C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Tribune Exclusive
‘First thing I saw was 3 boys chasing a girl’
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
An incident in which three helmetless motorcycle borne youths chasing a female scooterist were apparently passing vulgar remarks and making obscene gestures at her a couple of days ago was enough to shock Naunihal Singh, the newly appointed UT senior superintendent of police.

To top it all, all of them passed by a PCR vehicle with the harassed girl trying to speed up her scooter to get rid of the miscreants stalking her. The presence of the police failed to act as a deterrent to the rowdy youths, who went on tailing the girl while flouting traffic rules.

The incident provided enough food for thought for Naunihal about the sorry state of basic policing in the city. He narrated the incident during an informal chat with reporters at his office today while discussing his priorities.

“The girl was drenched in heavy rain and initially I thought she knew the boys. But later, the way they were taunting her and making obscene gestures at her I realized they were harassing a lone woman on the road. Seeing they could harm her my vehicles intercepted the motorbike borne youths who, sensing trouble, sped away in another direction”, the SSP said.

Though time and again incidents of rowdy youngsters indulging in reckless driving and hooliganism have been highlighted in the media, the police has failed to enforce order and safety on the roads, especially late at night.

Naunihal said one of his top priorities would be basic policing. “There must be a fear of the police among lawbreakers and antisocial elements who should think twice before doing anything wrong. At the same time law-abiding citizens should feel secure when approaching the cops”, he added.

About his plans, the SSP said he was yet to understand the structure and functioning of the city’s police. “I’ve noticed some old concepts of policing are not in practice while there’s a lot of talk about modernisation. The police here has no regular system for parades, besides other things, which I’ll look into and find ways to improve”, he added.



Poor infrastructure dogs Industrial Area
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Rechristened as the Industrial & Business Park a few years ago, the city’s industrial area appears to be nobody’s baby with upgrade of basic infrastructure crying for attention. This is despite the fact that the UT administration netted over Rs 600 crore from conversion of plots in the area for commercial use under its controversial policy.

While this huge amount has gone to the state exchequer, the development of infrastructure at the ground level leaves much to be desired, rue industrialists.

While the roads, particularly the internal ones, in the area were already in a bad shape the recent heavy rainfall caused further havoc with potholes dotting them at regular intervals. In fact, the rain had delayed work on recarpeting the roads, which was already behind schedule. Vehicles parked haphazardly on the roads have become a routine affair, leading to chaos outside several areas including shopping complexes, the Centra Mall and auto dealerships.

Rajiv Gupta, general secretary of the Federation of Small Scale Industries, complained the administration had adopted a “stepmotherly attitude” towards the area even though industrial units located there contributed huge revenues to the state exchequer.

Another entrepreneur alleged the administration’s “tall claims” about area’s development did not hold much water. “Four years ago the administration had decided to rename the area as the Industrial & Business Park, but new signboards have still not been put up, causing the area to have a virtual identity crisis,” he quipped.

With the retail revolution and an international airport coming up near the city, the industrial area needs special attention from the UT administration and the municipal corporation.

Chandigarh Industrial Association president MPS Chawla demanded a special package should be declared for the industrial area. “Since it’s a show window of the city the industrial area should reflect Chandigarh’s ethos and progressive nature,” he added.

Said Architect Sanjiv Sharma: “Though the administration has virtually destroyed the industrial area’s character it should now put its best foot forward to develop its infrastructure. The area’s changing character reflects the changing socioeconomic changes in the city and regulated growth and development is the need of the hour”.



Save our parks
City’s green belts plagued by neglect
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service


  • Area on which park developed: 7 acres
  • Number of gardeners deployed in it: 2
  • For 3 acres of green belt: 1 gardener
  • For 2,000 flower beds: 1 gardener
  • For 3,000 hedges running foot: 1 gardener
  • For 600 shrubs and climber: 1 gardener
  • For 600 trees: 1 gardener
  • Amount spent on green belt: Rs 8 lakh


  • Deployment of security guards in green belts to avoid thefts
  • Fines for not maintaining water bodies
  • Proper garbage collection system

Chandigarh, September 15
Considered its lungs, the city’s green belts, particularly parks in inner areas of sectors, are in bad shape. A classic example of the municipal corporation’s apathy is Gulmohar park in Sector 27, which was developed six years ago at a cost of over Rs 8 lakh.

The park presents an ugly sight with nonfunctional streetlights, an unclean water body and irregular garbage collection with piles of litter seen scattered all over the area. The park has also been plagued by the monkey menace for the past one year.

During a visit to the park it was found that the water body, installed in its middle last year at a cost of about Rs 35 lakh, was filled with refuse. The water has also become a breeding place for mosquitoes and flies.

Complaining about unnecessary waste of public funds by the civic body, regular joggers wondered if the MC did not have adequate staff to maintain such water bodies what was the need to install them in the first place.

Area residents said the sector would soon face an “epidemic like situation” if the park was not regularly maintained. Expressing their helplessness, they said though joggers had been requesting MC employees for the past one month to operate the park’s fountain and clean its dirty water, as it was emitting a foul smell, nothing had been done to rectify the situation till date.

In fact the gardeners also shirk their hands from the responsibility of maintaining the green belt properly with an excuse that there are only two gardeners in the park that has been developed on six acre of land.

He observed the monkey menace had become a problem not only for joggers but also for plantations costing thousand of rupees, which had been damaged by the simians during the past six months.

Residents can send their views on public parks in their areas to saveourparks@tribunemail.com



speaking out
green loses sheen

Devinder Singh BablaThe authorities have failed to chalk out a future plan for maintaining green belts. This problem has been taken up with the department concerned a number of times, but no concrete action has been taken till date.

— Devinder Singh Babla

Puspinder KaurThe green belt is nurturing problems instead of providing healthy environs. A number of joggers accompanying me earlier have discontinued their walks in the evenings. The stench is unbearable. The same water is recycled.

— Puspinder Kaur

Khem Chand BhardwajThis park was developed after persuasion from residents. It has now become a threat to the people. A number of monkey bite cases have occurred here, mostly during late-evening hours. The lights are non-functional.

— Khem Chand Bhardwaj

Vikas KadianIt is surprising that no day-to-day garbage collection system has been adopted by the authorities. I am fed up with the same reply about shortage of gardeners. Why is there no proper planning before developing a green belt?

— Vikas Kadian


Educity: Four institutes struck off the list
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Those recommended for cancellation

1. DAV College Managing Committee, New Delhi Institute of Biotechnology and Genomics

2. Fortis Health Care Ltd. New Delhi Institute of Health Service offering courses in Hospital & Healthcare Management Studies

3. Tech. Mahindra Ltd. Pune Computer Science, Automobile Engg. Telecom Engg. And other innovative but related fields of Engg

4. Thapar University, Patiala For running courses in Industrial Design and Healthcare Engineering.

Chandigarh, September 15
After almost five years of dilly-dallying, the project director of Educity, the Director Higher Education, Ajoy Sharma, has recommended the cancellation of four institutes which were shortlisted.

The move comes after the institutes failed to give their consent despite being given repeated reminders on August 6, 2009, September 3, 2009, and January 14, 2010.

The institutes are DAV College Management Committee, New Delhi, Fortis Health Care Ltd, New Delhi, Tech Mahindra Ltd, Pune, and Thapar Institute, Patiala.

The institutes figure in the seven-page status report recommending the cancellation, which is to be tabled at a meeting with the UT Adviser, Pradip Mehra, on September 23. The meeting was earlier scheduled for tomorrow.

As per the recommendation, it has been stated that “since these organisations have not sent their consent for the acceptance of terms and conditions of the licence agreement on the basis of which the project is to be run in spite of repeated opportunities offered to them, it seems that they are no more interested to sign the agreement”.

It has, therefore, been proposed to cancel their candidature. Now the cancellation would be sent to the UT Administrator for approval.

The administration had advertised the expression of interest (EOI) for the third phase of the Educity on October 16, 2008, and only 10 EOIs were received. It was decided and approved by the then Administrator that those institutes that had applied for the first and second phases may not be permitted to apply again as they had already been scrutinised.

Some of the institutes that have applied for phase III include Surya Educational and Charitable Trust, Mohali, Manav Rachna International University, Faridabad, International Institute of E-business Management, Mohali, Maharashi Markandeshewar University Trust Mullana, Ambala, Shri Guru Ramdas Educational Society, Mohali, Parabolic Drugs Ltd, Chandigarh, Max India Ltd., New Delhi, University of Petroleum and Energy study, New Delhi, Shri Raghunath Rai Memorial Educational & Charitable Trust, Mohali, and Jagan Nath Gupta Memorial Educational Society, Delhi.

However, the administration is keeping all these applications pending till the issues pertaining to phases I and II of the project are resolved.

For the first phase of Educity, 69 applications were received. A committee headed by the Home Secretary found 26 organisations eligible and recommended them for making presentations. Out of these, 10 institutes were shortlisted and six were recommended by another expert committee. These were Maya Academy of Advance Cinematic, Chandigarh, Hit Abhilashi Foundation Society, Chandigarh, Fortis Healthcare Ltd, New Delhi, Shri Vile Parle Kelvani Mandal, Mumbai, and Tech Mahindra, Mumbai.

For the second phase, 29 applications were received, out of which three were selected. Later, a common representation was raised by the shortlisted institutes, requesting for the revision of the terms of the agreement.

After a discussion with representatives of the shortlisted institutes, some clauses were amended and incorporated in the agreement.



Wife kills husband, arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The police has arrested Maheshwari, a 30-year-old woman, for allegedly killing her husband, Govind Singh Rana, at their house in Badheri village here this afternoon. The victim was reportedly a drunkard and worked with a Mohali-based caterer.

He would allegedly often beat up his wife. Eyewitnesses told the police that today again he returned home in an inebriated condition.

Around 4 pm, Maheshwari raised the alarm that her husband had committed suicide by hanging himself. The three children of the couple had gone for tuition at the time of the incident.

The police, however, noticed blood on the neck of the victim and found some marks on his wrists. Suspecting foul play, the police questioned Maheshwari who broke down and confessed to the crime.

She told the police that finding Govind in an inebriated condition, she tied his hands with a rope and choked him with a bamboo.



Bulbul Case
Departmental probe against doctors
No decision on DNB students; criminal proceedings likely against gynae wing head
Arun Sharma and Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Negligence panel ignored

As per norms, a case of medical negligence is supposed to be referred to a permanent committee constituted under the Supreme Court directives. The three-member committee here is chaired by Dr Raj Bahadur, principal-director of the GMCH. The UT administration, however, overlooked it and constituted another two-member committee, including Dr Raj Bahadur. “As per norms, it is the permanent negligence committee that looks into the allegations. We cannot go around asking for cases,” Dr Raj Bahadur remarked.

Chandigarh, September 15
The Chandigarh Administration is believed to have decided that criminal proceedings should be initiated against Dr Veena Sarna, head of the gynaecology department of the GMSH-16 for destroying the evidence of medical negligence in the Bulbul case.

As far as the other doctors indicted in the inquiry report are concerned, a departmental inquiry will be initiated against them. It has also been decided to consider their repatriation as and where applicable.

The fate of the Diplomate of National Board (DNB) students is still under consideration. At a meeting convened by the UT Adviser, Pradip Mehra, today, the members agreed that their was need to probe the role of the other doctors futher.

“The charges against Dr Veena stood established, but the role of the other doctors needs to be probed further as the decision would affect their career. The DNB has raised several issues which were not considered in the case so we want to go through them before deciding anything,” a member stated.

On July 21, Bulbul, a poor woman from Bihar, was forced to move about in the gynaecology department during labour. She delivered the baby near the OPD counter and the head of the baby reportedly hit the floor, causing instant death.

Dr Sarna was indicted along with Dr Usha Bansal, Dr Praveena Dhiman, and DNB students Dr Deepak Thakur, Dr Rita Gaba and Dr Vandna. The legal remembrancer had recommended criminal proceedings against many of them.

The DNB students have been protesting since last week against the report. Today, however, they decided to suspend their protest after meeting the UT Administrator, Shiv Raj Patil. He assured them that all aspects would be evaluated before taking any decision.


Subsistence Allowance
UT home guards to be paid double
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The UT administration has doubled the subsistence allowance given to UT police home guard volunteers on the pattern of the Punjab police. Though the Punjab police has enhanced the allowance from June 29 this year, UT police home guards volunteers are yet to get their enhanced pay as formalities for clearance of the budget for the same are in process.

The home guard volunteers from Punjab had carried out a long struggle with the state government for their demands. The Punjab government sought permission form the Union Home Ministry in this regard on June 17.

The Punjab police had enhanced the daily subsistence allowance of home guard volunteers from Rs 150 to Rs 300 from June 29, along with allowance for maintenance (washing) of uniform from Rs 40 to Rs 80. The Punjab police also announced an annual 5 per cent increase in allowances.

There are 1,352 home guard volunteers in the UT police, including 100 women. The UT police recruited 220 home guard volunteers on August 21, 2008.

Sources said the UT Home Secretary had forwarded a letter, dated September 3, to the UT Inspector-General of Police, informing him about the decision in enhancement of pay. The home guard volunteers were likely to get the enhanced allowance from next month.

A police officer said the enhancement in subsistence allowance would cost an additional Rs 7.50 crore and the entire budget for allowances given to home guard volunteers would turn out to be Rs 15 crore annually.

The UT finance department had sanctioned the budget for the same. The department needs Rs 4.50 crore this year to disburse the enhanced allowances from June 29.

Elated over the enhancement, a home guard volunteer said they had made several requests to the UT police to deduct Rs 100 per month from their subsistence allowance for allowing them free travel in CTU buses, like other police personnel of the UT police.

A senior officer said the Chandigarh police followed the Punjab police pattern, which did not have this facility for home guard volunteers.



Admn warns of water scarcity in tricity
Seeks release from Kajauli’s phases V, VI on time
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The UT administration pleaded today that the city would face a deficit if water was not released on time from phases V and VI of the Kajauli waterworks, near the Bhakra mainline.

This assertion was made in the Punjab and Haryana High Court while responding to the contentions of the Punjab government. The state informed the high court on August 13 that Chandigarh had no right to even a single drop of water from phases V and VI of the waterworks.

The matter came up for hearing during the resumed hearing of an ongoing petition filed by Mohali resident Kuljeet Singh Bedi.

He was seeking directions to expedite the completion of phases V and VI of the waterworks, which would bring an additional 40 million gallons of water every day for areas under covered by the tricity.

The Kajauli waterworks were located on the mainline canal near Morinda in Ropar district, from where water requirements of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula, including Chandi Mandir, were met.

The UT standing counsel informed the Bench that Chandigarh was prepared to bring 40 MGD of water from phases V and VI of the scheme from Kajauli at its cost and would allow 11 MGD as long-term royalty free water to Mohali.

After placing on record the report filed by the UT, the Bench asked the petitioners or any other party to file any response to it and adjourned the case for further hearing till November.



Rent of village booths up
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
After water tariff hike, the municipal corporation is now all set to increase the rent of booths and shops of the corporation in the villages. The finance and contract committee meeting chaired by the Mayor, Anu Chartath, today decided that the rent of booths would be fixed according to the site, but the minimal increase would be of Rs 5,000 per month.

The Mayor instructed the authorities to increase the rent of those booths in villages that belonged to the corporation. All the booths and shops of the villages were given on rent by the panchayats earlier at a nominal rent of Rs 100 to Rs 800. Since the shifting of the villages to the corporation, there has been no increase of rent of the booths, despite the rehabilitation of these villages and an increase in the prices of property.

Members also suggested that the booths which were lying vacant in the villages should be given on rent only after the revision of rent by the authorities.

The committee also decided that from now on, private builders would have to shell out Rs 1,000 for 1,000 sq ft for a month to the authorities for stacking construction material for commercial buildings while for residents, the amount would be Rs 250 for 1,000 sq ft.

Meanwhile, getting a poor response from contractors in the bid for four parking lots in which the MC authorities had made it mandatory for the contractor to install automatic and semi automatic systems at their own cost. Members of the F&CC took a U-turn and decided that now the authorities would bear the cost of installing a fully automatic system in Sector 17 and a semi-automatic system in Sectors 22 and 35, which would later be maintained by the contractors after auction.

The committee asked officials of the civic body to allot the work of installing the system soon.

Besides this, the rough cost for providing pavement blocks on the berm of V-4 road in Sectors 32, 41, 46 and 52 was also sanctioned. The committee also approved the expenditure for the peace fest.

The rough estimate for providing interlocking pavements in open space for community parking in various parks in Sector 15 has also been approved.



DT Mall backs its staff
Submits footage of Sunday’s brawl
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Reacting to the news item “2 held for brawl at mall; police role under cloud” in these columns on Tuesday, the authorities of the DT Mall here stated that their security guard was beaten up by the two persons the police arrested on Sunday night.

Supporting their claims, they submitted CCTV footage of the incident, recorded by their cameras installed at the mall.

According to a press note issued by Sanjeev Kochhar, who had been managing public relations for the DLF, the footage showed that one hooligan was pulling back a security guard, Ram Rattan, who tried to fend himself from being beaten up, while the other was kicking the guard in his face.

It added that as per the footage, the accused chased fireman Satish (with his shirt torn) in public view in front of the policemen, who rushed there to rescue the security guard and the fireman.

About eyewitness Suraj Mukhi Sharma, it claimed that the footage showed that he was not present at the time of the brawl.

Refuting the allegations levelled by the wife of one of the accused, it noted that they allowed them exit from the entry when people who followed the guard stopped them.

On this, the hoodlums began thrashing the guard. The police said the case was dealt with on merit and facts. The CCTV footage supported the facts mentioned in the first information report.

On Sunday, the police arrested Sukhjit Singh, a Patiala-based property dealer, and his cousin Kulwinder Singh for assaulting and threatening security guards at the mall on a complaint lodged by Satish of Kishangarh village.

A security guard at the mall, he sustained injuries in the assault.



IT raids at immigration agency’s offices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
After realtors, immigration consultants are on the radar of the income tax department. Surveys were conducted at the offices of a city based agency, Healthyway Immigration.

An amount of Rs 20 lakh was found, but officials said the cash found on the premises of the company had not been seized yet.

The surveys commenced around noon and were continuing till the time of the filing of this report. According to officials, several documents and computer data were seized.

The surveys were conducted the offices at Sectors 35, 42 and 44 under the supervision of IT Commissioner HC Negi.

While IT officials were tight-lipped about the documents and maintained that those were being scrutinised, sources claimed that they had enough leads indicating IT violations by the agency.

The company had two subsidiaries, Carrier Abroad at Sector 44 and Carrier Viewer at Sector 35.



HUDA launches web portal
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 15
The Haryana Urban Development Authority has launched its web portal, benefiting over 2.5 lakh plot allottees in the state. The portal will also benefit new prospective allottees, as it will provide the facility of online submission of applications for new schemes.

Haryana Chief Secretary Urvashi Gulati, who launced the portal at the HUDA head office yesterday, emphasised the need for maintaining the manual system besides the online facility to give allottees an option of selecting their choice.

She also emphasised the need for exploring the possibility of providing more online facilities like grant of completion certificate and providing extra comfort level while dealing with property matters.

She said professional bodies had been authorised for self-certification, however there was some hesitation on their part. More response from their side was expected for the success of the self-certification facility, she added.

Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Town and Country Planning, K Jalan said the allottees could now make online payment for outstanding dues for their property anywhere, anytime.

In the first phase, allottees having account in Axis and HDFC banks can avail of direct debit facility, while others can make payment through credit card.

Integration of software with the direct debit facility of other banks was in progress. This will minimise the risk of carrying cash to banks or wait for posting of vouchers in the allottee’s account. These payments will automatically be reflected in the property account.

A confirmation to this effect will be sent to the e-mail address of the allottee.

People will be able to apply online for schemes floated for the draw of plots.

Advanced search features have been introduced for viewing the registration number and other details of applications for new schemes.

HUDA Chief Administrator DPS Nagal said the portal software would also be integrated with other banks so that more allottees could avail of the direct debit facility.

Further, HUDA was in the process of establishing toll-free enquiry centre for allottees and residents where queries related to HUDA processes and schemes would be answered over the phone to minimise rush to the HUDA offices.



CTCC president’s election a mockery
No papers filed; high command to decide
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The Congress high command has made a mockery of the election of the president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC). September 12 and 13 had been fixed for the filing of nominations while yesterday was reserved for the scrutiny of nomination papers.

Though it was a constitutional obligation, no nomination papers had been filed for the election, slated for September 17.

In fact, a section of 25 recently nominated territorial Congress committee members had reportedly demanded the election of CTCC president, keeping democratic traditions in mind.

This section was in minority and its voice was apparently not heard by the section which was in majority, which looked up to the party high command for all major decisions.

On earlier occasions, the CTCC president had been ‘imposed’ by the party high command, though there used to be a semblance of democracy as various candidates used to file nominations.

CTCC president BB Bahl could not be contacted for comment. Party sources said the decision to select the president would be left to the high command.

A resolution authorising the high command to take a decision on the issue would be passed on September 16.

The high command’s high-handedness was nothing new for the Chandigarh Congress.

The high command had recently nominated territorial Congress committee members though elections at the ward level were yet to take place.

According to the party’s constitution, election to 25 wards had to be conducted before the election of those members.



Move to form Mohali municipal corporation
Keep Banur, Dera Bassi out: MLA
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 15
Even as Congress MLA from Kharar Balbir Singh Sidhu has opposed the inclusion of Banur and Dera Bassi areas in the formation of Mohali municipal corporation, development works worth over Rs 15.65 crore are being undertaken by the civic body to improve the facilities in the town.

Addressing a press conference here today, Sidhu said he along with his supporters would oppose any move to include Banur and Dera Bassi areas in the new Mohali corporation because such a step would not help in the development of the town.

He said the decision to upgrade the civic body was only a political one and had nothing to do with the welfare of residents here.

He alleged that the government had an eye on the panchayat land in villages, which would come under its control after these areas were included in the corporation.

Moreover, he said, the development of Mohali and adjoining areas was being carried out by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the corporation could not play a major role there. He said he was not against the upgrade of the civic body to a corporation but was opposed to the inclusion of areas like Banur and Dera Bassi.

The MLA said development works worth Rs 1,565.58 lakh were being undertaken in Mohali. Work orders had been given for some projects, while tenders were floated in case of others.

He said development works got delayed because of the extended monsoon. He added that Rs 222 lakh was being spent on laying of premix carpet in the parking areas in various markets, which were in a state of neglect.

Another Rs 213 lakh would be spent on improving the condition of “B” and “C” type roads, Rs 122 lakh on strengthening the main roads, Rs 200 lakh on developing parts of the Industrial Area that were under the municipal council and Rs 75 lakh on improving streetlight functioning in various parts of the town.

He had talked to GMADA authorities to lay a “kutcha” track in the leisure valley for the convenience of walkers.



Mohali police gets 7 PCR vehicles
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 15
Seven Tavera PCR vehicles equipped with GPS system were flagged off by Inspector-General of Police Paramjit Singh Gill from the police station in Phase VIII here today.

Gill said the vehicles, purchased under the modernisation scheme, were equipped to provide basic first aid to injured persons.

The police so far had 17 PCR motorcycles and the new vehicles purchased at the cost of around Rs 50 lakh would help keep a better vigil in the town.

Each vehicle will have four employees and will be in direct contact with the police control room.

The police will carry out patrol round-the-clock in these vehicles. The town has been divided into seven sectors and nodal points have been assigned to each PCR vehicle.

The IG said apart from patrolling, the vehicles would respond to any untoward incident in their assigned area. The police station concerned would be informed immediately about the incident.

Accident victims would also be attended to promptly.



Pensioners protest govt apathy
Our Correspondent

Members of the Punjab State Pensioners Association hold a dharna at Phase V, Mohali
Members of the Punjab State Pensioners Association hold a dharna at Phase V, Mohali, on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, September 15
Members of the Punjab State Pensioners Association held a protest in Phase V here today against the insensitive attitude of the government towards their demands. Pensioners from the Mohali and Kharar areas had gathered to condemn the government for making assurances that were never fulfilled.

General secretary Mohan Singh said three protests had been organised by them since February and memoranda had been submitted to Punjab Chief Minister, finance minister and chief secretary but to no avail.

They said the government had no problem in increasing financial benefits to MLAs but when it came to pensioners, they were told that the treasury was empty.

They demanded that their arrears for 43 months be released and revised allowances, including leave encashment, be paid to them.

They also urged the government to directly reimburse medical bills in case of chronic diseases to hospitals where patients got themselves treated instead of involving them in a cumbersome procedure.



Another couple seeks protection

Panchkula, September 15
Apprehending threat to their lives from their family members following their inter-caste marriage, another couple approached the local court here today. District and Sessions Judge PL Ahuja directed the Panchkula police to provide security to the couple.

While the bridegroom belongs to a Brahmin family of Hisar, the bride is from the Balmiki community.

On September 6, they got married and their relatives came to know about it. Both started getting threats from their families. On Monday, the relatives of another newly-wed couple had thrashed an advocate who had reportedly tried to protect them. — TNS



A slice of valour from Sikh history
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 15
AXIOM communications theatre group staged its maiden play “Singh Soorme” at the Randhawa auditorium here today. Written by veteran actor playwright Gurcharan Singh Dardi, the play depicted a slice of valour from the Sikh history under the direction of debutante director Amrit pal Singh.

The central characters of the real historic event Sukhha Singh and Mehtab Singh, who dared the royal Mughals are hailed as the saviours of the community.

Amritpal Singh, president, AXIOM, said the main objective behind staging of the play was to bring back today’s youth to the right path. Veteran versatile actor Parvesh Sethi, Gurcharan Dardi, Narinder Nina, Amritpal Singh, Kapil Kalyan, Harpreet Virk, Poonam Labana, Lakhvinder, Malkiat, Jarnail Singh, Manjeet Kaur Jatinder Shammi and others played important roles.



ISKCON celebrates Radhashtmi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) celebrated Radhashtami (birthday of Radha Rani) at Hare Krishna Dham, Sector 36-B, here today. Thousands of devotees thronged the temple, said Nand Maharaj Das Prabhu, president, local unit of ISKCON.

Idols of Radha Krishna were covered with flowers. The main attraction of the function was “charan darshan” of Radha followed by mangla arti, nagar kirtan, sringaar darshan and mahabhishek of Sri Radha Madhav and discourse on the past of Srimati Radharani .

A special programme “nauka vihar” by Lord Krishna and Radha were organised in the evening. Their idols were placed in an artificial boat.

Earlier, a prize distribution function was held at the temple hall. Schoolchildren from the tricity participated in colouring, drawing and quiz.


In colouring, Charu from DC Model Senior Secondary School, Panchkula, bagged the first prize, while Shankar from Blue Bird High School, Panchkula, and Vritika Chaudhary of St Xavier’s, Chandigarh, stood second and third, respectively. Consolation prize was given to Meghna Sharma of Hall Mark Public School, Panchkula. In drawing, Ramneet Kaur from Shivalik Public School, Chandigarh, stood first, while Avani Garg from Gurukul School, Panchkula, and Sunil (Blue Bird) got second and third prizes, respectively. Consolation prize was won by Mahima (DC Model School-Panchkula). In quiz, Vineeti (DC Model-Panchkula) and Struti (Sarv Hitkari Vidya Mandi-Dera Bassi) got the first prize. Second prize went to Himani Singh (Blue Bird) and Jayanti Singla (Bhawan Vidyalaya-Chandigarh). In the fancy-dress competition, Jatin (Shishu Niketan-22) stood first, Nakul (Blue Bird) secured the second position, while Sagar (Blue Bird) stood third.



Man falls off terrace, in hospital
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Mahanto was critically injured after falling off the terrace of a showroom at Sector 23 here on Tuesday night. He was found this morning. The police said Mahanto, a 24-year-old resident of Kolkata, worked at a jewellery shop at Sector 23.

Investigators said he fell in an inebriated condition. He was rushed to the PGI, where his condition was stated to be stable.



2 religious structures razed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The enforcement staff of the Chandigarh municipal corporation today demolished two illegal religious structures in Sector 16. The drive was conducted under the supervision of MC Joint Commissioner Lalit Siwach.

The enforcement staff was equipped with two JCB machines and more than 24 employees. Two enforcement inspectors, including KD Sharma and Kashmiri Singh, were also present.



No need to have innovative varsities: Prof Yash Pal
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Prof Yash Pal, former University Grants Commission (UGC) chairperson, today expressed strong dissent on the proposal of the Union Government to set up 14 innovative universities.

At a professors’ meet at the UGC-Academic Staff College, Panjab University, he put forward his opinion while delivering a talk on “Education at the crossroads: A debate between liberal arts and science”.

Emphasising the need to let creativity flourish in the educational set-up, he said, “The idea of creating special universities for innovations in the country does not make sense. Does it mean that the other universities are doing no innovative work?”

It was revealed that after setting up 16 central universities, the Union Government plans to set up 14 “innovative” universities, especially for research and innovation purpose. The innovative universities would allow freedom to choose syllabi of courses.

He said a round-table conference was held in that regard in New Delhi and he had lodged strong dissent on the issue of setting up such universities.

“There should be freedom to chose with whom a research scholar wants to work,” he said. Lamenting the deterioration in creativity of students due to coaching classes, Yash Pal said, “The trend of coaching institutes is the biggest destroyer of creativity in students. After coaching business for engineering entrance exams, now a fresh trend of tuitions for NET exam has also begun.”

He said the idea of converting Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) into universities could also be mooted.



42 students asked to submit SAT scorecards
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

The first year students, who sought admission against NRI seats, were made to sit at the computer systems by PEC officials and were asked to provide their original scorecards. The SAT score is mandatory for the foreign students seeking admissions in PEC university. The scorecard of SAT, which is conducted by an American firm, is delivered to students either through their individual account or is posted to the educational institute, whose address is specified by the students. In this case, the students had requested the firm to deliver their scorecard to NIT-Suratkal (Karnataka)


  • PEC dean academics states, “We will ensure double-checking of documents from next year”
  • PEC consolidating documents of 150 students enrolled
  • 42 first year students asked to generate original SAT scorecard
  • CBI asks NIT-Suratkal to verify all SAT scorecards received

Chandigarh, September 15
Nearly 42 students, who sought admission this year under the Direct Admission of Students Abroad (DASA) scheme this year, were asked to generate their SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) result card from their personal account.

The deadline for submitting original documents by nearly 150 foreign students enrolled at PEC University of Technology also expired today.

The first year students, who sought admission against NRI seats, were made to sit at the computer systems by PEC officials and were asked to provide their original scorecards. The SAT score is mandatory for the foreign students seeking admissions in PEC university.

The scorecard of SAT, which is conducted by an American firm, is delivered to students either through their individual account or is posted to the educational institute, whose address is specified by the students. In this case, the students had requested the firm to deliver their scorecard to NIT-Suratkal (Karnataka).

The CBI has now directed NIT-Suratkal to verify SAT scores received by them for admission to all other engineering institutes in the country. CBI DIG, Mahesh Agarwal said, “We have asked NIT-Suratkal to scrutinise and check the authenticity of all SAT scorecards.”

In addition to this, the process of consolidating data related to the passport and other documents of all foreign students has begun on the PEC campus.

“Nearly 150 students were asked to submit their original documents and the students continued to submit the required papers throughout the day. We are now processing the data and will be able to comment on the status tomorrow,” said Sanjeev Sofat, dean academics.

“We have also made it clear to the students that the data being collected is to be forwarded to the CBI,” he added.

Meanwhile, alarmed at the arrest of 11 students, other foreign students at PEC continued to inquire from officials about the submission of original documents. To this, a PEC official added that the students have been assured that the CBI will scrutinise the documents.



Principal’s Suspension
Admn objects to DAV mgmt’s decision
Tribune News Service

I am being victimised: Josan

Speaking to the TNS, BC Josan claimed that he was being victimised for no fault of his. He claimed to have taken the college to new heights of success, but the management has failed to appreciate his efforts.“Just because I think differently on an issue, I cannot be victimised. I am fighting against the transfer orders and now will fight against suspension. The decision was hasty and intentionally taken in the absence of a DHE nominee and other governing body members,” said Josan

Chandigarh, September 15
The DAV management’s “sudden” act of suspending BC Josan from the post of principal, DAV College, Sector 10, has run it into trouble with the UT administration. In an objection letter shot to the management, the administration has highlighted the fact that the meeting preceding the decision was held without a UT’s representative and as per the norms, the decision could be treated as null and void.

“I received the invitation for the governing body meeting just a day before its scheduled date. I immediately responded to them demanding the specified notice period to hold any such meeting. Ideally, no such decision can be taken without a DHE nominee,” said director higher education (DHE) Ajoy Sharma.

In addition to this, GK Chatrath, PU Senator and a member of the governing body, also shot a letter of dissent to the management claiming it to be a sheer harassment of the college principal.

“The way he is being chucked out is not justified. No teacher or principal should ever be victimised for difference of opinion with the management. Earlier, he was transferred to Malot and when this could not happen they suspended him. The decision was not taken in presence of all members, so it needed to be reviewed. We are waiting for the minutes of meeting now,” said Chatrath.

Meanwhile, PU-affiliated Non-government Colleges’ Principal Association has threatened to go on an indefinite strike if the decision is not reverted. “The charges levelled against Josan are of before his tenure. It is illegal to suspend him while his transfer case is pending in the court. If the decision is not reverted, all colleges will come to a standstill,” said association president SS Randhawa.



Professors’ meet on PU campus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The UGC-Academic Staff College, Panjab University, organised a professors’ meet on the theme “Education at the crossroads: A debate between liberal arts and science” on the PU campus here today.

Prof Yash Pal, former UGC chairman condemned the “cubicalisation of the existing knowledge, hide bound and strait jacketed way of functioning of the higher education institutes”.

He motivated audience to define knowledge in a broader perspective and not to confine it.

“The last battle of my life is to gain freedom for educational institutes. A system has to be established in which the difference between state and central universities must disappear,” he added.

He suggested that instead of being given courses by the UGC, the universities must design their own courses and prepare its outline and syllabi.

Prof BN Goswamy, professor, Emeritus, Panjab University, highlighted several incidents where liberal arts and science touch and intersect each other and in the process enrich and compliment each other.

Prof Shelley Walia, director, Academic Staff College, Panjab University, focused on the need to have more debates, dialogues and discussions in order to strengthen academic pillars of the university.

Around 50 professors and more than 50 lecturers, research scholars attended the meet.



Third counselling for BEd on Sept 21
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The third counselling for the admission to the vacant seats in BEd regular for the Union Territory colleges (UT and general pool), including BEd yoga, will be held on September 21 at the Law Auditorium on the Panjab University campus.

The counselling will commence from 9 am and 10 am for the UT, general and Scheduled Castes categories in subject combinations, namely SST/languages; science/English; science/mathematics; music/language and SST/Punjabi.

Candidates seeking admission under the reserved category must bring relevant documents in support of their claim. The admissions for BEd yoga will be held simultaneously with BEd regular. The students should also bring original certificates at the time of counselling, informed VK Walia, chairman, JAC, BEd-2010.



Dr Gurmeet gets state award
Tribune News Service

Dr Gurmeet Singh Chandigarh, September 15
Dr Gurmeet Singh, associate professor, department of Hindi, Panjab University, has been awarded the Haryana state award for literary journalism for the year 2008-2009.

The award was presented by Haryana education minister Geeta Bhukkal at a function held at the Haryana Niwas on Tuesday to mark the “Hindi Divas” celebrations.

The award comprises Rs 1 lakh cash and a citation. The award is instituted by the Haryana Sahitya Academy, Panchkula, in the name of late Lala Deshbandhu Gupta, a renowned freedom fighter and a journalist.

Before joining PU, Dr Gurmeet Singh has worked in the field of Hindi journalism for over a decade. He also covered Kargil war and Gujarat earthquake, besides many other major events. He regularly contributes articles to newspapers and magazines on literary and current issues. Dr Gurmeet Singh is a member of the PU Senate.



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