C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CCTV project delayed again
Traffic cops seek software changes
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
The much-hyped project to install CCTV cameras at the city’s major rotaries is yet to take off as the police has belatedly asked the company assigned with the job to incorporate changes in the software to make the system more efficient and technically advanced.

Sources close to the traffic police said its senior officials had told the firm to make some changes in the existing software, further delaying the project that is already a couple of months behind schedule. The earlier system that was agreed upon was not enabled to prepare and dispatch offence sheets automatically to traffic offenders to their addresses. The cost of the entire project cost is estimated at about Rs 4.5 crore.

A police officer said according to the initial agreement the company was required to provide a software that only captured vehicles jumping red lights and flashed a signal on a screen installed at the control room at the Sector 29 Traffic Police Lines. After receiving the signal the operator in the control room had to complete the entire process of preparing a ‘challan’ (fine) and dispatch it to the vehicle owner’s address.

When work on installing the cameras was under way senior police officials came to know about the latest systems being used by the Delhi and Mumbai traffic cops. A Chandigarh police team sent to Delhi learnt the Delhi system was technically more advanced besides being automated, helping in reducing manpower.

Under the new system the company had to provide advanced software in which 74 traffic offences would be fed. The cameras would react to the visible offences like jumping red lights, crossing zebra lines, taking a wrong turn and faulty registration number plates.

The automatic system will send a signal to the control room after detecting a traffic violation and the operator in the control room will click on the number plate of the vehicle. The software will flash the vehicle owner’s name and address on the screen. After that the operator will click on the offence(s), with the computer preparing a detailed ‘challan,’ and pack the same after printing the vehicle owner’s address on it.

DSP (traffic) Vijay Kumar said the entire computerization plan was aimed at reducing personnel involved in preparing ‘challans’ and instead sending them to the field to regulate traffic. With the introduction of the system on the Delhi pattern the job would become much easier and faster, he added.

UT SP (traffic) HS Doon stated the traffic police had made some changes in the plans to make it more efficient, which he said was a normal practice. “Work is going on in full swing and I hope it would be completed by the end of this month”, he added.



Security breach by Yuvraj, Sehwag, VRV
Police complains to IPL authorities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
Taking a stern note of the breach of security directions by star cricketer Yuvraj Singh and local player VRV Singh, the Chandigarh Police today sent a complaint to the Indian Premier League (IPL) organisers against the players.

Superintendent of Police (Traffic) HS Doon, also in charge of the players’ security in the city, said both players went to unknown destination without informing the police, which is not only dangerous but also against the norms for the security of the players here.

“Taking stern note of their ‘careless attitude’, we have sent a complaint to the IPL authorities recommending appropriate action against the players,” said Doon.

Notably, the SP had a high-profile meeting with the IPL officials on the issue of players’ security on Thursday, where he also handed the list of ‘do and don’ts’ to them.

“I am very upset over the sloppy behaviour of the players as they have violated the ‘rules’ despite our clear instructions. They should know the gravity of the situation,” said Doon.

Meanwhile, sources informed that Varinder Sehwag, along with two other officials of the IPL management, violated the rules laid down for the security. It is alleged that Sehwag and the officials had came to Hotel Mounview in a private vehicle instead of a bus provided to them in view of their security.

Doon told TNS that he was yet to get any report from camp commandant in this connection and would take action on the report as per the procedure.



Card readers to regulate access to PCA stadium
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 12
Visitors without valid tickets gatecrashing into the PCA stadium here is now expected to be a thing of the past. Automated access control card readers have been installed at the stadium’s entry points will only let those with tickets or authorised passes into the arena.

According to PCA officials several such systems have been purchased from an Austrian firm, Skidata. Though they have been procured through BCCI, the expense would eventually be borne by PCA, they added. Though the officials were tightlipped about the cost they said the systems were “expensive” as they were imported.

PCA officials as well as local residents have often complained in the past that the police and security guards deployed at the stadium tended to allow unauthorised people to gain entry. “We believe this was done either to oblige certain influential people or in return for illegal gratification,” a resident commented.

The new access control systems work on the principle of bar coded cards and tickets being swiped through their slots. The barriers or turnstiles barring the passage would open only if the pass, ticket or ID card is authentic.

“They are similar to the access control systems installed at the Delhi Metro Rail, where you use a small coded disc to gain entry to the platform or exit at your destination. The manner in which they function is the same, only what is different is the size and style of the barrier,” a security official remarked.

There are two types of systems installed at the PCA stadium - one for VIP gates and the other for the public. Those at the VIP gates are smaller with just one horizontal rod placed at the hip level barring the passage. Those at the other gates are more massive, with a vertical revolving turnstile fitted with horizontal bars blocking the entire length of the doorway.



Boston Fiasco
PU identifies four ‘outsiders’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
In a major revelation here today in the Boston case, the Panjab University authorities have identified four “outsiders” who participated in the 56th Harvard National Model United Nations posing as PU students in its investigations.

The names “Shailender”, “Vikramit” and “Mr Chadda” were found not matching with the list of students of the PU, whereas 69 others students were identified. Former SOPU leader, Brinder Dhillon, who had been identified by the PU earlier, has now been sent a show-cause notice to his address, as he failed to reply to the earlier one.

All these students were found to have falsely represented the institution and posed as PU students at the conference in Boston. Investigation has been marked into the case of PUSU leader Simranjit Dhillon also. To deal with the case of Simranjit, who reportedly gave four exams at the Muktsar centre instead of Chandigarh, a committee has been constituted.

The three members of the committee are SK Sharma, Chaman Lal and VK Gupta.

Meanwhile, investigations also point out an indication that students used forged letterheads and stamps to seek visa to attend the conference.


Building bylaws not for UT depts!
MC, estate office, CHB worst offenders
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
While the UT administration has been advocating zero tolerance to flouting of building bylaws, fire safety norms and encroachments, many of its own departments are openly doing all the “don’ts”.

Some of these departments include the municipal corporation, the UT estate office and the Chandigarh Housing Board.

While the MC is responsible for removing illegal occupancy, the CHB is responsible for removing all illegal encroachments and extensions in houses without approval.

Estate office ensures that building bylaws are strictly followed and basements areas are put to use only to the extent to which they are allowed.

At the municipal corporation office, the problem of inadequate parking space is age-old and has been discussed many a time in the MC house. Consequently, vehicles are parked on the main road right in front of the office, while the basement parking is used for employees to sit. The basement has cabins for officers of the rank of SDO and JE.

Although this is against the fire safety norms preached by the MC itself, the fire wing of the MC has never served a notice on its own department.

Also in the absence of a separate parking space for two-wheelers, many employees are forced to make space near the seating arrangement itself to park their vehicles.

The situation is no different at the CHB’s office in Sector 9. Its employees, who are otherwise engaged in planning and executing housing facilities for the entire city, themselves occupy the basement parking space. Nearly 150 employees of the CHB are seated on any given day in this arrangement.

In fact, the enforcement cell of the board, which is responsible for ensuring that the building bylaws are strictly adhered to, is in the basement.

Apart from these employees, head draftsman, employees of the EPF wing, SDOs, accountants occupy the basement.

Also, a quality control laboratory of the board is situated in the basement. The fire and safety wing of the MC has already served a notice on the board for this.

While the plans for constructing additional floors in the MC and CHB buildings are lying approved, no work has started yet.

Even the estate office violates most of the building rules. While the fire and safety rules clearly mention that no corridors in any building should have obstructions that may hinder evacuation in case of a fire, the corridor right in front of the district magistrate has been closed with glass doors and panels.

Also, other corridors in the estate office are obstructed with unused furniture and wooden and steel almirahs.

Even the CITCO office in Sector 17 has wooden cabins in the corridors for seating of its employees. The engineering department of the UT also has similar obstructions in the corridors.

CHB gives up ‘green building’ plan

In a delayed action, the Chandigarh Housing Board on Friday renounced its plan to construct “green and intelligent building”, the foundation for which has already been laid two years back.

Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar said 3.26 acres along the Madhya Marg had already been allotted to the CHB for the construction of its office.

The proposed building will have a covered area of 1,53,000 square feet, costing about Rs 40 crore.

While the green building has been renounced, the construction of seven-storeyed Block A has not been taken up so far. 



Amritsar, Shimla centres take pressure off city passport office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
The Regional Passport Office (RPO), Chandigarh, issued 2.63 lakh passports to residents of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh during 2009. For the first time in its history, the number of passports issued by the RPO in the city declined.

Since its inception in September 1969, the number of applicants had been increasing steadily, but last year, the trend reversed after the opening of passport offices in Amritsar and Shimla.

In 2008, the passport office had received 3.06 lakh applications, while this figure was 2.54 lakh last year - a decrease of 52,000.

Vitul Kumar, Regional Passport Officer, Chandigarh, said besides issuing 2.63 lakh passports, including the pending ones of previous year due to the non-submission of documentation formalities by applicants, the office also issued passports under the Tatkal scheme and rendered 9,000 other services related to passports. A total of 2.54 applications were received last year, he added.

During the first two months of 2010, a total of about 40,000 applications were received and the office issued 41,700 passports in the general category and under the Tatkal scheme, including pending cases of 2009.

The RPO has been accepting online forms from the applicants, he said, adding that applications coming through the online registration moved faster in processing.

By issuing 40,000 passports in the first two months of the current year, the RPO has ensured that less people visit the office, thereby freeing the staff for other duties.

Asked about the launch of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Seva Project at the local RPO with the aim of issuing passport in three days, Kumar refused to comment on it and added that Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, was the proper authority to comment on the issue.

On the issue of agents minting money from passport seekers, the RPO said we do receive complaints against touts lurking around passport office. Though we are vigilant, we also want people to take notice of such people and inform us, said Kumar.

He said we have deployed our counsellors at the entry gate to provide guidance to fill forms, check attached documents and there was literature available to help the applicants.

Meanwhile, employees of passport offices across the country demonstrated for an hour during the lunch break, protesting against the government's move to involve a private firm in the management of passport services a few days ago.

An office-bearer of the local RPO Employees Association said they held a demonstration during lunchtime last week against the handing over of passport services to private hands.

"We have a basic issue that the control of the software must be in the hands of government employees. It should not be in hands of a private organisation," he said.



MC told to fix work areas of safai sewaks
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 12
Mohali SDM Ravinder Pal Singh Walia has asked the municipal council to fix work areas of safai sewaks and also provide details regarding the working hours of all sanitation employees, areas being covered by them and at what time their attendance is marked, so that surprise checking could be done to bring about an improvement in sanitation work.

The SDM said monitoring of sanitation work could be done only after receiving the entire data. He had asked executive officer Amna Kumar Goyal to provide the entire information so that he could conduct surprise checks, as complaints regarding poor sanitation were received from councillors and representatives of welfare bodies at a meeting held on March 3. Goyal had told him at the meeting that the civic body had 136 permanent employees and 388 contractual employees.

Walia also asked the executive officer to present a status report in connection with the illegal market operating from Phase VI, where meat and fish were being sold.

Municipal councillor Rajinder Sharma brought to the notice of the SDM that he had made several complaints in this regard as it had become a big nuisance for residents of the area, but no action was taken.

The SDM told district mandi officer to provide details about the sectors and the days where apni mandis were held in Mohali so that surprise checking could be done.

He asked councillors and representatives of welfare bodies to bring to his notice whenever any shortcomings were found in sanitation work so that a report in this regard could be given to the Deputy Commissioner.

Municipal councillors and representatives of welfare bodies who attended the meeting had complained that sanitation was in a state of neglect in the town even when the municipal council was spending crores of rupees to maintain cleanliness in Mohali. They alleged that sanitation contractors were violating rules.

Even when residents were not satisfied with sanitation work, the civic body failed to take any strict action against the contractors concerned. In fact, they said, the amount to be spent on sanitation work had now been increased to Rs 3. 35 crore.



ETT Posts Counselling
Disparity in candidates’ performance comes to light
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 12
A few months after the Punjab Education Department terminated the service of hundreds of elementary teachers for furnishing false information, a relative disparity in the performance of various candidates in class XII and the ETT diploma has come to light in the counselling of new ETT posts under the SSA project.

In the counselling that was held at Government School, Phase 7, here, several such cases were seen in the merit list wherein these candidates had performed marginally in class XII boards but secured more than 90 per cent marks in the ETT diplomas done from the outside universities, especially from UP and Bihar.

In one specific case, a candidate scored 64 per cent marks in class XII exams but scored whopping 94 per cent marks in ETT diploma; another candidate scored 61 per cent marks in class XII but touched 94 per cent marks in ETT diploma. There are many cases wherein the candidates have secured above 80 per cent marks in ETT diploma, attracting protest from the Unemployed ETT Teachers Union.

“Such high score is impossible in this diploma, especially in case of candidates who are average performer in class XII exams”, said a protesting ETT candidate. While protesting against the glaring anomaly, the Unemployed ETT teachers Union demanded CBI probe in the selection criteria by the Punjab Education Department. “ How candidates from outside universities manage to get such high percentage, their competence is never judged in form of a written test”, said the protestors. During counselling, the situation went out of control when the Union members tried to disrupt the counselling. Blaming the Akali government for being involved in the scam, the union members said the issue would be taken to villages. The police had to be called to control the situation.

An official of the Punjab Education Department said it was very difficult to judge the authenticity of the candidate while preparing the merit list. The merit list was prepared on the basis of information given by the candidates online. The authenticity would be known once the degree and experience certificates given by the candidates were verified after counselling.



Amnesty scheme to resolve employee-employer disputes
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
In order to resolve the disputes between employees covered under the Employees State Insurance (ESI) Scheme and their employers, the ESI Corporation has formulated an amnesty scheme this year.

Giving details of the new scheme, GC Jena, regional director, ESIC, said under the scheme, the corporation had approved for withdrawal of the prosecution cases filed against the employees under Section 84 and 85-A of the ESI Act, 1948, and the cases filed by the employers against the ESIC under Section 75 of the ESI Act in EI courts. He said the new scheme has been launched on March 1 and would continue till February 28 next year.

Jena said both the employees and the employers would be able to withdraw the cases subject to fulfilling certain conditions such as the employer would pay his as well as that of employees contribution in full for the period under prosecution/litigation, respectively and would submit the records in this regard. He said that if the relevant records were not available then employers should deposit the amount as mentioned in the income tax returns, etc. The interest due for the period of prosecution/litigation, respectively, is to be paid by the employer, he added.

The regional director said that employer would also furnish an undertaking to the ESIC to the effect that he or she would regularly comply with the provisions of the ESI Act and there shall be no default on their part. He said the employer would have to file a petition in the court where he had raised the dispute to seek permission of the court for out of court settlement of matter under litigation. This amnesty would also be available to those employees/Insured persons who have already availed of the benefits of earlier schemes in this regard, he added.



New policy for land to watermelon sellers soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is in the process of framing a new policy to streamline the procedure of allotment of land to the watermelon sellers in the city. The authorities are proposing to table the draft policy in this regard in the coming Finance and Contract Committee meeting on March 16.

There are 37 sites on the V4 and V5 roads in the city which the authorities allot every year on first-come-first-serve basis to the melon sellers. But for the last two years, the sellers have been complaining of bias in allotment of sites.

As per the sources, this year also Mayor Anu Chatrath received a number of complaints from various individuals that the officials had already allotted land in prime locations in January without advertising them.

They demanded that all the allotments should be cancelled and these should allot by draw of lots. Keeping this in view, the authorities have decided to revise the previous policy and introduce draw system in allotment of land to the melon sellers, rather than advertising them.

Former Mayor Pardeep Chhabra remarked that during his tenure also, similar complaints were received and he had asked the officials to allot the land through draw of lots.

Besides this, the committee would also finalise the re-allotment of 37 taxi stands, whose tenure is going to expire by the end of this month and fix the licence fee of 10 new taxi stands to be allotted in the southern sectors of the city.



Battlelines drawn for beopar mandal elections
Pradeep Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
Battlelines have been drawn for the prestigious post of the president of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) with a large number of prominent traders today naming former president Jagdish Arora as the their candidate.

The announcement of Arora's name, two-time president (2000-2004), for the post seem to have set the cat among the pigeons as he is widely respected for giving the apex traders' body a new identity in its nascent stage.

In a way, this group had taken a lead in announcing its candidates two days before the general body meeting on March 14, where the schedule for elections would be made public.

Earlier, Kamaljit Panchhi was widely believed to be the candidate from this group. However, at the eleventh hour, Panchhi surprised observers by proposing Arora's name which was endorsed by several traders, including Arvinder Singh, Subhash Sethi, Neeraj Bajaj, Sat Paul Garg, Baldev Goyal, LC Arora, JPS Kalra, Sat Parkash Aggarwal, Vijay Singla, PN Khanna, Rajinder Manocha, Nand Kishore, Surinder Singh, BM Kohli, Arun Malhotra, Sohan Lal Sharma and Yadvinder Salvan.

The incumbent group is set to field general secretary-cum-official spokesman Diwakar Sahoonja as its candidate after the general body meeting.

Over the years, the CBM has assumed a place of pride in the trading circles in the city and a majority of the market associations are represented in this body. Currently, the mandal has 366 members.

Besides taking up the traders' issue, the beopar mandal acts as the traders' interface with the outside world, including the Chandigarh administration and corporate world.

With Chandigarh emerging as the retail destination of North India, the elections of the president has assumed significance in the backdrop of several traders' issues pending with the administration.



Govt buildings to have renewal energy system
To cost Rs 1 crore per building
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
The Chandigarh administration has chalked out an action plan for promoting the use of renewable energy in the city. Stating this here today, Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar said that under the implementation of Special Area Demonstration Project Scheme, various prestigious buildings like Raj Bhawan, state Assembly premises, Secretariats of states and the UT, institutions like school, medical colleges, including hospitals, will be covered under different categories for the demonstration and renewal energy system.

Under the scheme, a grid interactive solar voltage power plant (GISVPP) will be installed in the buildings. In order to implement the scheme, a plan has been conceived to initiate the work of the GISVPP in Punjab Raj Bhawan, Haryana Raj Bhawan, Vidhan Sabha building, UT Secretariat and Punjab and Haryana Secretariat.

The cost for procurement and installation of system and devices along with the annual maintenance for five years will cost Rs 1 crore for each building. The central financial assistance of Rs 1 crore will be granted from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy for implementing the scheme in both the Raj Bhawans. However, for executing the scheme in Vidhan Sabha building, UT Secretariat and Punjab and Haryana Secretariat, financial assistance of Rs 50 lakh, Rs 25 lakh and Rs 25 lakh, respectively, will be given, while rest of the amount will be incurred by the department itself.

Surinder Pal, chief engineer, said for executing the proposed scheme by the Department of Science & Technology, it would be compulsory to provide solar water heating system at all government buildings, including Raj Bhawan, UT guest house and government houses.



Mental tension the biggest killer: Psychiatrist
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
A relaxed mind and meditation were the prerequisites to lead a happy life and only then the mind of a person could move towards creativity, said Dr Girish Patel, a psychiatrist from Mumbai.

Stress, anger, and ego are injurious to mental health, which ultimately affects one’s physical health, added Dr Girish, who is also the organising secretary of the medical wing of Brahma Kumaris. He was in the city today to conduct motivational lectures on emotional intelligence at Rajyoga Bhawan in Sector 33 here.

Interacting with mediapersons, he said there was a strong need to learn techniques to cool down one’s mind even in odd circumstances. Mental tension, emotional ups and downs, fear, anger and depression could cause diseases from common cold to cancer and headache to heart attacks. Rajyoga meditation is a powerful tool for holistic healing, he added.

Dr Patel, who has authored nine books on health, said that besides paying attention towards exercise and balanced diet for physical well being, awareness about mind was also needed.

He said the pendulum of the health concept today has swung from absence of diseases to physical, mental and social well being of a person. “Mental tension is one of the biggest killers in the modern times as 65-70 per cent of the diseases originate in human mind from it,” he added.

He emphasised the need of nurturing a positive attitude to ensure the development of a healthy mind with a healthy body in life.



Jugalbandi of Soporis, Mahavir light up sangeet sammelan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
Captivating performances by father-son duo of Bhajan Sopori--Abhay Rustum Sopori (santoor jugalbandi) and Sandeep Mahavir and troupe (kathak dance) marked the inaugural day of the three-day 40th All-India Bhaskar Rao Nritya and Sangeet Sammelan organised by the Pracheen Kala Kendra at the Tagore Theatre here today.

Ram Niwas, Home Secretary, Chandigarh Administration, was the chief guest.

The programme got off to a flying start with mesmerizing jugalbandi on Santoor by Bhajan Sopori and his equally-talented son Abhay Rustum Sopori. Belonging to the Sufiana Gharana of Kashmir, the father-son duo mesmerised the audience while presenting various nuances of Sopori baaz (style) and their traditional gharana.

After Bhajan and Abhay, renowned exponent Sandeep Mahavir took the centre stage, along with his troupe artistes, including Nivedita Hornekhar, Soniya Gupta, Shivangi Dake, Divya Morgode, to prove dexterity in this classical form of dance.

The kathak troupe had artistes like Dinesh Mahavir Memhe Khan (vocal), Subhash Nirwan (tabla), Dev Khan (khadtaal), and Mansoor Khan (Dholak).



Tributes paid to Dr Harjinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
A condolence meeting was held today at the Bhargava Auditorium under the chairmanship of Prof KK Talwar, Director, PGIMER, to pay homage to Dr Harjinder Singh, former additional professor, department of cardiovascular thoracic surgery, who died yesterday.

Rich tributes were paid by Prof KK Talwar, Prof T Shyam, head of cardiovascular thoracic surgery department, Prof JSGujral, former head of the department, former directors, Emeritus professors, ex-professors, faculty members, the administrative staff and the resident doctors.

Dr Harjinder Singh was one of the most brilliant cardiothoracic surgeons, an additional professor in the department. He had been ailing for the last few years following his brain surgery. He made an exemplary contribution towards the treatment of the patients, teaching of the postgraduate students in this specialty and service of poor patients in particular. He showed exemplary qualities of humility, diligent work, marked devotion and contribution towards patient care and exceptional surgical capability. His sad demise has created a void which will be difficult to fill in the coming years.



“Voice of Chandigarh-2010"
Auditions held for budding singers
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, March 12
The auditions for the musical event "Voice of Chandigarh - 2010" for budding singers was jointly organised by Gurukul Vidyapeeth and S-4 Trust here today. PK Sharma, Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, was the chief guest on the occasion, where over 250 singers were judged by Varinder Bachan, music director and Rinku Kalia, winner of Zee TV's "Sa Re Ga Ma".

The preliminary round for "Dancer of Chandigarh-2010" will be held on March 14 at the Government College for Men, Sector 11, while the screening for "Voice of Chandigarh-2010" for the age group 18 to 25 years will be held at the same venue on March 21.

The purpose of organising the event is to provide the budding singers a platform to showcase their talent . The finals will be held here on September 28, Manmohan K. Garg, CEO of Gurukul Vidyapeeth, informed.



Prepaid broadband service launched

Chandigarh, March 12
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited has launched its prepaid broadband service in Chandigarh SSA. The landline customers can avail this service. According to information, at the time of creation of new prepaid broadband account, customers will be given an account with username and password and 50 MB free download with a 15-day validity period. Subsequently, a customer can recharge his account with any one of the nine types of available recharge vouchers.

Under the new scheme, there are no fixed monthly charges. The customer will have control on usage, said a BSNL official, adding that the customer can never exceed his download limit. No bills will be served for the usage. Further, a group of prepaid broadband customers like students, professionals can share a single DSL connection. — TNS



More secretary-level posts sought

Chandigarh, March 12
In the backdrop of increase in administrative workload, the Janata Party today demanded at least four secretary-level posts in the Chandigarh administration.

In a representation to the UT Adviser, party chief Ajay Jagga said that both the Home Secretary and the Finance Secretary were holding at least 20 departments each, besides being chairmen of various boards and corporations.

At times, it becomes difficult to do justice to all the departments due to paucity of time. “Accordingly, in order to ensure more responsive and citizen-friendly governance, it is suggested that both the posts be given a fresh look and a bureaucratic set-up with at least four secretaries be considered and the officers from the AGMUT cadre be considered for the posts," the representation added. — TNS



CITU conference from March 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) will decide its strategy for the next three years during its forthcoming 13th All-India Conference to be held at Zirakpur from March 17 to 21.

An official spokesperson for the CITU said around 2,500 delegates elected from the 51-lakh membership of the CITU and 100 foreign delegates from 25 different countries are expected to take part in the conference.

He said they would review the achievements and deficiencies of the struggle of the CITU, for the interests of the working class, in the past.



Unaccounted income of Rs 2.5 crore disclosed

Chandigarh, March 12
The survey conducted by the income tax department on the premises of Oscar Leather Pvt Ltd here yesterday has led to the disclosure of unaccounted income of Rs 2.5 crore.

Income tax officials swooped down on the shoe-manufacturing firm yesterday at its Sector 34 office along with industrial units in Phase VI and VII. Several teams of the department conducted the survey under the guidance of Neeraj Vinay Bansal, commissioner, income tax-I.

“The assessee has promised to pay the taxes on this amount of concealed income at the earliest,” an official said. — TNS



Selection, Promotion to IAS
CAT refuses to intervene

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today refused to interfere in the selection or promotion of the non-state civil service officers for the Indian Administrative Service in Haryana. The Haryana Civil Services Officers’ Association had filed an application challenging the consideration of non-state civil service officers into the IAS. Petitioners from Haryana Civil Service (executive branch) submitted to the tribunal that the recruitment to the IAS is done under the Indian Administrative Services Rules 1954.

Different modes of recruitment have been mentioned by competitive examinations, by promotion from state civil service offices and in special cases by selection from amongst the person who are not members of the state civil service are to be made in special circumstances only.

The promotion quota for state civil service officers is one-third of the total cadre strength of the IAS. Out of this, a maximum of 15 per cent thereof could be diverted to no-state civil service officers. The diversion to the extent of 15 per cent could be made only in special cases.

The order passed by the Bench said that the plea of the applicants that a directly recruited state civil service had to pass certain papers and a non-SCS officer lacked judicial training and experience which would be against the principle of good governance were to be considered by the administrative authorities and not by the court of law.

“It is well settled by now that while exercising the judicial review, the courts ordinarily do not exercise appellate powers. The intention is not to take away the powers and directions that is properly vested with administrative authorities by law and to substitute the same with judicial determination on specific facts. The judicial review is a protection and not an instrument for undue interference in executive functions. Any administrative action can only be set aside when it is arbitrary, irrational, unreasonable or perverse,” the order read.

In 2008, the Haryana government had decided to fill a vacancy through non-SCS quota. The petitioners claimed that such a selection could only be made in special cases and special circumstances, but the CAT refused to intervene.



Lack of faculty blocks affiliation for new college
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
The UT education department’s slowness in recruiting permanent faculty members in colleges has now become a major stumbling block for its brainchild, the Government College of Commerce & Business Administration, Sector 42 in securing permanent PU affiliation.

During the past three years the college has had six principals, none of whom had a commerce background. Now, when the college has sought permanent affiliation, the varsity administration has stipulated the condition that the college should induct new faculty members regularly.

In a recent correspondence, the PU administration stated: “The college needs to employ regular faculty members and must have its own building.” It also directed the college to first fulfill the criteria for affiliation laid down by the varsity’s inspection committee last year.

Soon to be named ‘College of Commerce & Management, this specialised institution offers BCom and BBA degrees and is the only one in the region to follow the ‘e-content’ concept at present. Yet, the UT the administration has included it under the category ‘art and science colleges’ rather than treating it as a ‘professional college’.

Three years after its inception the college has six teachers on deputation from other government colleges in the city and about 14 contractual teachers against nearly 534 students. Although it has been allotted land in Sector 50 the foundation stone has yet to be laid.

Meanwhile, despite the UT administration’s assurances on shifting teachers from other institutions, along with posts, to the college during the next session, the latter is still struggling to meet PU’s criteria for affiliation.



Termination of OBC Teachers
Notice to admn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 12
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today issued notice of motion to the Chandigarh administration for March 29, pertaining a case of termination of OBC teachers.

In a recent development, two more teachers approached the CAT against their removal. Sawant Kumar and Reena Rani of Haryana had applied for JBT teacher through an advertisement issued by the administration in which 118 posts were kept for the JBT teachers, of which 63 were under the OBC category. Both of them belonged to ‘Saini’ caste, but ‘Saini’ is not counted as OBC here. To join the same, both the teachers resigned from their post in Haryana. However, the department terminated them without any notice recently.

The department had earlier terminated the services of eight other teachers through an order on February 20 on the ground that their caste was not counted as OBC.

The CAT has already issued notice to the administration in the case pertaining to two other teachers, Anita Jat and Kavita, who had approached the CAT on February 24 against their termination.



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