C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PEC asks all foreign students to re-submit ID
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
PEC University of Technology has issued a fresh notification asking all foreign students enrolled in the college to produce their identification documents again, failing which dismissal could be considered by the college administration. The deadline for submitting passports and citizenship cards in original expires on September 15, the notification added.

Having cancelled the admissions of eleven first year students last week for submitting forged ID documents, PEC officials are now looking for any discrepancy in the documents of other foreign students studying in the institution.

Nearly 51 students were admitted in PEC this year under the scheme for foreign students. The total number of students currently studying there who are required to produce their original documents is nearly 200.

In yet another interesting turn of events, after a discrepancy was found in the certificates related to their permanent residency, the credibility of SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) score documents produced by these students is also being examined. The exam was conducted for international students between May 1 and June 5 this year.

According to sources, the CBI has now begun the process of scrutinizing documents of other PEC foreign students as well. “We’ve begun examining the documents of other students who were admitted during the past few years. The documents of 11 students whose admissions have been cancelled is under scrutiny by CBI officials,” said Parminder Singh, admissions in charge, PEC University of Technology.

“The basic clause of the admission into any college including PEC is that the admission would stand cancelled if any document is forged by a student,” he added.

Meanwhile, PEC officials claim to have been in touch with NIT, Karnataka since August 2010 when they suspected the identity of students from Nepal during the counselling held at the PEC campus.

“The teachers on counselling duty got suspicious during the admission of NRI seats since the same person was coming again and again with foreign students. Following this incident we sent a mail to NIT, Suratkal (Karnataka) and told them about our suspicion regarding identity of these students. Contact with the Indian embassy started immediately after that,” he added.

PEC officials today also confirmed that since the deadline for admissions has expired, the 11 seats vacated now would not be filled.

Probe finds most didn’t clear SAT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
Investigations into the fraudulent admission of 11 students in PEC University of Technology, Sector 12, under the Direct Admission of Students Abroad (DASA) scheme have shown that a majority of the students did not appear in the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).

Mahesh Aggarwal, DIG, CBI, Chandigarh said during the course of the probe it was found that except for two or three students out of the total 11 booked in the case, the rest did not appear in SAT.

The investigating officials said Nishikant disclosed the fact during interrogation that the students had not appeared in the test and produced counterfeit mark sheets of SAT to get in the merit list. They submitted forged SAT results to NIT, Surathkal, Karnataka.

The students told the investigators Nishikant had promised them to prepare documents for them in return for money. The union ministry of human resources & development had conducted the test for foreign nationals aspiring to study in prestigious engineering institutes in the country.

Under the DASA scheme foreign nationals, persons of Indian origin and Indian nationals studying abroad who are eligible for admission have to appear in SAT-II besides having other academic qualifications.



Marble dealers evade tax worth crores
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
After restaurants and clubs in the city, the UT excise and taxation department is now set to nail marble dealers of Dhanas for evading sales tax worth crores of rupees.

The UT administration has been surveying records of the marble dealers at Dhanas for sales tax and VAT evasion for over a week.

Sources in the taxation department claim that a survey has been going on in the marble market for the past week and officials are close to unearthing tax evasion worth crores.

However, the officials are facing a peculiar problem of how to get the traders to pay the sales tax as the year has gone by.

The officials are contemplating to find a via media to sort out the matter, but members of the marble traders’ association who met the Deputy Commissioner yesterday have sought time to file their quarterly returns next month.

The marble market, which has close to 150 dealers, is the second largest market after Delhi’s marble market and caters to the entire northern region, including Punjab, Haryana and Himachal.

The sources say almost all traders have not been paying the mandatory sales tax. The marble traders were relocated after they were found running their business from government land at Raipur Khurd.

The marble traders came into limelight after certain contractors complained to the authorities that they were never able to bid for government tenders as the marble traders were always quoting low price as they were not paying sales tax and making maximum profits even after quoting the lowest bid.



Naunihal takes over as UT SSP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
Naunihal Singh, a 1997 Punjab cadre IPS officer, joined as the 14th Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in Chandigarh today.

Contrary to common practice, Naunihal would serve the city for three years. His predecessors had got a two-year term.

Before coming to Chandigarh, he was posted as the SSP of Sangrur. He had served as SSP, Mohali, for over a year. Soon after resuming charge, he said he was elated over being given a chance to serve as SSP in City Beautiful.

Emphasising on the need for efficient and transparent policing, he said he would work for the betterment of the city and make the police people-friendly. He said he would require the cooperation of the public in achieving the targets. 



Delayed scan reports a norm at GMCH
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
Delays in receiving CT scan reports at Government Medical College & Hospital have become a routine affair leading to a compromise on the quality of treatment to patients. Though hospital officials concerned blame each other for the mess, the ultimate sufferers are the patients who often spend thousands of rupees for their treatment.

Even as no one in the hospital has dared to come out openly on this count, sources said things have been going awry for the past seven years when CT scanning was started and outsourced to a private firm. In the absence of a report in their hands clinicians can be often seen rushing towards the CT scan room to examine the films, leaving the patient on the bed, the sources added.

Though dozens of meetings have been held on resolving no solution has been found. After many rounds of meetings two years ago it was decided the report of a CT scan of the head would be delivered within three days and for other parts of body it would take a maximum of five days.

However, a perusal of records in the hospital’s CT scan room found that for 12 patients scanned on September 7 only one report was prepared till today. Similarly the next day though 15 patients underwent a scan four of them were yet to get their report. On September 15 only five patients managed to get their reports.

The excuses for delays in delivering CT scan reports, however, appear to be flimsy. Manish (CR No 100901682) was denied the report by the hospital’s radio diagnostic department because he did not get their counter signatures on the form filled up by a clinician. Two days later, on September 9, the report of a 4-month-old baby was withheld. The reason mentioned was that the scan films were sent to the department within 24 hours.

On July 29 a patient was prescribed a CT scan of his head by doctors and the hospital charged Rs 550 as fees for the procedure. However, the CT scan machine at the hospital broke down and he was taken to a private facility for the purpose, as per the agreement between the hospital authorities and the firm that was operating the scan machine. However, he was denied the report as the CT scan was not done at the hospital premises. Now the patient, who needed the report for a medico legal case, is running from pillar to post to get it.

However, Dr Suman Kochchar, head of the GMCH’s radio diagnosis department, claimed the department was being unnecessarily blamed for delays in receiving CT scan reports.

“The films of almost all patients are immediately taken away from the hospital’s CT scan centre by clinicians or patients. Most of the time the films are returned for reporting after days together. But ironically the count of reporting date starts from the day CT scan is done. Moreover, we disclose the report’s findings and write provisional reports whenever sought by clinicians”, Kochchar added.



DAV College principal suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The principal of DAV College, Sector 10, BC Josan, was suspended after an emergency meeting of the governing body of the college here today.Though rumours had it that he had been suspended following grave charges of embezzlement and misuse of chair, but no official confirmation came in this regard.

All four members of the governing body switched off their mobiles soon after the meeting and even Josan did not answer the calls made to him.

The principal was recently at loggerheads with the DAV management and according to many, it was after this that he was transferred to DAV College, Malout, but the High Court stayed the order. The issue is still pending adjudication.

Meanwhile, an RTI activist, RK Singla, claimed that it was an outcome of his crusade against Josan’s “functional anarchy”.


8,000 poor kids awaiting ‘free’ uniforms
Articles still to reach AIE centres despite requests by NGO
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
Though half the session is already over more than 8,000 poor students studying in 195 UT Alternate Innovative Education centres are still waiting for their ‘free’ uniforms and shoes.The articles, which are provided as part of the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan have not reached any centre till date despite repeated requests by the coordinating NGO.

“Most of the students in these centres are extremely poor school drop outs. They are suppose to get basic facilities like midday meal, uniforms, shoes and books so that they can be given special education and then get shifted to the mainstream school. The provision of these articles has been delayed in the past as well but it has never got this late. The first term is almost over and the students have not yet got the uniforms. After two months it will be winters what will be the use of providing the stuff now?” claimed an NGO coordinator of one of the AIE centres.

Admitting the fact one of the officials revealed that though the shoes were ready it could not be distributed without uniforms, which had got delayed because of tendering.

“The tenders were done online this time so the things got delayed. We have still not decided as to whom to offer the contract but will do it very soon. The shoes were ready but we thought what was the sense of distributing them without uniforms,” said a senior SSA official.



Hindi Diwas Samaroh tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 14
The Punjab Pardeshik Hindi Sahitya Sangam will hold a seminarand Hindi Diwas Samaroh on September 16 at the Chandigarh Press club.Eminent Hindi scholars, including Dr KK Rattu, Director Doordarshan, Naresh Kausha,l editor, Dainik Tribune, principal SR Parbhakar will speak in order to promote Hindi as a language.

Sangam president Prof. Mohan Maitrey disclosed that seven eminent personalities would be honoured for their contribution in their respective realms atthe function. 



PU Student Council
I was forced to quit as joint secy: Chander
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The drama revolving around the new joint secretary of Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC), Subhash Chander, who has been swapping his affiliation between INSO and the Hindustan Students Association (HSA), continued on the campus even today.

Chander today alleged that he was forcibly made to resign from the post of joint secretary today.

Earlier during the day, at a press conference, organised by the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) and the Indian National Students Oragnisation at the council’s office, the student leaders claimed that Subhash was a member of INSO and not the HSA.

In the past, Chander had claimed that he had left INSO. He contested the student council poll as an INSO member and had joined the HSA later.

At the press conference, Chander said he was under pressure by the HSA and had changed his party out of fear, minutes after that, he alleged that he was taken away by nearly eight to 10 members of HSA and was threatened by them. It was under pressure he resigned from the office of student council to the Dean University Instructions (DUI), PU.

“After the press conference I was taken away by the members of HSA on the pretext that they wanted to interact with me, but they took me away and forcibly made me sign the resignation letter which was addressed to DUI,” said Chander.

On being asked if he had lodged any complaint to the authorities or the police, he said, “I have complained to the PU authorities.”

When contacted PUSU leader Udey Wirring said that the rival parties were pressurising Subhash.

The other student organisations on the other hand, termed the whole incident a drama planned by the PUSU-INSO alliance. “Is it possible that anybody is forcibly made to resign and sign papers and then he does not care to lodge a police complaint against the people who threatened him?” questioned SOPU leader Amit Bhatia. 



Protest by pensioners today
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 14
Members of the Punjab State Pensioners’ Association will hold a protest against the insensitive attitude of the government towards pensioners in Phase V, opposite Bougainvillea Garden, at 10 am tomorrow.

Association general secretary Mohan Singh said a 21-member delegation led by association chairman Raghbir Singh Sandhu met Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, who assured them of taking up their cause in the Vidhan Sabha. Earlier, the association had submitted memorandums to Punjab Chief Minister, Finance Minister and Chief Secretary demanding acceptance of their demands.



MC vacancies may be filled
Policy on recruitment, promotion to be tabled
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The municipal corporation (MC) is finally drafting the recruitment and promotion policy for its employees, which will be tabled during the next meeting of the general house. Records of the MC show that around 1,200 posts have been lying vacant in various departments.

A total of 97 posts are vacant in the Commissioner’s office and the sub-office at Mani Majra, 118 in public health, 158 in road wing, 107 in horticulture wing, 44 in electrical department and 371 in medical health.

MC Chief Engineer SS Bida confirmed that the recruitment and promotion policy would be tabled this month. Expressing the need for the policy, he said most departments had neither been able to recruit the manpower required, nor promote a majority of officials, due to the non-availability of the policy.

During the last two house meetings, the Mayor had instructed officials that recruitment would not be allowed until this policy was tabled and approved in the house. In July, when the agenda item on 22 SDOs was tabled, it was deferred by the house with the plea that no post would be sanctioned without the policy.

Records showed that there had been no promotion since the inception of the MC as there were no service rules for this purpose. Important posts in most MC departments were being held by deputationists from neighbouring states or the Chandigarh administration as the MC was not able to promote its employees for the purpose.

During a general house of the MC in 1997, it was decided that the Punjab rules of 1965 would be followed for employees transferred from the Chandigarh administration. In 2005, a notification was approved by the house, which repealed the 1965 Punjab rules.

It was decided in 2005 that all transferred employees would be considered regular employees and fresh service rules would be framed for them. Till date, the authorities had not tabled any service rules in the house.

The MC had been approving fresh posts in its budget each financial year and forwarding those to the administration for its sanction as a majority of departments had been facing a staff crunch, but the administration had not sanctioned any fresh post till date.



New SDO (Buildings) pleads repatriation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
Barely 20 days after joining as new SDO (Buildings), AS Maini has written to the authorities to repatriate him to his parent UT engineering department citing health reasons.

Sources claim that Maini has written to higher-ups that he is suffering from asthma, cervical and back problem and therefore should be shifted back to the engineering department.

The post has courted too many controversies in the past and the administration has had a tough time looking for a suitable official for the post.

Following controversies in the past, the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Estate Officer had even sought fresh names of SDOs from the engineering department who could be transferred to the post of SDO (Buildings).

It all started when SDO (Buildings) KD Batra expressed his wish to be repatriated to his parent department after his period of three years recently expired.

Senior officials state that names are frequently repeated, as there are not many takers for the post.

“Owing to the intervention of the vigilance and the CBI in various matters in the past, none of the senior SDOs wants to come and hold this post,” says an official of the estate office.



Anti-encroachment drive by MC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The enforcement wing of the municipal corporation carried out an anti-encroachment drive in various parts of the city today.

The drive was carried out under the supervision of Lilat Siwach, Joint Commissioner-I, assisted by Kashmira Singh, enforcement inspector, along with supporting staff.

During the drive, 10 vehicles were removed from Sector 7 and Mani Majra. The vehicles were parked or dumped on pavements, public place and municipal land, causing inconvenience to public.

Siwach has warned encroachers and unauthorised junk dealers to remove encroachments from the municipal land on their own or face action from the corporation.



Rs 45.56-cr grant for GMCH
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The union ministry of health and family welfare, has sanctioned Rs 45.56 crore for strengthening and upgrading of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, to start new postgraduate disciplines and increase postgraduate seats.

The GMCH has projected to increase postgraduate seats to another 48 seats over and above the existing seats.

The first installment of Rs 17.09 crore will be released shortly. This is out of grant-in-aid of Rs 300 crore given to different medical colleges.

Following this, the health ministry will expect in next plan 48 seats of postgraduation in specialties of anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, pulmonary medicine, community medicine, forensic medicine, general medicine, paediatrics, dermatology, general surgery, psychiatry, transfusion medicine, orthopaedics, radio diagnosis, obstetrics and gynaecology.

Under the scheme, 15 medical colleges from all over the country have been selected and the GMCH has been given maximum support as compared to any other medical college selected for the purpose.

Among the surrounding medical colleges, Rs 14.5 crore have been sanctioned to Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, (HP) and Rs 13.3 crore to Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, Punjab.

The other medical colleges granted aid include five from Bihar and six from Rajasthan and one from Uttar Pradesh.



BJP training camp concludes

Chandigarh, September 14
The three-day training camp of the BJP concluded at Kharar, near here, yesterday.

Party media in charge Shakti Prakash Devshali said yesterday’s sessions included “Conversation: suggestions and comments” addressed by senior leader Ram Pyare Pandey whereas “National situation and BJP” was addressed by national secretary Abhimanyu.

All delegates were given a question paper to solve based on the syllabus and speeches of leaders, including topics like BJP’s history, working style, leadership, election management, personality development, e-technology, antyodaya, Chandigarh municipal corporation and development of party leadership.

Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh senior functionary Munishwar also addressed party activists who stressed the need for working towards strengthening the nation. — TNS



Docs put on temporary duty at 2 dispensaries
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, September 14
Doctors have been put on duty on a temporary basis at two civil dispensaries here which had no doctors for the past some time and these have also been asked to submit a demand for other requirements to improve overall functioning for the convenience of patients.

Two doctors have been put on duty at the primary health centre in Phase IIIB-1. While Rainu Singh will be present at the centre for four days, Dr Karamjit Singh will attend to patients on the remaining two days. Dr Monica Arora has been asked to take care of the civil dispensary in Phase VII.

Dr PK Shridhar, civil surgeon, said the SMO in charge of the Civil Hospital had been asked to arrange doctors in civil dispensaries even on days when the incumbent doctors had their day off because of performance of night duty at the Civil Hospital. Such arrangements could be made even for two or three hours on such days.

Shridhar said a meeting of the doctors working in the civil dispensaries was also called so that they could give their requirements to improve the functioning of such health centres. After getting to know about their demands, "We will see if these could be met from the budget at our level failing which help will be sought from higher authorities.”

It was reported in these columns on September 13 that out of the six dispensaries running in the town, two did not have doctors. The primary health centre in Phase III-B1 had been without a doctor for nearly a month and a half while the doctor on duty in the civil dispensary in Phase VII was posted out some days ago.



Security stepped up at Nada Sahib

Panchkula, September 14
Security arrangements were beefed up at two gurdwaras of Nada Sahib in Nada village and Manji Sahib at Pinjore here today in the wake of announcement made by the Haryana Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (HSGPC) (ad hoc) to take over the control.

In addition to deployment of 200 cops the administration has also imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in the district to avert any untoward incident.

Panchkula Superintendent of Police Maneesh Chaudhary said besides two SDMs as duty magistrates, a DSP would remain stationed on the spot. — TNS



1 H1N1, 4 dengue cases suspected
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 14
A case of suspected swine flu and four of dengue fever were reported by officials of the health department here today.Dr Jai Singh, district health officer, said a three-year-old child suspected to be suffering from swine flu was admitted in Cosmo Hospital in Sector 62.

Tamiflu medicine had been given to the child as he did not require a swab which was only done in the C-category patients.

He said three patients suspected to be suffering from dengue fever had got themselves admitted to Fortis Hospital while one of them was undergoing treatment at the Prime Hospital.

While three patients were from Phase X, Phase V and Pancham Society, one had come from Balongi. All of them were shown positive after the rapid test was conducted. Samples were collected and the report of the confirmatory test was awaited.

Dr PK Shridhar, civil surgeon, said additional employees were called from places like Dera Bassi, Gharuan and Boothgarh to carry out a house-to-house survey in the areas from where suspected dengue cases had been reported. As many as 60 slides were collected for tests from patients suffering from fever. Talks were also arranged in schools regarding the preventive measures to be taken against the spread of dengue fever.



Govt seeks time for fresh order
Fate of 100 fifth-batch BDS students at PU in limbo
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
On a petition filed by Panjab University for quashing the Union of India’s action of “arbitrarily” denying it the permission to admit the fifth batch to the BDS course, the Centre has asserted that it will pass a fresh order on the basis of a compliance report indicating the removal of deficiencies.

Justice Ranjit Singh, taking up the petition, observed: “As per the stand of the petitioner university, the compliance report indicating the removal of deficiencies has already been submitted to the competent authority, the Union of India.

“Counsel appearing for the Union of India prays for time to pass a fresh order on the basis of the compliance report. If there be any need, the petitioner may also be called for hearing.

“Counsel for the Dental Council of India says in case the compliance report is accepted by the Government of India, it will be required to carry out a fresh inspection to ascertain whether the deficiencies have been removed.”

The case would now come up on September 24. The fate of 100 students admitted to the fifth batch of the BDS course at Panjab University’s Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences continued to be in a limbo, as such.

The varsity had earlier sought the quashing of the Union of India’s action of “arbitrarily” denying it the permission to admit the fifth batch. Directions to the Union ministry were also sought for granting it permission to admit “the fifth batch in BDS course with 100 seats for the 2010-11 session”.

The varsity was arguing that certain deficiencies pointed out by the ministry were removed and a compliance report was submitted, yet, permission was denied.

The ministry acted in a mechanical manner and without application of mind and the action, as such, was arbitrary and illegal, the varsity contended through counsel Namrata Shergill.

She asserted the Union ministry, on July 12, 2006, granted permission to admit 100 students to the BDS course for the 2006-07 session. On July 14, 2007, it renewed permission for the second year. Again, on August 18, 2008, permission was renewed to admit 100 students for the third year for the 2008-09 session.

In July, 2009, permission for the fourth year for the 2009-10 session was granted. But, on May 5, deficiencies were pointed out to the varsity. The deficiencies were removed. Still, on July 23, the petitioner received a communication from the ministry, denying permission for admitting the fifth batch.



PSEB appoints controller of examination

Mohali, September 14
The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) today appointed the joint secretary and senior legal advisor Sukhwinder Kaur Saroya as the new controller of examination. She has been given the charge for two years. A total of seven candidates had come to appear in the interview for the post of the controller of examination. However, none of the candidates was found to be fulfilling the criteria. — TNS



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