C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Is high upkeep cost of mayor’s house worth it?
Remains mostly vacant due to short tenures
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service


In 1996 the UT administration allotted the house to the municipal corporation on the request of the city’s first mayor, Kamla Sharma. It was then decided the residence would be allotted to the mayor during his or her tenure and, even if the mayor did not stay there, he or she could conduct public dealings on holidays or hold important meetings at the house.


  • 1996: Kamla Sharma held pre house meetings at mayor’s residence
  • 1997: Kewal Kishan Adiwal stayed there for a year
  • 1999: Shanta Hit Abhilashi also held a few pre house meetings there
  • 2000-04: House remained vacant
  • 2004: Kamlesh resided there
  • 2007: Harjinder Kaur opened Women’s Resource Centre at the residence
  • 2008: Remained vacant
  • 2009: Kamlesh stayed there
  • 2010: House lying vacant


  • In 1996 it was suggested in the MC general house that half of the portion of the residence should be converted into a guesthouse for visitors of the mayor. However, the proposal was later rejected
  • Councillors also tabled a suggestion for holding all party pre-house meetings at the house
  • Another proposal floated was that if any mayor didn’t want to shift to the residence the senior deputy mayor or deputy mayor should be given an option to stay or hold routine activities there

Chandigarh, September 5
The official residence of the city’s mayor is proving a white elephant for municipal corporation officials. The civic body spends lakhs of rupees every year to maintain the red-bricked one-kanal corner house located in Sector 24.

However, during the past 14 years only two mayors - Kewal Kishan Adiwal in 1998 and Kamlesh in 2004 and 2009 - have occupied this house during their tenure.

At the recent meeting of the MC’s road committee, members had sanctioned a rough cost estimate of Rs 90,000 for “special repairs” at the house.

Interestingly, the proposal was floated on the recommendation of current mayor Anu Chatrath, who though not residing in it, had visit the residence on June 19 to monitor its condition.

During her visit she told MC officials to have the house whitewashed and its interiors coated with distemper besides, getting plumbing leakages fixed.

MC records show that last year also, when Kamlesh, the mayor at that time, shifted to this house, renovation and repair work costing about Rs.7 lakh was undertaken by officials on her demand. In 2007 then mayor Harjinder Kaur opened the ‘Women’s Resource Centre’ at the house, for which major renovation was carried out, though the centre was later shifted from here.

Sources close to the MC said as the mayor’s house remains vacant for long periods enormous funds are required every year for its maintenance.



Ex-mayors air their views

Kamla SharmaKamla Sharma expressed “surprise” at the “attitude” of the MC officials for “not valuing the struggle” made by former mayors in getting the house earmarked for the mayor’s official residence. Recalling the efforts put in by her, she said that the UT administration had raised a number of objections while giving clearance for this house. “This house has now become a white elephant”, she opined
Harjinder KaurHarjinder Kaur remarked it was not feasible for any mayor to shift into the house only for a year only. “It would be better if the house unanimously approve that it would be mandatory for every mayor to hold a camp office in this house even if he or she does not want to shift into it”, she said
KK AdiwalKK Adiwal who was the first mayor to stay in the residence, felt it could not be utilised fully by any mayor as the tenure is very short. “I had also shifted into this house during my tenure as I was single. At that time I didn’t have any problem staying there for one year”, he added.
KamleshKamlesh who also stayed twice in the house, remarked: “Whosoever holds the mayor’s post has a heavy schedule for public dealing every day, and a person who doesn’t have a proper house will have great difficulty in attending to the public. There are councillors who don’t own a house that is centrally located in the city and easily accessible to the public. So for them this is the best option to live and work smoothly”.



Pregnant woman dies at PGI, family alleges negligence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
In a string of deaths allegedly caused by negligence at city hospitals, a 22-year-old pregnant woman died at PGI today. Her agitated relatives, who created a ruckus in the hospital’s labour room, claimed the woman, identified as Manpreet Kaur, was not given medical treatment in time.

“My daughter was first denied proper care at Government Multispecialty Hospital, Sector 16 and then her treatment was delayed at PGI, leading to her death”, claimed Narender, the deceased’s father.

Manpreet, who got married in Naya Gaon last year, was seven months pregnant. Last Friday she complained of some problem and taken to GMSH.

“After a few hours there she was sent back home but the next day was again taken to the hospital, only to be told by doctors there to return home after they took her blood samples”, said Narender.

Early in the morning today Manpreet’s condition began to deteriorate and her family members took her to GMSH again. “From there she was immediately shifted, wearing an oxygen mask, to PGI in an ambulance accompanied by a doctor”, her devastated father said.

“After leaving Manpreet at PGI’s emergency ward the ambulance returned with the oxygen mask and she kept lying unattended there for over 40 minutes. She was then given an ambu bag (a self-reinflating bag used during resuscitation) and doctors told us to take her to the gynecology ward. There was no ventilator there and, after a few minutes, she died in the labour room at about 11.30 am”, Narender stated.

It was only yesterday when the wife of a truck driver, Sukhwinder Singh, had alleged her husband had died due to the negligence of staff members at Government Medial College & Hospital, Sector 32. Earlier, on July 21, Bulbul, a poor woman from Patiala, was forced to deliver in the open at GMSH’s outpatient department, leading to the newborn dying almost instantly.



1 suspected dengue death in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
A 22-year-old resident from a slum area of the city died of suspected dengue fever here today. The deceased, identified as Sanjay Kumar Rao, from Colony No 4, was admitted to the PGI last evening. His relatives said Rao died in the morning and doctors told them that he had symptoms of dengue fever.

According to them, Sanjay suddenly start vomiting blood and was taken to the ESI hospital in Ram Darbar, from where he was sent to Government Multi-speciality Hospital, Sector 16, where doctors, finding his condition critical, referred him to the PGI.

However, Rao could not recover and died around 10 in the morning.

This was the first case in the city this season that a patient had died of suspected dengue fever. Earlier, three patients of dengue from the city have been treated successfully at local hospitals. Residents of colony rued the apathy of the municipal corporation, alleging that no steps were taken to control vector-borne diseases in the slum areas. Neither any fogging had been done in the colony in recent times nor any official had visited the area to know the civic conditions of area during the rainy season, said Shashi Shankar Tiwari, a local Congress leader.

Meanwhile, a woman from Karnal died due to swine flu at the PGI this morning. The deceased, Shail Panday (26), was admitted to the hospital five days ago.



Overwhelming response to small plots
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 5
Small and mid-sized plots offered in the Aerocity project of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) have caught the fancy of a large number of applicants.

A size-wise break-up of the applications provided by various banks shows that although the response to the 1-kanal plot (500 sq yard) has been satisfactory, small plots (125 sq yard and 200 sq yard) and mid-sized plots (300 sq yard) have attracted the maximum number of applications.

On last Saturday, a total of 3.20 lakh applications received at various banks had been received by GMADA. Going by the progress of work, the information about the applicants would be displayed on the GMADA website by September 12 and the draw of lots would only be possible in the last week of this month.

Of the total 3.20 lakh applications, 30,000 applications have been received against different plots in various reserved categories. This comes to 10 per cent of the total applications.

Sources reveal that the most keenly contested draw of lots would be for the 200 sq yard and 125 sq yard plots. Against 800 plots of 200 sq yard, around 80,000 applications had been received. Similarly for the 125 sq yard plots, around 70,000 applications had been received. This means there are around 100 applicants after every one plot of 200 sq yards and 125 sq yards.

For the 300 sq yard plot, 60,000 applications have been received for 730 plots and for 500 sq yard plot there were 40,000 applications for 650 plots. The lowest response has been for 250 sq yard plots, against which 25,000 applications have been received. For the 50 plots of 400 sq yard, there were 5,500 applications.

Analysing the data, the sources said good response to the small and mid-sized plots shows that the maximum number of applicants had applied from investment point of view. The State Bank of India (SBI), the main bank that handled the scheme, has attracted around 1.20 lakh applications with maximum being in 300 sq yard, 200 sq yard and 125 sq yard plots.

Regarding the draw of lots, officials in GMADA said after putting the data on the website at least 10 days would be required to call objections and undertake corrections in the data.

The housing scheme had closed on July 6. There applications have to be segregated into 64 categories - seven different sizes of plots and seven different category of applicants. It is a lengthy process.



Open House
Parents, too, responsible for underage driving
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

As the Chandigarh traffic police continue a special drive against underage drivers, from the past few weeks, newspapers and news channels continue to flash pictures of traffic violators, who continue to flout the traffic rules with impunity.

Not excusing the traffic police for lackadaisical attitude towards traffic violations by youngsters, it will not be wrong to get the parents of the underage drivers under scrutiny as well.

Like the classic question of whether the egg came first or the chick, both quarters, cops and parents, continue to shift the blame of existing reckless and unsafe driving by underage schoolchildren, for procuring a valid driving licence to them on each other.

The parents say the cops did not ensure implementation of safe driving norms. The parents argue that checking driving licences, ensuring that everyone wear helmets and drive safely are the responsibilities of the police.

At the same time, police officials argue that they were faced with the difficulty of tackling underage divers who did not even qualify for licences. It is practically impossible to stop and check hundreds of children. Secondly, children, in a majority of the cases, are aware of the possible spots where the police has laid nakas, so they chose alternate routes.

School’s responsibility

A survey of the city schools reveals common pictures of their parking overflowing, even on the roads at several places, particularly just before and after school hours. The after-school hour, in particularly, holds the entire traffic on the adjoining roads to ransom. A typical scene of traffic going haywire can be witnessed in Sector 26 and the road dividing Sectors 33 and 45 on any working day.

The school authorities need to take an initiative in ensuring that only children possessing valid driving licences be allowed parking on the campus.


Experts feel that there was a need to make punishment for illegal driving a little strict and making fine heavier too. One of the possible ways could be increasing the amount of fine and the amount should be increased on every corresponding mistake. Leave apart offenders, even the Motor Vehicle Act provides for an imprisonment of those helping underage drivers or not carrying valid driving licences. In practical terms it is difficult to find cases where offenders had to face any imprisonment.

Getting away with the fine was definitely an easy way out. It is also worth considering that whether the school certificates could have a special column for a student’s driving history. No entry would indicate a clean record. The certificate when submitted to the traffic agencies should be a benchmark for granting them proper driving licences.

Children’s take

A majority of school children take tuitions, particularly those from the science background. The tutors live in different parts of the city, therefore, making travelling difficult in wake of the increased rush.

Sample a statement by a class XII student of a convent school, “I am little weak in mathematics and science. My parents have got me tutors in both subjects. One of my teachers lives in Sector 44 and another one lives in Mani Majra. On weekends, I go for special coaching classes for entrance examinations in Sector 22. It will be virtually impossible for me to travel to all places from my house in Sector 15, when I come back from my school at 4 pm daily.”

Even while accepting the reality of extra pressure on students, parents cannot wash their hands off from ensuring safety of their children before they enter the roads.

Motor Vehicles Act 1988

  • The Act provides that “No person under the age of 18 shall drive a motor vehicle in any public place.
  • After attaining the age of 16, a youngster can drive a vehicle with an engine capacity of 50 cc.
  • No owner or person in charge of a motor vehicle shall cause or permit any person who does not satisfy the provisions of Section 3 or Section 4 (carrying driving licence is mandatory and no licence before 18 years for normal licence) to drive the vehicle.
  • Whoever drives a motor vehicle in contravention of Section 3 or Section 4 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three months or with a fine, which may extend to Rs 500, or with both.
  • Whoever, being the owner or person in charge of a motor vehicle, causes or permits, any other person who does not satisfy the provisions of Section 3 or Section 4 to drive the vehicle shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with a fine which may extend to Rs 1,000, or with both.

Chandigarh Tribune will like to have your opinion about the problem of underage driving on the city roads. The problem is also closely related to young drivers possessing a valid licence. Many among them were behind wheels of high-speed big vehicles and posed threat to normal traffic.

Mail your response to Open House, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 20, Chandigarh, or openhouse@tribunemail.com



Most road mishaps go unreported
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
With a majority of road accidents going unreported or ending in a compromise, the police fails to get a true picture of the cause behind mishaps and the accident-prone areas in the city.

The figures collected from the Chandigarh Police indicate towards a huge disparity between the number of accidents reported to the Police Control Room (PCR) and those ultimately getting translated into registration of cases of negligent driving. The records show that on an average, the PCR receives approximately 765 calls pertaining to road accidents in a month while 30 cases of road accidents are registered on an average ever month.

Sources say the PCR has attended 5,359 accident spots from January 1 till July 31 this year, but the number of cases registered, including fatal and non-fatal, were only 216. The registration of cases in road accidents turns out to be mere 4 per cent of number of spots attended by the PCR.

The police cases on the other hand reveal that 70 persons had lost their lives in the period while another 184 were left seriously injured.

The recent road accident, in which two cousins lost their lives after being hit by a speeding Honda Accord Car on the road leading from Sukhna Lake to Haryana Chief Minister’s residence on August 17, exposed the vulnerability of road users on the track. The stretch, which is probably the longest in the city without having any obstacles to reduce the speed, is also used by speedsters for racing, especially during night hours, said a police official.

“Before this accident, which was highlighted by the media, it’s vulnerability to road users was never exposed. It never figured on the list of accident-prone areas in the city, like many others, which have failed to get noticed. Take the T-point near Sector 47 and Faidan village barrier. With the absence of a bridge at the intersection, the roads meet a dead end from all the directions. The location of a religious place near turn on the road from Kalibari temple to Faidan barrier is another factor of road accidents,” said Vikramjit Singh, a resident of Mohali.

“To avoid tedious court proceedings, a majority of the road accident victim prefer to go for a compromise after taking compensation from the other party. Cases are registered only in fatal accidents or where the person is seriously injured. A majority of the cases where only vehicles are damaged end in a compromise, no matter how serious they are,” said Harman Singh Sidhu, president of arriveSAFE, an NGO.



GMCH faculty uncertain over career advancement scheme
To meet UT Health Secretary today

Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The uncertainty over the future of the career advancement scheme (re-designation scheme), anomalies in the recruitment rules (RR) and a recent circular issued by authorities regarding the gradation of seniority has left the faculty of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in tizzy.

Feeling that all the developments were against the medical fraternity, the Faculty Welfare Body (FWB) of GMCH has decided to make a representation to the UT Health Secretary tomorrow.

The affected faculty members state that in case a solution is not worked out, the organisation would resort to protest demoralisation affecting the quality of work at the institute, says Dr Dasari Harish, general secretary of the FWB.

The career advancement scheme (CAS) was introduced by the Chandigarh administration in February 2007 with a view to re-designate those faculty members appointed on regular basis and who had attained the scale of the higher post.

Though the scheme does not offer any promotion to the faculty member concerned, it helps in giving a semblance of seniority as the person is re-designated in his or her own pay scale.

All premium institutes of the country like AIIMS, PGI, JIPMER, SGPGI (Lucknow) and institutions under the CHS (Central Health

Services) Scheme, all have time-bound promotions through the DPC (Departmental Promotion Committees) for their faculty, irrespective of the vacancies. The Faculty Welfare Body alleged that the Chandigarh administration has decided to scrap the CAS.

The scrapping the scheme would be detrimental for the health of the medical institution, said the FWB. The faculty would be a disgruntled lot and this would adversely affect their working. Following this, many faculty members would start looking for better options in other institutions leading to acute shortage of staff which would ultimately result in de-recognition of many PG courses, apprehended the FWB.

Besides, there are a number of anomalies in the recruitment rules for the faculty in the GMCH, which have led to heart burning among them.

Counting on the anomalies, the welfare body said there were no uniform recruitment rules for the institute. Each department has a separate set of recruitment rules.

A single post has different modes of recruitment in various departments, deputation, short-term contract in some, while just promotion on the basis of DPC in others.

The said rules specifically rule out all the professors from contesting for the post of director-principal, even when the institute has a number of eligible and senior professors in the feeder cadre for the said post.

Now, the immediate provocation to take up the issues with health secretary was the Provisional Gradation List (Inter-se Seniority) circulated by the director principal last month for which the representation had been sought by September 5.

Objecting over the new list, Dasari said it was highly improper in that it mentioned the seniority of faculty members according to their department. “It did not mention our seniority in our cadre (professors/ readers/ senior lecturers) which we do not know and which is what is clearly required by us,” he said.

The list is also ambiguous in that point that readers and professors who have joined this institute later than some of the senior lecturers have had their pervious service counted, (including senior residency) even if it was on contract or in a private institute. However, the same has not been done for the said senior lecturers, who have joined earlier or along with the readers/professors.

When contacted, Dr Raj Bahadur, director-principal of GMCH, said he held a meeting with the faculty members on Friday and discussed over their apprehensions. However, all the issues have to be decided by the Chandigarh administration, he said.



Pensioners still await 43-month arrears
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
Notorious for giving a raw deal to its employees and pensioners, the Punjab government is at it again. This time, it has raised the hackles of thousands of pensioners who are on a warpath demanding 43 months arrears, besides seeking fulfilment of other demands.

At an executive committee meeting held here today, the government came in for severe criticism for its alleged failure to pay 43 months arrear consequent upon the revision of government pay scales. “The delay in payment of arrears virtually amounted to denial of our right of enhanced payment,” the pensioners alleged.

President of the Punjab Government Pensioners’ Welfare Association SK Khosla alleged that the government was bent upon testing the patience of retirees. “To deprive a retiree of pension arrears deprives him or her the right to life. Delayed pension payments place a pensioner in a position of uncertainty and dependence which impinges on the quality of life and the right to dignified existence,” he asserted.

It’s a double whammy for the retired persons. While on the one hand the pensioners suffered in the absence of payment of arrears, on the other hand, the skyrocketing prices had made their lives miserable. Anyway, the rise in their pension hardly matched the rising inflation, SK Naga, general secretary of the association, added.

At the meeting, it was highlighted that some of the association members had already died without getting arrears and the government was squarely to be blamed for this.

Meanwhile, the pensioners demanded free medical treatment in all hospitals irrespective of whether they were getting treatment in private or government hospitals as the present medical reimbursement system was lengthy and cumbersome. Since a majority of the pensioners needed medicare, the medical treatment procedure need to be made hassle-free, Khosla demanded. The association also decided to stage a dharna in Chandigarh on October 6 if the demands of pensioners were not met.



2 more dengue cases reported
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 5
The persistent denial by the health authorities about the outbreak of dengue in the city on technical grounds notwithstanding, two new dengue cases have been reported in the city here today.

While one of the patients Sunaina Gupta is getting treatment at a private hospital in Jind, another woman Meenu Gupta has been admitted to the Alchemist Hospital. Both the patients are residents of Sector 10. Sunaina’s husband Dr Himanshu Gupta said his wife had high fever and had left for her parents’s house in Jind after taking medicines.

He said a blood test was conducted on her and they came to know that she was suffering from dengue and added that her condition was now stable.

Amit Gupta, Meenu’s husband, said his wife had been admitted to a private hospital after 37,000 platelets were reported in the blood samples.

It is important to mention here that after the detection of a swine flu case from Sector 4 recently, district administration had issued an advisory to all hospitals, dispensaries and educational institutes throughout the district to immediately report the district health authorities if a patient was found suffering from high grade fever and chest congestion.

Dr Jagmal, director heath services, said no such cases had been reported in the city so far. When he was informed about these cases he said he would inform the district malaria officer about this and fumigation would be done in the affected areas.

Meanwhile, Bharat Hiteshi, general secretary of House Owners’ Association, Sector 10, has urged the district health authorities to take immediate measures to check the spread of the epidemic in the region.



Parking lots in bad shape
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 5
Parking lots in almost all markets of the town are in a state of neglect causing great inconvenience to shoppers frequenting these areas. Most of the parking areas have ample potholes or other damaged portions and require re-carpeting.

Rain adds to the woes, as these potholes get filled with water and those entering parking lot get to know about the depth of the damaged portion only when their vehicles bump into the deep portions. These areas have not been repaired for years.

Estimates worth Rs 2 crore were prepared by council officials in December last year for providing a premix carpet in these areas.

But the work has not been undertaken till date.

The condition of parking areas in the markets of Phase V, III B 2, VII and X is deplorable. About two years ago the council had cleared a proposal of handing over parking areas to private parties for maintenance.

It was decided that private parties would be allowed to display their advertisements in lieu of the work they did for the civic body.

The proposal, however, could not be implemented . Tenders were called for the work but suitable parties failed to respond.

Rajinder Singh Rana, president of the council, said after the estimates prepared in connection with parking areas were cleared by the general house, these were sent to the higher authorities for approval which was delayed by more than two months. Later, the work could not be done due to the monsoon. He said the work had been allotted and repair would start in about 10 days if the weather remained clear.



Reporters' Diary
Unwanted greenery

Officials of the UT administration never shirk from making tall claims about their efforts to increase the green cover in the city and preserve the existing one. Contrary to this, some residents of the city are not in favour of green cover around them. So, when a resident of Sector 48 planted saplings of herbal plants near her house, she had to face strong resistance from the president of the residential society. Not only the president, who is head of a department at Panjab University, trashed her efforts, but also labelled the greenery, including trees and plants, as harmful and got notices pasted across the society authorising the residents to uproot any unwanted greenery in the society.

A day in Parliament

"For me, those 30 precious minutes which I spent in the visitors' gallery of Parliament to observe the proceedings of the House is a dream come true," remarked BJP councillor Sarita Sharma of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation after her one-day sponsored visit to Lok Sabha.

Thankfully, this visit made her realise how relevant it was for the ruling and the Opposition parties to discuss issues threadbare.

On the request of Mayor Anu Chatrath, a one-day tour of New Delhi was organised for MC councillors so that they could watch, observe and study the functioning of Parliament.

Vacation time

The North-Zone Vice-Chancellors Conference hosted by Panjab University was a good time for the heads of various educational institutes to unwind. Some VCs were caught on camera taking a nap, while others were spotted wearing a disinterested look at the speakers. Otherwise on their toes to either resolve violence on their respective campuses or baffled by students' politics, it was vacation time for the VC's who were in a rather relaxing mood on the PU campus.

Scary chase

Cops beat up a youth who reportedly sped away on his motorcycle after seeing a police gypsy
Cops beat up a youth who reportedly sped away on his motorcycle after seeing a police gypsy. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Hearing a screeching gypsy, riders on a motorcycle near DAV College, Sector 10, got scared and sped away. The cops had been tipped-off that there were chain snatchers in the vicinity. The chase continued from near the market of Sector 10 till in front of Rose Garden when the boys were cornered. Before they could say anything, the boys got a sound thrashing by cops. Later, it was discovered that boys had nothing to do with snatching and were let off. When quizzed by a Tribune lensman, the cop said the answers would be sought in the police station.

Police overdrive

Stung by the unnecessary challaning of outstation vehicles, Dr Ashawant Gupta, principal of the Ambala College of Engineering and Applied Research, has knocked at the door of the UT administrator requesting him to advise the Chandigarh Traffic Police to be lenient with visitors. Gupta, in his letter addressed to the Administrator, said that on Independence Day, he was visited Sukhna Lake with his family at around 5.30 pm. When he was leaving from the parking lot, a police official stopped him saying the registration number plate of his vehicle was not in order. Gupta, however, claimed that the number was slightly faded but was visible. After he received the ticket, he rushed to the traffic police lines, paid the fine and returned to the lake to get back his documents, which not only spoiled his trip but also the schedule of the day. Gupta said since he had not committed any grave violation or was indulging in reckless driving, cops should have warned him instead of issuing a ticket.

Avian poets

Ever heard of legendary poets such as Ghalib, Iqbal, Tulsi and Bhai Vir Singh being the audience at the international 'mushaira' and birds with catchy pennames such as "Bater Jalandhari", "Tota Ludhianvi" as the main performers? This may sound unusual, but noted Urdu poet BD Kalia "Hamdam" created such an ambience at the monthly interaction of the "First Friday Forum" the other day. In the course of the talk by Kalia on his latest anthology "Parindon ka aalami mushaira", birds recite poems of various genres to an audience of birds among which humans have been specially invited to listen to avian verses, and not to present their own compositions, for a change. 'Hamdam' convincingly showed that birds are the poet-ancestors of human versifiers, although, ironically, the latter appropriate to themselves all the credit for having created the Muse. SS Bhatti, founder of the forum, rightly credited 'Hamdam' with adding a new dimension to the glory of Urdu poetry and its magnificent acoustic charm.

Contributed by: Smriti Sharma Vasudeva, Aarti Kapur, Neha Miglani, Sanjeev Singh Bariana, Ramanjit Singh Sidhu and Pradeep Sharma.



Hoax call keeps cops on toes
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 5
The police remained on its toes for over three hours when an anonymous caller called up the Police Control Room (PCR) stating that he had planted bombs in Balongi to protest against his brother being implicated in a false case by the Chandigarh police.

After the call was received around 7 pm, the police sprung into action.

Owner of the mobile phone from where the call was made has been identified as Vinod Kumar of Mauli Jagran.

On being rounded by the police, he informed that while he was looking after his wife admitted to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh, his mobile was stolen.

The police was tracking the caller on the basis of tower location. Mohali SSP GPS Bhullar said the caller appeared to be a drunkard. “We would soon round him up”, he said.



Industrial tenants seek rehabilitation

Chandigarh, September 5
The Chandigarh Industrial Area Tenants Association has reiterated its demand for the rehabilitation of the industrial tenants in the proposed Phase III of the Industrial Area here.

This demand was raised at a meeting attended by the association office-bearers here yesterday. The Adviser to the UT Administrator, Pradip Mehra, presided over the meeting organised in connection with the formulation of a new industrial policy. The meeting was also attended by UT Home-cum-Industry Secretary Ram Niwas and Director Industries Mahavir Kaushik.

The main issues discussed at the meeting included the increase in the floor area ratio (FAR), change in trade, conversion of plots from leasehold to freehold, development of infrastructure in the industrial area, fiscal benefits at a par with the neighbouring states and re-location and rehabilitation of industries. — TNS



Onam celebrated with traditional fervour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The Chandigarh Malayalee Association celebrated Onam with traditional fervour in Sector 40 here today. The 10-day festival coincides with the beginning of harvest season of Kerala.

Besides dances and music at the venue, the association also made special arrangements for a traditional food festival, which saw visitors from a cross-section of the city residents throughout the day.



SOPU to form ‘action team’
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) is all set to form an “action team”, which would work parallel to the Panjab University student council this year. As the PU authorities prepare to host the oath ceremony of the newly elected student council office-bearers, SOPU is planning to host a press conference immediately after the oath ceremony, which is likely to take place on Tuesday.

SOPU also plans to include executive members of the student council in their team, who are elected from among the department representatives officially by the university authorities.

Certain SOPU leaders and PUCSC general secretary would also be on the panel, which would consist of five to six members and would aim at the student welfare activities.

Regretting its decision of not declaring the result of teachers’ evaluation in the last academic session, the student leaders of the party said they would be more cautious this year of not getting lured by the university authorities.

They said the prime agenda of the conference would be to declare the plan of action of this team for the current academic session and announcement of the student welfare activities to be undertaken by SOPU.

SOPU leaders also claimed that they would continue the practice of evaluating teachers in the university.

“If the PU authorities do not evaluate the teachers this time and take no action, we will do the evaluation ourselves, like we did last year.

This time we will ensure that we make the list of worst teachers public,” said SOPU leader Amit Bhatia.

“We have been doing work last year but did not publicise it. Both placement fair and teachers’ evaluation were key achievements, but we did not hype it. Those who did no work, created a hype and won,” said Bhatia.

Meanwhile, SOPU leaders have also been alleging that new PUCSC president Gurindervir Singh Aulakh has been on campus for only a few days and is a fresher and knows nothing about the campus. “We have been working hard towards the student welfare activities and will do more work through our action team this year,” he added.



Vice-Chancellors’ Meet
De-politicise appointments to protect varsity autonomy: Dua
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
“He who dares to teach must never cease to learn”, should be the guiding principle for all those connected with education, said IGNOU vice-chancellor Vijay Kapoor at the North Zone Vice-Chancellors’ Conference currently underway at Panjab University, Chandigarh.

There was a need to arrest the alarmingly high dropout rates and other infrastructural bottlenecks if sustainable development was to be achieved, particularly with reference to the 550 million below the age of 25 years, Kapoor said. “You cannot move into the 21st century without having the necessary skill-sets to take you there,” said HK Dua, member Rajya Sabha, while delivering the valedictory address. He also stressed the need to de-politicise appointments in universities in order to protect their autonomy. “But for that the onus lies on the vice-chancellors,” he added.

HS Chahal, vice-chancellor, Deenbandhu Chotturam University of Science and Technology, Murthal, said there was a need to induct professionals into board of studies, academic councils and other decision-making bodies, such as selection committees to have an education system geared towards employability.

VPS Arora, vice-chancellor, Kumaon University, Nainital, spoke of the need of strong brand identities for educational institutions in the present open-market economic scenario. “Involvement of all stakeholders is called for,” he said.

Ravi Prakash, Jaypee University of Information Technology, Solan, said teachers who had an aptitude for research would be allowed to focus on that alone and vice versa.

Lt Gen DDS Sandhu, vice-chancellor, Kurukshetra University, stressed on the need to have a system of accountability in place for vice-chancellors, while at the same time expressing his angst at the system of rotation, which, according to him, brought personal politics into play.

Rajneesh Arora, vice-chancellor, PTU, said, “Just as there is a need for differently priced cell phones in the market, so there is a demand for employees with different intellectual capabilities”.

KR Dhiman, vice-chancellor, YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, focused his talk of education and research in the agriculture sector. “There is a need for agriculture institutes to focus on specific areas and make strategies accordingly, as per specialisation and geographical identities,” he said.

Vijay Gupta, vice-chancellor, Lovely Professional University, stressed on the regulation of the education sector and agencies that had the right to do so. “There is an urgent need to seek stakeholder’s objections, suggestions to be followed by states’ deliberations whenever any education-related matter is to be decided or policy is to be framed,” he said.

AK Srivastava, National Dairy Research Institute, threw light on the thrust areas required in research, particularly with reference to dairy products and cattle.



Teacher’s Day
Build PU as institute of excellence: VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) celebrated the Teacher’s Day by organising a welcome as well as a farewell function here today. Panjab University Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti was the chief guest and MM Puri, former Vice-Chancellor and professor emeritus, was the guest of honour.

The VC in his presidential address invoked the teachers to come forward to build Panjab University as a premier institute of excellence in higher education. He emphasised that it was with the cooperation among teachers, non-teachers and students that the university would be able to achieve its goals. MM Puri touched upon the importance of persuading students to go beyond merely acquiring information and to make efforts to build a healthy society.

RC Sobti, MM Puri, SS Bari, Naval Kishore and AS Ahluwalia joined PUTA executives to honour the newly appointed professors emeritus (Nirmal Singh, department of physics; DS Gill, department of chemistry; ML Sharma and SP Vij, department of botany).

PUTA also welcomed the newly appointed teachers and felicitated the superannuated teachers during the session 2009-2010. The programme was initiated by PUTA president Jaspal Kaur Kang and secretary MC Sidhu.

PUTA vice-president Navdeep Goyal proposed a vote of thanks. The celebrations ended in a sapling plantation drive, as a mark of respect to great teacher, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.



State award given to 35 teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The UT education department today held a function to celebrate Teacher’s Day at Tagore Theatre here today. A large number of principals, headmasters, wards of award winners, along with teachers and faculty members of various government schools of Chandigarh participated in the celebrations. Chief guest Ram Niwas, Home-cum-Education Secretary, inaugurated the event by lightning the traditional lamp.

While addressing the gathering, Ram Niwas congratulated all awardees and appreciated their contribution to the cause of education. He stated that a teacher plays an important role in shaping career of students and if the best is inculcated in their mind, they will certainly become finer human beings.

The programme unfolded with Saraswati vandana by the students of GMSSS, Sector 18, Chandigarh, followed by a special bhajan performance by music teachers of various government schools. During the ceremony, the Home Secretary also released a souvenir depicting photographs and short profile of the awardees felicitated by the Chandigarh Administration today.

DPI (schools) PK Sharma congratulated all principals and teachers for their contribution.

In appreciation of dedication and hard work exhibited by the teachers and officials of the education department, the UT education department honoured 35 teachers with the State Award and commendation certificates for their outstanding contribution in the field of education.

Chanchal Singh, district education officer, UT administration, and Arjun Dev, registrar, education, UT Chandigarh, have been conferred with a lifetime achievement award for their meritorious services in this field.

The largely attended celebrations concluded with recital of the National Anthem.

After the conclusion of the function, the DPI interacted with the principals to sensitise them about the priorities in the field of education system.



Day out for St John’s teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
St John’s Old Boys Association (SJOBA) and school students today took their schoolteachers for an outing on the Teacher’s Day. SJOBA members had extensively planned activities that gave the teachers an opportunity to relax and enjoy from their routine. The teachers were taken to Sukhna Lake, where they spent time together, followed by lunch at a restaurant in Sector 26.

It was a reunion of SJOBA members with its old teachers. The celebrations of the day gave new dimension to the teacher-pupil relationship. The teachers felt honoured and SJOBA members presented teachers with red roses, bouquet, gift hampers, etc.

SJOBA president Nagendra Singh said, “This is an effort, a small gesture to tell our teachers how much we owe them. We can never repay the kind of efforts and hard work they have put in us.”

School principal Kavita Das appreciated the efforts of the former students and congratulated them for arranging the event.



Mgmt aspirants take test
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The management aptitude test (MAT), an entrance test to management colleges in the country, was conducted at Lala Lajpat Rai Bhawan, Sector 15, here today. The test is conducted four times in a year, i.e. February, May, September and December.

AICTE approved management institutes and university department accept MAT rankings for admissions.

Since seven years, hundreds of MBA aspirants are getting admissions in B-schools in the country through MAT.

This time, the candidates found the paper to be relatively easy, except the mathematics section. The aspirants claimed that the mathematics section had 10 questions of probability, time and work.



Moot Court contests conclude
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The final round of the ongoing Surana and Surana National Trial Advocacy Moot Court Competition (North rounds) concluded at the Moot Court Hall of the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS), Panjab University, here today.

There was stiff competition between the finalists, including NLIU, Bhopal and RGNUL, Patiala.

The teams were judged by Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court- Justice Rajive Bhalla, who was also the chief guest, Justice Ranjit Singh Randhawa and Justice Vinod K Sharma.

The valedictory ceremony was presided over by RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, PU.

He promised that measures to extend the Moot Court Hall would be taken in UILS before March 2011 for imparting better clinical training and conducting moot court competitions. Justice Rajive Bhalla complimented the efforts and confidence of the participants and wished them a bright future.

GK Chatrath, dean, Faculty of Laws, promised the construction of a new girls’ hostel for law students of the university.

He also announced monetary awards for best law teachers and students. Ravichandran, head, academic initiatives, Surana and Surana International Attorneys, Chennai, also thanked the organisers.

The team from NLIU, Bhopal, emerged victorious and bagged a cash prize of Rs 18,000. RGNUL, Patiala, stood second. The Spirit of Surana Award was also won by NLIU, Bhopal. NUALS, Kochi, was awarded the best memorial award and Deeksha Manchanda of NLIU, Bhopal, was adjudged best trial advocate.



Creative design course for poor girls
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 5
In order to make poor and the needy girls self-sufficient a new sewing creative design course has been started by Sundar Lal Ram Parshad Khosla Charitable Trust at its Lila Vati Sewing Coaching Centre at Fatehpur here today.

Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee member Dhanender Kumar Ahluwalia inaugurated the course.

Upinder Walia, former Councillor, Municipal Corporation, Panchkula, distributed diploma certificates to successful candidates.

NK Khosla, chairman of the trust, said first batch of the 23 needy girls was successfully completed. He said the trust had started two yearly scholarships of Rs 1,000 and Rs 700 to those students of GCG, Sector 11, Chandigarh, who stood Ist and 2nd in the university exams of BCom final year.

He said the trust was also imparting free education to about 50 poor children.

Khosla said the trust saved the life of an 8-month-old Jeet, who was suffering from genetic disorder. Another woman Pinki was also adopted by the trust for treatment of spine problem.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |