C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Finally, hope for daily-wage workers
Services of over 2,000 employees set to be regularised; crucial meeting today
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
There is light at the end of tunnel for over 2,000 daily-wage workers of the Chandigarh administration and the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) who had been fighting for the regularisation of their services for the past about two decades.

Taking cognisance of their plight, top brass of the Chandigarh administration and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will meet tomorrow in New Delhi to consider the regularisation of their services. To be presided over by the Union Home Secretary, the meeting will be attended by UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas.

Sources said the UT administration was “positively inclined” to the genuine demands of the employees, who are waiting for the regularisation of their services despite a judgement in their favour by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2006.

“In 2006, the high court had ruled in favour of the regularisation of the services of the employees on humanitarian grounds,” said Rakesh Kumar, convener of the Coordination Committee of the Government and MC Employees Associations.

However, despite the high court ruling in the employees’ favour, the Chandigarh administration filed an SLP in the Supreme Court against the high court order. Surprisingly, the administration also forwarded the employees’ case for “sympathic consideration” to the Union government and tomorrow’s meeting has to be seen in that context, sources said.

The employees, who are currently being paid the basic salary plus the dearness allowance, were recruited years back with some of them being employed for over 20 years now. It is being argued that though the regularisation would entail some financial implications on the administration, yet it would remove a major anomaly in the recruitment process.

Given their numerical strength, various employees’ organisations and political parties had been pleading their case, particularly in the aftermath of the high court judgement. “Their demand for the regularisation of their services is genuine and the Congress had always supported them,” said Pardeep Chabbra, former Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, who had been taking up their case at different forums.

Bansal Connection

Though the Union government babus had been putting roadblocks in the decision to regularise daily-wage workers, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources and Chandigarh MP Pawan Bansal had been pursuing their case in New Delhi vigorously. Even in the run-up to the May 13, 2009, Lok Sabha election, Bansal had promised to take up the matter with the MHA



HC stays promotion of PGI Medical Superintendent
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) allowing the promotion of PGI Medical Superintendent Dr AK Gupta as professor.

The Bench comprising Justice Ashutosh Mohanta and Justice Nawab Singh stayed the CAT order till the next date of hearing on August 23. The Bench accepted the petitioner’s plea that the impugned order should be stayed as a contempt was already pending against the respondent in the case.

The CAT, in its judgment on February 24, 2010, had ruled in favour of Dr AK Gupta and had promoted him as a professor retrospectively wef January 9, 1996. This judgement was subsequently challenged in the high court as it adversely affected over 40 professors of the PGI who were senior to Dr Gupta.

The petition states that when Dr Gupta joined the PGI as an additional professor, his experience was only seven years whereas the required experience for the post of professor was 14 years. It stated that when the post of the medical superintendent-cum-professor was advertised on May 18, 1995, Dr Gupta was having post-MHA experience of only six years, 11 month and 21 days and thus could have been best considered as an associate professor.

The petition also stated that after the CAT order, Dr Gupta would be a professor with the postgraduate experience of only six years 11 month and 21 days against the

prescribed experience of 14 years. All other faculty members in the rank of professors have to fulfil the required criteria, educational qualifications and experience.

The petition also contested Dr Gupta's plea that he applied for the post on persuasion of the then PGI Director and went through the selection process on grounds that the post was advertised for the professor and he did not have the required experience and thus his candidature should have been cancelled at the screening committee level.

The petition termed his promotion as arbitrary and illegal as he did not appear before the selection committee and neither fulfilled the 50 per cent limit of additional professors under the Assessment Promotion Scheme. Even on this date, he is not eligible to be considered for the post of professor, the petition stated.

The petition also referred to the audit report from April 1, 1997, to March 31, 1998, that raised the issue of "irregular appointment" and grant of pay scale to Dr Gupta.



PM’s ‘adviser’ had befooled Mohali police
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 14
The man who posed as the political adviser to the Prime Minister and was arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police had earlier befooled the Mohali police, which provided him a security cover. The Kharar MLA was also taken for a ride as he honoured the impostor during his visit to the town three days back.

A resident of Delhi, Manmohan Singh came to Mohali on July 11 escorted by a police Gypsy amid security arrangements to meet a cloth merchant, RK Goyal. He was accompanied by a number of people and they reached Phase III B2 in four cars.

Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu also reached the venue to welcome the impostor with a bouquet. A function was organised where Manmohan addressed the gathering and later spoke to mediapersons as well. He praised the Prime Minister and talked about his future plans.

The cloth merchant, RK Goyal, said that Narinder Sharma, who was a relative of his former tenant, had rung him up from Delhi saying that the political adviser to the Prime Minister was on a tour of Punjab and J&K. On his way, he would stop in Mohali and asked him to arrange a small function in this regard. Goyal said he then informed the local MLA about the visit of the political adviser.

The additional SHO of the Matour police station had also come to check about the arrangements being made for the visit of Manmohan. The Mohali police also provided a security cover to the impostor.

SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar told The Tribune today that the police had received a fax from the office of the ADGP (Security) to provide an armed escort to Manmohan Singh. Compliance of the orders of the senior official had to be done. However, a letter had now been written to the office of the ADGP to find out who had sent directions in this regard.

The MLA, however, said that since he was told that the political adviser to the Primer Minister was coming to Mohali, it was his duty to welcome him. He had presented him a bouquet as a mark of respect. As Manmohan was escorted by a police Gypsy, nobody suspected him to be an impostor.



Subways, overbridge to ease traffic congestion
Centre sanctions Rs 15 cr under JNNURM
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The proposed subways along Dakshin Marg, Madhya Marg and other roads and an overbridge aimed at tackling the increasing traffic problem on city roads is soon going to be a reality as the Central government has sanctioned Rs 15 crore for the same under the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

Sources said the UT administration had already appointed a Delhi-based engineering consultancy agency for the purpose at Rs 50 lakh. The agency is expected to submit a detailed project report (DPR) within three months and the work on the project is likely to begin by the year-end.

The proposed subways and an overbridge at the Mauli Jagran crossing before the Housing Board Chowk will be connected with the upcoming underpasses. As per the proposal, the first subway will come up near the Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) at Sector 43.

The proposal comes in the wake of the upcoming metro rail project in the city. The construction of the subways in the city is aimed at improving connectivity for both the existing as well as the upcoming transport system.

The idea was to have a better traffic management in the city with these underpasses on the busiest routes of the city.

Though the design plan of the underpasses that are to be constructed at the roundabouts opposite Canara Bank in Sector 34, the Government Printing Press in Sector 18 and the Transport Chowk, jointly prepared by engineers of the MC, the UT administration and the Chandigarh Housing Board, has been formally accepted.



Domestic help pledges body
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Awareness regarding pledging of bodies for the welfare of humanity seems to be percolating to the lower strata of society as the PGI has received a similar pledge from a 70-year-old domestic help recently.
Reeta Mairikrux
Reeta Mairikrux

The donor is Reeta Mairikrux, living with a Sector-36 based family. She was inspired by Jyoti Basu, who died on January 17, said Nishi Chaudhary, the employer.

Reeta was looking after his 90-year-old mother for the last 10 years, said Nishi, who settled here after retiring from her tea plantation job in West Bengal.

“I had heard of Basu on television, whose body was taken to hospital for research as per his desire,” said Reeta, holding the documents relating to her pledge.

“Then there was an appeal on the radio about body donation and I decided to pledge my body. I contacted the PGI authorities and completed the formalities. Now I am satisfied that my body will be of help to mankind,” she said.

She was so enthusiastic to pledge her body that she visited the PGI several times, spending the money from her pocket for going by rickshaw, said Nishi.

As she was not educated, it took her at least five times to visit the PGI to complete the formalities, he said.

The head of anatomy department, Dr Daisy Sahni, said there was a good response to their appeals for the purpose and till now, 735 persons had pledged their bodies at the PGI.

How to donate body at PGI

  • Helpline: 9914208201, 9914208202
  • Contact head of anatomy department
  • Will form to be filled in triplicate, with two witnesses



‘Overconfident’ Sekhon ignored death threats
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
It appears death was stalking Triptdeep Singh Sekhon, president of the Muktsar district Youth Akali Dal, for a few days before he was gunned down on Tuesday in Sector 9 here.

The police said it was overconfidence about his supposed political clout and his connections with senior politicians that led him to brushed aside threats to his life. It is now learnt his close associates had even advised him to be cautious, warning him he was being chased.

Sources close to the police said an analysis of call details of the cellphones of both the victim and the murder suspect, Balwinder Singh alias Minkle Bajaj, revealed the latter was in the city since July 11. This confirmed the police’s suspicion that Balwinder had been following Sekhon, they added.

Tower locations of Balwinder’s mobile phone also hinted he was moving around in the city and surrounding areas. His phone was found switched off after Sekhon was shot dead. The tower location of his mobile phone indicated he was in the city at about 8:30 pm. The sources said the investigators were scrutinising Sekhon’s cellphone calls to find out who had called him up when he left from Sector 7, minutes before he was killed. The police suspect Balwinder used the phone belonging to a common friend to ask Sekhon to come over to the place where he was shot.

A police officer said a minor scuffle took place before Sekhon was shot at a close range of less than three to four feet. The cops issued a lookout circular for Balwinder last night and also alerted the police in neighbouring states. DSP (central) Jagbir Singh said Sekhon’s sister, Kiran Harpreet Kaur Cheema, a resident of Silver City, Zirakpur, stated in her complaint that she rushed to the Government Multispecialty Hospital, Sector 16 after being informed her injured brother was admitted there. When police officials asked Sekhon what had happened to him in the presence his family friend, Paramjit Kaur, a Muktsar resident, he told them Balwinder and his men had shot him.

Meanwhile, a police team searched Balwinder’s home as well as his shop in Muktsar but did not find him there. The team has been stationed there and is taking assistance from the local police to trace the suspect. After learning the latter had a .32 bore revolver the team members met the arms dealer from where the weapon was purchased.

The police said both the suspect and the victim shared a “dubious past”. Balwinder was booked under section 336 (endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly firing a gun in the air.

A board of doctors, including a forensic expert, conducted the postmortem on Sekhon’s body in the evening. A bullet that appeared to be of .32 bore was found from the corpse. The victim’s family members did not take away the body saying it was too late to cremate it and instead requested hospital officials to keep it in the mortuary for the night.



Woman duped of jewellery

Chandigarh, July 14
Two unidentified youths duped a woman of her jewellery on the pretext of polishing her ornaments at her Sector 52 residence here today.

The complainant, Jaspal Kaur (35), alleged that two youths, claming to be distributors of special powder to clean metal, came to her residence. They gave her demonstration by cleaning some utensils and offered to clean her jewellery. Convinced, she gave them her gold chain and a ring. The swindlers put chain and ring in a pressure cooker and asked her to bring it’s lid. On coming back, she found the youth missing with her ornaments. — TNS


Post-rain, heavy rush at clinics, hospitals
Attar Singh
Tribune News Service

Ambala, July 14
More than 100 flood victims have been treated for skin problems in Cantonment, Mulana, and Saha where crowded hospitals are bracing for an influx of patients, sources said here yesterday.

The area was hit by floods where a large part of the district was submerged. Thousands of villagers were forced to abandon their inundated homes.

A senior doctor of the local hospital said here that there were 20 cases of diarrhoea were reported yesterday. Four people were infected with water-borne diseases. Most of the diarrhoea patients were children and infants.

Sameer Pal Srow, Deputy Commissioner, said all medical officers had been asked to be vigilant and keep a track on fever and diarrhoea cases in their respective areas. He said special teams had already been deployed for distribution of chlorine tablets in vulnerable areas.

A team of doctors was sent in these areas to assess the flood relief and rehabilitation programme. They also visited various relief camps in the flood-affected areas of the district, including Janetpur, Sadopur, Kakru, Naggal, Khera, Jansui and other parts of the Cantonment. The team also went to interior villages that were flooded in the district.

The teams constituted by the Deputy Commissioner visited the affected areas that are either too far or badly connected by roads. In many villages that they visited, basic amenities like a primary health centre or chlorine tablets for disinfecting drinking water were not available.

Senior Medical Officer (SMO) of the Civil Hospital said all cases reported from various dispensaries and hospitals were being investigated. Common complaints encountered were fever, cough, loose motions, skin diseases, he added.

Among the116 patients that were seen in Samlehri, Khudda and Kardhan villages, there were 34 cases of fever with cough and cold, 20 with loose motions, 12 with skin infections and 50 with miscellaneous complaints like weakness, generalised body ache, and headache, the sources added.



Free water connections to 8.73 lakh households
Tribune News Service

Ambala, July 14
The Haryana government has provided free water connections to 8.73 lakh households belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SCs) in the state at a cost of Rs 377 crore under a special scheme called “Indira Gandhi Drinking Water Scheme”, which was initially launched in November 2006.

According to information, out of the total water connections provided so far to the SCs’ households, 7.48 lakh are in rural areas and 1.25 lakh in urban areas. During the current financial year, 98,000 water connections (72,000 in rural areas and 26,000 in urban areas) will be provided to the SCs’ households at a cost of Rs 30 crore. Till date, 9,100 water connections have already been provided during the current financial year, he added.

Under the scheme, besides water connection, a water tank of 200 litres capacity fitted with a tap and other accessories are provided free of cost to the households of the SCs. The households of general category are also being motivated to take water connection in their household at their own expenses to avoid wasteful flow of drinking water in the villages.



Weighty drama at police station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
There was high drama at the Sector 31 police station when a transporter alleged that State Transport Authority (STA) officials wrongly impounded his tipper loaded with gravel for overloading and later filled it with gravel to legitimise their action.

The transporter, identified as Surjit Singh, further alleged that all this happened in connivance with personnel at the Sector 31 police station, where the tipper was parked.

Surjit Singh said his tipper (HR68-0722), loaded with gravel and being driven by Rajbir Singh, was stopped by STA officials near Hallo Majra on Sunday morning. The STA official stated that the vehicle was loaded to six tonnes and a penalty of Rs 8,000 was imposed. Being a Sunday, no official was available at the STA office. The next day, nobody bothered to listen to them as STA Secretary Vandna Disodia was on leave, Surjit alleged. He claimed that Disodia gave them a hearing on Tuesday.

She ordered the weighing of the tipper, but instead of sending a neutral person, the official who issued the challan was asked to weigh the vehicle, alleged Surjit.

The tipper was weighed at Phase I, Industrial Area, and was found weighing 40 kg over the permissible limits, claimed Surjit. He alleged that officials refused to hand over the receipt and details of weighing to him.

Following this, while the STA Secretary failed to take any action against the officials, they started threatening him of dire consequences and he approached the Home Secretary, who asked the STA to inquire into the matter.

After meeting the Home Secretary, Surjit reached the police station at Sector 31 along with some of his friends and relatives. He claimed that the tipper was found loaded with gravel upto the brim while this was not the case when it was parked on Sunday.

Half of it was empty even on Tuesday, when it was weighed, he claimed. STA officials had filled the tipper with gravel to save their skin, he alleged.

On the other hand, the head munshi of the police station, Mahender Pal, claimed that the key of the tipper was handed over to him on Monday morning by the munshi on night duty, but he did not find the tipper at the police station while taking custody of impounded vehicles.

A few hours later, the tipper was found parked at the police station, he said, but failed to answer as to how the tipper was removed from police station.

SHO Bakhshish Singh, when contacted over telephone, refused to talk on the issue. The STA Secretary, who also reached the police station, denied that she had ordered the weighing of the tipper on Tuesday. “The complainant met me on Tuesday for the release of the tipper. I told him to come with documents of the vehicle and the material. He did not come after that,” she said.



Youth Cong poll at community centres
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
In the garb of social meetings, the Youth Congress will conduct elections at two community centres of the municipal corporation (MC), which is against norms. As per rules of community centres, those cannot be booked by any political party for functions or elections.

The Youth Congress has booked a community centre at Sector 30 and another at Pocket 7, Mani Majra, for holding elections, scheduled for July 15 and 16.

Sources in the corporation stated that the community centres had been booked by the Youth Congress for social meetings. An official said they had no information about elections there.

Chandigarh Youth Congress returning officer Anirudh said four venues, Rajiv Bhawan at Sector 35, Punjab Congress Bhawan at Sector 15 and the two community centres, had been finalised for elections. He said they would elect ward body members. He said 450 nominations had been filed and they would elect about 250 members.

The MC official in charge of community centres, Varinder Salgotra, said that he had no information about Youth Congress elections at the community centres.

He said tomorrow, they would check the purpose for which party had booked the centres, and if found that any election was being conducted, the department would get the community centres vacated and security forfeited.

Last year, the Rastriya Janata Dal had misled the authorities by booking a community centre for holding a meeting and organised a political rally instead, following which it was issued a notice and security forfeited.



DCs unresponsive to consumer court cases
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Despite sending six or seven reminders to the deputy commissioner’s office for recovery of compensation granted by a consumer court the former has made no effort to resolve the matter.

The complainants, who were awarded compensation by the consumer court the opposite party failed to comply with its orders, filed executions under section 25 of the Consumer Protection Act. Subsequently, the consumer court issued certificates that were sent to the DC’s office.

Thus it appears section 25 of the Consumer Protection Act has virtually become “ineffective.” Commenting on it, the president of one of the district consumer disputes redressal forums, Jagroop Singh Mahal, said: “I don’t think there has been any cooperation by the DC’s office on recovery of the compensation awarded by consumer courts. We just keep on sending reminders to them.”

Till June 2010 there were 29 executions pending with the consumer courts wherein the latter has alerted the DC’s office for effecting recovery of compensation. In one of the executions filed on April 30, 2007 against Berkely a consumer court had sent a certificate on March 23, 2009 to the Panchkula DC. However, the complainant is still waiting to get the compensation.

In 2009 the consumer courts again kept sending reminders. Around seven executions were pending in 2009 in which two to four reminders were sent but no recovery was effected.

In 2008 a complainant, Soma Devi, had filed the execution on March 13, 2008 and court had sent at least reminders but there was no positive response. In two other cases of 2008 reminders were sent six times.

According to the procedure when the opposite party fails to deposit the compensation amount, the petitioner files an execution for compliance of court orders. After this the forum issues a certificate to the DC’s office wherein the consumer courts seeks recovery of compensation amount from them. If the compensation amount is recovered by the DC’s office the execution is dismissed.

However, in most of the executions filed the consumer courts just keep sending reminders time and again requesting the official concerned but usually no recovery is made.



Commendation certificates for cops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The UT Inspector-General of Police (IGP), PK Srivastva, today promoted head constable Des Raj to assistant sub-inspector for being instrumental in arresting over 500 proclaimed offenders during a function at the Multipurpose Hall, Police Lines, Sector 26. According to a press note, Des Raj was promoted on ad hoc basis in recognition of his performance.

The IGP awarded first-class commendation certificates to HC Sita Ram for donating blood 70 times and Kailash Chand and home guard volunteer Rishi Pal for their performance last month.

The IGP also awarded constable Naresh Kumar a first-class commendation certificate for achieving third position in a scientific investigation competition at the All-India Police Duty Meet.

The IGP gave appointment letters on compassionate grounds to wards of 11 policemen. The IGP also honoured two sub-inspectors, Amrik Singh and Han Chand, who retired on June 30.

The IGP launched a plantation drive at the Police Lines to keep the city green. Senior officers planted sapling during the drive.



Service roads to decongest highway
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, July 14
To solve the ever-increasing problem of traffic congestion on the busy Chandigarh-Ambala highway at Zirakpur, the PWD department of central works division has decided to construct service roads on either side of the stretch between the UT barrier and the starting point of the flyover.

Besides, the PWD officials have also planned to lay down proper drainage lines along the highway.

According to officials of the PWD, this project would be completed in six months at an estimated budget of Rs 4 crore. The department has already floated the tenders that would be open on July 23.

A flyover had been constructed on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway more than a year back to facilitate safer and faster road journey for the commuters.

XEN PWD (Central Work Division, Ropar) Karnail Singh stated that the project has been approved by the Central government. The paper work has been completed and the department concerned has been asked to submit their cost estimates. The department has already written to the forest department for removing the trees on either side of the highway.

“We have also deposited the money to the electricity department to shift the power lines and polls, wherever they come in the track of the service roads,” Karnail Singh added.

He said the drainage work would also begin along with other work. The drainage lines from the UT barrier to the flyover would be connected to Sukna choe drains.

Karnail Singh stated that the encroachments along the highways would be removed soon. After the completion of the project, the roads would be re-carpeted again and all illegal medians on the stretch would be closed down with iron grills. He said the problem of sales tax barrier where trucks were parked along the highway would be partially solved after the completion of the service roads.

“Tenders for the project have been floated and the work on service roads and drainage lines would be started in the first week of August,” he added.

Sales tax barrier problem

Commuters on the Chandigarh-Zirakpur highway face traffic jam and bottlenecks at the sales tax barrier, especially during the office hours in morning and evening. They demanded that the sales tax barrier should be shifted immediately to some other open place



Sexual Assault
Panipat resident demands CBI probe
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 14
Vishnu Phogat, a resident of Panipat, today alleged that the state police was shielding an HCS officer and demanded for a CBI inquiry into the case.

Vishnu, who submitted a complaint to the Director General of Police (DGP) at the police headquarters in Sector 6, today said the authorities concerned had handed over the inquiry to an inspector from state crime branch into the complaint in which she had levelled charges of sexual assault on the HCS official. She said earlier the inquiry was being conducted by a DSF rank official.

As the DGP was not available in his office, she submitted her complaint to his staff claiming that police was not investigating the matter thoroughly. She said the police had not framed the HCS official under Sections 376 and 511, which was registered against him by the Ganaur police in 2008.

She claimed that six DSPs had investigated the case, but nothing came out of these. She alleged that essential papers regarding the case were missing from the previous report submitted by the police. She demanded that the case should be handed over to the CBI now.

Phogat, in her complaint in September 2008, had alleged that the HCS officer in Sonepat sexually assaulted her at his official residence when she had gone to meet him for some domestic work.



Kisan Morcha chief expelled from BJP for six years
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 14
Taking a serious note of the complaint filed by the president of the district unit Kisan Morcha, Bharat Bhushan Sharma, following an altercation last month the state BJP leadership today expelled him from the party for six years.

Sharma was hurt in the clash and was hospitalised after the two different groups within the party had exchanged fists during the election of the president of the district unit of the party on June 2. He had filed a complaint with the police against some party workers.

After the incident, state leadership, including former industries minister Shashipal Mehta and former leaders like former Ambala MP Ratan Lal Kataria and former Jagadhari MLA Kanwarpal Gujjar, while regretting the incident, had indicated that the state leadership had taken a serious note of the incident.

Despite instructions from the state leadership, Sharma had not withdrawn his complaint. As many as seven party workers were involved in the brawl which included Rajesh Bindal, Inder Juneja, Jitender Sharma, Shiv Kumar, Arun Guleria and Randhir Singh, besides Sharma. The state BJP leadership had asked Rajiv Jain, member of the state party core group, to conduct an inquiry into the matter.



Rs 308 cr to be spent on improving jails
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 14
A sum of Rs 308 crore will be spent during the current financial year on improving the condition of jails in the state apart from providing basic facilities to inmates and upgrading the administrative set up.

This was stated by Hira Singh Gabria, minister for jails, tourism and cultural affairs, while talking to mediapersons here today. He said complaints had been received in connection with the PCO facility provided to jail inmates and if needed such a facility would be withdrawn by the government. He said three new jails would be constructed in the state.

Gabria said the government was thinking of ways to stop the culture of the state reaching new lows. Plans would be chalked out to enrich the cultural heritage and check vulgarity. Laws would be framed in this regard so that action could be taken against persons who violated it.



Newborn girl found abandoned
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 14
A newborn girl was found abandoned outside an orphanage in Phase VII here last night. According to information, the child was wrapped in a towel and was about two days old. A few clothes and a milk bottle were also found near the child who was left outside Guru Asra Trust.

President of the Trust Kulbir Kaur said around midnight someone rang the bell installed near the gate repeatedly. Some children in the house were awake at that time and came out to see who had rung the bell. She also came outside but could not see any person near the house. When she switched on the light she saw some movement and found the child lying near the gate. This was the fifth girl child abandoned near the orphanage, she added.

She said the child was taken for a medical examination and was found fit. Immunisation was given by the doctor.



Mohali Press Club
Kalia announces Rs 5-lakh aid
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 14
Land to the Mohali Press Club will be allotted soon and the Punjab Chief Minister will be taken into confidence in this regard.

This was stated by Manoranjan Kalia, minister for local government, industry and forests, at the installation ceremony of the club held at the Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology here today. The minister announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the club.

While congratulating the new team headed by Anil Bhardwaj, the minister said the Press was considered as the fourth estate in a democratic set up.

He said the Press had played a very important role all these years and it had become a matter of concern to check the low that journalism was indulging at present.

He lamented that in order to gain popularity certain newspapers failed to fulfil their social responsibility.



Recruitment of government school teachers
Candidates demand more seats for Mazbis, Balmiks
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 14
Some of the candidates who had come for counselling in connection with the recruitment of government school teachers held a protest here today against the reservation criteria being adopted by the authorities concerned.

The protestors raised slogans against the government and demanded that 12.5 per cent of the seats should be made available only for Mazbis and Balmikis out of the 25 per cent reserved for the Scheduled Castes. The protest was held outside the gate of the Government Senior Secondary School in Phase III-B1 where counselling for the recruitment of government school teachers is being conducted.

Tulsi Ram Khosla, media in charge of the All-India Balmik Mazbi Sikh Christian Educational Movement, said the education department had advertised posts of teachers for which counselling was being done by the authorities concerned. He said out of the 25 per cent seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes 12.5 per cent should be given to Mazbi Sikhs and Balmiks and remaining half should be given to Ravidass Sikhs and others.

He said the Ravidassia community had filed a case and the matter was pending in the Supreme Court. He said students belonging to Mazbi and Balmik communities were not very good in studies and as such could not compete because of which they suffered.



Mudslinging marks PU students protests
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The Students Organisation of India (SOI) today accused the rival Indian National Students Union (INSO) of circulating forged letters that claimed the Panjab University administration had hiked tuition fees in all departments by 5 per cent. Both groups were protesting on various issues on the campus today.

With this incident, mudslinging by PU student parties appears to have got under way two months before election time. While SOI protested against “nonconsideration of backward class certificate” of a student in the masters in engineering course at the University Institute of Engineering & Technology, the INSO submitted a memorandum on the delay in exam results of first semester students (2008 batch). Of the Dhanwantri Ayurvedic College & Hospital.

“Demonstrations against PU officials are the only way to get them to meet our demands,” said Paras Suri of INSO. Meanwhile, on the issue of the letter reportedly issued by INSO on the 5 per cent tuition fee hike, SOI today released a statement saying “student groups must stop fooling students as many of the parties have now run out of issues”.

When contacted the PU dean of students welfare said, “There is no substance in the claim on a tuition fee hike by the university.”

Protests by the student leaders have now become a common phenomenon on the campus to get the limelight. PU officials have yet to write to the police to settle the final dates of student elections. In the past few days the officials have reportedly been considering the idea of early elections this year. However, as security is a major concern they said the date would be finalised only after meeting police officials.

‘Refusal’ to collect fees

SOPU protested against some clerks in various departments who had refused to collect tuition fee. “While there was a heavy rush at the SBI fee counter there was no one to collect the fees in the departments,” said Harshvardhan Singh, party’s presidential candidate. PU’s acting dean of university instruction Naval Kishore later issued a circular to all departments directing them to collect the fee.

Memo to VC

ABVP activists submitted a memorandum of their demands to the PU vice chancellor. Organising secretary Dinesh Chauhan said it raised issues like late declaration of exam results, certain construction work pending in hostels, charging Rs 100 extra for college students to get mark sheets, poor Internet facilities for students and PU hostel mess services not starting on time.



150 masters, mistresses to be promoted soon
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
After having waited for 17 long years, over 150 masters/mistresses of the UT government schools would soon be promoted to the post of lecturers.

Claiming to have already started with the prerequisites of setting up a Departmental Promotional Committee (DPC), DPI (S) Sunil Bhatia has asked the authorities for upgradation of lists.

“The DPC had not been set up for the last 17 years because some rules awaited notification. Now with that being done, we will be conducting promotions within the next two months. We have already sent letters to the school principals’ concerned to upgrade the details of eligible candidates,” said Bhatia.

The promotions will primarily be awarded to the candidates, who have upgraded their qualifications after joining their current postings and now stand eligible for lecturership. The teachers’ concerned had been raising the demand for quite sometime now and even submitted numerous representations in this regard.

“All this while, the department continued to cite some notifications problems as the key reason but never elaborated on it. The schools are suffering from lecturer crunch and all eligible candidates must be promoted immediately. Had the department done it earlier, then those who retired could have also benefited from the move,” asserted a union leader.

“Many people who joined at the level of masters and mistresses upgraded their educational qualifications by doing postgraduate degrees, etc. Though we have list of the candidates, we will still update it on the basis of feedback received from the school principals. If the eligible candidates will be more, we will work out a second schedule soon after completing the first one,” added Bhatia.



PEC Counselling
Toppers prefer electronics to computer science
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The perennial favourite computer science stream in local engineering colleges has been replaced by electronics stream as the first preference of toppers this year.

Statistics related to starting rank in various streams indicate that top rank holders in the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) chose electronics as their first choice in PEC University of Technology. The Day 5 of the joint admission counselling for engineering and architecture colleges is currently in progress at PEC campus.

“I had the option of joining another regional engineering college, but I preferred to chose PEC due to its good reputation. I also had the chance to opt for computer science, instead I chose electronics,” said Pulkit Khana, a student who had come for the counselling at PEC campus.

Although the statistics available at PEC website for the year 2009 show the ranks after the third counselling, however, officials at the joint counselling revealed that as compared to the starting rank of computer science, that of electronics and communication was better this year.

For the CSE, the starting rank this year was 6,613 at the first counselling, while at the third counselling last year, the starting rank was 13,118. Meanwhile, at the fifth day of the counselling today, all candidates applying under the reserved categories, including SC and ST’s were called. The counselling will continue till midnight and the officials informed that the seat allocation process went smoothly.

“The counselling for the defence quota and that for the Chandigarh College of Architecture would take place tomorrow,” said Puneet Arora, PEC public relation officer.



Filling of research chairs
PU authorities speed up work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Having faced criticism in the past for not having filled over a dozen research chairs in various departments at Panjab University, the authorities are now speeding up the process.

Close to 100 request letters have been dispatched by the university to who’s who in different disciplines to seek their approval.

Goverdhan Mehta, eminent scientist and chairman, NAAC, has already sent his acceptance letter for the Rajiv Gandhi chair, informed officials.

The university is intending to rope these educationists and pioneers in different fields to deliver guest lectures and supervise the research work at this position.

“We are already in the process of filling up the research chairs and professorships. More than 100 letters have been dispatched to the eminent scientists in this regard. Some of the chairs have also been filled up by appointing local teachers who have been doing work in the field,” said RC Sobti, PU Vice-Chancellor.

“Amartya Sen has also been sent a request letter to accept Dr Manmohan Singh chair and the university is waiting for his approval. We have speeded up the process and the leftover chairs shall also be filled up shortly,” he added.



PU Notes
Interviews on July 16

CHANDIGARH: Chairperson of the department of physical education today notified that the counselling and interview for admission to MPEd (first semester) will be held on July 16 at 10 am on the department premises at Panjab University campus. The selected candidates can deposit their fee up to July 20 without any late fee, said department officials.

Counselling from July 17

The first counselling for the admissions to various courses like BPharma, BSc (Hons School), BA LLB (Hons), a five-year integrated course, BSc (hospitality and hotel administration), BSc (tourism and management) and MCA will be held in the University Law Auditorium of Panjab University from July 17-28. Over 3,400 forms were received for over 800 seats in various courses. The merit list for the admission to B Pharma and BSc (Hons School) can be accessed from the website <http://admissions.puchd.ac.in/>. The merit list for other courses will be uploaded shortly. Chairman of the joint admission committee Rupinder Tewari said the candidates were requested to bring the original documents for verification at the time of counselling. The admission process will start from 9.30 am everyday. — TNS



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