C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Sunday Special
PU to produce certified entrepreneurs
Central placement cell to go DU way
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Panjab University is all set to produce “certified entrepreneurs” from the current session. On the pattern of the University of Delhi, the central placement cell of the PU is ready for a makeover and will now provide a one-month on-campus training programme for budding entrepreneurs.

Besides getting a certificate in entrepreneurship, the students would also get a loan for their ventures, which will be arranged by the university through its network. The proposal has been formulated for the students of departments like biotechnology, the University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS) and the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) who have shown a keen interest in the entrepreneurship.

In addition, a series of six workshops for soft skills enhancement of the students are being hosted. In these workshops, the students would be trained for personality development, table mannerisms and etiquette and mock interviews would be conducted.

For the students to analyse their performance in interviews for jobs, the introduction of three panels is also in the pipeline for feedback purpose. In these panels, industry experts, psychologists and subject experts will scrutinise the performance of the students and suggest changes in their style.

“We have enrolled 40 students from all departments of the PU for the soft skills workshop. About 12 students had to be rolled over to the next workshop due to the restrictions of limited seats,” said Prof AK Saihjpal, new advisor, central placement cell. The three-day paid workshop started on February 12 at the ICSSR Complex.

“The target of the central placement cell is to increase employability. Just last week several students of the chemistry department and pharmacy department were placed. Efforts are now being made by the university to reform the system and increase its network. Any notice regarding the placements will first be sent to the chairpersons of all departments and will also be displayed on notice boards of the departments, central placement cell and student centre,” informed Saihjpal.

In PU, besides professional departments like the University Business School (UBS) and UIET, all other departments did not have a streamlined process for the placements. “We had a tough time getting the students placed this year, since the UIET was not ready to conduct a joint placement drive and we did not have a training and placement official in our department. Till last year we had 100 per cent placements, which suffered this year because of lack of coordination. The central placement cell was of hardly any help,” said Nipinder, student placement in charge, MCA final year, PU.

For years, the central placement cell of PU had been an inactive observer, unlike its parallel in other universities, like the University of Delhi, which had an edge because of its efficient industry networking. After the appointment of a fulltime advisor for the central placement cell in the last Syndicate meeting, there is a hope for improvement. Earlier faculty members, who could not devote time to it in addition to the routine teaching, looked after the placement cell.

Now in the first phase, Rs 20,000 would be allotted to the departments who require it for placement activities. The department of English, evening studies and University Institute of Fashion Technology are the first ones to have sought a grant for placements from the university. Besides, a list of training and placement officials of all departments has been prepared.

The placement cell plans to hold an employment fair next and a corporate meeting of HR executives of companies in the campus.



Illegal sand mining thrives in UT border areas
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Nada (Mohali), February 13
The construction activity in Chandigarh’s periphery is proving to be a boon for the sand-quarrying mafia in the Nayagaon-Nada area, no matter the threats posed to the ecology of the place.

Eager to make a fast buck, the operators of the illegal activity, while using muscle-power, are now going further deep into the forest area, eyeing even private land of farm houses along the two rivulets coming from Tanda and Masol villages.

Some incidents of caretakers at farmhouses being manhandled by the mafia members have gone unnoticed.

In the past few days, tonnes of sand have been removed from private land. Sources reveal that operating in an organised manner, the mafia members work during the night hours to avoid detection. Moving collectively, the members use tractor-trolleys to ferry the sand.

Not restricting to specific sites, any piece of land is being targeted. In some cases, the mafia, in order to extract sand, has damaged the stone pitching done by farmhouse owners to save their land from erosion. One of the affected farmhouse owners, HS Benipal, showed the colossal damage being done to land and forest by the illegal mining.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that from the mining site the sand is being ferried on tractor-trollies at a rate of Rs 1400 per trip. After being dumped at sites in Nayagoan and Nada, the sand is sold further. A lot of activity is visible at the quarrying sites early in the morning and late evening hours.

A visit to the area revealed that sand quarrying was going on in all seasonal rivulets in the forest area. Under the Forest Control Act, sand quarrying is not allowed in the area.

The indiscriminate quarrying has left several 10 to 15 feet deep craters in the fields. The tractor-trollies carrying earth quietly pass out without being checked by the Forest Department officials. A claim of the Forest Department in checking the illegal activity is not visible on the ground. Recently, the sand mafia members assaulted a forest guard and no one has been arrested so far.



Holiday Issue: Lawyers go on strike
Sonika Bhatia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Leaving litigants in the lurch, lawyers here today went on strike, demanding holiday on every second Saturday of the month.

The lawyers alleged that the authorities were not moving along with the notification, dated April 25, 1987, which stated that second Saturday should be declared holiday.

The notification, issued by Registrar, Punjab and Haryana High Court, also mentions that evidence and arguments of regular cases would be dealt from Monday to Friday and miscellaneous cases like bail, injunction, superdari (return of articles) etc would be taken on Saturday. In emergency, a case could be transferred on Saturday or any other workday.

The District Bar Association (DBA) had passed the resolution for abstaining from work on February 11 and decided that it would continue on every second Saturday till the notification was implemented. The request for complying with the notification has been sent to the presiding officer.

Advocates also said that without taking their views into consideration, their gazetted holidays are adjusted on second Saturday, which lessens their holidays. Thus, they had decided not to work and any member, if appeared in court, would be fined Rs 1000.

Secretary of the DBA Malkit Singh Jandiala said, “We will abstain from work on all second Saturdays till the compliance of the notification,” and added, “The executive committee of the DBA would be submitting a representation in this regard to the Registrar of Punjab and Haryana High Court for declaring every Saturday as holiday.” “The notification has been implemented all over Haryana and Punjab. However, it is not executed in the UT court,” he mentioned.

Advocate Gaurav Kathuria, who is also the treasurer of the DBA said, “The notification states that the second Saturday of every month had been declared holiday, but still we have to work and our restricted holidays are merged with it.”

While all judges adjourned the cases for working days today, litigants, many of whom had come from far-away places, had to return.



Pune Blast
High alert in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
A high alert was sounded in the city this evening in view of the IED blast in Pune.

SSP SS Srivastava said they had increased security in the city in view of the Mahashivaratri festival and Valentine’s Day. He added that security had been further beefed up to thwart any untoward incident in the city.



It’s OK if you are not in love today!
Don’t shrink your heart, says shrink
Kirti and Nidhi

Ways to boost self-esteem

n Self-appreciation
n Don’t pay much heed to what others say about you
n Develop new interests and hobbies
n Help others
n Count your blessings

Chandigarh, February 13
A night before the Valentine’s Day, a 15-year-old girl sobs alone in her bathroom. No she does not have a fight with her boyfriend, but the problem is she does not have one.

When anyone thinks of the Valentine’s Day, what does one imagine? It is usually a happy picture. Two people walking hand in hand, sharing promises and dreams. But is this true for everyone? Not really.

Dr Simmi Waraich, consultant psychiatrist, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, tells us a few cases. A boy was depressed because of drugs and a series of failed relationships, which did not last over a week. In another case, a school-going girl required counselling when her boyfriend left her after being physically involved with her. But these are only a few cases, which reach the counsellors desk. Dr Simmi added, “Only 10 to 20 per cent come out to seek help. And only 5 to 10 per cent of these continue medication.”

As it is, the relationships are difficult to maintain and that too for adolescents. In the month of love the extent of anxiety varies according to a person’s personality. Dr Rajneesh Garg, director, Institute of Personality and Aptitude Testing, said, “February brings with it a dilemma for many. Lovers search for new ways to celebrate love and singles fret over their loneliness, which sets in momentary depression. Some even vow to be ready with their valentine for the next year.”

Not being in love makes one feel inadequate and embarrassed in front of one’s friends. But is this feeling worth cultivating? One should not base his self-esteem on the external world. Self worth must come from internal appreciation.

At times parents become the cause of their children’s low self-esteem. As Simmi said, “One of my patient’s mother kept commenting on her skin and beauty in comparison to her younger sister.”

Here the parents must step in. They should make adequate efforts to make their children feel loved and wanted. The parents must try to see the world through their children’s eyes as well. The girl you read about in the beginning could have felt better about the whole situation had her parents known what’s going on in their child’s life. The parents must ensure that they give due importance to their children’s problems, lend a patient ear and if possible help them find a solution.

With the family support you need to keep a track of your own heart and mind. Take your time, have a heart to accept that love will arrive when the time is right. Till then, with gratitude, love the people who have loved you all your life. Remember some find their mates early, some late, but do enjoy this wait.


CHB may allow non-polluting trades in colonies
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Nearly a year after its notification permitting non-polluting trades in residential areas of the rehabilitation colonies, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) may soon allow other environment-friendly trades as well.

As of now, the board allows only those shops dealing in tailoring, beauty parlour and boutiques. However, in the absence of other listed environment-friendly, non-polluting trades in its notification dated February 27, 2009, residents of colonies, including Ram Darbar Karsan Colony, Indira Colony, Dadu Majra, Bapu Dham, Mauli Jagran and Palsora, who are running other non-polluting small shops as per the norms, continue to get cancellation notices of their houses.

Now after a recent survey done by the board in three different colonies to identify other environment-friendly trades going on in the colonies, the board has recommended to make amendments in its notification allowing other trades as well. The recommendations were recently brought in one of the board meetings and have been sent to the administration for approval and subsequent amendment in the earlier notification.

Confirming this, chairman of the CHB Mohanjeet Singh said, “We have already recommended different trades we have identified in the survey. The same have been sent to the administration for approval.”

The board is only allowing three trades in the colonies in the form of small shops measuring not more than 20 square metres. These are in consonance with the orders of the apex court with regard to the non-polluting units in the residential area. While the apex court’s ruling mentions 13 trades, the board is yet to include them. Interestingly, the notification of the Chandigarh Housing Board includes the term ‘etc’ along with the other three trades creating much confusion.

Consequently, residents of colonies who are running small grocery stores, confectionary stores, STD/ PCO booths and photostat booths have been getting notices from the board.

Many appeals are pending before the board and which were dismissed have also led to the cancellation of the house allotments in these resettlement colonies.



District Courts
Black coat key to avoid frisking
Sonika Bhatia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
The issue of security at the district courts complex here has come into focus after the recent attack by a youth on former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore.

Entering the premises of the courts without any checking is possible for anybody wearing a black coat, the dress code for advocates.

Security personnel neither stop any person wearing a black coat, nor check what he may be carrying with him.

This can give an opportunity to an assailant to reach his target easily. Carrying a folder that most judges carry with them is also helpful.

Many high-profile persons like Parkash Singh Badal and Amarinder Singh visit the courts, but there is lack of security at the complex.

There are two main gates and both have metal detectors. The police personnel deployed here are often busy chatting instead of checking visitors.

The authorities have been approached in connection with inadequate security many times and have been asked to instal CCTV cameras.

An advocate says they are free to move in and out of the courts. Any mishap can take place any time, he admits.

Instead of high walls, the complex has a grill around it, through which objects, including explosives, can be passed easily.

Sources say either the grill should be covered properly or walls should be constructed to avoid any untoward incident.

Advocate Arvind Thakur, who had filed a complaint in this regard earlier, said the judicial magistrate had issued summon to the SSP and the Home Secretary.

The DSP Central had visited the courts on their behalf and said security was adequate, but the advocate showed the bullets he had with him.

Thakur said metal detectors here were outdated and there was a need to instal ultra-high-frequency metal detectors at the entrance, just like the ones at the high court.

He said the courts should also have floor-to-roof fencing. District and sessions judge Kewal Krishan Garg said the security was adequate.

“We have a sufficient number of security personnel here,” he stated. He added, “A member of the courts is always available at the gate to recognise advocates.”

Asked if anyone wearing a black coat could enter the premises without checking, Garg said, “Security personnel respect advocates and they should not be embarrassed.”

“We will take up the matter during our next meeting and identity cards will be issued to all advocates here so that no confusion takes place,” he maintained.

SSP SS Srivastva said the courts were guarded well and an anti-sabotage team could arrive in time to check the security.



Aradhna to launch website
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 13
Aradhna, friend of Ruchika Girhotra, who committed suicide after she was molested by former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore, will launch a website in memory of her friend.

This was stated by Aradhna here today, who is also the sole eyewitness in the infamous 1990 molestation case.

She said the website will aim at creating a platform to fight the menace of child abuse.

She said they had been receiving suggestions and support for the past couple of weeks, which motivated her to launch the website.

Experienced lawyers would give advice and extend their support to victims, she added.



Information commission issues show-cause notice to PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
The Central Information Commission, New Delhi, has issued a show-cause notice to Panjab University for delaying the release of information about the appointment of deputy registrars beyond 500 days.

The decision comes in the wake of a hearing on January 19 by Information Commissioner ML Sharma on an RTI application filed by Jaswant Singh Rana with the University Grants Commission (UGC) on April 19, 2008.

In a press brief, Dr Rajinder K Singla, who argued the case on behalf of Rana, stated that on July 18, 2008, the UGC supplied the information on four points related to the case of appointment of two deputy registrars and transferred the application to PU for the remaining information.

However, the deputy registrar (establishment)-cum-APIO supplied only a part of the information and did not comment on the remaining. Rana then appealed before Prof RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor-cum-appellate authority of the university under the RTI.

Singla claimed that PU supplied these pages 150 days after the transfer of RTI application from the UGC, as against a permitted time limit of 30 days.

On February 2, 2010, PU supplied the certified copies of the pages, which was nearly 650 days after the RTI was filed. The next hearing is on March 13, 2010 and FDO Vikram Nayyar, who represented PU in the first hearing, has been directed to provide the certified copies to Rana.



Village pond a health hazard
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Residents of Behlana are sore over the ‘indifferent’ attitude of the gram panchayat as it has failed to clean a large pond of dirty water posing a health hazard.

Villagers say the pond emanates foul smell and is also a perfect breeding ground for flies and mosquitoes. A few trees near the pond are also dying a slow death as their roots have been choked due to the discharge toxic waste into the pond.

Residents said they had approached sarpanch of the village Mohinder Singh over the issue, but to no avail.

Pavittar Singh, an ex-serviceman and resident of the village, said: “I had recently planned to hold a get-together with my old pals on the rooftop of my house in the evening, but the idea proved to be disastrous. After I had made all arrangements for the purpose, I had to shift everything to my drawing room as by dusk, the breeze started blowing from the tank's side towards my house, bringing pungent smell with it," he said.

“We are living in dangerous conditions but no one seems to be bothered,” rued JS Anand, a resident. He said he along with his neighbour had approached the sarpanch, but no action was taken.

Some residents recently opposed the decision of the village panchayat of draining the stinking pond water on village roads. The residents alleged that the pond had not been cleaned and de-silted for the past many months.

As per records, Rs 10,000 was spent for cleaning the pond of the village last year, apparently everything was only on papers. Now, the village panchayat has decided that the water of the pond would be drained into the sewerage of the village.

“Though the sarpanch has claimed to have disbursed substantial grants for de-silting the pond, only a part of the work has been done and the polluted water has covered the nearby streets,” said Pardeep Mangewal, another villager.

Balbir Singh, a resident of the village, said: “Whenever we approach the sarpanch over the issue of waterlogging, he asks us to contact the sanitary employees.” He said the sanitary employees demanded liquor to do the job, but instead of questioning the sanitary employees, the sarpanch justified their demand saying they could not go into the stinking water without consuming liquor.

Sarpanch Mohinder Singh, however, dismissed the allegations and said he had no other option than to release the water into the village drainage lines. He said the water was usually released in the village sewerage at night so that the villagers do not face problem. He also maintained that the village pond had not been cleaned for months.



Play on ‘Five Point Someone’ ensnares audience
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 13
The dramatic version of author Chetan Bhagat’s latest best seller “Five Point Someone” ensnared audience at the Tagore Theatre, Sector 18.

Audience seemed to be thrilled to watch the play, but failed to drive the pleasure, which the film provided due to its technical virtuosity and glamour of audio-visual effects.

Three hostel mates-Alok, Hari and Ryan get off to a bad start in IIT, as they screw up the first class quiz. While they try to make amends, things only get worse. It takes them a while to realise: If you try and screw with the IIT system, it comes back to screw you. Before they know it, they are at the lowest echelons of IIT society. They have a five-point-something GPA out of ten, ranking near the end of their class. While the world expects IITians to conquer the world, these guys are struggling to survive but only to triumph later in life and negating many perceptions. The star cast of Amritha V (Neha), Naveen (Ryan), Alok (Bhargav) Hari (Sudershan), besides the virtuoso narrator Jimmi Deva brought alive the essence of drama under the direction of Sunil Vishnu.

Ticketed shows of the play will be held at 3.30 pm and 7 pm tomorrow.



Club to honour four workers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
The Rotary Club, Chandigarh, is giving vocational awards of Rs 5,000 to workers of the under-privileged community for their contribution in various fields.

Harminder Pal Sharma, who is working at the Sector 32 Fire Station, will be awarded for his participation in a risk operation in Sector 31.

Harmesh Kumar, who is living with a post-polio deformity of both lower limbs, will be awarded for helping physical challenged persons.

The club will also honour Narain Dass Kaikade for his services for the cause of HIV/AIDS and Rakes Sethi, who joined as a daily wager with the UT engineering department in 1977 and became an ALM in 1985 and got promoted as the SSA in 2006.



Cancer Survivors Day observed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
The Cancer Survivors’ Day was celebrated in the Sahayta Cancer Kendra, Sector 15, here today. UT Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar was the chief guest on the occasion.

President of Sahayta Cancer Kendra Renu Saigal presented the annual report. Kumar lauded the efforts of the kendra and congratulated them for taking steps for early detection and cancer awareness by holding camps in colonies and Chandigarh’s periphery. He also honoured the supporters and deserving persons by giving them cash prizes and mementos on behalf of the kendra.



Book released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
A book titled “Indian government organised carnage” authored by Gurcharan Singh Babbar, president, All-Indian Sikh conference (Babbar) at the Press Club here recently.

Talking to mediapersons, Babbar said his main aim was to expose the brutal killers and conspirators, who were involved in the November 1984 carnage after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Dr KK Gombar, director, critical care, INSCOL, and former head of the anaesthesia and critical care department, GMCH-32, has been elected president of the Chandigarh branch of Indian Chapter of International Trauma Anaesthesia and Critical Care Society.

Prof SK Malhotra from the department of anaesthesia, PGI, said “Comprehensive Trauma Life Support Course” would be started at the PGI, Chandigarh, in the first week of September.

Prof MS Dhillon, head, orthopaedics, PGI, has been elected vice-president, Dr Ashok Gupta DMS, PGI, has been appointed secretary, while Dr SK Gupta, associate professor neurosurgery, will be treasurer.



180 selected in placement drive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
In a placement drive launched by the Institute of Technology and Future Management Trends, Sector 17, 157 students have received offer letters from big corporate houses such as BMI, Radisson Delhi, Taj Hyderabad, Indigo Airlines, HDFC, Leela Palace, ISTA Amritsar, Career Weavers and Indian Holidays.

A well-known chain of hotels, Leela Palace, Bangalore, has also selected 23 students. Different categories of jobs such as front office associates, steward captains, events executives, customer service consultants, guest relation executives and housekeeping associates were offered during the placement drive.

ITFT Education Group executive director Gulshan Sharma said with the service industry having emerged as a new engine of the economic growth and employment generation, the maximum jobs were now available in its various segments and it was our effort to make the students employable by imparting appropriate training and skill development, besides enhancing their overall personality.



Conference on human rights from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
A two-day international conference on “Human rights: Transforming dimensions” will be held in Panjab University, Chandigarh, from February 15.

The conference is being organised in collaboration with Oxford Brookes University, its twin university in UK, and sponsored by the Indian Council for Social Science Research.

The conference will see civil society actors, bureaucracy, judiciary, defence, human rights commission, activists and media debate on the complexities of understanding and implementing human rights across the wide spectrum of a global society.

The deliberations will be spread over parallel and plenary sessions on varied issues ranging from the rights of minorities, tribal women, children, disabled people and indigenous groups to the use of green technology, food security, terrorism, cyber crimes, violence against women, globalisation and bio-technology.

A panel discussion on the media and human rights will also be a part of the deliberations.



‘Vortex-2010’ on Feb 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Determined to organise the first academic fest of its kind in the campus, students of the Panjab University’s physics department are hosting “Vortex-2010” on February 17.

Aiming to send out a message that meaningful events can be hosted without wasteful use of resources and money, these students boost of hosting the fest without disturbing their study schedule.

Hosting an engaging debate on “Copenhagen Summit” where the students from various colleges and departments of PU would rebuttal on environmental issues, the department has focussed to conduct three academic events as a part of Vortex.

Acknowledging the efforts of the department faculty and students, chairperson Prof Manmohan Gupta said, “The students wanted the fest to be different from other fests in the campus and hence they decided that it should purely be an academic one.”

“Unlike all other departments, we are hosting a unique fest, which will purely be academic and would not involve any cultural show, which requires a lot of practice, money and time,” said Harleen Kaur, a student of MSc II and secretary, physics association.

“Extempore and debate will be the most interesting part of our event and third event is quiz, which would be on general issues,” informed Sandeep, department representative.



‘Kilkari’ at Manav Mangal
Tribune Reporters

Mohali, February 13
Manav Mangal Smart School organised “Kilkari”on the school premises here today. Tiny tots of kindergarten took part in various activities. The programme began with a song “Ke Sera Sera”sung by students of Class II. Water cycle was presented in a unique manner with droplets dancing on stage and showing the entire water cycle. Goan dance mesmerised audience. Director of the school Sanjay Sardana said the programme aimed at encouraging tiny tots to take part in such activities and perform with confidence.

Annual fete

Yadavindra Public School held its annual fete on the school premises here today.

Students and parents turned up in large numbers. Various games were organised by the YPS staff, in which students won prizes.

The jam session was the biggest crowd puller.

Spring fest

St Soldier’s, Mohali, organised “Spring Splendour” here today.

Students of the primary section hosted the programme.

Dr Sandip Jain, pediatrician, Fortis Hospital, graced the occasion as chief guest. He declared the event open by releasing “Basanti” balloons. A panel of doctors adjudged the healthy baby contest.

Scholarship announced

To mark the birth anniversary of Sahibzada Ajit Singh, a function was organised at Sahibzada Ajit Singh Institute of Information Technology and Research, Mohali.

Nearly 500 students from different streams presented a cultural function.

Dr JS Dhaliwal, chairman, SAS Group, was the chief guest, while Prof Girish Jaswal, director-general, SAS Group, presided over the function.

Students were given scholarship of Rs 2,100 and Rs 5,100.

Dhaliwal said the institute would hold evening MBA classes of London School of Business and Finance from the next session.

Moot court

The third Surana and Surana National Corporate Law Moot Court Competition commenced today at the Army Institute of Law.

HS Mattewal, advocate general, Punjab, graced the occasion as chief guest. He motivated students to work hard. He advised them to keep themselves updated and protect the honour of the judiciary.

Partap Singh, chairman, Bar Council, Haryana, was the guest of honour. In the preliminary round, teams from various law institutes participated in the contest.



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