C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Valentine’s Day
Rein in emotions, cops are watching
Tribune News Service

MC employees guard a bed of roses at Rose Garden in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Rose Stick: MC employees guard a bed of roses at Rose Garden in Chandigarh on Sunday.Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, February 13
Eve-teasers watch out. The police has made elaborate security arrangements ahead of Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Over 700 policemen will be deployed in key locations, specially those frequented by the youth, from 8 am until late into the evening to maintain order. There will be prominent deployment of the police around educational institutions and on the city’s “geri” route frequented by the youth to keep a watch on eve-teasers and those violating traffic rules.

Braving the drizzle, a large number of youngsters could be seen thronging shops to buy roses and other gifts ahead of Valentine’s Day.


n Markets: Sectors 8, 9, 10, 11 and 15
n Colleges: MCM, DAV, SD College, GC-11, GC-42
n Gardens: Shani Kunj, Rose Garden, Terraced Garden, Leisure Valley

Educational institutions: Entry to the Panjab University campus shall be regulated through gate no. 2 (opposite Sector 15). Gate numbers 1 and 3 will remain closed from 8 am to 3 pm. Students and teaching/non-teaching staff should carry identity cards with them for verification with a view to avoiding any inconvenience, an official said. Around 10 to 12 policemen each have been deployed around the Punjab Engineering College in Sector 12, Government College-11, MCM-36, Dev Samaj College, Government College-42, SD College and SGGS College.

Geri route: In each of Sector 9, 10 and 11 markets, which fall along the “geri” route, over 30 policemen each have been deployed to maintain law and order. Besides, the police will maintain a presence in the Sectors 8, 15 and 16 markets, which are also frequented by the youth. “Those found triple riding and speeding on bikes will be challaned,” said a police officer. Moreover, youngsters moving around in cars with music playing on full blast will also be pulled up.

Around gardens: Areas around Leisure Valley in Sector 10, Shanti Kunj and Rose Garden in Sector 16, Shivalik Park in Manimajra and the Terraced Garden in Sector 33 will have considerable police deployment. Besides, the police will be stationed around the PVR, Fun Republic, DT Mall, discotheques and prominent hotels. “Arrangements have been made to avoid any inconvenience to the public and to regulate traffic. Those taking law into their hands and indulging in hooliganism will not be spared,” warned UT SSP Naunihal Singh.



Boy ‘chews off’ friend’s thumb over bike keys
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 13
A boy allegedly chewed off the thumb of his friend’s right hand after the latter refused to hand over the keys of his motorcycle near Hotel Peninsula on the road dividing Sectors 8 and 9 here late on Thursday night.

The victim’s father, Rakesh Mayer, a resident of Sector 16, filed a complaint against the boy, Jeetu, who lives as a paying guest in Sector 4, with the Sector 7 police station on February 11. The cops have registered a daily dairy report and are awaiting Jeetu’s medical report before investigating the matter.

The incident came to light today after Mayer told The Tribune he had sent his son, Abhishek, who works in a pharmaceuticals plant near Baddi, to withdraw money from an ATM in Sector 11 bank at about 8 pm. “After getting his cellular connection recharged in the Sector 16 market Abhishek arrived near a roundabout where Jeetu met him and asked him to drop him near the Sector 5-11 roundabout. My son told me he was introduced to Jeetu by a friend”, he stated.

Mayer said as soon as the two boys reached near Peninsula hotel Jeetu told his son he wanted to ride the motorcycle and in the process switched off its ignition. “When Abhishek removed the motorcycle keys Jeetu allegedly tried to bite my son’s right hand. He managed to get hold of his thumb in his mouth and chewed it off with his teeth”, he alleged.

Mayer said Abhishek, shocked over the sudden attack, cried for help and after hearing his shrieks workers at the nearby hotel rushed towards him and tried to rescue his son.

“However Jeetu had by that time already chewed off his thumb up to 2 mm below the nail level. When my told me about the incident I along with my neighbor’s son rushed to the scene and later took Abhishek to the General Hospital in Sector 6 from where he took him to PGI, Chandigarh for treatment. I was concerned about his condition and preferred to have him treated at the hospital first before reporting the matter to the police on the same day. We returned home after my son was discharged from the hospital late on Saturday night and filed a complaint with the police today morning,” said Mayer.



It will be a tightrope walk for new Adviser
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Putting development work back on track is going to be a tough task for the 1983 batch IAS officer and new Adviser to the UT Administrator KK Sharma, who is expected to take up his assignment this week.

In the backdrop of the the mega projects fiasco and general rise in people’s expectations from the Administration ahead of the elections to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) later this year, Sharma will have to put his administrative acumen to the best possible use to upgrade infrastructure in the city, which has paid a heavy price on the development front following infighting among the UT top brass for almost three years.

Not only will Sharma have to put the Administration’s house in order, he will also have to walk the tight rope in dealing with people’s representatives in the MC, who are at loggerheads with civic body officials. Frequent infighting between the councillors and officials, which had been hampering development work, will have to be addressed by the Adviser.

Ensuring people’s participation in the city, which had been put on the backburner by the Administration all these years, will also have to be addressed on a priority basis by Sharma. In this connection, Delhi Government’s Bhaagdari system (government-people participation) could stand him in good stead.

Agenda for KK sharma

Mega projects

Sharma will have to take a call on the revival of certain mega projects which were sacrificed at the altar of slugfest between former UT Administrator and Adviser SF Rodrogues and Pradip Mehra. The alleged irregularities in the land allotment to these projects kicked off a storm leading to the scrapping of medicity, film city and amusement park. Will Sharma bat for them, which many in Chandigarh think are essential for the development of the city?

RTE imbroglio

With the tug-of-war between private schools and the UT Administration continues unabated, Sharma will have to adopt a proactive role in resolving the issue and pave the way for the implementation of the Act aimed at benefiting the lower strata of society.

Infighting among officials

The UT Administration earned the dubious distinction of becoming the least sought after by HCS and PCS officers due to infighting among senior bureaucrats and spate of inquiries by the CBI and the CVC. Making Chandigarh as the El Dorado for talented HCS and PCS officers again will be a daunting task for the new Adviser.

Land acquisition row

Alleged irregularities in the allotment of land to big realtors was at the epicentre of controversies surrounding the mega projects. The acquisition of land at low rates for the third phase of the IT park has also kicked off a controversy with the legal battle among the land owners, the UT Administration and the ministry of home affairs (MHA) going on in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Bhaagdari system

Replicating the success of the Delhi Government’s Bhaagdari system may prove to be a daunting task for the Adviser in a city where vested interests, both among officials and general public, rule the roost.

Advantage Sharma

On the flip side, Sharma will have the advantage of working with a new team of senior officers. While the Finance Secretary has joined only recently, the Administration will soon get a new municipal commissioner and chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board(CHB). Besides, several PCS and HCS officers have joined the Administration only recently.

Sharma & CWG

According to media reports from New Delhi, KK Sharma is one of the 11 officers who has been transferred allegedly in violation of the directions of government agencies such as the CAG, CVC and the Shunglu Committee. Sharma as Principal Secretary headed the PWD, which is under the scanner of the CVC. Various departments, including the PWD, spent over Rs 16,000 crore to upgrade Delhi’s infrastructure ahead of the Commonwealth Games.



Amarinder’s kin dies in accident
‘Deprived’ of ventilator at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
A 32-year-old man, said to be a relative of former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, died after his speeding car rammed into a medical store in Khuda Jassu village near PGI on Friday night.

The victim, Pawaninder Singh, a resident of Patiala, succumbed to his injuries at Fortis Hospital on Sunday. He was returning after attending a ‘sangeet’ ceremony in Seonk village and was driving his Chevrolet Cruise alone when the mishap occurred.

Pawaninder was unmarried and worked as an agriculturist. His mother Amarjit Kaur, a former Rajya Sabha MP, is the paternal aunt of Amarinder. Besides the deceased was the grandson of the late Col Raghbir Singh, a former chief minister of the erstwhile PEPSU state.

The police said Pawaninder was driving his vehicle at a breakneck speed and rammed his vehicle into a chemist shop after failing to negotiate a sharp turn near the village. He was reportedly on his way to the house of a relative in Chandigarh.

His family members alleged there was no ventilator at the PGI following which he had to be taken to Fortis Hospital on Friday night, only to eventually die in the wee hours today. He will be cremated on Tuesday in Patiala.

Shortage of ventilators

The family members of the accident victim have alleged that there was no spare ventilator available in PGI at the time when the victim was rushed to the hospital with grievous injuries on Friday. PGI authorities claimed that there were more than 100 ventilators in the hospital. However, as PGI is a 1,600-bedded tertiary care centre catering to states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir in addition to Chandigarh, it remains crowded all the time.



Gauba’s reinstatement can be reconsidered: Sobti
Syndicate sets up panel on harassment; strike by UBS students continues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
In a surprise turn around, Panjab University Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti said the university could consider reinstating Dr Krishan Gauba as the director-principal of Dr HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital if he forwarded a written request to the syndics who would then have to then deliberate on the issue.

Responding to a demand raised by nearly 70 of the 97 doctor-teachers of the university’s dental college along with several university teachers, the announcement was made today by the Vice Chancellor at a meeting of the Syndicate and Senate members held separately.

Dr Gauba, who is also a Senate member, and whose ouster as the dental college director was being demanded by students through hunger strike and continuous protests a week ago, today said that he had no option but to resign. In the Senate meeting, Dr Gauba said he was upset by the situation created by students and did not want them to pursue the hunger strike.

The Syndicate meeting, which lasted for about 45 minutes, was followed by an hour-long Senate meeting to address the issues of the dental college and an ongoing protest by MCom (e-commerce) girl students of the University Business School (UBS) outside the VC’s office. The protest demanding his ouster continued for the second consecutive day today.

In another important decision taken by PU functionaries, Pam Rajput, a university fellow, has been announced as the chairperson of the women and sexual harassment redressal committee of the PU. “The mechanism to redress all such types of complaints would be revisited and efforts will be made to redress such grievances in an objective manner by following due procedure,” a university official said.

During the Syndicate and later the Senate meeting, Sobti said no action would be taken against any teacher unless he was heard personally and the charges were proved.

He said a committee, which had already been constituted, would take the issue of harassment to any female student seriously.


Drizzle causes dip in mercury
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Intermittent drizzle in the city and adjoining areas today made it chilly again as the maximum temperature fell to 20.8 degree Celsius from 26.0 degree Celsius yesterday.The minimum temperature was 15.0 degree Celsius, as per the India Meteorological Department.

The weather sprung a surprise this morning as residents witnessed an overcast sky at dawn and a drizzle began soon afterwards.

The intermittent drizzle, that remained a feature throughout the day, brought the temperature down by 5.2 degree Celsius.

With erratic weather conditions prevailing in the city over the past few days, temperatures had been rising and falling with consistent irregularity. While the sun was bright and the air warm on some days, others witnessed cloudy formations and cool winds. At times, the morning weather conditions were quite different from the evenings.

“This phenomenon has everybody wondering as what to wear to school, college or the workplace,” remarked Deepak, a college student.

A Met official said the drizzle and the dip in temperature were because of rain and fresh snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

More rain was expected on Monday. “There will generally be a cloudy sky, with a few spells of rain or thundershowers in the next 24 hours. It may be heavy in some areas of the region,” the official said.



Ban on NOC to GPA holders
Plea to Bansal

Chandigarh, February 13
A delegation of the Property Consultants Association has met Union Parliamentary Affairs, Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Pawan Bansal, seeking the lifting of the ban on issuance of no-objection certificates (NOCs) to general power of attorney (GPA) holders by the estate office.

A memorandum handed over to the minister has claimed that 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, is anti-people.

Demanding the intervention of the minister in the matter, the association has alleged that UT officials are violating various provisions of the law while ignoring GPAs. The notification had been issued by the Administration in the backdrop of the fraudulent sale of an NRI’s commercial property at Sector 20. — TNS



Patil sees HC record room
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Administrator Shivraj Patil visited several buildings in the Capitol Complex, including the Punjab and Haryana High Court complex, Vidhan Sabhas of Punjab and Haryana and the Civil Secretariat, here today.

He was received by the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Ranjon Gogoi, to the high court complex. The Governor saw the record room, where a fire had broken out recently.

He saw other buildings of the high court complex. He expressed the desire that a long-term plan to meet future requirements be prepared.

He said a short-term action plan should be prepared for taking immediate action for improving the storage of record and seating arrangements for court employees.



Reporters Diary
SAD attention on Mohali

After Bathinda, Mohali is getting special attention of the ruling SAD government as far development projects are concerned. After a neglect for a long period, the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal are ensuring

(through repeated visits and meeting) that development does not lose pace. Insiders in the party reveal that thrust by the Badals is more to do with NK Sharma who was being projected as the party candidate from the Mohali Vidhan Sabha seat. Presence of Sharma will ensure that the city witnesses development no matter whether it is the Congress or the SAD, remarked a local politician.

Mass wedding the in thing

The concept of mass-marriage has gained popularity over the years amongst the economically backward section of society, as it eases a huge financial burden of the parents, especially of girls.

Recently, dressed in colourful traditional attires, 11 brides and grooms, including a Muslim couple, solemnised their wedding as per their customs at Lakshmi Narayan Mandir in Sector 20.

The young couples said they were happy at the philanthropic attitude shown by the city-based social organisations-Bharat Vikas Parishad and Amar Sewa Sadan, which organised the mass wedding.

Brides and grooms were united in holy matrimony amid the recital of Vedic shlokas and verses from Quran under one roof. The persons present there showered their blessings and said the mass marriage would serve as an eye-opener to religious fanatics as well as to those who resorted to female foeticide.

SC Vohra, project director and managing trustee of the organisations, said the main aim of organising the function was to provide an opportunity to the youth to select their life partners and shun the social evil of “dowry”. The entire expenses on solemnising mass marriages were borne by the organisations, he added.

It is also an effort to send the message that girls are an asset not a liability, he said, appealing to parents to invest more on girl’s education.

Munawar, the Qazi, after the “Nikaah” ceremony, said it was a great occasion, which showed the brotherhood among all communities.

Seniors show the way

In the third alumni meet of the department of English and Cultural Studies, this time, pass outs of the batches 1960s and 1970s outdid their younger counterparts in the assembly at the alumni meeting at the English Auditorium. They were more than 35 out of the total gathering of about 60 old passouts.

The get together had politicians, a retired senior police officer, senior bureaucrats and eminent personalities from different fields. Taking charge of the seniors group, Arjan Singh, a passout of 1967 batch, gave a taste of popular campus anecdotes of his time. Jaswant Singh Mann, another passout of the same time, gave a humorous twist to the evening by differentiating between the “elite crowd” of the department and “those who were “desi”. He was referring to those who came from convent schools and others who came from village schools.

The alumni have attempted greater camaraderie by creating a blogspot ‘EngALish’. “I appreciate the step towards a more meaningful role for the alumni. We will work towards creating a special scholarships and related academics”, said Ravinder Sharma, who travelled from Gurgaon. Earlier, he held the crowd captive with his melodious renderings of Talat Mehmood songs and Shiv Kumar Batalvi poems.

Krishan Kant, an alumni, said “The English Department alumni does not have the glitter of the business management or the pharmacy schools, however, the effort was appreciable. All long journeys begin with the first step”.

Moolah-making sport

For many business-minded people, cricket has become a money minting sport here in the city. The other day, media persons were invited to cover the promotional event of ‘Gully Cricket’, being organised by some businessman from Mumbai. The organsiers claim that the event is being held to provide a platform to every ‘gully’ cricketer, for whom there is no chance to showcase his talent. Surprisingly, the cost of the entry form is Rs 500, which is very nominal as per the organisers. When a journo asked them about those talented players, who could not afford Rs 500 for trials only, the organisers were just answerless. “Seeing the craze of the game here it seems this (organising cricket event) is the easiest way to fill one’s pocket,” commented another onlooker.

Just for record

All thanks to a 'weekly crime review' meeting initiated by UT SSP Naunihal Singh, cops have started registering some minor cases in a bid to show that they 'toil' all through the week, even when there is no major crime happening. According to sources, the SHOs were reprimanded last week at the meeting, as they had nothing commendable to show in their records. "How can the city be free of crime, is nothing happening?" asked the SSP at the meeting. A week after, the crime graph was up with the police registering six gambling cases in a single day. The cases were registered to show that work was being done.

Contributions by Rajmeet Singh, Anil Jerath, Sanjeev Bariana, Akash Ghai and Aneesha Sareen 



Plan to expand old age home mooted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
The department of the social welfare is considering an expansion of the Old Age Home at Sector 15 to cater to a capacity of 150 senior citizens.

This was discussed at a meeting of the State Council of Senior Citizens constituted under “The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Rules 2009” held here on Thursday.

A follow up meeting, which is scheduled for next month, would be attended by SDMs-cum-Maintenance Tribunal, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Appellate Tribunal and the Inspector General of Police and Senior Superintendent of Police, Chandigarh.

The chairman of the committee asked the director of the Social Welfare to write to the Municipal Corporation to allow Residents’ Welfare Associations to run day care centres in the community under their control for three hours daily.

The meeting was chaired by secretary, Social Welfare, Ram Niwas, and various issues related to the implementation of the act were discussed.

Meeting was attended by the medical superintendent, Government Multi-Speciality Hospital; Maj Gen MS Kandal (Retd); Dr Raj Kumar Gupta, Pritpal Singh, Vinod Chadha, Maj Gen Inderjit Singh Dhillon and SK Chadha, Superintending Engineer, UT, Chandigarh.



Workshop on clinical pharmacology from today

Chandigarh, February 13
Two interesting and relevant topics, “Ethics in pharmaceutical marketing and promotion” and “Fraud and misconduct in clinical research”, are scheduled to be discussed during a six-day workshop on clinical pharmacology, which will open at the PGI here tomorrow.

The workshop, being organised with the aim to train and educate doctors, scientists and pharmaceutical personnel in the field of new drug development and clinical research, will be attended by scientists from academic institutions and pharmaceutical industry. — TNS



‘Making a will matters’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
The Chandigarh-Panchkula chapter of the Cost and Works Accountants of India organised a seminar on “Agreement of family settlements, wills and trust deeds” here today.

Lawyer Anil K Agarwal explained the importance of a will, especially in case of family disputes. He also spoke on the taxation part of assets transferred under a will and stated that it did not attract any stamp duty or capital gain tax.

Anil Kumar Gupta was felicitated on his elevation to Commissioner (Central Excise and Customs). Rakesh Bhalla, former chairman and member of the Northern India Regional Council of the Institute, New Delhi, welcomed Gupta.



Kathak doyen weaves magic
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 13
The magnificence and splendour of kathak was brought alive by Padmavibhushan Pt Birju Maharaj and his foremost disciples at the Tagore Theatre yesterday.

The memorable event organised by the Pracheen Kala Kendra was part of Guru Madan Lal Koser-Guru Shobha Koser awards.

This year’s award was conferred on Padmavibhushan Pt Birju Maharaj, the doyen of kathak. Vice-chairman of the kendra SK Monga, IAS (retd), secretary Sajal Koser and Shobha Koser welcomed chief guest Shivraj Patil, Governor of Punjab.

The programme began with a solo kathak dance by Saswati Sen, one of the senior disciples of Pt Birju Maharaj. She presented a devotional piece “Madhurashtakam” composed by saint poet Vallabhacharya. Her pure dance sequences like thaat, paran, chakardar paran, tode, tukre had the velocity of a cavalier charging ahead and the finesse of an artiste executing minute filigree work. She then moved on to present an abhinaya piece Thumri.

Two disciples of kathak maestro Birju Maharaj-Mamta Maharaj and Natalia Hildner (from the USA) presented a Bandish set.

Kathak icon Pt Birju Maharaj augmented the charm of the special ceremony as he mesmerised the record audience with his kathak recital. He presented some gat-bhava from his vast repertoire. The programme concluded with a Jugalbandi piece amid applause. 



BMW Car Crash
Toll mounts to 3 as another victim dies
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, February 13
After battling for his life for 36 hours, Dashrath Rishi, a resident of Sector 38, finally succumbed to his injuries that he had received in an accident between a BMW and an auto-rickshaw on Friday night. He was admitted to the GMCH-32, Chandigarh.

The police arrested the driver of the BMW, Daulat Ram, a resident of Himachal Pradesh, today. The police said the owner of the car handed over the driver to the police this morning.

Two persons were killed on the spot and another injured when a speeding BMW car crashed into an auto-rickshaw on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway near Singhpura village on February 11.

The impact was so severe that the auto-rickshaw broke into three pieces.

The police claimed that the BMW driver had come to Chandigarh to drop a relative of the owner and was on his way back to Lalru.

The police suspected that the car occupants were consuming liquor as three liquor bottles were found inside it. Before the police arrived at the scene, the occupants managed to flee.

The car hit the auto-rickshaw while overtaking it, killing Sham Lal (30), a resident of Sarangpur village, Chandigarh, and Shekhar (32), a resident of Sector 38.

A police official said the car was impounded and a case registered against the driver of the car (CH 03 Y 5005) belonging to a Lalru-based mushroom company, Agro Dutch.

The complainant, Raj Kumar, told the police that his brother Sham Lal had been driving the auto-rickshaw for the past 10 years from the PGI auto-rickshaw stand and was going to Dera Bassi to meet Shekhar’s relative along with his friends.

The police got the information of Dashrath’s death this morning. The body was handed over to the family members after a post-mortem examination.

According to sources, Sham Lal was a bachelor, while Shekhar was married. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Zirakpur SHO said the driver would be produced in a local court tomorrow.



HJC seeks Krishna’s ouster over faux pas
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 13
The Haryana Janhit Congress today said the Union Foreign Minister SM Krishna had no right to remain in office for his gaffe while addressing the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the first time.

Former Member of Parliament and senior leader Dharmpal Malik said it was a shame for the nation as Krishna, during his speech, inadvertently read out the Portuguese Foreign Minister’s English translation of his text for about three minutes before being corrected by India’s envoy to the UN. He demanded an immediate resignation of the minister.

On the home front, Malik said the land scams of the Congress-led state government were bigger than the 2G spectrum scam and announced that the party would organise protests in the state, commencing from Pinjore on February 21.

He said party patron and former chief minister Bhajan Lal and MP Kuldeep Bishnoi would flag off the protest rally.

He said the tractor-trailer rally would pass through all 23 districts of the state and conclude at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, on March 9 where the workers would hold a hunger strike besides submitting a memorandum to the President of India against the Congress rule.

He said people in the state were frustrated with the corruption and nepotism prevalent in the state government.

He said people were feeling insecure as the law and order situation in the state had fallen to its lowest ebb.

He said Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was focussing solely on the development in his Rohtak constituency and ignoring other districts.

Newly appointed district president HJC Shashi Sharma also spoke.



BJP seeks CBI probe into land scam

Panchkula, February 13
The BJP has demanded a CBI inquiry into the multi-crore land scam in which the panchayat land in Panchkula was fraudulently transferred in the name of some persons and was later acquired by HUDA.

Talking to mediapersons yesterday, BJP state finance secretary Gyan Chand Gupta said the case should be handed over to the CBI to bring out the truth. He said the officials involved in the case should be transferred immediately so that they could not influence the investigations. He also demanded that the land should be returned to the Choki panchayat.

He welcomed HUDA administrator Rajender Kataria’s decision to remove vegetable and fruit vendors from city roads and urged to take action against those who had encroached on the main markets of the town. — TNS



Open House Response
Unfortunate exit of a reformer

Amajority of students and parents are feeling sorry about the exit of Dr Gauba from HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital. Some of them are even feeling deprived of a father figure as is evident from the gaining strength of new voices against his ouster.

One does not deny the importance of associating the name of Dr Krishan Gauba with the college which could have helped students in beginning their career. If the word “vulgar” alleged by a father has not been testified by a student concerned, it was extremely irresponsible on part of parents to have gone public. I have quite often reprimanded my students over their shabby appearance and low waste jeans or sleepy unwashed faces. My daughter, who is an old PU MA psychology student, now in Ohio told me even in the USA, teachers reprimanded students over this issue. Many of us have gone around PU, especially Student Centre, reprimanding students over leaving plates on ground which are often licked by stray dogs. We all need to support 
Dr Gauba.

Arun D Ahluwalia

“Andher Nagari Chaupat Raja”

When I was a kid I heard a story “Andher Nagari Chaupat Raja”. This story best suits Panjab University in case of the virtual ouster of Dr Gauba from his department. Unfortunately, the university administration, including PUTA (Panjab University Teachers Association) did not sense the gravity of the punishment to Dr Gauba. It is much higher than his alleged offence. The inquiry report, of the incident, must be made public, at the earliest.

Dr Keerti Vardhan

Food for thought

The current student-teacher face-off at Panjab University hit headlines and without siding with anybody, I sincerely wish we keep in mind the following facts:

Number one, in this case the director chose a graceful and dignified exit. What will the authorities do when in future, an involved teacher also sits on hunger strike or holds the system to ransom? Can 'peace' be purchased then?

Number two, some of the institutes at PU, like the dental college are responsible for creating professionals who are ready to serve the country the day they graduate. All education is meant for this purpose but somehow, most university departments award degrees, not careers and may not require the standards demanded by these fields. Hence, the same parameters can not be applied to all fields across the board.

Number three, at best, the director involved can be accused of setting Utopian standards and at worst, going overboard. So, it is surprising that language like 'lewd' and 'vulgar' is used freely.

Number four, who are these student leaders who hold the system to ransom? Check the records to see how many of them need jobs, how many attend classes regularly and how many of them appear for examinations successfully and then,only then, lend them an ear, please.

Number five, we all know from our experience that life holds no absolutes, so let us not carry black and white with us all the time but keep a little can of grey as well!.

Prof Deepti Gupta

Education system needs a revamp

The developments in Panjab University are a reflection of indiscipline writ large in society. Be it the case of commuting on roads or working in offices, indiscipline has become a hall-mark of our society. And who so ever tried to be an overzealous enforcer had been cornered; remember the case of Kiran Bedi.

The situation indeed calls for a thorough revamp of the education system which is supposed to groom a disciplined generation. But ironically the education system has been reduced to the a mere `information communication system’. Nonetheless, the real onus falls on the teachers who have to live a proactive role. The teachers have to build up and win the confidence of their students. Physically, the students may be looking tall or grown-up, but they need a tender care in all walks of life for their grooming.

Babus can only raise objections, politicians can only play to politicise issue, but only teachers have the privilege to govern the destiny of individuals and the nation. So let the teacher-ship be not bogged down by the role ill-conceived by bureaucrats and politicians’ scale for teachers’ evolution.

Dr Ravi Mahajan

Blown out of proportion

Dental Institute, welcome to the folds of Panjab University. We thought you were better. Glad to hear that you are no better than any other run of the mill department of the university. Dr Gauba, the founder head, had thought he would be able to replicate at Panjab University the culture of hard work and systematic thinking that has been the hallmark of the PGI. Gauba was well placed to do so. But the pull of power-play politics at PU has proven stronger. A trivial incident, blown out of proportion, has shown Gauba to be far too enthusiastic in ensuring that his students and faculty inculcated a healthy respect for systematic work. Now the Dental Institute is well on its way to becoming like any other MA/MSc department of the university marked by general bonhomie and little substantive work. It will take some time, and much luck, for the brand value of the Dental Institute to recuperate from the youthful exuberances that forced Dr Gauba to return to the PGI.

Prof M Rajivlochan

Emergency Syndicate meeting sought

We welcome the announcement of formation of joint teacher-student redressal committees. The new mechanism will be helpful in improving the teacher-student relationship. At the same time, we reiterate that if the existing system of departmental committees is allowed to function without any interference from the top, and the decision taken by the departmental committees is honoured at the highest level, most of the problems faced by the university can be handled well in time.

On February 9, 2011, we had submitted a written request to call an emergency meeting of the Syndicate to review the decision of repatriation of Dr K Gauba to his parent institute. We don’t know whether any action has been taken. Meanwhile, a similar written request was sent by the Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA). Nearly 70 faculty members of the Dental Institute have also come in support of Dr Gauba who were earlier waiting for the decision of the Enquiry Committee. As reported in some newspapers, a section of student leaders have also realised their mistake and apologised to Dr Gauba.

The university must take measures to restore the prestige of Dr Gauba.

We the undersigning faculty members of the university request you to call the Syndicate meeting immediately so that the prevailing uncertainty overshadowing the regular functioning of the Dental Institute is removed and the regular functioning is restored. We understand that any further delay in calling the meeting will be detrimental to the smooth functioning of the Dental Institute as well as the entire university and it may recoil into other unexpected consequences.

Sir, if our request goes unheard we will be forced to resort to other democratic means to impress upon the administration to call the meeting of the Syndicate to review the decision on Dr Gauba.

Signed by 24 Panjab University teachers

Review student-teacher relationship

The incident at the university’s dental college, recently, was very unfortunate. The incident does not mean that students have lesser respect for their teachers. Students still have the same respect and pay heed to their suggestions. Problem only arises when certain faculty members try to interfere in their personal lives.

A proper dress code is important. The student-teacher gap is increasing day by day, as most of the teachers consider that delivering lectures is their only duty. The interaction between teachers and students becomes minimal, when teachers are elevated to some administrative position.

There is a need to build cordial relationship between students, teachers and persons who are holding administrative positions. Students should not be kept at bay and they should be considered an integral part of the university. Moreover, the university has never bothered to listen to students, until and unless some student union or Senator is involved or a protest is staged. In future, to nip such kind of protest in the bud, the university should listen to students at the first instance.

Dr Mohan Singh



Students’ patience put to test
Made to wait to get convocation robes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
The absence of multiple counters to provide convocation robes to students and passouts of Panjab University during the rehearsal of 60th annual convocation coupled with the drizzle put students’ patience to test.

These students were spotted huddled on a staircase in the university’s gymnasium hall that leads to a room on the first floor where university officials were distributing the robes. Nearly 100 odd persons were spotted filling in forms mandatory to get a robe along with a fee of Rs 25.

“The door to the first floor is closed and students have lined up outside to get their robes. The university should have ensured that the students were allocated the robes while the mock convocation was in progress inside the hall rather than making them wait in long queues outside the gymnasium hall,” said a PU passout, who was waiting to get his convocation dress.

When contacted, the non-teaching officials of the university, who were in charge of the convocation, said arrangements were being made to smoothen the process to get the convocation robes. 



You’re never too old for a PhD
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
In 1975 Gurcharan Singh Gotra was 25 years old when he attended Panjab University’s annual convocation to receive his master’s degree in economics. Now 60 and having resumed studies after a gap of almost three-and-a-half decades, he is among the very few of his age who will receive a doctorate at PU’s 60th annual convocation to be held on Monday.

Visibly overwhelmed when he came for the ceremony’s rehearsal at the varsity’s gymnasium hall today, he said: “In 1992-92 when people began to talk of economic reforms I was a strong critic of globalization. Times have changed and I find that my PhD thesis is the exact opposite of my earlier opinions,” said Gotra, who is currently director of training & placements at Guru Gobind Singh College of Modern Technology, Kharar.

In another interesting case, NABARD assistant general manager Rakesh Guglani, 50, who will receive a PhD degree on Monday, last attended a PU convocation in 1983 on completing the MA economics course. He later did his MBA from the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in Bombay and was then awarded an MS (master of science) from ICFAI with risk management and insurance as his specialization.

“It’s the most joyous experience in my education and feels different this time. It isn’t easy to continue studies with both a family and a job,” said Guglani.

Then again nearly 17 years after Gurcharan Singh Gill, 44, completed a bachelors degree in physical education from PU, he too returned to pursue a PhD. Currently teaching at SGGS College, Sector 26, he cleared the UGC-NET exam in 1996 after completing MA.

“At Monday’s convocation ceremony I’ll receive my PhD degree along with my students who’ve just completed their masters degree. They have topped the university and I’m proud of them,” said Gill.



PU Notes
PU gears up for V-Day

CHANDIGARH: Panjab University Dean Student Welfare (DSW) recently issued a notice to regulate entry on the campus on February 14, Valentine’s Day.

He notified that the entry to the PU campus shall be regulated through gate No. 2 (opposite Sector 15) on February 14 and gate No. 1 and 3 will remain closed from 8 am to 3 pm. He said students and teaching/non-teaching staff should carry their identity cards for verification with a view to avoid any inconvenience to them on this account.


The two-day Professor Ram Chand Paul international annual conference being organised by the department of chemistry, Panjab University, in association with the department of science and technology, Chandigarh administration, was inaugurated recently by Prof BS Brar, dean university instruction, PU. — TNS



Researchers discuss trends in chemistry

Chandigarh, February 13
More than 300 research scholars, students and faculty members from all across the country and abroad presented oral and poster presentations at the Professor Ram Chand Paul International Conference on “Emerging trends in Chemistry” at Panjab University yesterday.

The concluding day of the two-day conference witnessed lectures by Anil Kumar from National Chemical laboratory, who discussed polarity issues in ionic liquid. Ionic liquids which are less polar than water can have wider applicability if their polarity issue can be dealt with, he said.

HS Virk from DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology elaborated on chemical route to the nanotechnology in which he explained that nanoparticles have diverse applications ranging from medicines, pigments, catalysts, cosmetics and separation technology. — TNS



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