C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Sunday Special
Govt colleges get PG tag
Will get Rs 5 lakh and Rs 8 lakh for each postgraduate course
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

New names

n Government College for Girls, Sector 11, will now be Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11
n Government College for Girls, Sector 42, will now be Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42
n Government College, Sector 46, will now be Postgraduate Government College, Sector 46

Chandigarh, March 6
All the government colleges in the city will now get the postgraduate (PG) tag.

Besides qualifying to bid for a grant of Rs 5 lakh per postgraduate course in arts stream and Rs 8 lakh per postgraduate course in science stream from the University Grants Commission (UGC), the modification will also facilitate the entry of college principals in the academic council of Panjab University on nomination basis.

According to the directions issued by the UT Advisor to the administration on March 4, the names of Government College for Girls, Sector 11, Government College for Girls, Sector 46, and Government College, Sector 46, have been changed to Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11 and Sector 42 and Postgraduate Government College, Sector 46.

The orders will now be forwarded to the Syndicate for formal approval and subsequently to the Senate of Panjab University.

Last year, following the approval of the name Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11, formerly known as Government College for Men, Sector 11, the other government colleges in the city also appealed to the UT administration for grant of special status. These colleges will now be considered under a separate head of postgraduate development assistance colleges under the XIth plan of the UGC. Under this scheme, the colleges will receive an assistance of Rs 5 lakh and Rs 8 lakh for each arts and science postgraduate course as a one-time support. Besides, the colleges will also avail the benefit at the time of accreditation by the national agencies, since there are separate points for the PG colleges. The principals of these colleges will also be entitled for academic provisions laid down in the university system, including nomination in the academic bodies.

Moreover, separate funds are allotted to the PG colleges for conferences, workshops and symposiums by the centrally funded agencies like the UGC, the DST and the ICSSR.

“The PG tag is an honour for the city government colleges since it will directly affect the ranking by NAAC and other national bodies,” GCG-42 principal Dr Mani Bedi said.

“We already offer PG courses in all colleges and conferring the PG title is an added advantage for us,”’ Dr JS Raghu of GC-46 said.



P’kula nursing home charged with negligence
Administered wrong injection to newborn
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
A Panchkula-based private nursing home has been accused of administering wrong injection to a newborn girl, putting her life in danger.

Panchkula resident Aseem Pratap alleged that his newborn child was administered a wrong injection at Chakravarty Nursing Home, Panchkula, recently. The incident occurred on March 2 soon after Aseem’s wife, Ritu, delivered their second child. While Ritu was RH negative, her newborn daughter was RH positive and in such cases the mother is given an anti-D injection (RH immune globulin) within 72 hours of the delivery to prevent her body from producing antibodies to the positive factor.

However, instead of administering the RH immune globulin injection to the mother, the nurse allegedly gave the shot to the infant, putting her health at risk.

Aseem told The Tribune that when they realised the mistake, they immediately contacted the gynaecologist-cum-owner of the nursing home, Dr Renu Chakravarty, who told them “not to worry”.

“I was shocked by their callousness and I immediately contacted a family doctor who advised me to rush the child to the PGI,” said Aseem, adding that they were aware of the consequences that the mistake as their first child too was RH positive.

Though the wrong injection was not life threatening as such, it could have led to the infant developing severe jaundice.

“Severe jaundice among newborns can cause brain damage,” said says Dr Deepak Chawla, neonatologist at GMCH-32. The child is now recovering at the PGI.

Aseem said that Dr Chakravarty acknowledged the mistake in writing and referred the child to the PGI. When contacted, Dr Chakravarty admitted the mistake but claimed that such types of cases are rare. She said they had immediately contacted a paediatrician but referred the child to the PGI on the parents’ insistence.



More trouble for Ranjit Bajaj
Tribune News Service

Bail plea filed

Following his arrest for attempt to murder, Ranjit Bajaj has filed a bail application at a Panchkula court. The application will be heard on Monday.

Gunman identified

The police has identified one of the gunmen accompanying Ranjit Bajaj on January 29 night at hotel North Park. The accused has been identified as Malkhan, a resident of Bapu Dham Colony, Chandigarh. The two accused gunmen allegedly assaulted Gurmohan.

Panchkula, March 6
A Gurgaon court has issued non-bailable warrants against Ranjit Bajaj in an assault case. The hearing of the case is scheduled for March 12.

The incident dates back to December 13, 2006, when cricketer Yuvraj Singh his mother, Shabnam Singh, and some of his family friends allegedly assaulted Haryana’s former Ranji player, Yuvraj Sidharth Mahajan, at Yuvraj’s DLF City residence in Gurgaon.

In her complaint to the police, Neelam Mahajan, the mother of Sidharth Mahajan, had alleged that her son was beaten up by the hosts and other guests at the birthday party of Yuvraj. Neelam had also named Yuvraj Singh’s friend Ratinder Sodhi, a cricketer, and Ranjit Bajaj. According to Sidharth, Ranjit was accompanied by some armed cops, who assaulted him on latter’s directions.

According to sources, a cop from Gurgaon visited the Sector 16 residence of Bajajs last week to serve the warrants, but the attendant there told that no family member was available.

Meanwhile, Ranjit Bajaj, who was in police remand for the last two days, was again produced before a Panchkula court and was sent to judicial custody.



To write or click, that is the question
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The education scenario in the country has been slowly witnessing an overhaul, with the digitisation of school education replacing the old ‘chalk-and-talk’ classrooms.

Schools in the tricity are not behind and a random survey reveals that more schools have been shifting to the new mode.

Advertisements in newspapers have been showcasing a ‘no-bag’ policy and hi-tech classrooms, equipped with modern computers, LCDs and interactive white boards, ensuring a global approach to education.

Supported by various initiatives spearheaded by the CBSE, many educational institutions have been mulling doing away with schoolbooks, homework and textbook-filled bags to ensure a destressed and practically relevant education.

Initiated by the UT education department, under the then DPI SK Setia, ambitious projects of textbook-free education till class V, which have since been shelved, are a rage with many schools, which more or less practise it.

This rapid transformation in the way children learn excites many, but also perturbs others.

“Introducing children to technology is good because it prepares them for the future. A child gets exposed to computers and LCDs at a tender age. Keeping your child confined to blackboards and textbooks is not justified today, but a balance has to be maintained,” says Atul Khanna, director of the Strawberry Fields School.

“Digitisation can help increase benefits of education manifold in a finance-crunched economy like India. Rather than a library of 20,000 books, one can easily afford four systems with adequate software, giving access to more information. When a child has to compete at the global level, education should not be kept away from technology. The more digitisation we go in for, the more skill-based education we will have,” says Sukriti Singh, an academic analyst.

Many cite deteriorating reading and writing skills, teething trouble, uniformity and incompatibility as the major problems.

Says Soumya Mukherjee, an academic researcher working on the CCE, “Unlike the West, most schools in Chandigarh see laptops, LCDs and no-bag stuff as a way to mint more money. Intensive thoughts need to go into the age-old education system before overhauling it. Most schools have replaced notebooks with laptops. The practice hampers the development of writing and reading skills. There are instances of students of such elite schools performing well, but found wanting with pen and paper. The ease of Microsoft Word has crashed the spelling base of many.”

An SIE official says, “One thing not being taken care of by educational institutions is uniformity. Over 60 per cent of children in Chandigarh study in the traditional fashion. If everything has to be digitised, it needs to be done at all levels. There is no use making a child laptop-dependent when the decisive examinations are conducted on paper. Over 80 per cent of teachers are not well-versed with the technology. Replacing teachers is one of the disadvantages of unplanned digitisation.”



Guv stresses on innovative teaching ways
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
Governor Punjab and UT Administrator Shiv Raj Patil inaugurated a three-day conference on “mapping future education” organised today under the aegis of Association of Indian College Principals (AICP) at Panjab University today.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Pawan Kumar Bansal was guest of honour and PU Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti presided over the function.

Former Advocate General, Punjab GK Chatrath welcomed the dignitaries and appreciated the role of teachers in the society. President and secretary general of the AICP, Dr G Ramachandrum and Subhash Bramhbhatt, respectively, expressed their gratitude to the V-C for hosting the conference.

The Governor suggested that institutes of higher education must focus on original research, which should shape the future of the society in a meaningful way. The teachers should develop innovations in their teaching methods, added Patil.

Sobti apprised of the developments about introduction of measures like inclusion of seats for single girl child and disabled persons.


13,100 cases disposed of at lok adalat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
As many as 13,100 cases of different categories were disposed of and a total compensation of Rs 23.1 lakh was awarded at the year’s first quarterly lok adalat organised at the district courts here today.

The cases settled included 2,309 under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act and 13 under the MACT Act. At least 9,970 traffic challans were disposed of and Rs 11.4 lakh was realised as fine.

Besides, 783 civil cases and rent cases, and 23 labour court cases and other categories were also disposed of.

The adalat was held under the supervision of Justice Ashutosh Mohunta, executive chairman, State Legal Services Authority, UT, and Justice SS Saron, Administrative Judge, Sessions Division, Chandigarh. On the intervention of Justice Mohunta, the parties settled their matrimonial disputes that had been pending in the court for the past several years and both husband and wife went home happily.

Several other cases of the MACT were also settled in his presence.

The District and Sessions Judge said 18 benches were constituted for taking up various categories of civil cases, including matrimonial disputes, bank disputes, service matters, landlord-tenants controversies, MACT cases, compoundable criminal cases.

The adalats started functioning in the morning even as great rush was witnessed at courts.

For the convenience of litigants, two make-shift reception-cum-enquiry counters, with the details of the cases fixed before various adalats, were set up near the main gate of the district courts.

The next lok adalat will be held on June 5.



Police action showed force in poor light
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The manner in which the police let loose its fury on protesters and their vehicles during the two recent big demonstrations in the city reflected poorly on the managerial skills of the top-brass to tackle such situations.

Yesterday’s incident, in which the local police, along with its counterparts from Punjab and Haryana, vent its ire on the protesters, was not an isolated incident. It had acted in a similar manner during the protest of farmers from Punjab in September last.

Both incidents hinted that superiors had lost control over their subordinates, who became outlaws and forgot their primary duty of restoring law and order.

“It seems that the Chandigarh police has adopted smashing of vehicles as a tactic to disperse and discourage protesters, otherwise there is no point in policemen smashing vehicles as we have no personal enmity,” said a protester.

The recurrence of gross indiscipline on the part of the men-in-uniform, who smashed at least 100 vehicles parked at the Rally Ground in Sector 25, clearly indicated that the top brass had not bothered to tame and sensitise their subordinates so that they did not lose control over their nerves while dealing with miscreants among the protesters.

The infuriated policemen, in a fit of rage to retaliate, stopped vehicles, only to smash windowpanes, forgetting that their job was to disperse the crowd.

A retired police officer said senior officials should have taken a serious note of the vandalism their policemen indulged in during the farmers’ protest. “Yesterday incident revealed that the top brass had failed to learn lessons from past experiences. It appeared that intelligence was poor and there was no plan to tackle rowdy elements, who might indulge in stone pelting,” he said.

The police kept watching protesters pelt stones on them for over half an hour. The ‘unguided’ police personnel were seen hurling stones on protesters. It did not bother them that the same stones would be thrown on them again and again. Tear gas shells and water cannons were being used at the same time, without any affect, during the melee.

“The police should have sent their men wearing helmets and armour among the protesters to nab the miscreants,” said a police officer, admitting that the incident drew flak.

It was later that the police decided to shoo away protesters using a water cannon and the crowd dispersed within minutes, but then, the force went beserk and started smashing vehicles.

Meanwhile, the police today produced the 21 protesters arrested yesterday in a local court, which remanded them in judicial custody.



Land Pooling
GMADA puts scheme to acid test
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 6
Almost two years after the Punjab Cabinet approved the land-pooling scheme against acquisition of land for development projects, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is finally putting the scheme to acid test.

Through a final public notice to the landowners, whose land is being acquired for mix-land use along the roads proposed to connect the international airport with the Zirakpur-Patiala and the Chandigarh-Kharar highways, the authority has given notice of one month. The landowners are free to opt for the land pooling or the land compensation, said a senior official of the Mohali district administration.

There are around 500 landowners, having small and big land holdings, whose 770 acres are being acquired for the mix land use project between Chatt village and Sector 66-A of Mohali. The land is being acquired for floating an urban estate.

VP Singh, chief administrator of GMADA, said after the response of the landowners, GMADA would be able to ascertain the exact number of plots available and the land compensation element. The Land Acquisition Committee had already decided to give a land compensation of Rs 1.50 crore an acre.

DP Singh of the Pind Bachao Committee said the authority should clarify the provisions under the land-pooling scheme. For an acre, the beneficiaries would get around 930 sq yard of residential plot and 121 sq yard of commercial plot. In the commercial plot, half of the area has to be kept for parking, said DP Singh.

Enquiries reveal there was mix response to the land-pooling scheme. Some of the landowners wanted a mix of the land-pooling scheme and the land compensation part.



Residents rue flow of sewage in nullah
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 6
Members of the Jal Vayu Vihar Resident Welfare Association, Sector 67, have demanded an early solution to the problem of sullage flowing from Chandigarh into a nullah passing through Mohali, which has made life miserable for those living in the area.

ML Sharma, environment officer of the association, said the foul smell of the sullage was unbearable.

Repeated representations by residents over the past more than two years had failed to yield any results as the Chandigarh administration had not stopped the flow of the sullage into the nullah.

He said a meeting was held in Sector 52 recently which was attended among others by association representatives and those of the Chandigarh administration. Problems faced by the residents were brought to the notice of the authorities concerned.

Sharma said the superintending engineer concerned informed the residents that an imported pump would be installed and the entire sullage would be lifted from Sector 52 and directed towards the Chandigarh sewage treatment plant.

In case the system failed, a new infrastructure would be created to put an end to the problem. Residents were looking forward to an early solution, he added.



NRI ‘duped’ by bank
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 6
An NRI living in Mohali has alleged that a bank had fraudulently withdrawn Rs 3.57 lakh from his account when he was out of the country.

Dr Sohan Singh Chhina, a resident of Phase III-B2, said at a press conference here yesterday that he lived in the United States, but kept coming to India now and then. He had a running account in a bank in Mohali.

When he came here in October last year he checked his account and found Rs 3.57 lakh less. The bank officials were allegedly not providing him proper information in this regard. He said the amount was withdrawn through three cheques.

He did not have a chequebook bearing these numbers and the signatures on the cheques were also not matching. Besides, when the amount was withdrawn, he was in the US.

However, the bank management has reportedly denied of any fraud and said the cheques had been presented by Chhina himself.



Notices to property tax defaulters
Sec 17 leads with 31 cases, followed by Sec 22
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
Most property holders in prominent shopping centres of the city are in the list of property tax defaulters of the municipal corporation.

Though they have been doing brisk business in lakhs, they least bother to pay taxes to the authorities on time.

As per MC records, there are 129 property tax defaulters at shop-cum-flats and offices in Sectors 7, 8, 9, 17, 22, 26, 34 and 35.

The authorities have issued show-cause notices to the defaulters to deposits their pending taxes within a fortnight.

If they fail to comply within the stipulated time, the authorities will take action against them under Clause 138 of rent attachment under the Punjab Municipal Act, 1994.

There are 31 defaulters in Sector 17, 25 in Sector 22, 17 in Sector 8, 15 in Sector 26, five in Sector 34, four in Burail, three each in Sector 35 and Mani Majra and one each in Sectors 29, 37, 43 and 46.

A senior official says it is strange that owners of property in Sector 17 are not coming forward to pay minimal property tax to the authorities when crores are being spent on beautification of and basic facilities in the sector.

According to him, a project of lakhs of setting up a musical fountain in Sector 17 has been approved, which will enhance business.

The corporation has been spending lakhs on basic civic amenities in other main sectors, but shopkeepers do not pay taxes in time.

Property tax was imposed in 2004 to generate more revenue for the corporation for spending it over development projects in the city.

The authorities had given an incentive to taxpayers under the self-assessment scheme by giving them a rebate of 10 per cent if they paid taxes in April or May.



Govt fair price shop owners cry foul
Accuse suspended inspector of harassment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
Members of the Government Fair Price Shop Welfare Association today accused a suspended inspector of the food supplies departments of harassing them by way of carrying out unnecessary raids, threatening and seeking irrelevant information under the RTI Act.

They alleged that he was doing so as there was a case pending against him, which had resulted in his suspension, and some members of the association were witnesses in the case.

The members led by Karam Chand Sood, president, and Hari Shanker Mishra, chairman of the association, alleged that the suspended food supplies inspector, Sushil Kumar Gupta, had been pressuring them to withdraw themselves from the case pertaining to 2007.

The members were supported by councillors Manjeet Singh Chauhan, Anil Kumar Dubey, Sarita and Raj Kumari Mishra.

During a press conference organised here today, the councillors stated that depot owners or fair price shop owners had a genuine grievance and they had also met with senior officials of the UT administration, including home secretary, food supplies director, deputy director of the department and the DC, in this regard.

They also put forth other demands, including provision of stationery, petrol allowance, handling charges as was being given to mobile van suppliers.

They further said if their demands were not accepted, they would boycott work and go on strike.



Judges, lawyers in Baba Ramdev’s court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The Punjab and Haryana High Court judges were at the receiving end, literally. On the other side of the bench, they listened as Baba Ramdev pronounced verdicts on the country’s judicial and education system, on they other hand they even complied with the directions issued by the baba, while disposing of the health concerns.

At the very outset, the baba made it clear to the jam-packed barroom that he was holding the scales against the judicial system inherited from the British. Pronouncing the verdict in the open hall, the baba observed that the country had over the years only added new laws but had failed to replace the old ones.

Dismissing the education system as legacy of the British, the baba held that the country was still slave to the British, as English continued to dominate the conversations.

The baba was invited to the Punjab and Haryana High Court barroom by the Bar association, and was welcomed by Bar president Sukhjinder Singh Behl and other office-bearers. High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal too was present at the function, along with several other judges.

Making clear his stand on corruption, the baba said it was eating into the country’s very foundation; and it was high time to wage a war against corrupt practices.

The “fraud babas” too did not escape his attention. Sitting on the dais with folded hands, the baba clarified his own stand by saying he was only into yoga, and not mantra-tantra. Ramdev also asked God to give the fake babas wisdom, as they had “spoiled everything”.

As the baba took off his shawl to perform kapalbhati and other asnas, judges and lawyers acted in accordance with his directions. They took deep breath, pressed their eyelids with their fingers, and worked on “balancing their mind”. Closely following the actions in particular was Justice K Kannan.

Before parting with the orders, the baba also called upon the advocates to de-stress their lives; and to daily devote at least 10 minutes for the upkeep of their health.

The hearing also saw the baba crack jokes, including the one on a lawyer’s wife handing over Rs 5,000 to him so he could spare some time for her like he did for his clients.



Consumer Courts
Whirlpool told to refund Rs 1,500
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The district consumer disputes redressal forum-I has directed Whirlpool India Ltd to refund Rs 1,500 that were wrongly charged by the in-charge of its customer care centre for the replacement of a compressor and ordered to get the defect of the compressor rectified.

The company has also been asked to pay Rs 1,100 as cost of litigation to the complainant.

Vikas Ghai, a resident of Mohali, had complained that he had purchased a double-door Whirlpool refrigerator (model 340 Dix. Steel) for Rs 23,500 on October 26, 2007 with one-year comprehensive warranty and four-year warranty of compressor.

On July 29, 2009, the refrigerator stopped working and the customer got his complaint registered through the customer care centre. Thereupon, company’s engineer came and checked the refrigerator and replaced the compressor.

He charged Rs 1,500 for the replacement of the compressor in spite of the fact that the compressor was well within the warranty period.

However, the replaced compressor didn’t work properly. This was brought to the notice of the company but to no avail.

A notice then was sent to the company to refund the amount of Rs 1,500 wrongly charged for the replacement of the compressor even under warranty period and to set right the replaced compressor. However, it didn’t elicit any response from the company.

In its reply, the company admitted to the fact that the compressor was replaced. However, it stated that Rs 1,500 charged from the complainant was not for the replacement of the compressor but for other parts that were not covered under the warranty i.e. visiting charges, replay/olp/drier, compressor tray and transportation/handling charges as per Ann.R-1.

It also claimed that the repair work was carried out only after the oral approval of the complainant.



Experts focus on gall bladder cancer treatment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The second day of 28th Annual Conference of the Association of Surgeons of India (Northern Chapter) started with a master video presentation of surgical techniques at PGI here today.

This was followed by a symposium on cancer gall bladder wherein different aspects of gall bladder cancer like epidemiology staging, diagnosis, surgical managements, controversies in management of different aspects of treatment and role of adjuvant treatment were presented by the faculty from the PGI and SGPGI, Lucknow.

According to experts, early detection was the key to ultimate care of the cancer and surgery remained the cornerstone of treatment.

However in the late stage, treatment outcome was poor and treatment was palliative only. Any patient having pain in the right upper abdomen should have ultrasonography without delay, advised doctors.

“Incidence of gall bladder cancer is very high in northern part of our country. It is the fifth most common cancer,” said Dr Satish Jain from Oswal Cancer Hospital, Ludhiana. Diet factors, hormonal changes, smoking and gall stone had been corroborated as the risk factors, said Dr Jain.

The most common age was between 40 and 60 years. Two-thirds of patients came in advance stage.

The session was followed by a guest lecture by Dr Manju Kalra, an alumni of the PGI and currently working in Mayo Clinic, USA.

She spoke on the problem of mesenteric ischemia. Early detection with MDCT improved the outcome. Still, results even in best centres had mortality up to 40 per cent.

This was followed by a panel discussion on blunt trauma abdomen, which was moderated by Dr SS Minhas from Shimla with different panellists highlighting the role of diagnosis and investigations and work up and surgery.

The evening session was devoted to safety in surgical practice. Dr David Reu from the UK and surgeons of the region discussed various aspects of safety in the operating theatre, colorectal surgery, intestinal anastomosis and antibiotic use. This was followed by a quiz for PG students.



‘Inhalation therapy best for asthma’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
With a view to creating awareness about asthma among children, Breathefree, a public service initiative from Cipla, organised a drawing competition for asthma patients in the city.

While addressing a press meet, pediatrician Dr Meenu Singh said, “It is possible to lead a complete active normal life with asthma, if you adhere to the prescribed treatment. We need to hold such events in order to unite asthma patients.”

Advising about the best treatment to control asthma, Dr Meenu Singh stated, “Inhalation therapy is the best, effective and affordable way to keep asthma under control. Inhalers are more effective, as the medicine is delivered quickly and exactly where it is required, which is in the airways in the lungs; whereas in the case of tablets and syrups, it has to pass from the stomach to the blood and finally to the lungs.”

Theme of the drawing competition was “Rangon Ki Duniya Khuli Saason Ke Saath”. Around 40 children with asthma attended the event and they were awarded certificates.

The event helped these kids and their families bond with each other. A public lecture was organised by students of National Institute of Nursing Education, PGIMER.

According to the World Health Organisation, there are about 30 million asthma patients in India. Most of them are unaware, undiagnosed, or getting sub-optimal treatment, thereby running the risk of irreversible damage to their lungs. India has 10 per cent of the world’s asthma patients, which indicates that the asthma population in India is larger than the entire population of several countries. Results of two studies in Pune have shown that the prevalence of asthma in children has doubled in five years (from 2003-2008). The prevalence of asthma is similar among urban and rural people although there may be regional differences.



Talk on Indian economy, budget
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 6
“Budget is now being morphed to make the speech presentable to the middle class. The true character of the annual financial statement doesn’t come out, as the 850 pages document is reduced to a mere two-hour presentation,” said S Gurumurthy, an economist and social activist at a seminar on “Indian Economy and Budget” by the Bharatiya Janata Party Chartered Accountants Cell.

The budget has been rated as a standing aam aadmi’s budget, but there is a lack of understanding on part of those who comment. No one goes through the entire document to understand the true character of the budget. According to Gurumurthy, there is not even a word about controlling the inflation and even the figures related to infrastructure are misleading. The average Indian has learn to adjust and live, he added.

“The Union Finance Minister said we have weathered the crisis well. But just 36 hours before the budget presentation, there was a warning by the US Reserve Bank that America can go into debt crisis. This means the global economy can go in a tail-spin,” said Gurumurthy. The time bomb is ticking, but India is relatively safe as Indian economy is a self-managed economy to a large extent, as it depends on social and cultural values, he added.

Manpreet Badal, Punjab Finance Minister, who was the chief guest said: “Even after 63 years of Independence, we are struggling on the economic aspect. Over 300 million of our population is living on less than Rs 25 a day. Our real enemy is poverty and illiteracy, we must fight to change the scenario.”

Balbir Punj, BJP general secretary and MP, Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP, Manoranjan Kalia, Industry Minister Punjab government and Master Mohan Lal, Transport Minister, Panjab government, Tikshan Sood, Forest Minister and Dr Baldev Chawla, chairman sewerage board were present.



Winged guests protected at railway station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The Chandigarh railway station, which will soon be converted into a world-class establishment, hardly catches the attention of train passengers.

When one goes closer to the premises, he is greeted by high-pitched hubbub, which makes it distinct from other train-halting points.

The station is an unlikely breeding place for hundreds of birds, thanks to Railways employees, whose protection initiatives have made the platform a safe haven for birds.

“Although birds litter the platform with their droppings, Railways staff have never shown irritation. We have imposed orders that nobody should attack our winged guests,” says RK Datta, station superintendent.

Though the noise generated by birds irritates the staff, they have learnt to live with it. The department has made special arrangements to clean bird droppings regularly.

It has installed aluminium sheets underneath the already existing shed covers, initially introduced at the entrance to the station.

It has been facing difficulty in maintaining the platform. “We are unable to put benches as bird droppings will render those useless. Passengers are inconvenienced due to the droppings,” says Datta.

As the station has been under renovation, a new shed with aluminium sheets will also be installed shortly.

If it proves successful, it will be extended to other platforms and railway stations falling under the Ambala division.

Due to the close proximity to the forest area around it, the number of birds flocking the area has increased in recent years.

The winged guests, earlier nesting at two trees near the parcel office of the station, can now be found nesting under the sheds of platforms.

Almost every station has the same problem and the department plans to put a flat net below the platform roof.

This will not allow birds to sit and chirp. Months are expected to pass before this flat net plan is implemented.



150 examined at dental camp
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 6
More than 150 residents of the Customs and Central Excise Colony, Sector 37, were examined at a dental camp here today.

The camp was organised by the Indian Revenue (Customs and Central Excise) Services Ladies’ Association. Devi Sirohi, president of the Indian Revenue (Customs and Central Excise) Services Ladies’ Association said: “Dental issues were ignored by a sizeable majority of public and addressed only incase of a problem.”

The camp was inaugurated by PK Sirohi, IT and Excise Commissioner.



Mind over matter at PEC fest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
A series of events were hosted by the organisers on the second day of “TECHNIQUE” being organised by the students of PEC University of Technology here today.

Skills of students were tested in a managerial event on framing a marketing plan with resistance, capacitor and LED zealots as products.

Workshops were included in the fest with lessons on “Ethical Hacking” and “MATlab” being imparted by professionals.

Maze hunt - a clash of the robots continued into its second day. Eclectica, the paper-presentation contest and “Bulls and Bears”, the online stock marketing war, too, were concluded.

Events like circuit-o-design, bridge modelling and glide-o-flite were conducted to assess the designing abilities of the participants. Aukaat - a techno quiz with prizes worth over Rs 70,000 witnessed the geeks putting their grey cells to the test.

The students also hosted fun-filled events like patangbaazi- the kite flying competition.

Meanwhile, The two-day festival saw participation from colleges like IET Bhaddal, Chitkara and schools in and around the tri-city. Dr Satish Kumar, head of TBRL and an alumnus of PEC, was the chief guest.

Students participated in several events, including quiz-o-mania, LCD programming, e-plan, primavera workshop, etc.

Lectures by Dr Jimmy Kansal, a senior scientist in SASE, on UAVs was also part of the fest.

Exhibitions by research centres like DRDO and PEDA showcased the variety of research being conducted in India. The students also got a chance to learn and interact with professionals in events like aeromodelling and 3D photography workshop conducted by Hitesh, photographer from 3D India Mumbai.

The festival catered to various genres of learning like design, graphics, modelling, fabrication, etc.

There were also fun events like fun on the run - a technical treasure hunt, IPL auctions, bing zing - puzzle-cum-internet search event which attracted large numbers of students.

The festival hosted cash prizes worth Rs 4 lakhs, along with other gifts.



Refresher course in IT begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
A 21-day inter-disciplinary refresher course in Information Technology organised by Academic Staff College was inaugurated here yesterday.

Prof Shelley Walia, director, Academic Staff College, motivated the participants and said the inter-disciplinary character of knowledge had become indispensable in today’s competitive education world.

Dr Anu Gupta, co-ordinator of the programme, and Dr RK Singla briefed the participants about the schedule.

As many as 57 lecturers, belonging to different disciplines of science from various colleges and universities, including Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Bihar are participating.


Department of political science, Panjab University, will organise Shahid Bhagat Singh Memorial lecture on “The Influence of Ghadar Movement on Bhagat Singh’s Thinking” on March 8 at Gandhi Bhawan, PU.

According to sources, Prof Harish K Puri, from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, will deliver the lecture. Prof MM Puri, former Vice-Chancellor PU, will preside over.



Prize distribution at GCG-11
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The 54th annual prize distribution function of Government College for Girls, Sector 11, was held here today.

Ram Niwas, IAS, Home-cum-Education Secretary, Chandigarh administration, was the chief guest. Nidhi Setia was awarded for being the best volunteer of NSS, while Mitika Kanwar of BA-III was declared all-rounder at graduate level.

Karishma Dhankar was awarded roll of honour and college colour in NCC for participating in the Republic Day Parade at Rajpath. Isha Jain was awarded for being the best blood donor, while Navneet Kaur of BA (III) was given an award for best all-round player of the year. Pinki Rani of BA (I) was given award for all round best athlete of the year. Kiran Kapoor of BCom (III) was awarded Nirmal Vasudeva Scholarship of Rs 6,000.

Amandeep Kaur of BSc (III) was awarded MC Bhatia Award of Rs 1,500 instituted by Kamlesh Chopra as the best all-round physics student. Vanita Sharma of BA (III) was awarded Sharan Makkar Memorial Award of Rs 1,100 and a trophy for being the outstanding student in Punjabi.

Priya Negi of BA (III) was awarded Irameet Memorial Award of Rs 600 for standing first in in BA (III). Rishampreet Kaur of MA (II) music vocal was declared the all-round best student of the college at the post-graduate level.



Cultural bonanza at Stephen’s School
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The State Bank of India Circle Welfare Committee, Chandigarh, organised a cultural evening here today.

SK Sehgal, chief general manager, State Bank of India, Chandigarh, inaugurated the event.

The evening had mesmerising songs and dances at jam-packed auditorium of St Stephen’s School, Sector 45-B.

Ram Tirath was invited to perform.

Sehgal elaborated that such programmes were part of the State Bank of India’s welfare programme to encourage and strengthen the staff to meet the challenges and customer needs in the banking industry.



Protest by non-teaching staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The non-teaching employees of seven aided colleges of the city observed a one-day mass casual leave here today and participated in the convention held at DAV College, Sector 10.

RK Sharma, president of the federation, presided over. They demanded release of revised pay scales by restoring pay parity with the government colleges of UT and creation of non-teaching posts. All principals, leaders of the teachers’ union of Chandigarh aided colleges, leaders of the UT Employees Federation and other unions’ leaders supported the demands.



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