C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Youth Akali Dal leader shot dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
Triptdeep Singh Sekhon, president of Muktsar district Youth Akali Dal, was shot dead by unidentified persons in Sector 9 here this afternoon.

He was in his early forties.

The UT police, meanwhile, booked Balwinder, alias Minkle Bajaj, a former Youth Akali Dal leader, also from Muktsar, in the murder case, saying Sekhon had allegedly made an obscene MMS of the former’s sister, and citied it as the motive behind the killing.

UT SSP SS Srivastva said a case of murder had been registered against Bajaj on a complaint lodged by Sekhon’s family. The investigating officials have also gathered some evidences supporting the allegations.

DSP (Central) Jagbir Singh said Sekhon was booked in the case of making obscene MMS in February and remained elusive the police before surrendering himself later. The Muktsar police later dropped charges against Sekhon in the case.

Bajaj believed that Sekhon got his name cleared in the case using his political clout and decided to eliminate him as a matter of pride, the police said.

Sekhon was found writhing in pain in the middle of the road dividing Sector 9 market and residential area. His turban came off and his scooter was parked near him. Some passers-by, who initially mistook him to be a drunkard, spotted him lying on the road and informed the police at 4.15 pm about the incident.

Eyewitnesses told the police that Sekhon was murmuring something abusive. They initially mistook him to be a drunkard, but after realising that he was in pain called the police. A police control room vehicle rushed the victim to Sector 16 Government Multi-Specialty Hospital.

Sekhon had a gunshot wound in his groin and there was no bleeding from his wound. Judging the seriousness of his condition, he was referred to the PGI, where he was declared dead on arrival. He is survived by his mother, wife and a minor daughter. His father had died and he was married a year and a half ago.

Sekhon was staying with his sister, Kiranpreet Kaur, a schoolteacher, at her residence in Zirakpur for the past few days. He came to the city this afternoon to meet two women, Sukhbir Kaur and Paramjit Kaur, in Sector 7-C, whom he called sisters. He came on his sister’s Kinetic Honda scooter ( PB-58-F 2457) along with his niece Abhir. There he received a phone call and left around 3.30 pm, leaving Abhir with the women, saying he had a work to do.

After a while they received information that he was shot at. They rushed to the spot and Abhir identified the scooter. Kiranpreet was informed about the incident, who reached the PGI.



Car used by Pak spy ‘gifted’ by local realtor
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
The Maruti car that was recovered from the suspected Pakistani spy, Kashif Ali, who was arrested in the city last Sunday, belonged to a Sector 35-based property dealer, Hakam Singh Sama, whose wife was robbed at her home by three armed men.

Considered to be a “lucky charm” for him the car almost landed Sama into trouble when the cops arrived at his home to inquire about his possible links with Ali.

The police said its investigations conducted so far revealed Sama was not aware about Ali’s antecedents and had “given” his blue Maruti Suzuki car (registration no: CH01 H0010) to the latter “out of friendship”.

Sama told investigators he became acquainted with Pawan Kumar (the false name assumed by Ali) as he used to visit him for property deals. He said it was only now that he found out to his shock that Kumar was suspected to be a Pakistani spy after the police apprehended him.

The property dealer claimed he was not using the car and did not want to sell it too, as he considered it a “lucky” vehicle for him. He claimed he gave it to Kumar (Ali) for using it as the latter did not own any vehicle.

Three unidentified men robbed Sama’s wife, Nirmal Kaur, at gunpoint of Rs 5 lakh and over 10 tolas of gold ornaments at her home on August 13, last. The cops have not been able to trace the culprits till date.

Meanwhile, the police today produced the three men who had allegedly facilitated Ali in obtaining a fake matriculation certificate of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) and helped him in filling out a passport form before a local court. The court remanded them to two days’ police custody.

Seeking a police remand of three days for the three suspects - Kulwinder Singh, Gurpinder Singh and Jagdish Kumar, the public prosecutor said the investigating officials were yet to trace the seal used in making the counterfeit certificates. The investigators wanted to find out whether the suspects had links with PSEB officials or those in the regional passport office in Sector 34.

The public prosecutor also added the suspects were not cooperating with the police.

The police had sought details from the UT election department about how a voter’s ID card had been issued to Ali and on the basis of what documents.



Pregnant woman commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
A two-month old expectant mother committed suicide at her residence in Hallo Majra here yesterday.

The police said 21-year-old Raveena had an argument with her husband on Sunday night, which could be the reason for her extreme step. However, her parents said she was aggressive in behaviour and used to get irritated over trivial issues.

The police said Raveena was seen hanging from a girder in the courtyard of her house by her neighbour on Monday. She raised the alarm and woke up Raveena’s husband, Rafiq-Ul-Chaudhary. Raveena was battling for life at that moment and she was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, where she was declared brought dead.

The SHO of the Sector-31 police station said Chaudhary told the police that Raveena was not keeping well, he advised her to go back to their native place in Kolkata, as there was no other member in their family to take care of her in his absence. She got annoyed and didn’t speak to him. To his shock he found her hanging in the morning, he told the investigators.

The SHO said Raveena’s parents were informed about the incident, who reached the city today. Her father told the police that she had told them that she didn’t want to go to Kolkata and would commit suicide if forced. He, however, didn’t level any allegation on Chaudhary. According to the police, a magisterial inquiry is under way into the death and post-mortem was conducted today.



CBI gets UT nod to prosecute engg officials
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
The UT administration has sanctioned the prosecution of certain officials of the public health wing of its engineering department three months after the Central Bureau of Investigation had sought the move. The agency had sought the nod last April for those department officials who are still in service.

Sources said UT administrator Shivraj V Patil has already cleared the file and has given the go-ahead in the case pertaining to those officials who were embroiled in a controversy of allowing a project contractor to undertake work on installing water tanks over and above the tender amount last year.

Now with the sanction obtained, the CBI is likely to file a charge sheet in the case soon. With this the administration may put the officials involved to rest till the proceedings against them are on.

The matter pertains to June 2009 when the CBI had booked Ami Chand, an executive engineer of the UT public health department, along with some other officials on charges of misappropriating public funds as part of its ongoing two-day nationwide drive against corrupt government officials at that time.

On June 10, 2009 the investigative agency’s anti-corruption branch registered a case against Chand, subdivisional officer Harjit Singh and junior engineer Gurdarshan Singh, besides the contractor, Het Ram of Esquire Construction Co, Chandigarh.

Department officials later cleared Chand’s name after he claimed he was not holding the posting when the works were executed. Despite this, the CBI had in its investigation found him guilty. Hence the department has given prosecution sanction for him as well.

It was alleged these government officials allowed the contractor to carry out works over and above the tender amount. He was also allowed to supply materials that were not part of the tender at exorbitant rates.

CBI officials had then stated the installation of water tanks for a tender amount of about Rs 12 lakh ended up costing Rs 88 lakh, a sixfold jump.

The increase in the amount was beyond the financial powers of the officials involved. However, the very next day, on June 11, the department had given a virtual “clean chit” to the suspect officer.

RK Singla, then superintendent engineer, project public health circle, Chandigarh, had sent a letter to the UT chief engineer clarifying Chand had nothing to do with the case and had no role in the work, in which he was accused of indulging in corrupt practices.

The letter had further stated all payments were made by Gurdarshan, Harjit and executive engineer (now retired) Agastya Kumar.

The officials figuring in this case include - besides Chand, Agastya, Harjit and Gurdarshan - ex-chief engineer Krishanjit Singh; superintending engineer SK Jaitley; executive engineer AK Duggal; SDO Rajiv Kumar (now repatriated to Haryana); junior engineers Mohan Lal Verma, Vinod Pawar and Purshottam Kumar; and clerk Suresh Pal.



City to have mobile police stations
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
Policing in Chandigarh is set to go the Singapore way. Taking a cue from the picturesque tiny country, the UT Administration today gave an “in-principle” approval to the setting up of two mobile police stations for better policing in the city.

At a high-level meeting presided over by UT Administrator Shivraj Patil, it was decided to set up the state-of-the-art mobile stations with a view to bringing policing to the doorstep of the general public.

“The common man is still wary of going to the normal police stations. The mobile police stations will go a long way in reaching out to the common man and investigate cases in a speedy and hassle-free manner to instill confidence among the residents,” a senior official, who attended the meeting, said.

To be set up inside specially fabricated vehicles, the police stations will have sophisticated equipment and will be linked to the police control rooms and headquarters. It will have Internet access for the online registration of the complaints and other routine investigation procedures. ”The concept is patterned on Singapore, where its ultility has been proved time and again,” sources said.

With Chandigarh emerging as the major commercial destination of North India, the need to have better equipped police force had been felt over the years. Since the city has a large number of people coming from all over the country and abroad, including floating population, the mobile police stations were the need of the hour, said the sources.

Moreover, given the VVIP status of Chandigarh by virtue of it being the capital of Punjab and Haryana, besides the administrative headquarters of the Union Territory of Chandigarh, the mobile stations will go a long way in discharging policing functions for the VVIPs and other dignitaries. UT officials said the new decision was part of UT administration’s ambitious police modernisation plan for Chandigarh.

More traditional police stations

Through another decision, the meeting also approved the setting up of eight police stations in the city. Currently, the city has 11 police stations and there has been no addition in the number of police stations in the recent years. It has been a long-standing demand of residents, particularly those from the rehabilitation colonies, villages and upcoming sectors (from Sector 48 onwards) to set up police stations in their respective areas.


Passport Service Project
TCS jumps deadline, may lose contract
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
The much-hyped passport service project bagged by the Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) may not see light of the day, as the company has failed to meet the extended deadline.

Of the 77 passport service centres, which the TCS was supposed to open across the country, only one has been opened in Bangalore. Bangalore and Chandigarh were supposed to be the pilot centres.

Sources in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on condition of anonymity said there were chances of losing the contract.

The sources said the TCS software had failed to handle the pressure. Those, who had applied online, had to return to Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) to submit their application manually.

The MEA staff is blaming the TCS for this sorry state of affairs: “They (TCS) have let everyone down, including themselves.”

It was learnt that the project was facing several problems like slow servers.

After its trial run in Chandigarh, the system broke down frequently. Applicants, who had registered online, found it difficult to fill in information.

Meanwhile, an official of the TCS, said three to four passports were being issued everyday, adding that the TCS would start processing passports in another three to four days after the police verification.

Sources close to the project revealed that the TCS had already paid Rs 48 lakh as fine for the delay. After it bagged the contract for simplifying the passport processing across the country in October, 2008, it was supposed to start pilot centres within 12 weeks. But it repeatedly sought the extension of the deadline. Later, the deadline was extended to November, 2009. As of now, it has opened just one centre in Bangalore.

It is believed that Bangalore centre was opened since External Affairs Minister SM Krishna was taking personal interest in the project. Krishna belongs to Karnataka.

The TCS is learnt to have been maintaining that there were some infrastructural problems.

However, there are not many takers for the argument since developing a software for such a project is no big deal for a software giant like TCS.

While issuing passports, which is a sovereign function, will remain a prerogative of the Government of India through the External Affairs Ministry, the TCS is supposed to simplify and streamline the passport application process.

However, there is another angle to it as well. Employees of passport offices across the country are strongly opposing the move. They argue that it should remain the prerogative of the government and no third party should be involved.

The All-India Passport Employees Association (AIPEA) had earlier reached an agreement with the ministry before the contract was signed with TCS in 2008 for starting the project after long overdue promotions were given to a large number of employees.

But the commitment has not been fulfilled so far. Passport employees across the country recently held a demonstration for an hour to protest against the government’s move to involve a private firm in the management of passport services. Secretary of the association Sunil Dutt said they might go for more strikes in future.

However, Vitul Kumar, regional passport officer, Chandigarh, denied having heard of anything about the TCS losing the project.



Target Public Distribution System
Smart card scheme launched
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 13
The country’s first smart card based-Target Public Distribution System was launched through video conferencing by Sharad Pawar, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, at the Mini-Secretariat here today.

Addressing a select gathering in Delhi, Pawar said this project had set a new milestone in e-governance in the country. He said the project would help in weeding out corruption in the PDS besides helping in bringing about greater transparency, efficiency in citizen-centric services.

Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, were among those present at the launch of the bio-matrix card in New Delhi.

Minister of Food and Supplies, Haryana, Mahender Pratap Singh, Anita Yadav, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Food and Supplies Department and Deputy Commissioner Ashima Garg were among those present during the function at the Mini-Secretariat here.

Mahender Pratap Singh while thanking the Central Government for giving the project to Haryana, said that new bio-matrix based cards system would reduce the chances of diversion of the public distribution items. He urged the Union Government to provide special subsidy package for storage and maintenance of foodgrains as million tonnes of foodgrains got spoilt every year due to poor storage system in the state. He also suggested that the margin of depot holder should be increased so that they do not indulge in unfair practices.

Singh further informed that the Central Government was spending Rs 137 crore in Haryana while in Chandigarh Rs 5 crore was being spent on this project. He said the state would set an example by successfully implementing the project by covering about 52 -lakh ration card holders, amongst whom about 12 lakh were BPL in Ambala City, Gharaunda (Karnal), Sonepat and Sirsa and added that it would take about one-and-a-half year to cover the whole state he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Balraj Singh, Director Food and Supplies Department, said under the project all fair price shop owners (FPSO) would be provided with Smart Transaction Terminal (STT), which would serve as a single integrated device to perform sales transactions. He said the device would authenticate the card and fingerprint of the consumer.



Residents rue ‘inflated’ power bills
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 13
As if the increased power tariff from April last was not enough, power consumers in the city were in for a double shock when they received inflated electricity bills as the Punjab Powercom added the reading of the pervious billing cycle. The anomaly was noticed when a number of harried consumers rushed to the Phase I office of the department with receipts of their previous payments.

A number of such cases have come to light from the sectors where the electricity bills were issued for the two-month billing cycle ending in June. Officials in Powercom, however, deny having received any such complaints.

Accepting error, the officials pointed out that the private contractor had failed to adjust the payments made in the previous billing cycle. In many cases, consumers did not receive the bills.

Navjot Kaur, a resident of Phase X, complained that against a bill of around Rs 10,000, she received a bill of Rs 22,000. Since the last two months, the work of taking the metre reading and issuing the bills has been handed over to a private contractor. There are more than 10,000 power consumers in the billing cycle. The consumers aired their resentment for being forced to visit the power sub-station to correct an error on part of the Powercom. “What is the purpose of privatising the services if the consumer continues to be harassed. The department should compensate those who have already paid the inflated bills,” pointed out Manjeet Sethi. President of Consumers Protection Federation, Mohali, PS Virdi has demanded that consumer rights should be protected.

Defending that there are a few such cases, a Powercom official said the hue and cry was due to 28 per cent hike in the tariff from April and relative increase in other charges. “Due to less power cuts this summers and the period being the peak load season, the consumption has gone up,” he added.



‘Scrap Phase III of IT Park’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
The Mani Majra Farmers Welfare and Environment Protection Society today urged UT Administrator Shivraj Patil to scrap the Phase III of the IT Park. In a representation to Patil, the society said the special audit by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had now exposed the “serious irregularities” committed by the administration and has raised doubts over the intentions of the Chandigarh administration.

The MHA has clearly stated that land acquisition for Phase III of the IT Park is not justified.“The land acquisition for Phase III is unjustified as the physical progress of the first two phases is far from satisfactory and the land acquired in earlier phases has not been completely occupied and construction has not been undertaken on a majority of the land,” the society said.



Housing Society
Occupants demand action against builder

Mohali, July 13
Occupants of flats and duplex house in the Merrigold and Shanti Homez Housing Society in a complaint to the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Kharar, have alleged that the promoter of the housing complex had failed to provide basic amenities.

In the complaint they have stated that the sewerage line has developed cracks, interior walls in the flats have developed cracks, no proper road has been laid and the construction material is of substandard quality. Demanding action against the builder, the residents have pointed out that the builder had failed to fulfill any of the promises made at the time of allotment of houses. — TNS



Fire dept’s efficiency put to test
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
To check the alertness, efficiency and response of firefighters and condition of fire-fighting equipment, a mock fire drill was conducted today at the Nirman Sadan in Sector 33 by the Chandigarh fire and emergency department.

The fifth floor of the building was selected as a site for the drill. According to the fire official Sham Singh, the response of the staff was appreciable. As soon as the mock drill started, fire officials immediately alerted the staff working there to come out.

Fire officials reached the spot immediately and tried to control the fire with extinguishers. A team of doctors and ambulance reached the site and a medical care was provided to the mock-injured persons, who were later evacuated.

Meanwhile, two fire tenders, one hydraulic vehicle and three motorbikes of the department reached the spot to control fire. Sham Singh said the fire system of the building was in a working condition and even the parking of the building was in proper order.



Illicit affairs meet a gory end all too often
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
They may be pursued for either love or lust but one thing is for sure - extramarital affairs have changed the destinies of many like Dr Deepak Kaura, landing most of them in trouble.

In the three cases cited below either the unfaithful partner or the spouse was done to death while in one incident the paramour was killed.

In November, 2001 a court pronounced its orders in a case in which the wife was accused of infidelity, holding the latter guilty. Khushwant Kaur allegedly murdered her husband, Didar Singh, in connivance with her lover, Dhanwant Singh. Didar’s body was later found in Makhan Majra village.

Dhanwant was working as a ‘granthi’ in the army cantonment in Zirakpur where Didar and his wife used to go to to attend religious functions. Khushwant filed a complaint in the Sector 36 police station on October 12, 1994 stating Didar had gone to Zirakpur along with Dhanwant on October 11 on a scooter and had not returned. The suspect had confessed before the police he had murdered Didar and later disposed of his body. It was also alleged the other suspect, Khushwant, had made a confessional statement before her brother-in-law that she had an illicit relationship with Dhanwant. However, the high court later acquitted her while the Supreme Court acquitted Dhanwant as well.

Another case pertains to the murder of an engineer employed by Quark, Sukhvinder Singh, which was reportedly planned by his wife, Neki Nalwa, and her paramour, Himmat alias Brandy. It was supposedly a murder committed for the two time worn motives - love and money. Phone call details and bank statements helped the police in its investigations though the case is still pending in a Mohali court.

An extramarital affair of a parent can be tormenting for children as well. In one such case a youth repeatedly stabbed his mother’s lover to death in January 2007. Sunil, 19, was reportedly fed up with the “humiliation” he said he had to face due to his mother’s liaison. As a result he brutally killed Dara Singh, 45, a resident of Pratapgarh district in Uttar Pradesh, at his family’s rented accommodation in phase II, Ram Darbar.



Capt Chawla is Rotary Club’s chief
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 13
Rotarian Capt VK Chawla was installed the new president of the Rotary Club, Panchkula, by the outgoing president, Sandeep Poddar, during a ceremony held at the Rotary Club, Panchkula, here recently.

Chief guest Mahavir Kaushik, SDM (civil), lauded the efforts of Rotarians, who are working for upliftment of society.

Capt Chawla introduced the new team, which included Vinesh Bhatia, club secretary; HC Khunger, senior vice-president; Inderjit Puri, treasurer; and Pardeep Aggarwal, joint secretary.

Sanjay Jain, BK Sanghi, Sarvjit, Sahil Gupta and Dolly Guleria are club directors, he added.



Car impounded for using red beacon
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 13
The police today impounded a car for using red beacon illegally. The vehicle was being driven by Arun Kumar Gautam, a resident of Badal Colony, Zirakpur.

Additional SHO Ravinder Pal stated that the vehicle bearing registration number DL 3C AJ 7460 (Magnum) was stopped during a naka near Patiala chowk.

The official said driver of the car failed to produce documents.

Woman sustains burn injuries

Gulshan (25) sustained serious burn injuries after an oil lamp fell on her while she was sleeping last night.

According to the police, Gulshan was sleeping when the lamp fell on her.

Her husband rushed her to the GMCH-32, where her condition is said to be stable. She sustained 50 per cent burns.



CTU Q1 profit at Rs 3.31 cr
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) has earned a profit of over Rs 3.31 crore in the first quarter (April 2010 to June 2010).

Disclosing this here today, Director Transport ML Sharma said the CTU earned more even after operating less kilometres than the corresponding period last year. “We have closed all the long routes and sub-urban routes which are having less than 50 per cent occupancy and saved over Rs 22.26 lakh on account of consumption of high speed diesel (HSD) and around Rs 1.18 crore on account of other overhead charges. The purchase of original spare parts and better maintenance of buses is also one of the factors for better results,” added Sharma.

In order to strengthen the local bus service, the CTU operated fewer kilometres on long routes and covered more kilometres on local routes. Sharma said: “We have recruited 128 bus drivers and the process of recruitment of bus conductors will be completed within the next two months.”



Special drive to check traffic violations

Panchkula, July 13
In a special drive the traffic police set up a naka near the sales tax barrier at Sector 20, Panchkula, on the Zirakpur-Parwanoo highway to check traffic violations here today.

SHO of the Sector 20 police station, Dharam Vir, along with 40 policemen, conducted the drive for two hours. The police had issued over 100 challans to traffic violators who were either using black film on their vehicles or didn’t have valid documents. — TNS



Recruitment of contractual lecturers
Reservation for SC, OBC candidates announced
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
Acting upon the latest communication of the UT department of social welfare, the higher education department has announced to incorporate the SC and OBC reservations in the recruitment of contractual lecturers.

The interviews began today at Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11.

Though the recruitment process carried out till date had no mention of any such reservation, it was only today that the department decided to provide 15 per cent reservation to the SC candidates and 27 per cent to the OBC ones in 280 available seats.

“We had gone by our legal counsel and forgone these reservations. We got a letter from the department of social welfare stating that the reservation was mandatory, therefore we will incorporate it in the current recruitment,” claimed Ajoy Sharma, Director, Higher Education.

The announcement shall not disrupt the current interview schedule, which will go on as planned. According to the department officials, a corrigendum will be carried in all leading dailies soon, where those willing to avail of the reservation will be asked for their application.

“We will be issuing a fresh notice, where candidates falling under the reserved categories will be invited to apply. We will conduct their interviews and then announce a combined merit list for interviews being conducted now and those to be conducted later,” added Sharma.

On being questioned about the fate of candidates appearing in the ongoing interviews and willing to avail of the reservation benefits, Sharma clarified, “Candidates who are to appear in the ongoing interviews and wish to avail of the reservation benefits will have to carry the relevant certificates along with them. They will have to inform the panel that they wish to be listed in the list of reserved category benefits.”



Civil engg course looks up
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
The civil engineering course at PEC University of Technology has mounted the popularity chart in contrast to other conventional courses this year.

At the joint counselling for engineering and architecture courses being held at the PEC campus, figures related to starting and ending ranks hinted at an increased interest in this course.

Compared to the starting rank of 9,801 (rank of the first student, who secured seat in this course) in the Chandigarh pool in 2009 for PEC’s civil engineering, this year the starting rank was 7,727 in the first counselling. By the end of the third counselling in 2009, the last student admitted had ranked 13,892.

In case of metallurgy and aeronautical engineering courses, the trend is similar to the last year, said officials.

“The civil discipline has shown much improvement this year. There have been times when the civil used to be ranked below metallurgy, but in the last two years, the interest related to this discipline has increased among the students,” said Parminder, coordinator, joint engineering and architecture counselling.

PEC professors cite the boom in the civil sector across the globe and the country to be one of the reasons for this increased interest. “Coming up of flyovers and metros have proved to be a boon for the sector and the students are aware of the growing opportunities in this sector,” said a teacher.

In addition to this, the officials coordinating the joint counselling also hinted that this year the overall ranks of the students applying in the UT pool (50 per cent seats for them) have dipped a bit as compared to the last year. The students with better all-India rank in the All-Indian Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) are opting for NITs and other RECs, said the officials.

Civil engineering (PEC)

n In 2009: Starting rank- 9,801

n In 2010 (first counselling): Starting rank- 7,727


n First choice electronics this year, not computer science at PEC

n In 2010, first student who sought admission had all-India rank 272 in EC&E stream

n In 2009, first student who sought admission had all-India rank 1,375 in CSE stream



PEC Counselling
Day 4: 280 seats filled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
On the fourth day of PEC counselling, about 280 seats were filled at institutes like UIET, UICET, SSGPURC and CCET.

Counselling up to 70,000 rank in AIEEE was held today. Open category candidates with rank above 70,000 have been called for counselling at 3 pm on Wednesday. However, all seats under the open category were filled today. Counselling for ST, SC, single girl child, cancer and AIDS patients, differently-abled, terrorist and riot victim, Kashmiri migrant and Kargil martyrs will be held on July 14.

At UICET, the all-India starting rank for BE(food technology) was 21,188 and the ending rank was 32,351. Seats were alloted for students belonging to economically weaker sections at UIET’s EC & C course (electronics and communication) today. At CCET, under the UT quota, the starting rank for mechanical was 21,755 and the ending rank was 36,876.

For civil engineering course at the same college, starting rank was 22,353 and the ending one was 39,689.



Price Rise
Students feel the heat as pvt colleges increase hostel fee
Pankaj Verma and Aashish Malhotra

Chandigarh, July 13
Claiming to be hit by the ongoing inflation, city private colleges have hiked their hostel fee by almost 10 per cent. Justifying the move that has further widened the gap between the current hostel fee structure of private and government colleges, principals claim it to be the only way to provide better facilities.

“There can’t be any comparison between private and government hostels as there is a huge difference in the facilities being provided by them. Like all other sectors even hostels have been badly hit by inflation and if students have to be given best facilities, we have no option but to raise the fee. The college is earning nothing out of it as we run our hostels on no profit no loss basis,” said AC Vaid, principal, SD College, Sector 32.

Similarly, BK Vermani, dean academics, DAV College, Sector 10, said there was no government grant for hostels so colleges were bound to increase the fee.

“Prices of every thing are sky rocketing and if we have to maintain quality, we have to increase prices. Many people compare government and private college hostels, but fail to register the overall difference,” he said.

Interestingly, MCM DAV College, Sector 36, claims to have avoided hike in hostel charges, but it still tops the fee charges. Principal Puneet Bedi feels justifies: “We get our rooms designed by interior designers. Similarly, college is providing the best possible branded food products. The menu is varied and different on all days. We have designer reading lounges, TVs etc. All these facilities come at a price.”



Hydrotherapy equipment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
Asha School, a school for differently able children, would come up with hydrotherapy equipment towards special

treatment and also a sensor garden, where children can touch and feel different objects.

As many as 60 special children of the school interacted with Bulbul Ghosh, president, Family Welfare Organisation, at her residence in Chandi Mandir.



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