C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Pre-monsoon maladies on the rise
Cases of malaria, typhoid pour in
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
Monsoon is round the corner and with the climate change, people, especially children are first to be affected by virus and water-borne diseases.

Though the UT health department has declared June as the anti-malaria month, around a dozen cases have already been reported. The last year count of malaria cases in the city was 47 during this period and the number stands at 44 this year.

According to figures of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Report, 264 typhoid cases have been reported since June this year, up from 108 during the same period last year. There has been a spurt in such cases during the last two weeks. However, there has been a decline in diarrhoea cases this season.

Doctors say nearly 50 per cent of the patients examined at various OPDs of the PGI and GMCH-32 are suffering from viral infections, 5-10 per cent from malaria and 25-30 per cent from various water-borne diseases. “While the pre-monsoon season sees a large number of malaria cases, the post-monsoon months bring a large number of dengue cases.

“Infectious diseases of stomach can be frequent in monsoons. Uncooked food specially contains bacteria more often in monsoon," points out a doctor in GMCH-32. “And yes, keep away from stale food. There is another method of staying immune in rains - vaccination,” he added. 



Tree falling, not felling, now admn’s concern
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
After routinely laying the blame on trees for disruption of power supply following dust storms and heavy rain, the UT administration appears to have finally realized the need to identify the reasons for trees being uprooted in inclement weather.

Officials have also decided to get a survey conducted to establish the factors responsible for this phenomenon. A special team of experts will investigate the pattern as well as the type and variety of trees are prone to fall down, besides devising an ‘action plan’ for annual maintenance of trees.

To prevent trees from falling, new plantations will include trees that have good foliage and are of a lesser height, so that even during dust storms or strong winds electricity wires do not get entangled in the trees.

Another aspect that the administration now wants to deal with is the maintenance of the existing greenery. It has been noticed that gardeners in the horticulture wings of both the MC as well as the administration are acquainted with the skills required for upkeep of flowers and ornamental trees. However, they are not much aware of how to preserve the variety of traditional and old trees.

“For the purpose all gardeners employed with the UT administration and the MC will be sent for a training programme to teach them about skills on preserving trees”, said UT finance cum environment & forests secretary Sanjay Kumar.

With this, the UT administration has also decided to replenish the depleting population of fauna in the city. Chandigarh, which once used to be a haven for birds of various species, now does not even have common sparrows. One of the reasons behind gradual disappearance of the birds is the absence of fruit trees, say experts.

“Two multi fruit gardens will be developed at the air force base repair depot (BRD) and Rajindra Garden in Sector 1, where different varieties of fruits would be planted for fauna replenishment”, said Kumar.

‘Green Action Plan’ for 2010-11

The UT administration plans to cover 300 hectares under plantation, both on public and forest land. The target it has set for 2010-11 in terms of number of seedlings planted is about 195,000. As part of the ‘green action plan’ for the year 2010-11, 100,000 stem cuttings of Arundo-donax will be planted along the banks of ‘choes’ to stabilise them against soil erosion in the catchment area of the Sukhna lake.

According to national records, the existing green cover accounts for 38.5 per cent of the city’s total area of the city. This includes the greenery in the Sukhna wildlife sanctuary.



Man murdered, body hung from tree
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
The body of an unidentified man in his mid-30s was found hanging from a tree in a green belt near the Iron Market in Sector 29-D here today.The police said they believed the victim was strangled to death by more then one person before his body was hung 14 feet high from a tree.

The victim’s hands were tied with a jute rope behind his back and he was hung with a piece of cloth. The body was found around 20 metres from the busy Chandigarh-Ambala road. It took five policemen to lower the body from the tree with the help of a ladder.

“The way the victim’s hands were tied behind his back suggested that he was hung after being killed by more than one person. As the victim’s eyes were not bulging out and his tongue was not sticking out, it appeared to be death due to strangulation and not hanging. However, the exact cause would be ascertained after the autopsy,” said inspector Dilsher Singh Chandel, SHO of the Industrial Area police station.

A portion of trampled grass and fresh leaves showed signs of struggle, indicating that the victim fought back his killers.

The body, however, did not bear any visible injury marks, except strangulation marks on the neck. The victim had got his head and face shaved recently.

The victim was of medium height and had a well-built body. He was wearing grey trousers and a white shirt. No documents or any other articles that could help establish the victim’s identity were found on the body.

A police patrol team comprising head constable Baldev Singh and constable Hira Singh first spotted the body at 7.25 am.

The police kept the body at the scene for around three hours for its identification, but later shifted it to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16.

The SHO said he had constituted three teams and handed them the victim’s photographs before dispatching them to different parts of the city.

The police is also questioning barbers in the city to find out from where the victim had got his head tonsured so that his identity could be established.

A case of murder, disappearance of evidence and common intention under Sections 302, 201 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Sixth murder in 3 months

Today’s murder is the sixth reported from the area under the jurisdiction of the Industrial Area police station during the past three months.

l On March 21, Ram Singh, a security guard, was found murdered in a factory in Industrial Area, Phase I

l On April 24, Pintu, an auto-rickshaw driver, was stabbed to death at Darua village

l On May 1, two security guards — Gurdial and Sucha Singh — were found murdered in a jungle of Darua village

l On June 4, Amit Kumar of Mauli Jagran was found murdered near a fountain at Poultry Farm Chowk



2 young lives snuffed out
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 25
Two motorcycle-borne youngsters, Prince (20) and Kavish (12), were killed when they were run over by a multi-axle trailer on the busy Mohali-Landran road at Sohana here late this evening.

Prince, a resident of Bhagomajra village, along with his nephew Kavish was going towards Sohana to buy food.

According to witnesses, Prince lost control of the bike while negotiating an uneven road as a result of which both fell on the road. The trailer coming from behind ran over the victims, killing them on the spot. The truck driver fled the scene, leaving the truck behind.

The police was informed about the accident but it took 40 minutes to reach the scene. This sparked off protest by residents as they tried to burn the truck.

The residents lamented that the police not only arrived late at the scene but also failed to provide an ambulance to remove the bodies from the road.

As the bodies kept lying on the road, traffic remained suspended for over half an hour. An auto-rickshaw was finally arranged to take the bodies to the civil hospital’s mortuary.

The investigating officer said Prince used to sell cigarettes while Kavish was visiting him on vocations. A post-mortem examination of the bodies would be conducted at the civil hospital tomorrow.

The driver of the trailer was later arrested and a case registered against him. The police has initiated further investigations into the matter, the investigating officer added.



Tribune Impact
MC plans pipeline to divert sewage from N-Choe
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
The municipal corporation has drafted a detailed Rs 5.5 crore plan to check the discharge of sewage and wastewater from all outlets into the city’s N-choe. Towards this end a sewerage pipeline is proposed to be laid to carry the waste to the existing sewerage treatment plant located at Diggian.

This draft has been prepared on the basis of a report submitted to the civic body by an “expert” committee headed by retired Haryana chief engineer RK Trehan and comprising three MC and and UT administration officials. The corporation had set up the panel to suggest measures to deal with the problem of inflow of sewerage into the N-Choe at various locations.

The committee has prepared the report in two parts, the first of which has recommended a permanent solution for the inflow of sewerage into the N-choe. The second part deals with utilisation of fresh water flowing into the channel.

It may be mentioned here the panel was formed following the series of reports on the N-Choe that The Tribune carried in April.

In its report the committee said due to the absence of a sewerage pipeline laid at a few points near the N-Choe, inflow of wastewater in it had created a problem. Experts suggested the permanent solution for this problem is to lay a pipeline and connect it with the Diggian treatment plant.

The committee also suggested that the fresh water flowing into the N-Choe near the Beant Singh memorial in Sector 42 should be utilised by the horticulture department for irrigating the city’s green belts. They proposed in the report that the civic body should lay a pipeline through which water could be collected near the artificial lake located in Sector 42, rather than wasting it in the N-Choe. Sources close to the MC said the report would be tabled at its coming general house meeting scheduled for June 30 to secure its approval. MC officials added they planned to forward a proposal to the UT administration to utilise the fresh water in the artificial lake.


Salute to social vision of great warrior
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, June 25
The Panj Pani Rangmanch staged yet another Punjabi religious spectacle tilted “Banda Singh Bahadur” on the second day of their ongoing festival of Sikh historical plays at the Randhawa Auditorium here today.

Written by Dr Gurdial Singh Phull, the play was indeed a salutation to the valour, gallantry, social and humanistic vision of the great warrior. The play was ably directed under the supervision of Jarnail Singh Gogi.

The 100-minute saga depicted the life and transition of Banda Singh Bahadur from a bairagi to a great legendary warrior and general of Sikh army. Since the protagonist could not be portrayed in flesh and blood, it was indeed challenging to justify the presentation, but some of the established city actors accomplished the objective with conviction.

Originally named Lachhman Dev, a Rajput cultivator of Rajouri, renounced worldly life and turned into a bairagi and a sorcerer at Nanded. A blessed visit of Guru Gobind Singh to his hermitage transformed the bairagi to a devout warrior with a resolute resolve of fighting against anti-human forces and injustice. Exalted by Guru ji, Banda fought the Mughals and established the first Sikh state at Sirhind, which was illustrated with narratives, light, sound and musical effects.

Chief guest Bhai Hardeep Singh, secretary general, Punjab Arts Council, honoured the artistes. 



Rath Yatra on July 13
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
The Utkal Sanskrutik Sangh is organising the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balbhadra, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Sudrsan on July 13 at 12.30 pm.The venue for the commencement of the yatra would be Sri Jagannath Temple, Sector 31 D.

The Bahuda Yatra will start at 4 pm on July 21 from the same venue.

The Deba Snana Purnima will be celebrated from 9 am to 12 noon tomorrow.

The Netra Utsav will commence at 8 am on July 11.

On July 12, the Uva Yatra will start at 7.30 pm. 



5 more pre-paid taxi booths soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
The urban development department of the Chandigarh administration has decided to set up five more pre-paid taxi booths in different parts of the city.This move would help provide better facilities to tourists, especially foreigners, and make travelling hassle-free in the city.

Chandigarh tourism is one of the fastest growing industries. Tourist inflow, especially of foreigners, is increasing every year here.

As per the records, in 2007, 26,567 foreigners visited the city, the number further rose to 34,762 in 2008 and more than 9.08 local tourists visited the city last year.

According to a spokesperson for the urban development department, the existing five pre-paid taxi booths are being modernised
as well.

While the five pre-paid booths, being run by the Chandigarh Police, were located at the railway station; ISBT, Sector 17, PGI gate; PGI new OPD; and in Sector 22, the new booths would come up at the Sector 43 bus stand; Chandigarh airport; Rock Garden; Sector 17 market; and Sukhna Lake.

These booths would be equipped with latest gadgets, including computers, to provide quick pre-paid services, especially to tourists who were expected to visit the city during the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, being held in New Delhi later this year, he added.

The chief architect, Chandigarh, has been assigned the work of preparing the drawings, and the engineering department will take up the construction and renovation work for the booths.



UHBVN forms four-point programme
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 25
In view of frequent power cuts during the last few days, the UHBVN has formed a four-point programme to combat the situation.Stating this in a press conference held here today, executive engineer PK Goel informed that the nigam has decided to covert the open conductor into the aerial bunched cables, which would help in curtailing breakdowns caused by trees which fall on wires during storms.

“The felling of huge trees during high velocity storms was the biggest problem faced by the department. The city has a large number of eucalyptus and silver oak trees and cutting them was not possible. The introduction of aerial bunched cables would solve the problem,” said Goel.

He said the department had also sent a proposal for installing fault passage indicator on 11 kV lines, which would help in identifying the location and rectify the fault within few minutes.

Earlier the linemen had to check the entire cable to detect the fault. He said the indicators would start glowing whenever there was any fault on any line.

The city residents had been facing frequent power cuts for the past few days after storms and rains lashed the district. Many sectors remained without power due to breakdowns in sub-stations and breaking of wires from poles.

The XEN said there had been complaints from people regarding the ‘no response’ from the complaint centre. He said the department had decided to strengthen the complaint centre.

“In case the call is not answered for half an hour, it would be transferred to a junior engineer who would then attend to the complaints,” he added.

He also appealed to the residents of the city to show patience in such conditions as protests against the department demoralises the staff besides affecting their efficiency.



Satirical play staged
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 25
The NZCC presented the 350th show of a short play “Khuli Hawa ki Talaash Mein”, a popular production of the CEVA Drama company, at Kalagram here today.

The play with its potent theme and social relevance turned a hit with the audience from Chandigarh to Chennai and Amritsar to Agartala under the direction of GS Channi.

Actors like Jasbir, Abhimanu lose no time to establish a rapport with the audience and debate issues of environment and pollution in all spheres of life. The satirical play made a sharp focus on pollution in politics, administration, society with special references to female foeticide or use of polythene and plastic.

SNA awardee Vijay Machal provided music and songs. 



Narrow escape for bus passengers
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 25
The passengers of a Jalandhar-bound Punjab Roadways bus had a narrow escape after its brakes failed today.The bus (PB-08-BD-6042) of the Jalandhar depot, which was coming from Shimla, had about 50 passengers on board. When the driver, Inderjit Singh, tried to apply the brakes to avoid a collision with another vehicle coming from opposite direction near Chuna Bhatian village near Chandimandir, he realized that the brakes had failed.

Acting swiftly, he steered the bus towards the road divider and saved the lives of the passengers. The bus climbed on to the road divider after breaking its axle and separating the front tyres from the main body. However, no one was injured in the incident.

The driver then informed the authorities and another bus was sent to carry the passengers to their destinations. A crane was also pressed into service to take the bus to the Punjab Roadways workshop in Chandigarh for repair.

The movement of vehicular traffic was affected for about one hour as the crane tried to lift the bus from the divider. The commuters on the national highway, especially children, had to face inconvenience in the sweltering heat waiting for the road to be cleared. The traffic police and home guard jawans were immediately rushed to the spot for clearing the jam.



Section 144 imposed in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 25
In view of the forthcoming zila parishad elections, Panchkula District Magistrate Ashima Garg has imposed Section 144 of the CrPC, banning gathering of five or more persons and carrying of weapons in the district.

The orders have been promulgated apprehending tension, annoyance, obstruction or injury to people and property, disturbance of public peace and tranquility.

The order prohibits gathering of five or more persons within 100 meters from the election or counting centres set up in 10 wards of the district where election are to be held on July 6. The ban would remain effective till counting of votes on July 12.



Process of sanctioning building plans streamlined
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 25
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has streamlined the process of sanctioning the building plans. To reduce harassment to the applicants, GMADA has decided that the building plans would be submitted on every Wednesday between 11 am and 11.30 am.

In the follow-up exercise, all concerned officials would sit at a common place to interact with the applicants so that the discrepancies, if any, could be sorted out. Estate officer, GMADA, Balbir Singh, said the decision had been taken to reduce harassment to the applicants. Earlier, the applicants had to run around to get their building plans approved.

Meanwhile, the plan of starting online sanctioning of building plans has been delayed. To be developed by Punjab Engineering College, the online system was supposed to include plan approval tracking and management facility.

Despite being approved by the executive committee of the authority, the system has not become functional due to technical reasons. As a rule, all property owners who intend to construct anything are required to get their building plans sanctioned from the estate office before beginning construction.

Even during construction period, there are stages when an applicant is required to intimate or seek approval from the estate office.

The whole procedure takes a lot of time and unnecessary delays are caused in the absence of even one officer. The online system of sanctioning of building plans was expected to streamline this tedious process.



Potholes galore on national highway
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 25
Deep potholes on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway leading to the Zirakpur flyover have become a nuisance for commuters.

Minor accidents are a routine affair on this stretch as two-wheeler riders often lose balance on these potholes.

Though VIPs, including the Punjab Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, MLAs, and other local administration officials, drive down the road, the potholes conveniently fails to catch their attention.

Commuters rued that despite thousands of vehicles plying daily on the road, the authorities concerned have failed to do anything for its maintenance.

Mohinder Singh, a resident of Zirakpur, said from the past one year, the stretch needs re-carpeting, but nothing has been done so far by the authorities concerned. Temporary encroachments on the roadside add to the grievances of the motorists, he alleged.

However, PWD officials claimed that the patch work on this stretch would be started in two days.



Bansal, 12 others named non-official visitors
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
The UT administration has appointed 13 prominent city residents, including minister for parliamentary affairs and water resources Pawan Kumar Bansal, as non-official visitors to the Model Jail in Burail village here.

The non-official visitors will inspect barracks and take an account of the facilities being provided to inmates or identify those who have overstayed their jail term.

They will give their recommendations to the authorities for improving the existing infrastructure. They will hold the office for a period of two years under the guidelines laid in the Punjab Jail Manual.

UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas, in a notification issued on June 8, communicated that the administration had appointed these prominent city residents as non-official visitors in respect of the Model Jail in Burail with immediate effect.

These visitors will examine the quality of food served to inmates, inspect barracks, cells, wards, work sheds and other facilities on the jail premises.

They will also check the medical facilities being provided to the inmates and their cleanliness and security.

Besides, the non-officials visitors will ascertain that proper discipline is maintained on the jail premises and ensure that no prisoner is detained illegally for an undue length of time while awaiting trial.

A jail official said as per the chapter VI of the manual, except secret records, the non-official visitors were empowered to check the jail register and records.

They would record their remarks in a visitors’ book (register No. 6) and forward the same to the Inspector-General of police (prisons).

The non-official visitors are expected to visit the jail once a month.

Besides Bansal, Sanjay Tandon of Sector 18; Dr Rajesh Kaur Gill, professor, sociology department, Panjab University; MR Lakhanpal, a resident of Sector 15; RD Sharma, former DIG (prisons) and a resident of Sector 37; Mahabir Parsad Verma, a resident of Sector 20; Col BS Dhillon (retd), a resident of Sector 8; Dr Poonam Singh, a resident of Sector 23; Jaya Bhardwaj, a resident of Sector 22; Kamal Nath Jain, former IAS officer and a resident of Sector 2; Neena Jauhar, a resident of Sector 8; Vivek Trivedi, a resident of Sector 11; and Jagwinder Singh Brar, a resident of Sector 36; have been appointed as visitors.



Protest against MEA
Passport body members shave heads
Tribune News Service

Members of the All-India Passport Employees’ Association get their heads tonsured to register their protest in Chandigarh on Friday.
Members of the All-India Passport Employees’ Association get their heads tonsured to register their protest in Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan 

Chandigarh, June 25
Protesting against the alleged unfair treatment at the hands of the ministry of external affairs, five members of All-India Passport Employees’ Association (group B and C personnel) got their heads tonsured here today.

An indefinite fast would be started on Monday till the grievances of the employees were not addressed, said Pal Singh Gill, vice-president of the local unit of the association.

The passport controlling authorities had been violating the written agreements with the association, he said.

While there were reports that the Passport Seva Project was being outsourced, anomalies in the salaries of employees were not removed in spite of repeated assurances, he alleged.

He added that the employees were not against the outsourcing of the project to any company. However, the software of the project should remain in the hands of the employees for security reasons, he added.



Fuel Price Hike
Residents feel the pinch
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
Serpentine queues at filling stations, throughout the day today, was indicative of the nasty pinch that consumers have been inflicted upon by the government, yet again.

The substantial increase in the prices of all types of fuel, including LPG, is set to topple the household budget of a majority of families.

The hike in the prices attracted criticism from all segments of society, including housewives, businessmen and residents’ welfare associations.

“After a small gap of three months, the increase in fuel prices will put a burden of Rs 100 on my budget,” said Renu, a housewife at Sector 47.

In the budget tabled last week, the government hiked customs duty on petrol and diesel to 7.5 per cent from 2.5 per cent, while excise duty was raised by Re 1 on non-branded (normal) petrol and diesel.

Dr Jagdish Jaggi, president of the Residents’ Welfare Association, Sector 37, said the hike could not be justified and the government must control the prices of essential items by putting a check on wasteful expenditure.

The hike in fuel prices would reflect in the prices of other essential commodities as well like vegetables and other eatables due to increase in the cost of their transportation, he added.

The situation would not be good even for traders involved in the business of fuel items, said Pradeep Dargan of Dargan Gas Agency, Sector 38.

While the hike would force him to make more investments, his profits would not increase, he said.

Meanwhile, long queues were witnessed at almost all filling stations of the tricity, since morning.

Following reports appearing in the media regarding an expected increase in petroleum products, residents started heading towards petrol pumps to save some on money. A few of them even came with jerrycans to ration fuel.



Bank opens new branch
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
Allahabad Bank, currently in its 146th year of operation, has opened its new branch in Sector 17B. The branch was inaugurated by Sumita Mishra, director, Hareda.

Sudip Banerjee, deputy general manager of the zone, said the branch had been provided with modern banking facilities, including online banking and international debit-cum-ATM card for its customers.

The bank currently has 47 branches in the Chandigarh region, compromising 12 rural and 22 semi-urban and 13 urban branches.Bank opens new branch. 



CHB’s Sec-49 Self-financing Scheme
After delayed possession, it’s missing amenities
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Road are yet to be mettled in the CHB flats complex in Sector 49, Chandigarh.
Road are yet to be mettled in the CHB flats complex in Sector 49, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, June 25
Even seven months after handing over the possession of flats, the Chandigarh Housing Board continues to penalise the allottees of self-financing scheme in Sector 49 with civic amenities still remaining a far cry.

After handing over the possession of 464 flats in the self-financing scheme in October last year, which it was supposed to give in June, 2008, the CHB has failed to provide adequate civic amenities to the allottees.

Already coping with the inordinate delay in the possession of flats, the allottees are awaiting the construction of roads.

“I am an asthma patient and have stopped going out for walks because the doctor has advised me to avoid dust. The state of roads is deplorable here,” said Harish Gupta, a resident.

He said each time they approached the authorities they were told that the roads would be laid soon, but were never given any time frame.

While the approach roads to other nearby housing societies are well carpeted, it seems the authorities have neglected this society altogether.

“Months after the construction got over, you can still see material and garbage dumped all around,” he adds.

The allottees have also been demanding a boundary wall to separate the one-room tenements from the housing complex.

The Chandigarh Housing Board chairman said: “The appraoch road is a V5 road and it is not with us. The inner roads are in the process of getting carpetted. It was delayed due to shoratge of material.”

Launched in 2005-06, the self-financing scheme, comprising 464 dwellings units - 208 two bedroom and 256 one bedroom flats - has been mired in controversies since its inception.

After facing delay in getting the possession, the allottees were forced to move the District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum. The forum later penalised the CHB for deficiency in services.

The allottees had also pointed out several “technical glitches” in the dwelling units that allegedly reflected poorly on the workmanship of the CHB authorities.

The allottees had earlier cried foul over a “non-existent” drainage pipe that was fixed only after protests.



Few takers for MA courses at PU
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
The number of applicants for Panjab University’s conventional postgraduate courses in various arts disciplines has been steadily declining in recent years. The estimated number of applications received till now this year by various PU departments are much less than those in 2009.

Blame it on the private colleges mushrooming on the city’s periphery, which “guarantee” employability, stringent internal assessment in the varsity or a variety of new interdisciplinary courses offered by PU, statistics reveal there has been a gradual decrease in applications for core MA courses during the past 4-5 years. However, the decline is much more visible this year.

The deadline for submission of forms in arts disciplines including public administration, economics, sociology, political science and philosophy is July 1, 2010. PU department officials say most students file their forms in during the last few days before the deadline, adding the number of applications are expected to rise.

Heads of some of the departments said youngsters’ eagerness to get a job as soon as possible after graduating was the primary reason behind the decline in enrolment in postgraduate courses. “Many students feel a conventional MA degree does not necessarily ensure employment opportunities,” said Rajesh Gill, chairman of the sociology department’s centre for advanced studies. “Despite this trend the varsity continues to draw the best graduates from colleges,” he added.

Many others are of the opinion that strict internal assessment in PU, as compared to its affiliated colleges where the same courses are offered by the internal assessment is liberal, is yet another factor.

“Starting related disciplines may not be a factor of declining interest in MA courses but there is a general belief that marking is much liberal in colleges,” said Sudhir Sharma, chairman of PU’s public administration department.

However, there are others who have a different take on the matter. “Students who are genuinely interested in studying subjects like economics still prefer to study at PU. We still receive the best students from colleges,” averred Gurmail Singh, chairman of the varsity’s economics department.

Some teachers have suggested introduction of an “industry-oriented approach” in subjects in conventional MA courses could be a way out.



Over 9,000 forms submitted at government schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
Nearly 9,685 applications were submitted on the last day for the centralised admission to Class XI at UT government schools. For admission to nearly 11,000 seats at government schools, the same number of forms were purchased earlier from five authorised centres in the city.

A total of 1,344 forms were submitted at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10. The number was pegged at 1,906 at GMSSS-23, while at GMSSS-32, it was 2,340. GMSSS, Housing Complex, Mani Majra, received 1,944 forms, whereas Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 37, got 2,151 forms.

Even as students preferred to opt for schools close to their homes, Government Model Senior Secondary, School 16 and Sector 35, continued to remain the most preferred schools among students.

“Whatever may the mode of centralised admission be, GMSSS, Sector 16 and 35, have always remained a favourite among students,” said Prateek Sood, who came to deposit his form at GMSSS-10 today.

Those, who failed to produce a character certificate from their respective schools, were made to write an application stating that they would have to submit their certificates later.

“An assurance letter was taken from students for producing the certificate at the time of counselling,” said an employee, who was collecting forms. “The number of applications has been pegged at 9,800 and the online list will be uploaded on the website on July 3. The preference of students can be estimated only after a review of the forms,” said Chanchal Singh, District Education Officer, UT education department.



Govt Colleges
1,058 applications for BBA

Chandigarh, June 25
A total of 1,058 applications for the Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) course and 1,509 for the Bachelors of Computer Applications (BCA) course have been received for the admission to UT government colleges.

The evaluation of applications for the centralised admission in the government colleges will now take place and more figures would be revealed on Monday, said officials.

Forms were also submitted for courses like BA (honours), BSc (non-medical) and BSc (medical) in certain colleges and the exact numbers for these will be divulged by the department of higher education, UT administration, next week.

Meanwhile, for the general courses, the forms would be accepted on the day of counselling. — TNS



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