C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Right to Education
Pvt schools set to oppose ‘awry’ draft
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
The draft of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education prepared by the UT Administration is all set to come up for heavy opposition at the hands of private institutions tomorrow.

The main issue being raised by schools is that they were not made part of the draft making process as in the case of other states. The schools, which claim to have got the draft on Saturday, want at least 15 days to evaluate each postulate and provide a feedback or approval.

“We were not part of the committee which made the draft. We will participate and contribute to the discussion tomorrow but are in no haste to take a final decision on it,” said a member of the Independent School Association.

Talking of the draft postulates, private schools are particularly irked by the provision being interpreted as an exemption of government schools from “recognition” inspections which are mandatory under the Act.

According to this postulate: “All schools, other than those established by the central government, state government or the local authority before the commencement of the Act, will make self declarations of compliance with the specified requisites of the Act. These declarations will be verified by an inspection to be conducted by the District Education Officer within three months of the receipt of declarations. The schools will be granted recognition following this.”

“The provision seems to be against private institutions only. Are government schools not required to maintain standards?” asked a local private school principal.

“We have more government schools in the city than private ones. If one goes by the standards and requisites specified in the Act, government schools will be found lacking. Surprisingly, the UT has chosen to overlook the ailing infrastructure, staff crunch and other problems in government schools and even eliminated the need to inspect them. We want to stand on an equal pedestal and will only accept recognition provisions if government schools are also inspected,” said the president of Independent Schools, HS Mamik.

Similarly the clause stating that “schools already under obligation to provide free education to a specified number of students on account of having received any land, building, etc. free of cost or at concessional rates will not be entitled to reimbursement for that extent of obligation” has raised many an eyebrows.

Right of Children To Free and Compulsory Education Rules 2010


l All aided schools to have management committees

l 75 per cent of the total members to be parents and guardians of children

l Remaining 25 per cent to be constituted as follows: Elected members of local authority to form 1/3 of the members; 1/3 members to be selected among schoolteachers; and 1/3 from eminent city educationists to be chosen by parents in this committee

l Chairperson and vice-chairperson to b elected from among parents who are members

l School head or senior most teacher (in case schools without principals) to be ex officio convener


l Create awareness about Act

l Ensure that teachers are not overburdened with non-academic duties other than those specified in the RTE

l Monitor and review the implementation provisions ensure to students of the RTE

l To prepare school development plan summarising enrolment targets, infrastructure and financial needs of school, three months before the end of financial year in which it is constituted

School Mapping

l Neighbourhood school to be within 1 km for Classes I to V and within 3 km for VI to VIII

l Physically challenged students to be provided with special transport till completion of elementary education



Most civic projects remain stuck in the mud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
The tendering process for at least 60 percent of the city’s development projects approved in the municipal corporation calendar year has not even begun, highlighting the ineptitude of civic officials and gaping holes in implementation of civic schemes. The uncompleted projects is part of the agenda that will come up during the MC general house’s final sessions on Tuesday and on December 27.

The poor implementation of projects that have been cleared is not peculiar to this year alone. At least 30 of the 67 projects approved in 2008 and 2009 have yet to be completed.

This year out of 30 public health department projects not even a single one has been completed so far and in the rest the process of floating tenders is still under way.

The status project report prepared by the MC officials revealed out of 98 building and roads projects approved for recarpeting and widening of roads, construction of a community centre and laying of pavement blocks in

various sectors, the civic body allotted 39 works to a contractor. Most of the recarpeting work on roads in Sectors 31, 34, 36, 40, 42, 43, 47 and 51 and in Mauli Jagran, Ram Darbar and Manimajra have not begun even after being allotted. Shortage of raw materials is cited as the reason by the authorities in the report.

Similarly, for the whole year no contractor made a bid for construction of community centres in Sectors 38 (West), 49 and 56 and Mauli Jagran and construction of an extended floor at a community centre in Manimajra. The status report states that for all the projects the MC had floated tenders, on an average, nine times. However, no contractor bid for them.

To show their concern over the slow pace of development, it has become a trend for the city’s mayors to seek a status report on projects approved by the house at the end of their one-year tenure.



19 banks still to refund money
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 20
In what seems to be an unfair trade practice and monopolistic attitude, 19 banks that financed the applications for the Aerocity project are sitting on crores of public money that should have been refunded to unsuccessful applicants as per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines.

Both RBI guidelines and officials of the Greater Mohali Area Development (GMADA) state that the interest can be charged only for the loan period and the remaining has to be refunded to the applicants. The financed money (which constitutes a major part of a staggering ` 9,400 crore collected by GMADA as earnest money from 3.20 lakh applicants) runs into crores of rupees.

Since GMADA refunded the financed amount to various financial institutions, a month ahead of 180 days from the date of closing of the scheme, the banks have no right to hold back the public money, a senior official of GMADA said.

Only two banks, the State Bank of India (SBI) and State Bank of Patiala (SBoP) have started refunding a portion of the interest charged on the financed earnest money to the unsuccessful applicants.

In others banks, queries by the applicants are not being addressed. “I was told by bank officials that they have no information about the refund,” said Ajit Singh, who got his application financed from the Punjab and Sind Bank. Officials in the Sector 17 main branch of the bank claimed that the money had been charged as upfront fee and there was no question of refunding the amount. “Different banks have different rules,” said an official while denying applicants’ right on the financed amount.

Arun Johri of Allahabad Bank said they would also refund the amount. Most of the other banks are stating that they have yet to receive any orders from their head offices.

GMADA Chief Administrator VP Singh said ideally interest could be charged only for the loan period. “Since we have refunded the entire money to the banks, the applicants should get the refund,” he added.

Enquiries reveal that since November 16, GMADA started refunding the financed money to the banks. On November 16, Rs 2,394 crore was refunded to the banks against the 500 sq yard and 400 sq yard plots. On November 19, Rs 1,750 crore was refunded against 300 sq yard plots and on November 23, Rs 647 crore was refunded to banks against 250 sq yard plots. Today, GMADA transferred Rs 1,719 crore to the financial institutions for the 200 sq yard plots. A total of about Rs 8,500 crore has to be refunded to the unsuccessful applicants.

“If unsuccessful applicants have any grievance, they can file their complaints with the Banking Ombudsman, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, and the RBI regarding the unfair trade practices being adopted by the financial institutions,” said Ajay Jagga, a consumer rights activist. 



SDM to probe wrong blood transfusion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
Four days after a woman had been transfused wrong blood group at the Government Multi Speciality Hospital (GMSH) leading to the death of her unborn child, the UT Administration today ordered a magisterial probe into the incident. Sub-Divisional Magistrate (South) Vinod P Kavle has been asked to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit a report to UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas within seven days.

Suman, a resident of Colony No. 4, continues to battle for her life at the PGI ever since she was transfused the erroneous blood group B-positive meant for another patient with a similar name on Thursday at the GMSH. She was supposed to have been administered A-positive.

Suman lost her baby in her womb that same evening, hours after she was shifted to the PGI in a critical condition. The wrong transfusion of blood has since resulted in her contracting a severe infection in her kidneys.



Craze for special numbers losing steam
Year’s last RLA auction nets lowest revenue
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
The city’s show-offs today missed out on a once in a blue moon opportunity to get their hands on fancy registration numbers for their prized vehicles at a comparatively lower prices. The last auction of these “special” numbers by the UT Registering & Licensing Authority (RLA) for the year raked in the least amount of revenue with the otherwise much coveted CH01 AF0001 number fetching a “meager” Rs 70,000.

In fact, this amount was even less than the least expensive special number auctioned during the year’s first auction. The number 0006 in the AB series had gone under the hammer for Rs 81,000 last February while 0001 fetched Rs 4.3 lakh.

Interestingly, only four numbers of the total 34 numbers auctioned today were sold for over Rs 1 lakh. While 0003 went for Rs 1.5 lakh, 0007 sold for Rs 1.1 lakh and while CH01 AF9999 went for Rs 1.55 lakh. Interestingly the number CH01 AF0100 was sold for Rs 1.1 lakh.

Blame it on the fact that most auto makers launch their rejigged models in the first quarter of the year or on the frequent auctions of special registration numbers, today’s auction came as both a surprise and a setback for the authorities who were expecting to garner high revenue earnings.

Today’s auction of 34 registration numbers fetched Rs 12.94 crore. In the current series, the number CH01 AF0002 went under the hammer for Rs 90,000 while 0005 in this series fetched Rs 78000 and 0004 was sold for Rs 70,000.


Patil releases book on law
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil today released a book titled “Law and Sports in India - Developments Issues and Challenges” authored by Justice Mukul Mudgal, Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court, at the Chandigarh Judiciary Academy, Sector 43.

Speaking on the occasion, Patil said, “Law and Sports in India is a very useful and erudite book. It speaks about the policies, laws, developments, and other issues relevant to the sports activities in India and in other countries.”

Patil said sports policy could help to enthuse all citizens to develop a positive attitude towards sports. To develop sports, good policies are needed, which can be made at international, national and state level. He hoped that the future of sports was set to be brighter. For this sports activity in the present need the help of modern technologies. Sports activities also need laws, rules and regulations. 



Justice Gogoi to take over as CJ in Jan
Saurabh Malik/TNS

Chandigarh, December 20
Justice Ranjan Gogoi will take over as the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in January 2011.The Supreme Court collegium cleared his name for elevation as the Chief Justice of the High Court here in its meeting held at Delhi last week.

The Chief Justice’s post is scheduled to fall vacant on January 3, 2011, with Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal retiring upon attaining the age of superannuation. Available information suggests, Justice Gogoi will be administered the oath as the Chief Justice on January 4. Acting Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court, Justice Gogoi was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court in September 2010. He was administered oath on September 9.

At that time also it was understood that Justice Gogoi would eventually take over as the Chief Justice. His transfer was, rather, in sync with the latest trend to post a judge well in advance to the court where he eventually has to be elevated as the Chief Justice. The rationale behind the move is to ensure the “outside judge” is well familiar with the functioning of the court by the time he is ready to take over as the Chief Justice.

It also helps the prospective Chief Justice to recognise talent among the advocates for recommending their names for elevation.

As the first puisne (senior most after the Chief Justice), Justice Gogoi is already a part of the three-judge High Court collegium, along with Chief Justice Mudgal and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel. The collegium, with Justice Gogoi as a member, practically met after February 2008, to discuss the names of the advocates for elevation; and has already send a list of lawyers to be elevated to the Bench. It is believed the list is yet to reach the Punjab Governor after leaving Haryana Raj Bhawan.

In the short span of just about three months, Justice Gogoi has already passed some important judgments while constituting a Division Bench with Chief Justice Mudgal and as a Single Judge. Only recently, Justice Gogoi had pronounced a significant judgment that bars won’t bar a spouse from getting maintenance. 



Facebook incident ends in compromise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
Families of the two students involved in the incident of slapping reportedly reached a compromise at the police station in Phase 8 here today.Yesterday, a class X student of Doon International Public School, Mohali, was slapped by his classmate and photographs of the incident were splashed on Facebook.

Following a complaint by the father of the victim, the police called the families of the victim and the suspects to the police station.

The family of the boy who had been expelled and was behind the posting of the photographs on the site was also called to the police station. They were apologetic for the action of their child.

Station House Officer Sanjeev Bhatt said since the issue was about the career of the students, a sympathetic view was taken.

The director of the school said the student had been expelled and had been issued a transfer notice. He said he was not aware of the victim’s family taking a sympathetic view of 
the actions.

The father of the victim said, “Since the families were apologetic and it concerned their careers, I decided to be sympathetic.” The victim requested the school authorities not to expel the boy.



Mega projects fiasco
CBI turns heat on UT babus
Pradeep Sharma

Central investigative agencies, including the Central Bureau ofInvestigation and Central Vigilance Commission(CVC), turned the heat on senior officials instrumental in approving the controversial mega projects during the year 2010.

While the CBI booked three former officials of the Chandigarh Administration--Lalit Sharma, former Adviser to the UT Administrator, Krishna Mohan, former Home Secretary and Vivek Atray, former IT and Tourism Director, for alleged irregularities in the allotment of land for the mega projects, UT Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar was in the eye of the storm for another reason.The administration recommended a CBI probe against him for allegedly tampering with an order of the former UT Administrator SF Rodrigues with a view to secure life time membership of the Chandigarh Golf Association (CGA) for himself.

This coupled with letter war between the Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) over allotment of land for the mega projects,including the Phase III of the IT Park, took its toll on the development in the city.The absence of major development works forced the administration to prove its mettle in orgainsing fairs such as crafts mela and the Chandigarh Carnival.

While major projects, including the Film City, the Amusement Park, were scrapped by the administration several other major projects such as the Medicity, the Modern Terminal Market and the Milk Village were put in the cold storage.

The year also saw a new incumbent in the Raj Bhavan in Shivraj

Patil ending Rodrigues? controversial tenure.The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh(MCC) was empowered by the administration with the transfer of key departments, including primary health, primary education, roads and gardens.

The Chandigarh Housing Board(CHB) hogged the limelight by asking the administration to provide it a special package to pull itself out of the red.Meanwhile, it also made its presece felt by announcing the launch of two bedroom scheme in Sector 51.



BJP’s Jujhar Singh elected Market Committee chairman
Setback to Cong in the run-up to Mayoral polls
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jujhar Singh flashes a victory sign after being elected as the chairman of the Market Committee in Chandigarh on Monday
Jujhar Singh flashes a victory sign after being elected as the chairman of the Market Committee in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune photo: Vinay Malik 

Chandigarh, December 20
In a morale booster to the BJP in the run-up to Mayoral elections on January 1, party candidate Jujhar Singh today bagged the post of the chairman of the Market Committee.

The election of Jujhar Singh as the chairman of the cash-rich committee is seen as a setback to the Congress as senior party leader Devinder Singh Babla is a director of the committee and has been its chairman. Jujhar Singh’s victory is all the more significant since he defeated a prominent rural Congress leader Devinder Kumar.

Sources said Jujhar Singh’s victory by one vote (5:4) was merely a formality as five of the nine directors owed allegiance to the BJP. The five included Desraj Gupta, Ramvir Bhatti, Subhash Chander, Darshan Singh, besides Jujhar Singh. Of the five, Gupta and Bhatti are senior BJP leaders. Among the directors from the Congress camp included Babla, Devinder Kumar, Anand Singh and Jeet Singh.

The cash-rich committee, with an annual budget of several crores of rupees, wields considerable influence in the rural politics of Chandigarh. The committee is usually dominated by rural leaders from various political parties. However, in 2008, Babla had broken the rural domination by being elected as its chairman. The committee undertakes development works in the grain market and UT villages.

The BJP top brass was quick to score a political point or two after Jujhar Singh’s victory. Senior leaders, including the local unit president, Sanjay Tandon, and former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan were at the venue of the elections -- the Grain Market --and claimed credit for the victory.

Hailing the victory of the party candidate, both leaders termed it as the beginning of the end of Congress in the run-up to the 2011 elections to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.



Witness in murder case turns hostile
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
The complainant and the key eyewitness in the case involving the murder of an auto-rickshaw driver turned hostile in the court today. Retracting from his earlier statements given to the police, Hardeep Singh told the court that he never saw the accused stabbing the victim.

Pintu, a 19-year-old migrant from Bihar, was allegedly stabbed to death by three Nepalese following a dispute over the payment of a mobile phone at Dariya village on April 23, 2010. The police had arrested seven persons, including Rajesh, Jatinder Yadav, Brajesh Pandey, Niku Pandey, Anand Pandey, Nitin and Deepak in the case for the murder.

The victim had an altercation with the accused over a mobile phone, which took a bloody turn. The accused also had an enmity with the victim, the police had said. The deceased, Pintu, was residing with his parents in Dariya village.

At the time the case was registered, Hardeep had stated in his complaint to the police that he had come to a tea stall with his friend Pintu when the accused attacked him and he was repeatedly stabbed. A profusely bleeding Pintu was rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital where he succumbed.

Retracting from his earlier statements in the court, Hardeep today said he could not identify the accused and was not sure whether these were the ones who committed the murder. 



Agendas for Rs 1.75 cr approved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
The roads committee of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation approved the agendas of Rs 1.75 crore today at a meeting held in the chair of Resham Chand Jakhu.

The agendas approved by the committee includeed laying of paver blocks in Sectors 5, 16, 19, 25, 35, 38, 41, 42, 47 and 52, re-carpeting of parking in Sector 47, construction of extension of existing community centre of Sector 38-C, besides this construction of Sehaj Safai Kendra in Sector 23. 



Marathon postponed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
The arts, culture and sports committee of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has postponed a marathon scheduled on December 26. This was been decided at a meeting held today in the chair of Brig Kuldip Singh Chandpuri.

Brig Chandpuri, said the decision had been taken in the interest of the ongoing examinations in schools and colleges. He said that the event would be planned in mid-February in consultation with the DPI (schools and colleges).



Cyclist killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
In a hit-and-run case, a cyclist was killed after an unidentified vehicle hit him at the Housing Board lights point late last night. The victim has been identified as 25-year-old Sunil Kumar, a resident of Mauli Jagran. He was declared dead on arrival at the Sector 16 Government Multi-Speciality Hospital.

The incident took place around 11:30 pm when the victim was on his way back home on his bicycle. The victim was working in a grocery store in Baltana as salesman.

The victim suffered severe head injures. The body has been kept in the hospital mortuary and will be handed over to the family members after conducting an autopsy. A case under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A (causing death due to negligence) of the IPC has been registered in the Mani Majra police station. 



Ban no bar on sand quarrying
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

A tractor-trolley loaded with illegally quarried sand comes out of the Mullanpur seasonal rivulet.
A tractor-trolley loaded with illegally quarried sand comes out of the Mullanpur seasonal rivulet. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Mullanpur (Mohali), December 20
Despite a ban by the Supreme Court, massive illegal sand quarrying in being undertaken in the seasonal rivulet adjoining Mullanpur village.The activity being undertaken in Chandigarh’s periphery is not only resulting in several seasonal rivulets changing their tracks, but making agricultural land and human settlements vulnerable to erosion.

Truckloads of sand for construction is being removed without being checked by the mining and forest department. The ecologically fragile forest area is locked under various provisions of the Forest Act.

The activity is important in the context of a massive urbanisation boom in Chandigarh’s periphery. With a number of mega-projects coming up in the vicinity of the quarrying area, the demand for sand has gone up.

The Mohali district mining officer has shot off letters to the police to check the illegal activity as it is in violation of the status quo ordered on 500 acres at Mullanpur. A case between the Mullanpur panchayat and a private society regarding ownership of land is pending in the apex court.

A majority of quarrying takes place in different places spread across 15 kilometres north of the city beyond the PGI. Taking advantage of the increased demand, unscrupulous elements are targeting the area closed under the Forest Area. The indiscriminate quarrying has left several craters, between 10 and 15 feet deep, in the rivulets. Eager to make a fast buck, the operators of the illegal activity, while using muscle power, are now going further deep into the forest area, eyeing even private land.



Shooting incident
MLA wants probe report
Tribune News Service

Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu shows a proof of his being out of station during a press conference in Mohali on Monday.
Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu shows a proof of his being out of station during a press conference in Mohali on Monday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, December 20
Describing his implication in the murder of a Bariali village resident Rattan Singh by Mohali Police as part of a political conspiracy of the Akali government, Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu gave a four-day ultimatum to the police to probe the matter.

“I and my brother Amarjeet Singh Jeeti were not at the spot and have been accused on the basis of the statement of complainants. No effort has been made to verify the facts,” said Congress MLA while addressing a press conference.

Following the death of Rattan Singh, Mohali Police yesterday booked the Congress MLA, his brother Amarjeet Singh Jeeti, along with the village sarpanch Kulwant Singh Bariali, Dilbar Singh and Jatinder Singh.

He said the police officers were acting under political pressure rather than doing their job professionally. “I am not related to the family of the deceased. Being in politics, I know a lot of persons,” he said adding that it was a dispute between two families and he and his brother had been implicated in the case. 

Will probe the matter thoroughly: SSP

Mohali SSP GPS Bhullar said the case had been registered on the basis of statement given by deceased’s son. “I have constituted a special investigating team under SP (D) Pritam Singh to probe the matter,” he said adding that a counter case of attempt to murder and trespass had been registered against the opposite party



Rohtak tops in Haryana with 423 AIDS cases
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 20
Rohtak district in the state tops in AIDS cases as about 423 cases have been reported during the last decade (1999-2010) followed by Jhajjar and Sonepat districts where 229 and 220 cases, respectively, were reported during the same period.

Jind district reported 186 cases while in Bhiwani 163 cases were registered during this period. Only one case was registered in Ambala district.

About 62 and 15 cases were reported in Panipat and Panchkula districts, respectively.

Dr Narveer Singh, director general health, talking to the Tribune, said in the recent study it had been found that youths between the age group of 15-35 were the most affected lot mostly due to lack of awareness.

Dr Singh said the disease was generally diagnosed only five or seven years after a person is infected by the dreaded virus and added that anti-retroviral medicine being used for the AIDS patient only delayed the harmful effect of the disease. He said Rohtak district had reported the maximum cases of AIDS, as people from surrounding areas visit PGI hospital.

Earlier, addressing a seminar on AIDS organised at Red Bishop, Rajan Gupta, financial commissioner and principal secretary health, said there was a need to create awareness about safe sex among the rural masses. He said sex workers should educate the rural masses about the disease and its causes. The stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS was a major challenge and lack of awareness aggravated the problem, he added.

About 42 project directors working for various organisations in the state participated in the seminar.

Dr Surbir Saxena and Dr Jagmal Singh, additional project director, were also present.



‘Earmark places for hoardings’
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 20
A municipal councillor has demanded that in order to check visual pollution created by large number of hoardings and banners in the town, civic body should earmark points and also start charging fee from advertisers.

In a letter to the executive officer of the Municipal Council, Kuljit Singh Bedi said visual pollution had been created by large number of banners and hoardings, especially related to politics and religion.

Even though the civic body had earmarked places for advertisements and the work had been given on contract, whenever a religious or political function was held one could see banners, hoardings all over the town.

Bedi requested the authorities concerned to get all the banners removed and lay down guidelines to check visual pollution or else he would be compelled to go to the court.



A first at Mohali Civil Hospital
Hip replacement surgery on 75-year-old

Mohali, December 20
For the first time a hip replacement surgery was successfully done at Mohali Civil Hospital here using the minimal invasive technique.Seventy five-year-old Kala Devi, a resident of Sector 53, suffered a hip fracture about three months back. Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr Gursharan Singh said that Kala Devi was operated upon on Saturday and was able to walk today.

Singh, who is also a clinical observer at the PGI and a volunteer doctor at Medical College, Ohio, USA, said due to change in lifestyle more patients, especially women were suffering from osteo arthritis, which required knee and hip replacements.

He said when surgery was done through conventional methods, the patient had to stay in the hospital for a longer period of time. Those patients who were weak could not even undergo the surgery. But with minimal invasive technique the patient recovered much faster. — OC



Non-Payment of salaries
Contractual workers end strike
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 20
Irked over the non-payment of their salaries for November, contractual employees, along with sanitation contractors, cancelled their strike after the MC authorities assured them that their demands would be fulfilled. The contractual sanitary employees in the city had threatened to go on an indefinite strike from the next week demanding ESI and PF from their contractors.

The employees started converging on the MC office premises since morning and staged a protest, but finally MC officers agreed to their demands. They alleged that contractors cut ESI and PF amount from their salaries and never gave slips to them. They also demanded intervention from MC authorities and district administration.

It is worth mentioning here that there are 31 wards in which nine contractors were looking after the sanitation work with the help of around 530 employees.Sadhu Saini, MC sanitary inspector, said employees alleged that contractors were not paying salaries on time. He said they informed the protesting employees that their payment cheques had been released besides directing the contractors maintain records of ESI and PF. The employees later returned to work, Saini added.



Rich fusion by students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
“Spotlite”, annual function at Saupin’s School, Sector 32, witnessed a rich fusion of symphony, images, visual arts and mesmerising performances by students in various colourful dances, dramas, songs and elocutions.

The two-day cultural show was inaugurated by Pradip Mehra, Adviser to the UT Administrator. He emphasised that teachers needed to be more imaginative in their approach.

He said that today's age was the age of computers and technology and teachers had access to various teaching methods andthey must make the best use of it.

The function started with a Ganesh Vandana followed by a dance performance by Class V students. Saupin’s “Dance Crew” gave a dance performance bringing out a peppy blend of pop and hip pop. Tiny tots of Class I fascinated the audience as they moved and swayed in a musical presentation.

The final performance of the evening brought out the rustic charm of Punjabi dance.



PGI student feted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
Surendra Kumar Sharma, a PhD student of Professor SV Rana, department of gastroenterology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, got the prestigious MGIMS Award during the five-day annual conference of the association of clinical biochemists of India that concluded at Mumbai on December 15.

The award has been given for the best paper in the field of tropical diseases. The study indicates that mild inflammation may also be one of the causes of diarrhoea predominant irritable bowel syndrome. 



Nine POs arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
In a major achievement, the Chandigarh Police today arrested nine proclaimed offenders (POs), including three wanted in criminal cases, four in cheque bounce cases and one in the food adulteration case. The POs were arrested by the PO staff headed by inspector Gurjeet Kaur.

All the POs were produced in the district courts and sent to judicial custody. Three of the nine accused, include Inderjeet Singh who was wanted in a theft case, a woman, Tutu, wanted in a cheque-bounce case while Charanjeet in a food adulteration case.

3 policemen selected for UN mission
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
Three UT policemen, including inspector Poonam Dilawari, sub-inspector Sarita Roy and ASI Bir Singh, have been selected to participate in the UN Mission-2011. The three were selected along with other 139 police personnel across the country during the recent concluded test in Delhi.



Sports day at New Angel School

Zirakpur, December 20
The New Angel Public School celebrated its annual sports day with enthusiasm on Saturday.Congress leader Dipinder Singh Dhillon was the chief guest. Students took part in various sports activities like slow cycling, bag packing, couple race, book balancing and sack race.

The day was packed with athletics events like shot put, discus throw, long jump and relay race. School principal Sharanjit Kaur distributed prizes. — TNS



Refresher course ends at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
The refresher course in social sciences organised by the department of political science on behalf of the Academic Staff College (ASC) of Panjab University concluded here today.

About 48 assistant professors from colleges and universities attended the course. Resource persons from diverse social sciences disciplines included professors K Sivaramakrishnana, SS Gill, PS Judge, Ujjwal Singh, Sudha Wasan, Amit Prakash, Gopal Guru, Surinder Jodhka, Sudha Pai, NK Dogra, Sanjay Kumar and MN Thakur.

Prof Ashutosh Kumar co-ordinated the course on behalf of the department. In his valedictory lecture, Prof Shelley Walia, director, ASC, spoke about the need to evolve social sciences in a manner that could not only be relevant but also transformative in nature.

Criticality in social sciences is imperative to make social sciences interventionary in nature, Prof Walia added.



PU Notes
Courses approved

CHANDIGARH: The All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), New Delhi, has approved all the courses running at the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), Panjab University.

In a communication received here today, the AICTE director Dr SG Bhirud conveyed the approval of the council for the conduct of various courses by UIET.

For undergraduate programmes of engineering/technology (first shift), the council has approved intake of 80 students. The UG programme in Information Technology will have 110 students in each session of 2009-10 and 2010-11.

For electronics and communication engineering course (UG), an intake of 110 students has been approved for each session of 2009-10 and 2010-11.

For electrical and electronics engineering (UG), approval has been given for 80 students in each session of 2009-10 and 2010-11. For computer science and engineering course intake of 110 students has been approved for each session of 2009-10 and 2010-11 for UG classes.

For bio-technology course (UG) intake of 79 students has been approved for each session of 2009-10 and 2010-11. For postgraduate (PG) programmes in engineering/technology (first shift) an intake of 12 students has been approved.

For Information Technology (PG) course an intake of 18 students has been approved. An intake of 11 students has also been approved for micro electronics engineering course (PG).

For electronics and communication course (PG) an intake of 16 students has been approved. While an intake of 20 students in computer science and engineering course (PG) has been approved


Dr Ashwini Nangia of the School of Chemistry, University of Hyderabad, has been awarded with annual “Panjab University Bhagyatara Award”.

The Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti presented him the award which carries Rs 50,000 and a citation. Dr Ashwini Nangia’s research focused on natural product synthesis, enzyme inhibitors and synthesis of medicinal molecules.

At present, his research is directed towards crystal engineering, host-guest inclusion compounds polymorphism and supra-molecular chemistry in which he has made significant contribution.

Entrance test

Panjab University conduct entrance test for admission to MD/MS courses at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, on February 6.

The prospectus, along with the application form is available from today onwards.


A two-day international conference on “Business Ethics and Human Values” is being organised by the University Business School (UBS) on December 22 and 23 at the English auditorium on Panjab University campus.

Prof James Hoopes, of Babson College, Wellesley, USA, will deliver the keynote address.


The department of statistics, Panjab University, in collaboration with national academy of statistical administration under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation will organise a two-day workshop on “Biostatistics and official Statistics” beginning from December 21, at the ICSSR Complex on the university campus.

The workshop will focus on statistical techniques used in medical research. — TNS




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