C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UBS chairman quits
VC refuses to accept resignation, second by a PU head in a week
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
In a move that may be indicative of Panjab University officials losing their grip over administration in the wake of the recent student protests, the chairman of the University Business School, Dinesh K Gupta, tendered his resignation on Wednesday.

The development came less than a week after Krishan Gauba, director of PU’s dental college, quit and two days after Gupta was forced to express his “regret” in writing to students protesting outside the vice chancellor’s office following a specially convened syndicate meeting.

Along with his resignation letter Gupta even went to the extent of attaching a cheque for Rs 276,369 in lieu of the notice period. “This letter may also be treated as my resignation from the position of professor.” However, PU vice chancellor RC Sobti refused to accept Gupta’s resignation and visited UBS today to convene a faculty meeting.

Students of both the dental college and UBS had sought removal of their respective heads for allegedly using “unparliamentary language” and “hurting their dignity”.

At today’s meeting, in which Gupta handed over his resignation to Sobti, UBS faculty members expressed solidarity with their head and claimed all accusations leveled against him by the students were “baseless” and their protest “politically motivated”.

PU dean of students welfare Naval Kishore issued a press note clarifying Gupta had "not apologized" to the students but had "regretted having used any words that might have hurt” the students. “The situation was brought to an amicable end by Gupta as well as the students", he said.

"Gupta did so (expressed his regret) only to ease the situation and after the VC had asked him to bring the situation under control at an emergency syndicate meeting on February 14," said a UBS teacher.

Sources close to the PU administration claimed the MCom female students had been “instigated” to demand Gupta's removal by a “lobby” of senior senate and syndicate members due to “political motives”.

“Gupta has been a man of ethics and everyone at UBS, including teachers and all MBA students, were unhappy over the situation created by a few final semester M.Com girl students as well as by the inaction of PU officials," said a faculty member.

Despite repeated attempts Sobti could not be contacted.

PU backs Dr Gupta

"The Vice-Chancellor has refused to accept the resignation of Dr Dinesh Gupta and has also sent back the cheques accompanying the letter. In fact, he did not even take a look at the resignation letter. The university is supporting Dr Gupta and will not succumb to any pressure."

— Prof Naval Kishore, dean student welfare

Excerpts from letter

“I did everything to maintain the prestige of UBS and PU, the dignity of the teachers and the welfare of the students. But neither the students nor the UBS faculty is happy with me for the positive steps (buying peace by expressing his “regret” to students) which, in my opinion, I had taken, as also desired by you (vice chancellor RC Sobti) for the benefit of all. Hence, I hereby submit my resignation from the position of chairman, which may be accepted with immediate effect as it may not be possible for me to head UBS under the prevailing circumstances. Further, this letter may also be treated as my resignation from the position of professor with effect from February 16, 20011. A cheque made out for Rs 276,369 in favour of the PU registrar is attached in lieu of the notice period.”

‘Victims’ of senate politics

n PU dean of student welfare Naval Kishore: Was accused of having a role in the so-called “Boston controversy” by signing consent letters to allow students, including “outsiders”, to go abroad to attend an international conference

n College Development Council associate dean Keshav Malhotra: Principals of affiliated colleges staged a ‘dharna’ (protest sit-in) in front of the VC’s office accusing him of “interfering” in college affairs

n HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences & Hospital director principal Krishan Gauba: Forced to go on leave and later resign. Pressure from a certain “lobby” was evident during the “negotiations”

External meddling?

While UBS MCom(e-commerce) students held their protest against the head, the ongoing student unrest on the campus appears to have a strong imprint of “control” from external power groups, particularly senators. There is no plausible explanation as to why the students refused to deal with the teachers initially. During their protest they repeatedly got calls from a senate member who persuaded them not to call off their agitation.



HC clarifies school admission cutoff dates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
A day after the Punjab & Haryana High Court put to rest the controversy over the minimum age for school admissions, justice Mahesh Grover Wednesday clarified the cutoff date for upper KG and KG classes was Sep 30, 2006 and that for lower KG and nursery was Sept 30, 2007.

On Tuesday the judge had asked Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, St John’s High School, Sector 26, and St Anne’s Convent School, Sector 32 to “consider the cases for admission of all children who are born on or before Sept 30, 2006 as a one-time measure”.

The clarification today afternoon came on an application filed on behalf of 17 minor petitioners by counsel Girish Agnihotri, along with Binayjeet Sheoran and Arvind Seth. “After hearing the counsel for the petitioners, I’m of the considered opinion that the application (for clarification) deserves to be allowed”, said Grover.

In his order of February 15 the judge issued seven directives, while ruling: “It’s desirable and in the interest of children and their parents that a somewhat uniform policy is adopted so as to create a harmonious process of regulated admissions. Such a process would obviate chances of children of different age groups competing with each other”.

Grover further ruled the four schools “may issue a communiqué about the directions given in this judgment, which shall be sufficient notice to the desirous parents, with no further publication of a notice.

The schools need not give any separate notice for this purpose.

However, they shall display it on their notice-boards”.



Missing child still untraced
Gaps between barbed wires, absence of CCTV cameras expose chinks in security at Snehalaya
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
A day after 10-year-old Suraj fled Snehalaya, a home for slum children in Maloya, after scaling the boundary wall from the rear side, there is no sign of the missing child. The incident lays bare the claims of the Snehalaya authorities in providing adequate security to its inmates and exposes the negligence of the UT Administration in upgrading the infrastructure of the institute.

A visit to Snehalaya by a Tribune team today revealed that the barbed wires along the boundary walls had wide gaps between them, defeating the very purpose of security. The wall is merely 4-feet high, making it easy for anyone to scale it and then make way through the gaps between the wires.

Further, the CCTV cameras are installed only at the entrance. There are no cameras at the rear from where inmates have frequently been venturing out, only to return after some hours, sources said.

Suraj was noticed missing around 6.30 pm last evening. But the authorities were unable to determine the time he managed to flee. The sources said the child was last seen playing with other inmates.

Some inmates claimed that frequent venturing out by children after scaling the wall was a regular affair. “They often sneak in through the barbed wires and return after some time. They are assisted by other inmates in scaling the wall,” an inmate stated.

Father Sebastian Jose, founder director of Snehalaya, said efforts were on to trace the child and teams had been dispatched to various places. “We have taken up the issue of barbed wires with the UT Administration and the height of the walls will be increased soon. As for the CCTV cameras, we will install them at the rear too,” he said.



Minor alleges rape bid by father
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 16
In a shocking revelation, a 15-year-old girl today alleged that her father tried to rape her in the bathroom in December last year. She further alleged that her father, along with an uncle and aunt, beat her up after she narrated the incident to the wife of her eldest uncle.

Talking to the media here today she said her father Surinder Singh tried to outrage her modesty when she was bathing. When she resisted, he told her that he was under the influence of drugs and asked her not to talk about it to anyone.

Even after her mother died, her father continued to make advances for several days and she avoided him. She confided in her cousin and aunt with whom she was staying. She alleged that on February 8, her father, his brother Satinder Singh and sister-in-law Savitri Devi thrashed her without any provocation. She said when she told her grandfather, Shamsher Singh, her father threatened to kill all his three minor children, including her.

In his complaint to the Superintendent of Police, her grandfather said he came to know about the shocking incident from her only recently. “Surinder Singh, Satinder Singh and Savitri Devi thrashed me, my two granddaughters, including the victim, and my elder son over some domestic dispute,” he alleged.

He claimed that the matter was reported to the Sector 5 police station and later a compromise was reached, wherein it was decided that the two girls would remain with them.



PCA Stadium to have three-tier security ring
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 16
For the three World Cup matches scheduled at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium here, The Punjab Police is gearing up to throw a three-tier security ring around the stadium. For the safe conduct of the matches, over 1,500 police personnel from Fatehgarh Sahib, Ropar, Patiala and other neighbouring districts were being deployed at the venue of the match.

For the match, CCTVs will be installed at all gates. A zoom camera at the main gate is also being installed for recording minute details. Giving details of the security arrangements, Mohali SSPGPS Bhullar said there would be a tight security cover without causing inconvenience to visitors. The total number of parking lots was being increased in wake of the construction work going on in the sports complex in front of the PCA.

For the convenience of the VVIP and VIPs, special shuttle service is being planned in addition to the shuttle service planned between the stadium and the designated parking lots. The police is also preparing a traffic diversion plan. The traffic on the roads leading to the stadium from Chandigarh, Phase X, Phase VIII and Sector 67 will be diverted. The traffic diversions on the roads leading to the stadium will be lifted once the match begins. However, the road opposite to the stadium will remain closed throughout the day.

Sources in the police said that the police officials were conducting meeting with PCA officials to run special bus routes. This time the fans as well as the PCA will face more difficulties as the construction work of the sports complex, in front of the stadium, has begun. Senior officials of the ICC have already conducted a meeting with the senior Punjab Police officials on providing security cover during the matches.


Housing board flat owners encroach upon open space
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Illegal structures

Recently a driver employed by the Haryana Housing Board, taking advantage of his posting with the board’s chief administrator, illegally constructed a three-story building in the green belt adjoining his flat. However, after this was reported in these columns officials of the MC and HUDA swung into action and asked the driver to demolish the illegal structure.

Panchkula, February 16
A quarter of residents of the old Housing Board colony in Sector 19 have encroached upon almost all the greenbelts in the area. There are over 800 apartments in the colony and about 200 owners of those situated on the ground floor have covered the 30 square feet open space in front of their flats with a 3 to 4-foot high boundary wall., leaving virtually no parking space for those residing on the first floor.

Even the public works department while laying roads in the colony did not bother to follow its original layout plan and constructed the roads through the area meant for parking, leaving enough space for residents to encroach upon. In the original layout plan roads were to be constructed around the 60-foot wide park but, as after the roads were constructed a vacant space measuring about 10 to 30 square feet was left in front of the ground floor flats.

Housing Board officials also failed to take notice of this while handing over possession of the flats about 25 years ago.

Many residents, mostly those who live on the first floor, have now approached officials of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and the district administration to get the illegal construction in the colony removed. They said encroachments by those living in ground floor flats had left them with no space to park their motorcycles and scooters.

“Some flat owners have demolished the stairs as shown in the original plan and constructed new ones on the open space in front of their flats. A few of them have even covered the road berms on public land in the area”, the residents added.

On February 9 the estate manager of the Haryana Housing Board wrote to the HUDA estate officer to demolish the encroachments in front of flats in the colony, built for economically weaker sections of the population. “The action has to be taken by HUDA in line with the instructions issued in this regard by the Haryana chief secretary on October 5, 2005. The flat owners have already cleared their payment and mostly conveyance deeds have been executed”, he had stated in the letter.

When contacted estate officer Ashwani Sharma said he had received a copy of the notification and was getting the case examined. “Whenever we launch an anti-encroachment drive in the area the residents challenge our authority. After properly examining the case we would serve notice to the residents to remove the encroachments on their own or face action”, he added.



Work at 230 govt houses hanging fire
Four years gone, still not done
Renovation incomplete as departments, contractors pass the buck
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Scene 1: A family in Sector 22-D has no clue as to where to go to answer nature’s call as the water connection to the new toilet has not been restored, thanks to lack of coordination between the three government departments involved in the renovation.

Scene 2: Two immediate neighbours in Sector 22-D are talking to each other while preparing food in their respective kitchens, thanks to a big opening left after incomplete renovation being done in their Type 13-D government houses.

Several residents of Sector 22 are up in arms over the dilapidated condition of the government houses in which they reside.

The project of renovating kitchens, bathrooms and toilets of as many as 230 houses of Type 13-D houses has been hanging fire for the past over four years.

Tenders in this regard were floated in 2007, but work got delayed, with certain departments and contractors concerned passing the buck over execution of their respective work.

While the occupants of such houses expressed deep resentment over the dilapidated condition of the buildings, sources revealed that the delay in works led to the cancellation of the original tender two years before.

It was only about two months ago that the contract for the project, valued at Rs 5.7 lakh, was revived and the contractor directed to execute the work within three months.

The work, proposed in 2007, included renovation of kitchens, bathrooms and toilets and repair of floors.

A visit at the site revealed that the work of laying new water pipes under the project was being done in only about a dozen of the houses.

“We are fed up of living in dilapidated conditions. Just look at the cracks in the walls of the kitchen and the broken toilet seats. Is these conditions liveable for humans in the City Beautiful,” asked Dalbir Kaur, one of the residents.

Showing a big opening in the common wall of the kitchens of two houses, which had come up after renovation, another resident, Sukhbir Kaur, said one of the government contractors did his work and left saying tiles and plaster would be done by the other department.

“We do not know what to do with such wide openings in the common wall of kitchens of two houses,” she added.

A government contractor for the public health department claimed that his work was hampered because of the lackadaisical approach of the building department to the project.

“Our job starts only after the building department executed its job. It did not even start the work in the direction of renovation of houses. Now I am executing not only my work, but also carrying out repairs, which otherwise, is the job of the building department,” claimed the contractor.

On the other hand, a senior official of the building department claimed that their work was redoing the flooring and tiles, which was on the verge of completion in the houses.

“One thing we know is that no one cares for the poor. While the Chandigarh administration spends crores on the renovation of houses of their top-class officers every now and then, nobody pays attentions to our problems,” said Bhupinder Atwal, another resident.

The renovation work has started only in a few houses while the rest are waiting for their turn. Is anyone listening?



Recruitment won’t be easy
Rs 60-crore grant will be a tall ask for MC
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
It will not be a cakewalk for the municipal corporation (MC) to get 3,500 fresh posts sanctioned for various wings of the corporation and get an additional grant of about Rs 60 crore from the UT administration for the next financial year.

The Planning Commission has already objected to the proposed hike of 50 per cent in the non-Plan head for the next budget of the UT administration.

Sources said the Planning Commission pointed out that directions had been given to the UT administration to revise the proposed budget and make an increase of only 10 per cent under non-Plan head.

MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria said the corporation had prepared a draft schedule of fresh posts for each department, which would be approved in the coming budget session, scheduled for February 28. The approved draft would then be sent to the UT administration.

A senior official of the MC stated that the corporation had to submit its increased budget requirements to the UT administration, which would further prepare a detailed budget report and send it to the Centre for approval.

Officials said if the Chandigarh administration, one of the revenue-surplus union territories, was not getting its share from the Centre, how could the corporation get concurrence for fresh posts and additional funds required by it?

Records of the corporation showed that around 1,200 posts were lying vacant in various departments of the corporation, of which only 20 per cent had been sanctioned by the administration.

In fact, it had become an annual feature for the MC to submit a detailed proposal of fresh posts for each department to the administration for approval, with the plea to overcome staff crunch, but all these years, these had never been sanctioned by the administration fully.

The sources revealed that the sanctioned posts in the departments had not been filled with regular staff, as till date, there were no recruitment and promotion rules for these purpose by the authorities.

In 2005, a notification was approved by the House to draft service rules of MC employees, but till date, no rules had been framed.



MC to provide shelter to the needy
Kulwinder Sangha

‘Raen Basera’ to come up in Phase-VI

The MC plans to accommodate around 100 persons in “Raen Basera”. The shelter will be constructed in Phase VI on a piece of land currently being used illegally by migrants to sell meat and fish

Mohali, February 16
The Mohali municipal corporation has proposed to construct a “Raen Basera” for shelterless people in the town. At least 34 persons, who did not have any kind of shelter of their own, have already been identified by the civic body as the beneficiaries.

The civic body plans to accommodate around 100 persons in the building. The accommodation will be provided free of cost or at nominal charges to the needy.

According to sources, the civic body had conducted a survey on the directions of the Supreme Court to identify shelterless people. A number of teams formed in this regard carried out the survey around six months ago.

Those identified were found sleeping by the roadside or in bus queue shelters in different parts of the town, including Industrial Area. Some were rickshaw-pullers while others were beggars.

The “Raen Basera”, which will prove to be a boon for shelterless people, will be constructed in Phase VI on a piece of land currently being used illegally by migrants to sell fish and meat.

The corporation has written to the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to transfer the land measuring 1.61 acres to the corporation for the construction of the building.

MC Commissioner Parveen Kumar said GMADA was asked to hand over the land in question to the civic body, which did not have any land of its own. A positive response to the proposal was received from the GMADA authorities, raising MC’s hopes of getting the possession of the land soon.

The GMADA authorities would also be requested to construct the building, as the civic body did not have adequate funds, he added.

According to reports, a meat market would also be constructed in the area.

Rajinder Prasad Sharma, former municipal councillor from Phase VI, has opposed the move to construct a shelter on a piece of land that had already been a headache for residents.

He said it would prove to be a blot for the area as all types of people, including criminals, would take shelter in the “Raen Basera”.

He said jhuggi dwellers had earlier created unhygienic conditions on the piece of land. They were evicted from the land with great difficulty. Now meat and fish sellers, who illegally used the land along the main road, had been creating problems, he added.



Bus service in Mohali from Apr 1
Tribune News Service

PRTC Initiative

The PRTC proposes to run low-floor buses on local routes between Mohali and Chandigarh, semi-low floor buses on routes between peripheral townships and Mohali, and mini-buses on shorter routes and congested roads within Mohali

Mohali, February 16
Meeting a long-pending demand of the commuters, the Punjab Transport Department has decided to run city bus service in Mohali from April 1. A fleet of low-floor air-conditioned buses would be inducted to run the local bus service.

Sharing the information at a function here today, Punjab Transport Minister Master Mohan Lal said the state-owned Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) has tied with the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to run the AC bus service.

Regular meetings have been held in the past to work out the modalities of the bus service. The PRTC has already submitted a detailed report. A senior official in GMADA said since the bus service had to run between Chandigarh and Mohali, the issue regarding the routes were being taken up with the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU).

The PRTC will not only operate on different routes between Mohali and Chandigarh, but also connect surrounding townships, including Kharar, Landran, Zirakpur, Dera Bassi and Banur. GMADA has been asked to provide a capital outlay of Rs 25 crore to purchase and maintain a fleet of about 60 buses.

It has been proposed to run low-floor buses for local routes between Mohali and Chandigarh, semi-low floor buses on routes between peripheral townships and Mohali and mini-buses to run on shorter routes and congested roads within Mohali. The mini-buses would also run on routes between different sectors and important destinations such as the Mohali bus stand, Mohali district administrative complex and the Sector 43 inter-state bus terminus in Chandigarh.

The buses will run from the East to the West edge of the horizontally planned town.

Though the PRTC has proposed 20 buses each under three categories — low floor, semi-low floor and mini-buses — at a cost of around Rs 25 crore, GMADA officials said they were proposing to initially fund 20 buses and the remaining 40 buses in phases.



Sukhbir orders completion of Mohali projects by May
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 16
Taking stock of the town’s development, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal asked officials to ensure timebound completion of projects worth Rs 80 crore over the next three months following a meeting with senior officials of various departments held at the Powercom guesthouse in Sector 51 here.

Among those present at the meeting, which Badal chaired, were state local government minister Manoranjan Kalia, chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda, Mohali district planning committee chairman NK Sharma, GMADA chief administrator Sarabjit Singh, transport secretary Anurag Aggarwal and Powercom chairman KD Chaudhary.

The instructions were issued in the backdrop of the displeasure expressed Badal at a previous meeting over delay in completing various projects.

The GMADA head was asked to complete work on strengthening all the main intersector roads including Chandigarh to PCA, Diplast chowk to Spice chowk, Industrial Area road, Bawa White house to Kumbhra chowk, 64-49 dividing road, Balongi to PCL road and roads at the parking lots in phase V, 3B2, Phase VIII, Sector 70 and Phase I. It was stated at the meeting GMADA planned to strengthen 65.80 km of streets besides widening the Balongi to PCL road.

Those attending the meeting were also told work on internal streets in phases VII, 3B2, V, IX, X and XI would be completed within the next three months. Six rotaries are being beautified and their work would be completed by April 30. A sum of Rs 18 crore has been deposited with Powercom for laying underground high tension cables on the PCL -Balongi road. Work on recarpeting the streets from Sector 66 to 69 has also been initiated.

Sharma drew Badal’s attention towards the problem of water shortage with summer approaching fast. In turn the deputy CM in turn asked the district planning committee chief to ensure all 16 tubewells were functional by March 31.

As far as the power shortage was concerned, the Powercom chief was told to ensure a “power cut free” summer to the state’s residents from March 31 onwards. Chaudhary assured Badal Powercom had made “advance arrangements” and had entered into various power purchase agreements keeping in view the increased electricity demand during summer.

Meanwhile, Badal also gave his nod for setting up a “Film City” in Mohali in order to give a fillip to “quality” Punjabi movies. Approving the plan he asked principal tourism & culture secretary Geetika Kalha to draw up a “conceptual plan” for the proposed project that would also include a film and television institute.

“Many film professionals who want to set up state-of-art film studios in the proposed Film City have approached me”, Badal stated. He asked Kalha to make a film and television institute an integral part of the project to provide professional training to young people on the art of film making and its technical aspects. “There is a shortage of quality technical staff for filmmaking and the proposed institute will provide human resource backup to film studios”, he noted. Badal also asked Kalha to institute “film awards” for Punjabi films to encourage production of “quality” films.



Tribune Impact
Suman gets free treatment at GMCH
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Finding it hard to meet the expenses of treatment at city hospitals, Suman, a victim of wrong blood transfusion, has finally been able to get free treatment at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32.

Dr Raj Bahadur, GMCH director-principal, examined her today. Medical diagnosis tests, including X-ray and ultrasound, were conducted on her and she was sent back with medicines for 10 days.

Suman lost her baby in the womb and had her kidneys damaged after she was administered a wrong blood group at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, on December 16.

The PGI, however, discharged her last month, asking her to bear the expenses of OPD visits, following which she had been going to quacks for treatment.

“My husband Des Raj met SDM (South) Vinod P Kavle today. The SDM asked him to take me to the GMCH for treatment. At the GMCH, doctors immediately attended on me and asked me to revisit after 10 days,” she said.

“Suman reached the hospital with complaints of backache,” said Dr Raj Bahadur. “For this, she has been provided medicine and asked to visit again next week,” said Dr Raj Bahadur.



Encroachment by shopkeepers rampant
Tribune News Service

Fruit vendors encroach on a part of the Zirakpur-Patiala highway
Fruit vendors encroach on a part of the Zirakpur-Patiala highway. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Zirakpur, February 16
Roadside encroachment by shopkeepers and others continues to be on the rise with the Zirakpur municipal council failing to take action against the offenders. Commuters complain that the enforcement wing of the council has failed to conduct a major anti-encroachment drive to remove the obstructions.

However, MC officials claim they have been serving notices on the offenders on a regular basis.

A visit to the area reveals that shopkeepers have blocked corridors and walkways in the main market and commercial establishments on the Baltana-Panchkula road. Shopkeepers have encroached upon parking spaces by putting up signboards along the Zirakpur-Patiala road.

Mukesh Kumar, a local resident, says encroachment is becoming widespread with each passing day.

District Planning Board chairman and MC president NK Sharma said an anti-encroachment drive would be conducted shortly and violators would be fined.



Shifting of power dept office miffs residents
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, February 16
The shifting of the electricity department office has left the local residents high and dry, as they have to cover long distances to submit bills or lodge complaints. The building has been shifted to the Pabhat road, near the Pabhat grid.

Sources said the electricity department office had been shifted from the Badal colony as it had been running from a private building earlier. Its owner had asked the department to vacate the building, the sources added.

Residents rued that the department had shifted the office to a place that was quite far off having poor road connectivity.

They demanded the relocation of the office to a more convenient place for the convenience of the residents.

“My job involves a lot of touring so my wife submits all the bills. She will have to travel a long distance to reach the new office,” rues Arun Sharma, a Dhakoli resident.

Manju Khosla, a local resident, says: “It will be a big hassle as the road connectivity is very poor between by the new office and our locality.”

Zirakpur XEN HS Oberoi said the office had been shifted to a new location after the building owner had asked them to vacate it.



Waiting in long queues a thing of past
Admission to undergraduate courses through CET goes online
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Easy admission to courses

  • BSc-MSc integrated programme offered in physics, chemistry, biology, bio-chemistry, botany, anthropology, geology, geography, zoology and all other science departments offering honours courses.
  • Five-year BA-LLB course offered by the University Institute of Legal Studies
  • Bachelors in Pharmacy offered by University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Chandigarh, February 16
Students seeking admission to Panjab University’s undergraduate courses, including five-year honours school programme, law and pharmaceutical courses through common entrance test (CET), will not be required to stand in long queues for counselling and seat allocation this year.

The university has introduced a new online CET admission process in which the shortlisted candidates will be called to the respective departments for admission and no separate counselling session will take place on the PU campus.

To begin with, the process is restricted to admission only. The entrance exam will, however, continue to be held manually on OMR sheets.

A student will be required to procure an application form for CET, appear in the exam and once the merit list is released, he or she can create an online account on the PU’s web portal at the CET’s weblink.

Earlier, the selected candidates were required to fill in a manual admission form once the results were declared.

Students will also be required to fill in the preferences of their subjects in this online form. Then the allocation of seats in respective departments will be done on the basis of the preferences filled in by students.

“Students will be required to fill in the admission form online. No separate counselling will be held for seat allocation in the university. Students and their parents will not have to wait for hours during counselling sessions. The system will automatically allot seats to students as per their preference and their merit of department and subject. A date will be allotted to each student and he or she will have to come to their respective departments on that particular date,” said K Tankeshwar, director, PU’s computer centre.

The university officials said students would be required to be more cautious in filling in their choice of subjects.

“If a student wishes to change his preference of subject, he or she will be permitted to do so online till the last date so that no confusion occurs. Students will also be given time to correct the information filled in by them. There will also be a provision of transfer from one department to another and the seat allocation will be done according to the satisfaction of students since it is the first time we are conducting the admission online,” added Tankeshwar.

“Yet another proposal under consideration is of charging uniform fee from all CET selected candidates, at least initially,” said the university officials.



RTE Guidelines
All documents were issued to schools, claims education dept
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 16
An official of the education department informed the court today that the department had issued complete documents pertaining to the RTE policy and guidelines to schools.

After the counsel for private schools had told the court yesterday that they had never received detailed guidelines, the counsel for the district had sought more time to give clarification in this regard.

Judge Renu Rana recorded the statement of education department official Jagat Singh and reserved the order for February 17. Counsel for private schools during the hearing today again contended that the documents produced by the education department were incomplete and more documentary details were required for proper implementation of the 25 per cent quota.

PIL petitioner Pankaj Chandgothia, however, maintained that counsel for private schools was raising frivolous objections just to avoid the implementation of the Act. He pleaded that schools be restrained from finalising admissions for the next academic session starting April 2011, without implementation of the 25 per cent RTE quota as per the government policy.

Interestingly, even after the RTE Act came into being from April 1, 2010, the district administration failed to frame any policy and notify guidelines for admission under ESW quota for children in schools. After Chadgothia had filed a petition on November 16 last year, the district administration had swung into action for framing the policy under the RTE Act.

The District Elementary Education Officer (DEEO), Panchkula, in a letter to the Director Elementary Education (DEE) Haryana on December 12 had urged him to frame and notify the guidelines for the same. The Panchkula Deputy Commissioner had also intimated the DEE for notifying the same.



Violation of fire safety norms
Notices to be served on four schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The fire department will issue notices to four schools of the city for violating fire safety norms. This was decided at a meeting of the fire committee chaired by Devinder Singh Babla here today.

The schools against which authorities will take action include KB DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 7, CL Aggarwal DAV School, Sector 7, Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, and Mount Carmel School, Sector 47.

The committee also decided that a team of fire officials would conduct a special drive to check fire safety norms in all government buildings and notices would be served on violators.

It was decided that checks would be conducted at coaching institutes, hotels and restaurants in Sectors 26, 35 and 46. The report will be submitted to the department within 10 days.

The committee directed the officials to send a letter to the UT Chief Engineer regarding re-fixing of electricity and telephone wires on roads which were hindering the movement of fire brigade vehicles. Besides, the MC Chief Engineer was also directed to earmark separate fire lanes in the parking lots of all markets.

The members also asked the fire officials to prepare a detailed report of the shortage of clerical staff in the fire and emergency wing and table it at the next meeting of the committee.

The committee members also agreed to take up the matter regarding life insurance cover for firemen and other fire officials with the higher authorities.



Training in classroom management techniques
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
A UGC-sponsored orientation programme for lecturers working in institutes of higher education was inaugurated at the Academic Staff College, Panjab University, here today.

Thirty-seven teachers from all over the country have arrived to attend the four-week training programme. Shelley Walia, director, Academic Staff College, Panjab University, elaborated on the theme “Pedagogy and Liberation: Dismantling the Culture of Silence” and motivated teachers to think beyond the received assumptions and test and retest the established models. He encouraged the participants to engage in more interventionary and provocative teaching methodologies. BS Ghuman, Dean, Arts, was the chief guest. In his inaugural speech, he focused on the need to engage in research for the professional as well as personal growth.

The participants will be trained in teaching skills, classroom management techniques and will be provided information on the linkages of society and education by eminent academicians and experts in the coming days.



Now, going geothermal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The workshop on “Geothermal Development in Northwest Himalayas” organised by the Centre of Advanced Study in Geology, Panjab University (PU), and the department of civil engineering, National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur, in association with INDNOR Project (an Indo-Norway joint venture) concluded today on the PU campus.

Dr Kristi of National Geotechnical Institute, Oslo, Dr Jiri Muller of Institute for Energy Technology, Oslo, and Dr Arni, Ice lands, Geo Survey, were the key speakers. The aim of the joint project was to study the geological and geo-technical conditions for generation of geothermal energy.

Prof SK Sharma, founder director, Energy Research Centre, PU, and presently professor emeritus, inaugurated the workshop and highlighted the efforts made earlier to harness energy resources of hot springs.

Dr Ritesh Arya introduced the theme and methodology to be adopted for the implementation of project.



Dev Samaj wins 3 NSS awards

Chandigarh, February 16
Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, won three awards out of four state NSS awards, incepted this year, by the State NSS Cell, department of education, Chandigarh administration.

The NSS unit of the college has been declared best NSS unit in Chandigarh in recognition to its excellent social works. Its innovative scheme ‘School on Move’ took it to the top of the list. Seema Sareen, programme officer of Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, Chandigarh, has been declared the best NSS programme officer for her outstanding involvement in NSS activities undertaken by the college, especially in slums. — TNS





Chandigarh: Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarathi Parishad (ABVP) is organising an international conference “WOSY - World Organisation of Students and Youth” on the Panjab University campus. In a press conference today, ABVP representatives said WOSY was an international body of peace and cooperation activists. “On February 19 and 20, we are bringing together young delegates from various countries to participate in the seminar. The theme of the conference is Celebrating Cultural Diversities,” said ABVP members.


The Counselling and Placement Cell under the UGC 11th Plan (Merged Schemes) of Post Graduate Government College, Sector 46, organised a one-day workshop on career counselling in the college today.

Key speakers were from Amity Global Business School, Red Alkemi, Guardians School of Fashion and Interior Designing, Agro Industry, RCED, Institute of Company Secretaries. They delivered lectures on personality development, self-grooming, preparation for interviews, career opportunities in the fields like fashion, fitness and food technology, entrepreneurship, opportunities for higher studies and corporate exposure. They also conducted psychometric tests.


A “Green Fest -2011” was held at SGGS College, Sector 26, here today to create awareness among the student community about environmental issues. The fest was inaugurated by AS Ahluwalia, chairperson, department of environment and vocational studies, PU. Ahluwalia stressed on saving the planet and gave a presentation on genetically modified (GM).


Around 156 donors today turned up at the blood donation camp organised by NSS volunteers of DAV College, Sector 10, on the college premises today. SK Sehgal, chief general manager, State Bank of India, inaugurated the camp.

Training ends

A one-month training programme for 25 underprivileged students concluded on Tuesday at Educational Television Centre of NITTTR, Sector 26. Guest lecturers from electronic, print and radio media were invited to impart training to students. “On the basis of practical, continuous assessment and final evaluation, we have also empanelled five of these students who will support the ETV Centre in camera handling,” said Dr S S Pattnaik, professor and head, Educational Television Centre. — TNS



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