C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Why Met forecasts go awry?
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Given the frequent errors in rainfall prediction by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in the past, everything it “foresees” about the weather is now taken with a pinch of salt. So much so that there are few takers for the IMD’s forecast that the northwest region will have 98 per cent long-period average rainfall during this year’s monsoon. The IMD has erred in its projections far more often than it has managed to get them right.

Talking to The Tribune, IMD director Surender Paul said as far as the region, which includes Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, is concerned it had above average rainfall during the past five years except last year. He admitted last year's fiasco stands out as a classic case of the department’s inability to precisely assess rainfall expected during the monsoon season.

IMD was wrong not only in the first stage of the forecast that it issued in April last year, but also in the "forecast update" issued in June, well after the monsoon’s onset. Nor could it predict the situation accurately even in an unprecedented third attempt to finetune its forecast in August when the monsoon had already run more than half its course.

To a query about the last year’s drought like conditions when IMD in its first forecast put the rainfall at 96 per cent, the second at 93 per cent and the third at 87 per cent, whereas the actual rainfall turned out to be a mere 77 per cent of the normal, Paul said: “The conditions have been favourable this year for a good monsoon for nearly two months. So I’m not surprised with the upward revision”.

It was reported this year again IMD has used the same model for predicting monsoon rainfall (five-parameter statistical ensemble forecasting system), which had failed miserably to foresee the severe drought last year.

The accuracy rate of long-range rainfall predictions works out to a mere 25 per cent. Thus, the failure rate is as high as 75 per cent, which makes the projections unreliable.

The only brief period when IMD generated reliable monsoon forecasts in successive years was between 1988 and 1993. This was the time when the 16-parameter power regression model performed well.

However, Paul confidently said IMD's monsoon prediction capability had improved considerably with the introduction of new technologies, such as Doppler weather radar, meteorological satellites and high-speed data communication and computing systems.

“A high performance computing system has been installed at the Chandigarh meteorological centre to provide

the forecast for smaller areas with very high resolution up to three kilometres with better accuracy. The Doppler weather radar, installed at Delhi and Patiala, has been helping to capture pictures for prediction of the severe weather events such as thunderstorms, hailstorms and cloudburst squalls which cause damage to crops and other infrastructure.

“Northwest India is currently under the influence of a western disturbance which may hang in there for three more days, bringing partly cloudy sky conditions and isolated thunderstorms/light rainfall,” said Paul.

He said after transiting eastern Uttar Pradesh, the monsoon may cover areas of western UP during the coming four days and after that it was expected to reach Chandigarh and neighbouring states in the first weekend of July.



HC stays suspension of PEC students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Caste “abuse” and “hatred” are not uncommon in the PEC University of Technology, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today heard before staying the operation of the orders placing under suspension five engineering students.

In their petition placed before Justice Ranjit Singh, students Amaninder Singh, Virrat, Pardeep Kumar, Amandeep Singh and Akashdeep Rayat alleged: “In professional/technical institutes like the PEC, there is a lot of harassment of the students by the teachers.”

“The issue of caste abuse is not new in PEC. Even in classrooms, many teachers made comments, which may not constitute an offence, but were full of caste hatred. There is no mechanism for the redress of the grievances of the students,” they added, alleging the use of racist language by an assistant professor.

In the petition against the PEC and assistant professors KK Garg and SK Suman, the students placed under suspension alleged that they were proceeded against for raising their voice in favour of the mess workers.

Going into the background of the controversy, the students claimed that the station house officer of the Sector 11 police station Sukhbir Singh Rana interrupted mess workers while they were proceeding to meet labour-cum-conciliation officer on February 24. They were asked to go back to the hostels.

After Rana told one of the petitioners Amandeep that the workers could not move in groups due to the imposition of Section 144 CrPC in the city, the petitioner recommended moving out separately.

Subsequently, the two assistant professors asked the students to sign a memorandum for handing over the hostel mess on contract. But the petitioners refused to do so, saying 
they were happy with cooperative mess. As a result, the two started to nurture a grudge against them.

Claiming to have been harassed, the petitioners said racist remarks were hurled at Amaninder Singh and others. They were also pressurised to withdraw the complaint against the remarks, before they were placed under suspension.

Taking up the petition, Justice Ranjit Singh asserted: The petitioners, who are students of PEC, Chandigarh, have filed this petition to impugn the order whereby they stand suspended for one year from academics and permanently from the hostels.“Counsel for the petitioners contends that the order has been passed without following the prescribed procedure and also would suffer form the want of bona fide, as the backgrounds under which the petitioners have been so punished would be a dispute with regard to the running of a cooperative mess for the hostels.”

Issuing notice of motion for July 16, the judge said, “The operation of the impugned order stayed in the meantime.”



MC rapped for failure to monitor water supply
Aarti Kapur/TNS

Chandigarh, June 30
Taking a serious note about the unavailability of data on the quantity of water being received from the Kajauli water works, Union minister Pawan Bansal pulled up MC officials for their lethargy at the general house meeting today.

He was reacting to MC chief engineer SS Bidda’s statement that the civic body was yet to commence work on installing meters to keep a record about the receipt of raw water from the Kajauli water works III and IV. “It’s strange the authorities have been taking the matter very lightly”, he commented. Bansal expre ssed surprise as to why even after a decade civic officials had failed to install a proper system to get authentic data on the water received from Kajauli. He asked Bidda how the MC was certain the city was getting the required quantity of raw water from Kajauli when there was no monitoring system in place.

“If MC records are to be believed the city is getting proper water supply from the four phases of Kajauli and bore tubewells. However, the ground realities is that the city’s residents are still struggling to get proper water supply”, the minister said. Bansal asked Bidda to prepare a detailed report on the actual water supply from Kajauli and the city’s requirement and table it in the house.

Asked about the ongoing controversy over water sharing with Punjab, he said “the state government shouldn’t make undue demands for getting a royalty of water flowing from Punjab to neighbouring states”.

Grey areas

  • No checks on whether the city is getting complete share of 80 mgd water from Kajauli
  • No data available on water wastage as no meters have been installed
  • Department claims the city is getting 18 to 22 mgd water through 204 tubewells. However, if all are in working condition supply should be 36.72 mgd on average



I-T raids on Gulatis yield Rs 3 cr
Arun Sharma/Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Swooping on 35 residential and commercial premises of the city-based Gulati Group, known for its cloth business, the Income Tax (I-T) Department recovered cash worth over Rs 3 crore here today.

In addition, the I-T officials searched many of the 15 lockers in the banks owned by the group while the operation of others had been restrained. However, it was to be investigated whether the recovered money and articles lying in the lockers were unaccounted.

More than 200 officials raided the offices and houses of Gulatis and their business associates at 8 am simultaneously at various premises in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Khanna, Jalandhar and Mandi Gobingarh. A few of the premises raided were Hotel Solitaire, Manimajra,, Verma Transport Company, Darrua, Chandigarh, and Narain and Company, Mandi Gobindgarh.

The Gulatis have also stake in real estate and steel industry, said sources. “It will take us two days to complete the search as the network of the business group was spread over to different cities,” said an official.



Norms for issuing gun licences tightened
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Getting a firearms licence that is valid throughout the entire country became just more difficult. Earlier such a license could be obtained from any state or union territory, but not anymore. The new guidelines state the home secretary of the state concerned can now issue such licences to only those who are in the armed forces, police or civil services.

According to the revised norms, home secretaries of states will be empowered to issue an arms licence that would be valid only in a maximum of three states, including the applicant’s state and two adjoining ones.

Sources said the move comes following the increasing misuse of weapons in different places and in the wake of recent terror threats as well.

However, there has been a mixed response from the public on the new guidelines with a section of licence holders criticising them.

“How will the new rules help curb crime when most of the firearms used by criminals in various incidents are illegal weapons? There’s hardly any check on them”, said Ravinder Singh, an arms licence holder.

Going by the fact it is not easy to obtain a licensed weapon, criminals prefer to go for an easy and cheap purchase. A ‘country made’ pistol, called ‘katta’, is readily available in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. For obvious reasons, the major one being avoiding easy identification, a criminal will prefer not to use a licensed firearm.

“Why don’t state governments do anything about the easy availability of ‘use and throw’ guns that are readily available in neighboring states rather than tightening the rules on securing licences valid throughout India?” asked a sports enthusiast.

“Also, if some one perceives a threat to his life he will carry his weapon wherever he goes. With the new guidelines in place one will have to adopt an alternative way of seeking permission from his home state to carry the weapon with him wherever he goes”, said Swarnjit Singh, another arms licence holder.


Auction of Sites for Nursing Homes
GMADA Earns revenue of Rs 24.26 crore
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 30
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has earned revenue of Rs 24. 26 crore by disposing of four sites for nursing homes at an auction held here today.

The maximum bid of Rs 8 crore was given for a site measuring 1281 square yard (sq yd) in Sector 70 against the reserve price of Rs 1.69 crore. The remaining three sites were located in Sector 69.

Two sites measuring 1211 sq yd each in Sector 69 were sold for Rs 6.06 crore and Rs 5.51 crore against the reserve price of Rs 1.59 crore each. Another site in the same sector measuring 1,000 sq yd fetched Rs 4.69 crore against the reserve price of Rs 1.32 crore.

Balbir Singh , Estate Officer, said that the sites earmarked for nursing homes were auctioned for the first time in Mohali. He said the response was overwhelming and bidders were ready to pay four times more than the reserve price for purchasing these sites.

He said that the average reserve price for such sites auctioned today was Rs 12,500 per sq yd against which GMADA sold each sq yd for Rs 51,575. As many as 40 doctors had applied for free -hold nursing home sites out of which 25 participated in the auction. Only MBBS doctors having at least three years experience were eligible to participate in the auction.

He said that the demand for nursing home sites had gone up as the town was expanding and the property rates in Chandigarh were far too high as compared to Mohali.

It is reported that there were a total of nine sites carved out for nursing homes in Sector 55 and Sectors 66 to 71 but only four sites were put under the hammer to gauge the response before selling the remaining sites.



BJP holds rally against hike in fuel prices
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 30
The Mohali unit of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) held a rally here today in protest against the recent hike in the price of petroleum products. The rally started from Phase IV and culminated outside the District Administrative Complex in Phase I. The protesters gave a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh Mand meant for the President of India. Slogans were raised against the Central Government.

The protesters said that the prices of essential commodities had gone up drastically and people were finding it very difficult to make both ends meet. Items like sugar, pulses, refined oils had gone beyond the reach of the poor. To add to their problems, the prices of petroleum products had been raised, which would further lead to inflation.

They said that the Central Government had failed to check the prices of essential commodities because multinational companies had been given the freedom to make purchases. Such companies were allegedly hoarding various items even when the government stores were getting less than the specified limits.



Camp on skin disorders kicks off
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 30
A two-day camp on “Auto-immune Skin Disorders” began at National Skin Hospital in Mansa Devi Complex today.

Dr Vikas Sharma, dermatologist and dermato-laser surgeon, said auto-immune skin disorders were most difficult to diagnose.

He said in an auto-immune disorder, the immune system attacked the body's own cells.

Dr Sharma said patients would be educated about various auto-immune skin disorders, their signs and symptoms during the two-day campaign. He said they would also create awareness about the factors and agents that could trigger or flare up the existing disorder.

He also urged young medical graduates to lay more stress on diagnosing disorders at an early stage.



MC not ‘keen’ on maintenance of parks
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 30
The Municipal Council has adopted a dilly-dallying approach towards the takeover of parks from the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) for maintenance, giving one reason or the other, for delaying the acceptance of responsibility.

The parks whose total area extends to around 180 acre were to be handed over to the council on July 1 for maintenance but in a last minute move, the civic authorities have laid down a condition. In a letter dispatched today to GMADA, the council executive officer stated that the takeover could be done only after the general house of the civic body cleared the proposal.

The letter of the council came as a surprise to the GMADA authorities because at a meeting held under the chairmanship of chief administrator VP Singh on May 11, the then president of the council Kulwant Singh and the executive officer of the council, Amna Kumar Goyal, had given their consent to accept the responsibility. None of them had pointed out that the parks would be taken over subject to the approval from the House.

The meeting, which was also attended by the chairman of the district planning board NK Sharma was held to discuss the issue related to the maintenance of parks in the town. The parks were being maintained by GMADA in the interest of the public because the civic body was short of funds. Audit objections were being raised in this regard because the work of maintaining parks in the developed sectors was not in the purview of GMADA as per the PUDA Act, 1995.

The GMADA chief administrator had suggested at the meeting that the parks could be handed over to the council and a maintenance allowance at the rate Rs 1.30 per square yard be given as was being done in the case of welfare associations, which had taken over the maintenance of certain parks.

Both the former council president and executive officer had agreed to the proposal. The council for completing certain works in these parks also demanded a sum of Rs 1.5 crore. These parks were to be handed over to the council on June 1 but got delayed by a month because the proceedings of the meeting were not made available on time.

GMADA officials argued that earlier the civic body had been claiming that it could not take over the parks due to shortage of funds and now when the funds were being provided the council authorities wanted to get the proposal approved from the House.

However, the executive officer of the council said that he had directed JEs to prepare estimates for all types of works that were needed in the parks. The proposal will be discussed at the meeting after which the final decision will be taken. If councillors agreed to take over the work, three months time will be needed for completing formalities.


  • Parks were to be handed over to the council on July 1 for maintenance
  • In a letter dispatched on Wednesday to GMADA, the council executive officer stated that the takeover could be done only after the general house of the civic body cleared the proposal.
  • The letter of the council came as a surprise to the GMADA authorities because at a meeting held under the chairmanship of chief administrator, VP Singh, on May 11, the then president of the council, Kulwant Singh, and the executive officer of the council, Amna Kumar Goyal, had given their consent to accept the responsibility.
  • The council demanded a sum of Rs 1.5 crore for completing certain works in these parks.



No respite in sight on killer stretch
Panchkula-Barwala section on NH 73 has claimed many lives in the past two years
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 30
As many as 60 lives in just 24 months. This is the figure of the persons who lost their lives on the Panchkula-Barwala “killer stretch” on National Highway No 73. About 95 persons were injured in accidents during the same period.

The number of accidents on the stretch has suddenly increased, as more than 15 persons lost their lives and 24 were critically wounded in various accidents that occurred during the past one and a half months.

From March 2009 to March 2010, 61 accidents took place on this stretch, which is fast gaining notoriety for mishaps. About 52 people were injured in the same period.

With a number of blind turns and narrow stretch, most of the accidents that have taken place have proven fatal. Despite pressing traffic police officials on duty on the highway, it has been of little help, as the topography of the area makes it accident-prone.

The police department had taken up the issue of putting up road dividers at strategic points on the 36-km Panchkula-Barwala road with the engineering wing of the district administration so that the number of accidents could be brought down.

An official of the engineering wing in the PWD said that they had sent the proposal to the administration. He said they were yet to receive approval from the authorities concerned so that the work of constructing road dividers on strategic points could be started.

The people living in villages along the National Highway said they had also taken up the matter with the administration in this regard but nothing had been done so far.

A senior police official attributed the main causes of accidents to rash driving and driving under the influence of liquor. He said nearly 40 Home Guard jawans had been posted at various strategic points on the national highway to check rash driving and traffic violations.

Tough terrain

Despite pressing traffic police officials on duty on the highway, it has been of little help, as the topography of the area makes it accident-prone



MC House Meeting
Mayor for framing new service rules
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation should frame new service rules and schedule of each department in next three months and table it in the House for approval, said Mayor Anu

Chatrath during the General House meeting of the civic body here today.

A majority of the councillors opposed the agenda tabled in the House for approval of creating a new post of the public health executive engineer and four sub-divisional engineers along with supporting staff.

Opposing the agenda, Congress councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma said that two years back, the House had asked the MC officials to submit a report on staff shortage in each department so that a schedule was prepared to fill the vacant posts. However, nothing has been done till date, he said.

Union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal also suggested that till proper rules were formulated, the MC should not go ahead with recruitments.

The Mayor, however, deferred the agenda and directed the officials to finalise rules and frame a schedule for recruitment by September for approval of the House. She even asked to withdraw the agenda of appointment notice of sub-divisional engineer and filling of posts by promotion.


  • General House proceedings start 20 minutes late
  • Union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal proposes issuing special cards for using temporary toilets in rehabilitation colonies
  • Mayor asks the authorities to write a letter to the CII why it had not taken a public view and consulted the Chandigarh MC before honouring Jaypee associates for the garbage plant
  • The House also approved the project of installing sewerage pipelines at places from where the wastewater flows into N-choe
  • The MC will develop Valley of Animal Park in Sector 49



RBI cautions people against fake lotteries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Alarmed over the fictitious offers to people relating to lottery wins, remittance of cheap funds in foreign currency from abroad, employment and scholarship offers, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cautioned its authorised retailers and public against falling prey to such frauds.

Addressing mediapersons, regional director, RBI, Jasbir Singh said the RBI had been receiving complaints from individuals, trusts and other entities regarding fraudulent communications relating to such offers to public.

These fictitious offers are generally made through letters, e-mails, mobile phones, SMSes, etc. Apart from the typical modalities adopted in the past, the fraudsters are now resorting to issue of certificates, letters, circulars, etc, which are sent through e-mail and on letter heads that look like that of the RBI and purportedly signed by its top officials to make them appear as genuine. The fraudsters also convince the victims by impersonating as senior officials of the RBI with telephone numbers or fictitious e-mail IDs. Many residents fall prey to such teasing offers and lose money in the process, the RBI regional director said.

He added that the RBI had taken many measures to create awareness among the public about these fictitious offers. In addition to cautioning the authorised dealer banks against remittances towards schemes involving money circulation, lottery schemes and the existing prohibition on remittances for participation in such schemes, advertisements were being issued indicating the modus operandi of the fraudsters and cautioning the public against falling prey to fictitious offers.

The RBI regional director said the money is demanded from gullible persons under different heads such as processing fees, transaction fees, tax clearance charges and conversion charges.

The victims are persuaded to deposit the amount in accounts with banks in India and such amounts are withdrawn immediately. It is also observed that multiple accounts are being opened in the name of individuals or proprietary concerns at different bank branches for collecting the transaction charges, tax clearance charges, etc. Banks have been advised to exercise due caution and to be extra vigilant while opening or allowing transactions in such accounts, he added.

RBI closed today

On account of the annual closing of its accounts, the offices of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will remain closed for public transaction on July 1, 2010.



40-yr-old hangs himself to death

Chandigarh, June 30
A man in his mid 40s allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at his residence in Sector 46 here this morning.

The victim, identified as Rajinder (45-year-old), was under depression and was under treatment at the PGI.

Rajinder’s wife was at her parent’s house in Hamirpur at the time of the incident. The police sources said it seemed that he had committed suicide late last night.

The matter came to light when deceased’s daughter saw her father’s body hanging from a ceiling fan around 7.30 am.

However, no suicide note was found from the spot. — TNS



Kabuliwala staged, artistes fail to impress
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, June 30
The RG Samrpan Theatre Group presented a Hindi play “Kabuliwala” based on a famous classic story by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore at the Randhawa auditorium here today. Directed by Rajesh Kumar and scripted for theatrical staging by Raju Vaid who played the protagonist also, the inadequately rehearsed play failed to create the required mood and ambience to match the potent theme of the original story.

The short acting sequences with comparatively long interval for set arrangements resulted in the loss of pace and continuity.

However, the emotional content of the story and natural acting spells by Himadari Mukerjee (writer), Jitender (Pandit) Raju Vaid (Khan Rehman, dry fruit seller from Kabul), Asha Saklani with child prodigies Khushi and Sonia enlivened the performance to a certain extent.

Most supporting actors lacked in portraying the inner self of their respective characters, while Rajinder Singh created musical chords exuding the aroma of the culture of Afghanistan.



Body found

Zirakpur, June 30
An unidentified body of a man in mid 40s was found near the main market at the Chandigarh-Ambala Highway, here, this morning.

The investigating officer said that the victim could have died due to over consumption of alcohol, but the exact cause of the death would be ascertained after the postmortem examination.

According to the police, they got the information that a body of a man had been lying near the market. The deceased appeared to be a migrant labourer. The body of the deceased had been kept for identification at the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, for 72 hours. — TNS



Appointment of daily wagers
MP takes health official to task
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Union Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Minister and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal lambasted MC Medical Officer of Health (MOH), Dr GS Diwan, for following an outdated procedure of appointing daily wagers through service providers.

When the issue of the re-validation of outsourcing of manpower for sanitation work was tabled in the house today, Diwan said they were still following the practice of dispersing the salaries of the outsourced employees through service providers. He said the total amount was paid to the service providers and they further dispersed the pay to their employees.

Objecting to this, Bansal asked MOH why the department was not following the norms of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) for dispersing the salaries, according to which the salary of each employee was deposited in the bank by the authorities concerned and there was no role of service providers in the dispersing of pay.

Bansal asked the MOH why they had not amended their rules till date for the daily wagers. A majority of the councillors complained that service providers were not paying their workers full salary. He further said that it had become practice of the department to table the agenda of extending the service providers’ time period every year on the last date of contract period so that no discussion could take place on it.



Awareness on prevention of vector-borne diseases

Chandigarh, June 30
The National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme Unit, Chandigarh, today organised a workshop-cum-awareness camp for prevention and control of malaria and other vector-borne diseases.

Ajoy Sharma, special secretary, health, flagged off the procession at bus shelter, Sector 18, which is a unique IEC station.

The workshop aimed at creating awareness among residents of Chandigarh for taking necessary steps in reducing the mosquito-genic situation in and around their houses. Placards, banners and other IEC material were used during the awareness drive.

While appreciating the efforts of the NVBDCP, Ajoy Sharma desired that such awareness programme should be carried out in other areas of the city.

Ajoy Sharma was of the opinion that placards and other IEC material should be used in different languages so as to create awareness.

Dr Amarjit Kaur, regional director, GOI, urged people to get their blood examined at the nearest dispensary in case of fever and take proper medicine.

Dr GC Bansal, ADM-cum-SSO (IDSP), UT, appealed to residents to drain water out of coolers and scrub dry once a week during the monsoon. This would help them get rid of the vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue, and chikunguniya in Chandigarh. — TNS



Promotion process at PU draws flak
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) has come out strongly against the confusion on PU campus due to adoption of new UGC guidelines regarding promotions under the Career Advancement Scheme (CAS).

In a press note issued by PUTA today, the members stated that the latest UGC regulations on minimum qualifications for appointment of teachers in universities and colleges has caused confusion with regard to the recent CAS promotions in the university.

According to regulations, those who became eligible for promotion under CAS after December 31, 2008, are to be promoted under the new guidelines.

PUTA claimed that the clause has put a question mark on those CAS candidates who became eligible after December 31, 2008, and were subsequently interviewed and promoted by Panjab University.

Meanwhile, the university had conducted interviews after a letter from the UGC in February, in which it was clearly stated “In the interim period, the universities and colleges may go ahead with the recruitment and promotion of teachers under CAS as per the UGC regulation of 2000.” The change in the stance of the UGC has shocked the teaching fraternity, and PUTA leadership has decided to take up the issue with UGC.

PUTA leadership has now sought an appointment with the UGC chairman, and a representation is being sent to MHRD as well. The new regulations have disturbed not only CAS promotions but also direct appointments made under UGC regulations of 2000 and this would further delay the process of recruitment, said members.

It further stated that PUTA would resent any move that unsettles the promotions or selections of teachers recruited recently under the UGC regulations.

“There was a notification of Punjab government issued on September 2, 2009, regarding continuing the process of promotions in which the facts were clearly mentioned. As per the UGC, university could go ahead with the process of promotion, but now the latest letter sent by the UGC has caused wide spread confusion,” said PUTA chief, Manjit Singh.



OCET Entrance Exam
Students baffled over error in answer key
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Panjab University Student Union (PUSU) today submitted a memorandum to the PU authorities regarding an error reported in answer keys for the OCET Entrance Examination of MCom (e-commerce).
MCom (e-commerce) examination was held on June 15 at Panjab University.

There are 27 seats available for this course in the UBS department of the university. The error was reported in question no 13 of the entrance examination for MCom (e-commerce). The answer keys that were uploaded on June 27 mentioned (C) as the correct option for question no 13, whereas the correct answer was (A).

PUSU members claimed that an applicant had sent a complaint on arcet@pu.ac.in but it seemed it fell on deaf ears. Despite a number of reminders, nothing had been done so far.

Members of the organisation said, “A wrong answer by a student leads to deduction of 1.25 marks, therefore in such a course with just 27 seats, such deductions can make a huge impact on the overall merit list.”

Udey Singh Wirring, PUSU, said, “The mismanagement and loopholes in the functioning of the university has been brought to light once again. Despite repeated formal complaints regarding the error, nothing needful has been done so far.”



Post of lecturer in zoology dept
Applicants question PU screening process
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Four applicants, for the post of lecturer in zoology department at Panjab University, have complained against the “screening process adopted by the university authorities for the post of assistant professor.” The applicants have written a letter to the UGC chairperson, S Thorat and PU Chancellor Hamid Ansari regarding the faults in the process.

The applicants Dr Manju, Dr Shagun, Dr Seema and Dr Parkash Pathania stated in the letter that 44 applicants shortlisted for the post have been sent a letter at a short notice and in some cases even through an e-mail.

They further claimed that as per the UGC criteria, the weightage given to the candidates on the basis of holding first position in graduation, post-graduation, having MPhil, PhD degrees or having published research papers in national and international journals, attending seminars at international level or attending workshops have not been considered.

“This is in gross violation of the UGC norms and there is no transparency in the screening process. The candidates who didn’t have teaching experience were included in the list, while those with postgraduate teaching experience were not considered at all,” said an applicant.

The candidates said since PU Syndicate had adopted the new UGC guidelines, how could the university set its own criteria of screening the candidates. The members said they would appeal before the Panjab University Senate members to check the screening criteria.



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