C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Prince would have gone Khushpreet way: Police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
Prince would have met Khushpreet’s fate. Investigations into the kidnapping of the 19-month-old child of Bapu Dham Colony and the subsequent arrest of four kidnappers yesterday have revealed that the accused had planned to eliminate the child after receiving the ransom amount of Rs 5 lakh. The kidnappers were not professionals and planned to kill the child for fear of getting identified, the police said.

The police had arrested four accused - mastermind Amarpal and his three accomplices Banwari, Suresh and Surra - for kidnapping Prince from outside his residence in the Bapu Dham Colony yesterday. The police had first arrested two accused and then on their disclosure laid a trap at Siswan village and arrested the other two kidnappers and recovered the child from them.

“As Amarpal, the family’s neighbour, was known to the child, he had planned to kill the child for fear of being identified. They had planned to keep the child for two days during which they decided they will wait for the ransom amount,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police (East) Jaswant Singh Khaira.

Explaining the modus operandi, the police said Amarpal picked up the boy and handed him to Surra, who was also in the colony. He also gave Rs 500 to Surra to refuel his motor cycle and buy eatables for the child. All four accused had decided to share the ransom amount equally.

Surra and Suresh had taken the boy to Naina Devi in Una district when they received a call from Amarpal, who was in police custody along with Banwari.Acting on instructions from the police that the ransom amount had been received, Amarpal asked accomplices, Suresh and Surra, to bring the child towards Chandigarh.

Are two accused juveniles?

Heated arguments were witnessed in the Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Anshul Berry when the four kidnappers were being produced. The defence counsel pleaded that two of the arrested - Banwari and Surra - were minors and thus should be sent to the juvenile home. On the other hand, the police claimed all four kidnappers are above 18 years and sought five-day police custody.

While the court sent Amarpal and Suresh to police custody for three days, Surra and Banwari were remanded to judicial custody for two days so that the police could determine their actual age from their ossification test.

Mastermind eyed earnest money

The police claimed that Prince’s father Dinesh had invested Rs 5 lakh as earnest money for buying a house recently. This made Amarpal believe Dinesh had huge money with him, which prompted him to kidnap the child.



“If only cops had acted this swift in my son’s case”
Aneesha Sareen/TNS

Chandigarh, February 9
“If only the Chandigarh police was as quick in recovering Khushpreet as Prince, my son would have been alive and cheerful sitting on my lap…” an angry and grieving Lakhbir Singh, Khushpreet’s father lamented today.

Even as the police appeared to have learnt a lesson from its failure in recovering the five-year-old Khushpreet in December last year, the father of the deceased child today said that it took the murder of his innocent son to wake the police from its deep slumber.

“I am happy that the 19-month-old child Prince was saved following prompt police action yesterday. We faced a similar trauma in the case of our son with similar sequence of events of receiving ransom calls. We had a nightmarish time in running after the police in the initial crucial 24 hours, but nobody cared,” the distraught father said in a choked voice.

From informing senior police officials to tracing the STD call, putting the mobile phone on vigil to being alert at the trap, the police exhibited a coordinated effort yesterday, which worked in its favour, he said. “However, it took them three hours to trace the STD booth from where the first ransom call was made in the Khushpreet case. Senior police officials were kept in the dark initially, with the result the trap miserably failed.

In fact, yesterday the police took the risk of even stopping the motor cycle of the accused during the trap. In the Khushpreet case, the poorly coordinated trap was called off at the eleventh hour, with even the kidnapper fleeing with the ransom money of Rs 4 lakh, rued the father.

Khushpreet’s death on January 5, meanwhile, has taken its toll on the family. “Khushpreet’s mother Kulwinder has gone into depression and has become more possessive of his elder son eight-year-old Inder. She doesn’t let him go outside alone,” he added.



HC stays draw for admission to private schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
Ordering a stay on the draw of lots for admission to Sacred Heart, Carmel Convent, St John’s High, St Anne’s and Strawberry Fields schools in the city, the Punjab & Haryana High Court today reserved its verdict on the issue of eligibility of children aged three years and above. The case, which came before justice Mahesh Grover, also saw the UT administration virtually change its stance on the issue.

Miffed over the legal battle on the issue, Grover observed in the court: “It’s really unfortunate that the mad rush for admission to classes like prenursery and LKG has found an echo in the high court”.

The petitioners - 17 minors - had claimed the administration had on January 14 mentioned in its letter that the minimum eligibility age for admission to prenursery classes was three years and above. However, on January 18 the administration again revised the age criteria and said only children aged four years and above would be eligible.

As the case came up the administration came up with an affidavit saying: “Privately run schools in Chandigarh have been following their own age criteria for admissions and the UT administration has not issued any circular/direction in this regard.” The affidavit, submitted through UT senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal, stated further that the circular dated January 14 was “clarificatory” in nature and had underlined the age criteria would be three plus for prenursery and five plus for class one.

“It was necessitated to clarify, with the coming into operation of the Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education Act, 2009, the eligibility age for admission had not been increased. The UT administration is following a uniform policy for admission to government schools in Chandigarh, but no direction has been issued to private institutes for the current academic year”, the affidavit added.

Appearing on behalf of nothing less than four schools, senior advocate ML Sarin asserted the schools in question were “minority institutes” and not covered by the administration’s decision. “These institutes, in fact, can’t be given any direction as these are totally independent in the process of admitting students”, he added.

Sarin observed the administration’s own affidavit had said privately run schools in the city were following their own procedure and there was no uniformity. He argued that changing the criteria at the present juncture would “open a Pandora’s box” and would eventually delay the entire process.

Strawberry Fields School, on the other hand, took the stand it had “no objection if children born up to September 30, 2006 are also considered for admission to UKG or KG as a special case only for the current year, so as to give fair chance of competing with other children”.

The plea was filed by Enakshi Pant and 16 other minors through their parents. have filed the petition. The petitioners stated their prime grievance was that the UT district education officer was continuously changing the criteria for admission to prenursery, UKG, LKG and class I, arguing that in the process this was causing a “huge loss and grave injustice” to children.

The petitioners averred that earlier - on January 14 - the UT administration had mentioned in its letter the minimum eligibility age for prenursery classes was three years and above. “But, on January 18, the administration again changed the age criteria and said only 4-plus children would be eligible”, they said.



House Proceedings
Humiliated, MC officials join battle with councillors
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
Next time there are noisy scenes at the municipal corporation’s general house meetings the elected representatives may not be alone in staging a walkout. Senior officials of the civic body will join them, if a resolution passed by the Joint Forum of Officers today is any indication - a development which bodes ill for the city’s development in the run-up to the MC polls later this year.

Apparently irked by the alleged misbehaviour by councillors and even senior officials, including additional commissioner-I TPS Phoolka, additional commissioner-II and secretary Lalit Siwach, joint commissioner Kamlesh Kumar and chief engineer SS Bida, the officers threatened to go on a “pen down” strike if any councillor “misbehaved or used abusive language” against them during house proceedings.

The resolution is seen as the result of the reported misbehaviour by councillors with the officers at the last general house meeting on Jamuary 28. The resolution was later submitted to MC commissioner Roshan Sunkaria for appropriate action and forwarding it to the authorities concerned.

Not only that, the officials also decided to boycott meetings of the subcommittees if the councillors target them for their vested interests. In a resolution the officers complained it has become a regular practice with councillors to “humiliate” the former during house and various committee meetings. “This was one of the reasons why officers from neighboring states aren’t keen to join the UT administration or get their premature repatriation from here”, the officers averred.

Referring to the recently held finance & contract committee elections, they claimed councillors used “unparliamentary language” against Siwach. A majority of officers objected to such an “insult” by the councillors and said it had become a routine practice with them to “abuse or target “officers in the house.

While confirming the passage of the resolution, Siwach confirmed the officers had to “face humiliation” in the corporation even after “performing their duties sincerely”.

This was not the first instance when councillors allegedly misbehaved with the officers on the floor of the house. In 2007 Congress councillor and current mayor Ravinder Pal Singh allegedly manhandled an employee of the MC building branch.

In 2008 BJP councillor Anil Kumar Dubey allegedly used abusive language against the chief engineer at a house meeting. The same year senior MC officials filed a complaint against Congress party councillor Devinder Singh Babla, accusing him of “misbehaving” with Sunkaria and “interfering” in the day-to-day administrative work of the corporation.

In 2009 Babla was again alleged to have “misbehaved” with Sunkaria during a meeting of the finance & contracts committee. In protest the latter lodged a complaint against the councilor with the UT administrator. Recently the home secretary had to intervene in a clash between Kamlesh and Babla after both had heated arguments in the house.

A ‘first’ for civic body

For the first time in the municipal corporation’s history 11 top and middle level officials passed a resolution not to “tolerate insults and humiliation” at general house meetings.



‘0009’ upstages ‘0001’
Fetches Rs 1.6 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The delay in notifying the enhanced road tax structure appears to have worked wonders for the city’s registering & licensing authority at Tuesday’s auction of “special” vehicle numbers in the new series CH01 AG, held at the RLA office in Sector 17. The authority decided to go in for an early auction as the earlier series (CH01 AF) were exhausted within two months.

While the announcement to increase road tax rates was made much earlier, the notification was issued only a week ago. Cashing in on discounts offered by various auto makers during the last few months of the year coupled with fears over a hike in road tax, city residents went on a car-buying spree. Today’s auction for 20 “VIP” vehicle registration numbers - the first in the city after road tax rates were revised - received a fairly good response, netting Rs 771,400. Despite the claims of RTA officials that the response was encouraging the proceeds were much lower as compared to the auction held last year.

Meanwhile, five applications were received for the number ending 0009 in the new series and it went under the hammer for Rs 1.6 lakh. Five people bid for the new series’ first number - CH01 AG001, which eventually went to Kunal Bhadoo, a city resident, who paid the highest amount of Rs 140,000 for it. CH01 AG0007 was allotted to Ashok Kumar, a resident of Sector 50, for Rs 80,000.

Other numbers that went under the hammer included CH01 AG0002 for Rs 16,000, CH01 AG0003 for Rs 15,200, CH01 AG0012 for Rs 10,500, CH01 AG0020 for Rs 10,500 and CH01 AG8888 for Rs 10,500.



Social activists, economists for fair MSP to farmers
Say monopoly of seed companies must end
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
Social activists and economists today called for ensuring a fair minimum support price (MSP) to farmers, the need to involve farmers in the planning process besides encouraging farmer cooperatives and ending the monopoly of seed companies while calling for a new policy framework in this sector.

The activists and economists, who took part at a discussion on Kisan Swaraj held at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) here, rued that the marginal farmer was becoming poorer by the day even as the country adopted a policy whereby food prices were kept low by giving unfair MSP to the farmers.

Lok Dal leader Ajay Chautala while supporting the contentions made by Umendra Dutt of the Kheti Virasat Mission, which organised the seminar, said it was surprising that though the country was dependent on agriculture production; its farmers were getting a raw deal.

He said ensuring that farming continued to be a viable alternative was in the interest of the food security of the country.

Kavitha Karuganti of the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) said marginal farmers constituted 62 per cent of the population of the country. She said these farmers had an average income of Rs 1,850 per month against an expenditure of Rs 2,500. She said the situation was no better in Punjab. She said the average per month income of farmers in the State was Rs 4,960 only. “This despite the fact that we are told that one kind of agriculture brings in prosperity”. She said farmers in Punjab were not able to earn more because the quantity of inputs as well as their costs kept on decreasing.

Speakers, including CRRID Director General Dr Suchha Singh Gill, Dr Ranjit Singh Ghuman from the Punjabi University and Dr Sukhpal Singh from the Punjab Agriculture University and social activist Hemant Goswami spoke on the need to develop and ensure the availability of home grown seeds to the farmers. Dr Ghuman called for improving the standards of health and education in the rural areas.

It was also noted that financial support systems like subsidies, credit and insurance were not reaching the ordinary farmers and were often usurped by big landlords. The conclave urged that direct subsidies should be given to farmers, especially in case of ecological farming, on a par with external inputs through subsidies directly delivered to farmers.



Disposal of Complaints
City consumer courts among country’s top players
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
While most Indian businessmen rarely follow the principle of Grahak devo bhava and end up treating customers shabbily, the city’s District Consumer Forum, with an enviable case disposal rate of 97.47 per cent, is surely helping customers get their dues from errant companies and business houses.

And what is heartening is that the case disposal rate of the forum is the second best in the country, the top slot being grabbed by Andhra Pradesh with a slender lead of .01 per cent at 97.48 per cent. Of the 39,736 complaints received by the forum since inception (1985), it disposed of 38,730 cases till December 2009.

The UT Consumer Forum is convincingly ahead of its counterparts in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, where the disposal rate is 95.80 per cent and 94.41 per cent, respectively.

According to Pankaj Chandgothia, president, Chandigarh Consumer Courts Bar Association, the main reason for the quick disposal of cases here is the availability of two forums in one UT. Chandgothia said the fact that all documentary evidence in the case is required to be submitted along with the complaint in UT forums, unlike in other states, has also contributed to the speedy disposal of cases.

The UT’s State Commission, on the other hand, has a disposal rate of 91.66 per cent and occupies the fifth position in the country. The top slot is with the Delhi State Commission, with a disposal rate of 96.23 per cent.

Insiders attribute this comparatively low figure to the fact that the UT State Commission’s backlog had increased due to the transfer of a large number of cases from commissions of neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.

According to experts, besides timely disposal of cases, the UT’s consumer courts have ensured a speedy implementation of their orders by exercising their powers under Section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act. Under this Section, a seller can be imprisoned for a maximum of three years for the non-implementation of its orders.

The forum has already pronounced over a dozen imprisonments, besides issuing several non-bailable warrants.



Slum-dwellers protest anti-encroachment drive
Block road separating Sectors 3, 21 for 3 hours
Tribune News Service

Residents gherao a police Gypsy; and (right) a protester armed with a stone to oppose the anti-encroachment drive carried out at Azad Colony in Sector 3, Panchkula, on Wednesday. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, February 9
An anti-encroachment drive by the enforcement wing of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) here today triggered a protest from residents of the Azad Colony, a slum, in Sector 3.

Accompanied by a team of policemen, the enforcement wing of HUDA, led by Sub-Divisional Engineer Vimal Jit, started removing the kiosks and rehris located near Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Sector 3 at 2 pm. The kiosks were set up by some residents to sell meat and other items to the residents in the area.

Surprised over the sudden move of the HUDA team, the residents gathered at the site and started raising slogans against the district administration after the team completed the drive and left the place.

They also blocked the road separating Sectors 3 and 21 for about 3 hours, resulting in hundreds of vehicles getting stuck in the jam. The protesters also indulged in stone pelting and threatened to damage the cars of the commuters when the latter tried to cross through the area.

SHO of the Sector 5 police station Om Parkash, along with a police team, reached the site immediately and diverted the traffic from the road leading to the national highways 22 and 73.

Senior officers of the administration, including SDM KK Kalson, reached the spot and asked the residents to contact the Estate Officer, HUDA, to resolve the issue.

Abdul, one of the protesters, said the residents were not against the drive, but the authorities should also remove the country liquor vend in the area which had vitiated the atmosphere in the area.



Shopkeepers protest against encroachment
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, February 9
Shopkeepers of Junction Plaza today protested against the officials of the Zirakpur Municipal Council for not taking action against those who had allegedly encroached upon 20-ft road in front of Junction Plaza, opposite Paras Down Town Square, in Zirakpur. They alleged that they had informed the council officials when the construction work of an illegal building started, but no action was taken by the MC officials.

Shopkeepers and members of the Junction Plaza Welfare Association demanded that the illegal building should be demolished on priority basis. They threatened that if the building could not be demolished within a week they would sit on hunger strike.

The members of the association claimed that they had purchased the land for constructing booths and showrooms, which were being constructed as per the sanctioned plan passed by the committee. They said as per the registration deeds of all the parties, 250-sq-ft parking along with 20-ft-wide road opening towards the national highway as its entry point, was provided by the promoters to the shopkeepers.

They alleged that some unidentified miscreants had encroached upon the 20-ft road after putting up a structure. The members alleged that they had sought information on the status of the building through the RTI Act from the MC in May last year. In its reply the MC had mentioned the building unauthorised. They said still the MC did not take any action against the encroachers.

An MC official stated that a complaint was received in this regard and strict action would be taken after proper inquiry.



‘Jahan se chale thhe’ staged to perfection
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 9
The second day of the ongoing TFT Basant Theatre Festival organised by the Punjab Arts Council in collaboration with the National School of Drama, New Delhi, commenced with staging of a story “Jahan se chale thhe” at the Randhawa auditorium here today.

Enthused with dramatic and innovative theme, the story sculpted by Manmohan Gupta Moni, who has been credited with 12 literary creations, depicts the unrequited love triangle involving a man and two women, which get revealed after 30 years. Parvesh Sethi, Aman Khaira and Anjali Singh lend credence to the otherwise potent theme on parent-progeny relationship.

A father can raise a family of many sons and daughters, while they all cannot take care of the parents.

The fact that the nuances of humanity are lost in the rattle of modern civilisation is amply illustrated and endorsed in the second story titled, “Nai Subah ki Talaash Mein” written by Madan Sharma Rakesh, which depicts the generation gap.

The progeny of a retired man discards him, who to their dismay musters the volcanic courage to resurrect his life afresh. KK Doda, a retired Session Judge, gave natural portrayal of a dejected father.

PAC chairperson Harjinder Kaur welcomed chief guest, Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, Advisor to the Punjab CM, who assured all financial help to their envisaged cultural projects.



Drive by excise dept to check tax evasion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The UT excise and taxation department, in continuation of its drive to check the evasion of revenue under VAT and CST Acts, conducted a special check for 24 hours in the city. The drive, which continued overnight, started around 9 am yesterday and continued till 9 am today.

All officers of the department were allotted different areas of the city.

During the drive, the department impounded 15 vehicles carrying retail goods. Some vehicles belonged to transport companies engaged in the evasion of tax.

Certain vehicle drivers could not furnish the requisite documents mandatory under the local tax laws for transportation of taxable goods, according to a press note issued here today.

The department has levied penalties to the tune of Rs 82 lakh for the period starting April 1, 2010 under Section 51 of the Punjab VAT Act (as applicable to Chandigarh).

The department, apart from creating an analysis report on the evasion of taxes, has also initiated a preliminary inquiry to unearth the nexus between the unscrupulous transporters and local dealers, it added.



39 structures razed at Hallo Majra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
At least 39 illegal structures were torn down during a demolition drive carried out by the municipal corporation in the “phirni” of Hallo Majra village.

The drive was conducted on the directions of MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria.

The drive was conducted jointly by the engineering and enforcement wings of the corporation with the assistance of the police.

Four JCB machines and seven tippers were deployed during the operation.

According to a spokesperson for corporation, the encroachers had built “pucca” residential and commercial structures on the “phirni” road of the village.

The actual size of the “phirni” road was 18 feet but the encroachers had reduced by five to seven feet by encroaching on the government land. The land was reclaimed during the demolition drive.

The Commissioner said similar drives would be carried out in the “phirnis” of other villages falling under the jurisdiction of the municipal corporation to reclaim the government land.



MC Commissioner inspects dispensaries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria today directed the administrative heads of seven civil dispensaries to get the necessary renovation of the existing infrastructure done at the earliest. He inspected the dispensaries at Sectors 8, 19, 20, 35, 38, 40 and 42 and interacted with patients there.

He directed the functional heads to take up the maintenance of civil, public health, electrical and horticulture works.

During the inspection, doctors complained about the shortage of medicines in their respective dispensaries. The commissioner directed them to compile a detail of the actual requirement for future procurement. He further asked the officials to ensure the presence of doctors in all healthcare facilities along with the availability of essential medicines to ensure proper utiliation of the healthcare facilities.



61 publishers take part in book fair

Panchkula, February 9
A two-day district-level book fair was inaugurated by Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar at Sanskriti Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 20, here today.

As many as 61 publishers participated in the first book fair in the city, in which more than 2,000 students from 250 schools in the district visited stalls put up by the publishers. The fair would also enable primary, middle and senior secondary schools to purchase books for their library with the help of grant provided by the state government under the new education policy. The primary schools were being given a grant of Rs 3,000, while middle and senior secondary schools could purchase books worth Rs 10,000 each. — TNS



PGI’s free shuttle service

Chandigarh, February 9
The PGI has inducted two new vehicles to strengthen its free shuttle service for public on the hospital campus. Two mini buses have started plying from the main gate of the PGI to the New OPD, Advanced Eye Centre and Advanced Cardiac Centre via Nehru Hospital. The two mini buses already plying from Rotary Sarai to New OPD, AEC and ACC via Hans Raj Dharmshala and Nehru Hospital have been replaced with new ones. — TNS



Dental College
Now, affiliation issue makes students anxious
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
Panjab University dental students, who were earlier demanding the ouster of Dr HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital director-principal, Dr Krishan Gauba, are now anxious about the affiliation status of their institute.

Though studies resumed today at the university dental institute after almost a week, students, particularly interns, when questioned expressed their apprehension on the issue of affiliation of the institution.

A statement issued by senior university officials that they have no clue on the status of affiliation of the institute two days ago, created more panic among the students.

“I am feeling somewhat guilty that the affiliation issue of the college was almost sorted out and our director, who was working hard on it, had to go. The untimely exit of our director could affect the affiliation issue,” said an intern on the condition of anonymity.

“I came to the college after almost five days today. Till the time students were protesting, many of us did not even come out of our hostel. Since Dr Gauba was the director of the college at the time of inspection and throughout the process of recognition of the college, in official terms his exit could mean further problems in terms of objections raised by the Dental Council of India (DCI),” said another final-year student.

Nonetheless, the outgoing dental college director, Dr Gauba told the Chandigarh Tribune correspondent, “There is no need for the students to panic about the affiliation issue.” Gauba, who is a Senate member of PU, is also a member of the Dental Council of India.


  • Till the time a dental college is fully “recognised” by DCI, it is required to seek mandatory “approval” of admitting BDS (first year) from the DCI every year. (A dental college can only apply for final recognition, when its founder batch of students appears in the final exams)
  • Since 2006, each year, the “approval” was being granted by DCI for fresh batch.
  • In 2010, however, this approval was not given. The DCI pointed to certain conditions, which the college was required to meet to get approval
  • In a span of seven months, the DCI inspected the college five times
  • Finally, through court, the college got its approval to admit students in 2010
  • In June 2010, the fifth year students of PU dental college had to appear for their final exams, hence on June 17 and 18, 2010, DCI inspected the college for permanent “recognition”
  • DCI pointed to certain deficiencies and it again inspected the college on January 13, 2011
  • DCI pointed to three “minor” deficiencies in the college through a mail sent to the director
  • Director then clarified the status on these three deficiencies to DCI through mail the same day
  • Members of the inspection committee of DCI informed the director immediately that they had cleared the status and the case of granting recognition to Dr HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital would be added at the general body meeting of DCI to be held on March 5 and 6, 2011
  • After the agenda item is passed, the file would be sent to the Ministry of Health and Family Affair, Government of India, for final nod
  • A gazette notification will then be issued by Government of India and no further approvals would be required once the recognition is official

Review Syndicate’s decision: Teachers

Certain Panjab University teachers today forwarded a letter to Vice-Chancellor RC Sotbi asking for a review in the Syndicate’s decision of accepting Dr Krishan Gauba’s letter, who had requested to be “relinquished of his charge” as the director-principal of the HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital.

This letter to the VC, signed by nearly 20 teachers, read that the teachers are “pained at the recent developments in PU and express resentment on how dignity of teachers is being compromised for political reasons.”

The teachers said, “The university administration is, too, ready to succumb to the unjust pressures of some politically patronised student outfits. The interference of students in the university’s day-to-day affairs has increased.”

The teachers questioned in their letter that when the committee formed by him to verify that matter had exonerated the teacher (Dr Gauba) of the specific charges levelled against him, why was he being forced to make an exit in this manner?

“In order to avert the recurrence of complaints against the teachers, grievance redressal mechanisms at the level of department should be strengthened. The departments that have student strength of more than 300 should have broad-based redressal committees, constituting students and teachers. Since the age profile of the students of the campus has come down as most students join the university after Class XII, counsellors be appointed in the newly opened professional institutes,” said a faculty member today.

The teachers also added in the appeal to the VC that in order to “salvage the prestige of teachers, we request you to convene an emergent Syndicate meeting and review its decision.”

Sir, we are sorry: Student leader

Brinder Dhillon, a former student leader of Panjab University, today forwarded a three-page letter to Dr Krishan Gauba, expressing dismay on the treatment meted to him. He said he was not writing as a student leader but as a common student. The letter read, “Sir, we all our cowards in nature or short-sighted as student leaders. I feel we are selfish and self-centered or foolish as students to let go a teacher like you. For the future of students, if you had had stayed on, these five years they would thought are the toughest in their life (because of discipline) but for the rest of their lives, it would have been easier for them…..”



Dental teachers among better paid

Chandigarh, February 9
Figure this: monthly salary of a professor - Rs 1.15 lakh; reader - Rs 90,000; senior lecturer- Rs 60,000 and that of newly recruited lecturer with BDS qualification is Rs 40,000.

From scratch to an institute of repute, which is not just popular among students but also offers teachers handsome salaries, Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Panjab University, has come a long way since its inception in 2006.

Its clinical facilities coupled with the brand name of PU makes it not just a top choice of students opting for dental sciences in the region, it is also offering a better pay to its teachers than most PU departments. In stark contrast to the private-sector colleges that are offering Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 to a BDS graduate lecturer, the PU’s dental college offers Rs 40,000 as the starting salary for same qualification.

“In the private sector, teachers are paid based on their specification and the demand for it. For instance, to a professor of oral pathology or common health dentistry, a salary of Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh is paid. At times it is different salary on paper and they are paid a different amount for tax evasion. But in the government institutes, it is different and teachers are in a more responsible position,” said a dental college faculty member.

“Most teachers have come from the private colleges and the work culture there is different. In PU, most departments have scales of the University Grants Commission, but in the college we have been following the Punjab government’s grades. The teachers are well paid here since they are not just teaching but treating patients also,” said a teacher on the condition of anonymity. — TNS



CBSE includes books by Indian authors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
After being ignored for long, several Indian authors are all set to get their due recognition amongst Indian school students, all thanks to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The board in collaboration with the Association of Writers and Illustrators for Children (AWIC) has recommended new reading list for students of Classes V to XII, which for the first time includes works of several Indian authors. The list has not been prepared to just inculcate reading habits among students but will also form a part of the evaluation system.

In its earlier directive, the CBSE had asked schools to introduce reading projects and had provided a list of recommended books of foreign authors. The list included Harry Potter series for Classes VII and VIII and Moby Dick for Classes IX and X.

The new list, however, includes books by Nilima Sinha, wife of former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, president of AWIC. Other authors include Manorana, Jafa, Surekha Panandiker, Deepak Dalal and Ira Saxena. The board has asked the schools to encourage students to read books by Satyajit Ray, RK Narayan, Sudha Murthy, Ismat Chughtai and APJ Abdul Kalam. In addition to these recommended books, the schools have also been given freedom to include any celebrated regional author if required.

“As a part of the continuous and comprehensive evaluation scheme (CCE), we are stressing upon inculcating reading habit amongst schoolchildren. Though many schools are already recommending a book or two for summer or winter holiday reading, this new list will ensure that the students get into regular reading. We also want them to be more informed about the Indian authors, their works and styles rather than confining them to usual list of foreign authors,” said a senior CBSE official from Delhi. This reading project is a part of the CCE scheme and can be used for the formative assessments (FA1, FA2, FA3 and FA4) or the co-scholastic evaluation.



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