C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Class XII student stabbed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
A 25-year-old youth allegedly stabbed a Class XII student who had come to seek guidance form his schoolteacher, living next door to the accused’s house in Sector 27 here, this evening.

The 16-year-old victim, Manmeet Singh, a resident of Sector 32, was rushed to the Sector 16 Government Multi Speciality Hospital with multiple stab wounds on his face and chest. He was bleeding profusely and was admitted in a critical condition. Later doctors said he was out of danger.

In a state of shock, Neeru Rajwanshi, a chemistry lecturer at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33, said her neighbour, Vishal Joshi, was sitting on a chair in the verandah of his house when Manmeet came around 5.30 pm.

“He followed Manmeet and barged in my house with a knife. He began stabbing Manmeet, leaving all of us shell-shocked. Manmeet ran for his life, but Vishal chased him to the back of my house and stabbed him in the chest. My son tried to intervene, but in vain, as Vishal only left Manmeet when he collapsed,” Neeru said.

She said her son rushed Manmeet to hospital in his car and the police was informed about the incident. Vishal was apprehended from his house. The police seized the blood-drenched jacket of Manmeet and his turban from the spot.

In police custody Vishal said Manmeet was using foul language against him and a tussle had been going on between them. “Today he again abused me and challenged me to do whatever I can. I thought of teaching him a lesson,” Vishal said. The SHO of the Sector 26 police station, Inspector Shri Parkash, said: “They were yet to get the details of the injuries and would likely register a case of attempt to murder against the accused who is unemployed. His father is posted in the Haryana health department.”

A police officer said the accused had tattooed “death” on one arm with a blade and “30 sarkar-bau” on the other. “We are questioning him to know his mental state,” he said.



Youths tie up elderly woman, flee with Rs 35 lakh
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 10
Three unidentified youths allegedly decamped with Rs 35 lakh after tying up an elderly woman at her house in Phase IX here last night. The police suspects that the accused were known to the family of NRI Jastesh Singh who had sold off his land for Rs 35.25 lakh in Ludhiana yesterday and had come here with the cash.

According to reports, Jastesh Singh had told the police that he and other members of his family had gone to Chandigarh to have dinner and the victim was alone in the house at that time. The bag containing the money was also in the house. When he returned after over an hour, he was told that three youths had entered the house forcibly and tied her up.

The family, however, made no complaint to the police. A relative of the NRI who is in the police had rung up SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar in this regard. It is learnt that Bhullar visited the house and asked the NRI to give a complaint in writing. The SSP, however, said no complaint had been received so far, but the matter was being investigated.



‘Unsafe’ residents decry basic policing
Tribune News Service

Councillors not invited

Both councillors of the area, where the interactive sessions were held between the RWA and the police, resented not being invited. Ward 21 councillor Ravinder Pal Singh Pali was not invited to the interaction in Sector 46. Ward 17 councillor Anju Beniwala (Sector 21) said she had not been informed about the meeting. She said it was the duty of the police to inform area councillors about such interactions

Chandigarh, November 10
Residents of Sector 21 today poured out their hearts in an interaction with senior police officials, complaining that the absence of beat box and poor patrolling had led to a deterioration in the law and order situation which was marked by an increase in robberies, snatching incidents, traffic violation, drunk driving and eve-teasing over the last one year.

Prem Lata, a resident, pointed out the absence of round-the-clock patrolling and a beat system in the area which had been encouraging anti-social elements. She said it had become dangerous for women to step out after 7.30 pm with snatching incidents becoming a routine.

She also said there was a rise in eve-teasing and attacks on senior citizens during their morning and evening strolls and asked the police to ensure a permanent solution to these problems. Supporting her, Ashok Kumar, an elderly resident, complained that he had recently been attacked by two youths with a knife in the green belt of the sector during evening hours. He said he did not lodge a complaint with the police as his past experience in dealing with the police had not been pleasant. Highlighting traffic negligence, Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh (FOSWAC) president PC Sangi said the police was not checking rash drivers and traffic violators in the area.

Residents were unanimous in their views that they did not need a large police force to control crime in the area. Rather, they said, it was essential that the grassroot policing system of beat box and patrolling on motorcycles should be revived to instill fear in the minds of anti-social elements. SSP Naunihal Singh said the police was in the process of strengthening basic policing. The Police Control Room had been asked to seek feedback from callers regarding the efficiency of the police.



Cops promise to get tough
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Corruption thrives: IGP

Responding to law and order concerns that was affecting the restaurant business in the city, UT IGP PK Srivastava seemed to concede that the police was part of the problem. He asked the Chandigarh Hospitality Association members to stick to the bar timing and desist from taking undue liberties. “If you follow rules and avoid making undue profits by bribing the police, it will help us in providing you with better policing. Corruption is a two-way process,” he said.

Chandigarh, November 10
Responding to serious concerns expressed on the menace of drunk driving and drinking in cars (colloquially termed car-o-bar) with unauthorised black screens expressed by members of the Chandigarh Hospitality Association, the police today promised to put a halt to the menace.

UT police chief PK Srivastva said a drive had been launched against such forms of youth menace which hoteliers said was affecting their business.

The announcement came in the form of an assurance by the UT IGP to members of the association during an interaction at a restaurant in Sector 26. Association members expressed concern that parking lots, especially in Sector 35, were being frequented by rowdy elements who had been indulging in drunken brawls. Association president Atul Grover urged the IGP to introduce online submission of C-Forms (a detailed form about foreign visitors) as they were facing inconvenience while submitting forms at the Police Headquarters in Sector 9. UT SSP Naunihal Singh said a follow-up meeting would be held with hoteliers to discuss modalities on November 16.

The IGP said online submission of forms needed to be done as a certified document requiring a digital signature. Alamjit Singh Mann, owner of a restaurant, highlighted the menace of brats from influential families carrying weapons in their vehicles in market places. He urged the IGP to start random searches of vehicles at entry points of parking lots. The IGP said he had received similar complaints from Sectors 8 and 9 markets, and would take action to check it. The members also complained about the harassment they were facing at the hands of the police whenever an incident occurred inside or outside their premises. The IGP said they would not be questioned unnecessarily if they installed CCTV cameras within and outside the premises as the footage would facilitate police investigations.

“Just inform us about the incident and feel free. We will not drag you in the case. We will even lodge a complaint on our own if need be. But never try to brush aside the matter to avoid being named in the matter,” the SSP said. “We have blacklisted rowdy elements and are sharing the lists among ourselves to bar the entry of such anti-social elements,” said Grover, who owns a hotel in Sector 43. SP (Operations) RS Ghuman asked them to share the list with the police.



This Divali worse than last
Pradeep Sharma/TNS

Deafening Festival

  • Air, noise pollution levels maximum in Sector 29, minimum in Panjab University
  • Kaimbala, Kajheri and Mani Majra top in sound levels
  • Sectors 22, 29, Kajheri and Kaimbala top in RSPM, SPM levels

The Implications

  • Higher RSPM, SPM levels lead to respiratory discomfort
  • Chemicals in crackers like lead, magnesium and sodium have harmful effects on the body
  • NOx results in skin problems, eye irritation and respiratory problems

Chandigarh, November 10
Post-Divali, the decibel level and air quality in terms of respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM), suspended particulate matter (SPM), sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) were measured at seven locations in the city following the directions of the Central Pollution Control Board.

While the maximum air and noise pollution was found in Sector 29, the minimum pollution levels were found on the sprawling PU campus spread over 550 acres in Sectors 14 and 25. The other places which were studied are Sectors 22, 9 and 29, Mani Majra, Kajheri and Kaimbala.

The data, which is yet to be made public by the Chandigarh Administration, revealed that the RSPM was higher than last year at all seven places except PU, Sector 9 and Mani Majra. The RSPM levels were, however, higher than the permissible levels in all seven places.

The PU, Sector 9 and Mani Majra also recorded less SPM levels than last year while other areas, including the densely-populated and one of the oldest sectors, Sector 22, recorded more SPM levels. As far as the NOx levels are concerned, Sector 22, Sector 9, Kajheri and PU recorded higher levels than last year.

While sound levels exceeded the permissible limits in all locations, sound levels in the rural area of Kaimbala, Kajheri and Mani Majra were higher than last year. It seems campaigns for a green Divali yielded no results. A random analysis of the data reveals that city residents went overboard bursting crackers, raising pollution levels that affected the health of several residents. As many as 65,000 residents suffering from asthma and chronic bronchitis had a harrowing time.



Ailing GMSH-16
Doctors groan under old OPD load
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
It is a double whammy for overburdened doctors of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16. While the limited number of doctors are already hassled by the over 50 per cent increase in new outpatient department (OPD) patients from 2005 to 2010, they are also expected to examine over 3,300 additional old OPD patients.

In 2005, doctors examined 15,100 old OPD patients compared to 18,456 patients this year, an increase of 3,356 patients.

The examination of the new and old OPD patients, coupled with surgical procedures, consumes most of the time for doctors, particularly senior medical officer (SMO) and medical officer (MO) level doctors. With staff shortage staring the hospital in the face, the doctors cannot spend the requisite time on patients, information sought by Anil Malik under the RTI has revealed.

While the situation in all departments is bad, it is particularly worse in certain departments. For instance, the number of old OPD patients in the skin department has shot up to 1,787 patients in 2010 compared to 889 in 2005, marking an increase of 901 patients.

The medicine department was not far behind with the increase reported to be 851, up from 2,942 (July 2005) to 3,793 (July 2010). In the gynaecology department, the increase in the number of patients was a sizable 405, up from 3,187 in 2005 to 3,692 in 2010.

The acute staff shortage at the hospital has taken its toll on medicare, which along with the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, was supposed to take the load of the PGI.

With medicare in the private sector virtually going out of the reach of the lower middle class, the GMSH and GMCH provide an alternative. However, the acute shortage of medical and paramedical staff comes in the way of providing prompt medicare to the common man.



Not enough gynaecologists
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
With the UT Administration having suppressed the recruitment of doctors, the gynaecology department of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, which had 18 doctors on roll in 2005 is now down to a mere six, marking a 66 per cent decline.

Apart from attending to an average 250 patients in the OPD daily, the doctors also attend to patients in the general ward, the labour room, operating theatre and the family planning clinic.

It was in this department that a woman delivered in the OPD on July 21, following which the newborn died instantly. This led to the indictment and subsequent repatriation of two gynaecologists, while a third gynaecologist sought voluntary retirement, bringing the doctor strength in the department down to six.

The depletion in strength has not only led to an overcrowding of OPDs, but also affected services in the general ward, the labour room, the operating theatre and the family planning clinic.

Information collected from the UT health department reveals that a total 6,005 patients visited the hospital’s gynaecology OPD in July alone this year. In addition, 740 babies were delivered.

The OPD only has two gynaecologists, each of who daily attend to an average 125 patients in a span of six hours from 9 am. It arguably makes an interesting study for students of the hospital management.

A doctor said an average 25 babies were being delivered daily and at any given time there are about 50 patients admitted with either labour pains or in an advanced stage of pregnancy, requiring to be examined between every 10 minutes to an hour. It makes it impossible to do justice with limited doctors, said a doctor on the condition of anonymity.

The hospital’s Medical Superintendent, Dr Rajiv Vadhera, however, denies that the doctor shortage was affecting the quality of treatment. “There is definitely a shortage of doctors. But the gap is being filled by utilising the services of doctors deputed at other places in the city,” he said. Three of the doctors have been withdrawn from the community health centre in Mani Majra and the polyclinic in Sector 45 and assigned to work at the GMSH,” he said.


Nursery Admission
Parents scramble for wards’ berth
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 10
With the process of admissions to the nursery class set in motion in schools, anxious parents are making all out efforts to find seats for their wards in the better institutions in the town.

What comes as a relief to parents is that schools are not interviewing tiny tots or parents for giving admission. While a policy of first-come, first-served is being followed by some institutions, a draw of lots is also being held for giving admissions to students of nursery class.

Arti Sachdeva, who today collected a prospectus for admission, said she was relieved to see that there was no mad rush for admissions, but would have to apply in more than one school to ensure that her child got admitted. She said the fee structure in good schools was on the higher side and it became difficult for the salaried class to pay that heavy sum.

Janajit Ray, principal of Yadavindra Public School, said: “A child’s capability is beyond question. Who am I to judge children and every child has an equal right to get admission in my school.”

He said the school would be admitting students in the nursery class on the basis of a draw of lots though some seats were reserved for the children of staff members, siblings and children of old Yadavindrians. No interview of children or of parents was required.

The school has four sections of 20 students each for nursery class. A child has to pay a sum of Rs 32,350 at the time of admission, apart from a monthly fee of Rs 3,450. The school is equipped with gadgets to enable students to learn through experience.

However, admission to students is being given on a first-come, first -served basis in Manav Mangal Smart School and Millennium School.

Director of Manav Mangal Smart School Sanjay Sardana said admissions to the nursery classes would start from November 22 and an interaction with parents would be held so that they were aware of the working of the school. In order to make learning easy for tiny tots the school had set up kids’ fantasy world and creative world.

An amphitheatre was set up to build confidence among little children. Admission fee was Rs 18,000 and monthly fee was Rs 1,760, he added.

Robin, director of Millennium School, said the school had an activity-based curriculum and more stress was laid on communication skills. There was no marking system and activities were graded. There were 75 seats in the pre-nursery class. Admission fee was Rs 25,000 while the monthly fee was Rs 2,600.

Admission from Nov 15

PANCHKULA: Admission to nursery classes at The British School, Sector 8, Panchkula, will begin from November 15.

Director of the school Sanjay Sethi said about 500 brochures, including admission and registration forms worth Rs 500, had already been sold.

He said an interaction with parents and students would be held soon. He said, “We want to know whether parents spend quality time with their wards, as in most cases both father and mother are working.”

The Gurukul school’s principal Harsimran Kaur said admission to pre-nursery classes would start in January and each form would cost Rs 500.

He said they also provided refreshment to parents and students during interactive sessions.

He said they had started admitting two years old kids to play house and at present 20 seats were vacant.

Mukesh Garg, director, Saupin’s School, said admission to pre-nursery classes would begin in January.

“There are 60 seats and generally 75 to 80 brochures are sold every year,” he added. — TNS



RSS, BJP raise slogans against Cong
Tribune Reporters

Members of the RSS hold a protest in Patiala
Members of the RSS hold a protest in Patiala on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, November 10
A dharna was organised by district unit of the RSS and the Bhartiya Janata Party in protest against statements issued by the Congress alleging that the members of the RSS were indulging in anti-national activities.

The protesters gathered outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner and raised slogans against the Congress. A memorandum was also submitted highlighting the patriotic role played by the RSS. It was alleged that the statements being issued by the Congress were a part of a well planned conspiracy.

Sukhwinder Singh Goldy, president of the district unit of the BJP, said the activities of the Congress were anti-national as it had failed to take action against leaders like Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler who had allegedly played a major role in the 1984 riots. Twenty six years had passed but riot affected persons had still not been given justice.

Panchkula: Hundreds of Rashtriya Swayam Sewak (RSS) Sangh held a protest rally against the ruling Congress government for “defaming” the RSS and other Hindu organisations for its “ulterior motives”.

Addressing the protestors at Sector 16 here today, Sanghchalak Amrita Didi said the Congress-led Central government had failed to take action against Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Arundhati Roy for making anti-national statements. She said the RSS was creating patriots and not terrorists as claimed by the top Congress leadership.

Amrita said the government had failed to fulfil the aspirations of the common man, as it has not initiated any welfare scheme for the poor.

She said the government had failed to control the prices of essential commodities in the country, which had hit the masses hard.

Ambala: RSS, Ambala unit, staged dharna at Jagadhri Gate Chowk in Ambala City today to protest against the Congress for “linking” the Sangh with saffron terrorism. Besides BJP, members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, ABVP and a few other frontal organisations of the RSS were also present.

Former MP Rattan Lal Kataria, leader of BJP legislature group in state assembly Anil Vij, former MLA Veena Chibber, former MLA Jasbir Malore and Zila Sang Chalak of the RSS Ashok Bansal were also present in the dharna.

While addressing the gathering, senior leader of the AVBP Avdhesh Pande said saffron colour was the symbol of Indian culture. However, some of the political parties were conspiring to link it with terrorism, he added. He said it was a false publicity to defame the Hindu culture.



Geological Survey of India Submits Report on Ghaggar
Asks admn to remove settlements along river
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
Anyone who has been living in this region and has travelled to areas around Ghaggar in the vicinity of Panchkula would know that the area is vulnerable to landslides, the Panchkula administration ostensibly remains oblivious to the fact as it has over the years allowed houses to come up on the banks of the river.

However, this may change now as the Geological Survey of India (GSI) has also put its stamp on this known fact and advised the administration to remove all settlements from the area in order to ensure their safety.

The Panchkula administration had sought the help of the GSI for analysing the soil and terrain of area following the July 24 mishap when three houses were damaged by the overflowing Ghaggar. It may be recalled that owing to incessant rains in the catchment areas of the river, banks of Ghaggar had developed breaches several times in July and August and caused extensive damage.

Talking to The Tribune over phone, GSI Senior Deputy Director-General Sumant Gupta said they had advised the administration to remove all settlements on the banks of Ghaggar and not allow any construction as the entire area was prone to landslides.

"In our language, the banks are called the buffer zones and they should not be disturbed by human activity. However, on the banks of Ghaggar, the continued human activity had brought the area under active stress,” he said.

Gupta said, “We had also advised the administration to change the direction of the gabions (wire basket) that control the flow of water against the bank as the existing ones constructed by the irrigation department were not correct.”

Since the current construction of the gabions allow the flow of water to one side, a slight change in its design will alter the flow of the water to the other side and prevent it from collapsing, he added.

He said the drain that runs behind the Ghaggar along the cantonment boundary should be maintained properly or suitably lined with concrete surface to prevent sub-surface seepage.

When contacted, Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula, Ashima Brar said, “We have not received any report so far. Whenever we get it, we will take appropriate action.”



PGI to treat liver cancer through nuclear medicine
Tribune News Service

What is nuclear medicine

Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose or treat a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers, heart disease and certain other abnormalities within the body

New projects

The PGI will soon use animals to assess the role of pre-clinical molecular image in drug development and 68Ga-PET imaging for the diagnosis of neuro-endocrine tumours, a disease that is difficult to diagnose by other radiological modalities like CT and MRI. Neuro-endocrine is generally diagnosed when it spreads to the other organs and 68Ga-PET imaging offers an early stage detection of the disease.

Chandigarh, November 10
The Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, is all set to start the treatment of liver cancer using nuclear medicine. With this, it will be the second hospital in public sector in the region to start the technique known as “selective internal radiation therapy”.

Earlier, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi had introduced this facility. Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose or treat a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers, heart disease and certain other abnormalities within the body. Nuclear medicine is functional and molecular imaging because it involves the preferential localisation of the receptors or disease or organ as targeted by specific radio-pharmaceuticals.

Till now, such patients are treated with chemotherapy, which has its side effects. With the coordination between the departments of nuclear medicine, haepatology, and radio diagnosis, the treatment through this technique will start soon, said Dr BR Mittal, head, department of nuclear medicine, on the eve of the four-day annual conference of the Society of Nuclear Medicine, India, being organised at the PGI.

While treating inoperable liver cancer patients through nuclear medicine, micro spheres are delivered via a catheter to cancer cells in lever, largely sparing healthy tissue, he said. Being use of radioisotopes in the treatment through this technique, the permission from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre is mandatory and as soon as it is granted, patients would have this option with them in addition to chemotherapy and other methods of treatment, he added.



Contempt Petition
CAT issues notice to PGIMER director
Asked to reconsider the request of employees of granting them benefits as per the Central government ruling
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
The Central Administrative Tribunal today issued notice to PGIMER director KK Talwar in a contempt petition filed by 53 employees working as security guards, sanitary inspectors and drivers, who were ex-servicemen.

The CAT had asked the PGIMER to reconsider the request of employees of granting them benefits as per the ruling of the Central government in an order pronounced in April this year.

The hospital was given a time of two months for the same, but no decision was taken by the committee constituted by the authorities concerned. The applicants had initially filed a case in the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding benefits to be granted to ex-servicemen who had been re-employed by the PGI as security guards, sanitary inspectors and drivers. The benefits to be granted included fixation of salary and extra increment as per the service rules rendered in the Army.

The authorities concerned had formed a committee that had granted the benefits to persons who joined before July 1986. The employees filed a case against this decision in 2007. The High Court transferred the cases to the CAT in 2008. Thereafter, the tribunal asked the committee to reconsider the case of the applicants.



Reprieve for GMCH director
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has vacated the stay according to which Dr Raj Bahadur, director, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH-32), had been restrained from making any remark in the annual confidential report (ACR) of an applicant.

The applicant, Dr Alka Sehgal, Associate Professor, department of obstetrics and gynaecology, GMCH-32, had alleged that she had been removed from a research project, sanctioned by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), following a letter written by Dr Gurjit Kaur, senior lecturer, department of physiology, GMCH, in December, 2009.

In this project, Dr Gurjit Kaur was appointed as the principal investigator and Dr Alka as the co-investigator. In the application, Dr Alka said that Dr Kaur nurtured a grudge against her because in June 2009, Dr Seghal had given a representation to the hospital that Dr Kaur was not qualified to be appointed as teaching faculty in her own specialty of biophysics.

Based on her representation, an inquiry was ordered in February this year against Dr Kaur and Dr Raj Bahadur, the petitioner had alleged.



PWD workers lash out at govt for ignoring demands
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 10
Members of the Haryana Government PWD Mechanical Workers Union (HGPWDMWU) today sat on indefinite dharna outside the office Chief Executive Engineer near Sinchai Bhawan at Sector 5 in support of their demands here today.

Hundreds of workers of the PWD from various districts of the state gathered near the main gate of the building and started raising slogans against the state government for its failure to fulfil their long pending demands.

Lashing out at the state government for ignoring the PWD workers, Viren Singh Dagwal, state president of the HGPWDMWU, said even after working for several years the employees have not got increase in the LTC, TA, medical claim and other benefits.

He said no rules were framed for the field employees besides regularising the services of daily wagers.

Dagwal claimed that state finance and irrigation minister had assured the union delegation on August 23 that cabinet approval would be sought within two months for improving the service conditions of PWD employees. However, the file in this regard had not been moved to the secretariat, he rued.

He said their other demands included to promote matriculation pass field employees to the post of clerk, to stop outsourcing of jobs and privatisation of the department besides bonus as was being given to employees of other departments.

He warned that they would continue to protest until their demands were fulfilled.



Five police stations get hi-tech vehicles
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 10
In order to improve the working of the police, five Scorpio Getaway vehicles were given to officials working at police stations located on major highways. These vehicles were flagged off by the Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar here today.

These would be given to police stations of Kurali, Kharar, Balongi, Zirakpur and Lalru. These vehicles are equipped with the GPS and communication system and will help in checking crime and also tracing criminal elements much faster.

The police said Mohali district was linked to Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana and many highways passed through it. Keeping in view the high flow of traffic, it was felt that the police should be well-equipped to check the rate of crime.

In September, seven Tavera vehicles, equipped with GPS, were given to the police by the Punjab government which had helped in bringing down the crime rate.



Councillors demand early MC meeting
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 10
The councillors here today urged Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar for convening early House meeting of the municipal council. About 18 councillors, led by MC vice-president BB Singal, submitted a memorandum to the DC for convening of the meeting immediately as per the terms of Section 25 of the Haryana Municipal Act, 1973.

He said municipal council now stands revived as per the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court dated October 29, quashing the notification of the state government.

It is worth mentioning here that the DC had convened a meeting of the councillors for the purpose of disseminating awareness about the revision of electoral rolls in context of their respective wards to give a fillip to the 20-day special campaign in the district which commenced from today.

The councillors said requisition was signed by the requisite number of members of the MC, in terms of Section 25(2) of the Haryana Municipal Act, 1973, and sought to convene House meeting of the council within the next 10 days as per the provision of the MC Act.

Councillors further said development works in all areas falling under the municipal council had suffered and required immediate attention.



Musical evenings in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
“Rhythm of heavens” and “three generations of violinist”, two unique musical evenings, will be organised by the department of cultural affairs, Chandigarh administration, on November 16 and 17 at Tagore Theatre.

On November 16, there will be a tabla live-in concert by Taalyogi Pandit Suresh Talwalker, who is one of the greatest tabla exponents, whereas “three generations of violinists” will feature N Rajam, her daughter Sangeeta Shankar and granddaughters Nandini and Ragini Shankar with master tabla player Vinayak Netke.

Padma Vibhusan Rajam’s family boasts of generations of talented violinists. Rajam incorporates vocal music and the ancient veena into her playing. Her yearning for self-development took her to the holy city of Benaras, on the banks of the River Ganges, where she embarked on a rigorous musical journey for 15 years under the guidance of legendary singer Pundit Omkarnath Thakur of the renowned “Gwalior Musical Tradition”.

As a devoted disciple, Rajam regularly accompanied her teacher on stage, echoing all of his subtle vocal nuances.

Her daughter Sangeeta Shankar organised music festivals in Varanasi in 1984 and 1986 and produced a 26-episode musical TV serial “Swar-Sadhana”. Sangeeta recorded with Grammy winners Bela Fleck and Viswamohan Bhatt on a well-received album “Tabula Rasa”.

Also featuring on violin are Rajam’s granddaughters Ragini and Nandini.



WAC chief inspects Air Force Station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command (WAC), Air Marshal NAK Browne reviewed the operational preparedness and training standards of various units based at the Air Force Station here today.

On his arrival, he was received by Air Commodore Rajeev Sachdeva, Air Officer Commanding, 12 Wing, and briefed him about various activities at the station. He inspected the guard of honour and paid tributes at the station war memorial.

He visited the squadrons and addressed the air warriors, civilians, DSC and MES personnel of the station. He also inaugurated the newly constructed Surveillance Radar Equipment building that would house modern air traffic control radar for enhancing airspace management.

Air Marshal Browne is scheduled to preside over the Annual Aerospace Safety Council Meet of Western Air Command tomorrow, which would be attended by Air Officers Commanding and Station Commanders of the airbases under WAC. They will carry out a database review of flight safety of airbases and discuss measures to reduce incidents and accidents related to flying in challenging conditions of weather, terrain and bird activity.



‘Walkathon’ raises awareness on Childline
Tribune News Service

dial a friend

Students participate in a walkathon held as part of the promotion of “Childline Se Dosti” in Sector 3, Chandigarh
Students participate in a walkathon held as part of the promotion of “Childline Se Dosti” in Sector 3, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Vinay Malik

The helpline

The toll-free number for childhelpline is ‘ten nine eight’ (1098) that does not require telephone code. In case of child abuse or any atrocity on children, counsellors at this number can be contacted.

Chandigarh, November 10
Under a unique campaign — Childine Se Dosti — students from government and private schools participated in a “walkathon”, which was flagged off from Bougainvillea Garden, Sector 3, here today.

The “walkathon” is one of the events being organised by a non-governmental organisation, YTTS (Youth Technical Training Society), along with Childline, which operates from the PGIMER, in a bid to create awareness among students about the prevention of child abuse. Besides schoolchildren, the week-long campaign (November 8-14) also witnessed participation of NCC cadets, Nehru Yuva Kendra and differently abled students from Vatika school and the School for Blind, Sector 26.

Private schools that participated in the event were Bhavan Vidyala, Panchkula, and St Kabir School. Students from Government Model School, Sector 10, and children from YTTS programmes also took part.

Bonny Sodhi, vice-president YTTS, interacted with children and said the Childline was there to help children and it operated from a hospital.

Daman Dugal, former principal of Vivek School, helped recited slogans to catchy tunes.

UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas flagged off the event and offered support to the cause. The students met with Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice Mukul Modgal on their way. He interacted with the children and told them that the judiciary was open to enforcing the rights of children. Dr Sangeeta Jund, city coordinator of the project, and Smita Gupta shared certain facts about Childline. The event was overseen by Col Ravi Bedi, chief functionary, YTTS.

Dr GS Bajwa, district youth coordinator, highlighted the role of the Nehru Yuva Kendra in spreading the message of Childline in the outlying areas of the UT.



Satire on corruption
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, November 10
The Ajnabi Rangkarmi theatre ensemble in association with the Haryana Cultural Affairs staged a hilarious Hindi comedy play “Rashtriya Bhrashtachar Adhiveshan” at the Randhawa auditorium here today.

Scripted and adapted for theatrical presentation from a poem by acclaimed poet Ashok Chakradhar by veteran playwright actor Keshav Bhrata, the play juxtaposed the ill motifs of corrupt politicians, officers and the religious patriarchs indulged in fanning corruption in the governance and society.

Noted director, TV and film actor Kuldeep Sharma borrowed mythological characters to augment the otherwise lively satire on corruption. The play kept the audience in rapt attention as it flourished on oblique references to the ongoing “ghotalas” fresh in the minds of audience. National awards were given to the most corrupt person from among all sections of society and administration.

The musical score by Debashish Dhar remained the lifeline of the sleek production. Kuldeep Sharma, Sachin Sharma. Mukesh Sharma Parvesh Sethi and Sunny Sandhu were supported by Vinod Sharma, Baljit Zakhmi, Neeru Bala and others.

Chief guest VK Srivastav, lauded the artistes’ efforts.



PU blind to visually impaired student
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
Billo, an MA first year student, who is visually impaired and enrolled in Panjab University’s department of history, does not know where is he going to sleep tonight. With his semester exams starting from November 29 and no roof over his head, his sole dream of being “educationally empowered” seems bleak.

Having done a masters degree in Hindi, he is not eligible for a hostel accommodation. As per the university rules, hostel room is not provided to a student enrolled in a second masters degree.

Pleading mercy on his behalf, his entire class comprising 60 students today signed a letter requesting the university authorities to allot him a room in the hostel on sympathetic grounds. The effort proved futile as the officials said the admission would be against the rules. He is now hopeful of getting a place outside the university campus.

“My father, who is the only person alive in my family, is differently abled. He is undergoing treatment at a centre in Pigalwara. Nobody is willing to rent out a room to a visually impaired person and I do not have enough money to go for a paying guest accommodation. After the university’s refusal, I hope that someone lends a helping hand so that I can prepare for my upcoming exams,” he added.

Billo was lucky to have received Rs 100 from someone, which he exhausted at a shelter home last night. “People at shelter homes do not let me stay for more than a day. I do not know where will I sleep tonight,” he said.

Billo claims that he was initially denied admission to masters in education (MEd course) in 2008, on the grounds that he could not take practical exams. He then moved the court and in 2009 got permission to get enrolled, along with a compensation of Rs 22,000 from PU.

He aspires to clear UGC- NET exam. “I was later declared fail by university in the MEd examination. I could not secure marks in practical exams. For NET exam, 50 per cent marks are mandatory in masters degree. In MA (Hindi), I secured 47 per cent and missed my chance,” he added.



PU Clash
Supreme council to put an end to internal bickering
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
To resolve the ongoing tussle between two groups of the Panjab University Student Union (PUSU), a meeting was held today. During the meeting it was decided that a supreme council of this student organisation would be formed.

Following the meeting, PUSU members accused rival student organisations on the campus of “creating trouble” to disrupt peace.

The members met in the presence of Jaskaran Singh Brar, one of the founders of PUSU, who was also party president from 1982 to 1987 and chairman from 1987 to 1993.

The controversy regarding recent appointment of party president was clarified and name of Sukhjit Brar was proposed for the post of new PUSU president.

Jaskaran Brar has been authorised to appoint any number of members for the supreme council to frame rules and regulations regarding appointments and also to put an end to the recent controversy in the party.

Blaming “anti-student forces” who are on the “pay roll of the politicians” for the controversy, PUSU members expressed solidarity with the founder of the organisation.

The meeting was attended by members of senior and current leadership of PUSU, including Malwinder Kang, Kanwaljit Sidhu, Navjot Saini, Varinder Gill “Vicky”, Vipin Kamboj, Gurpreet Singh, Udey Wirring, Simranjit Dhillon and Cherry Brar.

Certain people could not accept their defeat and were trying to create confusion among students to disrupt peace, said a member.

PUSU members alleged that the rival student organisations had the support of the police.

They claimed that the defeated student body had hatched a conspiracy, as the party was unhappy over the success of the cultural festival of the student council “Aghaaz”.

They said the fight started when some PUSU members entered into a heated argument and an “unidentified person” of the opposite party pelted a stone.

The members told Brar that the students booked by the police had been wrongly and falsely implicated.

They particularly pointed out at Gurindervir Singh Aulakh, PUCSC president, Udey Wirring and Sukhjit Brar.

PUSU members also demanded an impartial enquiry by the police and university into the whole incident.



Tribune Impact
Schools to reserve 25 pc seats under EWS, RTE
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Education dept’s orders

  • According to the education department’s last year’s orders, the maximum price of a nursery admission form should be fixed at Rs 100.
  • A copy of application form should also be put up on a school’s notice board and should be made available on its website.
  • Prospectus will be given only to those parents whose wards are finally admitted to the school.
  • Schools will not force parents to buy uniform, books and other articles from a specific shop.
  • A list of all relevant articles should be displayed on notice boards and a list should be provided to parents who are free to buy these from anywhere.
  • All schools have been asked to abide by the department’s orders.

Chandigarh, November 10
Right to Education (RTE) has finally come to force in the city, with private schools being told to reserve 25 per cent nursery seats for students belonging to economically weaker sections.

In a notice issued to all schools today, the UT education department has asked them to seek applications for reserved seats through public advertisements and register deserving candidates without charging them a single penny.

The schools have been asked not to screen students for admission and adopt some alternative selection process.

The decision has been prompted by news reports published in these columns which highlighted the non-implementation of EWS (economic weaker sections) and RTE reservations by private schools in the ongoing nursery admission registrations.

“All schools will get the notice latest by tomorrow. Not only schools, but even the education department will advertise these reserved seats and prepare a list of deserving candidates. If there will be vacant seats in private schools, we will provide them with students. Admission forms and prospectus will be provided free of cost to EWS students applying for nursery admission. While the postulates of RTE are crystal clear, private schools have tried to evade the reservation on plea of not having proper guidelines, but this will not be tolerated,” said DPI (Schools) PK Sharma.

Elaborating on RTE’s postulate banning screening of students till Class VIII, the department has finally stopped ‘informal’ interviews or aptitude analysis, which form key selection criterion in nursery classes of several schools.

“Schools cannot interview a child or his/her parents in either formal or informal way. They either go by draw of lots or the first come first serve basis for admitting students to primary classes. We are also trying to work out a uniform selection process to streamline nurser admissions,” added Sharma. As per the notice elaborating on the act, all private schools are required to reserve 25 per cent of their regular seats for children from weaker sections and disadvantaged communities. No seats in this quota can be left vacant. These children will be treated at par with all other children. In lieu of these reservations, UT will pay a subsidised amount to schools based on average per learner costs in government schools (unless the per learner costs in the private school are lower).



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