C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


2-yr-old given ‘wrong’ medicine, dies
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 4
In a tragic incident a two-year-old child, Ranveer, died allegedly due to wrong medication prescribed by a private medical practitioner here late on Thursday evening, a few hours before his family members were preparing to celebrate his second birthday.

Alleging negligence on the part of the medical practitioner, Dr SL Singla, who runs the Singla Maternity & General Hospital in Phase I, Amarjit, Ranveer’s mother, said her son fell unconscious within a few hours of being given the first dose of medicine that the doctor had prescribed for treating diarrhea and high fever.

Dr SL Singla said the child had come to the clinic and he had been prescribed the medicines that were generally given to children suffering from fever and diarrhoea. “It needs to be seen how the medicine was administered,” he said.

The child was brought dead at the Civil Hospital in Phase VI. The incident came to light after his family members arrived at the Phase I police station today morning seeking action against the doctor. Devastated by the loss, an inconsolable Amarjit said her son died while lying in her lap. The child’s father, Jaswinder, who currently works in Italy, had visited his family 15 days ago. The boy’s grandmother was inconsolable when the body was being taken for autopsy. Manjeet, a relative of the deceased, alleged the doctor had not bothered to see the patient when the latter’s mother along with a neighbour took the child to his clinic.

Area councillor Rajinder Sharma claimed the child was given wrong medication.

Apprehending protests by relatives and friends, superintendent of police (Mohali city) Harpreet Singh along with the DSP (City I) came to console the boy’s family members while assuring them to “do the needful against those responsible”.

“A case of negligence under section 304A of the Indian Penal Code has been filed against Singla and his assistant on the basis of the statement given by the deceased’s family. The police has sealed the medicines prescribed by the doctor”, have been sealed by the police”, said Harpreet.

A medical board comprising Dr Kamaljit Singh, Dr Pradeep and Dr Garg was constituted to conduct the postmortem examination on the body. It was handed over to the boy’s family in the evening for performing the last rites.

Dr Rajeev Bhalla, senior medical officer at the Civil Hospital, said it was premature to comment on the reasons behind the child’s death. “We’ve sent the body’s viscera for chemical examination”, he added.

SP Harpreet said that to proceed further in the case a board comprising a doctor, lawyer and police official would be set up in accordance with the Supreme Court’s guidelines.



Khushpreet Case
Police complaint authority

Lawyer seeks action against SSP, others
Aneesha Sareen/TNS

Chandigarh, February 4
Demanding stringent action against UT SSP Naunihal Singh and all police officers responsible for botching up the Khushpreet kidnapping and murder case, an advocate has moved the Police Complaint Authority (PCA). The complaint seeking strict action has been admitted by the PCA and will be heard on February 14.

The complaint comes a week after a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court demanding a CBI probe into the case.

The complainant, advocate Gagan Aggarwal of an NGO, Lawyers for Human Rights International, has demanded stringent action against the SSP, DSP Vijay Kumar, the then Station House Officer (SHO) of the Sector 34 police station Udey Pal Singh, the then Burail police post in charge Narinder Singh Patial, and Sub-Inspector Balraj Singh for the callous handling of the case.

“The police officials are fully responsible for the death of the child and the police has lost its confidence and faith in the eyes of the public at large. Such shameful acts of the police should not be repeated in future,” states the complaint, adding that the magisterial inquiry has indicted the cops and established serious misconduct on part of the police.




Suspension of 2 cops recommended
Aneesha Sareen/TNS

Chandigarh, February 4
Coming to the rescue of a Mohali-based rickshaw-puller, who was duped of his hard-earned money by a UT police constable, the Police Complaint Authority (PCA) has recommended suspension of the constable for gross misconduct. In addition, the PCA, headed by retired Justice NK Aggarwal, has ordered criminal prosecution and initiation of departmental proceedings  against constable Kuldeep Singh, at present posted at the Police Lines. The recommendation for his suspension has been made to the UT Inspector General of Police, PK Srivastava.

This is the first order recommending suspension passed by the PCA ever since its inception on the orders of the Supreme Court in July last year. The complaint was filed by a rickshaw-puller Dharam Singh, resident of Balongi village in Mohali, alleging that the constable took Rs 60,000 from him on the promise of getting his son a job in the UT police.

Kuldeep Singh assured him that his son would be selected as a Home Guard volunteer on the payment of Rs 1 lakh as he was on good terms with senior police officers. The deal was finally settled for Rs 60,000, which was paid to the constable.

Dharam Singh realised he had been duped after his son was not selected. He filed a complaint with the police, but no action was taken following which he moved the PCA.

On hearing both parties, the PCA concluded that the constable was guilty and recommended his suspension. An action taken report has also been sought from the IGP.

Another suspension ordered

In a separate order, the Police Complaint Authority has recommended the suspension of head constable Jasbir Singh, posted at the Sector 61 police post. As per the complaint, the head constable connived with a Sector 52 resident Swaran Singh to forcibly take possession of a house in which he was staying on rent. The head constable has also been accused of trespass.



LicenCe racket
Key suspect not tech savvy
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 4
The prime suspect in the fake driver’s licence and vehicle registration certificate racket, Amit Kaushal, who is evading police arrest, was not tech savvy and had sought the services of a computer designer for forging the documents.

Sources close to the police said the three other suspects apprehended Thursday had informed the cops that Ashok, a resident of Bhapu Dham colony in Sector 26, Chandigarh used to prepare the bogus vehicle documents for a certain fee at Amit’s home in Sector A of the Western Command area here.

The sources added Kaushal was a taekwondo coach and also used to provide the forged driver’s licences and vehicle registration papers to young people who had been sold fake sports certificates to get government jobs. After targeting people in Punjab he later shifted to the Western Command area as the police could not conduct searches there.

The three suspects - Joginder Singh, a resident of Vikas Nagar, Chandigarh, Jaspal Singh  of Mauli Jagran, Chandigarh and Pankaj Kumar of Rajiv colony - were nabbed by the Panchkula police’s CID wing in Industrial Area Phase II on Thursday. A local court later remanded them to police custody till February 5. The cops had also seized two computers, a printer and a scanner and cellular SIM cards from Kaushal’s home besides his car.

The detained suspects told the police Kaushal had asked them to engage more agents in Punjab, Ambala and Chamba in Himachal Pradesh to make the network more broadbased. They also claimed that Kaushal had also told them their services would be engaged on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, the police today arrested Neha, 37, Kaushal’s wife, from their home and produced her in a local court, which remanded her to judicial custody at the Ambala central jail for 14 days. Both Kaushal and Ashok are still at large and the police has been conducting searches of several possible hideouts to nab the two.

Rs 2,000-3,000 for a fake driver’s license

Sources close to the police said the three arrested suspects worked as Kaushal’s agents and gave him documents and photographs of their clients for making forged driver’s licenses and vehicle registration documents for Punjab and Himachal Pradesh besides Panchkula. The involvement of the some officials of the vehicle registration and licensing department in the racket has not been ruled out.

Sector 20 police station subinspector Sat Pal said the suspects used to charge between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 for the forged documents. “About 50 driver’s licenses that were recovered from the home of the key suspect in the racket were found to be fake. Investigations in the case are on”, he added.




Shun violence, Nepalese President appeals to Naxalites
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
The President of Nepal, Dr Ram Baran Yadav, has appealed to the Naxalites involved in militant activities in In dia to shun violence and join the democratic set-up. Dr Yadav was addressing the gathering at the 31st annual convocation of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here today.

Nepal President comes calling

Traffic comes to a halt on the road separating Sectors 14 and 15 to make way for the convoy of Nepal President in Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune photos: S Chandan 

After a long spell of violence, now Nepal was on the way to become a democratic republic, though it was unfortunate on the part of his country that the monarch never accepted democracy, he said. However, after the conflict, the Maoists of Nepal had joined the mainstream and now they also contested elections in the democratic set-up. “I would suggest to Naxalites in India to join the mainstream, as it was the only way to sort out the differences in a democratic set-up,” added Dr Yadav.

Dr Yadav had been an alumnus of PGI, Chandigarh, and was awarded his degree of MD (Medicine) in 1985.

For the Nepal President, his struggle for democracy as well as the inspiration had an Indian connection. “While pursuing graduation and post-graduation in medical, at Kolkata and Chandigarh respectively, I was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chander Bose and Deshbandhu Chitranjan Dass,” he said, adding that “while studying side by side, I learned how to wage a struggle for democracy.”

Appreciating the overall progress made by India particularly in the health sector, Dr Yadav said India could play a vital role in containing diseases in South Asia. There is much to do in this sector especially in rural areas of both the countries of India and Nepal, he said. 



Trip down memory lane for Nepal Prez
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
Nepal President Dr Ram Baran Yadav got a surprise gift in the shape of a photograph from 1983, the year when he joined the PGI as a student of MD (internal medicine), on his birthday today.

It was a homecoming for the him, as his son and daughter-in-law had also been alumni of the PGIMER.

After delivering his speech in English, Dr Yadav spoke extempore in Hindi, while sharing his memories about his stay in India, particularly at the PGI.

Speaking to the new degree holders and faculty of the PGI, Dr Yadav became nostalgic about the days he spent with his teachers at the institute.

Dr Yadav recounted the names of Prof BK Sharma, Dr KS Chugh, Dr JS Chopra, Dr SK Mehta, Dr Subhash Varma, Dr Vinay Sakhuja and Dr Surjit Singh.

For him, all barring Dr Surjit Singh were hard taskmasters and disciplinarians. “They troubled me a lot,” quipped the President, leaving the audience in a spell of laughter.

He said Professor Sharma had cautioned him not to take the studies for granted. “Otherwise I will not let you go with a degree and kill patients,” said Dr Yadav while recalling the words of his mentor. “Dr Sharma ne do saal me meri poori dhulai kar di” (He took me to task during the two years of my stay at the PGI), he recounted.

He congratulated the students for getting a chance to study at a medical education institute of such repute.

He revealed that he was shown five years younger on papers by his schoolteachers, as back then teachers often helped pupils from the rural areas of Nepal. It was done to ensure that there was no hindrance in seeking admission in the medical science stream, he recollected.

He paid tributes to Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, former Prime Minister of India, and Partap Singh Kairon, former Chief Minister of Punjab who conceived the City Beautiful and also the PGIMER.

He also recalled the cleanliness and “langars” (community kitchen) at gurdwaras in the city. Dr Yadav concluded his speech with “Jai Nepal, Jai Bharat”. Later, in the evening he visited the Advanced Eye Centre in the PGI for an eye checkup.

Fire near venue

Chandigarh, February 4
Three vehicles were gutted at the Old Doctors’ Hostel of the PGI when a motorcycle caught fire while being repaired by a mechanic here today. The incident occurred around 2 pm when the annual convocation was going on at the Bhaskar Auditorium of the PGI. According to a security guard deputed at the gate of the hostel, the fire raced to another motorcycle and a car parked nearby, damaging the three vehicles. The fire brigade brought the blaze under control. — TNS


Census of India 2011
1 lakh enumerators, supervisors deployed in Punjab, Haryana, UT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
“Census is compulsory for the growth of a nation and countrymen as well. The results of Census are not only used for various developmental programmes and funding purposes but the information is also used by the private sectors as well. This exercise is done once in 10 years, so it is all the more pertinent to participate in this exercise,” said Dr C. Chandramouli, Registrar-General and Census Commissioner of India, while addressing a regional press conference for Census of India 2011, which is going to be the seventh after Independence, organised by the Directorates of Census Operations of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh here today.

Addressing mediapersons, he said that more than 27 lakh enumerators had been engaged for the massive activity of Census to begin on February 9 simultaneously across the country except a few places such as the upper regions in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir which are snow covered now. The exercise will continue till February 28 spanning six lakh 40 thousand villages, over eight thousand towns and 33 capital cities in the country. He further said nearly 1 lakh enumerators and supervisors had been deployed in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh for door-to-door canvassing for the Census exercise. Dr Chandramouli further said that the whole task would be completed

in the three weeks and the provisional results on key items like population by sex, growth rate, child population, literacy, sex-ratio, etc. will be made available in another three weeks by the end of March 2011. He said this gigantic exercise entails an expenditure of Rs 2,200 crore, which is lesser than other world census projects.

Talking about the projections from Census 2011 in comparison of Census 2001, he said that as per the projections, there was going to be improvement in the child sex ratio and literacy rate. The area of rural work participation will also show economic growth among the rural people. The population of 18 plus generation is expected to go up and the number of dependents is expected to come down. A toll-free number and services of a call centre had also been introduced to listen to the grievances of the public regarding census, he added.

Dr Chandramouli while interacting with the media said that the census exercise would follow collection of information regarding preparation of Unique Identification Cards, for which the Census Department would conduct another exercise of collection of photographs, fingerprints and other data of the individuals from April 2011 onwards.


n Homeless persons, street children will be counted on the last day i.e February 28. Census will be done all night with the help of NGOs working in the areas.

n Army personnel have been trained to do the census exercise on borders. It is going to be the same with the paramilltary forces, BSF and others guarding the borders.

n All those who would be on ships on all the major ports of the country would be counted on the night of February 28.

n A separate census exercise will take place later to include castes. This time, only scheduled caste and scheduled tribes will be marked in the caste box.



UT divided into 26 wards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
The UT has been divided into 26 wards by the administration for the upcoming exercise of census. The total area of the UT is 114 sq km.

Nearly 2,500 personnel have been engaged for the exercise being conducted from February 9 to 28.

They will work in 2027 enumeration blocks (urban and rural) under the supervision and control of the Director, Census Operations, Principal Census Officer and two charge officers of the UT.

Several initiatives have been taken to make the citizens aware about the Census 2011 by organising awareness camps in both the rural and urban areas.



Misuse of shamlat land
Congress to file for stay orders in Sanoli case
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, February 4
Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur yesterday came out in support of Sanoli village residents’ demand for cancelling the lease of common land that was given to a private educational institute.

While talking to mediapersons, Preneet Kaur alleged the top officials, land mafias and top leaders of the state government were hand-in-glove with each other to earn huge profits by dispossessing farmers from their land. She said the Congress would not tolerate it and would stand firmly with the farmers.

Sanoli villagers were against the allotment of 21-acre shamlat village land on lease to a private firm. Preneet said in the recent verdict of the Supreme Court, it’s been ordered that the state could not allot any panchayat or shamlat land of any village to a private firm without the consent of villagers.

On aforesaid verdict, the Congress would file a petition with the High Court for stay orders in Sanoli case, she claimed.

PPCC delegate Deepinder Dhillon also addressed the protest and said he would fight for justice. Irate Sanoli villagers also alleged that panchayat had ignored interest of villagers while giving the prime land worth crores of rupees on 33-year lease.

They alleged that the sarpanch, along with three panchayat members, had given 23 acres of this land to JTL educational institution at a throw away price for 33 years on lease, thus ignoring the interest of villagers.



Industry grievances panel rejigged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
A single window committee formed to redress the day-to-day grievances of the industrialists in the city has been re-constituted. According to a press release issued here today, not a single meeting of the committee could be held in the past four years.

Keeping in view the outstanding demand of the industrialists, the Chandigarh administration has decided to re-constitute the committee.

Class I officers of departments like the municipal corporation, estate office, engineering, excise and taxation and the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee have been nominated as members of the panel.

Representatives each of the MC Commissioner, the UT Chief Engineer and the Excise and Taxation Commissioner, the Assistant Estate Officer, a scientist of the department of environment, and a Deputy Superintendent of Police will be members of the committee.

The UT director of industries will be the coordinator. The director of industries, being the coordinator of the committee, will ask the industrial associations to send their demands/issues within 10 days and the same will be communicated to the departments concerned. A meeting of the committee will be held to discuss the problems in the presence of the industrialists, the press release added.

The committee will hold its meeting once a month.



NOC to GPA holders
Traders’ bodies flay ban

Chandigarh, February 4
Two premier traders’ organisations — the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) and the Chandigarh Business Council (CBC) — have rapped the Chandigarh administration for continuing with the ban on the issuance of the no objection certificate (NOC) to the general power of attorney (GPA) holders. In a statement issued here today, the CBM alleged that the September 2, 2009 notification of the administration rendered the GPA, a legal document recognised all over the country, ineffective, thus infringing on the fundamental right of equality.

On the other hand, the CBC termed the decision “unfair, anti-people and unjustified” and demanded that the GPA holders be allowed to apply for the NOC in the interest of justice and fair play. — TNS



Overcast sky may bring in rain
Anil Jerath/TNS

Chandigarh, February 4
It was a cloudy and pleasant afternoon in the city today. The sky will generally remain overcast tomorrow morning. “One or two spells of light rain or thundershowers may also occur,” said an official of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

“The weather is expected to clear up after the rain,” the official added.

Shimla, which recorded a low of 10.3 °C, was marginally warmer than the city’s 9.8 °C. The minimum temperature recorded in the morning was 9.8 °C against 9.2 °C on Thursday, three notches above the average for the season. The maximum temperature was also high at 24.9 °C, four degrees above normal, compared to 23.3 °C recorded yesterday.

In Punjab, Patiala recorded a minimum temperature of 6.4 °C, one degree below normal, while in Haryana, Karnal and Hisar recorded a low of 6.8 °C each.

“The maximum temperature is likely to be around 25 °C, while the minimum may settle at 12 °C tomorrow,” the weather official said.

However, cloudy conditions had no affect on the air and train services here.

Met officials said a strong western disturbance in the North led to the cloud cover over the city, increasing the day’s temperature by a few points. “The night’s temperature will go up after which it may slide when the western disturbance moves eastward,” said IMD Director Surender Paul, adding that there was a possibility of light showers in the region in the next 24 hours.

The maximum and minimum humidity recorded today was 90 per cent and 48 per cent, respectively.

The Met office has forecast generally cloudy sky with a spell or two of light rain at isolated places in the region.



Nursery Admission Criteria
Accept forms, schools told
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
Can kids as young as three be admitted to the schools? The Punjab and Haryana High Court will decide it while taking up a petition filed by city children.

As their petition came up for hearing this morning, Justice Mahesh Grover not only issued notice of motion to the UT administration and other respondents, but also asked respondent schools-Sacred Heart, Carmel Convent, St John’s, St Anne’s and Strawberry Fields World School to accept the petitioners’ forms as interim measures.

The children are seeking directions to the Chandigarh administration and private schools to consider the candidatures of 3-plus by treating them eligible for LKG, pre-nursery for academic year 2011-12.

Fixing February 8 as the next date of hearing on the petition filed by Enakshi Pant and 16 other minors through their parents, Justice Grover also directed that some responsible officer of the UT education department should be present in the court.

The petitioners stated that their prime grievance was that the UT District Education Officer (DEO) was continuously changing the criteria of admission of children to pre-nursery, UKG, LKG and Class I

In the process, it was causing huge loss and grave injustice to children. The petitioners said earlier on January 14, the Chandigarh administration mentioned in its letter that minimum eligibility age for pre-nursery class was 3-plus. But on January 18, the administration again changed the age criteria and said only 4-plus would be eligible.



Non-teaching staff forward appeal to panel
* VC calls for emergency Syndicate meeting * Students launch signature campaign
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
On the fourth day of unrelenting protests on the Panjab University campus, non-teaching staff of HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Panjab University (PU), forwarded an appeal to the enquiry committee to hear their grievances before giving recommendations to the university authorities.

The members expressed resentment over the ‘indifferent attitude’ of the college director towards the non-teaching staff.

A committee headed by PU Dean University Instructions (DUI) and six senior professors has also been formed by Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti to verify all complaints other than that of misbehaviour by college director with an intern. “The teachers wanted their problems to be heard. Reports of this committee will also be tabled shortly,” said the VC today.

The VC was forced to walk his way to the biotechnology department, as the student leaders had blocked the road outside his office. Certain other PU functionaries struggled to get their cars out of the VC’s office parking lot during the protest.

The chain hunger strike by dental college students continued today as well and members of different student organisations staged a protest outside the VC’s office barring entry of university officials to the office.

Syndicate meeting

In an emergency Syndicate meeting convened by PU Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti today, possibility of suspension of GK Gauba was ruled out since he was on deputation from the PGIMER. Syndicate members agreed that without a thorough investigation, no teacher should be penalised.

Members also put forth opinion on the issue of protests by dental college students against their director-principal as the VC apprised them of the whole situation.

Syndics expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by the university authorities to diffuse the situation at PU’s dental college. “The director is on deputation and hence cannot be suspended. After facing such a situation, he may not even opt for an extension as director-principal.”

Finally, the members took an unanimous decision to await facts stated in the enquiry committee’s report.

“A Syndic said the case must not be taken casually if the intern was subjected to any awkward situation. Yet another opined that student leaders were taking advantage of the situation and spoiling environment on the campus. Eventually, it was decided to postpone any decision till the enquiry report was tabled,” said a Syndic.

The VC told the Syndics that the statements of both the parties were being recorded and videographed.

Student leaders come out in support
Students of HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences, along with members of certain student organisations, today launched a signature campaign outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office. Students from various PU teaching departments, including UICET, UILS, department of Laws, PU dental college and others, listed their signatures and expressed solidarity with the dental college students.
Allegations rubbished
Certain students of masters of e-commerce (fourth semester), UBS, complained of not being treated at par with MBA students of the department. Acting on the complaint, the Dean, university instructions, convened a meeting with the UBS faculty where all allegations levelled by students were disapproved. Students then filed another complaint. Rubbishing all allegations, the UBS faculty claimed that the students never got involved in any activity of the department and demanded action against them.



Swanky cars choke roads on PU campus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
Swanky cars of student leaders and their supporters which were mostly bearing Punjab registration numbers were parked haphazardly on roads outside the Panjab University Vice-Chancellor’s office today. These cars continued to block the traffic outside the office and hindered movement of other cars and regular commuters.

A strike & a traffic jam
Appeal forwarded to PU probe panel; Syndicate meeting called

Panjab University students block the office of the Vice-Chancellor, RC Sobti (encircled), as he looks on, in Chandigarh on Friday
Panjab University students block the office of the Vice-Chancellor, RC Sobti (encircled), as he looks on, in Chandigarh on Friday. 

Members of different student organisations gathered outside the VC’s office throughout the day to express solidarity with the dental college students who are on a chain hunger strike. Incidentally, these organisations failed to unite among themselves on the issue as separate camps were spotted outside the VC’s office.

Certain student leaders were also spotted with college students on the campus today. They were especially summoned to add strength to their party’s lobby.

When student leaders began shouting slogans against the PU authorities, the university security was called at the spot. PU officials said they did not want to aggravate the situation and would wait till the report of the enquiry committee was released. 



High drama at SGGS College as staff court arrest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
High drama prevailed at SGGS College, Sector 26, today when 11 teaching and non-teaching employees of various private colleges in Punjab led by PCCTU president Dr Jagwant Singh courted arrest.

Teaching and office work in seven non-government colleges was disrupted today as hundreds of teaching and non-teaching employees assembled at SGGS College, Sector 26, to demand a revised pay scale for 250 odd non-teaching employees. The employees have been demanding the revision of pay scales on the basis of the parity with their counterparts working in government colleges of the UT.

Before starting the march to Raj Bhawan, the employees held a rally. VK Bhardwaj, vice-president, PCCTU, Jitender Sharma, secretary PCCTU and Vinay Sophat, finance secretary, PCCTU, flayed both the UT administration and Punjab government for doing injustice to a small segment of college employees. 



RTE Act Implementation
DPI (S) meets Independent School Association president
Efforts on to find a middle path
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
In a bid to resolve the ongoing tiff between private schools and the UT education department over the implementation of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, acting DPI (Schools) Ajoy Sharma held an ‘informal’ meeting with president of the Independent School Association HS Mamik today.

While both of them refused to comment on the issue claiming it to be just a normal chitchat session, according to official sources, it was an attempt to initiate a fresh dialogue with schools, as the earlier ones had apparently failed due to several reasons.

“With leadership having changed now, the UT education department wants to amicably resolve all its issues with the schools and get the RTE Act implemented from this academic session itself. Sharma had called Mamik to discuss schools’ viewpoint and invite him to start a fresh dialogue to find a middle path on this issue,” said a senior official of the education department.

Sources said the duo primarily discussed the prospects of centralised admissions and reimbursement, but Mamik refused to commit anything before discussing the matter with the 50 member schools.

The education department had initiated the first round of deliberations with schools in December and January, but both the parties had failed to reach any consensus on the implementation. The schools also took umbrage to the inclusion of local RTI activists in discussions. Though they had submitted their suggestions and queries to the department, they did not get any reply.

Issues discussed

* Centralised admissions: While Mamik insisted on the education department conducting all admissions for the reserved seats, Sharma reportedly voiced his concern about the transparency as this process might be misused to get some undeserving candidates admission under this quote.

* Child mapping: Schools have refused to take any further step till child mapping results are released. Sharma has apparently promised to look into the issue.

* Reimbursement: Schools have demanded a clarity on the amount to be paid per child, while the department has maintained that reimbursement will either be made on a quarterly or a monthly basis.



Common datesheet for classes IX, X out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
Over 50 member schools of the Independent School Association today released a common datesheet for Class IX and Class X students (appearing in the school conducted exam).

The Central Board of Secondary Education in its latest circular had directed schools to come out with their own datesheet for Class X exams, but not before March 15.

“The board has, categorically, told the schools assessing the students independently not to wrap up the entire exercise before the board examination of students.

The step has been initiated to check whether the schools keep in line with timings of the board so that they do not go ahead with early admissions to fill seats for the next class,” said a CBSE official.

The board has also forbidden all schools from declaring the results of the self-conducted examination before the board results in order to ensure common timings for both the categories.

Both the students will, naturally, be placed on a common platform before admissions to the higher classes.



PGI Convocation
330 walk away with degrees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
Degrees were awarded to 330 students during the 31st convocation of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research here today. Nepal President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, an alumnus of the PGIMER, was the chief guest.

Other dignitaries present included Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Administrator Shivraj Patil, Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadia, union minister of health and family welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

During the convocation, PhD was awarded to 21 students; DM (medical super-specialties) in cardiology, clinical pharmacology endocrinology, gastroenterology, pulmonary medicine, nephrology, neurology and neonatology to 33; MCh (surgical super-specialties) in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, paediatric surgery, surgical gastroenterology, urology to 24; MD in the medical specialities of anaesthesia, biochemistry, community medicine, dermatology, medicine, microbiology, nuclear medicine, gynaecology, paediatrics, pathology, psychiatry, pharmacology, radiodiagnosis, radiotherapy and transfusion medicine to 137; MS in the surgical specialities of otorhinolaryngology, orthopaedic surgery, ophthalmology and surgery to 40; MHA (Master of Hospital Administration) to four; MPH (Master of Public Health) to 8; MSc in pharmacology, biochemistry, medical biotechnology, speech and hearing and medical technology to 23 and BSc in para-medical courses to 40.

The chief guest awarded gold, silver and bronze medals to the students for outstanding research and academic excellence.

These include Maj Gen Amir Chand Gold Medal to Dr Yogesh R Barapatre (in MD/MS/DM/MCh category) and Dr Nitin Mahajan (in PhD category); VK Saini Gold Medal to Dr Nitin Mahajan; R Nath Gold Medal in the field of biomedical sciences to Dr Maryada Sharma; Aikat Memorial Gold Medal to Ninjit Dhanota; silver medals for research work to Dr Sai Sunil Kishore M and Aanchal Mehrotra; bronze medals for research work to Dr Kali Prasad Adhikari and Nirupama Chandel.

Twenty-five students of various medical and paramedical courses were awarded silver medals, while 15 were given bronze medals for academic excellence.

Azad, who is also president of PGIMER, congratulated the 330 students who were given the degrees.

“We need many more doctors than we are currently producing and we need to upscale our capacities of producing human resources for health. In the 11th Plan, we are running a centrally-sponsored scheme of Rs 1,350 crore to strengthen and upgrade medical colleges. Another 4,000 PG medical seats may be added to the existing pool. We also expect an increase of 10,000 postgraduate seats in two years across the country by changing various norms that determine the student intake into medical courses,” he added.

Wait in vain for assn members

PGI Faculty Association representatives failed to get an audience with the health minister today despite waiting for him for over half an hour. The association had yesterday alleged that they were not being given time to meet the minister during his visit for the convocation.



Students’ skills tested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
The department of computer applications of Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, organised Tech Zeal 11- a kaleidoscope of inter-college competitions. Sandeep Hans, director, technical education-cum-joint-secretary of finance, Chandigarh administration, inaugurated the fest. More than 300 students from more than 20 colleges of the region participated in the fest. 

Cloud computing, social networking, mobile portability is anti-business and IT revolution has made paper and pencil obsolete were the topics of “Words War”- a debate. “Games Bond” tested the speed of the participants. “70 MM” was a contest of movie making talent. “Twists and Turns”, a dance competition, was highly enjoyed by all. Participants danced to the foot-tapping numbers of the latest songs.



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