C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Dry spell makes water scarce in Morni
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Morni (Panchkula), May 3
The long dry spell has forced residents in villages in the Morni block to tread several kilometres to fetch water supplied by the public health department through water tankers.

Though most villages were receiving water only after three days, more than 100 villages at the tail-end of pipelines did not get water for the past fortnight. “We are not getting any power since the past two months and now survival has become difficult with water also becoming a scarcity,” said Gulab Singh, former sarpanch of the village.

Another resident Dr Harmesh said, “Water supply is coming once in three days in our village. However, it does not last for more than 30 minutes and there is one public tap for around a dozen houses.” He said one has to tread up to Madna village to fetch water from the water tankers. He said earlier the “baolis” used to get dry during the month of June, but this year the situation was worse. Even the hand pumps installed in the village had gone dry as the underground water level had gone down considerably.

A total of 526 hamlets falling in Morni hills depend on the water from Tikkar Tal, Chhamal Bundh, Ghaggar bed and a few springs, from where the public health department used to lift water to its tubewells.

Dharampal, junior engineer of the public health department, said baolis were the main source of water supply in remote areas of the Morni block and motor pumps were used for supplying it to the villages. He said as these baolis had almost dried up they were facing the problems in supplying water to these villages.

He added that as the demand for the water increased in the summer months the water lifted by the motor pumps did not reach up to the tail end. He said at present they were supplying two tankers to the Madna village and three to Bhoj Matani village.

He said the major source of water was the Ghaggar and Chhamla, which would provide around 2 lakh gallons of water each, but now the public health department was getting only 80,000 gallons from these water bodies.

Sarpanch of Tikkar village, Ramesh Sharma Tikkar, said they had urged the district administration for the construction of water tanks in the villages, but nothing had been done in this regard. He said their cattle were the worst sufferers during this summer as they were not getting sufficient water for their proper upkeep.



Percentile On Demand
CBSE takes U-turn
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Intensifying the confusion surrounding admissions to class XI, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has taken a U-turn on its declaration of an ‘on-demand’ provision of percentile of class X boards to affiliated schools.

Announcing its decision to stick to the nine point-grading system, the CBSE has clarified that it will only provide a statement of subject-wise performance, the corresponding admission policy of which is awaited till date.

Reacting to the move that has shattered their plans to stick to the old number system, city schools are now mulling admissions tests to allocate streams to hundreds of students securing same grades.

“The CBSE has left us all in the lurch. First they introduced grading, but failed to give us a policy to administer admissions. When we tried to solve the issue by sticking to percentiles, they have now taken a U-turn on their own circular and left us with just one option, an admission test,” says the president of the Independent Schools Association, HS Mamik.

“These tests, if conducted, will create a huge uproar as many students have already got provisional admissions on the basis of their pre-board score,” he has added.

In its circular issued on September 29, the CBSE has not only elaborated upon the grading system, but also even stated that "subject-wise percentile score/rank at the national level shall be provided to the schools on demand".

However, defending the U-turn, the Regional Director of the CBSE, DR Yadav, says, “How can we provide the percentile on demand? If we provide it to one school, all will go for it and the grading system will become irrelevant.”

On being questioned about the admission policy corresponding to the grading system, he claims there is nothing, as if now.



Paying guests land woman in jail
75-year-old widow housed criminals without verification; granted bail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
The police today arrested 75-year-old Kanta Verma, an Army officer’s widow residing in Sector 36, three days after it came to light that the Bhupinder Singh, alias Bhupi, wanted in cases of rioting and attempt-to-murder in Haryana, had been staying as paying guest at her residence along with two accomplices.

The trio was arrested on Saturday along with firearms while travelling in a jeep displaying a fake registration number. The use of paying guests and rented accommodation by dreaded criminals was not new in the city.

Last year, members of a dreaded gang of highway robbers were found staying in rented accommodation in the city. Three inter-state smugglers, including the tenant of a Deputy Superintendent of Police in the UT, were arrested with 200 kg of poppy husk and 120 grams of opium last year. The issue of tenant and servant verification had become a hot topic, leading to the UT administration issuing notices in this regard.

The SHO of the Sector 36 police station, inspector Anokh Singh, said Verma was arrested for violating prohibitory orders after a case under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code was registered against her. She was produced in a local court today, which released her on bail.

Sources said Verma, wife of late Col DR Verma, told the police that Bhupinder, a resident of Mohali, along with Dharampal, a resident of Dadu Majra, and Manpreet Singh, a resident of Mansa, rented her premises on April 23. Besides the trio, four other boys had been staying as paying guests in her house, where she lived by herself.

Giving details of 24-year-old Bhupinder’s profile, the police said he was booked in four cases of trespass, criminal intimidation, rioting and assault and under provisions of the Arms Act at the Lalru police station. He was a proclaimed offender in a case of attempt-to-murder and rioting and under the Arms Act registered at Ambala City on October 1 last.

He was also declared a proclaimed offender in another case of rioting and criminal intimidation registered at the Mahesh Nagar police station in Ambala. The Lalru police booked him in a case of rioting, criminal trespass and criminal intimidation on November 21, 2005, when he was 19 years old. On November 14 last, the Ambala police registered a case of murder and rioting against him.

Manpreet was facing three cases of attempt-to-murder and rioting and under the Arms Act in Chandigarh and his hometown Mansa. Dharampal was facing a case of culpable homicide registered against him on August 7, 2008, at the Sector 34 police station in Chandigarh.

Prohibitory Orders

The District Magistrate has issued prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, making servant and tenant verification mandatory. Anyone found violating the orders is booked under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.



Councillors to head for Gangtok
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
While residents of the city continue to swelter in the summer heat, almost all municipal corporation (MC) councillors have opted to undertake a study tour to the cooler environs of Gangtok in Sikkim at taxpayers’ expense.

As many as 31 of the 36 councilors will study roads, horticulture, sanitation, water supply and garbage disposal in the hill station so that things can be “improved” in the city. The duration is yet to be decided.

While a few of the councillors find these trips to be a waste of time and money, Pallav Mukherjee, a nominated councillor, has opted to visit Bangalore. Mayor Anu Chatrath said she would discuss the matter with the councillors so that some of them could be motivated to visit Bangalore and Mysore.

On April 29, Amrit Bolaria, a nominated councillor, criticised the tour during the House meeting, suggesting visits to slums of the city.

It was proposed that councillors be sent on study tours in two groups at the end of May and the first week of June to study roads, horticulture, sanitation, water supply and garbage disposal. All councillors were asked to send their options on cities they were interested in visiting.

However, there seems to be no similarity between Chandigarh and Gangtok. Gangtok’s population is a mere 29,354, against Chandigarh’s population of 9,00,635, according to the 2001 Census.

Chandigarh has an average literacy rate of 81.9 per cent, which is much more than Gangtok, with its average literacy rate of 69.7 per cent.

Only 40 per cent of Gangtok’s population has access to sewers whereas almost 100 per cent of the Chandigarh population enjoys a good sewerage system.

At Gangtok, toilets are connected to sewers as it is without a proper sanitation system. Sewage is disposed of through septic tanks and directly discharging into open drains is prevalent.

The estimated solid waste generated in Gangtok is 45 tonnes, against 400 tonnes in Chandigarh. Clearly, the only attraction of Gangtok is the temperature, a maximum of 22°C, on an average, in summer.

“In fact, I am not against going to places to learn something which could benefit our city. These tours should be planned after proper thought to the subject,” said Bolaria.

Mukherjee said he agreed. “There is a need to study systems in cities like Bangalore so that we can gear up for problems we are facing today as well as those expected in the future,” he said.

“At a small hill station like Gangtok, it is beyond my imagination that one can study something in the context of Chandigarh,” he added.

It is not the first time that a study tour by councillors attracted criticism. In 2006, certain councillors had met the Adviser to the Administrator and submitted a communication, seeking a ban on study tours on account of money wastage, following which the administration had denied consent to such tours.

In November 2007, however, the study tour finally materialised, with 19 councillors visiting Singapore, Malaysia and Bangkok. A sensory park the councilors proposed to be set up at Sector 26 after this visit, however, lies waiting for funds.

Chandermukhi Sharma, another councillor, defended such tours, claiming that the concrete road from the iron market chowk to Sector 47 was conceptualised after a visit to Mumbai.

It was only because of the fault of MC officials that ideas conceptualised by councillors were not implemented properly as they did not procure technical details abut the projects, he said.



Expenditure On Vehicles Used By VIPs
DC office conceals more, reveals less
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
When it comes to providing details of expenditure incurred on vehicles used by VIPs, the office of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) knows best how to dodge queries filed even under the RTI (Right to Information) Act.

According to the DC office, there are no specific rules framed by the UT administration for making transport arrangements for visiting VIPs. Instead, vehicles are provided on the directions of the UT administration’s home department.

Despite the absence of rules, the DC’s office has spent over Rs 21.38 lakh over 22 months for making arrangements for VIPs between April 1, 2008, and February 22, 2010.

This startling revelation has been made in response to RTI queries filed by RK Garg, a resident of the city. Interestingly, the DC’s office has replied that there are two travel agencies, with which the office has entered into an annual rate contract for hiring vehicles.

A perusal of the 41-page reply is interesting in what it has concealed than in what it reveals. There are dates to each of the 1,243 occasions when cars have been hired, but there is no mention of the VIP for who the vehicles is rented. Neither is there any mention of the department hiring those.

Furthermore, the charges have often been in four digits. The highest amount charged on a single day was Rs 4,264 on July 30, 2009. The question is how can a taxi, even if it is a luxury car, travels so much within a city where distances are short.

There seem to be more discrepancies with the two travel agencies, both of which have recorded two different addresses in the list. One travel agency is shown to be at Sectors 8 and 23 while the other is located at Behlana and Hallo Majra.

Expressing his indignation, Garg says, “It was rather shocking that the city, which hardly has any visiting dignitaries, has more than 10 entries on a single date. To top it all, a single vehicle carrying VIPs has travelled hundreds of kilometres on a single day on an average in the city, which is spread over 114 sq km,” said Garg.

The statement of expenses incurred on arrangement of vehicles for VIPs and dignitaries by all offices provided under provisions of the RTI Act is incomplete, with no details of vehicles used, kilometres covered on each trip and type of vehicle used.



Ruling On Kasab
Justice has prevailed, say victims’ neighbours
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 3
As the nation watched the lone surviving 26/11 gunman, Ajmal Amir Kasab, being held guilty today of the audacious Mumbai attacks, that left 166 people dead, neighbours of two local families who had lost their children in the terror attacks, expressed appreciation over justice having ultim- ately prevailed.

As family members of Jasmine, 22-year-old student of hotel management at the Oberoi Hotel, and Neeti were not in the city, many attempted to contact them.

Ajmer Singh of Phase IX, where Jasmine’s father, Maninder Singh Bhurjee, an IG with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) lived, said he could not meet the family as they were presently staying in Delhi.

“I have come to express my sympathies with the family. May the Almighty give them the strength to overcome the grief,” he added.

At Jasmine’s house, a sole personnel of the ITBP Sukwinder Singh, stood guard. On being contacted over the phone in Delhi, the IG refused to say anything on the issue.

There was eerie silence at the farmhouse of Kadalas, Neeti’s in-laws. Her father-in-law, Maj-Gen JS Kang, was in Mumbai.

On being contacted over phone, Neeti’s in-laws refused comment.


List problems, panel tells Parsavnath
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
In the ongoing tussle between the Chandigarh Housing Board and Parsavnath Builders over the Prideasia Housing Project, the ball is again in CHB’s court for solving the matter.

An eight-member committee, constituted earlier on the directions of the arbitrator under the chairmanship of Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar, met here today.

It was decided that Parsavnath builders would give in writing specifying all problems regarding the project and hand it over to the chairman of the board.

The administration will look into the specifics and get the same examined, it was decided. The committee comprises CHB chairman, Deputy Commissioner, Chief Architect, MC Commissioner, besides others. The CHB had signed an MoU with Parsavnath Builders for a housing and commercial project near IT Park in 2006. The project was supposed to be completed within a time-frame of three years but neither the project was completed nor the builders paid the remaining amount to the board.

Following this, the board even appointed an arbitrator to look into the project. A default notice was then served on the realtor for neither starting the project in time nor completing the same. It was further stated in the notice that the remaining amount of Rs 314 crore had also not been paid. A reply was then sought from the realtors.

In its reply, the realtor stated that the notice was not only unjustified but also one-sided. Even before this notice, another show-cause notice was served on the realtor, following which the company’s owner Pradeep Jain had stated that the delay in starting the project was not their fault.

The delay was due to late allotment of the land to them and non-approval of the drawings. In their previous reply, the realtors had alleged that not only was the land allotted to them in litigation but high-tension cables ran right above the allotted land and much time was taken to get them removed. The said the land was allotted to Parsavnath for Rs 814 crore. The company first paid Rs 517 crore and an amount of Rs 314 crore was still to be paid. A few months ago, both the board and the builders had appointed former Justice DP Wadhwa and former Justice Amar Dutt as their respective arbitrators to sort out the matter. By agreement, the board and Parsavnath had appointed Justice (retd) SC Aggarwal as common arbitrator. Parsavnath had also claimed prior to this that now that the arbitrator had been appointed, there was no need for issuing such default notices by the board especially in the wake of ongoing talks.

CHB Chairman shifted

Chandigarh: CHB Chairman Mohanjit Singh has been transferred to Daman. A UT cadre IAS officer, Mohanjit had been been holding the post for the past four years. He came here for three years, with his term ended in 2009. The UT administration had sought an extension for him for a year from the union government. However, no reply came through. In the absence of any orders from the Centre, he continued for another year. — TNS



10 village heads meet Fin Secy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
After a delegation of villagers of Daria village recently submitted a representation to the UT Adviser over levy of entry taxes, sarpanches of 10 villages today met with Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar in this regard.

These villagers had alleged that on April 15, the panchayat imposed entry tax at the rate of Rs 50 per tractor-trailer and Rs 40 per truck.

Similarly, car/jeep owners were asked to shell out Rs 20 per entry while rehri owners were supposed to pay Rs 10. Likewise, cycle owners were required to pay Rs 5 per trip.

The representation had alleged that the interest of the poor had been compromised by the panchayat.

However, at the meeting with the Finance Secretary, it came out that the administration during one of its meeting had proposed the taxes.

In fact the administration had also proposed streetlight cess, sanitation cess and even house tax cess in villages.

Meanwhile, the group of sarpanches also put forth the need for appointing a block development officer (BDO) for their respective villages. They said after March, 2009, the UT administration had given additional charge to its officers but it was of no help as the villages suffered on development works.



CAT rejects nurses’ plea on seniority
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today rejected the appeal filed by three staff nurses of Government Medical College Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, claiming seniority as per their date of recruitment.

Sunita Kumari, Surikha Newton and Sanjuana Charles had submitted to the tribunal that they were recruited as staff nurses on February 27, 1996 in reserved category.

After this, the GMCH decided to fill vacant posts of staff nurse from the waiting list of previous batch of 1995. Out of 70 advertised posts, only 51 posts were filled.

Some of the nurses were recruited on June 15, 1996. In the 2001 seniority list, the institution promoted Jyoti Sharma, Geeta Rani, Davinder Kaur and Parampreet Kaur to the post of nursing sisters, all from the 1995 waiting list.

The applicants had prayed for quashing the order of promotion of these four nursing sisters and for not promoting anyone junior to them.

The institution submitted that according to the ministry of personnel and public grievances, it is provided that the relevant seniority of all direct recruits is to be determined by the order of merit in which they have been selected for such appointments on the recommendation of UPSC or other selecting authority.

The institution also submitted that the nurses who were selected through an earlier selection process were placed higher on the seniority list.

The order mentioned that it was a well-settled principal of law that “the position regarding seniority is not to be disturbed when a considerable length of time has elapsed and the right of others who are likely to be affected have attained finality”.

“The prayer of applicants is barred by limitation and deserves to be rejected on this ground alone,” it said.



Relief for 53 re-employed PGI workers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Aggrieved by the non-implementation of their demand for pay fixation on the basis of service rendered in Army, 53 re-employed ex-servicemen recently got a relief after the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) directed the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) administration to do the needful to ensure fixation of their pay and other benefits within a period of four months.

A group of 53 applicants, headed by Mohinder Singh, working as security guards at the PGI, had submitted to the tribunal that their past service rendered by them as ex-servicemen be taken into consideration by the PGI for the purpose of fixation of their pay and other benefits as had been granted to other similarly situated person.

A Bench comprising Shyama Dogra and Khushiram has directed the PGI to examine the case of the applicants.

Is has been asked to provide them with the same benefits as given to the others.



Deploy guards within 15 days, MC tells firm
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 3
The municipal council has asked the private company that has put up security gates in various parts of the town to provide watchmen to man these within 15 days and threatened the removal of advertisements displayed on these gates if the contractor failed to work according to the terms of the agreement.

The issue of security gates once again came up for discussion at the monthly meeting of the civic body held here today.

Kuljit Singh Bedi pointed out that the gates had become a nuisance for residents because some of these were locked by the police at night and residents were unaware of whom to approach in case of an emergency.

Watchmen had been provided only at some gates. Moreover, substandard material was used to make these gates, added Bedi.

Kulwant Singh, president of the council, said a notice was issued to the contractor and was asked to arrange watchmen at these gates for the security of residents within 15 days.

He said all advertisements displayed on these gates would be removed if the terms of the agreement were violated.

The president regretted that the work of security gates was not taken seriously by the contractor.

As many as 39 security gates had been installed by a private company on the directions of the municipal council in various parts of the town.

As per the plan, these gates were to be closed at night leaving one open in the area and was to be manned by a security guard who was supposed to log the names of persons entering the particular area once the gates were closed.

The security guard was to be deployed after carrying out his police verification.



Revised Mohali MC budget cleared
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 3
A revised budget of Rs 4,398.19 lakh of the Mohali Municipal Council for 2010-11 was cleared at a special meeting of the civic body held here today even as the House cleared estimates for development works worth over Rs 7 crore.

Earlier, the proposed budget of Rs 4,277.58 lakh for the next financial year was kept pending at a meeting held on March 5, as some councillors had claimed it had certain shortcomings and they would give their clearance only after a revised budget was presented in the House.

In the revised budget the civic body had proposed an income of Rs 3,741 lakh and the balance carried forward stood at Rs 657.19 lakh. The proposed expenditure for the next financial year was Rs 4,218.56 lakh.

The proposed income under the head of advertisement was increased from Rs 70 lakh to Rs 1 crore and that from tehbazari was increased from Rs 26 lakh to Rs 30 lakh in the revised budget. The amount proposed to be spent on strengthening of roads was increased from Rs 675 lakh to Rs 1,059 lakh.

Kulwant Singh, who presided over the first meeting of the civic body after taking over as the president, said roads in the town were in a state of neglect and the amount to be spent on repairs had to be increased to improve their condition.

In the second meeting held soon after the special budget meeting, the council cleared estimates for development works worth over Rs 7 crore. Fresh estimates were only for Rs 97.73 lakh. The others which were cleared today were over Rs 6 crore. They had been kept pending during the two meetings held earlier under the presidentship of Rajinder Singh Rana as the ruling group had lost the support of the majority of the elected representatives and the opposition group, which was in a majority, had refused to clear estimates related to the wards of the councillors owing allegiance to Congress-backed Rana.

The civic body has proposed to modernise traffic light points at four junctions at a cost of about Rs 16 lakh. These are Chawla chowk, traffic junction near Franco Hotel in Phase I, Phases III and V chowk and the PTL crossing. Halogen lamps were used at these traffic signals earlier, which would now be replaced by LED lights as they consumed 80 per cent less power.

Micro-processed-based controller would be installed at these traffic lights with digital timers. These would also be run on batteries whenever there was a power shutdown.

Before the start of the meeting Kulwant Singh said all elected representatives should work unitedly for the development of the town and he assured the House that he would work in an unbiased manner as far as the interests of Mohali were concerned.



Amateur artistes can’t book Tagore Theatre
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Non-artistic babus have pushed the Tagore Theatre out of the reach of amateurs. With arbitrary high rentals, Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000, plus taxes, amateurs in the city are at the receiving of the whims of the bureaucracy, which otherwise splurges lakhs on “official cultural events” to promote entertainment in the city.

Though a category with Rs 3,000 as rent for amateurs exists “officially”, the theatre is not rented for this amount to amateurs as only two slabs, Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000, are quoted by the theatre staff to any organisation booking it. This fact has been brought to the notice of Home-cum-Culture Secretary Ram Niwas during a meeting by certain theatre personalities led by Dr Gaurav Chhabra. In fact, the slab of Rs 3,000 seems to be “reserved” for government functions, defeating the purpose of promotion of art and culture through amateur theatre groups.

“This is not a healthy attitude towards the promotion of culture and theatre. Such a mindset shows only the commercial mindset of the administration. Commercialisation at the cost of amateur artistes is not justified. If the rate has been fixed at Rs 3,000 and is not being offered to those who deserve it, what use is the whole provision,” says Dr Chhabra.

Vijay Machal, founder of the Mask Theatre, says sidelining amateur theatre to some specific locations will be against the objectives of the Tagore Theatre. The administration wants it to be least used by amateur artistes so that the cost can be recovered and only elite theatre is patronised, he claims. The Home Secretary says, “I have received representations from different quarters in this regard and will look into the matter.”

In the backdrop of the outcry by artistes, a meeting under the chairmanship of Pradip Mehra, Adviser to the Administrator, had rolled back rentals, fixing it at Rs 3,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 50,000 for various categories. While another category with a rent of Rs 25,000 was subsequently added, the fate of other rental tariffs was not known.



Summer Eye Care
Take care of your eyes this summer
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Come summer and we begin hearing about skin problems and remedies to save oneself from the scorching heat but what about other body parts, our eyes need special care which too bear the brunt of the heat.

“I always get eye inflammation in summers, and this year is no exception - in fact, it’s worse!” laments 26-year-old management student Anuj Ghai. “My eyes go all red and the itch is unbearable, particularly when I wake up. Dryness, inflammation and allergies of eyes are common summer complaints that few can escape.

Ophthalmologists say that this is due to the effect of dust and sunlight, which aggravates allergy. Doctors suggest the use of cold compresses and sunglasses to alleviate the problem. If this does not work, then eye drops are an answer.

Shalini Mehta, a BPO employee, says that for the past week and-a-half, wearing contact lenses has become a major problem for her due to the dryness in her eyes. The air-conditioned environment that she works in further aggravates the discomfort making her “miserable” at times.

According to ophthalmologist Dr SPS Grewal the number of patients with eye problems resulting from the heat has almost doubled since the onset of summer. “While most people know that sunscreen is essential when venturing outdoors to protect their skin from ultraviolet rays, it is crucial to remember that the eyes too need to be protected,” says Grewal.

“In fact, prolonged exposure to UV rays can result in serious eye damage. Cataracts, the leading cause of blindness in the world, can be caused by excess exposure to UV-A and UV-B rays.”

“I would advise people to wear a close-fitting pair of sunglasses with large lenses or wraparounds that block 99 to 100 per cent of UV rays. The same goes for contact lense users,” suggests Grewal.


n Consume nutritional food like spinach, lettuce, other green salads, broccoli, sprouts and corn.

n Wear swimming glasses while swimming in a pool, as the water is chlorinated and can lead to eye infection like redness or dryness of eyes.


n Don’t step outdoors in the sun without UV-absorbing eyewear.

n Don’t splash water inside your eyes. This washes away the tear film that is a protective layer and can cause ‘dry eyes’ in the long run.

n Don’t presume that the darker the tint of your sunglasses the better UV protection you have. If it is of poor quality, such eyewear will cause more damage.

n Don’t rub your eyes with unclean hands or when you are outdoors and in public places. You could inadvertently introduce infection 
or allergies. 

Dust and sunlight aggravates allergy. Doctors suggest that the use of cold compresses and sunglasses to alleviate the problem. If this does not work, then eye drops are an answer



BJP councillors hold meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
A meeting of municipal councillors of the BJP was here held under the chairmanship of Sanjay Tandon, local unit president, to review preparations for “Abhinandan Samaroh” of BJP president Nitin Gadkari here on May 12. Leader of the opposition in municipal corporation Gurcharan Dass Kala, Rajesh Gupta, Ramlal, Surinder Jagota, Anil Dubey, Sunita Chaudhary, Rajkumari Mishra and Sarita Sharma, all councillors, attended the meeting.

Tandon said Balbir Punj, in-charge, Chandigarh affairs, Kiran Ghai, vice-president and co in-charge Chandigarh affairs, and Navjot Singh Sidhu, national secretary and in-charge Chandigarh affairs in Parliament will also attend the function.



Alok Kumar joins as SSP (HQ)
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Alok Kumar, a 1996-batch IPS officer, joined as UT SSP (Headquarters and Intelligence) here today.

An AGMUT-cadre officer, Kumar had earlier worked in the Chandigarh police as Additional Superintendent of Police (central) and in the traffic wing. He served as Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) (West Delhi), SP Saiha in Mizoram, DCP (Central District, Delhi).

Apart from BA and LLB, he is a diploma-holder in environmental law.



PU to check radioactive waste
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
A death caused by the negligent disposal of radioactive Cobalt-60 from Chemistry department of the University of Delhi, a few days ago, has prompted Panjab University to constitute a standing committee to check the disposal of radioactive, chemical, and bio-medical waste in its science departments.

A preliminary inspection was conducted on the PU campus today for any radioactive elements in the environment, but no hazardous radiation were detected.

The committee used a “radiation survey monitor” to check the level of radiations present on the campus that were found within control.

However, the authorities didn’t rule out the possibility of irresponsible disposal of lab waste by students.

A decision to start a training programme on “good lab practices” in the university was also taken. The programme will teach science students how to conduct themselves in a safe way, while working in the laboratories.

“To check the practice of disposing of lab waste, a standing committee will visit laboratories across the campus,” said Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti. Members of the standing committee include professors AS Ahluwalia, Alok Shrivastav, MM Gupta, VR Sinha, ML Garg, P Venugopalan and Devinder K Dhawan.

“We did preliminary survey today and everything was under control. From Tuesday, inspections would be conducted in full swing in all the departments. Training session will also be given to students,” said Alok Shrivastav, convener of the committee and adviser to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the European Atomic Energy Committee.

The standing committee has also been authorised to take action against the departments for not disposing the waste safely, said the convener.



7-member panel inspects Dhanwantri College
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Having obtained permission from the Panjab and Haryana High Court to inspect Sri Dhanwantri Ayurvedic College, Sector 46, a seven-member committee of Panjab University examined the college and hospital here today.

The committee consisted of ayurveda experts from Delhi as well as PU Senate members.

Although the report would be submitted by two days, which will subsequently be presented in the court, the committee has observed that there is acute staff crunch in the college.

During the inspection, the reporter found that the members noted down grievances of employee pertaining to salaries, especially of the non-teachers, who were not being paid as per the grade. Besides, the committee observed shortage of teachers. “The employees are not being given the pay scales, increments, house rents and even proper medical facility,” said a non-teacher.

Meanwhile, a representation was also given to the team by the students of first year, who claimed that they had just three dissection classes in the past six months and the anatomy classes were sacrificed due to staff crunch.

Additionally, the committee also inspected the Ayurvedic Hospital. The number of indoor patients as compared to the 100 beds facility was found to be less although the cheap rates of MRI and X-ray facilities attracted a decent crowd.

Interestingly, neither did the college apply for affiliation from Panjab University, nor did the university ever grant the same on record, said a committee member.



PG diploma course in statistics to go online
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Panjab University’s School of Open Learning (USOL) is all set to start “online version” of its 10-year-old postgraduate diploma course in statistics with a newly introduced “upgradation facility” in the syllabus.

While the course was launched by USOL (former department for correspondence studies) in 1990-1991, the success of its online version, which has been designed to suit the needs of working professionals and researchers, remains to be seen.

The course, which the university authorities claim is a trans-border course, would supply the study material to the candidates with an upgradation suiting their needs.

“Since the course has been designed to suit the needs of professionals, researchers, etc., the feedback would be invited by them. In case a student corresponds with us that some text in the course material is not clear, it would be upgraded with suitable study tools,” said Ravi Mahajan of USOL.

He added that the course has been designed for the selected section of people who are interested in the development of the education sector. “The course has been started to revise the definition of online courses in the country,” said Mahajan.

At the launch of the course, Vice-Chancellor, Prof RC Sobti, formally linked the first module of the course to the website of Panjab University.

“Statistics is a fast emerging scientific language in the contemporary information age and hoped that by going online, the course will become the first trans-border course of Panjab University,” he added.

The PU authorities have fixed August 15 for the complete study material of postgraduate diploma course in statistics to be made available online for its students enrolling in the next academic session.



Mass Reappear Case
Chairperson to submit report to VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Panjab University’s Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti today ruled out the possibility of any probe to penalise first examiner, who checked papers of land law of fifth semester students of the department of laws, which resulted in a mass reappear.

However, the first evaluator has been identified and the chairperson of the department has been directed to submit a report on the issue to the VC.

Quoting the incident to be a “lesson for all examiners”, the VC today said penalising a person would not solve the matter.

Incidentally, the two examiners who re-examined the papers after the students applied for re-evaluation awarded same marks, indicating a major lapse on the part of the first examiner.

The board of studies and chairpersons of the respective departments provided the list of examiners, out of which the controller of examination selected the names. “Any inquiry in the matter would mean inviting resentment from various quarters without solving the actual purpose, which is to set things right and improve the system,” said Sobti.

Meanwhile, the students who protested against the mass reappear and subsequently the increase in the score by nearly 20-25 marks appeared to be in no mood to keep mum on the issue.

“This is not the first time that such an incident has happened. The evaluator who initially checked the paper must be penalised. The same incident happened with our batch last year also,” said a student of department of laws.



Hi-tech system installed at PU library
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Issuing and returning books in Panjab University’s AC Joshi library will now be easy, as the much awaited Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) system worth Rs 1.75 crore, which was installed in the library more than a year ago, was today inaugurated by Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti.

The system would simplify the process and will enable the students to avail the facility of issuing and returning books round-the-clock.

The next step would be the upgradation of the system to a biometric version, said an official present at the inauguration function.

The process is being viewed as a step for future integration with all departmental libraries in the university.

With this, PU becomes the first institute in the country to have the system, claimed the university officials. The Aligarh Muslim University has a biometric system, but Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) has not been installed elsewhere, said the sources.

The 3M RFID is enabled with RFID tags containing a microchip that can hold the item’s information and an antenna. RFID readers emit signals that search for the tag and respond with the kind of information that the reader wants.

The AC Joshi Library, with staff strength of 100 and a membership base of 10,000 members has a collection of over 700,000 books and journals.

“A security check would also be ensured through RFID since microchips are inserted in every book, which would not allow any student to issue or return books falsely,” said a university official.



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