C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Three get life term for murdering financier, son
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 8
A local court today awarded life imprisonment to Ashok Kumar, Sanjay Kumar and Sonu for murdering local financier Vinod Mittal and his four-year-old son Yashan on February 14 last year. After stabbing Mittal, they were thrown into a canal at Rajpura.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Ritu Garg also fined them Rs 11,000 each. They would have to undergo another four years of imprisonment if they did not pay the fine.

The court acquitted Neeru Bein, mother-in-law of Raju, the main accused, and his uncle Krishan Lal, charged under Section 120-B of the IPC for criminal conspiracy in the absence of evidence.

The fourth accused, still a minor, was being tried at the juvenile court separately. Raju and his wife Shilpa were still at large, even about 15 months after the incident.

Public prosecutor Dharampal said the court awarded life imprisonment to the three accused under Sections 302 (murder) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.

On February 28, the police arrested the four accused for murdering the financier and his son. Raju was nursing a grudge against Mittal for forcing him to register his house in the name of Mittal’s wife Sushma. On the night of February 14, Mittal and his son Yashan went to the house of his business partner Raju to collect money.

The police had arrested four of his accomplices, Ashok, Sanjay, Sonu and Robin, alias Chhotu Khan, Raju’s cousin, from Hanumangarh in Rajasthan.

While Ashok and Sanjay were residents of Abhaypur village in Panchkula, Robin of Saharanpur had his house at Bartana. Mittal’s car was recovered from the accused at Hanumangarh.

Mittal was into the cloth and property businesses. He also used to lend money through Raju, who owed some money to Mittal.

On February 14 last year, Sushma, residing in Sector 16, lodged a complaint with the Bartana police, stating that her husband did not return home after he left to meet Raju.

She claimed that her husband had gone to Bartana to take back Rs 6 lakh, which he had lent to Raju, running a saloon at Bartana.

After the police enquired about Mittal from Shilpa, she, along with her mother and daughter, left for an undisclosed destination.

The police was able to detain the mother and grandmother of Shilpa from Vadodara. Their questioning led to clues about the accused before they were caught at Vadodara. At Vadodara, Shilpa left the house after a phone call from Raju.

At a glance

The main accused, Raju, who ran a saloon at Bartana, and his wife, Shilpi, are still at large. Another accused, still a minor, was being tried at the Panchkula juvenile court separately. Forensic tests had proved that bloodstains in Mittal’s car, which was recovered from Hanumangarh, matched the samples taken from his father Ved Prakash Mittal


Justice At Last

Mittal’s family pulled all strings to bring the assailants to book. His wife Sushma complained to the Bartana police on February 14 that her husband, along with their son Yashan, had been kidnapped by Raju. She claimed that her husband had gone to Bartana to demand Rs 6 lakh back, which he had lent to Raju. When the Bartana police did not register a case, the family lodged a complaint with the Panchkula police the next day. A case of kidnapping was registered at the Sector 16 police post on February 16. The family kept pressure on the police to seek justice.



School Admission
EWS quota will have to wait
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Students belonging to economically weaker sections (EWS) will have to wait for yet another year to gain the much-publicised 15 per cent mandatory reservation in schools because the UT administration has been unable to get its act together.

Although the UT administration has, several times in the last two years, professed its commitment to the cause by penalising erring private institutions, it has, till date, failed to devise any implementation policy.

The lapse, which has left private schools fuming, has come to the fore at one of the several meetings held between private school representatives and the UT administration.

“Just to gain publicity, the administration will catch hold of one school and penalise it for not having enough EWS students. When we try to reason it out, it cites some alien clause in our allotment letters as a reason, though it has already been challenged legally. We have given a nod on social and moral grounds and asked it to guide us, but it does not have any policy. After making a bold promise of enforcing

reservation from this year, all it has done is to ask us how many students we have admitted so far,” said Independent School Association president HS Mamik.

Although the administration is on with its crusade for the last two years, the UT education department has, till date, failed to devise any mechanism on the total number of students belonging to the EWS category.

There exists no modus operandi for admission to various private schools and incentives to be provided to those.

UT Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar, who has been spearheading the drive, claims to be already on the job.

“This issue it involves clauses in land allotment letters. We saw that this was the real bone of contention between the two parties. I asked them to bide by this to do justice to social responsibilities. As far as policy is concerned, I have a road map in my mind. We will soon discuss it with UT education department officials and frame a policy,” he says.

Expressing skepticism, Mamik says, “This policy will take a minimum of two months. How will we be able to accommodate those children in the middle of the session?”

‘Admn biased’

The Independent School Association has accused the administration of being biased in favour of select private schools and all government schools. “The administration, which has penalised many of our members, has not dared, till date, to touch some schools belonging to bigwigs. Their allotment letters include the EWS clause, but they always manage to escape on the pretext of running special schools. We want same yardstick for government schools, which are guilty of denying admission to hundreds of students. Whatever the administration does, has to be uniform for all,” says Mamik



Two youths hurt in assault, 4 held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Rivalry among six ‘friends’ landed two youths, including a student of a computer course, in a hospital and the other four behind bars here today.

The police arrested four young men, identified as Lavey, Ranjit Singh, Parwinder Singh and Vikram Singh, on charges of kidnapping and causing injuries to their acquaintances - Ashish Kumar, 24, and Makhan Singh, 25. The latter have been admitted to the Government Multispecialty Hospital, Sector 16.

Ashish, a Sector 18 resident and a computer student, along with Makhan sustained injuries after they were thrashed and attacked. Sector 19 police station SHO inspector Ram Gopal said one of the assailants, Parwinder Singh, got engaged in a family dispute with his wife.

Last night the assailants initially abducted Ashish to Nada Sahib. Upon arriving there they allegedly assaulted him with blunt-edged weapons. Later, they called up Makhan asking him to come near a sweet shop in Sector 21 on the pretext that Ashish needed help. From there Makhan was then taken to Nada Sahib where he was similarly beaten up and attacked with blunt-edged weapons. Gopal said Ashish and Makhan somehow managed to establish contact with their family members who contacted the police. A case has been registered at the Sector 19 police station. A local court remanded the four to 14 days’ judicial custody.



2-yr RI for ex-SE
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
A special Central Bureau of Investigation court today sentenced a former superintendent engineer (SE) of the UT electricity department, VP Dhingra, who was held guilty in a graft case on Friday, to two years’ rigorous imprisonment. CBI special judge Darshan Singh also slapped a fine of Rs 15,000 on him.

However, Dhingra was immediately granted bail after furnishing a bail bond of Rs 50,000.

CBI officials had caught Dhingra red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 20,000 on August 2, 2006, outside his home in Sector 19 here. A case was later registered against him under sections 7 & 13 (2) read with section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Subhash Bajaj, a contractor and MD of Kanta Electricals India Ltd, Mohali, had filed a complaint against Dhingra, accusing the latter of demanding “favours” from him to grant approval to certain equipment. Bajaj claimed Dhingra had been “dilly-dallying” on the matter despite the fact that a government laboratory had already cleared the equipment.

The contractor alleged when he went to Dhingra's home to give him the money he had asked for the latter insisted they go out for a short drive. He alleged Dhingra accepted the bribe in the car.

Dhingra was apprehended as he was getting down from the car outside his home with the bribe money.



Kargil Park ‘in line of fire’
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 8
Poor coordination between the Punjab’s Water Supply and Sewerage Department and the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) over the laying of a storm water pipeline has cost the state exchequer dear.

Barely four months after the public health department of GMADA spent Rs 26 lakh on installing a musical fountain in Kargil Park in Sector 71 here last December, the Water Supply and Sewerage Department, has while laying a storm water pipeline, dug up the entire park, damaging

scores of garden lights, and rendering two of the three fountains useless. The digging has made the park inaccessible to morning walkers.

The expensive musical fountain, which has a pre-programmed and auto-sensing control system, 29 water effects, 60 lights of five colours, a sound system of 500 watts, an amplifier and eight speakers, is also lying non-functional, as the contractor engaged by the executing agency has damaged the power cable to the fountain. So shoddy has been the digging that GMADA officials are unable to trace the power cable.

GMADA’s Executive Engineer (Public Health) Sunil Kansal admitted that damage to equipment could have been avoided by cautious digging. “While approving the estimates, we have got an undertaking from the executing agency that the park would be restored in its original form,” he added.

A regular morning walker at the park, HS Bawa , said the digging work was not up to the mark. “Two of the fountains have been damaged due to the digging. “For the past few months, we have not been able to enter the park,” said Bawa.

Defending the digging work, Executive Engineer of Punjab’s Water Supply and Sewerage Department, JS Dhammi , said all departments concerned had been intimated in advance to protect their equipment and they had complied. The storm water line was being laid in a time-bound manner on orders of the court.

Another morning walker, JP Singh Kalra, observed how after spending lakhs of rupees on installing the fountains and landscaping, the park had been dug up. “It is mindless digging that could have been avoided,” he said.



Another DAV-10 student in police net
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Yet another student of DAV College, Sector 10, was taken into police custody - this time for using a fake number plate on his Skoda car.

The Sector 36 police station SHO Inspector Anokh Singh said Gurman, who resides in Sector 47, was caught when he was found using a fake number (CH 04 0082) on his white Skoda car, which is registered in the name of Supinder Singh, his father.

The original number of the car is CH 03W 0432.

“Gurman Singh used the fake number to cheat the police,” said Anokh Singh, claiming that the student was a drug-addict, who originally

hails from Ferozepore. Anokh Singh claimed that the police got a tip-off, following which Gurman was nabbed on a naka, laid in Sector 36 late in the evening. The fake number had originally been registered for a Balero jeep, which belongs to an insurance company. A case under Sections 420 and 473 of the IPC (cheating and forgery) has been registered against Gurman at the Sector 36 police station.


May 6, 2010: Rinku, a BA-I student of DAV College, was arrested on the charge of theft of motorbikes.

April 23, 2010: Amandeep Singh Multani and Gokul Setia, former students of DAV College, Sector 10, held in connection with the shootout case and brawl on campus in September 2009.

April 12, 2010: Satbir Singh Sattu, Gagan and Aman, all students of DAV college, allegedly fired on Harsher Singh, another student of the college.



11 laptops, Rs 42,000 stolen from shop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
In another theft at computer shops, thieves decamped with 11 laptops and Rs 42,000 from a computer showroom at Sector 20-D here last night.

The thieves, believed to be more than two in number, entered the shop after making a hole in the ceiling. They came from a rear window after breaking its grills.

The shop had CCTVs, but the shopkeeper used to switch those off during the night.

It seemed that the choice of the target was not random as the thieves skipped the ceiling of another shop to reach it and make a precise hole there.

“It could be handiwork of an insider. They took away 11 laptops and Rs 42,000 from here,” said Rohit, owner of the shop.

The matter came to light when he came to open the shop this morning. He found one of his bags, containing a laptop, at the rear of his shop.

The thieves used matchsticks for lighting in the shop during the theft as several of those were found lying on the floor. It seemed that an organised gang targeting computer shops had been active in the area.

“Two thefts in two computer shops had taken place in around six months in our lane. Apart from that, several such cases had occurred in the past,” said Rohit.

The SHO of Sector 19 police station, Ram Gopal, said the police started investigations after registering a case in this connection.

No let-up in burglaries

April 20, 2010: The city witnessed a spate of burglaries as thieves struck at 11 shops in different parts of the city in one night.

November 25, 2009: Thieves struck at two shops in Sector 20 and decamped with laptops and computer parts worth lakhs



6,000 kids get no formal education!
Survey of 5-13 age group says figure lower than last year
Sumedha Sharma/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Shocking as it may sound, City Beautiful, which has the country’s third highest literacy rate, has over 6,000 children aged between 5 and 13 years who are not receiving any formal education.

Although the figure has dropped from last year’s figure of 8,700, there are around 3,200 boys and 3,000 girls who are being deprived of education. While 67 per cent of them are engaged in different vocations, the remaining 33 per cent prefer to simply loiter around.

The survey, conducted in city slums and colonies by the UT education department’s Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) wing, has brought to the fore the perturbing fact of an over seven per cent increase in the number of loiterers as compared to last year.

“The children who are involved in various vocations or sibling care do have an intent to study and thus, it becomes easy for us to bring them to mainstream education. A large number of children we put in mainstream education last year belong to this category. What poses a major challenge is that there are children who prefer to loiter than study, along with the fact that the number of child beggars remains the same as last year. Children belonging to this category lack motivation to study and generally, drop out within months of being put in any kind of educational institution,” says a senior SSA official, not wishing to be named.

SSA director Prit Pal Kaur seems optimistic about the year ahead. “There is a steep decline in the number of children currently out of school. Of course, loiterers and beggars do cause concern to us, but we have worked out an awareness campaign to target their parents. We will use all measures to advertise the incentives which these children can get and motivate them by paying personal visits. Once enrolment for our alternative innovative education centres is completed, we will visit those who have skipped it and ensure that each child receives education this year,” she says.

Sources say another cause of worry for the department is that over 700 students are studying at local ‘madarsas’. Parents of these children, especially girls, are reportedly unwilling to shift them to main schools, citing their religious beliefs as a reason. As a result, most of them have dropped out of school after Class VIII.


Shifting of BJP rally venue
Admn move undemocratic, says Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The UT Administration came under fire today from the local BJP unit over the change of venue for a rally scheduled for May 12.

Condemning the administration’s move at a press conference, organised at the party headquarters in Sector 33, Sanjay Tandon, president, BJP, Chandigarh Unit, accompanied by Harmohan Dhawan, said changing the venue of the BJP’s “Abhinandan Samaroh” from Ramleela Ground, Sector 27, to Rally Ground, Sector 25, was dictatorial and undemocratic.

Tandon said the permission was taken on April 26 well in time after getting permission from the Police and Fire Departments. He stated that the copy of the said letter was marked to all important functionaries of the Administration for necessary action at their end. “Surprisingly, the administration informed about the change of venue on May 6, saying you are requested to change the venue of rally for Sector 25 ground, Chandigarh,”said Tandon.

BJP functionaries lamented that there was no clear policy about the political programmes that could be organised within city and the officials of the Administration were taking decisions on their own.



Water, power shortage irk residents
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 8
Even as residents thirst for more water due to a 10 mgd (million gallons a day) gap between demand and supply, power shutdowns have made life of residents come to a halt in Mohali.

Complaints of low water pressure keep coming from various parts of the town as three agencies - the municipal council, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the Water Supply and Sanitation Wing - fail to satisfy consumers with adequate supply of water.

Residents of certain areas faced acute shortage of water yesterday as the morning supply was not received. It is reported that a sluice valve on a pipeline had developed a snag on Thursday night, adversely affecting the supply. Residents of Phases II, III and IV had a tough time. Water was supplied through tankers in some parts.

The demand of water in the summer months is 23 mgd (million gallons a day) against the availability of only 13.2 mgd. Mohali is getting only 10 mgd of water from Kajauli waterworks and the rest of it is got from tubewells.

Most of the tubewells in Mohali have also failed as the water table in the area had gone down. Out of the 71 tubewells, only 28 are in working order at present. Not a single tubewell is functioning in Phases II, III-A, III-B2 and IV as a result of which residents face shortage of water, especially those living on upper floors.

Kulwant Singh, president of the municipal council, said shortage of water in Mohali would end only after Phases V and VI of Kajauli waterworks became functional. Mohali would then have surplus water for many years to come. The project was chalked out about six years ago, but had got delayed.

Long power cuts imposed a number of times during the day has made life miserable for residents. Women are not able to perform their daily chores properly and even business establishments suffer due to unannounced power cuts.

Traffic at various chowks becomes chaotic as streetlights stop functioning. It becomes difficult to get even a photocopy of a document whenever there is a power cut. Those who have installed generators charge double the rates for the same work. Persons whose work totally depends on power are the worst affected as their income comes down by nearly half and find it difficult to make both ends meet.



Rs 10-lakh aid for rehabilitation centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil yesterday called upon civil and military authorities to embark upon a joint action plan to further enhance mutual relations and develop coordination between the Army and civil authorities.

While addressing defence and civil officials at the civil-military liaison conference here yesterday, Patil stressed upon the importance of close coordination on important issues related to the changed security environment, growth of drug mafia, assistance to families and dependants of martyrs and un-resolved issues pertaining to ex-servicemen, serving soldiers and widows.

Patil said Punjab had sensitive borders with the neighbouring countries, therefore, chances of getting affected by insurgency could not be ruled out.

Patil said the Indian armed forces had done the country proud in times of peace and war. He also stressed the need for coordination and harmonious functioning of the Army, Civil administration, para-military forces and police.

Governor announced a grant of Rs 10 lakh for the paraplegic rehabilitation centre (PRC), Mohali.

The administration will also allot two acres of land for construction of a building for the Armed Forces Tribunal.



Aid under old-age pension up

Chandigarh, May 8
The Chandigarh administration has increased the financial assistance given under old-age pension, pension to widows and destitute women and pension to disabled persons from Rs 250 per month per beneficiary to Rs 500 per month from March 1. Pensioners belonging to below poverty line families will get an additional Rs 200 per month under the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme, the Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme and the Indira Gandhi National Disabled Pension Scheme of the National Social Assistance Programme.

An official spokesperson of the Director Social Welfare said the payment of pension to beneficiaries was being made through sampark centres. — TNS



Mohali Press Club
MC to allot land within a month
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 8
The president of Mohali Municipal Council, Kulwant Singh, assured the members of Press Club, SAS Nagar, that land for the club would be allotted within a month.

Interacting with the members of the club here yesterday, the president said, “We will allot land to the club in new sectors coming up in the township. Land will be allotted within a month.”

NK Sharma, chairman, Mohali District Planning Board, assured all help for the construction of the club.

Kulwant Singh said the repairing of the roads of nearly 50 km would be done within 15 days. Work orders had already been issued and tenders of Rs 2.87 crore been floated, he added. “My aim would be to provide basic amenities to the residents of the township. All streetlights in the township will be functional within one week. Also the approval for five tubewells has been sought from the administration and we are hopeful to get it soon,” he added.

With the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the municipal council locking their horns over the maintenance of around 400 parks from the past several months, Kulwant Singh said, “Next week we will hold a meeting with GMADA officials and urge them to maintain parks or we will maintain the parks. Due to this infighting, parks are lying neglected and residents are suffering.”

He also assured that regarding the sanitation, residents would feel the difference within a week and work orders had already been issued for the same. “We will also beautify the town by painting the grills, making clear zebra crossing and signs, wherever required,” said Kulwant Singh.



C-DAC celebrates foundation day
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 8
A two-day seminar ‘Technikriti’, organised by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to celebrate its 21st foundation day, began at the centre in the industrial area, Phase VIII, here today. The inaugural day focused on implementation of guidelines for government websites.

JS Bhatia, executive director of C-DAC, Mohali, said the focus during the seminar would be to showcase and transfer of technologies developed by the centre. The core area would be digital electronics and communications, embedded systems, manufacturing technologies, software technologies, cyber security technologies and health informatics technologies.

Shashi Kamt Pamdep, a senior system analyst from NIC, New Delhi, spoke on the government websites.



IAF board celebrates anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The IAF’s Ground-crew Examining Board (GEB) celebrated its 34th anniversary at the Air Force Station here yesterday. Sir Officer Commanding, No.3 Base Repair Depot, Air Cmde Ravinder Sharma, was the chief guest.

A cultural programme, including songs and folk dances by family members of GEB personnel as well as artistes from the North Zone Cultural Centre at Patiala, was organised to mark the event.

The board, at present commanded by Gp Capt KK Gupta, was responsible for the career progression of all personnel below officer rank.



World Red Cross Day
Cycle rally taken out

Chandigarh, May 8
The Indian Red Cross Society, Chandigarh, today celebrated the World Red Cross Day. The society took out a cycle rally from Sukhna Lake to the Karuna Sadan Building, Sector 11.

UT Adviser Pradip Mehra flagged off the rally. Around 200 students from Government Model School, Sector 10, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, and Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, Chandigarh, participated in the rally. Students carried placards depicting the theme of the World Red Cross Day “Urbanisation” and the challenges associated with it, including water and environmental pollution, violence, spread of noncommunicable diseases, unhealthy dietary patterns, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol/drugs, etc.

PK Shrivastva, IGP, Chandigarh, Brijendra Singh, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairman, Indian Red Cross Society, UT Chandigarh, HS Doon, Senior Superintendent of Police, Chandigarh and Sunil Bhatia, DPI (S) among other senior officials of the UT administration were present on the occasion.— TNS



48 units of blood collected

Chandigarh, May 8
The Central Administrative Tribunal Bar Association organised a blood donation camp on Friday to mark its silver jubilee celebrations.

Around 48 units of blood were collected.

The camp was inaugurated by Shayama Dogra, judicial member, Central Administrative Tribunal. Mohan Lal Chauhan, judicial member, Jaipur bench of CAT and Promilla Issar, administrative member, CAT bench, Chandigarh, were present.

T-shirts and certificates were given to donors. Arvind Moudgil, president of the Central Administrative Tribunal, said the association would also organise a conference. — TNS



Sikh body seeks President’s intervention in poll process
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The International Sikh Confederation has sought the intervention of the President of India and other dignitaries, including Vice-President, and the Prime Minister for speeding up the electoral reforms to stop criminals from entering politics.

The federation has also written to the President bearing signatures of over 11,700 voters in this regard.

Addressing a press conference, convener of the federation Lt General (retd) Kartar Singh Gill has said the political power is already in the hands of rich and corrupt. Educated voters seem to have lost faith and interest in voting, as they often found none of the candidates coming up to their expectations. Most of the time, the rich mop up the votes of the poor, uneducated and ignorant, he added.

Substantiating the issue, former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University Dr SS Johl said polling failed to touch 25 per cent mark in Gurdev Nagar and Sarabha Nagar, which was inhabited by well-off people in Ludhiana. In a slum of Dhakka colony, the polling was recorded as high as over 100 per cent during Assembly or Parliament elections, he said.

Dr Johl said a red button at the top of the voting machines should be installed, indicating “no body” that would give a choice to the voter to reject all candidates. And the red button should count the votes and in case, these were found to be more than the votes obtained by the highest scorer, the election in such constituencies be cancelled and all rejected candidates should be barred from contesting for six years.

To make the process more transparent, the government should bear all costs of the election procedure and candidate should not be allowed to contact voters individually, he added.

Revealing the future strategy on the crusade, Dr Johl said, in case the government failed to move in this direction by August 15, the signature campaign would be taken up at a bigger scale.

This is not all. There is a need to ensure that the National Population Census, reaches out to the backward and neglected classes like vanjaras and sikligars, said Mohinder Singh Kohli, president of the Vanjara Trust, who concluded the interaction.

They remained a negelected lot and were not provided with BPL cards or other facilities meant for the poor, he said.



Saraswati Samman for Surjit Patar
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, May 8
Hailed as the doyen of modern Punjabi literature, Surjit Patar was bestowed with the prestigious Saraswati Samman at a function held under the aegis of Punjab Sahit Akademi (PSA) and Punjab Arts Council here today. As many as 23 literary organisations of the Tricity attended the ceremony and offered bouquets to Surjit Patar.

The prestigious literary award instituted by the Birla Foundation carries a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh, besides citation, and is awarded to a writer of eminence in regional language each year. After Dr Harbhajan Singh and Dalip Kaur, Patar is the third Punjabi litterateur to receive the award for taking the Punjabi poetry to a spectacular level.

Punjab Arts Council chairperson Harjinder Kaur and Punjab Sahit Akademy president Rajpal Singh presented the citation, shawl and memento to him. Patar creates a rapport with his readers by representing the aspirations, problems and ethos of a common man in his works.

The ceremony was held in a very familial environment, as his wife Balwinder Kaur, sons Manraj, Ankur and daughter-in-law Mandeep Kaur recited his poems.

Punjab Sahit Akademi secretary Col. Jasbir Bhullar conducted the ceremony.

PSA president Prof Rajpal Singh said Surjit Patar, being a poet, playwright, scriptwriter for TV serials and fiction writer, is a multi-faceted person. Patar has scripted 30 episodes for Doordarshan, tracing the genesis of Punjabi Poetry from Baba Farid to Shiv Kumar Batalvi.

He said, rightfully honoured with a dozen prestigious awards, Patar represented India in World Poetry Festival in Columbia in 1999, New York 2003, Frankfurt Book Fair 2006, and many other countries.

Pattar said good short stories and average poetry in Punjabi were being written nowadays, but we are lacking good novelists and playwriters.



Fate of applicants for PU’s MPEd course
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Uncertainty is still dogging students who had sought admission to Panjab University’s Master of Physical Education (MPEd) course this year on the basis of their graduate degrees awarded for a derecognised course at DAV College, Sector 10.

Although the three-member committee set up to look into the matter is yet to determine the actual number of students who enrolled for the course, concern over the future of these students was raised at a PU syndicate meeting held yesterday.

While an inquiry into the issue is slated to begin on Monday, a debate has already arisen among the varsity’s administration officials and senate members on whether or not the degrees of these students should be considered valid for PU’s MPEd course.

“The syndicate meet discussed the matter of certain admissions having been done in the PU’s masters course on the basis of the BPEd course at DAV College. Clearly, the students are not at fault in this case and they must not suffer. The panel will now seek details from the department concerned and take a decision on the matter shortly,” said Rajbans Singh Gill, a committee member.

PU’s supreme governing body, the senate, had resolved in 2008 to consider DAV College’s BPEd degrees as valid in case the college was unable to secure approval from the National Council for Technical Education (NCTE) in time. Even as the first batch passed out in 2009, the college has not sought approval from the council till date, said a syndicate member.

“These students were awarded degrees on April 10. The committee can find out the details of students who sought admission in PU only after they are verified. However, legally the course is not recognised by the university until the college gets approval from NCTE,” said GK Chathrath, another member of the panel.

The committee is expected to submit its report to the syndicate on May 16.

The head of PU’s physical education DAV College, GS Brar, said: “All admissions in the department have been done according to the stipulated guidelines and procedures. However, at this time I don’t have the records on details about any DAV students applying for PU’s MPEd course in particular,” he said.



From Schools
Motherhood celebrated
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 8
The Mother’s day was celebrated at Manav Mangal Smart School, Mohali, today. The school in association with Cleopatra Salon had put up a special stall which offered free diet counselling, nail art, skin analysis and reflexology.

Various games were organised for mothers. Musical chair was a hit. The juke box setup at the school’s amphi theatre offered songs of mothers’ choices. A seminar on positive parenting was organised by IPAT.

Ashmah School: The Mother’s Day was celebrated at Ashmah International School, Sector 70, Mohali.

A special talk on “Know your child” was organised.

Students of classes III and IV staged a play “Mother can be role model”.

Small Wonders: Music, dance and gifts marked the Mother’s Day celebrations at Small Wonders School here.

Children had come with their mothers.

Tiny tots participated in various activities.

Students presented self-made cards to their mothers.

Anees’ School: Students at the Anees’ School, Mohali, celebrated the Mother’s Day with fervour.

The day was marked by performances, fashion show and games like musical chairs and tambola.

Saupin’s School: The pre-primary wing of Saupin’s School, Mohali, celebrated the Mother’s Day. Little angels made their mothers feel special by expressing their love and gratitude.

The in-house dietician provided an insight into “healthy tiffin” ideas and also gave tips to young moms to take care of their own diet, an area often neglected.

Quiz contest

PANCHKULA: Chaman Lal DAV Senior Public School, Sector 11, organised a quiz competition. More than 100 students participated in the contest. Around 12 students were shortlisted for the final round. Teams were named after the endangered species like “Siberian Tiger”, “Giant Panda”, “Hawksbill Turtle” and “Black Rhinoceros”. Aditya, Pallavi and Ayush were declared winners, while Nidhi, Anup and Sanchit were declared runners-up. Nirwan, Aparna and Ankit claimed the third position. Principal Anjali Marriya lauded the efforts of students.



22 companies visit PU campus on Day 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The two-day job fest began at Panjab University today. Around 22 companies visited the campus to recruit students.

The fest is being organised by the Central Placement Cell (CPC) and Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC).

Tech Mahindra, Sherwood School, Quark for Languages, Sigma, Tricolite, Coke, Knack.com, NIIT, Pitronics, Altrust, Kapsons, Tiger Wealth Services, Grewal Eye Hospital, Bharati Axa shortlisted candidates.

The minimum pay package offered to graduate students was Rs 1.9 lakh per annum and the highest was Rs 3 lakh, said Amit Bhatia, students council’s president.

Shortlisted students of University Institute of Pharmaceutical Studies (UIPS) would get a pay package of Rs 4 lakh, said AK Saihpal, adviser, Central Placement Cell.

Some companies had to return empty handed, as students enrolled in language courses did not turn up at the job fest, said Bhatia.

Around 35 students were shortlisted today, 12 yesterday, while 180 were shortlisted for Sunday.

On Friday, 12 students of the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) were selected by Quark, Mohali.

Meanwhile, there were certain other students who seemed disappointed, as they were not offered good pay package.

The job fest is open to all colleges affiliated with PU.



Two school assemblies a day annoy parents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Parents of students studying in Saupins School, Sector 32, have approached the UT education department against the school authorities for conducting two assemblies in a day.

Parents have shot off a letter to the DPI (S) Sunil Bhatia in this regard. They alleged that some students reportedly did not attend the morning assembly, due to which, other students were made to attend the second assembly.

They have been conducting two assemblies for the past two days. One at 8 am and the other at 11 am.

Parents have accused the school authorities of forcing students to have lunch in open. Students are made to attend physical education classes in the scorching heat.

School principal ABS Sidhu, however, dismissed the allegations saying, “We are not conducting any extra assembly or forcing students to have lunch in open. These are baseless complaints.”



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