C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Awards list of 2,000 students goes missing
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 2
The career of around 2,000 students, who appeared in the matric and senior secondary school board exams recently, hangs in balance as the PSEB is unable to trace their awards lists.

The result of these students has being shown as result late (RL). The worst hit are students who appeared for the senior secondary level exams as they might lose a chance to get admission in a professional course for want of the board result.

However, board officials claim that RL cases are not a new thing.

Sources in the PSEB said the maximum cases belonged to the senior secondary level results and the untraced award lists were of different subjects. Initially, the board had claimed that there were only a few cases of RL.

“It has been over two months since the results were declared, but the board has not been able to trace the awards list due to the bar code procedure adopted this year,” a senior PSEB official admitted.

The PSEB’s coordinator (examination), May, Charanjit Singh Melu (retd), said they were trying to trace the awards list. “The result of the candidates would be declared soon,” he added.

The sources said a few days ago, the coordinator (examination), on behalf of the board’s chairman, had called a meeting of officials of various branches to discuss a way to clear the RL cases. It was proposed that since the awards of the candidates were not available, the candidates may be given marks proportionate to their performance in the remaining subjects, a rule rarely followed by the board authorities. Since a consensus was not reached, the matter is reportedly pending before the higher authorities of the board.

The last time this happened was during the middle standard exams, where answer books of over 100 students had gone missing.

Due to this, the result gazette has also not been published yet. In the past, the gazettes were made available within a few days of the result being declared.



Consistent Drop
Blow to AIE centres
3,000 students fail to make it to regular schools
 Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
Despite the efforts of the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), nearly 3,000 students of a total of about 9,000 enrolled at Alternative Innovative Education (AIE) centres are back to square one.

The students, a majority of who were either school dropouts or had never been to one, had enrolled at the centres to prepare for mainstream education. Ironically, only 6,157 of a total of 9,344 have enrolled themselves at government schools. The remaining have been deemed unfit to join school and will have to repeat the bridge course at the centres once again.

The percentage of these repeaters is 34 per cent, which is the same as last year, when 2,180 students (out of 6,080) could not make it to regular schools. This raises concern over the success of the initiatives of the department.

“The AIE centres are meant to provide bridge courses so that a child is able to join mainstream education. Students who are repeaters are generally children of migrant labourers. They are absent for months when they visit their native states. We need to sensitise their parents about the importance of the course. We are working on an awareness programme,” a senior official of Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan stated.

Around 4,005 were admitted to lower primary classes (up to class V) while 2,152 made it to upper primary (classes V to VIII). What is worrisome is that the maximum number of those left out fell under the age group valid for upper primary.

“These students come for free stuff and midday meals. Once out of the centre, they either take up jobs or idle their time away. We have been able to motivate many, but there is a long way to go. We will be launching a special programme for the children in this segment,” the official added.



Transfer of DSPs to UTs mooted
Proposal to be sent to MHA for approval 
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
The Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) of the local police are set to be transferred to other union territories (UTs) with the Chandigarh Administration mooting a proposal to include them in DANICS (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Services) cadre.

According to sources, the proposal is being processed by the office of UT Administrator Shivraj Patil and will soon be sent to the ministry of home affairs for approval.

The move is seen as an attempt to break the stronghold of the DSPs as over the years they develop vested interests. A senior official said the proposal was a result of several complaints against certain DSPs who had virtually created a fiefdom. Besides, the continuation of officials at the DSP level blocked promotional avenues of Sub-Inspector and Inspector level officials.

On the flip side, with transfers to other UTs, officials could hope for promotion to the UT cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) from the DANICS cadre. At present, the DSP is the highest post in the Chandigarh Police and no official has ever been promoted to the IPS.

In DANICS, 33 per cent of DSPs are promoted as IPS to the UT cadre. Officials stated that the move to send Inspectors on promotion as DSPs to the DANICS cadre might benefit the younger lot who were SIs and in their early 30s. They might become IPS officers in their early 40s and 50s.

A senior official said it would also instill transparency in the working of the police at the middle level.

What it Means

 Move to merge DSPs cadre with DANICS

 Will instill transparency in police functioning

 Open promotional avenues for DSPs to the IPS

 Put an end to the fiefdom of local DSPs



Neha Murder Case
Senior cops visit crime scene
Rain may have washed away vital clues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
In the absence of clues in the Neha murder case, the police is trying to reconstruct the sequence of events that led to the murder of 22-year-old Neha Ahlawat.

The police has found that the Sim card being used by Neha belonged to Vikramjit, a resident of Sector 51. The police was examining his role. He was her friend and had given her the Sim card some years ago. Neha’s parents were not aware of the mobile phone and her friend Jyotsna had initially claimed that she had given Neha the Sim card.

The IGP, PK Srivastva, and the SSP, SS Srivastva, today visited the crime spot. “We went there to re-examine the spot for fresh evidence and have reconstructed the events leading to the murder. We are examining all angles,” the SSP said.

The crime scene has left the police baffled as no eyewitness has come forward, considering the area is in close proximity to a taxi stand and the colony where Neha lived. The police believes that someone might have witnessed the crime and it is trying to talk to residents to get some clues about the killers.

Sources said a special team of investigating officials was able to reconstruct the events leading to the murder. The rain may have washed away some vital evidences, further complicating the job of investigators.

Neha’s body bore 23 injury marks, including some on her private parts. The police said doctors had sent vaginal swabs for chemical examination, which would be crucial.

The police said the unidentified man who answered some calls soon after her phone was disconnected, claiming that he had bought the phone and was in Badheri, was probably trying to mislead the police.

The DSP (South), Vijay Kumar, did not rule out the possibility of the involvement of suspects on police list. “We will try to fix the links and cover up the distortion of the crime scene due to rain. It appeared that the victim was killed on the spot where the body was found,” the DSP added.



Caught in Red Tape
Two yrs gone, no water at Air Force complex
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
The Air Force is powerless in the face of red tape at the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation as houses meant for its personnel in Sector 31-B have not got water connection even after two years.

The Air Force station authorities here have been trying to get water connections for 98 dwelling units located in Sector 31. To date, except for giving assurances, nothing has been done by the MC.

In the absence of water, only 14 families are staying there. As a result, the Air Force authorities are shelling out lakhs of rupees as house rent allowance to their staff.

The superintending engineer, GC Goyal, said they had installed a water booster, but due to a technical problem, the flats were not getting proper water supply. He said the department was rectifying the fault and within two weeks, the supply of water should be normal.

The Air Force station project manager, Lt-Col C Thennarasu, however, complained that they had approached both the administration and the MC authorities several times, but no action had been taken. He said they were left with no option but to approach their headquarters to resolve the matter at their own level. The private contractor who had constructed these dwelling units said they had deployed six security guards for the society as the keys of most units were yet to be handed over to the families to whom the units had been allotted. In 2008, the Chandigarh administration had constructed 98 dwelling units for the base repair depot staff of the Air Force. The administration issued the occupation certificate and completion to the Air Force authorities, but there has been no supply of water.

Prompt Water Bills

IIronically, the MC is punctual in sending the water bills of the flats to the Air Force station. The Air Force authorities owe about Rs 1.69 lakh to the MC as water charges till May 2010 without getting a single drop of water. They are receiving water bill at the rate of Rs 1,727 for each quarter every month



Mohali to get 40 mgd more
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, August 2
Punjab Government has asked the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to lay the water supply line under the phases V and VI of the Kajauli water works supply project.

The lines would carry 40 million gallons of water a day (mgd) exclusively for Mohali at a cost of Rs 175 crore. The new lines would help the water supply and sanitation department in meeting the future requirement for water in the greater Mohali area.

The phases V and VI of the Kajauli water supply project were cleared at a recent meeting held under the chairmanship of Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab.

The process to acquire land for water treatment plant and pumping station at Mohali was also to be initiated. The project is to be executed by GMADA from extra development charges and its own resources. The department of housing and urban development has been made the nodal agency for the project.

A deadlock between GMADA and the UT administration over the laying of two pipelines from Kajauli waterworks was one of the major reasons for the delay of the project.

SC Agrawal, chief secretary to the Government of Punjab, in his demi-official letter dated July 23 to Pradeep Mehra, advisor to the administrator, Chandigarh, has stated that a combined scheme was prepared by the Chandigarh administration and the Government of Punjab to bring 120 mgd of water from Bhakra main line at Kajauli to Chandigarh and Mohali through six rising mains of 20 mgd capacity each.

Keeping in view the share of water in the scheme, two third of the cost of land acquisition and intake structure was paid by the Chandigarh administration and one third by the Government of Punjab. “It is a matter of record that the Chandigarh administration has already laid four pipelines of their share and has already utilised two-third portion of the land,” he added.

Agrawal further pointed out in the letter that at present Mohali, which was fast expanding, was getting only 10 mgd of water from the four pipelines while Chandigarh was receiving 67 mgd of water. As such there was a dire necessity to augment the water supply system of Mohali by bringing in 40 mgd of canal water under Phases V and VI of the Kajauli project.

The Chandigarh Administration was asked to go ahead with Phases VII and VIII of the Kajauli project and Punjab Government could initiate the process of land acquisition for additional lines after getting a nod from the Union Territory.

At the meeting of the Chief Minister held on June 12, which was attended among others by SC Aggarwal, Chief Secretary to the Government of Punjab, DS Guru, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Arun Goel, Principal Secretary, department of irrigation, SS Sandhu, Secretary, department of housing and urban development, PS Aujla, Secretary , department of water supply and sanitation, and VP Singh, Chief Administrator, GMADA, it was also decided to explore an alternative source of canal or surface water since the 40 mgd of water would be sufficient only for five years in the fast growing GMADA area. 



Veggie prices hit the roof
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
The prices of vegetables have soared in the last two days due to rain over a couple of days. A survey at various places in the city revealed that the prices of a majority of vegetables have gone up by 25 per cent.

Reena Bhardwaj, a homemaker, said last week she had bought onion for Rs 9 a kg and now it was being sold for Rs 12. Though the prices of mushroom and gourd are stable, the prices of tomato and French beans have gone up by Rs 5 to Rs 10.

The rate of tomato has increased from Rs 25 to Rs 30 a kg. A wholesale vegetable dealer, Dhian Chand Sharma, said: “Due to the rains, crops of vegetables like tomato, cabbage and cauliflower were destroyed. Hence, there is shortage of supply.”

The prices of potato are stable, but those of green chillies have almost doubled from Rs 10 per kg to Rs 20. 



GMSH staffers to appear at ADC office

Chandigarh, August 2
Inquiring into the death of a newborn at the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, UT Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) PS Shergill and the Director-Principal of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Dr Raj Bahadur, asked staff members in question to appear before them at the ADC’s office.

The questioning of Jagjit Kaur was completed today while Dharma, an OPD attendant, who also registered her statement, was asked to appear before the committee again tomorrow. On July 31, both officials visited the GMSH and took a round of the spot.

On July 21, Bulbul from Bihar gave birth at an OPD counter, following which the baby died. According to the preliminary post-mortem report, there was a blood clot in the baby’s skull. UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas had rejected an internal inquiry conducted by the GMSH and asked for a fresh probe. — TNS



Injecting drug users, beware of HIV
Prevalence way above average
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
Unlike some states, AIDS has not yet made inroads in Chandigarh and Punjab, but analysis of the data available reveals that the prevalence of HIV is high among injecting drug users in Chandigarh and Punjab, which at 26.1 per cent, is way above the nationwide average of 9.19 per cent.

This was disclosed by Dr Yujwal, national technical adviser, NACO. Recently, a three-day state-level workshop on data triangulation for epidemiological profiling of HIV/AIDS patients was organised at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32.

It was organised by the GMCH in collaboration with the SACS of Punjab and Chandigarh, with NACO and UNAIDS back-up, to find gaps and fix future needs for combating the HIV/AIDS menace in the region and for doing epidemiological profiling of HIV/AIDS cases in Chandigarh, 20 districts of Punjab and neighbouring areas.

The report, which would be ready by August-end, would be submitted to NACO, UNAIDS and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for hammering out a national strategy to combat HIV/AIDS.

Up to March 2010, a total of 5,594 persons had been screened, of which 245 were found to be HIV-positive, with was four per cent. A total of 5,131 pregnant women were screened, of which 30 were found to be HIV-positive, which worked out to 0.1 per cent.



Health food for diabetics
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
Launching the health food Diabex, former Union minister Harmohan Dhawan claimed today that it would help patients suffering from diabetes lead a normal life.

Addressing a press conference at the Chandigarh Press Club here, Dhawan said with the use of Diabex, which he had prepared himself, he had got rid of diabetes.

It contained naturally occurring compounds, which not only protected the consumer, but also cured many chronic diseases, claimed Dhawan.


CITCO courts controversy again
Creation of electronic data processing manager’s post
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
The Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) seems to be courting controversy yet again.

This time, it is the discrepancies in the minutes of the last meeting of the board of directors that has landed the CITCO authorities in a soup.

Sources claim that the agenda of the last board meeting held on June 22 had an item pertaining to the creation of a post equivalent to the rank of manager for handling the recently introduced e-tendering system by the UT administration.

For the purpose, the agenda mentioned that one officer was required to be appointed as nodal officer for e-tendering.

The sub-committee recommended that a post of manager, electronic data processing (EDP), be created.

Interestingly, what appeared in the minutes of the meeting of the BoD (Board of Directors) had an entirely twisted adaptation of this agenda item.

Instead of complying with orders on the creation of the post, the minutes recorded after the meeting stated that the board had accorded its approval to the creation of one post of manager (EDP), to be filled by promotion.

In fact, the employees of the corporation are already dubbing this discrepancy as an “intentional error” only to benefit a specific employee of the corporation.

Sources claim that this has been done keeping in mind the fact that only a specific employee who is the seniormost in the computer section stands benefited with this move.

Interestingly, a previous sub-committee constituted by the BoD had already rejected the case of that particular employee after no merit was found in her case for promotion.

Members of the CITCO Workers Union had already sent letters to top UT functionaries and all directors of the board to apprise them of the manipulation.

The alleged manipulation also questions the need of creating a new post to handle e-tendering when there already is a senior manager with CITCO who has been given additional charge to oversee the computerisation process.

To top it all, the process of e-tendering, which is handled by the National Informatics Centre in Chennai, involves simple co-ordination and no technical knowhow.

A senior official, on the condition of anonymity, pointed out the fact that apparently, all members of the BoD were not in the knowhow of the manipulation, which had appeared in a recording of the minutes of the meeting.

This raised serious doubts over the way agenda items were presented and were later turned around to benefit favourites, he added.



Patil takes up 58 complaints at public hearing session
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
Giving sympathetic hearing to all 58 complaints appeared in the public hearing session today, UT Administrator Shivraj V. Patil disposed of 35 complaints on the spot and remaining were marked to the departments concerned to examine and report.

Listening to the problem of Kamla Kaushik, widow of a Flying Officer, who was being harassed by the tenant, Patil asked SS Srivastava, SSP, to look into the matter personally.

Responding to the request of IP Atray regarding language policy of Chandigarh administration, Mr Patil asked the officers to display boards on government buildings in English, Punjabi and Hindi languages.

Devotees of Maa Jayanti Devi Mandir Committee requested for redeployment of Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) bus 70 on the Mata Jayanti Devi route. On this, Mr Patil marked the complaint to Director Transport for further necessary action.

A delegation of FOSWAC met the administrator and brought to his notice the need to set up a Consumer Grievances Redressal Forum under Section 42(5) of the Electricity Act 2003 for redressal of complaints concerning to electricity, formulation of parents and Senior Citizens Rules-2009 under Central Act 2007, and make Police Complaint Authority for looking into the complaints of misconduct against the police personnel.

Setting up of a Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System in the city for fast redressal of every kind of citizens’ grievances, strict remedial measures to stop the increasing tendency of encroachment on government land at the initial stages and affordable housing for the general public were the other issues taken up at the meeting.

Meanwhile, the Joint Forum comprising the Industries Association of Chandigarh and the Chamber of Chandigarh Industries demanded that industrial plots be converted from leasehold to freehold.



Councillor seeks cancellation of contract
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 2
A municipal councillor has appealed to the Mohali civic body to cancel the contract or direct the contractor concerned to replace security gates as per specifications, and also arrange security guards, failing which the contractor would be compelled to go to court in the interest of the public.

In a letter written to the council president today, Kuljit Singh Bedi stated that it was decided at a meeting held on December 29 last year that if the contractor failed to install gates as per specifications and also deploy security gates to man these at night, his contract would be cancelled.

Seven months have passed but nothing has been done in this regard even when the civic body has the power to cancel the contract after issuing a three-month notice to the contractor. The present design of gates is marring the beauty of town.

He said the contractor had managed to get deals for advertisement work, but was not bothered to replace the security gates. He urged the council to do the needful in this regard within 30 days, failing which he would be compelled to go to court.



Absence of bus stand harasses commuters
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, August 2
Despite being one of the gateways of Punjab to City Beautiful, a bus stand is still missing in Zirakpur. In the absence of a bus stand and shelter, passengers are forced to get buses from the roadside on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway, putting them to inconvenience during scorching summer and rain.

Residents have demanded that there should be a rain shelter at the particular point to avoid any inconvenience. Since there is no designated place for people to wait for buses, those wanting to leave the township do not know where to look for buses. They claim that they had asked the municipal council many times to set up bus shelters, but in vain.

In December last year, the municipal council had planned to construct a modern AC bus stand at triangle on the Zirakpur-Panchkula intersection, near Paras Down Town square. An MC official reveals that the land where the modern bus stand is proposed is owned by the PWD and the PIDB would construct the bus stand.

“It seems that the ultra modern bus stand for Zirakpur will remain a pipe dream as the MC and other officials concerned are not bothered about the general public,” says Naina Sehgal, a resident of Zirakpur.

“Let alone a deluxe bus they have failed to provide even the basic amenities to the common man,” he sums.

Sumit Anand, a resident of Panchkula says, “During rain we have to wait for buses in open and face difficultly to board the bus.” He adds that the authority concerned should provide basic facilities like rain shelter and public toilets.

Talking to The Tribune, municipal council president NK Sharma states that the bus stand will be constructed by the PIDB near Zirakpur-Kalka intersection. “I will take up the issue with Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and senior officials concerned to get the PIDB to construct the bus stand on priority basis,” he adds.



Suicide bid by GMCH laboratory technician
Struggles for life at AIIMS in New Delhi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
The laboratory technician with the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, who attempted suicide, was now struggling for life at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.

Amrita had been a laboratory technician on a contract basis for the last 18 months at the haematology section of the pathology department.

The injured Amrita left the hospital on Saturday morning without informing the authorities. Later she was found in a critical condition at the AIIMS.

Her father Onkar, a resident of Sector 23, said she gave him a phone call in the morning, telling him that she was being harassed by a doctor and other seniors and so, she did not wish to continue her job.

After talking to him, she switched off her phone and late at night, attempted to end her life by jumping in front of a train at the Madhopur railway station in Rajasthan, resulting in severe injuries.

Amrita’s mother, when contacted, said the family was in New Delhi and her condition was stated to be critical.

Amrita was not in a condition to talk and the family would decide on legal action against the accused only after she gained consciousness, she added.

Dr Harsh Mohan, head of the pathology department at the GMCH, said Amrita’s father talked to him about the incident and he would inquire into the

This was not the first time an employee took the extreme step due to harassment at the hands of seniors.

Deadly Past

On June 15, 2000, body of Bhinder Singh, store clerk, recovered a day after he allegedly committed suicide, from Prayaas Building at Sector 38, where the GMCH was earlier located

On August 5, 2007, Manjot of Amritsar, a student, committed suicide at home, with his family alleging that he took the extreme step after being subjected to ragging at the college

On January 28, 2008, a doctor and two students were booked for abetment to suicide after the body of Jaspreet Singh, a final-year student, was found hanging in the toilet of the library on the fifth floor of the B-block the previous day

On June 8, 2010, a second-semester student committed suicide by hanging herself at her Sector-44 home



No relief for complainant after 8 yrs
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
In a case of delay in justice, a complainant has been waiting to get compensation for the last eight years, with nothing going in his favour. Kishori Lal Sharma had sought compensation from a housing society which had not allotted him a plot. He had filed an execution in 1998 on the basis of orders pronounced against the housing society, wherein others had got compensation. He did not file a separate complaint and sought compensation on the basis of relief provided to other complainants in a similar case against the housing society.

A resident of Sector 35, he had sought compensation as the consumer court at Sector 19 had given relief to other persons in a similar case against the Chandigarh-based Janjeevan Sahkari Avas Samiti Limited. Instead of asking him to file a separate case, the court had allowed the execution and directed the district courts at Ghaziabad to give him compensation. The complainant had paid the registration fee for a housing scheme proposed by the housing society. The housing project was promoted by the Mohan Vihar Housing Welfare Society in New Delhi.

The complainants were allotted different plots in October, 1991, and the price was Rs 850 per square yard for residential plots and Rs 950 per square yard for commercial property. The allottees were assured that plots would be allotted within two years of the date of advertisement, but nothing had been done.

The consumer court directed the housing society to refund the amount on May 6, 1998. These orders were pronounced on two complaints filed by Ramesh Kumar Dilawri and Inder Deep Singh. Kishori Lal Sharma, along with six others, had filed an execution, seeking the refund of deposit to the housing society. He was asked to depose before the district judge, Ghaziabad. The complainant had gone to the district courts at Ghaziabad after the directions of the consumer court in June, 2002.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, he said, “I was shocked with the working of the district courts at Ghaziabad. I had to pay to get information regarding the next hearing.”

He had not got relief till date. He had now filed a fresh execution, seeking compensation.



City resident awaits refund
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
A city resident, who had applied for a plot at Faridabad, was awaiting refund from the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) for the last month and-a-half.

Ranjeet Kaur of Sector 38 had applied for a 10-marla plot at Sector 56-56A at Faridabad.

After the draw of lots, she was issued cheque number 060943, dated June 28, by the estate officer, HUDA, Faridabad.

The cheque bounced as it did not bear the signatures of the estate officer or the accounts officer with HUDA.

She sent the cheque back to the estate officer, with the request that it be signed by the competent authority without delay.

She had added that in case this was not done, she would be forced to demand 5 per cent interest for the period of delay. She has not heard from the authorities since.



Duty hours refrain cops from higher studies
Neha Miglani

Tribune News Service

handigarh, August 2
Tiring duty hours and high stress is keeping the in-service UT police personnel away from higher studies.

In the past four years, Panjab University’s police administration department has witnessed one police personnel enrolling for MA (police administration) course on an average annually.

The department reserves 10 seats for the in-service employees of the police force in a batch of 50 students.

From the nature of queries received by the department, teachers conclude that due to staff crunch, high stress profiles and taxing duty hours, the employees find it tough to enrol for the course.

In 2009, two in-service employees of the police force got enrolled for the course. In 2010, however, not even a single in-service employee of the UT police applied for the course.

In wake of such response, the department is now planning to start a special short and correspondence courses for in-service policemen.

Besides, the police administration department, which is increasingly becoming popular among students, is also appealing the UT police to award extra weightage to its students at the time of recruitment.

“The department has been attracting several meritorious students in the general category since four years. This year, the merit graph is higher,” claims co-ordinator Anil Monga.

“Students in the waiting list have been enquiring each day about the status of vacant seats. Surprisingly, the popularity of the course has picked up rapidly and students who wish to study the course are focussed," said Monga.

Subjects like disaster management and forensic science are part of the curriculum and students don’t require a science background to enrol for the course, added the department officials.



Nine months on, no solution in sight
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
Nine months after touts were caught red-handed buying forms meant for private candidates at Panjab University; a solution is yet to be worked out to tide over the problem.

In November, 2009, when the incident occurred, the university security said the touts were actually booksellers who bought forms in bulk from PU and sold them on a premium in the interiors of Punjab.

Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti said the committee constituted to work out a solution in the matter is yet to submit the report.

On the flip side, SK Sharma, who is heading the committee, said that University School of Open Learning (USOL) would now be responsible for providing forms to private candidates. The Syndicate and Senate took this decision, he said.

“USOL tackles more than one lakh students each year and dispatches course material and forms to all of them. Handling the forms for private candidates is not a tough job for them,” said Sharma.

However, when questioned why such a crucial decision was not uploaded on PU’s website for the convenience of private candidates, another senior official said what exactly was concluded in the matter was uncertain.

Meanwhile, according to reliable sources, a commerce faculty member of the university has now been assigned the task of submitting a fresh report in the case. “I was out of the country, therefore the work of certain committees had to be handed over to other teachers,” said Sharma. 



Pay scale was revised: Admn tells CAT

Chandigarh, August 2
Replying to the application filed by guest teachers before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) who had objected to the recruitment of fresh teachers, the Chandigarh administration stated that it had revised the pay scale of teachers before seeking fresh appointments.

In its reply, DPI (S) Sunil Bhatia stated that due to an increase in the remuneration, a fair opportunity was to be provided to those who were not working with the education department and were unaware of the remuneration.

The advertisement was issued by the administration on July 2, 2010, in newspapers for recruitment of guest faculty teachers.

The application was filed by 26 teachers for the posts of JBT, Punjabi teachers and school lecturers. The administration has revised the salary of JBT teachers from Rs 70 per subject to Rs 140, while pay scale of TGTs has been increased from Rs 80 per period subject to Rs 160. The salary of lecturers has been revised from Rs 90 per period subject to Rs 180. — TNS



Students abhor joint placements
Say huge difference in ranks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
Students of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) today protested outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office against the joint placement drive carried out by the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) and Swami Sarvanand Giri, Panjab University Regional Centre, Hoshiarpur.

They said the difference in ranks of students admitted in both institutes was huge and hence there should be no joint placements. “The ranks for UIET start from 6,000, whereas for regional centre, ranks starts from 40,000. A large number of students in UIET are already in line for placement,” said Dinesh Chanuhan. Students urged the university authorities to reconsider the decision.



Navdeep is PUTA vice-president 
Wins unopposed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
Pro-BJP candidate Navdeep Goyal of the department of physics is the new vice-president of the Panjab University Teacher’s Union (PUTA).

On the last day of withdrawal of nominations for PUTA election, Goyal was the only candidate contesting for the post and hence won unopposed.

Ironically, nullifying the claims of two main lobbies of teachers, who had been claiming that Goyal was contesting from their side, today it was revealed that he was not contesting from either side.

“It’s not important which lobby one hails from, but what’s more important is to come together and work for the welfare of the university,” said Goyal.

He added that his focus as an office-bearer of PUTA would be to ensure that all guidelines of the University Grants Commission (UGC) were implemented.

“Lobbies are divided only till the union’s election, after that the teacher community is one and their problems are similar,” he added. When asked which lobby he belonged to, he said he belonged to the teacher’s community of Panjab University. 



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