshottam Mahajan and ex-president Yashpal Mahajan and Jairam Joshi and Manohar Lal Khattar, zonal organising secretary.

The election of a new president appeared a distinct possibility in the morning even as groups backing Jain and Tandon tried to outwit each other by claiming majority support of the 38 delegates and six councillors. While the Jain group pushed for Ramvir Bhatti’s candidature, the other group wanted Sanjay to take over the party reins.

Rudi and Ghai had a tough time in convincing both groups about the need to have a unanimous election. In a bid to avoid factional fighting and heartburn among the party cadres, the leadership worked out a consensus formula under which Mahajan, supported by the Jain group, was elected member of the national council and Bhatti would be general secretary in the new dispensation. Also the two groups would have an equal share in the new organizational setup.

Sources said the tacit support of the BJP ’high command’ for Tandon, his father's proximity to top party leaders including former deputy PM LK Advani as well as Khattar's "blessings" saw the chartered accountant-turned-politician emerge as the winner.

In fact it has been a meteoric rise for Tandon, who was appointed a party general secretary in 2008.

While he was clearly the ‘man of the moment’ today, he faces an uphill task in rejuvenating the BJP, which is still reeling under the crushing defeat at the hands of the Congress party in last May’s general elections.

Saying his young age was not the sole criterion for his elevation as BJP president, Tandon conceded the organisational setup at the booth level needed to be toned up infuse fresh life into the party.


Fog throws life out of gear
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The city and its surrounding areas remained enveloped in fog today, affecting normal life. All flights from the city were cancelled while trains ran behind schedule due to speed restrictions.

Road traffic also moved at a snail’s pace. The chilly weather, coupled with a foggy morning and evening, threw life out of gear.

There was near-zero visibility in Mohali and Panchkula in the morning and evening. In the early hours, the supply of milk, newspapers and vegetables was delayed due to fog. Residents did not get any respite from the cold as temperatures in the city dropped to 5.2 degree Celsius.

Late in the evening, the fog became dense and the visibility was only five metres, due to which people had great difficulty in reaching their homes.

A person from Delhi, who came to Chandigarh for the first time, said unaware of directions here, he was searching for an address in Sector 29 for an hour, but nobody who could guide him was available. On highways, vehicles moved slowly and inter-state buses ran behind schedule. Passengers of nearby towns, who commuted daily, were late in reaching their offices due to the dense fog.

Government offices reported thin attendance. Most sections at the Secretariat wore a deserted look as many decided to remain at home while others reported late for duty. Punjab government offices remained closed today due to a holiday on account of the death of former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu. Students had a harrowing time reaching school. Schoolchildren were seen waiting in the dense fog for their school buses in the morning.

Sweetmeat sellers and roadside soup, peanut and egg sellers did brisk business. City parks, usually abuzz with activity, wore a deserted look.



Property tax imposition a tall order for Chatrath
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Property tax imposition remains the biggest challenge before Mayor Anu Chatrath, who took charge of the office recently. In spite of a clear stipulation by the Centre, particularly in reference to the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNRUM) programmes, the UT has not been able to implement the same.

The mayor is faced with the responsibility of constituting a house tax assessment committee to submit the case formally to the house.

Sources maintain that finding a chairman for the committee will be a daunting task for the Mayor, as there are apparently no takers for the job.

The issue has never figured in the agenda during the tenure of her predecessor in spite of repeated moves by officials concerned.

This year, the chairman and members of the committee will have to submit their recommendations on two major agendas of tax imposition i.e. increase in water tariff and imposition of house tax on residential areas.

In December, she had sent both these agendas to the committee with a plea that such matters should not be discussed in the house and after receipt of committee’s recommendations these would be considered by the house.

Also, the MC has to finalise both issues soon as the union government has directed the authorities to impose both taxes if they want to claim subsidy under JNNRUM for their projects.

In 2008, the committee met only twice and no important decisions were taken in it.

At its first meeting, none of the members turned up while during the second meeting, outstanding agendas were tabled that were cleared by the committee. The committee was formed in October last year under the chairmanship of Congress councillor Ravinder Pal Singh, as no member was willing to be its chairperson.

Interestingly, even after the appointment of the chairman, not even a single meeting of the committee could be convened in three months, as councillors were reluctant to become its members. Chatrath says she is yet to finalise the names of the chairperson and members of the committees.

She hoped that they would face no problems in selecting the chairman and members of the house tax assessment committee.



Cops working on various theories in murder case
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The Chandigarh police is analysing various clues, including tracking of victim Shashi Sharma’s mobile phone, to achieve a breakthrough in the gruesome blind murder case. The killer(s) slit the victim’s throat with such precision that it hinted that they could be professional.

“The injury was inflicted on the vital part of the throat and no other injuries were inflicted on the victim to kill her,” said a police officer while describing the scene of the crime. He added that the crime scene and missing articles suggested robbery as the motive. The post-mortem examination was performed today.

The police was also working on a theory that the murder could be the handiwork of some drug addict or a petty criminal.

“The area around the victim’s residence is inhabited by anti-social elements. It is also possible that some addict had been stalking the woman and struck when he found an opportunity. We have been questioning persons who may directly or indirectly know that victim,” said a senior police officer.

The ground-floor neighbours of the victim told the police that they closed the main gate around 10 pm on Saturday. The police found from the victim’s mobile phone call details that she last talked on the phone around 6:20 pm that fateful day.

A police officer said, “We believe that the victim was done to death between 6:20 pm and 10 pm. The murder was detected after about 20 hours. It has given ample time to the killers to go to some faraway place.”

The police quizzed the maid of the victim and her servant Manglu, along with others, but nothing could shed light on the mystery behind the identity of the killers.

The police registered a case of lurking, house trespass and causing death to commit robbery under Section 460 of the Indian Penal Code on a complaint lodged by a relative of the victim, Subhash Chander of Sector 15.

The murder is akin to that of Santosh Kumari, who was electrocuted at her Sector 42 house on August 3 last.

The police suspected that some addict or petty criminal killed the victim. The way the victim was killed by electrocution was so novel that it perplexed the police.

The killer(s) ransacked that entire house and spent considerable time there search for valuables.

They stole jewellery and took away cash from her purse, which had marks of blood-stained hands. A cash box was found lying broken on the scene. The killer(s) even searched the boxes of the bed and in the process, the victim’s body, which was on the bed, rolled over. Though the killer(s) wiped hands with clothes, blood marks were found at several places in the house.



Protest by UT staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The coordination committee of the Chandigarh administration and municipal corporation employees stage a protest by forming a human chain at the cricket stadium roundabout in Sector 16 today.

The employees alleged that the authorities had not fulfilled their outstanding demands of grant of central pay scale and conditions of service to UT employees, regularisation of daily wagers and left-out senior sweepers in ministry of health, filling of posts in all departments, issuance of uniforms to class II technical staff and repatriation of those on deputation working against the promotion quota posts.

Addressing the protesters, coordination committee convener Rakesh Kumar condemned the attitude of the administration and corporation towards employees.



Abortion due to wrong medication 
Woman seeks action against chemist
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 18
A resident of Phase III-B2 has complained to the managing director of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation that her foetus got aborted after she was allegedly given wrong medicine by a drug store.

According to reports, the victim had gone to the Civil Hospital for a check up in connection with her on-going pregnancy on December 31. She was prescribed a medicine by the doctor concerned, but the chemist at the shop allegedly gave her some other medicine instead of the prescribed one.

About two hours after consuming the medicine she started bleeding. She went to the hospital again and underwent an ultrasound test after which she was told that the foetus had got aborted.

She urged the managing director to initiate action against the chemist for giving her the medicines which allegedly damaged her foetus.

It is reported that the managing director had asked the civil surgeon to inquire into the matter. The civil surgeon gave his report in this regard but was asked by the managing director to further inquire into the case as some aspects were not clear in the initial report.



Traffic diverted for bridge widening
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 18
In order to remove the bottleneck on the road separating Sectors 7 and 18, the HUDA authorities have started widening the bridge near housing board chowk here today. While a slab on the bridge was laid today, the traffic from Panchkula to Chandigarh on the road was diverted through the road separating Sectors 17 and 18. The road, however, would be opened for the vehicular traffic tomorrow.

According to HUDA officials involved in the work, the traffic from three sides Chandigarh, Mani Majra and from NAC Mani Majra merges on the road and present width of bridge proves a big bottleneck leading to congestion during peak hours. Now, the roads on both sides would be widened from 7 metres to 9 metres, said the official.

Around Rs 20 lakh would be spent on the work which would be completed in the beginning of the next month.



Housefed blames GMADA for delay
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 18
The managing director of Housefed, Punjab, has blamed the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) for failing to provide sewerage connection and other public health facilities for the two plots it had sold more than six years ago leading to a huge loss to Housefed as well as its member allottees.

In a written statement, VK Bansal, managing director, Housefed, said in case GMADA gave the required permission for all facilities, Housefed would start the construction of flats within two months of the receipt of such clearance.

Bansal stated that GMADA had sold two developed plots to Housefed in 2003 for Rs 10,23,93,830. Housefed then floated the scheme for the allotment of flats in 2004 and the allotment was made within three months and plans were submitted for approval, which were cleared by GMADA in January, 2005.

However, subsequently GMADA informed Housefed that it could not go ahead with the construction of the flats because of litigation regarding acquisition process. Since then Housefed had been writing regularly to GMADA to provide sewerage connection and other public health facilities and also allow the construction of flats but to no avail.

He further said GMADA had on October 21, last year, asked the managing director to submit an affidavit stating that Housefed would not insist on sewerage connection and other public health facilities and could start the construction of the flats at its own risk and would not claim any damage or loss that might occur to the allottees because of non-provisioning of sewerage connection and other public health facilities. He said GMADA, as a developer, was supposed to provide such facilities to its allottees.



‘Preferred posting’ scam
3 inspectors record statements
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 18
In the “preferred posting” scam of the Punjab Police, three inspectors today recorded their statement before the investigating officer here today.

The officials, two from Ferozepore and one from Jalandhar, had been approached by the suspects to promote them from sub-inspectors to inspectors.

They disclosed to the investigating team that though they had been approached, they never paid the bribe as they got promoted on their own.

In the case, six officials of the establishment branch in the office of the Director-General of Police (DGP) are already in police custody.

The arrested persons, including two superintendent-rank officials, have been booked under the Corruption Act for facilitating the postings of non-gazetted officers, including assistant sub-inspectors (ASI) and sub-inspectors (SI), within their respective ranges.

The suspects had been rewarded in the past for their “good work”. One of the arrested superintendents is due to retire in a few months.

The suspects reportedly used to manipulate records to facilitate the allocation of the station to the beneficiaries.



Chided, Ashiana agrees to admit girl
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 18
Taking a U-turn, the Ashiana management has agreed to admit an orphan after officials from the social welfare department held meetings with the guardian of the child and officials from the home for destitute.

Taking cognisance of reports regarding the denial of entry to an old inmate by Ashiana, the DC, Pankaj Yadav, had asked the project officer of the integrated child development programme to issue a show-cause notice to the management why the grant being extended to it by the government not be stopped under such circumstances.

The 14-year-old orphan was refused admission after she was sent to her relative for counselling last month. The in charge of Ashiana, Neelam Khullar, said the child was not interested in studies and according to rules, they were not supposed to keep children who were not studying. She also said the girl could not perform well at studies due to her “genes”.

Today, however, Vibha Taluja, honorary general secretary of the association for social health in India (Haryana branch), discussed the issue with Suraj Lamba, project director of the child development project.

Taluja claimed that the girl was never expelled by Ashiana, but was taken away by her guardian voluntarily. However, all misgivings had been sorted out and the child would be staying at Ashiana now, she added. 



Brahma Kumaris pay homage to founding father
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 18
Intensive meditation and public programmes to radiate vibrations of peace and goodwill were organised by Brahmas Kumaris today to pay homage to the institution’s corporeal founding father Prajapita Brahma on his 41st ascension anniversary.

Brahma Kumari Prem Lata, in charge of Rajyoga centres of Mohali-Ropar circle, inspired hundreds of devotees at a function held in Phase VII, to follow the path of unity, peace, truth, love, non-violence, harmony and universal brotherhood.

She stressed to adopt value-based lifestyle which was the only way to bring peace in this world. Mere Western materialistic approach could drag the humanity towards destruction and only self transformation would lead to world transformation, she said.

Director of the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre Col Jaswant Singh, who was the chief guest, said peace was not a commodity which could be purchased from a market.

Peace could be brought about in the world by reducing materialistic desires and vices which would also help in providing mental peace.



Musical tributes paid to Saigal
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, January 18
“Aisa koi fankaar-e-mukkammal nahin aaya, naghmon ka barasta badal nahin aaya, sangeet ke mahir to bahut aaye hain, par doosra koi Saigal nahin aaya.”

This couplet of Bollywood music maestro Naushad found testimony as artistes paid rich musical tributes to the legendary KL Saigal and his contemporaries on Saigal’s 63rd death anniversary here today. The annual programme, ‘Yaadon ki kasak’ was organised by the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi at the Randhwa auditorium.

It also included the songs of maestros like Pankaj Mullick, Manna Dey, Mohd Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Mukesh.

The lead singer, Bhupinder Singh, rendered over 10 songs immortalised by Saigal, much to the delight of the audience.

Joginder Bhalla, Bobby, Muktesh Dewan, Vinod Dewan, Preetika, Asawari Shivam and Pooja also regaled the audience.

The music direction of Varinder Bachan, assisted by lead composer Dr Arun Kant and percussionists Nayak brothers, augmented the otherwise sleek show.

Akademi chairperson Kamal Tewari welcomed the chief guest, Vijay Sehgal, former Editor of the Dainik Tribune. Kamal Arora conducted the programme.



CITCO hotels’ sales up 45 pc

Chandigarh, January 18
Duping fears of the global recession denting their business and earning prospects, the three CITCO-owned hotels in Chandigarh have posted more than 45 per cent increase in their sales in the three quarters of the fiscal year 2009-10.

According to a press note, up to December 31, 2009, Hotel Shivalikview netted sales of close to Rs 20 crore and a net profit of Rs 3.3 crore against Rs 2 crore in the entire financial year 2008-09. In the three quarters, the hotel registered food sales of Rs 11.90 crore, room rent of Rs 7.35 crore and bar sales of about Rs 70 lakh. It incurred an expenditure of Rs 8.3 crore on employees’ remuneration, electricity and water bills, housekeeping, repair and maintenance, telephone bills and operations. Hotel Mountview registered a net profit of Rs 7 crore in the three quarters.

The hotel registered sales of Rs 20 crore at the end of three quarters. It registered sales of Rs 25 crore and earned a net profit of approximately Rs 10 crore last fiscal. The Hotel Parkview registered an increase of 45 per cent in its sales and 29 per cent in profit up to December 31, 2009.

Sales in the nine months were Rs 6.87 crore against Rs 4.74 crore during the same period in 2008 and net profit went up from Rs 1.87 crore to Rs 2.25 crore. — TNS



Biz school interviews
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Preliminary interviews and group discussions for the management courses of IFM (The Institute of Finance and International Management) Business School will be conducted locally on January 20, a press note issued here said today.

For the 2010-2012 batches, The two year full-time courses being offered by the IFIM include postgraduate diploma in management and postgraduate diploma in management (finance).

The courses are approved by the AICTE, NBA, AIU and the Ministry of Human Resources development, the press note said.

Those applying for the courses are required to have appeared in either CAT, MAT or GMAT examination. Scholarships will be provided to students, who excelled in CAT examination.



Primary classes reopen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
After almost a month’s break due to the chilly and foggy weather, the primary classes in the city schools finally re-opened today.

Parents lined up to drop their children in schools this morning. Attendance in schools was fairly good today.

“The overall attendance of primary classes was very good. The parents were relieved and grateful, especially the ones, who are working. How long can one stay at home?” JP Singh, Director, St Kabir School, Sector 26, said.

Teachers in other private and government schools echoed similar sentiments, where the attendance was 100 per cent.

“The students were as enthusiastic to come to school as the parents were to send them. The classes were energised after the long, unexpected break,” said Puneeta Singh, councillor, Carmel Convent School, Sector 9.

“It has been a month since the schools closed and even the kids got bored sitting at home. The chilly weather had made it impossible to send them out to play.

In schools, the syllabus will lag behind by weeks now,” said Ranjeet Kaur, a working mother. 



PU to check inflated mark assessment
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Panjab University will no longer accept internal assessment marks of a student if there is a difference of more than 20 per cent in the final examinations and internal assessment.

A 15-member committee on examinations reforms at PU has made this recommendation. It has been forwarded for approval of the Syndicate now.

The proposal has been prepared taking a view of the popular practice of awarding marks in internal assessment liberally by teachers in colleges and university.

Notably, the same suggestion was given by another committee on ‘review of internal assessment marks’ about four years back but was marginalised due to a technical hitch.

It is now suggested that along with the list of internal marks displayed on the notice board it must be mentioned that these would be subject to university’s approval and modification.

The internal marks of such a student will be in consistence with the marks obtained in the written examination.

Although the modalities on the issue are yet to be worked out in detail by the committee, the same has ignited hopes of reforming a crippled -examination system of a prestigious university.

Despite formation of several committees to improve the examination system in the past, none of them made a difference at the ground level, courtesy- lack of administrative will of the Syndicate and Senate of PU.

“Each time, recommendations of these committees were put forward to the general body, some objections were raised and the issue dismissed,” a fellow and member of one such committee said.

In the past four years, several committees were formed to reform the examination system, but nothing concrete was done on it.

Among these were two high-powered committees formed two years back.

One of them took one year to collect its facts and even gave path-breaking measures to “restructure the entire examination system.” But nothing happened at the implementation level when the agenda item was forwarded to the Syndicate and Senate.

In 2006, another crucial committee was formed under the chairmanship of MP Manocha to restructure the examination system. “The only way to rectify the system is to implement effective measures suggested by the committee. In a major resurrection, we had suggested that the forms should be accepted only after the discrepancies and anomalies were checked. This would save time and effort of the employees and students,” Manocha said.

In 2009, two such committees were formed. The latest one being spearheaded by BS Brar, which organised its first meeting on Saturday and was formed after the Chandigarh Tribune highlighted the need to improve PU examination system.

“At the last moment, the papers are set hurriedly. Hence to do away with the practice, we decided that the Board of Studies would name teachers, who would prepare a question pool of 100 questions and this pool would be used to randomly pick questions.

Another recommendation made was to raise the quantum of objective questions from 25 to 50 per cent,” said Brar.

Paper setters never responded to the repeated reminders of the university, hence the committee has now decided to do away with the practice of paying a single teacher Rs 300 for setting a paper and avoid frequent complaints of students that the questions were out of syllabus.

The question pool will be revived every two years and also when the syllabus is revised. 



PU VC to be honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Sri Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, PU, will honour Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti at the ICSSR complex on Tuesday.

The chief guest on the function is Varinder Walia, Editor, Punjabi Tribune. The honour is being given for his contribution to Punjabi.



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