C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Audit report exposes irregularities in MC
* Loss of Rs 31 lakh due to surplus staff
* Non-deduction of VAT from contractors’ bill
* Possibility of misappropriation of Rs 1.22 crore
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
While the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation’s public health division may blame the ailing sewerage, water supply and billing system to the shortage of manpower, the latest report of the Auditor General has, however, highlighted a loss of over Rs 31 lakh by the MC due to surplus staff in the office.

According to the audit report procured under the RTI Act by a city resident, the public health division number I of the MC has a sanctioned strength of five beldars (helpers). However, a scrutiny of records by the audit department has revealed that the division had employed 10 excess beldars as against the sanctioned strength of five in 2006-2007, eight in 2007-2008 and 11 in 2008-2009.

The report points out that the pay and allowances on the deployment of beldars, beyond the sanctioned strength and without the orders of the competent authority, to the tune of Rs 31,18,091 were not even admitted to in the audit.

The audit report also mentioned the non-deduction of VAT from contractors entrusted with different works at the rate of 2 per cent of the gross amount of the bill.

The report also points towards the possibility of misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs 1.22 crore on account of the absence of the utilisation certificate for a project titled ‘Augmentation of water supply scheme phase I-IV’ to meet the immediate demand of water in the city.

The report states that the public health division released the amount as required to the executive engineer (XEN), water supply and sanitation, division number 2, Mohali, for the running and maintenance of water works at Kajauli, Punjab.

The report also points towards irregularities on account of non-adjustment of miscellaneous advances for public works to the tune of over Rs 8 lakh.

The report says that various works were executed without the technical approval of estimates. The report states that the absence of technical approval on the estimates was pointed out in previous audit reports.



Self-financing Course
Only 33% students pass BCA-I exam
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The costliest self-financing course offered by colleges affiliated to Panjab University in Chandigarh has fared the poorest result. Only 33.85 per cent students who had appeared in the first year exam of the Bachelors of Computer Applications (BCA) in April 2010 have passed. Out of the 3,882 students, who had appeared in the BCA-I examination this year, 1,506 failed while 1,055 got compartment.

This seems to be keeping in with the last year’s trend as the overall pass percentage for BCA (I) in 2009 was 36.65 per cent.

At this crucial time of the year when most students are busy choosing their streams in city colleges, the poor result could put the students in a state of dilemma whether to opt for the BCA or other specialised courses.

What could add to the predicament of parents and students is the high fee being charged by all the colleges, including government colleges. For the self-financing BCA-I course, nearly Rs 23,011 is charged annually in contrast to Rs 8,640 for the BA-I.

The colleges that offer the self-financing BCA course affiliated to the PU are located in UT, Hoshiarpur, Ferozepur, Abohar, Muktsar and Ludhiana for which an overall result is calculated.



UT regrets error on Strawberry Fields
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The Chandigarh administration today formally accepted its goof-up in initiating eviction proceedings against Strawberry Fields School, Sector 24. The school at Nehru Bhavan was confused with the International Nehru Centre located in the same sector whose allotment was cancelled in 1994.

According to a press note: “The error is regretted.” The Estate office has officially accepted to confuse the records of the two institutes because one was the International Nehru Centre and the other was Nehru Bhawan.

Nehru Bhawan is actually registered in the name of the Bharat Sewak Samaj that houses Strawberry Fields School. The development has come following a visit by the Deputy Commissioner to the site on Saturday. The school had shown that its site, measuring one acre, was registered as a freehold property in 1967.

The press note also said “Perusal of record revealed that land measuring 10,950.00 sq yard in Sector 24-A was allotted to the International Nehru Centre for construction of a Nehru Study Centre Building in 1986. However, the allottee didn’t make requisite payment as well as defaulted in construction of the building in the given time. The estate officer cancelled the allotment of the site in 1994.”

“On an application from Amit Kumar, seeking information under the Right to Information Act, pertaining to lease details of Nehru Bhawan, the office under the mistaken identity of the two entities dealt the application on the file pertaining to allotment of land to the fore-runners for International Nehru Centre. While perusing the file, the office found the site cancelled, hence proposed eviction of the site, which is under possession of the aforesaid allottee. Hence, no action is required to be taken,” the press note added.



After rape charge, accused marries girl
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
Bearing the imprint of a run-of-the-mill Bollywood flick, 20-year-old Reena (name changed) today informed the court that she was married to Shalinder whom she had accused of raping her in October.

The girl’s father, who was also present in the court, endorsed his daughter’s statement. The girl, who had earlier filed a case demanding that Shalinder be sent to jail, was today wearing a bright red colour suit along with the traditional ‘choora’ as evidence to her marriage. The father, who appeared to be happy, said his daughter was now staying with her in-laws with their newborn.

The couple was supposedly in love since August 2009 until the girl conceived a child in February 2010. They had lived separately in the same locality till date. The love story, however, didn’t end there.

The girl kept quiet for nine months after conceiving. She knocked the doors of the court after nine months on October 26, 2009. The child was born the same month.

The police arrested Shalinder on December 10, 2009, under Sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC. In her complaint, Reena claimed that the boy had promised to marry her following which he developed physical relations with her. She accused Shalinder of declining to marry her after she conceived.

It was during arguments on a bail plea filed by Shalinder in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Gurbir Singh that the defence counsel suggested that the boy and the girl should get married in the interest of both families.

A resident of Burial village, Shalinder, was immediately granted interim bail on June 7 following which the couple married on June 9. The statement of the doctor was recorded on June 6 when defence counsel Anuj Raura suggested that they get married.

This suggestion was accepted by all. The girl’s father in the next hearing gave a statement that she was not a minor, which ran contrary to the police version. He stated before the court that the girl was born on January 1, 1990.

Subsequently, the girl also stated that she was not raped and that she had consented to physical relations. The boy was then granted interim bail and the couple got married.


Encroachments in service lanes go unabated
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
While a house in the city is out of reach of a vast majority of residents, service lanes encroachers continue to enjoy free residential facilities right under the nose of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

The corporation has, till date no policy for service lane encroachers in the city. Interestingly, the City Master Plan earmarked these service lanes to ease traffic congestion in front of markets but authorities have not devised any policy for their proper maintenance.

During a visit to the service lanes in Sector 16, 18 and 21 it was found that these lanes were being used by the residents for storing construction material, parking vehicles during night, having rooms of their maids or security guards and displaying plants. Washer men who have constructed their temporary jhuggies are openly using the lanes.

The lanes were designed to keep the backyards of the houses clean but with passage of time these lanes, plagued by garbage and sludge has become breeding grounds for mosquitoes and flies.

An executive committee member of the Citizen Association of Sector 21, Sachin, said that despite repeated complaints to the corporation about the encroachments and need for cleanliness of these lanes, the authorities have turned a deaf ear to the problems of the residents.

Records of the corporation reveal that in the 146th general house meeting, last year, MC Chief Engineer, SK Bansal had assured the House that they were framing a policy regarding usage of service lanes in various sectors.

He further informed the House that departments concerned would remove the encroachment within next one month. Even MC Commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria apprised the House that the matter had been discussed with the Chief Engineer and it had been decided the encroachment be removed from service lanes in a phased manner. He further said that the complaints had been received from the residents, that due to encroachments, the service lanes were not being cleaned properly.

Last month in a meeting of UT home secretary Ram Niwas with the MC officials and the Resident Welfare Associations, directions had been issued to the officer concerned that the cleaning of these lanes should be taken up on priority basis as the rainy season was approaching. But till date the departments concerned have done nothing.

Few residents of Sector 16 stated that notices had been put up on the entry of the service lanes that trucks, cars and scooters were not allowed in these lanes, but most of these orders were being violated and no action had been taken by authorities against violators despite lodging of complaints by the residents of the area.



6-yr-old finds hand grenade
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Previous Incidents

  • Two boys and a youth were killed, while 12 others, including two women, were injured seriously in an explosion at Ambedkar Colony, a slum in Sector 21 on September 13 last year
  • Two persons were injured, when they tried to burst a live shell, mistaking it for sellable metal, in Kharak Mangoli on April 23

Panchkula, June 14
Learning from the past mistakes a vigilant teenage boy averted the tragedy as he snatched a misfired hand grenade from a six-year-old boy and threw it back in the mud in Kharak Mangoli area, near the Majri Chowk, here today.

One of the boys, Naveen (18), a resident of Kharag Mangoli, talking to the mediapersons said he was playing cricket in the area along with other boys around 10 am.

He said after the ball fell into mud another boy doing fielding asked Karan (6), playing nearby, to bring the ball. However, Karan instead brought out the hand grenade and ignorantly started tossing it into his hand.

One of the policemen shows the hand grenade found in the Kharak Mangoli area near Majri Chowk in Panchkula
One of the policemen shows the hand grenade found in the Kharak Mangoli area near Majri Chowk in Panchkula on Monday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Naveen said he was taken aback to see the different size of the ball and after having a closer look he snatched it from Karan’s hand and threw back into the mud and informed the police.

He said he had recognised the grenade from a distance as he had seen these in films. Meanwhile, news about the grenade spread like fire in the area and hundreds of residents, including children, gathered at the site to see the object.

A police team rushed to the spot and sought another contingent of force to keep the people away. According to the police, ‘hand grenade-36’ could cause considerable damage up to 10 metres.

Police sources said they had also informed the Army authorities for sending the bomb disposal squad for defusing the hand grenade.

According to sources, the Army authorities refused to do the same and a police team arrived from Ambala, which sealed the bomb. It would be sent to Madhuban where the same would be defused with the help of experts, the police added.



Biomedical Waste Rules
13 more clinics sealed
Tribune News Service

Notice to GMSH

The authorities have also issued a notice to Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, for violating provisions of the Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules as its incinerator was not working properly. The member secretary of the pollution board, PJS Dadwal, said it was found that the required temperature was not being maintained by the operators at the incinerator. Residents living in the vicinity of the hospital had been complaining of the foul smell emanating from the incinerator

Chandigarh, June 14
Intensifying its drive against health units violating provisions of the Biomedical Waste (Management and handling) Rules, 1998, a team of the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee along with SDM (East) Abhishek Dev sealed 13 clinics here today.

The authorities had sealed 10 such units on Friday. Today, the team of the Chandigarh administration sealed six clinics at Mani Majra and five at Hallo Majra and two at Daria village.

According to officials concerned, 37 clinics were served notices for flouting the biomedical waste management rules. The rules require that any person or institution generating, collecting, receiving, transporting, disposing, storing or handling biomedical waste in any form would be responsible for its segregation into containers. Moreover, no untreated biomedical waste can be stored for more than 48 hours.

The notices to comply with rules were issued to these units but they failed to submit reply, said officials.



Centre’s nod for night tourism in city
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Meditation huts

The Botanical Garden in Sarangpur will gel with the concept of Punjab’s first eco township of Mullanpur. The 125-acre sprawling garden will have among other things tree top meditation huts for the serenity of the stressed-out residents, who want to have dialogue with the Mother Nature.

Chandigarh, June 14
The Chandigarh administration’s ambitious plan for night tourism involving opening of Le Corbusier's architectural wonders in the high-security Capitol Complex area for tourists has finally got the Central government’s nod.

The approval came during the visit of Meenakshi Mehta, Deputy Director General (DDG) of the Union Ministry of Tourism and Culture, to the city today.

Mehta, who was here to review various ongoing tourism projects, was favourably inclined to night tourism in the city on the pattern of several foreign countries like France. At a recent meeting in New Delhi, the Ministry of Tourism had approved a special grant of Rs 5 crore for night tourism at the Capitol Complex.

The decision followed a presentation on the illumination of important landmarks in the Capitol Complex, including the Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Open Hand, the Tower of Shadows, the Punjab and Haryana Legislative Assemblies and Geometrical Hill, by Pradeep Bhagat, principal of the Chandigarh College of Architecture.

In the backdrop of the high-security zone, the administration has proposed “subdued lighting” of important buildings under the guided tours. The guided tours, modalities for which are being worked out, would culminate in dinner at the CITCO-run hotels.

Meanwhile, sources said Mehta visited various ongoing projects for which a record financial assistance of Rs 23 crore for development of various tourism facilities in Chandigarh has been sanctioned. These included Sukhna Lake, which is being upgraded at the cost of Rs 4.99 crore, and Rose Garden, which is being spruced up at a cost of Rs 2.69 crores.



Journey between UT, Baddi remains bumpy
Tribune News Service

Travelling on the weather-beaten Chandigarh-Mullanpur-Siswan road has become a nightmarish experience for road users
Travelling on the weather-beaten Chandigarh-Mullanpur-Siswan road has become a nightmarish experience for road users. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Mohali, June 14
Eight months after public works department minister, Punjab, Parminder Singh Dhindsa dedicated the new Baddi-Siswan road to the public, the journey between Chandigarh and Baddi remains bumpy.

Potholes and weather-beaten road has made travelling on the road a nightmarish experience. A number of two-wheeler and four-wheeler drivers complain of hitting the potholes, causing immense damage to the vehicles.

Ignoring the importance of the road used by hundreds of commuters travelling between Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh and different parts of the town via Kurali, the public works department (PWD) has failed to respond to repeated complaints by road users. “The road is used by a number of ministers and other VIPs. We have even offered to collect funds to repair the road,” said Arvind Puri, a resident of Mullanpur Garib Dass.

PWD’s executive engineer Yuv Raj Singh said work to repair the road would begin soon. Funds for the same have been allocated.

“The entire purpose of reducing the travelling distance by 30 km between Chandigarh and Baddi is defeated as the state government is unable to repair the road between Mullanpur and Siswan T-junction. Potholes can be seen the moment one enters Punjab at Singhariwla village,” said Ranjeet Singh, a resident of Parol village. Similarly at Parol, Majri and Mullanpur, damaged road is causing a great inconvenience to road users.

The Punjab government has been going all out to announce the grand planning for Mullanpur and the adjoining areas beyond the PGI, Chandigarh. Some private realtors have already started selling plots along the road and the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has announced an urban estate. But the urbanisation has preceded the requisite infrastructure.

It has been a year since the state government released the master plan for the area, but bumpy rides await the visitors to different project sites as they have to negotiate weather-beaten and potholed roads.

Meanwhile, GMADA officials are awaiting the acquisition process of the Chandigarh-Siswan road before it starts work of widening the road. The executive engineer, GMADA, Anil Jindal, said the work would start after taking over possession of the land on both sides of the road.



Residents protest garbage dumping
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 14
Residents of Sectors 25 and 26, protesting against the district administration, deflated tyres of three garbage-carrying vans of the municipal corporation and HUDA for dumping garbage in Sector 23 here today.

The residents, who have been requesting the corporation authorities for dumping the garbage on the already marked site, gathered at the site at 9 am. As soon as the vans arrived they deflated the tyres of the vans.

One of the residents, Subhash Sharma, told the mediapersons that they had been requesting the corporation authorities for shifting the garbage site as it had become impossible for them to live in unhygienic conditions.

He said the situation had become worse now as the garbage vans, which were coming to the Sector 23 dumping site through Sector 21 Ghaggar Bridge, were now coming from their sectors and spilling the garbage on the roads while passing.

Senior officials of the district administration and the police, led by executive officer KK Jain, arrived on the scene and pacified the protesting residents that the dumping site would be shifted soon.

He assured the protestors that the matter had already been brought to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner. He said 23 acre had already been acquired for setting up 125-tonne solid waste treatment plant in Jhiuri Wala village in Morni area.

However, sources in the administration, on the condition of anonymity, said as the dispute over setting up of treatment plant was not resolved the administration has identified the site in Bunga village, near Madanpura, to dump the garbage.



Mohali civil hospital gets blood bank
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 14
After years of wait, the state government run district-level civil hospital finally got its own blood bank facility here today. The blood bank was inaugurated by Dr JP Singh, director, health and family welfare, Punjab.

Earlier, patients visiting the hospital had to go to government hospitals in Kharar or Chandigarh to meet their blood requirements.

The director told the doctors that stress should not merely be laid on the quantity of blood collection, but to maintain a proper data about donors having negative blood groups, which were rare. Such donors could be contacted in the minimum possible time when negative blood group was required by any patient.

Dr HS Sarang, SMO in charge of the hospital, said the bank was equipped with Apheresis machine, which could be used to extract platelets. This was not a common feature in blood banks in the state. Such a facility was very useful when patients suffering from dengue visited the hospital.

More than 1,000 sq ft area of the hospital has been reserved for the blood bank facility and the necessary equipment has been installed.

A blood donation camp was also organised in connection with the World Blood Donors Day. Those who had donated blood several times were honoured.



PDS kerosene quota for UT restored
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The Government of India has restored the PDS kerosene quota for the Union Territory of Chandigarh from 540 kilolitre(KLs) to 764 KLs per month with effect from April, 2010.

Keeping in view the restored quota, the ration card holders will be allowed to draw double entitlement of kerosene in June, 2010, from their respective kerosene pumps i.e. 6 litre for single gas cylinder holder, 8 litre for senior citizens card holder or card holder having single unit, 16 litre to card holders having 2-4 units and 20 litre for above 4 units card holders.

The above mentioned scale of entitlement will be available only for June, 2010, in view of the balance quota of the restored allocation of kerosene received for the first quarter i.e. April-June, 2010.

From July, 2010 onwards, kerosene will be distributed to the card holders as per the earlier quantum i.e. 3 litre for single gas cylinder holder, 5 litre for senior citizens and ration card holder having single unit, 10 litre for card holders having 2-3 units and 15 litre for card holders above 3 units.



Repeal Punjab Land Preservation Act: Kang

Mohali, June 14
To protest against the apathy of the Akali government in repealing the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) in Nayagaon, Nada and Karoran villages falling under the NAC, Nayagaon, the Congress today held a protest march at the village.

Addressing the gathering, Jagmohan Singh Kang, a former minister, said despite the required approval of the Central government, the state government was dilly-dallying in taking out the areas concerned from the purview of the PLPA. The Akali government has been delaying the repealing of the PLPA as it probably wanted its henchmen to buy lands in the area at throwaway prices.

The former minister said these particular areas should be taken out of the purview of the PLPA immediately so as to facilitate all-round development of the area and adequate supply of power and drinking water. — TNS



DBA Meeting
3 advocates reply to notice

Chandigarh, June 14
In an emergency meeting of the District Bar Association (DBA) three advocates who were served show-cause notice submitted their reply today. Among those served the show-cause notice two were executive members and one treasurer.

The notice was served to them as they had sent a circular asking the advocates to deposit Rs 50,000 for the chambers without discussing it with the members of the DBA. The three advocates said they had sent the circular in an individual capacity. — TNS



Crows found dead at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
Nearly twelve crows were found dead close to Boys Hostel No. 3 at Panjab University here today. Though the authorities are yet to find out the exact cause, certain hostel students and PU staff members said the bodies were lying in the park, along with the boundary of the hostel for more than 24 hours.

A PU employee present at the spot said: “It appears that the birds consumed something poisonous and died. But authorities must conduct an inquiry into the matter, as it could pose a serious threat to environment.”



Class XI Admissions
Teachers lure students to join college
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 14
Teachers of Mohali Government College are visiting villages these days to attract students for class XI in the science stream as the Punjab government has decided to shift the science classes to government colleges across the state from the new academic session.

The teachers are using the medium of posters, pamphlets and SMSes to attract students to take admission in the government college.

Interestingly, the college authorities have shot off over 40,000 SMSes to students who had earlier appeared in the Class X examination to join the plus one class in the college till date. Posters have been pasted at various public places, including temples and gurdwaras, inviting students to join the college on a first-come-first-served basis. The pamphlets are being circulated in the town and surrounding areas in newspapers. The college authorities have also given advertisements in this regard.

It appears that the college authorities are desperate to fill the plus one (medical and non-medical) seats due to delayed decision of the state government to shift classes XI and XII once again to government colleges.

The pamphlets to be circulated through newspapers state that the admission in the government college for plus one students in medical and non-medical streams had started. The pamphlets, printed in Punjabi, further state that “dakhla pehlan aao - pehlan pao, wajab feesan”(admission on first-come-first-served basis, reasonable fees). Scholarships would be given to deserving students and fee concessions to those belonging to economically weaker sections.

Teachers working in the colleges have been going around to schools in Mohali, Kharar and Balongi looking for students who could take admission in plus one even during holidays in the college. Phone numbers and addresses of students having given the matriculation examination were collected from schools so that SMSes could be sent. Areas like Kurali, Morinda, Landran and a number of villages are also being covered in search of students.

Though staff members have been making all efforts to attract students over the past one week, no response had been received till date. Students having passed the CBSE examination had already taken admission in various schools. All hopes are now pinned on students passing matriculation examination of the Punjab School Education Board.

Amarjeet Kaur, who heads the five-member committee set up for the plus one admissions, said that there were 60 seats each in the medical and non-medical streams in the college. The admission process, which started on June 10, would be on till July 4. Admissions would later be done till July 14 by accepting late fees. Students would have a pay a fee of Rs 350 per month. A sum of Rs 75 would have to be paid as registration charges.



Class XI Admission Blues
Tough days ahead for grade D scorers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
While Central Board of Secondary Education may boast having done away with “failures”, nothing seems to have changed for hundreds of students who have secured a D grade in any of the subjects in class X board examinations.

While their result status may have shifted from “compartment” to “needs improvement”, the change in nomenclature has failed to change the fate of these students who might have to go without admission to class XI this year.

The Board, in it directive, promises them an admission to class XI, along with three chances of improving their grade, city schools have, however, denied to consider these students for any admission.

What makes things worse is the fact that even government schools are not considering them at the moment.

“These students can apply for admission, but we will not be calling them for counselling. We will save their data and consider it only after their improvement exam result is declared,” said Chanchal Singh, district education officer, UT.

According to the CBSE regional director, DR Yadav, these students will have their improvement examination in July and the results will only be declared after August 15, when most of the schools would have already commenced their classes.

“The Board has left everyone in lurch.

After private schools, it’s the government schools that have turned their back to these students. Will department hold special counselling for them in August? And if it does, then what is the guarantee that all good schools will have spare seats? Questioned a member of the city-based PTA association.

HS Mamik, president of the Independent School Association, held the Board guilty for all confusion. He said: “They are not clear about their system. They should have conducted the improvement examination early and declared the results by July so that students could have appeared for admission. Practically it will not be possible for any school to keep seats free till August to accommodate students. Private schools are conducting admission on merit basis and these students fail to be in lists.”



Kiran Bedi urges colleges to support poor students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
Kiran Bedi, India’s first woman IPS officer, today urged the colleges to provide financial assistance and lend their infrastructure to support poor students who cannot afford higher education.

Bedi was in city to sign a memorandum of understanding for her NGO Navjyoti India Foundation with the Aryans Group of Colleges and launch a project to provide higher education to less-privileged students.

As per the MoU, 11 students for MBA and another 11 for BBA would be selected by Bedi and her NGO team. The Aryans group would pay for the education of these selected students.

“In India, higher education needs to be made inclusive and it is not possible unless we widen opportunities for the deserving have-nots. Both Navjyoti and Aryans College have more plans ahead for the deserving students,” said Bedi. The selection process would start in first week of July.

Kataria said: “We feel very privileged to be chosen for Navjyoti initiative. This includes tuition fees, uniforms and books. The selected candidates would study at Aryans campus located at Nepra, near Chandigarh. Total education cost of about Rs 30 lakh would be borne by Aryans Group of Colleges .”

Meanwhile, management guru Pavan Choudary stated that Bedi was keen to start a special IIM for those deserving students who get marks but do not have money. “Other organisations, NGOs and colleges could also come forward to make higher education inclusive,” Bedi said.

‘Govt should tackle drug abuse’ Banur: Kiran Bedi today said the government should pull up their socks to tackle high incidence of drug addiction among the youth of Punjab.

She added that prevention of drugs in schools and colleges, detection of drug addicts and their treatment should be done on priority by the government. Lack of political will and stringent measures has lead to the rise in drug addiction among young boys and girls, she lamented.



In-house MBA coaching in govt colleges
Simpal Sakalani

Chandigarh, June 14
Going ahead with its plans of making college education job oriented, the UT higher education department has decided to provide in-house MBA coaching in all government colleges.

The department is planning to tie up with some leading MBA coaching centres of the city to provide MBA coaching at subsidised rates.

“Going by the current trend, you find maximum students going in for MBA. Most of the times, they couple MBA coaching with their course. Realising the needs of the students, we have planned to outsource MBA trainers who will come in the colleges to train the students,” said director higher education, Ajoy Sharma.

According to sources, the department was in talks with several coaching centres and would zero down on the one with the highest success rate.

According to them, the initiative will be a boon for periphery students and even those belonging to economically weaker sections.

“Many students in the government colleges come from the periphery villages. They cannot opt for coaching in Chandigarh because of the time schedule and also exorbitant rates charged at the coaching centres. The programme, which we plan to implement by September, will be a boon for these students,” added Ajoy.

The coaching will be provided at alternate days after regular classes. A feedback system will also be made to ensure that the coaching centres fulfill commitments. The department is also mulling over making this coaching free for meritorious but poor students.



PGI physicist awarded at US

Chandigarh, June 14
Sarika, a medical physicist from the department of nuclear medicine, PGIMER, has received the best paper award and a travel grant for her research paper at the annual meeting of the International Society of Nuclear Medicine held at Salt Lake City, USA, last week.

The research work was a part of the Defence Research Development Organisation - DRDO (Life Science Research Board-LSRB) extramural project with Dr Baljinder Singh, additional professor, department of nuclear medicine, as the principal investigator for this project.

In the research work, they have developed 99mTc-Doxorubicin radio ligand as a probe for the early detection of cancer and for predicting the response to anti-cancer therapy using gamma camera. This technique will also guide people if there is any need to change the anti-cancer drug therapy at an early stage that will save cancer patients from side effects of the drugs.

The technique has high sensitivity and specificity and doxorubicin uptake is triggered in the cancer cells with high activity of DNA and the mechanism of action of this drug is through the intercalation of DNA strands and can also pick up pre-cancerous lesions. — TNS



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