C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Dressing-down sparks protest
n Dental hospital director objects to slogan on intern’s T-shirt
n Patients not allowed to enter OPD
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service
The OPD wears a deserted look at the PU’s dental hospital. Patients were denied admission to the OPD by students protesting outside
The OPD wears a deserted look at the PU’s dental hospital. Patients were denied admission to the OPD by students protesting outside the college. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, February 1
The pent-up resentment brewing among students, teachers and nonteaching staff of Panjab University’s HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences & Hospital against the alleged “autocratic behaviour” of the institute’s director-principal, GK Gauba, today erupted into a massive protest after a female intern at the hospital was reportedly asked to remove her pullover by college officials.

Patients at the OPD were the worst affected by the protest with only 69 new patients turning up for treatment at the hospital instead of the 300 patients on an average coming every day.

Irked by a tagline on the intern's shirt which read "I love New York" with a heart drawn on it, Gauba and another faculty member, Savita, objected to her dress. College officials, who claimed the tagline was partially visible and was not legible from a distance, suspected it bore a boy’s name.

The intern then broke into tears and called her parents to the PU south campus, where the college is situated. She alleged misbehavior and "assault" by the college director, although she later refused to speak to reporters or file a complaint. The incident prompted students to protest and nearly 400 of them gathered outside the college to express their disapproval.

While the students accused Gauba of being "too disciplinary" and "self-styled", the latter, however asserted it was “student politics” on PU campus that was the “biggest hindrance in the smooth functioning” of the dental college. “It is because of the influence of PU student leaders that the college has been getting a bad name. The only solution to repeated protests by students is to delink the dental college with the university and have complete autonomy," said Gauba.

The college students were joined by PU students council president Gurwindervir Singh Aulakh and members of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU). The protest lasted for over three hours and members of other student organizations also arrived at the scene and locked the college entrance to register their annoyance.

PU dean of students welfare Naval Kishore, dean of university instruction BS Brar, and dean (sciences) AS Ahluwalia attempted to mollify the students but their efforts were in vain. When PU officials tried to convince students to open the department they raised slogans against Gauba and varsity officials.

The college’s nonteaching staff also joined the protest later, alleging the director's attitude was "too dictatorial". However, they refused to be quoted or list their grievances in writing.

Incidentally, only a day ago PUSU had staged a protest on the issue of “stringent rules” in the dental college on Monday, which did result in any concrete result.

We’re only ensuring discipline: Faculty

We’re just trying to maintain discipline in the college. This intern had reappeared in her exams and had a very short attendance. I was ready to apologize to the girl and her parents initially if their sentiments had been hurt. But after this whole dramatization by student leaders, I don’t wish to continue in this office. I’ve worked hard to uplift this college and if teachers are humiliated by student leaders no one would continue here

— Dr GK Gauba, director-principal, HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences & Hospital, PU

Most students who are actively protesting have failed in their exams. Of the 500 students who appeared in the midterm exams barely 50 cleared all subjects. The students here are so spoilt in the university environment that they wish to engage in all activities other than studies

— Dr Savita, institute faculty member

Gauba must go, assert students

Students of the dental college have been suppressed for long now. PU officials must find a solution and replace the director”

Gurwindervir Singh Aulakh, president of the PU Campus Student Council

Every single student in the college is against the director and there are valid reasons behind this. PU officials must remove him and find someone to replace him, or else protests will continue”

— Simranjit Singh Dhillon, Panjab University Students Union (PUSU)

Students can’ stand in a parking area even after the classes are over. We’re not even allowed to go to the canteen between 9 am and 1 pm. A dress code has been arbitrarily imposed in the college. If there’s to be discipline in the college it must be over academic issues and not over the way students dress other such frivolous issues. We’ve no problem with our teachers but the director must go. Will the authorities only wake up after some student takes an unfortunate step?

— A fourth-year student speaking on condition of anonymity



19 booked for clash in DAV College
Police officer assaulted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
The police today booked 19 persons for their alleged involvement in a clash at DAV College here on Monday evening. Four of those arrested include former students of Panjab University who have been booked for assaulting a Sub-Inspector inside the Sector 3 police station. While seven have been booked for attacking a student, another eight have been booked as a cautionary measure under Section 107/151 of the CrPC.

A student of DAV College and resident of Bilaspur in Himachal, Ravi Kumar, was attacked by a group of students in his hostel yesterday.

The arrested accused, who allegedly attacked the student, have been identified as Amit and Mohan, who have been booked for rioting and criminal intimidation. Besides, the police has also booked Malkit, Ravinder, Cippu, alias Sarpanch, Sachin and Fakru, all of who are students of the college, under the same sections of the IPC.

In addition, another eight students involved in the brawl have been booked under preventive measures. They have been identified as Abhishek, Narinder, Anshul, Jagdeep, Sandeep, Anshuman, Gurpreet and Karan Gautum. A verbal confrontation occurred between Ravi and the accused on Monday afternoon and then again in the evening at the college. The students with whom the scuffle took place returned in the evening to thrash him in the hostel.

The police took all the students to the Sector 3 police station and when their statements were being recorded, four former students of the university identified as Narinder Gujjar and Kuldeep Singh, both residents of Sector 15, and Krishan Pal and Hardeep Singh, residents of Sector 40, came to extend support to the accused.

A heated exchange followed between Sub-Inspector Sewak Singh and the accused, following which they reportedly assaulted the police officer. They were arrested and booked under various Sections of the IPC.

Confusion reigns with 2 principals

The “administrative” principal of DAV College BC Josan claimed that the college could not initiate any action as the miscreants were outsiders. Several college officials have blamed yesterday’s clash on the fact that the college is being headed by two principals. Highlighting the tiff between Josan and the college management committee, a college official said on the condition of anonymity: “Josan had hired security staff after last year’s poll violence and everything was fine until now. But the management did not pay the contractor and hired new people. Josan could not do anything as the financial powers rest with Shahi K Gupta, the principal appointed by the college management.”

Recent clashes

September 3, 2010: In the run-up to the student elections, two groups of students clashed on the college campus and some students sustained injuries and had to be hospitalised. The police tried to keep the matter under wrap and beefed security on polling day. However, the group members clashed again in a nearby market. The police rounded up the newly elected president and took him to the police station where his supporters gathered in large numbers and raised slogans.

Principal’s reaction: Refused to comment saying it was police’s matter

September 23, 2010: Amid the controversy over the suspension of BC Josan, two student groups entered into a brawl over the right to use the student council room. The DAV management committee accused Josan of getting goons in the college, who then allegedly started the trouble.

Principal’s reaction: I have not taken any disciplinary action against the students as I was successful in persuading both groups to “sit down and settle matters amicably”.

December 1, 2010: A group of activists of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) allegedly assaulted the president of the Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) outside the college gates.

Principal’s reaction: Clash occurred outside the college gates. Hence, it is not in my purview to take action.



Ban on NOC for GPA holders stays
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
General power of attorney (GPA) holders will not be able to get a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Estate Office yet. In a jolt to property transactions in the city, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to continue the ban on issuance of NOC to GPA holders.

The ambiguity created by the notification of the finance department, dated September 2, 2009, asking GPA holders to apply through actual owners of property for NOC, will continue for the time-being.

“The top brass of the Administration, including UT Administrator Shivraj Patil, are not favourably inclined to allow GPA holders to apply for NOC,” a senior functionary of the Administration has said.

The decision seems to be an offshoot of a related case pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. “To be on the safe side, no decision on this issue is being taken by the Administration,” he has asserted.

Reacting to a number of representations, Adviser to the UT Administrator Pradip Mehra had reportedly recently issued directions to officials concerned to propose an amendment to the notification. However, later, the Administration had decided not to go ahead with the proposal.

The finance department’s notification had left GPA holders at the mercy of actual owners of property. Since NOCs were valid for 45 days, GPA holders who wanted an NOC after 45 days were allegedly being blackmailed by owners.

The notification was issued in the backdrop of the fraudulent sale of an NRI’s commercial property at Sector 20. The actual owner of the property was allowed to apply for an NOC, a document mandatory for the transfer of ownership. “The GPA is a legal document and the ambiguity needs to be corrected immediately to make property transactions transparent and buyer-friendly,” demanded Amarjit Sethi, a property consultant.

Double standard

While the Estate Office does not recognise GPAs, other wings of the Chandigarh Administration, such as the municipal corporation and the Chandigarh Housing Board, duly acknowledge those. The Administration has also regularised the sale of cooperative group housing societies on the basis of GPA.

Simply ambiguous

The DC, exercising powers of Registrar, registers a GPA by charging 1.5 per cent stamp duty on the collectorate rate of property. Exercising powers of Estate Officer, he does not recognise a GPA, though it is a legal document.


Day-long strike hits CHB working
Tribune News Service

A deserted look of the public dealing office of the board in Chandigarh on Tuesday
A deserted look of the public dealing office of the board in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, February 1
Residents of the city visiting the office of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) in Sector 9 for work pertaining to the transfer of houses and other documentation had to leave empty handed following a strike by employees of the board.

Hundreds of residents made several rounds of the board throughout the day to get their work done only to return dejected. “I have come from Sector 56 to buy a form for the will of my CHB dwelling unit. I thought no one was seated in the office because it was lunchtime and officials would return soon. After two hours, I learnt about the strike,” said Manohar Lal, a resident, who was accompanied by his wife.

OP Gupta, a resident of Sector 40, also faced a similar situation on reaching the CHB office 
to enquire about his papers pertaining to the transfer of house. “I had come to find out about the status of the file. I do not know when my work will be done,” he said.

There were several others like them who were not aware of the strike. Consequently, the working of the board was hampered.

Members of the Chandigarh Housing Board Employees Coordination Committee staged a dharna on the office premises in support of their demand regarding the implementation of the pension scheme. They were supported by the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, Punjab and UT Employees Joint Action Committee, and coordination committees of the UT and the MC employees.

They are demanding a pension scheme on the pattern of other autonomous bodies like the MC, HUDA, PGI and Panjab University. The employees claimed that the Board of Directors of the CHB had approved the pension scheme on the basis of the exclusion granted by the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner. They said they would continue to sit on dharna until their demand was met. None of the senior functionaries of the board were available for comments.



Three years on, struggle ends
25-year-old succumbs to bullet injury
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
An almost three-year-long prolonged and lonely struggle with paralysis and coma ended for 25-year-old Poonam, daughter of Karamjit Singh, the late owner of Kasauli Broilers at Sector 22, as she succumbed to her bullet injury today.

Poonam was shot at by her father on March 29, 2008, who had then killed himself. The bullet had remained stuck in her forehead for three long years and a paralysed Poonam died at her residence at Sector 23 today.

Her father was reportedly depressed over his elder daughter eloping, following which he had committed the ghastly act of shooting at his younger daughter Poonam, who was already paralysed, in a fit of rage. The father was suffering from severe depression and shot himself soon after shooting at his daughter.

For all these years, doctors treating her had been unable to remove the bullet, which remained stuck deep inside her forehead. “Removing the bullet could have been dangerous and so, it was never touched,” a neurosurgeon who treated her had said.

Poonam’s life and dreams had been shattered in 2005, when she suffered paralysis after allegedly consuming poison in a suicide attempt. Family sources said she was once a lively person, with big dreams and sparkling eyes, and had shared a doting relationship with her father.

“The father once presented her gold earrings on her birthday when she was a teenager. She always used to wear those and never parted with those. She was a rocking person and used to be possessive about her friends,” said the sources. She is survived by an elder brother and sister.



I-T raids on 4 realtors’ premises

Chandigarh, February 1
In a massive operation against builders, income tax (I-T) officials today conducted surveys at about 15 official premises of four prominent realtors, Barnala Builders, Singla Builders and Promoters, Orbit Apartment Construction and Pee Kay Scaffolding and Shuttering Limited, at Zirakpur and Mohali.

According to information, while Barnala Builders had several ongoing large-scale residential projects like Maya Garden at Zirakpur, it also owned a jewellery shop. The surveys, which commenced in the afternoon, were continuing till the time of filing of this report.

Though I-T officials were tight-lipped about the outcome of the surveys, they maintained that several documents pertaining to accounts were seized and were being scrutinised.

“We have seized documents on sale and purchase of land and are assessing if the transactions are ‘benami’ or have been recorded,” said an official.

The survey was held under the supervision of Additional Commissioner Parneet Mahal Suri and at least 50 officials were involved in it. — TNS



PGI’s OT technicians to protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
The OT Technical Staff Association of the PGI will proceed on a three-day mass casual leave from February 3.

Jagjit Singh, president of the association, said the decision had been taken after the expiry of period of notice given to the PGIMER administration to fulfil their long-pending demands on January 31.

The association would proceed on an indefinite strike if action was taken against any member during this period, it stated.



Got ‘tatkal’ ticket? Photo ID must
Anil Jerath/TNS

Chandigarh, February 1
In view of complaints of irregularities in the ‘tatkal’ scheme, the Railways has decided to reintroduce the need for carrying identity proof in original during journey from February 11.

According to a railway official, passengers will be required to produce identity proof in original for checking, failing which they will be treated as travelling without ticket and charged excess fare and penalty.

The identity proof can be passport, voter photo-identity card, PAN card, driving licence, photo identity card issued by the Central or state government, student identity card issued by recognised schools and colleges, nationalised bank passbook with photograph and credit card issued by banks with laminated photograph.

The latest move is aimed at putting an end to complaints of bulk booking and the role of touts. No identity proof is required to be produced at the reservation counter while getting a ‘tatkal’ ticket booked.

The Railways is understood to be considering a proposal to introduce ‘tatkal’ trains on busy routes, a mention of which is expected in the coming Railway Budget.



Minor fire at HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Just two days after a major blaze destroyed the record at the Punjab and Haryana High Court record room, a minor fire incident was reported on the premises today.

The fire was reported behind courtroom number 16 around 7.30 pm, but was brought under control by security personnel posted there. A fire tender was also rushed in. The incident, though minor, led to the pressing of the panic button. Available information suggested that the cause of fire was sparking in electricity cables. No damage was reported.

As of now, the work of reconstructing the record was in progress under the supervision of a three-Judge committee. The committee, comprising Justice SK Mittal, Justice Ranjit Singh and Justice MMS Bedi, also held a detailed meeting this afternoon to discuss the issue.

The committee had already suggested ways and means of reconstructing the record. The panel was apparently of the view that advocates should well in advance be asked to bring along with them copies of case files on the date of hearing for reconstruction purposes.

The terms of reference of the committee included holding an inquiry into the circumstances leading to the fire, gauging the extent of damage, fixing responsibility and suggesting means of record reconstruction.

As of now, the remaining record had been shifted to the adjoining building to prevent the court functioning from being hampered. The Bar Association called for adoption of safety measures.

It asked members, among other things, “to park their vehicle in proper parking place”. They were asked not to leave behind the vehicles in thoroughfare lanes.

“These lanes have to be kept free so as to allow free flow of emergency vehicles such as fire brigade or ambulance in case of any mishap,” the association asserted.

It made it clear that any vehicle found parked on either of the two thoroughfare lane would be towed away by the authorities. “Whosoever violates specified guidelines may find his vehicle deflated or removed to a place from where it can be had by paying Rs 200,” the association warned.

The members were asked to co-operate with the parking staff and the police personnel deputed in parking areas. The members were also asked not to bring their vehicles into the high court parking area from the exit gate on the Rock Garden side to maintain free flow of traffic.



MC flouting fire safety norms in its own building
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Racks of old records lying in the basement of the MC building at Sector 17 in Chandigarh
Racks of old records lying in the basement of the MC building at Sector 17 in Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, February 1
The municipal corporation, though ordering others to comply with fire and safety norms, is itself one of the biggest violators of the guidelines. In fact, it has not been able to ensure safety norms in its own buildings and those of the UT administration, let alone other structures.

Though MC station fire officer ML Sharma claimed the fire department was “regularly inspecting buildings of various government departments”, a ground reality check by this reporter showed many administration offices had cramped corridors with electricity wires dangling carelessly from walls and ceilings. Interestingly, a temporary cabin is located right opposite Sharma’ room in contravention of the expected architectural layout.

According to fire and safety norms, corridors in all building should have clear passages and an open staircase connecting all floors for fire safety with details of exit points. The MC building corridors are blocked by racks and ‘almirahs’ stuffed with old records and files.

According to fire norms the electricity wires should be fixed properly as they are the major cause of fires due to electric short circuits. In the MC building the wires were hanging as no proper fitting had been done. Adding to the fire norm violations the civic body has dumped old broken furniture and records in the basement, where seating arrangements have also been made for employees of two divisions.

The UT estate office, where the deputy commissioner’s office is situated, does not have adequate exit points in cases of an emergency. The haphazard sitting arrangements underlined the fact that in the event of any mishap employees would find it difficult to escape.

The UT additional deluxe building too had several shortcomings.



Institute on common land
Banur MLA backs villagers’ demand for annulling lease
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, February 1
Banur MLA Jasjit Singh Bunny today came out in support of Sanoli village residents’ demand for annulling the lease of common land that was given to a private educational institute. He assured that the residents would not be wronged in any way.

Bunny said he would take up the matter with the Punjab Chief Minister and request him to cancel the lease on a priority basis.

He claimed that the officials concerned had not informed him about the lease. He would ask the higher authorities to conduct an inquiry into the case, Bunny added.

Hundreds of villagers have been protesting against the officials of the institute and the government for the past few days. They had also opposed the acquisition of land by a private educational institute on Sunday.

The institute had taken a common land on lease for 33 years for setting up a world-class day-boarding school.

They demanded that the lease be cancelled to save the common land. They threatened to continue with their protest till their demands were fulfilled.



Residents to get unique IDs from Feb 15: Minister
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 1
The process to issue unique identification number cards will begin by February 15, said Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, minister for food and civil supplies, while presiding over the District Grievances Committee meeting here today.

The minister, who is also the chairman of the committee, asked the officers to take up the grievances of the residents on a priority basis.

On the complaint of Banur MLA Jasjit Singh Bunny regarding haphazard parking of vehicles outside marriage palaces and banquet halls on the Zirakpur-Patiala and the Chandigarh -Ambala highways, the minister constituted a committee, comprising district administration officials and owners of the marriage palaces.

The issue of menace caused by poultry farms and discharge of chemicals by industrial units in Dera Bassi and Mubarakpur was also raised by members of the committee.

Sukhdev Singh Mangat, a member of the committee, pointed out that the road from Balongi to Industrial Area, Phase VIII, was in bad shape.

Officials of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) said the contract for widening of the road had been given and the work was expected to start soon.

Harkesh Chand, secretary to the Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, pointed out that the roads in Bhago Majra, Bharatpur, Jandhiala, and Patran were also in poor shape.

Others present at the meeting were NK Sharma, chairman of the District Planning Board, and Parveen Kumar, Mohali Deputy Commissioner.



Turban tying camp

Mohali, February 1
A free “dastar sikhlai” (turban tying) camp was organised by the Kalgidhar Sewak Jatha, Punjab, at Gurdwara Shri Amb Sahib, Phase 8 here. Akal Takth Jathedar Gyani Gurbachan Singh inaugurated the camp. Over 300 free turbans were distributed at the camp. — TNS



Health camp

Mohali, February 1
The SAS Nagar District Bar Association in association with Fortis Hospital organised a free medical check-up camp at the district courts complex in Phase 3B1 here. During the camp, tests for blood pressure, sugar and ECG were carried out.

Association president Parminder Singh Toor said more such camps would be held in the future. — TNS



Tribune employee retires

Ramesh Chaudhary, News Editor, The Tribune has retired after serving the paper for 32 years.

He was heading the paper’s Jalandhar desk.



ICC World Cup dates to overlap with CBSE exams
Parents in a ‘match-board fix’
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Overlapping dates of the forthcoming ICC World Cup with that of school board exams has left many parents in a ‘match fix’.

The first match of the biggest cricketing extravaganza will take place on February 19, which is shortly before the start of the class X board examinations scheduled to begin on March 3 and continue up to March 23. By then the world cup fever would have reached a crescendo.

A total of 49 matches are scheduled to take place during the world cup that will last until April 2. This means that the last 10 days of February and almost every day of March will daily witness two matches a day.

The overlapping of dates is a cause for concern for parents, particularly of those students who are in senior classes as the world cup matches is likely to distract students from their studies during the exam days.

“My son is a diehard fan of the game. He has already started persuading me that he be allowed to watch at least those matches which India is to play. Since he has to take the board exams next month, I am very concerned about his preparations,” said Rajinder Goyal, a resident of Sector 46.

Similarly, Amarjeet Singh and his wife Rita, whose son, Harcharan Singh studies in class XII (non-medical) said, “For sure, the matches will distract the concentration of our son as he never misses any cricket match. Though we have categorically told him that he will not be allowed to waste his time during the exams starting from March 1, we know he will not be able to concentrate on his studies if the matches are on.

“Why don’t cricket authorities choose June or July or any other month in the middle of the year to organise such events? Everyone knows how crazy most children are about cricket. I know it is going to be tough for us parents next month when the world cup and the exams are on simultaneously,” said a local resident Manju Mangla, whose daughter studies in class X.


‘We are in for a tough time’

My son is a diehard fan of the game. He has already started persuading me that he be allowed to watch at least those matches which India is to play. Since he has to take the board exams next month, I am very concerned about his preparations

Rajinder Goyal, a resident of Sector 46

Why don’t cricket authorities choose June or July or any other month in the middle of the year to organise such events? Everyone knows how crazy most children are about cricket. I know it is going to be tough for us parents next month when the world cup and the exams are on simultaneously.

Manju Mangla, whose daughter studies in class X.

For sure, the matches will distract the concentration of our son as he never misses any cricket match. Though we have categorically told him that he will not be allowed to waste his time during the exams starting from March 1, we know he will not be able to concentrate on his studies if the matches are on.

Amarjeet Singh, whose son studies in class XII 



Debate contest to mark Girl Child Week
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
To mark the “Girl Child Week”, a debate contest was organised for young women at Bapu Dham Colony today.

Besides deliberating on the status of Indian women, participants also made a collage to express their views on women empowerment and also performed a play.

Teenage girls embodied the changes that they wish for the future. Lalit Joshi, chairperson of the Chandigarh Social Welfare Board accompanied by Reeta Kohli, Additional Advocate General of Punjab, were present on the occasion.

Pooja Sharma from Yuvsatta said these girls were part of the project “SAKHI”, which is supported by the Chandigarh Social Welfare Board and is designed to strengthen the role of the adolescent girls in marginalised communities.

Several girls drop out of school due to family pressure and others due to financial burden and lack of freedom, she added.



An evening of ghazals at govt college

Kalka, February 1
The music department of Smt Aruna Asaf Ali Government Postgraduate College, Kalka, in collaboration with the placement cell, today organised an extension lecture-cum-demonstration on various aspects of music vocal.

The programme was presided over by Dr Harvinder Sharma, college principal. Dr Hukum Chand, TV and radio artist, reader, department of music, MD University, Rohtak, was the resource person, who, along with Naveen Kumar from MCM DAV College, Chandigarh, on tabla and Swati Sharma, research scholar, at MD University on harmonium, enthralled the students with his renderings of light music in the form of songs and ghazals.

He established instant rapport with the audience by interspersing the recital with detailed explanations about various singing styles.

He also addressed the students on “Importance of Music in Today’s Scenario” and “Opportunities in the Field of Music.” — OC



From Schools
Exchange programme

MOHALI: Students and staff of Canadian School, Mohali, today played host to 16 students and six staff members from Waverly Christian College, Melbourne, Australia. Linda Beatty, school principal, along with the students, interacted with the guests. The visitors were treated to dance, drama and music performances. The session ended with a friendly basketball game. The match was a tie with each side scoring 22 points. The principal said in future students from the Canadian School would be going on International student exchange programmes to the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Science exhibition

Students of Class IX and X exhibited their scientific innovation, creativity and talent in the science exhibition. The students presented different working models like fire alarm, magical water taps, water-level detector.

The main attractions of the exhibition were working models on respiratory system and excretory system, flood-level detector, domestic circuit and natural dyes.

A special corner displaying conservation of different sources of energy by switching over to alternative sources of energy were liked by all. A declamation contest was also held on the school premises.


The management of SAS Group led by chairman Dr JS Dhaliwal today unveiled a merit-cum-means basis scholarship plan worth Rs 25 lakh for students of SAS Nagar district.

The scholarships would be based on a test “Brain Quest” to be held at more than 50 schools of the entire district. More than 3,500 students are expected to appear for the examination on February 3.

NSS camp

Opening ceremony of the NSS camp was conducted at Shivalik Public School, Mohali.

The function was presided over by Dr Gurmail Singh Bajwa, co-ordinator of the NSS programme. Students presented their social concerning spirits by singing songs.

Students bring laurels

Shagan Lal, a student of Sri Sukhmani Institute of Hospitality Management, Dera Bassi, has brought laurels to the Institution, as he has been selected for “Ranji Trophy” scheduled to be held in Jaipur.

The student has also been awarded the honour of being among the top four players in Punjab team.

Blood donation camp

One of the reputed IT company in Mohali Smart Data Enterprises organised a blood donation camp on its premises to commemorate 12 years of its founding members, Ajay Tewari, Vinay Tewari, Madan Singh and Archana Pandey. A total of 129 units of blood were collected.

The company also distributed woollens to the needy in Nehru Colony at Sector 52, Chandigarh. — TNS



RTE Act implementation
UT moves to define school neighbourhood limits
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Days after UT home secretary Ram Niwas was relieved of the education charge preceded by the repatriation of former director of public instruction (schools) PK Sharma, the UT administration appears to have initiated a reversal of its earlier decisions taken on implementing provisions of the Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education (RTE) Act in the city.

Citing the small size of the union territory as a reason, both Niwas and Sharma had asked privately run schools to accept students from all over the city rather than from the school’s neighbourhood, as had been specified in the RTE Act. However, the UT education department led by acting DPI (schools) Ajoy Sharma has decided to define the neighbourhood limits of various private schools and has even sent its proposal in this regard to the UT legal remembrancer.

The education department not only plans to implement the specified one km criteria but has even proposed to extend the area limit to 3 km in case schools fail to get enough students within a 1 km radius.

“Privately run schools had demanded a definite area limit to identify their target neighborhood. The draft rules asking schools to consider the entire city as a neighbourhood and admit students would have not only created problems for them but even for poor people. Though child-mapping results are still awaited, we know the number of eligible candidates will be much more than the seats reserved, which would mean a parent would have to apply in almost all schools. We can’t expect a person earning daily wages to run from school to school for submitting applications or attending counseling sessions. We had a meeting with the acting DPI(S) and have now decided to define neighbourhood limits and have sought legal opinion,” said a senior education department official.

Not only this, department officials have been deliberating on the draft rules vis-a-vis suggestions made by various schools and plans to change postulates as and when required.

Welcoming the move, Independent School Association president HS Mamik said: “Having criteria to define neighborhood will save us all a lot of hassle, and this is an important postulate of the RTE Act. It’s great the UT administration is rethinking its decisions that will surely lead to smoother implementation of the act”.

Centralised admission process soon?

In what may serve as a major catalyst in implementing the RTE Act in the city, the UT education department is considering a move to accept the demand of schools for introducing a centralized admission process for 25 per cent seats to be reserved in all schools. The demand had been earlier dismissed by former education secretary Ram Niwas on the ground that it was “against the spirit” of the act. The department is currently deliberating on the legal aspects of the process and the specifics of its implementation.



Intellectual discourses sum up music seminar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Ferbruary 1
The department of music, MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, organised Sh Jatinder Kumar Memorial National Seminar on Changing Trends in Indian Music. More than 750 students and faculty members attended the seminar.

Dr Arvind Sharma, assistant professor, department of music, Panjab University, was the key speaker.

Speakers deliberated upon whether the changing trends in music were a blessing or were they a threat to other quintessential forms of music.

The first technical session of the seminar was chaired by Dr Hukam Chand, MDU, Rohtak. It was followed by lectures by Dr Nivedita Singh, Panjab University, Patiala, Dr Neelam Paul, department of music, PU, and Dr Harvinder Sharma, principal, Government College, Kalka.

The faculty members of the department of music of the college gave creative inputs and intellectual discourses in the seminar which concluded on an agreement over the fact that blending of all forms of music should deliver a symphony and the amalgamation was a must to create masterpieces in the art of music.



American philosophy prof interacts with students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Continuing the seminar “Dialogue on Relativism, Absolutism, and Beyond”, a round table was organised in the department of philosophy at the Panjab University today in which four students from the department presented their papers .

The guest, Professor Michael Krausz, from California, USA. He is a professor at the Milton C Nahm Professor of Philosophy, Bryn Mawr College. He has been a visiting professor at the Georgetown University, Oxford University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, American University in Cairo, University of Nairobi, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, University of Ulm, and others. Prof Rekha Jhanji chaired the round table.

Junaid, the first to presented his paper on the topic "Relativism and Absolutism, a First Encounter" raised some fundamental questions which were like, if there were any universal forms of reasoning and understanding. Could other cultures, languages, scientific frameworks be understood from within, discussed only in their own terms. Can we distinguish between rational and irrational beliefs.

Muzaffer,in his presentation entitled ‘Reconciling Absolutism and Relativism’, raised the issue of moral relativism, with reference to institutional religions, asking that was a covenant possible to be taken as the basis for any reconciliation or adjudication. He raised a question of justification of interests and purposes which a relativist might use to adjudicate between reference frames.

Arshdeep, in her presentation titled "Strands of Absolutism and Relativism", asked the question of choosing dialogic form of writing emphasising that was to escape philosophical jargon or to make the script lucid for people from other disciplines.

Kuldeep Dhiman, while bringing the debates of Indian philosophical tradition, tried to elaborate the self-realisation position from an absolutist point of view.

The presentations were followed by an hour-long discussion in which the Prof Michael Krausz answered the queries raised by students.



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