C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Home Secy rapped for bullying St John’s
Aditi Tandon/Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 9
The dispute between St John’s High School, Chandigarh and the UT administration over the school’s minority status today shifted to the courtroom of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, with the latter warning the UT home secretary against any attempt to “harass” the school principal.

“Stop harassing the principal and maintain the status quo till we dispose of the case, or we will be forced to write to the home minister and the UT administrator,” commission chairperson justice MSA Siddiqui said after the school’s counsel, Akla Sarin, had alleged the UT administration, particularly its home secretary, had been harassing school principal Kavita Das “on a daily basis”.

Referring to the last year’s complaint to the UT home secretary against the school’s art teacher, Michaelangelo Francis, by a former school employee, RS Sangwan, Sarin said: “The home secretary, while marking the complaint to the senior superintendent of police for an inquiry, directed him to report back in two days. That’s the kind of harassment we face,” she said, prompting the commission’s chairperson to seek a verbal assurance from the UT administration to desist from such harassment in future.

That apart, the case took a significant turn today with the administration terming the school’s complaint against it as “not maintainable” as the school was not a minority institution and therefore could not approach the minority commission. St John’s School had filed a complaint last November against the UT administration, which had indicted the school’s art teacher in a case involving accusations of obscenity by two students. The school said the administration was interfering in its affairs and encroaching upon its powers of self-administration by virtue of being a minority educational institution, as granted by article 30 of the Indian constitution.

Today, the UT administration and counsel for the parents of the students who had initially complained against Francis challenged the commission’s jurisdiction to entertain the school’s complaint. In their reply to the stand taken by St John’s School, the two respondents said: “From records procured under the Right to Information Act on June 3, we have learnt the school is not a minority institution as its constitution doesn’t state minority welfare among the objectives and it reserves only 5 per cent of seats for Christians, which is not a sizeable number.”

Counsel for the school however maintained the UT administration had never contested the school’s minority status, not even when it filed the first reply in the case. “How can they change their stand suddenly?” asked Sarin.

In his affidavit, original complainant TK Goyal (parent of student) has challenged St John’s School’s minority status under two provisions of section 12(C) of the National Commission For Minority Educational Institutions Act, 2004, which deals with the commission’s powers to cancel the minority status of an educational institution if its constitution, aims and objectives have subsequently been amended in a way that it no longer reflects the purpose for which it was set up, as also if it is found, on verification, that the school has failed to admit minority students according to the percentage prescribed by the government for admission to such an institute. The next hearing of the case has now been fixed for September 9, after the school sought the adjournment.



SI in CBI net for graft
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The CBI today booked a Sub-Inspector of the Chandigarh Police on charges of demanding bribe from a Sangrur resident to release his car.

The complainant, Kuldeep Singh, alleged that SI Charanjit Singh had illegally “detained” his Skoda Octavia following a complaint against him a week ago and demanded Rs 10,000 for its release.

Sources in the CBI, however, said Charanjit Singh “narrowly missed” landing in a trap laid for him, possibly because he had got a whiff of it. The CBI team remained in the Sector 31 police station for over seven hours. Officials said they had strong evidence against the accused and had a recording of phone calls in which he had demanded the money.

The SHO of the Sector 31 police station, Inspector Bakshish Singh, said he called Charanjit Singh to the police station after the CBI brought the matter to his notice.

The DIG, CBI, (Chandigarh Zone), Mahesh Aggarwal, said a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act had been registered against the accused. “We have not arrested him and would investigate the matter and take necessary action as per the requirements of the case,” the DIG said.

Sources said Ranbir Sood, a resident of Sector 48 and owner of a spare parts shop, had lodged a complaint against Kuldeep Singh and his associates for creating a ruckus at her shop on May 31 and manhandling her husband.

She said Kuldeep had bought a gearbox cylinder from her shop and came the next day to complain that the spare part was not genuine and assaulted her husband.

The police inquired into the matter and both parties reached a compromise.



Woman sets herself, 2 kids aflame
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 9
A 32-year-old woman set herself and her children, Noor Preet Singh (8) and Simar Preet Kaur (4), ablaze this afternoon. They died on the spot.

The woman, identified as Jasbir Kaur, was allegedly being harassed by her in-laws. The incident occurred at around 3.30 pm in the Lahurai Gate area of Patiala and has left people shocked.

Senior police officials reached the spot and Gurmeet Singh, husband of the victim, was arrested. Investigations are on to ascertain the reason behind the extreme step.

The police said the victims had suffered nearly 90 per cent burnt and neighbours tried to take them out of their house on the first floor. At the time of the incident, only Jasbir Kaur’s mother-in-law, Ravel Kaur, was present in the house.

After hearing the cries of the children, the neighbours rushed to the first floor, where Jasbir Kaur had locked herself and her kids in the room, but by the time they broke open the door, all three had died.

Jasbir Kaur of Nabha had married Gurmeet Singh about 10 years ago. While Gurmeet Singh’s mother and younger brother, Upinder Singh, were staying on the ground floor, his family was on the first floor. Gurmeet Singh works at an optical shop.



Advisory Council Meeting
Patil & co put their heads together
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The twin issues of the city’s ‘mega projects’ and enhanced compensation for acquisition of farmers’ land figured prominently at the first meeting of the reconstituted administrator’s advisory council, which met at the UT state guest house here today.

Punjab governor & UT administrator Shivaj V Patil, who presided over the meeting, also laid emphasis on building a consensus and maintaining the city’s fundamental features that lent its uniqueness. He also sought suggestions not only about Chandigarh but also about the council’s functioning.

Patil urged all council members to join hands in a spirit of participation and make city cleaner, greener, safer and more beautiful for the citizens as well as for future generations.

Addressing the meeting, justice Kuldip Singh, a retired Supreme Court judge, sought an environment impact assessment of all major projects in the city, besides people’s participation in their planning and execution. “If these assessments had been carried out the ongoing controversy surrounding the mega projects could have been avoided”, he observed.

Former Allahabad High Court chief justice SS Sodhi stated Chandigarh should retain its character and good governance should be its hallmark, while noted lawyer ML Sarin underlined the need to maintain the city’s character.

Speaking on the mega projects, local BJP president Sanjay Tandon said the controversy over the mega projects had given a “bad name” to the city with the result that big investors were shying away from investing here.

Dwelling on issues related to mega projects, two prominent leaders of UT villages — Bhajan Singh and Gurdeep Singh - demanded compensation for the acquired land at market rates.

City mayor Anu Chatrath sought extension of the ‘lal dora’ system in the UT’s villages as well as basic facilities in the city’s slum colonies. CPI member Devi Dayal Sharma demanded affordable housing schemes for the common man. Neelam Man Singh Chaudhary requested art and culture should also find appropriate place. PC Sanghi emphasized on the need for having more infrastructure facilities in education and health sector in the city’s southern sectors.

The revamped council has 40 members from different walks of life, including politicians, academics, experts in different subjects, social workers, lawyers, ex-servicemen and industrialists. The council will meet once in four months.

Meanwhile, the resumption of meetings of the council after a gap of four years has been welcomed. “Today’s meeting, which was held in a cordial atmosphere, bodes well for participatory democracy in the city,” former city mayor Harjinder Kaur remarked.

Earlier, adviser to the UT administrator Pradip Mehra welcomed Patil and the council members.

9 subcommittees set up

With a view to arrive at a consensus on major issues, nine subcommittees have been formed. They will deal with education, traffic management, overall city development, environment, health, transport, heritage issues, law and order and sports. The sub-committees will meet more often and give their recommendations, which will be discussed by the council.

An English affair

Unlike previous meetings, the one held today was an orderly affair that began at 11:15 am and lasted about two hours, with each member being given 3-4 minutes to speak. Barring a few, most of the members, including politicians propagating the use of Hindi and Punjabi, spoke in English. Since there was no listed agenda, some members gave written representations about their points of view to UT officials.



Soccer mania kicks off in city
Akash Ghai/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Large LCD and plasma screens, special dishes and discount coupons, loud music when a goal is scored, flags and official T-shirts of the top teams. This is what soccer fans can expect at several happening places like hotels, pubs, discos and clubs during the month-long 19th FIFA World Cup 2010, scheduled to kick off on June 11. While many groups of youngsters have already planned to enjoy the topmost action at these places, owners of several hotels, discos, pubs and clubs are also looking forward to cash in on the opportunity.

To attract soccer fans, large screens will be installed at many such places while many pubs and hotels have planned to offer special discounts on beverages and eatables.

Harvinder Saini, manager of Score discotheque at Sector 8, said they have elaborate plans for their ‘special clientele’ (soccer enthusiasts). “The disco would be decorated with the flags and the official T-shirts of the participating countries. Apart from a total of 10 plasma TVs, a big screen would be set up to facilitate the fans”, he said.

“Besides, special discounts on drinks and special menu offering dishes with the names of top soccer players and teams would be there for our customers during the World Cup”, Saini added. On similar lines, many hotels in Sector 35 are ready with special discounts as well as dishes to celebrate the tournament.

“During the matches we’ll ask questions about the game to our clients. On every right answer, discount coupons will be awarded to them on the spot”, said Sahil, owner of Khyber, Sector 35. Metro-35 Hotel’s manager DS Verma said they would offer a ‘1+1’ coupon during the matches. “You can assess the craze with the fact that all our coupons have been sold out and we have to print a new lot.

At Chandigarh Club, T-shirts of the top five teams of the World Cup would be given along with the prizes to members, said Mukesh Bassi, the club’s president. “Besides we’ll also install a large screen with a projector in our lawn area to show the matches”, he said. However, this time the owners of the malls have no plan to screen the matches live in their halls. “We didn’t have a good experience during the IPL matches as the response wasn’t good. So we have no plan to show the soccer matches”, said an official of the PVR Mall here. Photo P6



One injured in accident
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 9
One person was injured following a collision between two vehicles at Zirakpur flyover here this morning. The injured has been identified as Manpreet Singh, a resident of Sector 15, Chandigarh.

The accident disrupted traffic for more than half an hour. According to the police, the incident took place around 9 am when Gopi Verma, an Army officer posted at Ambala, was going to Ambala to perform his duty in his WagonR. While he reached on the flyover, an Indica hit his car from behind.

The impact of the collision was so hard that the car hit the median and damaged a streetlight pole.

The police said the injured was rushed to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, for treatment. The investigating officer stated that a case would be registered after proper inquiry.


Dumping Ground
MC to get 20 acres as landfill site
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
To ease the load on the existing dumping ground at Dadu Majra, the Chandigarh administration has decided to hand over a chunk of 20 acre to the Chandigarh municipal corporation as landfill site to dump city’s garbage.

The decision to this effect was taken at a recent meeting chaired by Advisor to UT administrator Pardip Mehra with MC Commissioner, health officer other officials of the corporation.

Sources in the administration confirmed that instructions had been issued to the UT architect department to submit a report on the availability of land near the existing dumping ground at Dadu Majra.

At the meeting, officials of corporation said it would be difficult for them to dispose of the garbage at the existing landfill site as very little space was left there.

The sources said the corporation officials asked for land in Dadu Majra or nearby areas so that garbage dumping ground remained out of the city.

The corporation officials told the administration that they were using the dumping ground for disposing of vegetables, hotel waste besides other waste of the city.

MC’s Additional Commissioner PK Sharma confirmed that the issue had been discussed at the meeting but the administration was yet to decided on the land to be allotted to the corporation for dumping ground.

During the meeting, it was also decided to issue another show-cause notice to the company handling the solid waste garbage processing plant at Dadu Majra for not being able to control foul smell emanating from the plant.

It was also decided that if the company failed to satisfy the authorities after the notice, legal action would be initiated against it.

The corporation officials informed the Adviser that the plant management was asked to add scrubber in the existing machinery but they had failed to do so so far.



Structured syllabus for dance, music
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Having been treated as “vestigial” subjects for years, music and dance will finally get their due status now.

The subjects being offered as electives in Classes XI and XII will be at par with other subjects, as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to spell out a structured syllabus for the duo.

The subjects though had syllabi, it was never documented, but instead was provided to the schools concerned in the form of some “guidelines”.

These guidelines were hardly reviewed in the past five years, but now the board will not only revamp the syllabus but also get it printed and provide it to the students.

“The subjects have generally been considered as the side options by the students. Unfortunately, even the schools did not show much interest in the subjects, but now things are set to change. In accordance to the holistic approach adopted under continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE), there will be more takers for the subjects. This year we have updated the syllabus for dance and music, along with other subjects. The subjects have always been a part of the curriculum. But now they will be structured and documented. The syllabus has been published and is even available in the market,” said a senior official of the CBSE.



Rs 5 lakh grant for Mohali Press Club
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 9
Even though Punjab figured among the important states of the country, it was lagging behind in the field of education, said Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal at an installation ceremony organised by the Press Club, SAS Nagar, at the PCA Stadium.

The minister after congratulating the newly elected team of the club said in order to face the challenges of the changing times, we would have to lead in the sphere of education as well. He said media was considered as the fourth pillar in the democracy. He urged mediapersons to play a positive role and perform their duties with sincerity. He announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh to the club.

Sohan Singh Thandal, chief parliamentary secretary, who advised journalists not to indulge in yellow journalism, also announced a sum of Rs 2 lakh. Club president Hillary Victor brought to the notice of the minister that adequate facilities were not being provided to the journalists in Mohali. He demanded land for the construction of the club building.



UGC NET roll numbers dispatched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
UGC NET centre at Panjab University yesterday informed that roll numbers of all the eligible candidates for UGC (NET) examination scheduled for June 27 have been dispatched from the office of the co-ordinator, UGC-NET, PU.

The officials said in case any candidate does not get roll number by June 22, he/she could contact the office, along with one print out of their roll number and two attested photographs. Duplicate roll numbers for such candidates would be issued from June 22 to 25. Prof Nahar Singh, co-ordinator, UGC-NET, said this time about 11,000 candidates would be appearing at 28 examination centres in various colleges in Chandigarh.



Acid Attack
Now, victim claims she never saw assailants
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Giving a twist to the last night’s incident of acid attack, the victim today told the police that she had not seen her assailants and was not sure whether they were on foot or came by car.

The victim’s earlier statement had thrown the police investigation off track at the initial stage, though the police has registered a case of attempted murder under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code against unidentified persons on her complaint.

Sources in the police said the victim, Nisha, a resident of Sector 7, had also told the investigators that she was listening to her mobile phone when she was attacked.

She was not sure whether the assailants had slapped her or not before pouring acid on her.

Investigating officer sub-inspector Balwinder Singh said Nisha had not levelled any allegations against her employer or his family members.

She, however, ruled out the possibility of their hand behind the attack.

Sources said the police would get the mobile phone call details of the victim and try to gather information from other sources.

Nisha had suffered burns on her face, chest, arms and other parts of the body and was admitted to the PGI last night.

She is a divorcee and has been living with her father for the past over eight years. She works in a Sector 47-based gas agency.



Jeweller accused of selling impure gold
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Harbans Singh Gill, a resident of Sector 51, today accused Sector a 22-based jeweller, Nikka Mal Babu Ram, of selling him a necklace of impure gold. Gill also accused the Chandigarh police dragging its feet on his complaint for over a month.

Addressing mediapersons at Sector 35, Gill said he had lodged a complaint with the UT SSP through public window on May 4 and an inquiry was marked to the crime branch. The crime branch was still conducting the inquiry.

In his complaint, Gill had reported that he had purchased a kundan set (a necklace) weighing 371.290 gm on February 16, 2005 for Rs 1.8 lakh.

Rakesh Kumar Jain, proprietor of the Nikka Mal Babu Ram Jewellers, had given him in writing that the set was of 22-carat purity.

Gill claimed that on March 24, 2010 the set, which his wife was wearing at their daughter’s marriage, broke.

They went to the jeweller’s shop and told them to take it back after deducting 20 per cent of the price at the prevalent gold prices.

Jain, however, refused to entertain them and only agreed to pay Rs 1.4 lakh for the necklace.

Gill claimed that he got the necklace checked by a goldsmith in Muktsar and was told that the necklace contained 82.070 gm gold, 1.530 gm gold grains, 73.429 gm beeds and 186.850 gm lead.

Denying the allegations, Rakesh Kumar Jain told the TNS that Gill had brought some packets containing a dismantled set.

“I could not identify the set in a dismantled state yet offered to pay him Rs 1 lakh for the gold and other articles. He demanded Rs 5 lakh, which was too high. Moreover, he did not have the bill,” Jain claimed.

Inspector Charanjit Singh Virk, in charge of the crime branch, said the matter was being investigated and they had recorded the statement of the Muktsar-based goldsmith.

“The probe is in its final stage”, Virk added.



Complaint Centre
MC panel for toll-free no.
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
A committee constituted under nominated councillor MPS Chawla to review the state of the compliant centre at the Chandigarh municipal corporation office has recommended the setting up of a toll-free number to promptly resolve the civic grievances of residents. The recommendations were made in a report submitted to Mayor Anu Chatrath here today.

The committee suggested that the complaint centre should function round-the-clock to register the complaints of residents. Complaints relating to the civic problems of people are currently being registered from 9 am to 5 pm only.

In the report, it was also suggested to appoint two qualified persons at the centre having knowledge of the functioning of the corporation to guide people.

They further opined that a system should be evolved to ensure that an SMS could be sent to the officials concerned soon after a complaint was registered at the centre so that action could be taken at the earliest.



Ailing boy awaits new lease of life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Fifteen-year-old Naveen is in dire need of help. A resident of Dehradun, Naveen has been suffering from aplastic anaemia — a condition in which bone marrow does not produce blood cells, thereby leading to weakness and loss of immunity. His only hope for survival depends on good Samaritans.

The youngest son of his parents, Naveen has been fighting the illness for the past six months.

Apart from incapacitation caused by the disease, lack of finances has added to his grief. “I work as a labourer and draw only Rs 2,000 a month whereas my brother’s medicines cost Rs 15,000 per month. Another Rs 10-15 lakh are required for surgery. This is beyond my means,” said Naveen’s brother Hemant.

“When the cell production in the bone marrow goes down, it affects the WBCs, haemoglobin and platelets. The immune system weakens and bleeding occurs with the decrease in platelet count,” says a doctor of the blood transplant unit at the PGI.

According to the doctors, no definite cause of the condition is known. It is sometimes associated with exposure to the DDT, benzene and certain drugs.

“In case of severe anaemia, if untreated, the median life span is six months. Bone marrow transplant can be possible only when the HLA is compatible with any of the siblings. This stands 25-30 per cent chance,” says doctor.

You can help

Donations can be made through cheque/draft favouring the Director PGI. Patient’s name has to be mentioned behind the cheque. In case of queries, the PGI Poor Patient Cell can be contacted at 2756006, 2756930.



Power, water woes continue in P’kula
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 9
Nearly 12-hour power cut threw life out of gear in various sectors of the city. Residents alleged that the power situation turned from bad to worse during the past few days.

The sectors, which were affected by the intermittent power cuts, include Sectors 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 16, 19 and 20. Even the officials posted at the complaint cell of the electricity department did not pick up the call made by residents.

Jyoti Chadda, a resident of Sector 16, said there has been erratic power supply in the sector during the past 20 hours.

She said even the inverters have stopped functioning, as there was hardly any power supply. She added that the residents in the area had been making calls to the complaint cell, but no one answered them to redress their grievances.

She said water supply was also not proper as they were getting water at the ground floor level only.

BB Kochar, president of the Market Committee, Sector 7, said unscheduled power cuts in the sector had affected their business. He said as the inverters were not charged properly due to the long power cut yesterday, there was a danger of small items being lifted by mischievous elements as there was intermittent power supply this evening. He said the district administration should take effective steps to supply regular power to the residents in the city.

However, executive engineer PK Goel said he had not received any information in this regard. He said the power supply was affected in some areas due to rain, but that was rectified immediately. He said if an individual was facing problem he or she should report the matter to the complaint cell.

Panchkula Residents’ Welfare Association president SK Nayyar said the electricity department should take steps to rectify faults immediately as it also affected the water supply. He said as the monsoon would be approaching the region in just few weeks from now, the department should gear up to meet any eventuality. 



Damaged road puts residents to inconvenience
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, June 9
The apathetic attitude of the MC authorities towards the maintenance of roads has put thousands of commuters to inconvenience.
A caved-in road poses threat to commuters at Pabhat village in Zirakpur
A caved-in road poses threat to commuters at Pabhat village in Zirakpur. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Those commuting on the Pabhat road are a harried lot, as the road is full of potholes.

Residents claim that they have asked the MC officials to re-carpet the road, but nothing needful has been done so far. They alleged that councillors-cum-property dealers unheeded their pleas and re-carpeted the road in front of their offices.

Residents rued that the road was in need of immediate repairs, but the authorities concerned seemed least concerned.

A survey of the area revealed that the road is narrow and full of potholes.

It is a busy stretch, as it connects the area to Mohali Phase XI and other villages.

“Water-logging during rainy season poses a threat to several lives,” said Narinder Singh, a resident of Pabhat village.

One of the shopkeepers said, “Water-logging affects our work badly. We have taken up the matter with the MC officials a number of times, but to no avail.”

Narinder Kumar Sharma, president, municipal council, Zirakpur, said the road would be repaired soon. Tenders have been floated for the same, he added.



Saving Energy
Efficiency certificates for cos soon
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
While several steps are being taken to improve the efficiency of energy use in the country, energy efficiency certificates, which will be traded between businesses, are to be introduced very soon by the government. This was stated by Dr Prodipto Ghosh, member of Prime Minister’s council on climate change, here today.

Companies involved in major sectors, including power, cement, steel and aluminum, would be given a target to save energy and after five years those found exceeding the target would be entitled to sell these certificates to companies using more energy than stipulated under the law, he added. And, the system would be in place within a couple of weeks from now, he added.

According to estimates, the energy efficiency market could see a growth up to Rs 70,000 crore within five years of its implementation, said Dr Ghosh.

Dr Ghosh, also a fellow at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi, and member of the national expert committee on climate change, was talking to the TNS here at the International Conference on Climate Change organised by the CII.

Focussing on other measures being taken by the centre in this direction, he said energy ratings were being made mandatory in many appliances industries in the country and the automobile industry would be required to bring in vehicles that would cover a distance of a minimum number of kilometres consuming every litre of fuel.

Similarly, all buildings using 500 kW of power or more would have to keep the minimum energy conservation levels and it would be made mandatory by next year, said Dr Ghosh.

Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil said nothing was more powerful than the nature, the entire environment.

“Its laws could not be violated with impunity. They were more effective and lasting than those made by us, the human beings. If we respect them, protect them, they will help us, protect us, respect us.”

Others who spoke included Suresh Prabhu, chairman, Centre for Energy, Environment and Water; Zubin Irani, chairman, CII, Delhi; and Philip Douglas, first secretary, Climate Finance & Technologies British High Commission.




MOHALI: Sahibzada Ajit Singh Group of Institutes, Mohali, and its sister concern BIS Group of Institutes, Moga, have collaborated with Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, New Zealand, for higher education. The agreement was signed on the SAS campus on Wednesday between Russell Langton, International Consultant, Business Development, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic College, New Zealand, and Dr Navjot Dhaliwal, director, overseas education, SAS Group. — OC

Complaint centre

Mohali: HS Boparai, senior executive engineer, Mohali circle of PowerCom, said all complaints in connection with the supply of power could be made at the 24-hour call centre having telephone no 01615055510. Complaints could also be made at 9646115973.— OC

Blood donation camp

Chandigarh: The adviser to the UT administrator, Pradip Mehra, yesterday inaugurated a blood donation camp organised by the home department of the administration in association with the department of transfusion medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research. The camp was conducted at the conference hall of UT Secretariat, Sector 9. On the occasion, Mehra interacted with the donors and encouraged them to donate blood on a regular basis. A total of 70 units of blood were collected during the camp. UT home secretary Ram Niwas was also present. — TNS


CHANDIGARH: The Deaf Way Foundation will organise a “Parinay milan sammelan”, an initiative to help hearing impaired and their families find prospective partners at Chandigarh on Thursday. Those wishing to register can download the form from www.thedeafway.org. — TNS



A class(ical) apart
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 9
Well-known bharatnatyam exponent Suchitra Mitra gave an impressive recital at the Kalagram open air theatre here today evening.

Sizable crowd of art lovers, including 50 children, attending the ongoing workshop watched pure dance items with rapt attention. Accompanied by her foremost disciples Sumita and Ishika, she presented the customary “Pushpanjali” before an invocatory “Varveena” in laudation of Goddess Saraswati.

Guru Suchitra portrayed different avatars of Lord Vishnu in “Jaya janki ramna”, while Sumita and Ishika presented “Nateshwar Kavittam” and also a devotional dance titled “Durga”.

Displaying verve, vitality and nimble footwork, the trio concluded the recital with boisterous “Thillana” much to the delight of the audience. Chief guest DS Saroya, director NZCC, honoured the artistes.



Residents seek pollution control norms for factories
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, June 9
Due to industrial pollution, residents here are bound to face water and air pollution in different shapes.

To mark World Environment Day some prominent persons participating in the move against pollution expressed concern over the issue and demanded implementation of pollution control norms.

According to sources, sewerage discharge from industries flowing into nearby drains and choes was affecting the groundwater, besides, causing air pollution.

Pollution of meat plants is a serious problem in some villages. Several persons have been facing harassment due to ash from factories that is causing eye ailments. Waste water from chemical and other factories had polluted the water of Jharmal choe and drain crossing between Dera Bassi and Bhankarpur and further polluted the groundwater. Sapattar Singh of Samgouli village, who was fighting legal battle and agitation against the pollution of meat plants said they got orders from High Court to control ground and air pollution. “We cannot eat our meals due to foul smell of meat plants,” he rued.

SGPC member Narmail Singh Jaula said industrialists should adopt pollution control norms and people should join hands for tree plantation drive, which was nedded for clean environment.

Chartered accountant at Swami Parmanand Group of Colleges Renu Arora said they organised NSS camps in various villages and saplings were also planted at common places for clean environment. She laid stress on treatment plants in all factories to control pollution. Jasbir Singh, Sarpanch of Lehli village, expressed concern over the rising cases of eye ailments due to ash from a nearby spinning mill.

Harbhajan Singh and Kuljit Singh Randhawa said a drain that crosses Bhankarpur, Issapur, Pragpur and Ibrahmpur had been polluted due to the sewage of industries and residents of these villages could not drink water from hand pumps. Even tubewell water had become unsuitable for crops. 



BEd entrance exam to be scrapped in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The Panjab University’s academic council has endorsed the recommendation of the Punjab government to scrap entrance exam for Bachelors of Education (BEd) course in all affiliated colleges in Punjab from the academic session 2011-2012.

However, this will not apply to the PU affiliated colleges in the Union Territory.

Accepting another recommendation of the state government, the council at its meeting held today made it mandatory for PU teachers and those in the affiliated colleges to learn Punjabi.

For the serving teachers, who could not study Punjabi up to Class X, a two-year basic course in Punjabi would be offered by the university. Even as the council members unanimously expressed agreement on the issue, a committee has been formed to work out the modalities.

“The teachers who are not well versed with Punjabi are facing problems in evaluating the answer sheets in PU regional centres, where students prefer giving practical exams or write answers in Punjabi. Moreover, learning a new language would only be an asset for the teachers,” said PU Registrar SS Bari.

On the issue of doing away with the BEd entrance exam in Punjab colleges, certain members of the council claimed that several seats in the Punjab colleges could not be filled last year, following which certain candidates had sought judicial intervention.

“The process of filling up BEd seats in all Punjab colleges is done on a rotation basis by the universities in Punjab and this time it is the turn of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, to fill up the seats,” said a member.

“Several aspiring candidates in Punjab could not grab seats in the colleges as they could not clear the exam and hundreds of seats remained unfilled. The admission would be based on merit from the next session,” said AS Ahluwalia, dean (faculty of sciences).

Syllabi of all courses offered by the colleges affiliated to Panjab University and those offered by the university would be uploaded on the PU’s official website by June 30. PU’s academic council approved the syllabi at its meeting held today. Till last year, there had been frequent complaints regarding delay in receiving syllabi in certain affiliated colleges, said a member of the council.

It was resolved to speed up the process of preparing syllabus of open-credit system, which will be offered by the university. The system would enable the students to opt for subjects which they wish to study, but are not related to their stream. In addition to these, the proposal of the Punjab government to include Classes XI and XII science stream in the colleges was also accepted.


  • Syllabi to be uploaded on website from 
    session 2010-2011 by June 30
  • BEd entrance exam scrapped for Punjab colleges, not for UT
  • Punjabi mandatory for all PU, college teachers
  • Open credit system- Speed up syllabus formulation
  • Classes XI and XII science stream in colleges




Bank returns cheque issued by PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Panjab University issued a cheque from a bank account that does not exist. Issued by the Assistant Registrar (Accounts) on May 25, 2010, the cheque was returned to the applicant with the remarks- “No such account/ account closed”.

On behalf of PU, the State bank of India (branch ID 10388) had issued a cheque for Rs 840 to Naresh Dutt Sharma (cheque number 642903). The cheque was deposited at Allahabad Bank, which later returned it, stating that it could not be cashed.

While the university claimed that it was a technical error and none of the accounts were closed except in case of seminars or function on the campus, the applicant, however, pleaded that he was harassed because of “this error”.

“It is strange that an academic institution of such high standards can issue such frivolous cheques to applicants which leave them clueless,” said Sharma.

The university, on the other hand, said such temporary accounts are opened only during some special functions or seminars at the university. Later, these are closed.

“It must be a technical error. Such cheques are returned in cases where a PU employee, who has signed the cheque, is posted elsewhere. Certain other banking errors are also responsible for such incidents,” said PU’s finance development officer Vikram Nayyar.



4 object to resolution passed at Senate’s meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Four members of the Panjab University’s Senate have objected to a resolution passed at the Senate meeting of December 2009. The objection has been raised through a letter addressed to the Vice-Chancellor on June 6, 2010 signed by four Senators.

Six months after the resolution was passed, Rabinder Nath Sharma, Manjit Singh, HS Gosal and NK Ohja have pointed out that the Senate’s decision on including “only the resolved part of the Syndicate and Senate meetings in the proceedings” should not been hurried through in the Senate meeting. In the letter, the Senators have mentioned that by passing such a resolution hurriedly, the university would be violating the regulations laid down in its own calendar. Additionally, in the age of Right to Information Act, passing such a resolution “hurriedly” was inappropriate, said the Senators.

The letter said the proceedings must be properly documented and just like parliamentary proceedings were documented and even video recorded, debates must be ensued on such issues in the PU Senate as well.

Ironically, before the December 2009 Senate meeting, certain Senators had objected that the agenda of the Senate meeting is “too bulky and lengthy to be read”, following which the idea to only include the resolved part of the Syndicate meetings was taken up and details of discussion on the issues was excluded.

Now that certain Senate members, who were present at the last meeting, are demanding detailed debate on such issues after six months, the situation has put the university in a predicament. The VC could not be reached for his comments on this letter.



Tentative names of candidates announced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
With the election of Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) scheduled in August 2010, two main teachers’ lobbies in the university have announced tentative names of the candidates contesting for various posts.

The Progressive Democratic Teachers Front, which is one of the teachers’ lobbies, today held a meeting and announced name of Jaspal Kaur Kang for the post of president. The names of MC Siddhu, Amrinder and Mrityunjay have also been announced for the posts of secretary, treasurer and joint secretary, respectively.

The members of the front could not reach the consensus for the name of vice-presidential candidate.

Meanwhile, even as Manjit Singh- Akshaya Kumar group has not announced any name yet, sources said Akshaya would contest the election for the post of president this year, while Mohamed Khalid would contest for the post of secretary.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |