C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Sunday Special
Fast cars, brats a deadly cocktail on roads
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
With city roads bursting at their seams due to the ever-expanding traffic, the serene settings of the City Beautiful are now replete with scenes of rude gestures, screeching brakes, screaming horns, exchange of hot words and brute power on new power machines, often leading to scuffles as well.

According to official figures, from only 2,58,843 registered vehicles in 1991, the number had gone up to 6.5 lakh in 200 . This does not include the one lakh odd “floating vehicles” in the city. The number of registered vehicles today is approximately 9 lakh.

A casual visit to different market places and interaction with a cross section of city residents reflects a very disturbing trend on the roads. Without much argument, the problem is not merely that of law and order, it has in its background the changed family and social fabric, new economics of life and more money flow in the markets.

A traffic cop on duty, requesting anonymity, said “I think parents, instead of engaging themselves more with the growth of their children, compensate them with freebies like two-wheelers and even cars. Chandigarh is a very small city and parents should not allow them vehicles in young age. The kick of high speed in new vehicles has altered the character of the age group which we never saw earlier. Moreever, each one of them thinks he has high connections.”

“The body language brags personal authority in kids. It is a check-now-or-never situation.”

It is believed that road rage is an abnormal behaviour. Around 1997, therapists in the United States were working to certify road rage as a mental condition. As it very difficult to judge by external observations, the “road rages stopped by police are often charged on offences like careless and reckless driving only”.

SSP SS Srivastava said, “We have relevant sections under the Indian Penal Code to proceed against the traffic rule violators under Sections 323 and 506. Section 506 pertaining to threatening is a non-cogniSable offence in the UT. More importantly than normal police, the sociologists with active participation of the citizens can help in drawing up the required action plan for the current situation as well as future. These are not routine violations but behavioral problems.”

Sanjeev Tewari, a former Director of Public Relations, Panjab University, said, “From a parent’s perspective, it looks the police is only engaged either in VIP or ‘challaning’ duty. Discipline has to be set with examples like stringent punishment. A fine was not sufficient. Marking violations on the licence and keeping the data online, nationwide, can be an effective check.

Civic sense can work only when society decides on a change. Mere CCTV cameras are not sufficient.”Dr Aradhana Sharma, of the psychology department, DAV College, said, “Two factors basic to road rage are temperament and the situation. Youngsters are high on anger and also hostile by nature. They are more ego-centric and carry a feeling that they can get away with anything.”

September 22, 2008: A youth stabbed to death over altercation at the traffic lights of Sectors 15 and 16.
November 2, 2009: An advocate assaulted on the road dividing Sectors 9 and 10.
December 21, 2009: Additional Director of GMCH, Sector 32, assaulted at Zirakpur.
January 15, 2010: A youth from Punjab sentenced to four years in jail by a local court for causing serious injuries to a Home Guard jawan, who tried to stop him.



MC to amend water bylaws
Allotment of water meters in villages, colonies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
To ease the allotment of water meters to the residents of villages and colonies, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has decided to amend its water bylaws in the forthcoming house meeting.

According to a proposal being mooted, if any resident of a village or colony wants to apply for water connection, he or she will have to either produce a no objection certificate (NOC) or attested certificate from the MC area councillor that he is she is a resident of that village or colony.

The issue was raised by the councillors at the recent house meeting. It was stated that most of the time, residents were not able to get the water meter connection, as they did not have NOC or any other document to testify their proof of being resident of that area.

Due to this, there is a long delay in the allotment of water meters, especially in colonies and villages. As a result, there is huge loss of revenue to the corporation and the residents prefer illegal water connections, as they have to pay flat rate for them.

After discussion on this issue, MC mayor Anu Chatrath informed the house that the department had agreed to accept certificates from the area councillor and if the area is out of Lal Dora, the applicant will have to produce NOC for it.

On this decision, an official commented that there is no doubt that this policy would increase the number of water connections and the revenue of the corporation will also increase. Meanwhile, according to the water bylaws, a person could only avail the facility of water connection if he does not have NOC or approved building plan because if there is any delay in water bill payment, the authorities could initiate action against him.

Officials believe that if this policy is adopted by the corporation, there are chances that the property owners would not get the plans of their buildings approved and would use this policy as a tool for it.

It may be mentioned that this policy is yet to be approved by the Chandigarh administration for implementation.



BCom admission to be centralised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
In a bid to streamline the admission process, the Panjab University Syndicate today decided to centralise the admission to BCom in all colleges.

To begin with, the practice will start in three city colleges and in Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana.

“Earlier, due to certain irregularities, students with lower merit used to get the admission easily. The decision was implemented six years ago, but it was again discontinued,” said Prof Karamjeet Singh, a syndicate member.

In addition, it was decided that MCA students of the GGDSD College, Sector 32, would be adjusted in Panjab University. The decision was taken following the withdrawal of affiliation of the course in the college.

Subsequently, the PU Syndicate members said no inspection committee should inspect any college till the AICTE or the NCTE gave its approval to the college.

The teacher evaluation system has also been approved.

For this, a UGC-recommended questionnaire would be accepted. However, the penalty for teachers in case of poor assessment by students was not decided.

The Syndicate has also cancelled the enrolment of PhD candidate Vijay Dhanda.

Meanwhile, the VC has been authorised to exempt college teachers from the MPhil and PhD entrance examination, as per the UGC guidelines.

On the issue of introducing MBA course in DAV College, Sector 10, the Syndicate asked the college to submit a compliance report and further a committee would check the infrastructure.

Dr AK Saihjpal, who retired on January 29 this year, has been appointed the new placement advisor of the central placement cell.

In another decision, the fee of a student of the police administration department, who was below poverty line, has been waived.

In another landmark decision, the Panjab University Syndicate members today sanctioned the refund of fee to any student whose marks increased by 15 per cent after re-evaluation. The PU students can now pay Rs 500 and apply for re-evaluation if they are dissatisfied with their result.

Besides, today’s meeting proved to be a milestone for the long-pending reforms in the Panjab University’s examination system.

Barring the question bank clause, all recommendations of the committee, constituted under Prof BS Brar for examination reforms, have been approved.

A 15-member committee was constituted after the Chandigarh Tribune highlighted the apathy of the university in introducing reforms related to the examination system and practically implementing them.

However, changes have been recommended in the credit-cum-grading system, meant to allot grades instead of marks to students in all professional courses in PU.

“In a crucial decision taken by the Panjab University Syndicate, students who failed to clear their examination in the past, would now be given another chance,” said a senior administrative functionary of the university.

Syndicate Meeting

l Teacher evaluation system approved

l VC authorised to exempt college teachers from MPhil and PhD entrance examination

l Refund of fee sanctioned to any student whose marks increased by 15 per cent after the re-evaluation

l Students who failed to clear their examination in the past would now be given another chance



Ranjit Bajaj at it again
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 30
Ranjit Bajaj, son of former IAS officer Rupan Deol Bajaj, along with two accomplices allegedly attacked and injured Gurmohan Singh Bedi, son of Justice MMS Bedi, here last night.

On the complaint of Gurmohan, who suffered injuries on the head and lips, the police booked Ranjit for attempted murder.

After the incident, Ranjit fled the scene. While the police raided his house in Sector 16, Chandigarh, twice, he could not be arrested till the filing of the report.

Gurmohan stated to the police that SJOBA (St John Old Boys Association) had organised a party at a hotel last evening. After the party got over around 1.30 am, he along with his two friends - Amarbir and Nitin - went to the parking of the hotel.

While he was standing there, his foot came under the wheel of Bajaj’s car.

When he objected to it, two persons accompanying Bajaj allegedly assaulted him with the butts of guns, after which Ranjit also joined them. The victim fell down and when he got up, one of the assailants trained a gun at him and threatened him, alleged Gurmohan in his complaint. They also roughed up Amarbir, he added.

The two men accompanying Ranjit were in safari suits and it was presumed that they were his private bodyguards, said the police.

As people started assembling at the scene, Bajaj fled in his Ford Ikon car (CHN 1) along with his accomplices.

According to sources, after booking Ranjit under Sections 323, 506, 307, 295A and 34, IPC, police teams raided his house at 4 am and again at 12 noon. However, he could not be arrested.

Bajaj, who has been hitting headlines all for wrong reasons, had allegedly attacked a police team along with his three friends outside a discotheque in Sector 26 on August 28.



Highway robbers held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The police here today achieved a major success when it arrested three highway robbers who first used to steal auto-rickshaws and after changing the vehicle numbers, robbed travellers coming from distant places.

The three accused were identified as Rohit Sharma, a resident of Lahora village, Vishal Kumar of Maloya village and Pankaj of Khuda Lahora. A case under Sections 392 and 43 of the IPC has been registered against them in the Sector 39 police station.

All three were produced before the district court by the police and a three-day remand was obtained for further investigations.

Giving details, Jaswant Singh Khaira, DSP (South), said the police had received information about the two robberies committed by the three in the wee hours of the past couple of days. He said in the first case, Imran, a resident of Maloya village, had reported that three unidentified persons forcibly looted Rs 3,200, a mobile phone, an ATM card and a silver chain at a turn near the village at 2.30 am on Tuesday.

In the second case, Jai Parkash, a resident of Maloya Colony, had reported that three unidentified persons on a three-wheeler PB-65H-4881 had robbed him of Rs 8,000 near Maloya yesterday at 4.30 am.

Khaira said they had constituted a special team, led by SI Baldev Singh, in charge, Maloya police post, and laid a naka near Maloya bus-stand early this morning.

During checking, the team detained the three-wheeler and overpowered the three accused, including the driver. During interrogation, they admitted to having committed two crimes and added that they posed as driver and passengers of the three-wheeler and used to beat the lone passenger first and them rob him of his or her valuables. The accused were plying the three-wheeler on fake No PH-65H-4881, while the original number was PH-65G-1297.


Oil conservation fortnight ends 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The Oil and Gas Conservation Fortnight (OGCF-2010) organised by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) concluded here today.

The valedictory function was held at Bal Bhawan, Sector 23, which was presided over by Justice Surya Kant of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, who was the chief guest on the occasion. He highlighted the task undertaken and performed by all the concerned starting from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, the PSU oil companies, prominent citizens, scientists, industrialists, transporters and educational institutions toward the national cause of conservation of petroleum products. “We import 70 per cent of our requirement for crude oil at an enormous cost of foreign exchange,” he said.

The national and international oil scenario with regard to conservation and optimum utilisation of oil and natural gas was also emphasised by the chief guest.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Amit Mehra, state-level coordinator, Oil Industry, Chandigarh, and senior regional manager, HPCL, briefed the importance of conservation of oil and gas activities undertaken during OGCF-2010 and need to carry out the same in daily life.

Prior to the commencement of the OGCF-2010, the trophies were given to the winners of essay writing, quiz contest, drawing and painting competition, slogan writing competition, and extempore speech of various schools. Trophies were also given to the colleges and schools for their participation in various OGCF events viz mass rallies, cycle rallies, LPG and kerosene conservation clinics etc by the chief guest.

The function concluded with a vote of thanks by DLN Shastri of Indian Oil Corporation, Chandigarh.

In yet another function on oil and gas conservation organised by the oil industry’s state-level coordinator of Punjab held at main auditorium of the Institution of Engineers, Sector 19, RK Arora, general manager, Indian Oil Corporation, Punjab, apprised about the activities conducted during the fortnight.

He emphasised that conservation was not something to be talked about only during this fortnight but has to be adopted in our day-to-day lifestyles so that we were able to save the precious oil reserves. He also emphasized that these activities should continue throughout the year.

Meanwhile, SP Singh, secretary, Food and Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Punjab, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said that oil industry in the state was doing commendable job in promoting and bringing awareness among the general public, transport and domestic sector. Singh emphasised the need for involvement of children for spreading conservation messages on oil and gas, as children are the future of the country. He also spoke on safety and control of environmental pollution.

Later, students of different schools of Kurali presented a cultural programme on the occasion.



City’s north-south divide continues to widen

The notorious ‘north-south divide’ in the city appears to be growing. As if differences in the quality of basic amenities provided in both areas were not enough, some UT administration departments now seem to be following the divide.

Take for example the state transport authority. Obtaining registration certificates for new vehicles take only two to three days after the paperwork is completed at the Sector 17 main office, which caters to those residing in the city’s northern sectors. On the other hand, the office of the SDM South, which issues registration certificates to those living in the southern sectors takes nearly a month and a half to do the same job. Consequently, these residents are forced to drive their vehicle displaying temporary registration numbers, risking not only their vehicles but also becoming vulnerable to getting ‘challaned’ (fined).

This scribe recently happened to submit her papers duly completed for a registration certificate of the newly purchased vehicle. Despite being given the date of delivery of the RC after a month, it was shocking to find the department was still not ready with the same. After two extensions were given to drive the vehicles displaying a temporary number, the scribe was finally forced to call up the top official to get the RC. So it did not come as a surprise when the certificate was delivered the next day.

Committees galore at PU

Just yesterday one of the teachers at Panjab University asked me a rather amusing question: “Why don’t you journalists, especially the ones covering the university, follow up on your stories? You pick up a new issue everyday and report it. At least give a breather,” he mused. To this, another professor chuckled and replied on behalf of the mediapersons, sitting alongside, that journos do report whenever the authorities swing into action on an issue. Since decades this institution has been known for forming committees and dragging them for months and even years. It is a committees galore at PU. Whenever a news report appears immediately a committee is formed. Then, after some time, the person who had been heading the committee, the authorities, the opposition and even the reporters forget about it. Hence, these issues remain unsolved for years at a stretch and are raised again after a while when a new VC takes charge,” he quipped.

Mohali remains the ‘poor cousin’

In a typical reflection of Mohali lagging behind Chandigarh in terms of infrastructure development, both the town’s municipal council and GMADA have failed to provide a five metre long stretch to link a new road between Sectors 54 and 55. Sparing the motorists from using potholed road along the Palsora village, the UT engineering department has provided a metalled road till Phase 1 in Mohali. However, both GMADA and the MC have not bothered to repair the short stretch of the potholed road between Phase 1 and Phase 2.

Unable to hold back his appreciation and anger, a reader called up the sentinel to inform that while enjoying a ride on the new road built by the UT administration, his vehicle hit a pothole the moment he entered Mohali. It would not be wrong to say that Mohali is still considered the 'poor cousin' of Chandigarh.

Vet hospital, school victims of neglect

The approach road to the veterinary hospital and nearby Government Primary School in Hallo Majara village has been reduced to a street of cobbled stones with huge potholes and the drains overflowing. The road remains marked by slush and a dingy pool of stagnant water, which are a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. A drainage system hardly exists in the area as water gets accumulated during the monsoon.

This is not all. Residents complain their houses are unsafe due to the presence of slums on the adjoining open space. And, the law and order problem is not the only thing causing them to wring their hands. The nearby slum dwellers are not using public toilets provided to them but are defecating in open fields. The incidence of asthma and skin diseases is reportedly rising among the residents. The choked sewerage further contributes to the unhygienic conditions. Besides, a school wall is often used for drying the cow dung cakes.

Residents rue the authorities concerned are not paying attention towards cleanliness in the area as well as the condition of the dispensary and the school building.

Thankless job

Begging has become one of the growing menaces in the city, which the UT police finds hard to check. Being pulled by the media for it failure to remove beggars from the city the police continues to arrest the offenders from time to time. This is considered such a futile exercise among the cops that whenever one arrests a beggar he or she becomes a source of laughing stock for others. The other day a cop was seen entering a police station with a man in tatters in his custody. The sentry asked him about the matter and remarked, “What was so great arresting a beggar when our police station is full of them? Everyone here is asking for something from others. He’ll feel at home.”

Meeting oppn councillors halfway

The ruling party is always known to create hurdles or hamper the clearance of projects proposed by councillors of the opposition parties for development of their areas. However, the Congress ex-mayor, Kamlesh, set a new trend last year by approving projects of opposition councillors and even ensured their timely execution. BJP councillor Surinder S Jagota’s ward could be cited as the best example. In the recent ward wise meeting held under the chairmanship of present mayor Anu Chatrath, it was found most of the projects proposed by him for development of the ward were already completed or were at their final stages. Interestingly only minor works were pending and that also due to some formalities of paperwork.

Contributed by: Smriti Sharma Vasudeva, Neha Miglani, Rajmeet Singh, Anil Jerath, Ramanjit Sidhu and Aarti Kapur



Manleen claims first place in declamation contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
UT education secretary Ram Niwas distributed prizes to winners of the academic extravaganza Eng-age’10 held at Gurukul Global School in collaboration with WORDZ-the debating society.

Around 220 students from 25 schools participated in various events like gamut of spelling bee, poetry recitation, extempore and declamation competition.

Arun Sood from Gurukul-20, Panchkula, and Khwaish Singal from the same school stood second in extempore .

Upmanyu from YPS, Mohali, secured the first place in the spelling bee contest. The poetry recitation event covered works of William Blake, Robert Frost and William Wordsworth.

Jappji Mehar from Carmel Convent School stood first.

Declamation competition witnessed brainstorming discussion covering issues like the Copenhagen Summit, Telangana issue and gender discrimination in our society.

Manleen from YPS, Mohali, claimed the first position and Shivam Dhiri from St John’s High School secured the second place in declamation contest.

Aruna Bhardwaj, principal, Gurukul Global School, said Eng-age’10 aimed at engaging students in various activities and events designed to enrich their acuity, perceptiveness and public speaking skills.


On the third day of the workshop “Capacity building of women managers in higher education” at GCG, Sector 42, Manjit Kaur, principal, Government College of Commerce, Sector 42, deliberated upon the topic “women and academic roles”.

Mayor Anu Chatrath presided over the function.

Dr Pam Rajput chaired the session.

Painting contest

The Peace Club of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 26, in collaboration with Yuvsatta, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti organised painting, collage and rangoli making competitions to mark the martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi today.

Hundreds of kids participated in the competitions.



Mutilated bodies of woman, child found
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 30
Two decomposed bodies of a woman and a six-month-old child were recovered from Rampur Siudi village on the National Highway-22, near Surajpur, Pinjore, here today.

The bodies were badly decomposed and were beyond recognition.

Prima facie it seemed to be a case of murder, as stones were found on the bodies. However, the possibility of rape of the woman before her murder could not be ruled out, said the police.

According to the police, the bodies were dumped in the bushes along the national highway. Some children stumbled upon the bodies while following a puppy.

On receiving information, senior police officials, including Superintendent of Police Maneesh Chaudhary, reached the scene. A team of forensic experts also inspected the scene.

The bodies had apparently been dumped around a month ago, as bones had started showing after decomposition.

The age of the woman was around 20-25 years, while the child, a boy, was around six months.

Both bodies were sent for a post-mortem at the General Hospital, Sector 6.



Senior citizen council soon: Badal
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 30
To ensure social security and safeguard the rights of elderly persons, the Punjab government will soon set up a state senior citizen council. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal stated this at the launch of the Federation of Senior Citizens Association (FEDSEN), Punjab, during a function here today.

Badal said the council would also guide the state government to prepare a comprehensive policy for the welfare of senior citizens.

He also agreed to the proposal of the federation to depute a senior police officer of Inspector General (IG) as a nodal officer at the state level to look into the issues of senior citizens, especially related to their safety and personal security.

Similarly, DIGs would be deputed in their respective ranges and SP-level officers in districts as nodal officers to ensure personal security of older people.

The Chief Minister said Punjab was amongst few states to adopt the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 to ensure social security to senior citizens.

Also promising to create a dedicated fund of Rs 500 crore to enable the old age beneficiaries to get pension in time, he said the state government was in the process of tying up with nationalised banks for the disbursement of old age pension on their doorstep.

An assurance was given to senior citizens that they would be given due representation in district committees constituted for the implementation of various development projects and welfare schemes.

A senior citizen home would be set up in Sector 68 by GMADA.

Executive president of FEDSEN DS Grewal outlined the achievements of the federation and said over 500 members from 17 associations of 15 districts had joined the federation and soon the remaining districts would also come under its fold.

Federation members had been invited by the state government to chalk out a strategy for streamlining welfare schemes for senior citizens.

Badal unveiled the logo of FEDSEN and released its maiden souvenir dedicated to founder chairman of the Punjab State Senior Citizens’ Association and former Chief Secretary PS Vaishnav. He also announced a grant of Rs 10 lakh for the federation.

Senior officials of the state government attended the function. 



Ravidas Jayanti celebrated with fervour
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 30
The 633rd birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas was celebrated with fervour at Phase VII here today.

Member of Parliament Ravneet Singh Bittu was the chief guest at a function organised by the Shri Guru Ravidas Naujwan Sabha.

Addressing a gathering, Bittu said Guru Ravidas was a social activist who had sacrificed his life for the welfare of the downtrodden and the underprivileged of the society.

The Guru had preached that caste system had been created by mankind but God had made everyone equal. Bittu announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the sabha out of his discretionary funds. 



Students exhibit talent at education fęte
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 30
In a unique social initiative, Quark Prayas, a community development initiated by a group of volunteers, provided a platform to students of underprivileged institutes in and around Chandigarh to exhibit talent by organising an education fęte here today.

Rock Garden curator Nek Chand was the chief guest. Others present included Dr Ashok Chitkara and Madhu Chitkara of Chitkara University and Satnam Singh Sandhu, chairman, Chandigarh Group of Colleges.

After inviting entries of children from educational institutions, the five winning students - Prahlad Verma (Sikhya School, Sector 46, B, Chandigarh); Karan (Sant Sar School, Sector 38 West, Chandigarh); Avneet Oberai (Gur Aasra Trust, Mohali); Satpal (Jeevan Mukt Shulk Vidyalaya) and Vishal Kumar (Ashiana Children Home, Sector 16, Panchkula) - were awarded with computers and other electronic gadgets.

Delivering the keynote address, Sofi Zahoor, director, HR India Operations, Quark, said: “It is exciting to harness such talent and intelligence that could otherwise be lost if not backed with enough opportunities. The creative thoughts shared by them suggest that they do not need help but just that little bit of encouragement and the right avenues to explore. For volunteers, it has been an overwhelming and a humbling experience.”

The day saw the shortlisted candidates give Power Point presentations, thus reflecting their thoughts and opinions creatively through the use of computers.

In a competition, three of them were given prizes as a token of acknowledgment of their commitment towards their own self-growth.

The participating students were the beneficiaries of over 100 computers given by the computer company to various underprivileged institutes.

The schools that took part in the initiative were: Sikhya - The School of Learning, Sector 46, Chandigarh; Jyoti Sarup Kanya Aasra Society, Randhawa Road, Kharar; Gur Aasra Trust, Palsora; CARES, Dhanas village; Ashiana - Children Home, Sector 16, Panchkula; Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Kharar; Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Sohana; Bal Niketan Society, Sector 15 C, Chandigarh; Sant Sar Public School, Sector 38 West, Chandigarh; Jeevan Mukt Nishulk Vidyalaya, Jagatpura village, near Sector 48, Mohali; Dhudial Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Patiala; Sant Baba Waryam Singh Ji Memorial Public Senior Secondary School, Banur; Lion Public School, Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara, Milk Colony, Dhanas; Guru Ram Rai Public School, Katli village, Ropar; and Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Kurali.



NGO seeks separate rights panel for UT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Taking a serious note of the deteriorating of law and order situation in the city, an NGO, Citizens Forum for Human Rights has demanded a separate human rights commission in Chandigarh on the lines of Punjab and other states.

Sushil Gupta, president of the NGO, recently met Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shiv Raj Patil in this connection. The members of the NGO urged the Administrator to establish a human rights commission in Chandigarh.

In the absence of the commission, people of the city have to approach the National Human Rights Commission at New Delhi.

The president of the NGO also apprised the Administrator that the present chairperson of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission was willing to accept the responsibilities of the Chandigarh jurisdiction. 



Hadlee urges businessmen to invest in New Zealand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Legendary pace bowler Sir Richard Hadlee, who donned the robes of a brand ambassador of New Zealand, was in the city here today to urge the residents to invest in his country.

Addressing the gathering of businessmen and investors at the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here, Hadlee said he was in the city to talk about his country as a destination. He said though it was a small country, it was a wonderful place to live and what’s more was that they have room for those who want to invest in the country.

Speaking on the occasion Sanjeev Toora of the NZ Financial Solutions and the brain behind the event said New Zealand was a safe and secure investment destination. He said there were already 1,20,000 immigrants of Indian origin, including professionals, businessmen and entrepreneurs, happily settled in New Zealand. He said after the successful free trade agreement with China, New Zealand is working out a similar agreement with India, which will open new opportunities for trade and business, he added. 



Tributes paid to subedar killed in Leh
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, January 30
A large number of residents of Sanipur village and senior Army officials paid tributes to subedar Mewa Singh who was killed in Leh on duty, here today.

Subedar Mewa Singh was killed when the Army vehicle he was traveling in fell into a 200-foot-deep gorge on Thursday.

He was declared a martyr by the Army authorities. Mewa Singh was deployed with 110 Engineering Regiment.

The body of Mewa Singh was brought to his native village, near Mandi Gobindgarh, this morning by the Army.

Major SK Mohanty paid tributes to the soldier on behalf of Army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor. Besides Army officials, senior officials of the district administration and the police were present during the last rites. Sukhwinder Singh, brother of Mewa Singh, lit the pyre.

Army officials fired gun shots as a mark of respect. The subedar is survived by three daughters, wife and father.

Deputy Commissioner Yashvir Mahajan said all possible help would be extended to the family members of the martyr.



Guru Ravidas Jayanti celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The 633rd birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas was celebrated with great fervour at Guru Ravidas Bhawans in Sectors 20 and 30 here today.

Pawan Kumar Bansal, Minister for Water Resources and Member of Parliament, Chandigarh, was the chief guest.

KR Punia, president, Sri Guru Ravidas Maha Sabha, said the status of man was decided by his “karma” and one should not feel inferior due to his caste.

He said one should work for the welfare of poor and homeless. Temples were beautifully decorated. Hundreds of devotees thronged the temples to pay obeisance. 



PU to host science conference from Feb 7
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Hundreds of scientists, academicians and climate experts have been invited to attend the three-day Punjab Science Congress being hosted by Panjab University from February 7 to 10.

The delegates will be discussing ways and means to meet the challenges of climate change, including energy and water resources.

“The deliberations during the congress will cover diverse scientific sessions on agriculture, biosciences, biotechnology, environmental sciences, applied chemistry, applied physics, sugar technology, food technology and textile chemistry, chemical, mathematical and physical sciences, engineering sciences, medical and veterinary sciences, socio-economics,” said Prof Sobti.

The prestigious award of “Man for Science and Technology 2009” will be given during the inaugural session by VM Trehan, chairman, Mekaster Group of Industries, and chairman, Indian Science Congress Association, Delhi chapter. VM Trehan was awarded the coveted Presidential Gold Medal award by the Indian Science Congress Association in 2008.

It was presented to him by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, at the association’s inaugural function in Vishkhapatnam.



Students get first-hand info on traffic rules
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 30
As part of the programme to educate schoolchildren about functioning of the police and traffic rules, as many as 75 students recently visited the Phase 8 police station to get a first hand information about the various aspects of a police station.

Phase 8 police station SHO Sanjeev Kumar and Inspector, Traffic, Devinder Singh, explained to students about various aspects of police functioning.



Smriti wins regional Brain Bee contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The third Chandigarh Regional Brain Bee, a neuroscience contest for the Class X students, was conducted at the advanced eye centre auditorium of the PGI here today.

Nearly 14 students from seven schools participated in the event that was organised by the department of neurology, PGI, in association with the Indian National Brain Bee (INBB), the International Brain Bee (IBB) and the Society for Neurosciences (SFN).

Dr Dheeraj Khurana, associate professor, department of neurology, PGI, who is the coordinator of Chandigarh Regional Brain Bee, said students responded brightly to easy and baffling questions alike, including which part of the human brain do you use for thinking, planning and problem-solving, which was the decade of the brain etc. Questions in the quiz were asked from a book that was given to all the contestants earlier, he said.

Smriti Mahajan of the Sacred Heart School emerged the winner among the 14 closely competing candidates. Sohbat Sandal of PML SD Public School was the first runner up and Akshat Aggarwal of Government Model School, Sector 33, was the second runner up.

The top two will participate in the Indian national finals to be held at Chennai on March 27 and 28.

“The national champion would then compete in the international finals in the US. The International Brain Bee champion would receive $ 3,000, an all expenses paid trip to attend the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, a travelling trophy for their high school and a fellowship to work in a laboratory of a neuroscientist in the US,” said Dr Khurana.

The Brain Bee is an international event held annually with the aim of motivating high school students to learn about the nervous system, arouse their interest in neurosciences and inspire them to pursue careers in research related to deciphering the mysteries of our nervous system. 



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