C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Gaping holes in probe report
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
Even as the magisterial inquiry into the Khushpreet murder case has led to the suspension of three police officers and transfer of a DSP, the 26-page report seems to be as shoddy as the police investigation as it fails to address certain vital issues.

The report by ML Sharma, who is a Punjab Civil Service officer and whose primary responsibility is Director Transport, leaves several critical questions unanswered.

Report confined to only 2 days

The inquiry, which was marked after the recovery of Khushpreet’s body followed by the spontaneous public outrage in Burail on January 5, revolves around only the initial two days -- December 21, when the child was kidnapped, and December 22, the day of the ransom payment. While it states that the police wasted 22 vital hours following the ransom call and cites reasons behind the failure of the police trap, the investigating officers were never questioned on their subsequent failure to recover the child who, as the postmortem revealed, was alive until January 4. The report does not utter a word on how and why the investigation hit a roadblock.

Senior officers’ statements not recorded

Although the report indicted senior police officers for being “morally responsible” for the flimsy investigation, the inquiry officer failed to question any of the senior police officers. SSP Naunihal Singh, in particular, had supposedly been monitoring the operation when the ransom was paid. Sector 34 police station SHO Inspector Udey Pal Singh is quoted saying that he sent the daily crime report to the SSP at 8.15 am on December 22. The SSP too failed to take stock of the situation. DSP Vijay Kumar, who has been indicted for “having underestimated the gravity of the situation”, has been let off with a transfer to the Police Headquarters.

Only eight of 18 cops questioned

A total of 18 police officers were part of the team that laid a trap near Desu Majra Kharar on December 22 where the ransom was to be handed over to the kidnappers. Only eight police officers have been questioned while the remaining have been left out. The selective questioning raises a question mark on the way the inquiry has been conducted.

Who diverted numbers to SHO’s phone?

One of the biggest blunders that led to the failure of the trap arose from the mismanagement of telephone calls. The police unwittingly ended up putting an STD booth number 9217435500 (which they suspected to be that of the kidnapper) and Khushpreet’s uncle Sukhwinder Singh’s mobile number (9855534007) on parallel to Inspector Udey Pal Singh’s number (9779580934) at the same time. The Inspector’s phone was attended to by the DSP. This resulted in the police getting diverted by the numerous other calls being made from the booth. As a result, calls being made on Sukhvinder’s phone by the kidnappers got overlooked since it was not possible for the police to monitor and record the conversation being made on both numbers. Had the police used two separate mobiles, they would have been able to distinguish between the chaff and the grain. Instead, the police kept receiving calls made to the STD booth, which turned out to be of no consequence and resulted in a loss of crucial phone recordings made on Sukhvinder’s number. The inquiry has failed to touch upon the aspect as to who took the decision to divert two numbers at the same time to a single mobile number.

DSP indicted second time

This is the second time that DSP Vijay Kumar has figured in an inquiry report for dereliction of duty. In August 2010, an inquiry by former UT Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shergill had recommended action against Vijay Kumar as he along with an SHO had failed to take action against illegal booth owners in Sector 41.

No one held responsible for technical failure

No one has been held responsible for the technical failure that led to the loss of crucial evidence when the trap was laid. The police failed to put an electronic chip in the bag containing the ransom. The inquiry has ignored the technical failure of the police and has not pointed a finger at anyone who was responsible for the investigation after the trap failed.

No clarity on who called off the trap

The inquiry report fails to say who issued instructions for calling off the trap. On what basis and why the trap was called off, remains a mystery. The report is silent on the identity of the officer who issued the last-minute order when the kidnappers snatched the ransom right under the nose of the police.

No departmental probe within the police

The top brass of the police failed to take disciplinary action. No internal inquiry was marked to look into the lapses. It took the IGP 13 days to transfer the police post in charge of Burail and the SHO of the Sector 34 police station. The report is also silent on who misguided the senior officers to call off the operation when the trap was laid.



Patil snubs Khushi’s father
Refuses to accept memorandum
Smriti SharmaVasudeva
Tribune News Service

I am not satisfied with the meeting with the UT Administrator. We will fight for justice.”
Lakhbir Singh returns dejected from Punjab Raj Bhawan, Chandigarh, on Thursday.
Lakhbir Singh returns dejected from Punjab Raj Bhawan, Chandigarh, on Thursday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, January 20
In an apparent display of apathy, UT Administrator Shivraj Patil today refused to accept a memorandum from Khushpreet’s father, Lakhbir Singh, expressing dismay at the magisterial inquiry report following which three policemen were suspended and a fourth transferred to the Police Lines.

Attached to the memorandum was the UT Administration’s cheque for Rs 1 lakh as compensation for the death of the five-year-old boy, which the magisterial report has attributed to abject incompetence on the part of the police.

Neither the Administrator nor the Administration offered any explanation on the refusal to accept the memorandum. Patil’s insensitivity was evident as he “woke up” days later to direct the Administration to pull up its socks and get to the bottom of the gruesome killing preceded by the kidnapping of the boy.

Patil had remained silent not only through the 16-day episode (December 21 to January 5), but also for 12 long days after the victim’s body was recovered.

Lakhbir Singh later told reporters that Patil seemed irked by the presence of a “self-professed” leader, Pal Singh Pandhi, who accompanied him.

In the memorandum, Lakhbir Singh has demanded a fresh probe by a sitting Punjab and Haryana High Court judge while alleging that the inquiry report by the officiating SDM (Central), ML Sharma, had been “conditioned” on the advice of UT police personnel.

Khushpreet’s father has been demanding a fresh probe into police ineptness and registration of an FIR against the guilty police officers.

In the memorandum, Lakhbir also expressed dismay that no one represented the Administration at Khushpreet’s bhog ceremony.

The memorandum, which appeared somewhat politicised, bore signatures of five political organisations in addition to the market welfare committee, Burail.



For now, RTE bubble bursts
Schools ignore EWS quota, go ahead with admissions l Stung Admn to issue notices
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
A major confrontation is in the offing between private schools and the UT Administration with the latter planning to serve notices on schools for not reserving 25 per cent seats for students belong to the economically weaker section (EWS) as mandated by the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act.

The Administration, which has failed to address several issues of concern, seems set to shift the blame on private schools. As a result of the prolonged standoff between the Administration and the private schools, what is also now appearing increasingly evident is that the Administration will be unable to effect the RTE Act in the next academic session starting in April 2011.

The education department had issued detailed guidelines in November asking all schools to reserve 25 per cent of nursery seats for the EWS students. They were asked to advertise these seats and the schools were supposed to hold a draw. The UT had also specified criteria determining the EWS category. The schools, however, refused to comply as the details of reimbursement have not been finalised yet.

Following this, the Administration came out with its draft rules in December, which were deliberated upon in three joint meetings with schools, but confusion continues to surround the Act.

‘Schools can’t get away with it’

A majority of schools have not reserved seats and that is why we had issued a detailed directive in November itself. They were not only asked to set aside 25 per cent seats, but were also briefed about the procedure of random selection. They played a smart game to evade the Act by finishing the admissions this way. We will not tolerate it and the erring institutions will be asked to explain the reason for non-compliance. Lack of initiative on part of the schools ruined everything. But we will not leave it here and will try to get the Act implemented, if not in toto, then some postulates of it.
 — PK Sharma, DPI (Schools)

‘End this circus now’

I just want the education department to end this circus now. Yes, barring two or three schools, no school has reserved seats, but why blame us? The Act has not been notified yet and they have not replied to our queries. The Government of India has not approved the draft rules, and child mapping results are yet to be declared. No information about the reimbursement has been released. How do we reserve the seats?
 — HS Mamik, President, Independent School Association




Parents meet DPI, seek written assurance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
The ongoing flip flop on age eligibility criteria in city’s four minority schools has left hundreds of parents a harried lot and they have demanded a written assurance from the UT administration that their wards get a fair chance in admission in addition to restoration of the old criteria which was being followed for years.

With this memorandum being submitted today, the controversy surrounding the age eligibility criteria for nursery admission to St, John’s School, Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, St. Annes, Sector 32, and Carmel Convent, Sector 9, seems to have further worsened. Two days after the UT Administration rolled back its arbitrary directive changing the criteria hours before the sale of forms, it has sought another meeting with schools to discuss parents’ objections to the current criteria being followed.

“With this RTE controversy, I am not sure whether my child will be eligible next year or not. These schools have since ages followed the September-October criteria. This year again it was expected to be September 2006 to October 2007, but the UT Administration got it changed to March 2006 to April 2007. What about those children who turn four after April 2007? They were not eligible last year for being under age and will not get a chance next year for being overage while many others who got a chance last year have got another chance,” said Dr Anuj Kaushal, a parent.

“The criteria has been changed twice and this has made us all insecure. If the RTE comes into force and the criteria changes next year, where will our children go? Amidst all this controversy it is the parents who are suffering the most. When we go to schools they do not entertain us and when we approach the UT education department they ask us to approach the schools,” adds Vipul Sehgal, a resident of Sector 8, Panchkula.

Admn singling out minority schools

What kind of game is this? Firstly they make us drop our conventional criteria and adopt a new one. When we notify parents, they change it arbitrarily before selling forms. Following a protest, they roll back the changes. Now they again want a meeting. They have created all this confusion. The age criterian with respect to the RTE Act was discussed in detail at the December meeting. And at the 11th hour they are creating this confusion. I read that administration claims to have approved the March 2008-April 2009 criteria for the 2012 session. How can they decide that on their own? Who will teach children born between 2007 and 2008? We will go to attend the meeting tomorrow to understand under which rule is UT interfering in our matter? They are singling out minority schools while they have not cared to review admission criteria or process of any other schools” - Kavita Das, Principal, St John’s School.

No representation

While parents demanded representation at the meeting to be held tomorrow, the UT officials refused to have any of their members at the meeting.

“We asked the DPI to allow two parents to be present at the meeting so that we can know the truth behind the blame game but he denied it. It is us who are paying for all the confusion. They talk of implementing the RTE, which will have an impact our children and pockets. No parents from private schools are going to be present at the meeting, are we just meant to be mute spectators” - Vipul Sehgal, Panchkula, Sector 8 Resident.

Uniformity goes for a toss

While almost all school have taken 3+ students in their nursery classes, Minority schools have taken 4+ raising questions over the uniformity of age meant to be maintained under the RTE.

Who is responsible?

“When there is no RTE in place then why did they change their criteria to suit it? The UT has no business to meddle with our criteria. After the fiasco, which took place two days back the DPI (S) claimed that he was ignorant about the notice in which last minute changes were made in age criteria. Has he tried to find out who issued it without his knowledge? And what steps are being taken against him?” - HS Mamik, President Independent School Association.

DPI to meet principals

“What assurance can I give when schools who are to make admissions are not giving any? Schools have created all this confusion but we will discuss parents’ apprehensions with them. I have called a meeting with principals and will see what we can do,”
 — PK Sharma, DPI (Schools)


It’s going to be cold ‘n’ cloudy today
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
It was a cloudy winter morning in the city today with the weather office predicting cloudy weather tomorrow too. “The sky will be generally cloudy in the morning with dip in the day temperature,” said an official of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The minimum temperature remained unchanged at 5 degrees Celsius today, a notch below the average for the season while the maximum rose marginally at 19 degrees compared to 18.5 degrees Celsius recorded yesterday.

“Maximum temperature is likely to be around 17 degrees Celsius while the minimum could settle at 6 degrees Celsius,” the weather official said.

Cloudy weather delayed Pashchim Express and Lucknow-Chandigarh Sadbhavna Express by over an hour each while Kingfisher Airlines Delhi-Chandigarh flight was cancelled for the day today. All other flights landed and took off as per schedule, airport sources said.

The official added that cloudy conditions are likely to last till Saturday that will help in reviving cold conditions in the city. One of the side effects will be that there will be no fog in the city for the next 48 hours.

"On Friday, the minimum temperature will be almost the same, though there is a possibility that the maximum temperature will go down by two to three degrees. The residents will have to face the chill again,'' added official.

After the approaching of western disturbances, the weather is likely to be cloudy and it might drizzle in the adjoining areas of Punjab and Haryana in the next 24 hours, the weathermen predicted.



Tanishq Heist
Tattoo proved to be his nemesis
Aman Sood
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 20
A tattoo on his back helped cops ascertain his criminal connection with Punjab. Considered dead, and cases against him closed and pending, the Punjab police is now waiting for the interrogation of Pritpal Singh, alias Paras Soni.

The Patiala police has sought a production warrant for Paras Soni, the brain behind the recent Tanishq dacoity at Mani Majra. Soni is a proclaimed offender and is wanted in murder, robbery and theft cases.

Sources in the police department stated that Soni, with numerous cases registered against him in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, had proved himself dead. “His picture with the Punjab police was almost 10-year-old and was of a little help,” they added.

“Despite the arrest of Soni, the Chandigarh police was not sure that Paras Soni was the same gangster who was wanted in three states, till a tattoo on his back proved helpful to establish his true identity as Pritpal Singh,” claimed a senior Punjab police official.

Later, a team of police officials was sent to Jalalabad with his latest picture and the police came to know that Soni, arrested in the 10-crore heist, was actually Pritpal Singh. “In Jalalabad, Pritpal had proved himself dead and his family members had organised a bhog ceremony as well,” claimed an officer.

Sources confirmed that whenever Pritpal Singh was arrested he would give fake family background credentials which meant cases in Punjab were never taken up and linked with Soni.

Pritpal Singh had escaped from the custody of the Rajasthan police in 2003 and is wanted in over a dozen criminal cases by the Punjab police.

Patiala SSP Gurpreet Singh Gill told The Tribune that they also needed Pritpal Singh in a case pertaining to theft at a bank in SST Nagar. “We will soon seek production warrant against him and interrogate him to know more about his connections in Patiala,” Gill stated.

Soni was the mastermind in the Tanishq showroom dacoity at Mani Majra, Chandigarh, on the intervening night of January 11 and 12.



Beopar mandal to set up legal fund
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) has decided to set up a legal fund for taking up legal issues of its member at appropriate forums. The decision was taken at the recent annual general meeting of the CBM held here recently.

Besides constitution of the legal fund, the alleged harassment of the tenants by NRI landlords was also criticised at the meeting.

Members were of the view that a Beopar Bhavan should be constructed in the city for organising social activities of the trading community.

Shyam Bihari Mishra, president of the All-India Beopar Mandal, presided over the meeting.

Charanjiv Singh and Diwakar Sahoonja, chairman and president of the CBM, respectively, urged the Chandigarh Administration to frame trader-friendly bylaws. 



GMADA Aerocity Scheme
Bank honours star performers

Chandigarh, January 20
SK Sehgal, chief general manager, State Bank of India (SBI), Chandigarh Circle, today honoured star performers, who were part of the GMADA-Aerocity Scheme. 

The SBI had handled about 1,25,000 applications in the scheme.While speaking on the occasion, Sehgal praised the efforts put in by all staff members through which the Chandigarh Circle was able to handle the most prestigious finance project in the entire SBI history. Sudipan Bhaduri and Deepti Sahai, both General Managers, were also  present. — TNS



Tourism dept spends Rs 48 lakh

Chandigarh, January 20
The UT department of tourism has so far spent ` 48 lakh allotted to it during the current financial year for the promotion of tourism and entertainment in the city, besides upgradation of the Le Corbusier Centre.

This came up during a review meeting under the chairmanship of Home Secretary Ram Niwas with various heads of departments to review the plan expenditure incurred till date and assess the progress of major works.

The Director Hospitality stated that the entire budget allocation of the hospitality department would be utilised for creating guest infrastructure and facilities at the UT State Guest House and the Panchayat Bhawan for providing better guest facilities to VVIPs, state guests and other visitors and tourists. — TNS



‘Tamar Patra’ takes a dig at politicians
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, January 20
Living up to its promise, the ongoing TFT National Theatre Fest brought yet another different genre of realistic drama with “Tamar Patra” staged by the Nat Bundhele Troupe of Bhopal under the direction of thespian Alakhnadan at the Tagore Theatre here today.

Operating at the intellectual level, the play written by Devashsish Majumdar recovered some explosive realities about the fraudulent means used by politicians to woo sympathisers and strengthen their vote bank. Driven by penury, the honest bookbinder, Twishamapati approached a politician and MP for the employment of his son, who suggested and helped him to get fake nomination and certificate of a freedom fighter for the award of a Tamar Patra, a national pride and entitling him to a pension.

Meanwhile, obsessed by the honour, the protagonist studied the lifestyle of freedom fighters, imbibed their true spirit, which later made him realise about the perfidy and double standard of contemporary corrupt politicians. Unable to get his noble soul and mind corrupted, he returned to the life of an honest bookbinder. Aloke Chatterji excelled as protagonist, as also Priynaka Thakur, Shilpa Shukla, Ajay Srivastav and Anshprayan Sinha.

Earlier, the TFT academy honoured playwright Jatinder Brar for his incredible service to the promotion of theatre in Punjab. Dr Atamjit introduced the theatrical genius of Brar.



Mayor urges Guv to take up pending projects
Tribune News Service

Municipal Commissioner Roshan Sankaria (extreme right) and Mayor Ravinder Pali carry out a cleanliness drive in Maloya on Thursday.
Municipal Commissioner Roshan Sankaria (extreme right) and Mayor Ravinder Pali carry out a cleanliness drive in Maloya on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, January 20
The UT architecture department should speed up the process of clearing plans of major civic projects as many of them had been hanging fire for the past four years, Mayor Ravinder Pali Singh impressed upon UT administrator Shivraj V Patil at their meeting held today.

Patil assured him a meeting of the UT adviser along with the MC Commissioner would be convened shortly to discuss pending MC projects and begin work on them as soon as possible.

During the meeting Ravinder Pali referred to the major projects that had yet to take off, including multilevel parking lots, construction of community centres in the city’s various sectors and land for community parking in the southern sectors. “Due to the delay in clearing the proposals work on not even a single project has commenced during the last four years”, he averred.

Ravinder Pali said that even the drawings of extension plans of the MC’s own building had been lying pending for the past five years with the chief architect and nothing had been done about it till date.

“Similarly drawings of the six proposed multi-level parking projects, which were approved in 2005, only drawing of single parking has been approved till date and drawing of another parking project is in the pipeline”, the Mayor added.

“The master plan for Manimajra, where 500 acres of land are still vacant, and which was submitted to the UT architecture department a decade ago, has yet not been approved by the UT administration till date”, he said. He also took up the need for setting up more wedding and banquet halls in the city.

Suggesting the size of the community centers proposed to be built in various sectors should be increased, Ravinder Pali requested Patil to issue instructions that the architect department should redesign these centres so that they could also be used by city residents for holding wedding functions. “The senior deputy mayor as well as the deputy mayor should be empowered to utilize some of the powers and facilities in the corporation”, he argued.

Pali requested the UT administrator to issue instructions to the architect department to redesign the community centre so that it could be used for marriage purposes also by the residents.



No election to post of chairmen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
Election to the post of chairmen of 12 sub-committees of the Chandigarh municipal corporation will not be held, as councillors have filed a single nomination paper for each committee.

On the last date, Brig Kuldeep Chandpuri filed his nomination for the post of chairman of arts, culture and sports committee and for the rest eleven committees, candidates filed their papers yesterday.

Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh said a meeting would be convened tomorrow in which chairmen and vice-chairmen of all committees would be announced.

On January 12, the Mayor had constituted 12 sub-committees, including those of road, water, supply and sewerage disposal, electricity, environment and city beautification, house tax, apni mandi, sanitation, fire and emergency services, arts, culture and sports, enforcement, women empowerment and slum development.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the art, culture and sports committee will be held tomorrow to decide on the marathon schedule. 



Petition Challenging Mayoral Poll
Hearing postponed to Jan 28
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
The hearing of election petition challenging mayoral elections filed by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (CMC) independent mayoral candidate Jagjit Singh Kang was postponed to January 28 as the Deputy Commissioner (DC) was away to Delhi today.

MC Mayor Ravinder Pali Singh will file his reply to the notice of the election petition sent to him by DC by January 28. BJP councillor Rajesh Gupta, another respondent in the election petition, also appeared in person today.

It may be mentioned that Kang had challenged the election of Mayor Ravinder Pali Singh on the ground that the Congress councillors were asked by Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, to take a photograph of their ballot paper after casting their votes in favour of the Congress candidate.

Kang had also pointed out in his petition that when the presiding officer Brig. Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri had asked the councillors not to take their mobile phones inside the polling booths, it was violated by Bansal by saying that ‘no body can stop him from taking his mobile phone inside the polling booth. I will take my mobile phone with me. You do whatever you want to do”. Kang had alleged that the secrecy of the ballot was breached by Bansal with ulterior motives.



BJYM activists to hoist flag in Srinagar
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 20
A large number of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha activists will take out a rally to hoist the National Flag at Lal Chowk, Srinagar on January 26.

Former Ambala MP RL Kataria said a delegation led by Anurag Thakur, MP, and the national BJYM president would reach Ambala on Friday at 3 pm and the rally would further proceed to Srinagar.

Kataria said more than a lakh BJP supporters would join the rally which would be addressed by national leaders, including LK Advani, Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley. He lashed out at the ruling Congress government.

He also flayed Ambala MP and Union Minister Kumari Selja for failing to bring funds for the development of her constituency. He said long-pending demand of the residents of Panchkula, Yamunagar and Ambala for setting up a railway line from Ambala to Naraingarh has not been fulfilled.

He added that a recent statement of the state finance minister Capt Yadav praising Chief Minister of Gujarat for his corruption-free governance had exposed chinks in the Congress party. He said policies initiated by Modi should also be implemented in the state.

Senior local leaders, including Gianchand Gupta, Arun Guleria, Deepak Sharma, Varinder Garg and BB Singhal also spoke on the occasion.



Civic body to set up zonal complaint centres
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 20
The Mohali municipal corporation has decided to set up four zonal complaint centres for sanitation work.

As the town has been divided into four zones for sanitation work, complaint centres will be set up in each zone, where employees will be available to register complaints of residents. These complaint centres will be equipped with telephones. Sanitary inspectors of the four zones will be available at these centres from 9 am to 1 pm. The centres will be set up at Silvi Park in Phase X, Rose Garden in Phase III-B 1, fire station in Phase I, Industrial Area, and one in Phase VII, Industrial Area.

As the office of the corporation is located in Sector 68, residents find it hard to reach there and register complaints in connection with the sanitation work.

The town has been divided into four zones for cleaning purposes. Zone one consists of Phases I, II, III, IV and VI,

Zone two has Phases III A, III B 1, III B 2, VII and VIII, Zone three comprises Phases IX to XI, Sector 48-C and Phase IX, Industrial Area, while Sectors 70, 71, Phase V and Phases VII and VIII, Industrial Area, fall in Zone IV.

The Mohali civic body has still not outsourced the sanitation work for another year, even as the two-month extended period is going to expire on January 25. Contractors have been given a one-month extension.



Rs. 316 crore sanctioned to solve water problem
Tribune News Service

Mohali January 20
NK Sharma, joint secretary, Shiromani Akali Dal, and chairman, District Planning Committee, Mohali, said the SAD-BJP government had found a permanent solution to the lingering water supply problem of SAS Nagar, Mohali, and its adjoining villages.

While addressing a gathering at Jujhar Nagar after presenting cheques for development work, Sharma said it was with the efforts of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal that a record ` 316 crore was sanctioned for getting water from Kajouli water works. He said it was the largest project for any single city sanctioned by any government in the last 63 years.



Ban on carrying firearms

Zirakpur, January 20
The Mohali administration has imposed a ban on carrying firearms at marriage palaces in the district during weddings and other functions from January 19 to March 18.

The administration has directed owners of the marriage palaces to arrange proper parking areas during functions.

District Magistrate Parveen Kumar promulgated the orders under Section 144 of the CrPC today.

He has issued directions to owners and organisers to ask people to park vehicles in parking areas only. There are more than 20 marriage palaces in Zirakpur. — TNS



Protest by Chhatbir zoo staff

Zirakpur (Chhatbir),January 20
Members of the Chhatbir Employees Union and Chhatbir Class IV Employees Union today held a protest in support of their demands.

The members alleged that some of the forest employees had eaten nine missing broilers from the cage of Shikra bird (an eagle species). They demanded a probe into the matter and also sought action against defaulters. Zoo sources said there were around a dozen chicks in the cage of Shikra bird. — TNS



UBS faculty exchanges ideas for placements
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
Replicating the “University Business School (UBS) model of placements” in all departments of Panjab University, an initial exercise was done today by the central placement cell in the English auditorium for the language departments of the university.

In the event that was hosted by the English department, students and faculty members of UBS gave presentations on aspects involved in the placements and students of Hindi, Punjabi and English department exchanged their ideas about seeking placements.

“UBS has had a record numbers of placements this time. The central placement cell members wanted that UBS students and teachers must share their placement experience with us. Central placement committee members felt that the model should be replicated in all departments. We wanted to sensitise students towards job fair that would be held in March. It was an opportunity to motivate students today,” said Deepti Gupta, placement coordinator, English department.

“The students from the arts fraternity had never imagined that they could get placed in the corporate sector. Hence, the students were motivated to develop some extra skills, besides the masters degree they were pursuing,” she added.

The departments have already formed core committees comprising students and faculty members for placements. “This is just the initial process and the system would gradually fall into place. We are in the experimenting stage and the placements scenario in arts departments will surely fall into place.

We encouraged the students to think about jobs like event management, etc. In the workshop, the arts department students told us about their areas of interest and the kind of jobs they are interested in doing like publishing houses, journalism, etc,” said a CPC member.

The central placement cell would be holding workshops in the hotel management institute, fashion technology, law and UIAMS.



Syndicate meeting today
Board of finance members to be elected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
Panjab University Syndics would elect two members of the board of finance at a meeting scheduled tomorrow. In addition to this, the Syndicate, which is the governing body of the university, will also formally approve the nomenclature of a lecturer as an assistant professor and a reader as an associate professor. Although the practice was being followed on the campus, the formal nod of the university governing body was awaited, said sources.

University teachers who set question papers and check answersheets of competitive exams would also be provided some relief. An item listed for the Syndicate meeting mentions that 5 per cent deduction for “holiday home fund” would not done from the amount paid to these teachers.

University sources claim that Syndicate members, GK Chatrath and Naval Kishore, are likely to be elected as the members of the board of finance. Additionally, certain committees, including UMC committee, revising committee, etc, would be formed at the meeting.



Scope of higher education abroad highlighted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
An event titled “Study Abroad: Philadelphia” was today organised at a city hotel by the Drexel University in collaboration with the City of Philadelphia.

The event aimed at informing schoolchildren about the scope of higher education abroad, particularly universities as Drexel University, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, La Salle and Villanova.

Among the highlights of the event were Drexel’s undergraduate business management degree, as well as their cooperative programme, one of the oldest and most expansive cooperative education programmes in the world that helps the students gain valuable experience before they graduate.

The delegates at the event included Kanika Choudhary, honorary Ambassador of Philadelphia to India; Shumi Muinde, international admissions director, Drexel University; Nisha Wadhwan, US commercial service, American Embassy, New Delhi; and Justice SS Sodhi, former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court and trustee, the Tribune Group of Publications, and S Marriya, former principal, DAV College, Sector 10.



Students bring laurels to city
2 projects among top 30
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 20
Pallavi, Aishwarya and Nirwan Goel, students of Chaman Lal DAV Senior Public School, Sector 11, here have made the city proud as three science projects of the same school won gold medals at the 18th National Children’s Science Congress (NCSC), which recently concluded at Chennai.

State coordinator Narinder, who assisted the teams at the science congress, informed that the panel of experts at the science congress has selected two of its school projects among the best 30 projects from all over the country.

He said the selected projects would further be evaluated by the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, for their effective implementation. The first science project on “Water purification” was a major breakthrough for its special features of being economical and eco-friendly, he added.

The state coordinator said the second project was “Invention of bio-pesticides for killing cockroaches, termite, mosquito and larva and pests of vegetable crops”. He said the effect and efficiency was tested with teams of experts, officials of industry and in slum areas.

School principal Anjali Marriya said the names of three students had been recommended to the Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula, for recognition of their effort on the Republic Day celebrations.



Students told about legal rights
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
The State Legal Service Authority, UT, organised two special legal awareness camps at DAV Model Senior Secondary School and Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 8.

The camps aimed at sensitising students about their legal rights and duties.

Member secretary of the authority Jagdeep Jain along with law officer Rajeshwar Singh, Legal Aid Panel advocates Pankaj Mohan Kansal, Savita Saxena and Gautam Bhardwaj interacted with more than 200 students of higher classes and told them about the importance of the authority, its aims and objectives.

They were also told about the role of Legal Literacy Clubs which are being opened in schools and colleges of Chandigarh.

Various problems of students were discussed on the spot.



From Schools & Colleges
Placement drive

MOHALI: The Quest Group of Institutions organised a campus placement drive for Money Matters Inc in their campus for MBA students. After a pre-placement talk, the students had to undergo a written test, followed by personal interview round. The company shortlisted five students for the final round of interview, said Harinder Kanda, vice-chairman of the Quest Group of Institutions. — TNS


Patiala: The Women Empowerment and Nanhi Chaan Cell of Khalsa College, Patiala, will organise a national conference on “Indian Women: Position and Perspectives” on January 22. The conference is being organised by the UGC. Dr Dharminder Singh Ubha, principal, Khalsa College, Patiala, said Dr Rohini Aggarwal, eminent scholar, Gender Studies, MDU, Rohtak, and Dr Rajesh Gill, director, Women Studies and Development Centre, Punjabi University, Chandigarh, would grace the occasion. —TNS


Dera Bassi: Swami Parmanand Group of Colleges, Lalru, has been presented the International Intellectual Achievement Award For Education Excellence by the Global Achievers Foundation at Bangkok, Thailand. The certificate was presented to Yashwant Krishan Mittal, treasurer of the group of colleges, who said the award was the outcome of their efforts in academics and co-curricular activities. — OC

Founder’s day

PANCHKULA: The founder’s day was celebrated with great enthusiasm at Satluj Public School, Sector 4, Panchkula. The assembly commenced with Ganesh Vandana followed by highlights of various achievements of the school presented by principal Krit Serai. A special quiz was conducted in all classes. — TNS



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