C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police ‘inaction’ on molestation complaint
Rioters hurl stones, block highway
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
Several vehicles were damaged when hundreds of residents of Colony No. 5, angered over alleged police inaction on a complaint relating to molestation of a 60-year-old woman living in the area, resorted to pelting stones as they laid siege to a busy section of National Highway 22 passing through the city for over two hours.

Sector 34 police station SHO Udhay Pal Singh and a photojournalist were among those suffering minor injures in the stone pelting. Caught unaware many passersby had to run for cover to prevent being hurt. A number of people caught in the disturbance pointed out policemen had stood as mute spectators even as the rioters hurled stones.

Chaos prevailed on the road dividing Sectors 49 and 51 as long distance vehicular traffic was held up. Ambulances ferrying patients had to take a detour through the congested areas of the city. The police has filed a case of rioting and causing damage to public property against the colony residents.

The immediate provocation behind the violent protest was the grouse of 60 year-old Prem Kumari who alleged cops at the Sector 49 police post had not listened to her when she had tried to lodge a complaint of having been molested by car-borne youths near Sector 51 on Wednesday evening. Some similar unreported incidents in the past few days and a recent incident of a blood stained body of a colony woman being found in the area fuelled the anger of the colony residents.

Harneet, a teacher, who was passing by in her car at 1 pm, lamented a mob suddenly attacked and broke the rear windowpane of her vehicle. “There was no policeman there to warn us not to take that route. It’s very unfortunate as other motorists had a similar experience and the cops preferred to look on silently”, she added.

The protest was peaceful until the Sector 34 SHO reportedly rebuked a colony resident for unnecessarily making an issue of the complaint. Within seconds protestors began hurling stones at the cops, who were outnumbered, and also at passers by.

Delayed action by the police in rushing adequate backup led to the situation worsening. Udhay Pal suffered injures on his hand and a photographer of a local newspaper was hit on his neck. The situation was brought under control only after deputy police superintendent (south) Vijay Kumar arrived at the scene with reinforcements.

Some of the colony residents - Jamuna Prasad, Sandeep and Murali - who were present at the scene said there anger was brewing against the police for not reacting to earlier complaints of girls in the colony being kidnapped by car-borne miscreants. Police officials said no complaint in this regard had been filed with them.

However, the DSP asked Udhay Pal to lodge Prem Kumari’s complaint under sections 341 & 511 of the IPC against the as yet unidentified suspects.

Leaders visit colony

BB Bahl, president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee(CTCC), Mayor Anu Chatrath and former Mayor Pardeep Chhabra, besides several senior leaders visited Colony No. 5 where the police had lathicharged some residents. Union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who is aware of the incident, is in touch with senior officials of the administration. The leaders condemned the police action, saying that it should maintain law and order instead of creating such situations.



Metro hits financial block
Centre refuses to fund Rs 2.5-cr project report
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
Chandigarh’s ambitious metro project has faced the first financial hurdle. In an embarrassment to the Chandigarh Administration, the Union Government has declined to fund the detailed project report(DPR) to be prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

In a communication to the administration, the ministry of urban development has refused to fund the ` 2.5-crore DPR. Earlier, the administration had desired that the Centre fund the DPR in the ratio of 50:50 since the UT was administered by the Centre.

Though the amount to be spent for the DPR is not much, the Centre’s refusal to finance the report shows the low priority accorded by the Central Government to the mass rapid transport system (MRTS) comprising the metro system (52.4 km), bus rapid transport (BRT) system (190.5 km) and commuter rail service (195 km) to be completed in three phases by 2030-31.

Recently, various stakeholders had approved the comprehensive mobility plan (CMP) prepared by the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES).

Instead, the Centre has now asked the administration to fund the DPR for the ambitious ` 15,000-crore project aimed at easing traffic snarls in Chandigarh from its own resources as it had no “separate budget” for the DPR.

The stakeholders, Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, have also been asked to finalise the terms and conditions for preparing the DPR. Financial worries are already staring the stakeholders in the face as the cost of the phase I of the project, likely to be completed by 2014-15, is pegged at a prohibitive `10,765 crore. Since metro would benefit Punjab and Haryana in a major way in the backdrop of the sorry state of public transport, major share has to come from these states.

The cost of the underground system is likely to cost around ` 320 crore per km, whereas surface alignment is likely to cost ` 140 crore per km. There will be around 50 stations, each after approximately 1 km. To begin with, the frequency has been proposed at every 10 minutes, which could be reduced to three minutes with the passage of time. 

Stakeholders to meet

Officials said a meeting of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh officials would be held soon to finalise the terms and conditions for the DPR to be given to the DMRC. Since Punjab and Haryana tend to benefit from the project in a major way in even phase I, these states should also contribute towards the preparation of the DPR, the officials said.



CBI finds no concrete evidence against Samwartak
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
While its preliminary verification report has indicted former UT DPI(S) Samwartak Singh, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) claims to have found no concrete evidence against him in a follow-up report.

Although the latest report points out lapses on the part of the UT administration in executing this recruitment process, the report rules out any malafide intention behind these errors.

Interestingly, while the preliminary verification report has given a clean chit to the Department of Electronics and Accreditation of Computer Courses (DOEACC) authorities, the second (and final) report attributes the selection of failed candidates to it rather than to the UT education department.

CBI officials say the first report, distributed by a local RTI activist, is not their final conclusion, but rather, a month-old preliminary inference report, submitted at a premature stage of the investigation.

“There is a process which we follow at the CBI. In any given case, you have three or four verification reports, all of which are not necessarily final conclusions. Following a verification exercise conducted after a complaint was filed by local RTI activist Hemant Goswami, the CBI’s investigating officer did indict Samwartak. But a further analysis by senior officials of the evidence revealed that though there was a record of calls, no excerpt of communication had proved that Samawartak was involved in a nexus of demanding money for jobs. Similarly, given the fact that all results were prepared and compiled by the DOEACC, the lapse is the latter’s fault. The UT education department, however, ought to have gone for an overall review rather than to wait and react to representations,” said the CBI’s DIG Mahesh Aggarwal.

Interestingly, while the preliminary verification report went on to claim that the UT education department’s recruitment process had been a farce because of non-compliance with prescribed criteria, the subsequent report found no malafide intention behind the criteria-related lapses.

“They changed the criteria. But the change was done before declaring results of the written examination. The changes lead to reducing weightage of interview scores. Hence, these changes did not appear to be intended to favour a few candidates. The department, however, should have abstained from making changes and given a thought to all aspects before making the criteria public,” the second report read.

The infamous scam came to light last year when a UT vigilance team, acting on a tipoff, arrested two touts, Jolly and Hardev Singh, promising a teacher’s job to Kamalpreet Kaur in return for ` 4 lakh. During the inquiry, it was found Samwartak was in constant touch with Jolly which, according to him, was for some pending proposals of the tourism department.

Highlights of the final report

n Serious lapses in criteria, but no mala fide intention of favouring anyone

n Samwartak was in touch with Hardev Singh and Jolly, but there is no concrete evidence to prove his role in the scam

n Selection of failed candidates for interview was the fault of DOEACC rather than the UT’s education department, which, however, failed to do a complete review and reacted to representations



GoAir flight cancelled due to poor visibility
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
Poor visibility once again disrupted scheduled flights at the city airport with the Mumbai-bound GoAir flight cancelled this evening. Passengers had a harrowing time at the airport following the sudden cancellation.

The G8-142 flight, which was to depart at 7:15 pm, was suddenly cancelled at 6:30 pm. The passengers had a hard time as no senior official of the airline was at the airport.

“The staff members who were present earlier also left the place after the announcement of cancellation and no one was at the counters to respond to the passengers’ queries of the passengers”, rued a city resident who was to board the flight.

The stranded passengers alleged airline officials did not provide them accommodation even though they had boarding passes. One of the passengers, Vandana, told The Tribune when she asked officials about alternative arrangements the latter told her “there is no policy on this”.

When contacted, GoAir station in charge Ashish said: "I’m not in town, but all terms and conditions pertaining to our flights are available on our website".

According to sources, the requisite visibility for takeoff was not present at the airport. It may be added here that the airport has no instrument landing system.


PGI contract workers end strike
Grievances panel to file report within 10 days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
The strike at PGI by contractual employees that began last Friday ended after a meeting held between officials of the institute and the UT labour department. It was decided to set up a four-member committee to look into the various grievances of the workers. The panel has been charged with submitting its report within ten days.

The hospital administration claimed the issue of workers hired on contractual basis had been sorted out amicably. Officials have given an assurance they would look into the letter submitted by one of the contract employees containing their demands to PGI director Dr KK Talwar, it was learnt.

Last Friday all contractual workers struck work after PGI security officer PC Sharma allegedly slapped a woman employee. That incident led to a clash between the workers and security guards and eight employees were later arrested for rioting, damaging government property and causing injuries. 74 other employees were also arrested under preventive measures though all were released by Tuesday.

“The PGI administration has taken upon itself the task of paying increased salaries to contractual workers at the prevailing rates even when the contractors had declined to meet their statutory obligations during the months of October and November”, said Talwar. “Till Wednesday 250 workers had already received their salaries”, he added.

During the strike students belonging to the NSS units of Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, as well as a church in Sector 24 volunteered their services in helping to maintain cleanliness in the PGI hospital premises.



Winter freezes LPG supply
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
With the onset of winter, shortage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or cooking gas in the city has become a matter of considerable concern for lakhs of consumers who are made to wait for weeks together to get their gas cylinders refilled.

The city has about 3.11 lakh LPG consumers (connections) whose requirements are being catered to by a total 24 LPG agencies which include five agencies of Hindustan Petroleum (HP), 15 of Indian Oil Corporation and four of Bharat Petroleum. Though officials deny that there is any shortage of LPG in the city, residents’ claims, however, differ.

Constantly busy phone lines of gas agencies and long wait for refills continue to harrow consumers. Residents revealed that customers had to wait for up to a fortnight to get their gas cylinders refilled.

“For the past two weeks, I have been coming here to get a gas cylinder. But I have to return empty handed, as the officials say the supply is limited. Even after waiting for hours in a long queue, they say they cannot book a cylinder before 15 days,” said Vivek, a resident of Sector 24.

Anjana, a housewife in Sector 57, complained, “It is impossible to book a cylinder on phone these days, as dealers have stopped taking calls. In case they answer the phone, the line is disconnected by the staff as soon as a request for an LPG cylinder is made,” she stated.

An employee of a local gas agency said the demand for cooking gas cylinders increased manifold during winter.

Residents attribute various reasons to the shortage. They say people are using cooking gas to operate geysers, for running vehicles and also commercial purposes. They are of the view that the shortage can be checked if the administration deal it with an iron hand.

On the other hand, a gas agency official suggested a need for verifying the credentials of LPG consumers in order to prevent fake LPG passbooks from being supplied. These forged consumers include those who either have LPG passbooks of dead persons or those who have left the city.

When contacted, field officer of the Indian Oil Corporation Ashok Kumar Upadhaya claimed that there was no such shortage for genuine consumers. He said the backlog was of only three to four days.



Overladen tractor-trailers a nuisance on roads
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, December 9
Travelling on highways is certainly not a smooth ride for commuters as there is no check on the movement of overloaded tractor-trailers carrying husk, fodder and other bulky materials.

While commuters have been grappling with the menace, the administration has failed to curb traffic violations, especially by overloaded vehicles. They have urged the police to punish violators by way of challans, etc.

Overladen tractor-trailers are often found parked on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway, obstructing the smooth flow of traffic and causing traffic snarl-ups.

Besides affecting the movement of traffic, these vehicles often cause accidents, especially during night.

“The police should keep a tab on overloaded tractor-trailers as they pose a serious threat to the lives of motorists,” says Ankur Batra, a resident of Panchkula.

Monika Soni, a resident of Zirakpur, says: “The local administration should take strict action against violators and ban the plying of such vehicles during night.”

Zirakpur traffic police in-charge Devinder Singh said all overloaded tractor-trailers found parked by the roadside would be challaned.

“We will ask the drivers to use reflectors while plying on highways during night,” he added.



Police gets laser gun to check speeding
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 9
The police has procured a small laser gun to check speeding by vehicles on roads. The gun is easy to use as just one person can handle it.

The police will start challaning vehicles for speeding from Monday.

The gun is equipped with a meter that displays the speed of the target vehicle.

As the gun can detect the speed of a vehicle from a distance of 1 km, it will not be possible for offenders to spot it and slow down.

Panchkula Superintendent of Police Maneesh Chaudhary said the Haryana police was focussing on the modernisation of the police force in the state.

“In the coming days, we will receive a fingerprint scanner to match fingerprints of accused on the spot.”

He added that the laser gun would help keep a tab on speeding on highways.

Many people have lost their lives on highways, especially the NH-73, due to speeding in the past.



Entry Tax Chamber of industries opposes move
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
The Chamber of Chandigarh Industries (CCI) opposed the move to levy entry tax on commercial vehicles entering the city yesterday.

In a press note issued here yesterday, Naveen Manglani, chamber president, alleged that it would increase the cost of inputs, which would ultimately be passed on to local consumers.

The Chandigarh administration has enough funds both by way of own generation as well as from the Centre. The administration needs to set its own house in order and utilise the existing resources more judiciously on roads and infrastructure, rather than load the residents with more burden, he said.

We have yet to see any remarkable infrastructure development in the Industrial Area, which the administration had promised on collection of crores of rupees as conversion charges from the industrial units for change in trade from the industrial to commercial activities, the press note added.



Judicious use of polio vaccine must: Experts
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 9
Though the number of polio cases was coming down steeply in the country, experts have suggested for judicious use of polio vaccine here yesterday.

Interacting with doctors and social organisations, Dr Deepak Ugra, president, Indian Academy of Paediatrics, and T Jacob John, member, Global Advisory Polio Eradication Committee, WHO, and former head clinical virology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, suggested for judicious use of oral polio vaccine (OPV) and injectable polio vaccine (IPV) in the pre-eradication phase before introducing IPV in the post eradication era.

Dr Ugra and John said as of now, IPV had never been used during the current polio eradication programme in the country, although the Union government and India Expert Advisory Group (IEAG) have recommended studies on feasibility of using IPV during the pre-eradication phase on several occasions.

Dr Ugra said the states bordering Uttar Pradesh or Bihar like southern states and were polio free need not to introduce IPV in the expanded programme on immunisation (EPI) schedule and restrict OPV only for three annual campaigns.

He further informed that as per WHO, a nation cannot be declared polio free unless there were no fresh cases reported for three consecutive years. The polio eradication deadline has already been extended thrice by over eight years, he added.



Chrysanthemums in full bloom at Sec 33
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
A total of 261 varieties and thousands of colourful chrysanthemums presented a visual delight for visitors to the annual chrysanthemum show, which opened at the Sector 33 Terraced Garden this morning.

Over 25 categories had been added to the show this year, for which the municipal corporation registered 600 entries and winners declared in different categories.

The king of show and the princess of show were bagged by Virinder Sharma of Panchkula. The Chandigarh Housing Board got prince of show and Principal, Hans Raj Public School, Sector 6, Panchkula, got best flower of show.

In class A, artistic arrangement (amateurs) category, Virinder Sharma bagged all three positions. Under class B, artistic arrangement (institutions) category, the Chandigarh Housing Board was first, Regional Director, Regional Institute of Cooperative Management, Sector 32, second and the Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39-A, third.

In class C, section C-1 (incurved chrysanthemum), Virinder Sharma was first, Mishu Kohli and Veeru Mali second and Virinder Sharma third. In section C-2 (incurving chrysanthemum), Mangal Prashad Maurya was first and Virinder Sharma second and third. In section C-3 (reflexed chrysanthemum), Virinder Sharma was first and third and Mangal Prashad Maurya second.

Under class C, section C-4 (spider chrysanthemum), Mishu Kohli and Veeru Mal werei first and Virinder Sharma second and third. In section C-5 (anemone chrysanthemum), first and second positions were bagged by Virinder Sharma and third by Mangal Prashad Maurya. In section C-6 (Korean chrysanthemum), Virinder Sharma got first and second position and Aarti Talwar and Jagdish, Mali third.

In class C, section C-7 (pompon chrysanthemum), Virinder Sharma was first and second and Sanjeev Kumar of Maloya village third. In section C-8 (button chrysanthemum), Mangal Prashad Maurya got first position, Sanjeev Kumar second and Mishu Kohli and Veeru Mali third. Under class C, section C-9 (spoon chrysanthemum), Aarti Talwar and Jagdish Mali got first position, Mangal Prashad Maurya second and Virinder Sharma and Mishu Kohli and Veeru Mali third.

In class C, section C-10 (decorative chrysanthemum), Aarti Talwar and Jagdish Mali bagged first position, Kulbir Kaur second and Ram Sarup Taneja and Kulbir Kaur third. In class C, section C-11 (collection of four varieties of chrysanthemum), Virinder Sharma was first and second and Aarti Talwar and Jagdish Mali third.

In class D, section D-1 (incurved chrysanthemum), the Chandigarh Housing Board got first position, Regional Director, Regional Institute of Cooperative Management, Sector 32, second and Accountant-General (A&E), Punjab, Sector 17, third. In class D, section D-2 (incurving chrysanthemum), the Chandigarh Housing Board bagged first position, the Dev Samaj College of Women, Sector 36, second and the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation third. In class D, section D-3 (reflexed chrysanthemum), Principal, Hans Raj Public School, Sector 6, Panchkula, got first position and HDO, Government Flower Nursery, Patiala, second and third.

In class D, section D-4 (spider chrysanthemum), CITCO, Sector 17, got first and third position and HDO, Government Flower Nursery, Patiala, second. In class D, section D-5 (anemone chrysanthemum), Principal, Hans Raj Public School, Sector 6, Panchkula, got first position, the Chandigarh Housing Board and Regional Director, Regional Institute of Cooperative Management, Sector 32, second and the Chandigarh Housing Board third. In class D, section D-6 (Korean chrysanthemum), the Chandigarh Housing Board bagged first and second positions, Regional Director, Regional Institute of Cooperative Management, Sector 32, third.

In class D, section D-7 (pompon chrysanthemum), all three positions were bagged by the Chandigarh Housing Board. In class D, section D-8 (button chrysanthemum), the Chandigarh Housing Board was first and third and the Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39-A second. In class D, section D-9 (spoon chrysanthemum), Principal, Hans Raj Public School, Sector 6, Panchkula, was first and second and the Chandigarh Housing Board third.

In class D, section D-10 (decorative chrysanthemum), Regional Director, Regional Institute of Cooperative Management, Sector 32, got first position, CITCO, Sector 17, second and the Chandigarh Housing Board third. In class D, section D-11 (collection of four varieties of chrysanthemum), CITCO, Sector 17, got first and third positions and Regional Director, Regional Institute of Cooperative Management, Sector 32, second.

Participant Par Excellence

Virinder Sharma of Panchkula, a regular participant for more than a decade, bagged 25 prizes under different categories. “Every morning, from 6.30 am to 10.30 am, I work on my chrysanthemums at my office. I go home and come again to start work,” he said. He was even being invited to various flower shows outside the city, in which he used to participate earlier, as a judge



Complexities of life come to fore
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, December 9
The first ever Ibsen Festival-2010 organised by the Chandigarh Ibsen Theatre Festival continued to draw audience on the third day when “Peer Gynt” was staged in Malayalam by the Oxygen Theatre Company, Thrissur, under the able direction of Deepan Sivraman, the winner of seven prestigious Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards-2010.

This losely adapted Indian version of Peer Gynt takes place in the setting of a mental asylum. Among the inmates, we will find the characters of Peer and others and as a gatekeeper, the magician, God.

Peer is in a game with God. At his death table when God was about to remove his sinful heart for a close examination, the devil, which intervenes laying claim for the heart, is nothing but his own creation.

The unique play dealt with complexities of life and its journey depicts the story of Peer Gynt, who goes on a journey to conquer the world, who has learned to exploit any situation to his advantage and his aim to become emperor leaves him to a mad house where he preside over a scene of death and destruction and then suddenly he finds his soul. It a conflict that is inherent within everyone.

The play gained momentum much later after an insipid start due to its staging in Malayalam and staging of every minute detail leaving nothing to the imagination of audience. However, the presence of director Deepan Sivraman was perceptible. A noted playwright, visual artiste, researcher and theatre director based in London, Deepan is presently a researcher and lecturer at Wimbledon College of Art.

The actors, however, created an impression giving a new dimension to the show as many times, artistes took the centre stage emerging from the from among. The sets were movable and functional.



Base Repair Depot bags two awards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
Chandigarh-based number 3 Base Repair Depot (BRD) has bagged two awards for overall excellence in the field of medical services and Hindi propagation. The awards were announced during the Annual Commander’s Conference held at Headquarters Maintenance Command, Nagpur.

The Best Station Medicare Centre (SMC) in Maintenance Command Trophy was received by 3 BRD SMC for its contribution in the field of medicine and spreading medical awareness. The Gold Shield for Raj Bhasha was also awarded to 3 BRD, for propagation of Hindi.

The awards were presented by Air Marshal PV Athawale, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance Command to Air Cmde Ravinder Sharma, Air Officer Commanding 3 BRD. 

Earlier, 3 BRD had bagged Silver and Bronze Shields for Raj Bhasha in 2009 and 2008, respectively. 



Rare surgery performed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 9
A complicated surgery to treat incisional hernia through laparoscopy was performed successfully at the Civil Hospital in Phase VI here today.

The patient, Balbir Singh (35), from Jarag village in Ludhiana district, had undergone appendisectomy 13 years ago. Thereafter, he developed incisional hernia at the site of the previous operation.

Dr Himmat Mohan Singh Ghumman, a surgeon, said the patient had been carrying incisional hernia measuring 14 x 21 cm on the right side of the lower abdomen.

Around half of the abdominal contents, including intestines, mesentery and omentum, were part of the hernial sac.

As the hernial defect was large and existed in the lower abdomen, it posed a challenge for the surgeon to treat the condition using laparoscopy.

The surgeon reduced the contents of the sac and repaired the defect using a large prolene mesh.

Three small incisions measuring 0.5 to 1 cm were made on the abdominal wall of the patient. The surgery lasted over four hours, Ghumman added. The technique facilitates faster recovery as compared to the open technique.



Too early to establish cause, says SSP
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 9
Reacting to reports appearing in media over reasons behind the mysterious death of Panchkula realtor Suresh Kumar, the Senior Superintendent of Police today said it was premature to arrive at any conclusion as the forensic and post-mortem reports were yet to be submitted.

“The police can arrive at a concrete conclusion only after going through the reports. But so far no motive or evidence has come on record that proves it was a murder,” he said.

The Mullanpur police has registered a case under Sections 201 and 302 of the IPC on a complaint Davinder Kumar, a relative of the deceased.

The SSP said the case was being investigated under the supervision of Superintendent of Police (detective) Pritam Singh and Deputy Superintendent of Police (detective) Satnam Singh.



Former director of govt museum passes away
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
VN Singh, nodal officer, Le Corbusier Centre, and former director, Government Museum and Art Gallery, died here this morning.

VN Singh, who had slipped into coma at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 (GMCH-32), following a car accident on November 28, was 72.

A well-known figure in the art and cultural and bureaucratic circles in the city, VN Singh remained at the helm of affairs of the government museum for about 25 years and was an authority on the art and architecture related to Chandigarh. He also remained principal of the Government College of Art for a brief period in 1989.

After joining the Chandigarh administration in 1976 as a curator in the government museum, VN Singh soon rose to become its director in 1983. In the museum, he started several new sections, including the rare coins division.

Post-retirement in 2008, the administration hand-picked him to set up the Le Corbusier Centre at the Old Architects’ Office in Sector 19 to perpetuate memory of Chandigarh’s creator Le Corbusier and his team.

Dedicated to the public by UT administrator SF Rodrigues on October 6, 2008, the centre boasts of some rare documents and items used by the master architect and his associates like Pierre Jeanneret, Edwin Maxwll Fry, Jane Beverely Drew, MN Sharma, AR Prabhalkar, UE Chawdhury, NS Lamba, Aditya Prakash, BP Mathur, SD Sharma and Rattan Singh.

The centre, which has turned out to be a Mecca for the architect, visitors and researchers, bears his stamp of creativity.

Meanwhile, Adviser to UT Administrator Pradip Mehra and Home-cum-Finance Secretary Ram Niwas have condoled his untimely death. The cremation will take place at the Sector 25 cremation ground at 1.30 pm.



Teachers barred from training at govt schools
Notice leaves BEd students in the lurch
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
The Punjab government’s latest notice, barring teacher trainees from undergoing training at the government schools with no vacancies has taken its toll on around 25,000 BEd students across the state.

With over 60 BEd colleges from a total of 170 being affiliated to Panjab University, these students have been left in the lurch, as taking 40 teaching lessons in each of the two chosen school subjects in schools during the teaching internship is mandatory for the successful completion of their degrees.

While the decision was communicated by the Director General Schools (DGS), Punjab, through the state’s SSA website, Panjab University is yet to even acknowledge the problem despite of repeated requests made by various representatives of the affiliated educational colleges.

Jasvir Chahal, Senator, former dean faculty education, Panjab University, in an email dated November 23 addressed to the Vice-Chancellor not only brought to fore the gravity of situation but also sought an intervention in this matter.

“This unilateral decision of the state has seriously jeopardised the process of teacher training in the state in general and our colleges of education in particular. I did try to contact the DGS in this connection, but failed. Sir, I look upon you and Panjab University as the progressive academic leader of the zone. I earnestly request you to hold an urgent consultation with the other Vice-Chancellors of the region, too, and take up the issue with the higher authorities of the state. In fact, it is an unbelievable state where a grossly unilateral decision has been taken by the authorities without taking any higher education personnel concerned in confidence,” read the email.

Prior to this, Chahal has also approached the Punjab government but of no use.

“I have taken this issue with all authorities but no one seems to be bothered. PU is responsible for thousands of students enrolled under it and thus should take up the issue with the government or students will have to face major problem,” said Chahal.



Admn seeks time to notify guidelines
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
The administration has sought more time to notify the draft guidelines of the Right to Education Act, which will be applicable in the schools of the Union Territory.

The administration in the court of Anshul Berry said it was working on the finer details of the RTE Act, which would be notified shortly.

At the same time, the Independent Schools’ Association headed by HS Mamik argued, “There are over 200 aided and unaided schools in the UT Chandigarh, whereas plaintiff Pankaj Chandgothia has only impeded 10 schools as defendants. Either all schools should be made party or the case be dismissed.”

Only St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, has filed their detailed reply contending that all provisions of the RTE Act have to be implemented, but claimed a three-year moratorium is available under the Act for its complete implementation. Arguing the case, Pankaj Chandgothia contended that the administration was only focusing on the EWS category, even though the Act provided equal reservation for the “disadvantaged” class.

Scheduled Castes/Tribes and Backward Classes have been defined as the disadvantaged section under the Act, which have also to be given the benefit of 25 per cent reservation under the RTE Act.

After partly hearing the case, it was adjourned to December 15 for final hearing on the issue of maintainability of the petition and the grant of stay on admission. 



Rural schools get regular sports teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
After a prolonged wait, several city rural schools have now been given regular sports teachers.

Acting on the CBSE’s recent circular asking schools to upgrade their sports facilities, the UT education department has gone in for a rationalisation drive where several sports teachers from model or urban schools have been shifted to rural schools.

“One of the persistent complaints of our rural schools is the lack of proper sports teachers, whereas on the other hand, we had some schools where there were more than two teachers. This exercise is to reduce this divide,” revealed a senior official of the UT education department.

According to department officials, while it will take some time to get sports facilities of these schools at par with other schools, deputing a teacher will ensure that sports get designated as a proper subject.

It may be noted that the CBSE recently made it mandatory for all affiliated schools to dedicate a period everyday for sports.

A government resolution issued by CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi on October 27 gives unprecedented importance to physical education and sports. Schools will now have to set aside at least 40-45 minutes for physical activities or games for students of Classes I to X daily.




Visitors at a winter carnival at the Vatika High School for Deaf and Dumb, Sector 19, ChandigarhChandigarh: A three-day winter carnival kicked off at Vatika High School for Deaf and Dumb, Sector 19, by the Punjab IAS Officers’ Wives Association. The shopping extravaganza aims at collecting funds for education of special children. The event will conclude on December 11. Clothes, furniture, spices, plants, jewellery and artifacts will be displayed during the carnival.

Visitors at a winter carnival at the Vatika High School for Deaf and Dumb, Sector 19, Chandigarh, on Thursday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

DI-GI classroom technology
MOHALI: Ashmah International School has introduced smart DI-GI classroom technology on the school premises, enabling students and teachers to use selective computer technology as and when required. Inaugurating the system, school director JS Kesar said from the next academic session, all classes in the school would have free access to this important teaching aid. Principal Roopinder Ghuman added that this new intervention is destined to bring Ashmah International in line with advanced school chains in this region.

Students create ruckus
Days after some youths injured a student of Government Senior Secondary School, Phase 3 B1, on the school premises, students of Paragon School, Sector 71, created ruckus at the Phase V market. One of the students is a Mohali councillor’s son. The boys were chased by the police. Both parties reached a compromise at the Phase I police station.

Two local lads, Sukhtaran Singh Bathh and Sahebdeep Singh, have brought laurels to the city by representing India in the World Robot Olympiad held in Manila recently. The students of Class X of Mount Carmel School had earlier won second prize in the Indian Robot Olympiad held in Noida. The team constructed the robot in just 2 hours at the international robot olympiad.

Placement drive
KHARAR: Wipro, a software company, shortlisted 1,212 engineering students in a joint campus drive conducted at the Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Landran. More than 2,100 students appeared in the two-day drive. Satnam Singh Sandhu, chairman Landran and Gharuan campus, and Rashpal Singh Dhaliwal, president CGC Group, said the drive was conducted for BTech, MTech and MCA students. — TNS



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