C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


H1N1 back in city
PGI nurse tests positive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
Swine flu struck the city again with a PGI nurse testing positive today. The 30-year-old patient, a resident of Sector 35, was admitted to Fortis Hospital on Thursday where testing of her blood samples confirmed she was suffering from the disease.

“The nurse’s family members have been quarantined and PGI officials have been informed”, said Dr GC Bansal, nodal officer of the UT health department.

Last year the first case of H1N1 influenza was reported on June 23 after a patient from Gurdaspur tested positive at the Government Multispeciality Hospital, Sector 16. Later the number of suspected cases at the city’s swelled to 850 of which 350 were confirmed.

According to a Fortis spokesperson the patient was admitted to the hospital on Thursday and her blood samples were sent to a laboratory operated by the Fortis group in Gurgaon.

“The lab report confirmed the patient was suffering from swine flu. The patient, however, has no clue from where she had got the infection. She did not travel abroad and she doesn’t know if she came in contact with someone infected with the disease”, the spokesperson added.

59 deaths in 2009

Doctors treating swine flu patients at city hospitals faced a tough time last year with half of the 39 medicos who got the infection from patients from PGI only. Over 800 blood samples of suspected H1N1 patients were taken at the hospitals. 350 people were found to be infected of whom 59 died, eight of whom were city residents.



Students suffer for want of teachers
Professional courses take a hit; four govt colleges need 300 contractual lecturers
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh August 14
Acute shortage of teachers is crippling the functioning of government colleges in the city. It has been over one month since over 2,000 students, enrolled in various professional courses in city government colleges, are waiting for teachers as the UT administration is taking its sweet time to hire contractual lecturers.

To teach the students in four government colleges, the higher education department needs to hire around 300 contractual teachers. While Director, Higher Education, Ajoy Sharma is away to London on an official study tour, the officiating Director, DK Tiwari, is yet to wake up to the charge. So, the college authorities are struggling to mange without the contractual lecturers. The administration’s failure to declare the merit list of interviews conducted last month for 289 posts of contractual lecturers has stalled studies in various departments whose session commenced in mid-July.

The worst hit courses are bachelors in computer applications, postgraduate diploma in information technology, computer science, etc as they are entirely dependent on contractual teachers.

“Many departments are entirely depend on contractual teachers and in their absence, we have so far not been able to start the studies. Besides, even other courses like the bachelor of arts are suffering as only 40 per cent of staff is there,” said a principal of a government college.

The department had conducted interviews last month and the last leg concluded on July 31. It had reviewed the interview results and candidate credentials twice and promised to declare the result by August 5. However, uncertainty continues to cloud the declaration of results, said sources.

“We are all ready with the scores but we have not got the orders to release the merit list. So, we cannot give you a fixed date,” said a senior official.

Meanwhile, after waiting for many weeks, the colleges have now moved a request to the Director, Higher Education, seeking permission to hire guest lecturers.


Work comes to halt

It’s not just merit list but various other jobs of the Director, Higher Education, office that have come to a halt ever since Ajoy Sharma left for London on a month-long official tour.

Though MD, CITCO, DK Tiwari is officiating as the Director, Higher Education, the department seems to have failed to interest him. He could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.



Non-payment of Tax
20 bank accounts of cash-rich CHB attached
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
What could prove to be a major embarrassment to the UT administration, the Income Tax authorities today attached nearly 20 bank accounts of the cash-rich Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) over non-payment of a tax “demand” of Rs 328 crore.

The department had issued the demand notices to the CHB in December last for dues for the assessment year 2007-08 on account of its much-publicised multi crore -land deal with Parsavnath Builders that made the Board richer by Rs 815 crore.

The accounts were attached on the orders of the Commissioner Income Tax (Appeal), Sonali Arora, after she rejected the CHB appeal and upheld the amount raised by the assessment officer.

According to IT Commissioner AK Kaushal, the CHB’s accounts with SBI, Axis Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC),

spread across various sectors in Chandigarh, including Sectors 17, 9, 35 were attached this morning. Kaushal said that almost Rs 21 crore were recovered from the State Bank of India account in Sector 9. He said the CHB's account in the SBI, Sector 17, has a FDR worth Rs 30 crore and there is a FDR of Rs 2.5 crore and cash balance of Rs 1.5 crore available in Axis bank. Both banks have been asked to remit the deposits to the department. The CHB’s liabilities for 2007-08 assessment year were found to be around Rs 328 crore. Notices were subsequently issued, but the payment was not made in the mandatory 30-day period. Though as per rules, they could have attached the accounts after the mandatory period was over, they had waited long for the authorities to respond, Kaushal said.

The CHB had opposed the assessment on the plea that the income earned by it belonged to the UT administration and under Article 289 of the Constitution, the property and income of a state was exempted from taxation by the Union.

However, the department rejected this claim on the ground that the CHB was a separate entity as per Section 3 of the Haryana Housing Board Act, 1971, and thus entitled to pay the tax. The administration had sold the commercial land, measuring 129 acre, to the CHB at Rs 18.5 crore per acre. The convenience deed was signed on August 31, 2006. The land was further sold to Parsvnath Developers for raising a huge housing complex by the CHB next to the Rajiv Gandhi Technology Park and made a neat profit Rs 815 crore.



Helping Leh flood victims in their own way
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
We live in a materialistic world but there are still are some good Samaritans who live for others and want to contribute to society. As The Tribune Trust has started the Ladakh Relief Fund after a natural calamity hit the Leh valley and Ladakh, a large number of donations have poured in from all sections of society.

One of them is 94-year-old Maj (retd) Surat Singh Sandhu who was among the first to have sent his contribution towards the fund by donating Rs 1 lakh. Donating for victims of various tragedies has now become almost synonymous with his name. After having made generous contributions for the Gujarat earthquake victims in 2001, he had pedalled his way to The Tribune office to be the first one to donate for the victims.

“My association with The Tribune goes back to the mid fifties when I was posted in Ambala and The Tribune’s office was right there. In fact this time I was waiting for The Tribune to launch a relief fund so that I could make my humble contribution for the victims and their families”, says Surat, who is content with his life and wishes to start a trust for cancer patients.

19-year-old Arushi Gupta could not think of celebrating her birthday on August 13 in a better way than this. On that day she donated Rs 31,000 towards the relief fund. A BCom (honours) student at Delhi’s Sri Venkateshwar College, she says: “Every year I used to think I should do something for others on my birthday. Then I would brush aside the thought for a laptop, a new mobile handset or something else. This time I was determined to do something and then I heard in the news that hundreds of people have lost their lives and their houses due to a natural calamity and decided to donate”.

“I’ve never felt happier than I am feeling now”, she adds, beaming with excitement.

Students of MRA Senior Secondary School, Sector 27, have also contributed to the fund in the form of a cheque of Rs 31,000. Said school director Shakuntla Mahajan: “It’s our duty to instill in our students a sense of responsibility towards the society, especially in the hour of need. This way they learn about helping others and contribute towards various socioeconomic problems”.



Stressed out docs come to blows at PGI
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
Two apparently stressed out junior doctors entered into a heated argument over a helmet soon after completing their night duty last night. The young doctors not only exchanged fisticuffs in full public view, but even hit a senior doctor. Family members of both the doctors, who reached the spot following a verbal complaint made by all three doctors before the police at the PGI’s police post, said the doctors had not slept for quite a few days which in turn had made them irritable.

It was only a couple of months ago that the PGI’s Resident Doctors Association while resenting the work pressure, had submitted a memorandum to the authorities. The doctors claimed that they had to work for more than 18 hours without any break for weeks together.

Eye witnesses said the two junior doctors had claimed ownership on the same driving helmet. Soon both entered into a scuffle in the hospital’s parking lot. A senior doctor, who was present on the spot, tried to intervene only to find himself at the receiving end. All three doctors then proceeded to the hospital police post, where they blamed each other for the situation.

However, after a two-hour long drama, better senses prevailed upon the doctors and they eventually agreed to sort out the issue among themselves.

Work pressure often makes doctors absentminded. “Such is the impact that a number of times these doctors forget to lock their cars and often leave their laptops and other stuff behind,” said a police official.


Tribune Impact
Foundation stone of Martyrs’ Pillar laid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
Parents of Maha Vir Chakra awardee, late Lt Rajeev Sandhu, who was one of the youngest officers of the Indian Army to get the Nations Second Highest Gallantry Award, was given the privilege of laying the foundation stone of the Martyrs’ Pillar in Terrace Garden, Sector 33, today.

The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, as a tribute to the martyrs of the city, has undertaken the work of construction of this pillar on which names of 28 martyrs, who laid down their lives for the security of the country, would be engraved in golden letters.

Speaking on this occasion, MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria assured that the work of construction of Martyrs’ Pillar would be completed before the Chrysanthemum Show, which is held in December. He said that the Corporation in the general house meeting had decided to recognise the martyrdom of soldiers of the city and erect a memorial in their memory.

While expressing his gratitude to the Corporation, Brig Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, Maha Vir Chakra awardee of the 1971 war and MC councillor said, “This is the least, we in the Municipal Corporation can do for our gallant soldiers, who gave their today for our tomorrow”.

Mayor Anu Chatrath, area councillor Rajesh Gupta, and other councillors and officers of the MC were also present.



Neha murder: Cops still in dark
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
Even after a fortnight the police is yet to make any headway in the blind murder of a 22-year-old college student of Sector 38 West, Neha Ahlawat, whose body was found at a short distance from her home on July 30 night.

Talking to TNS, DSP (south) Vijay Kumar admitted the police was still clueless about the culprits and the real motive behind the crime.

When asked about the development regarding the unknown seller of Neha’s mobile phone to a shopkeeper in Colony No 5, Kumar said: “It (the recovered cellphone) belongs to Neha but we’re yet to check whether it was the same one that the victim’s father had claimed had gone missing about a week before the crime. If that is so then this mobile phone has no relevance to the case.”

There were reports in a section of the media that a mobile belonging to Neha was reportedly recovered from one Manoj Bhalla of Sector 15, who claimed he had bought it from the Colony No 5 shopkeeper and had been using it since August 4. On the other hand, the handset was said to have been be sold to the shopkeeper two days after the murder on July 30.

Kumar added the second mobile that the victim was using just before the incident has still not been traced. The suspect answered two calls on this phone made by Neha’s friends when her family members were searching for her on the fateful day.

“Our investigations regarding the assessment of various aspects related to victim like her social circle, family background, day-to-day activities and the scene of crime are still on,” said Kumar.

“Of the various theories on which the police has been working to solve the case, the work on two or three of them have been completed. However, nothing substantial has come out so far”, Kumar stated.

When asked whether members of the victim’s circle of friends including her boyfriend were still under the scanner, he said: “At this stage all those related to the victim are under the scanner”.

The DSP appealed to residents of the area in which the murder was committed to contact the police without any fear if someone had any clue of the culprit or culprits. “The identity of such a person/persons would be kept confidential,” he added.



Bansal assures lawyers funds for free chambers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
MP Pawan Kumar Bansal today gave assurance to members of the District Bar Association (DBA) that he would arrange funds for construction of free chambers for lawyers in the new district courts complex in Sector 43.

The members of DBA had given a representation to the MP wherein they had opposed the “self-financed scheme” for construction of the chambers in the new judicial court complex, Sector 43.

Bansal has stated that in the coming mid-term budget of the Parliament, he would get Rs 25 to 30 crore sanctioned for the same.

The lawyers yesterday staged a dharna and blocked the road against the scheme of self-financed chambers.

The lawyers who had staged a dharna for the last seven days were relieved after Bansal assured them. Advocate NK Nanda said, “Pawan Kumar Bansal has assured to get the funds sanctioned from the Government of India for the construction of lawyers’ chambers in the coming mid-term budget.”



Rain showers relief
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
Consistent monsoon showers in the morning came as a pleasant surprise to the city residents, as the day temperature came down by one degree Celsius.

The temperature came down to 31°C from yesterday’s 32°C. The minimum also dipped to 25.8 from Friday’s 26.6 °C. However, the early morning showers, which scored well in bringing delight to the city’s harried denizens, didn’t have much impact on either the prevailing mercury levels or the atmospheric moisture content.

Early morning rain and drizzle during the day brought slight chill in the air, bringing respite from the increasing temperature in the city.

The gloomy skies opened up towards the afternoon. The intermittent showers brought the weekend vehicular traffic to a standstill at several places. Vehicles had to move at snail's pace in Sectors 26, 27, 7 and 19 roundabout, Transport Chowk and Railway Station traffic lights due to intermittent showers.

Residential areas in the city were affected on account of the waterlogging on roads. People had to stay indoors in places such as Colony No. 4, Vikas Nagar and Mauli Jagran.

Being a holiday, Sector 17, Rose Garden and the Sukhna Lake witnessed heavy rush of people enjoying the weather in the afternoon. According to Met department officials, there was possibility of more rain in the coming days. The city recorded 5.49 mm of rainfall till 5.30 pm.

However, flight operations as well as train services to and from the city remained normal.

The Met official said: “Current analysis suggests fairly widespread rainfall activity with isolated to heavy to very heavy rain falls over the city and the region in the next 24 hours. The rainfall will decrease thereafter.”



Mata Mansa Devi Shrine
Slippery stairs take toll on devotees
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 14
The wet stairs at the historic Mata Mansa Devi Shrine following the rainy season, these days, are causing problems to devotees, many of whom have suffered fractures after slipping in the complex.

The rainwater comes in from the sides of the sheds and spills over the stairs, causing slippery conditions.

Recently, a 62-year-old woman of Sector 7, Chandigarh, had a fracture after slipping as the carpets on the stairs were removed to clear these of dust. She was rushed to a private hospital where she was diagnosed of ligament fracture and advised complete bed rest for about two weeks.

Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine Board DP Dattana said the carpets had been laid to avoid any untoward incident, as the stairs become more slippery during rain. The board was also planning to create channels on the stairs so that rainwater could flow out.

There was also resentment among the devotees against the “rude” attitude of security guards at the VIP gate of the shrine, as the guards were not allowing handicapped persons or pregnant women to enter the shrine from the gate. A pregnant woman who had visited the shrine yesterday was not allowed to enter the shrine from the VIP gate. The guards posted there asked her to enter the shrine from the main gate, stating that the Deputy Commissioner, who is also the chairperson of the board, was holding a meeting in the administrative block of the complex. The woman had to walk a few hundred yards to reach the main temple.

Dattana said generally the common man was not allowed to enter the shrine from the VIP gate due to security concerns. He said he had come to know about the incident later and added that if any devotee wanted to use the gate he or she should have sought permission from him in advance to avoid any inconvenience.



More proof to nail doc doing 2 jobs
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
Even as the Chandigarh Administration continues to dither over taking action against Dr BR Sharma, Professor in Forensic Department, GMCH-32 (Chandigarh), more evidence has surfaced nailing the doctor's lie and proving that he violated service rules. The doctor allegedly took up a job at Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali Government Medical Science & Research Institute (VCSGGMS&RI), Srinagar, Pauri Garhwal (Uttarakhand), while being on duty here too.

The Tribune had exposed Dr Sharma's double job scam in these columns, 'This doctor has two government jobs!', on August 5 and subsequently a detailed report on the issue was sent to the administration by GMCH's Director Principal, Dr Raj Bahadur. However, 10 days have past and there has been no word from the administration.

While The Tribune then had several documents, including the MCI declaration form, dated June 21, 2010, bearing Dr Sharma's photograph as HoD of the forensic department, VCSGGMS&RI, more incriminating documents have now come to the fore. Though Dr Sharma outrightly denies that he ever took up the job, The Tribune now also has in its possession his appointment/joining letter, which was issued on February 24, 2010, and the notification allotting him a government house on the college premises on May 22, 2010.

The appointment letter, though issued on February 24, states, "In compliance to the government of Uttarakhand order Nos 202/XXVIII (1)/2010-2009, dated Feb 22, 2010, your joining on February 23, 2010 forenoon to this office, you are hereby directed to assume the charge of HoD, Department of Forensic Medicine. This letter has been signed by the Principal/Dean VCSGGMS&RI, Dr VS Chopra, and its copies have been marked to several officials, including Secretary Medical Education, Government of Uttarakhand, and MS HNB Base Hospital, Srinagar, Garwhal."

Subsequently on May 22, VCSGGMS&RI authorities allotted Dr Sharma House No. 3, Type 4 Category, Block 4, and he was directed to take the possession of it on the same day. Interestingly, Dr Sharma has a government house (1113) in GMCH-32 campus allotted to him and he occupies the same till date.

Talking to The Tribune on phone, Officiating Principal of VCSGGMS&RI, Dr KG Sharma, who replaced Dr Chopra recently, admitted that Dr BR Sharma is on rolls of college and was very much present at the time of MCI inspection on June 21 and also signed the declaration form. Even attendance records at GMCH-32 show that Dr BR Sharma was on leave from June 19 to June 24.

Asked if Dr BR Sharma had drawn any salary from VCSGGMS&RI, the officiating principal said, "Though I am not aware of the details but he would have definitely drawn salary from the institute since his joining." The officiating principal also admitted that even they had received an anonymous complaint against Dr Sharma along with The Tribune news clipping and they had ordered an inquiry into it. The inquiry will be conducted by the new Principal, Dr SK Mishra, who is slated to take over soon.

When contacted, Dr Raj Bahadur said he had sent all papers pertaining to the case to the administration but refused to say anything further. However, he admitted that if Dr Sharma was working at two places, it was against the service rules.



80 low-quality pressure cookers seized
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 14
The police has recovered 80 pressure cookers from a shopkeeper of Raipur Rani who was fraudulently selling these under a high-quality brand name.

The accused has been identified as Ravinder Kumar, a resident of Raipur Rani, and a case has been registered against him under Sections 103, 104 of the Trade Mark Act and 63, 65 Copy Right Act, besides cheating as well. He was produced before the court today, which granted him bail.

In another case, the police arrested two thieves and recovered several stolen gadgets, including a desktop, a printer, CPU, and various other equipment worth Rs 1 lakh from their possession. The two accused have been identified as Ranjit Chauhan, a resident of Bank Colony, Mani Majra, and Sandeep Mehra, a resident of Karnal. The accused have confessed to have stolen various computer parts from SCO No 12, Swastik Vihar, Mansa Devi Complex, earlier this month. The accused were granted bail by the court today.



Firing incident near Burail Jail
Police zeroes in on gym owner
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 14
In last Thursday’s firing incident on the Mohali-Chandigarh border near Burail Jail, the Mohali police has zeroed in on a Patran-based owner of a gymnasium, Amarinder Singh alias Captain.

The suspect had fired at Aman Multani, former president of the DAV Students’ Union, when the latter objected to his calling up a girl. Aman Multani had called up Amarinder asking him to mend his ways and even challenged him to come face to face. Around 8 pm, Amarinder along with his two carloads of friends chased Multani before firing at him. After chasing him, the suspects fired at him when he took a U-turn towards Mohali.

The police also found an empty cartridge of .32 bore gun from near a house in Phase 10. The empty cartridge confirms the theory of the students firing at the spot in which a commando of the Punjab Police got injured.

The victim, Rakesh, was on duty at a naka put up by the Chandigarh Police on the road dividing Sectors 50 and 51 when a splinter-like object hit him on the face. He was admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32.



Badal reviews development projects
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday asked the Punjab State Sewerage Board and Water Supply to complete the ongoing sewerage and water supply projects of Rs 125 crore expeditiously to cover the entire 
city of Patiala by the end of October.

A decision to this effect was taken by Badal in a high-level meeting held under his chairmanship to review all major development projects of Patiala. Badal said he would ensure timely completion of these projects and assured sufficient funds.

The Chief Minister directed the Deputy Commissioner, Patiala, to explore possibilities to commercially exploit the vacant government land in the district to raise funds, which could be further utilised for various development projects in the city.



PGI starts monitoring adverse drug reactions
Arun Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, August 14
The Department of Pharmacology, PGIMER, has been selected as a pharmacovigilance centre to collect and monitor the Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR) in the region. At PGI, the first phase of the programme has been launched on July 15.

The objectives of the pharmacovigilance programme are to contribute to the regulatory assessment of benefit, harm, effectiveness and risk of medicines, encouraging their safe, rational and more effective (including cost effective) use.

The improved patient care and safety in relation to use of medicines, promote understanding, education and clinical training in pharmacovigilance and its effective communication to the public are other objectives of the programme.

In fact, India has more than half a million qualified doctors and 15,000 hospitals having bed strength of 6,24,000. It is the fourth largest producer of pharmaceuticals in the world and emerging as an important clinical trial hub in the world. Therefore, there is a need for a vibrant pharmacovigilance system in the country to protect the population from the potential harm that may be caused by some of these new drugs.

Clearly aware of the enormity of task, the National pharmacovigilance programme was inaugurated by the then Union Health Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss on 23 November, 2004, at New Delhi. In charge of Pharmacovigilance centre, at PGI, Dr Bikash Medhi, associate professor, Pharmacology, has been conducting several awareness and observational studies among doctor, pharmacist, nurses, patients and care givers regarding the medication error and pharmacovigilance among clinicians, resident doctors, nurses, pharmacist, caregiver and patients.

Aim of the centre is to increase the awareness among all people concerned, so that clinicians, resident doctors, nurses, pharmacist, patients and caregivers will report ADR to the centre. So that it will provide a database which can improve the knowledge of the adverse reaction of drugs and help health professionals to use drug cautiously, Dr Bikash added.



Retired majors seek revision of pension
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
Several retired majors and equivalent ranks in the other services have approached the Armed Forces Tribunal seeking re-fixation of their pension in commensuration with the length of their service.

They have contended that they are getting pension, which is less than junior commissioned officers who are four ranks below their grade. While a section of majors are getting Rs 14,100 per month, honorary lieutenants and honorary captains are being paid Rs 15,465 and Rs 16,145 per month.

In December 2004, all majors with 13 years experience and having requisite qualifications were promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel (time scale) and the policy has continued since then. Following the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission, all 35 categories of services were merged into four pay bands in which lieutenant colonels were initially placed in pay band-3, but later moved to pay band-4. The pension of lieutenant colonel is fixed at Rs 25,700 whereas that of majors who retired before 2006 is Rs 14,100, creating a huge difference of Rs 11,600, the petitioners claimed. Prior to the Sixth Pay Commission, the difference was just Rs 950.

They have pointed out that the existing basic pay of a major with six years service is Rs 23,810 and when grade pay and military service pay is included, the total basic pay works out to be Rs 36,410. Hence, their pension at the stipulated 50 per cent of basic works out to be Rs 18,205 per month.



Musical bonanza at Tagore Theatre
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, August 14
Patriotic fervour gripped the Tagore Theatre, as students from city schools brought alive the diverse cultures of the region in a musical bonanza on the eve of the 64th Independence Day here today.

The colourful programme got off to a serene but majestic start with a Vandana by students of the GGMSSS-18 which melted into a patriotic song presented by the GMHS-38 students. Students of the GMSSS-35 gave a dance performance on a patriotic theme. A musical drama “Bharat ke deewane, bharat ke parwane” showcasing the freedom struggle from the arrival of East India company till date was presented by students of the GMSSS-16 with élan and brilliance. Mesmerising Rajasthani folk dance by students of the DPS-40 depicted the rich cultural life. A colourful presentation by 60 students of Gurukul Global School, IT Park, Mani Majra, on the theme of unity in diversity won applause. Bhangra by students of the GSSS- 15 was liked by all.

Ram Niwas, Home Secretary, Chandigarh administration, and Pradeep Mehra, Adviser to the Administrator, graced the occasion. In his bilingual speech, Mehra said, “We have excelled in all spheres and the administration has been constantly trying to provide better amenities to residents of the City Beautiful.” He lauded the aesthetic potential of city students.

Among others present included Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar, Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh, Municipal Corporation Commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria, NPS Randhawa, director, Public Relations, Kamlesh Kumar, director, Cultural Affairs, Mayor Anu Chatrath and DPI (S) PK Sharma.



It’s time to pay back
Admn to honour 32 persons
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 14
Agriculture Minister Parmveer Singh will honour 32 persons for their distinguished services in their respective fields during the Independence Day function to be held at Sector 5 here tomorrow.

As per the list provided by the district administration, Jaideep Kumar, joint director, Industries Centre, SS Hooda, secretary, Shree Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board, and four officials of the Child Development Scheme from Barwala, Pinjore, Morni, and Raipur Rani will be honoured for their hard work and honesty. Maya Ram, an artist, department of public relations, Panchkula, will also be honoured for his work in the field of art and culture.

Seven police personnel to be awarded for their excellent work include inspectors Jangsher Kumar, Karambir Singh, head constables Ram Kumar, Anand Kumar, and Brijpal, EHC Krishan Kumar and constable Anil Kumar. Fire officials Virender Singh and Jaidev Singhals will also be honoured.

Ten teachers from various government and private schools will also be honoured during the function. These include Preet of New India Senior Secondary School, Sector 15, Shivani Aggarwal of GSSS, Morni, Shubham JP Gurukul, Pinjore, Zarina, GGSSS, Barwala, Deepika Drone, GSSS, Pinjore, Neha Sharma and Renu, SGIMSSS, Sector 12A, Surbhi, Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 15, Surbhi DC Model School, Sector 7, Saloni Singh, DAV Public School, Sector 8. Raj Grover, PTI and DCO, TRGSS, Haripur, Sector 4.

Monika of Sector 14, Kirti Gehlawat of Sector 11, Mukesh Kumar of Sector 15, Manvi Jindal of Gurukul, Sector 20, will be honoured for their achievement in sports, while Neha of Government Senior Secondary School, Rajjipur, will be honoured for her excellent performance in exhibition/scouts.



Making it big with ordinary moves
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
From making unique kites with global messages on humanity to conceptualise the idea of Sampark centres in crucial transaction areas in the city, the UT Administration will award certain city heroes with commendation certificate for their exceptional contribution in their own fields.

Dr Devinder Pal Singh, kite-maker

An alumnus of Panjab University’s Chemistry department, Devinder Singh made his first special kite on ‘religious harmony’ during the kite-making contest at Basant festival held at the university. Little did he realise that his passion to create colourful, meaningful kites would fetch him an international recognition. He is known for making smallest and fancy educational kites and his efforts have been enlisted in the Limca Book of Records 2003 and 2005.

“It’s been 30 years that I have been making educational kites, which are symbolic and have a meaning. I distribute these kites to children on Diwali free of cost and motivate them to fly kites to avoid crackers,” said Devinder.

Rajiv Tewari, district treasury officer, Central Treasury, Chandigarh

Instrumental in the computerisation of records related to 35,000 properties in the city at the Estate office in 2005 and then setting up Sampark centre at the Central Treasury, Rajiv will be awarded for his services towards the welfare of the people and to the office of the UT Administration.

His initiative of setting-up a Sampark centre not only benefited the legal fraternity in district courts, but was also a boon for traders of Sectors 22 and 17 and for the public at large.

“Rendering service to the citizens has always been an aim and objective of my career. I feel proud to get recognition for such a service. It will further motivate and inspire me to do my best for this city in future,” said Tewari.

Vipin Kumar, International roller skating champion

His hard work and consistency in his game has won him several championships, the most recent one being the14th Asian Games in Taiwan. Winning is now a habit for Vipin, a student of KB DAV School, Chandigarh, who has done the city proud by winning several championships at international and national-level.

Some of these include silver and bronze medal in Sub-junior National Roller Ball Championship in 2007.

He also won a silver medal in the 54th National School Games in 2008-2009. He participated in the World Cup of roller skating held in Italy in 2009 and won bronze in the Asian games.

“Vipin has been consistent with his game and has been doing the school proud. He truly deserves to be awarded for his achievements,” said Madhu Behl, principal, KB DAV School, Chandigarh.

Chama Lal Gupta, superintendent

An expert at framing policies with an in-depth knowledge of rules and regulations, Sharma has been working in the Finance Branch-II of the administration since December 2008. Known for being a trouble shooter in the department, he has been handling papers which are received for embossing from abroad. Additionally, he is also handling departments like GMCH, Health Services, Municipal Corporation, etc and has been assigned the work of UPSC and staff selection examinations.



Research scholars spice up PU poll arena
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
When it comes to academic qualification of student leaders, a reversal in trend is now being witnessed in Panjab University (PU) student politics.

The entrance of research scholars in the students’ political arena has now broken the monopoly of law students, who have long been known for their domination as the office-bearers of the Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC).

With the opening up of new professional courses at PU in the last few years, the preference of student organisations in choosing their candidate has changed. There have been several candidates from science stream, especially research scholars, who have contested election for various posts and have even won with substantial margin of votes.

Deepika Thakur, for instance, was a research scholar from the department of environmental sciences and also won election for the post of general secretary of PUCSC in 2009-2010. She was a candidate of Indian National Students’ Organisation (INSO).

In the same year, Amit Bhatia of Students’ Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), who was pursuing his MBA from the University Institute of Applied Management and Sciences (UIAMS), was elected president of the student council.

Ashwathy Rajan, a candidate of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), who was appreciated for her fiery speech at the open house in 2009-2010, is also pursuing her PhD from PU. She was contesting for the post of vice-president of the student council.

Udey Wirring, current PUSU presidential candidate, is a dental doctor in the making and belongs to the Institute of Dental Sciences, PU.

This year the strategy being mooted by major student parties is to field a candidate from every discipline to gather maximum support, say student leaders. “Generally a fixed pattern of fielding candidates is followed by most student parties. The vice-president is generally from the arts discipline, general secretary is from the sciences and joint secretary is from the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET),” said SOPU leader Harsh Vardhan Singh.



I-Day celebrated with patriotic fervour
Tribune News Service

School students rehearse in Mohali on Saturday
School students rehearse in Mohali on Saturday. Tribune photographs

Mohali, August 14
Inter-section poetry recitation of classes I and II was held in the Gymnasium Hall at Shivalik Public School, Mohali. Students expressed their feelings in a poetic manner. Students were confident and full of energy. From class 1, Tanvir stood first, Deepali stood second, whereas Dilpreet Singh stood third and Harmilap got the consolation prize. From class II, Chitvin stood first, Anjali and Chetna stood second, Daksh and Harshita stood third and Tisha got the consolation prize.

Ashmah International

At Ashmah International School, Mohali, students rejoiced in the spirit of independence in a grand function that marked the conclusion of weeklong activities and festivities in the school. Principal Roopinder Ghuman said the week was observed as the independence week with a view to sensitise the students on values and importance of Independence Day. The week started with a tree plantation drive. As a part of the celebrations, children brought tricoloured food and relished tricoloured pizzas, rice and pastas. A fancy dress competition was also held on the occasion. The students came dressed in colourful attires depicting different cultures and traditions of India. The students also recited poems evoking spirit of national integration and presented speeches about India’s struggle for freedom.

Small Wonders School

At Small Wonders School, the feeling of patriotism reverberates in the school campus. The campus was drenched in patriotism on the eve of Independence Day. Sandeep Singh, school director, laid emphasis on imbibing patriotism right from childhood and school days. Chief guest Maj Gen MS Kandal spoke on patriotism, valour and sacrifice in Indians in his speech. Avni of class LKG welcomed the parents with “Sare Jahan se Accha”. Students of nursery and LKG presented song “Nanha munna rahi hoon”. A group of students from LKG interacted among themselves to awaken the spirit of freedom, peace and love followed by a song “Veer Jawan” sung by Dewan.

Smart Wonders School

Children of Smart Wonders School, Mohali, celebrated Independence Day with fervour here today. The celebrations started with a march past by students of class II. Jasjit Singh of class II-A led the contingents. Palakshee of class IV and Madhavan of class II recited patriotic poems in Hindi. Sukhleen of class III highlighted the importance of the day, while Maanit Chaudhary of class II read out a poem “Where the mind is without fear…”. Kindergarten students presented a colourful fancy dress programme wherein they came dressed as Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Indira Gandhi, Jhansi ki Rani, Lala Lajpat Rai, Sarojini Naidu, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad and Kiran Bedi. The school director encouraged the students to follow the footsteps of freedom fighters.

Holy Child School

PANCHKULA: The students and staff of Holy Child School celebrated the Independence Day with a lot of zeal and patriotic fervour on Thursday. The students presented a cultural show to pay homage to freedom fighters. The show began with a welcome address from the school captains. This was followed by a smart disciplined drill and marchpast by four Houses holding their House banners, while the school captain led carrying the National Flag. Chief guest DR Yadava, regional secretary, CBSE, gave away prizes to the winners. Inter-house marchpast award went to Sirius House, while Archit Nain (Spica House) got the commander award. Best flag bearer award went to Gazal Jaglan of Vega House, while the best house for session 2009-2010 was bagged by Altair House.



PU Notes
Cultural programme to mark I-Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
The Independence Day will be celebrated at the Parade Ground (Old Convocation Ground) near the university guesthouse at 8 am on August 15. Panjab University Registrar SS Bari will welcome guests. Thereafter, Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti will be given the guard of honour.

The Vice-Chancellor will unfurl the National Flag and address audience. A cultural programme featuring patriotic songs and dances will also be presented by the students of Ankur Nursery School, Panjab University, Guru Gobind Singh Vidya Mandir, Ratwara Sahib, and NCC cadets from Chandigarh. S Masih, senior assistant, examination branch-II will be honoured for his meritorious services.

The programme will be followed by a tree plantation drive at the south campus ground, Sector 25, Chandigarh.



‘Refund’, satire on education system

Chandigarh, August 14
“Quality education must be made to empower a person and to develop inborn creative potential.” This was was the crux of a Hindi play “Refund” staged under the aegis of NZCC and Neti Theatre, Patiala, to a sizable crowd of senior citizens at the Kalagram here yesterday.

Based on an original story by Russian author Fritz Caranths, lead actor-director Gurcharan Singh had adapted and scripted the play, a powerful satire on the educational system in India.

Failing to secure any employment even after 12 years of completing his education, the perturbed protagonist insisted for refund of the tuition fee he paid and be declared as uneducated.

While school principal, along with staff members exchanged arguments with the old student during his interview and test, the sequences generated peels of laughter but with didactic message inherent therein for making the educational system job oriented. The cast led by Gurcharan Singh, an alumnus of film and theatre department, includes Talwinder Singh, Balwinder Singh, Sumit Sharma, Major Singh and Arun. — OC



A clarification

In response to a report “Summons to Kolkata firm for forgery” carried by Chandigarh Tribune on April 12 has been clarified on behalf of Seri Equipment Finance Private Limited, Kolkata, that what was issued to the firm by the court was not a summon but a notice.

The complaint under Sections 406, 467, 469, 471 and 120 B of the IPC was dismissed by the Magistrate.

It is against that order that the complainant filed a revision and it is in that revision that the notice was issued by the revising court.



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