C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Affluent leaders, EO officials called the shots
l Milked licensees for three decades l Never wanted pucca booths constructed
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
For almost three decades -- from 1978 to 2007 - the helpless poor but genuine licensees at the Bajwara rehri market in Sector 22 proved to be the proverbial golden hen for the affluent self-styled leaders and estate office (EO) officials who raked in moolah at their cost.

With the sword of Damocles hanging over the genuine licensees, the absentee licensees, masquerading as leaders of the market, held the former to ransom and successfully blocked the construction of pucca booths at the Sector 22 market in connivance with EO officials, states the magisterial inquiry conducted by former Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shergill.

“The nexus between EO officials and office-bearers of the market from 1978 till date stands proved. The successive presidents and general secretaries of the market including, Ram Singh, Krishan Lal Jain, Jai Bhagwan Gupta, Rajeshwar Pathak, Suresh Kumar aka Goldy, Naresh Kumar Kuku, Sat Narain Jain and Raj Kumar Singla, have been serving as conduits to Ashwani Kumar, a former assistant estate officer (AEO), tehsildar (colonies) DS Balouria, superintendent (retired) Prem Sharma, the rehri branch in charge Dharam Singh, superintendent (enforcement) Ashok Bish, assistant (rehri branch) Ranbir Singh Gill and former sub-inspector (enforcement) Nikka Singh from the estate office.

Indicating direct involvement of EO officials in the Bajwara rehri market politics, the report alleged that “a lot of politicking used to be there amongst the members of the market and this politics was controlled by EO officials.”

The report said a majority of genuine licensees wanted pucca booths to be constructed in the market itself. However, EO officials and rich “non-resident” licensees never wanted puccabooths to be built by the EO as officials would have lost a permanent source of income through surveys. The pucca booths would have adversely affected the business of the rich licensees and the business would not have been possible at other places, the reports states.

“Whenever there was a move to construct pucca booths at the Bajwara rehri market or any other site in Sector 22, the rich licensees used to pool in money @ Rs 10,000 (ie Rs 10,000 each) and pay the collected amount to officials of the estate office and scuttle the move of the administration,” the report states.

Involvement of bigwigs

Pawan Bansal (City MP and Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs)

The booth mafia has the protection of Pawan Kumar Bansal, Local MP and Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Science and Technology.

Pradip Mehra (Adviser to the UT Administrator)

Pradip Mehra, under the influence of Inspector General of Police PK Srivastava, Senior Superintendent of Police SS Srivastava let DSP (South) Vijay Kumar and SHO, Sector 39 police station, inspector Janak Rana off the hook. “It is beyond my comprehension how could the Adviser to the UT Administrator take such a soft view against the police officials responsible for helping illegal occupiers of government property in which an inquiry had been ordered by no less than an authority than the UT Administrator. Pradip Mehra told me that Union Minister Pawan Bansal was inquiring about the case,” PS Shergill said in his report.

Neeru Nanda (former Adviser to the UT Administrator)

Nathu Ram, a complainant, also met Neeru Nanda. She advised him to get two booths for himself and even offered a house to get him to stop pursuing the case for the construction of pucca booths in the Bajwararehri market.

RK Rao (former Deputy Commissioner)

The role of former Deputy Commissioner-cum-Estate Officer RK Rao has been found to be clearly illegal in two cases but the angle of his involvement in the booth fraud needs to be looked into by the investigating agency.

Pardeep Chhabra (former Mayor and area councillor)

The CBI should investigate the link of the fraud to higher levels of authority by way of corruption money reaching senior officials or not, and the contributions from legal and illegal licensees to the election funds of Pardeep Chhabra and Pawan Kumar Bansal. 

Millionaire licensee 

Estate office officials wanted clever members of the market to come to the forefront of the politics so that they could make more money in connivance with them. They formulated a plan to replace Ram Singh (president) with Jai Bhagwan Gupta, who was a multi-millionaire having flourishing business of selling utensils from three sites in the Bajwara rehri market. He was the leader of the rich licensees who never did business from their sites in the market. EO officials brought Krishan Lal Jain and Rajeshwar Pathak, leader of the Hand Cart Licensees, to the side of Gupta. Gupta was elected president of the market in 1992, replacing Ram Singh. He appointed Pathak his general secretary. 

‘Triumph of indomitable human spirit’

The complainants, Dinesh Sood and Nathu Ram.
The complainants, Dinesh Sood and Nathu Ram. 

“It is highly appreciated that complainants Dinesh Sood, Nathu Ram and Bhag Singh were carrying all the details about the happenings in the Bajwara market over the past 35 years in the form of personal notes without which the inquiry would not have reached a concrete conclusion. I salute their keen desire for exposing corruption in the estate office and grabbing of public property through fraudulent means by ineligible licensees of the market. These fellows waged a long and arduous struggle for bringing the perpetrators of one of the biggest frauds in Chandigarh. The odds were stacked heavily against them. Their opponents were politically, socially and financially powerful whereas these three remarkably spirited persons were meagrely resourceful. At every step of their struggle to expose corruption and thuggi (fraud), the dice was heavily loaded against them. But ultimately with their extraordinary grit and tenacity they achieved the goal-it was triumph of indomitable human spirit,” the report states. 



From Rs 300 to Rs 15K in 25 yrs
Pradeep Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, March 5
The modus operandi of collecting bribe money in the booth scam, whose lid was by blown off by a magisterial probe by former ADC PS Shergill, kept pace with the time over a period of the past three decades. From Rs 300 per licence in the late 1970s, the bribe amount to estate office (EO) officials went to Rs 15,000 per person in the late 1990s and onwards.

While in the late 1970s, certain unscrupulous hand cart licence holders authorised two leaders - Ram Singh and Krishan Lal Jain - to rent the sites at @Rs 300 per month, Krishan Lal Jain, started subletting the booths for about Rs 1,000 per month and sharing this amount with estate office officials.

The report alleged that money bribe money was paid to Nikka Singh, inspector (enforcement), the process to "accommodate" fraudulent licensees was initiated during this period. "By 1980, nearly 50 such were adjusted against sites vacated by the vegetable rehriwalas having hand cart licences by Ram Singh Jain in connivance with EO officials - DS Balouria, Nikka Singh, RK Arora, Prem Sharma and Bish.

Ram Singh was the main conduit of depositing the prescribed licence fee of Rs 350 with estate officials. As against the Rs 350 licensee, Ram Singh used to collect Rs 1,000 from each licensee to grease the palm of EO officials.

In fact, after the fire in the market on May 23, 1989, the EO issued nearly 100 new hawkers licenses, which became the root cause of rampant corruption in the EO. And with the replacement of Ram Singh as the president by Jai Bhagwan Gupta in 1992 and appointment of Rajeshwar Pathak as general secretary, corruption grew by leaps and bounds and nexus of EO officials, absentee licensees and market office-bearers emerged.

"The information regarding the surveys used to be conveyed to office-bearers, who in turn, informed the absentee licensees about the surveys." On the day of the survey all absentee licensees used to mark their presence before the EO officials bringing all surveys under a cloud.

"In 1991, 320 provisional identity cards for allotment of booths were issued by PL Dhami, in charge, rehri branch, by charging hefty amount from the absentee licensees through Rajeshwar Pathak who distributed the identity cards personally in the market," the report mentioned. 

Good, bad & ugly verifications

The reports terms verifications of the market done by DS Balouria, tehsildar (colonies) as false and for monetary consideration. However, HR Nagra, tehsildar (retired), did his verifications without giving undue benefit to the ineligible licensees. The CID report (May 24, 2006) signed by Devinder Singh, DSP, is genuine. On the other hand, the CID report (July 26, 2007) signed by Jagbir Singh, DSP, the CID report (June 25, 2009) signed by Satbir Singh, DSP, CID report signed by Satbir Singh, the CID report signed by Jagbir Singh and CID report signed by Satbir Singh, all dated December 3, 2007, are false reports with a view to give benefit to the ineligible licensees of the Bijwara rehri market. 

Changing modus operandi

l  In 1992,when Jai Bhagwan Gupta and Rajeshwar Pathak became president and general secretary of the market, PL Dhami, Prem Sharma, Nikka Singh and Ashok Bish changed the modus operandi of the surveys. Instead of informing the absentee licensees about the survey in advance, they used to surprise surveys to have a better bargaining position. The new method fetched an amount of Rs 5,000 per survey per licensee

l  In 1995 during the tenure of Suresh Kumar alias Goldy, EO officials devised a new method of making money by conducting more number of surveys in the market

l  Another method to extract more money was to mark the physically present licensee as "absent". Goldy is alleged to have collected amount varying between Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 per licensee and hand it over to EO officials

l  A secret inquiry marked by the then DC Arun Kumar in early 2004-05 was used by Prem Sharma to mint money. Prem Sharma used to tell Goldy and Rameshwar Pathak about it and demand money from the absentee licensees 

How senior officials were mislead

In 1999, a delegation of the market met the then DC-cum-Estate Officer M Ramsekhar for the construction of the pucca booths in the market. Ramsekhar told the delegation that the booths could not constructed in the market due to "goonda raj" and no officials was willing was go to the market. This was the propaganda orchestrated by Ashwani Kumar, Prem Sharma, Ashok Bish, DS Balouria, in connivance with Jai Bhagwan Gupta, Ramesh Jain, Goldy, Om Prakash Julania and Sunheri Lal, who never wanted the pucca booths to be constructed in the Sector 22 market. Whenever there was a move to construct pucca booths, nearly 50 rich absentee licensees used to collect Rs 10,000 each and pay about Rs 5 lakh to the estate offices officials. All this information was given to the Chandigarh administration in 1996. But the middle level officials use to tear off these complaints saying to the senior officers that the complainants were "badmash" (scoundrels) people. 

DC’s orders! Who cares?

On the basis of the complaint by the Dinesh Sood, the present DC and Estate Officer Brijendra Singh had given instructions to EO staff that possession letter should not be given to the ineligible allottees till the pendency of the inquiry. However, Ashok Bish and Dharam Singh have possession letter to Sat narain, Sunil Jain, Ram Parkash, Gurdev Singh, Pawan Kumar and Naresh Kumar.



60-yr-old man rapes minor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
In a shocking incident, an eight-year-old girl was reportedly raped by a 60-year-old man near a tubewell in the Industrial Area (phase 1) here on Saturday. The police has arrested the suspect, Daya Ram, a gardener employed by a government nursery in Hallomajra on charges of rape.

The incident took place when the victim, who is the daughter of a migrant labourer, was alone at her home situated near the tubewell. Her father had gone off to work at that time and her mother had gone to drop her other two children off at school. On finding the girl alone Ram entered her dwelling and allegedly raped her. Her mother returned at that time following which the suspect tried to flee. She raised an alarm and managed to apprehend Ram, who was then handed over to the police.

The victim, who was found bleeding and with injuries on her genitals, was rushed to the Government multispecialty Hospital, Sector 16. A medical examination was conducted which confirmed rape, the police said.

According to the cops the suspect was acquainted with the victim’s family members.

The girl’s father is employed as a security guard at the tubewell on the night shift while he works as a labourer during daytime. The victim studies in class 2 at the Government School, Makhanmajra.The police also said the suspect tried to threaten the victim.

A case of rape and criminal intimidation under sections 376 & 506 of the Indian Penal Code has been filed at the Industrial Area police station.


DAV-10 Principals’ Tiff
College may not hold annual youth fest
Sumedha Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, March 5
Having affected academics, staff coordination and college security, the six-month long ongoing tiff between two principals of DAV College, Sector 10, has taken its latest toll: for the first time in recent years, the college may not be able to hold its annual youth fest.

The youth fest, which is an integral part of the college campus activities ever since its establishment, has run into trouble over the grant of funds. While “administrative” principal BC Josan has already given a nod for a star night on March 13, “financial” principal Shashi K Gupta has reportedly refused to sanction the funds. Following their repeated failed attempts to get a consensus from both principals over the issue, the student council has approached the DAV management committee to intervene.

“It has been happening for the last five months. Both refuse to agree on any single issue. The fest is an annual feature where an entertainment night is organised after collecting Rs 100 from each student. This money is collected on the conclusion of the academic year by the college authorities. Thus we need to get a nod before using it. With ongoing differences between the two, it has become impossible to organise the function. We approached director colleges of DAV management committee, ML Aeri, who has promised to help us out,” said DAV student council president Sehajpal Singh Sidhu.

Sources said with two principals handling college affairs now, the faculty had been divided in two groups, leaving students harried. “There are numerous cases where key faculty members are skipping classes but nothing can be done, as they have full support of the respective principals. We shall wait until Monday. If the management fails to deal with issues, we will be left with no option, but to protest,” added Sidhu.

DAV ended up having two principals in September 2010. While the DAV management suspended Josan for his alleged corrupt ways and appointed Shashi K Gupta as the new principal, Josan moved court and got permission to stay as the “administrative” principal, while financial powers being handed over to Gupta.

Josan at loggerheads with mgmt

After what now appears to be a period of thaw, DAV College “administrative” principal BC Josan is once again at loggerheads with the DAV management committee. Continuing as the “administrative” head for the last five months after his infamous suspension by the committee and appointment of Shahi K Gupta as the “financial” principal, Josan has accused the management of instigating staff members to not cooperate with him.

In a letter addressed to director colleges DAV management committee, ML Aeri with copies to Panjab University Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti and DPI (Colleges) Ajoy Sharma, Josan has asked Aeri whether or not he had instructed the college staff to not cooperate with him and to not obey his orders. He has demanded action from PU and DPI (Colleges), as those abiding by Aeri’s instructions have started disrupting college environment.

While efforts to contact Josan and Aeri proved futile, a management committee member on the condition of anonymity rubbished his claims saying, “If there is anything which is wrong with DAV, it is Josan. He is instigating people against Sashi Gupta and blaming us.” 



Booth Scam
‘Poor’ allottees have properties in Delhi, Chandigarh
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh ,March 5
A majority of the absentee licensees at the Bijwara Rehri Market, who fraudulently acquired booth in the Krishna Market in Sector 41, are reported to millionaires with commercial properties in Chandigarh, Delhi, Mohali and Himachal Pradesh.

The magisterial probe into the booth scam conducted by PCS officer PS Shergill gave enough food for thought to those who thought that the rehabilitation was meant for poor vendors. In fact, the ineligible affluent persons allegedly getting booths was brought to the notice to then then DC –cum-Estate Officer Arun Kumar on May 11,2005 even before the draw (in 2007) through a 50-page complaint by the main complainant in the case.

“The EO officials led by Prem Sharma went to the house of Goldy (president). Sharma told Goldy and other members of market.the EO officials extracted lakhs of rupees from the ineligible absentee licensees and made them eligible for the allotment,” the report alleged.

Doubting the role of the police officials in conducting verifications through the CID, the report alleged that Inspector Bishi Ram(now retired) conducted inspection onf a pre-fixed day. Even the inspection done by ASIs Hira and Sucha Singh was done with prior intimation which gave enough time to the absentee licensees to present in the market and file affidavits.

Giving another dimension to the perception that the needy were not given the booth, the Shergill inquiry reports alleged that over 25 booth had been sold illegally through Rajeshwar Pathak.the current market price of the booth is quoted at around Rs 25 lakh.It is with this money that the fraudulent allottees had purchased residential and commercial properties in and around Chandigarh. 

EO staffer pocketed Rs 1 crore?

According to the report,there are 100 persons in the Krishna Market,who have been allotted booths illegally and fraudulently and Prem Sharma is said to have taken a minimum of Rs 1 lakh from them.

Sham EO meetings?

From 2003 to 2008 seven meetings of the screening committees were held to examine and determine the eligibility of the licensees.The proceedings of the screening committees were totally controlled by Ashwani Kumar, AEO, and Prem Sharma, Superintent(retired) by getting false affidavits submitted from the members of the market, by getting false verifications from the Tehsildar(Colonies) to make the ineligible licensees as eligible for allotment.The other members of the committee were misled by deliberate suppression of information.

Asking for the moon

The report recommends that the officers posted as Assistant Estate Officer and Tehsildar(Colonies) should be impeccable integrity which should be especially enquired into and certified by the CBI and the personnel department of the Chandigarh Administration

Pat on the back for fellow PCS officer

While PS Shergill was unsparing his remarks against HCS officer Ashwani Kumar terming his as “mastermind of all corruption in the Estate Office”, he was quite generous to his fellow PCS officer Amit Talwar. “Amit Talwar examined these cases in office and well as the member of screening committees objectively and honestly to safeguard the interests of the administration,” the report claimed.

Legally, factually incorrect?

Is Shergill report legally and factually correct? Shergill started working on the report in his capacity as SDM (Central) on Jan.13, 2011 on the day he had already relinquished his charge of the said post. Thereby he had become functus-officio on the said date and had no authority to prepare the said report, contended Pankaj Chandgothia of the Socail Campaign against Misinformation (SCAM). 



90 shopkeepers challaned in Sec 22
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
Around 90 shopkeepers were challaned for encroaching on the municipal corporation land during an anti-encroachment drive in the rehri and main market of Sector 22 here today.

The drive was conducted under the supervision of MC Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach and assisted by inspector KD Sharma and Kashmira Singh along with the enforcement staff of the corporation. The enforcement staff cleared the passage in the market where the shopkeepers had kept packets of clothes and other items.

During the drive, the enforcement staff seized six truckloads of items. The Additional Commissioner said such drives would continue in the future.



Spring Fest to be a three-day affair from next year
Tribune News Service

A child takes a look at flowers after the inaugration of the 25th Spring Festival at Panchkula on Saturday.
A child takes a look at flowers after the inaugration of the 25th Spring Festival at Panchkula on Saturday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Panchkula, March 5
The Spring Fest in the town will be a three-day event from next year onwards, said Rajender Kataria, Administrator, Haryana Urban Development Authority, to the media here today.

Kataria said that senior citizens of the city were regularly visiting the town park in Sector 5, so special events would be held for them from next year onwards.

The Spring Fest, inaugurated by KK Jalan, Financial Commissioner and Chief Secretary, Town and Country Planning, and organised at Sector 5 town park by the Horticulture wing of HUDA each year has once again failed to get out of the shadow of the “Festival of Gardens” held at Chandigarh. The residents were left somewhat wanting for more.

There was nothing new in the competitions or whatever the cultural extravaganza offered. Bhangra and gatka were performed and stick and ropewalkers were roped in as had been done earlier too. Thousands of people visited the Spring Fest on the first day from all over the region.

Meanwhile the results of various completions held at the spot were also declared today. In the painting competition for below 10-year Charu of DC Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 7, got the first prize while Aanchal Beniwal of Satluj Public School got the second prize. In the open category, Amanat of Sacred Heart School bagged the first prize while Neha Raheja of Hall Mark Public School, Sector 15, got the second prize.

Similarly in the face-painting competition Deepak of Hall Mark Public School secured the first position while Honey and Preeti of Satluj Public School and Chaman Lal DAV School, respectively, got the second prize.



Cross-cases registered after group clash
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, March 5
The police today registered cross-cases against 10 members of two groups after a clash at Singhpura village late last night.ASI Gurvinder Singh, the investigating officer, said Sandeep Singh Multani, a resident of Multani Farm, Singhpura, in his complaint alleged that he was watching television around 10.15 pm when two cars carrying 12 persons stopped outside his house and they knock at his door.

When he refused to open the door, the miscreants broke open the door and smashed windowpanes besides damaging a motorcycle parked outside the house, Sandeep alleged.

The complainant also told the police that when his brother Kirandeep Singh was returning home in the evening, the accused — Chinderpal, Madan, alias Madi, Dilip, Amrik, Simranjit, all residents of Bazigar Basti Nagla village, and five others — rammed a motorcycle into the former’s scooter and allegedly manhandled him.

However, in his statement to the police, Chinderpal alleged that he was returning from Zirakpur when Kirandeep, Sandeep, Jasmit, Sarbjit, alias Sabi, Sandeep Singh, alias Natta, and four unidentified youths stopped him near Singhpura village and started abusing him.

When he objected to their behavior, the accused hit him in the head with a rod, leaving him unconscious.

The police said a passerby informed Chinderpal’s family about the incident and they took him to the GMCH-32, Chandigarh, for treatment.

The SHO said 10 persons were booked under various Sections of the IPC after recording the statements of both sides.



Tytler’s effigy burnt

Mohali, March 5
The district unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Urban) today burnt an effigy of Jagdish Tytler, one of the alleged perpetrators of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, on being inducted as a member of the Congress Working Committee by its president Sonia Gandhi. The effigy was burnt at the Phase VII chowk.

Amrik Singh Mohali, a member of the SAD working committee, said the Congress had done injustice to the Sikhs by giving undue importance to Tytler instead of punishing him for allegedly getting thousands of Sikhs killed during the riots.

He said Sikhs would keep fighting for justice and hold demonstrations till they achieved their aim. — TNS



2-day police custody for accused
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
A day after the crime branch of the UT Police busted a lottery gang operating from Pakistan and arrested one of its members, the accused, Amit Khan, was sent to two-day police custody today.

Further investigations into the case revealed that the accused had similarly conned many persons in Amritsar and Jalandhar. A case of lottery fraud had been registered in Jalandhar and the police there had been informed. The police had recovered Rs 11 lakh, fake voter identity cards, Dish TV coupons and cell phones from his possession yesterday.

Amit Khan used to work for Pakistan-based Abrahim and Muneer, who used to call people in the region and inform them that they have won a lottery. After gullible people fell in their trap, the swindlers use to ask them to submit money for bank fees, tax, insurance, storage, shipping and other transporting costs so that they can directly transfer the prize money into his accounts in the State Bank of India, Sector 17 branch.



Excise duty on readymade garments
Retailers want rollback

Anil Jerath/TNS

Chandigarh, March 5
Opposing the 10 per cent excise duty on branded apparel, the Readymade Garment Retailers Association today said it would make representations to the government seeking a rollback in the proposed levy. Ashok Jain, spokesperson for the association, said: “Our representatives will be in Delhi from next week onwards to meet finance and textile ministry officials seeking a rollback in the excise duty.” He said the city’s middle class was already reeling under food inflation and spiralling realty prices. The levy of 10 per cent duty on clothing would prove to be another nail in their coffin.

India’s largest clothing manufacturers and retailers, including Pantaloons, Provogue, Pepe and Reebok, have declared a nationwide bandh on March 7 in protest against the levy of excise on readymade garments in the Union Budget-2011.

“Contrary to popular impression, branded garments are not just the kind you buy at high-end stores. Once the excise duty is implemented, not only shirts and trousers but every item of clothing, even vests and undergarments sold on the pavement carrying either a name, logo or symbol, will become more expensive,” said Rahul Mahajan of Fashion Shoppe in Sector 17.

SS Sukhija of Navneet Garments in Sector 19 said due to the overall inflationary trend and newly levied duty, consumers would end up paying 20-25 per cent more for readymade garments.

Given the precarious business economics, garment manufacturers and retailers want the government to rollback the duty.

“The entire apparel industry is against the excise duty. We will take a call by evening today, based on consensus of the members. Nobody wants to keep the stores shut as it results in a loss of business,” said Sukhija. Readymade garment retailer leaders also pointed to harassment by government officials. “Excise will hinder the path to a level-playing field. It will further widen the price disparity between the organised and unorganised sectors, prompting wrong elements to enter the industry and evade taxes,” they added. 



Mountview surpasses sales target
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
In spite of several constraints, Hotel Mountview, the only government-run five-star hotel in the tricity, has registered a gross sales of Rs 30 crore up to February, 2011, which is Rs 2 crore more than the target of Rs 28 crore for the 2010-11 fiscal.

According to RP Singla, general manager of the hotel, the hotel registered sales of Rs 3.67 crore in February alone, against Rs 2.56 crore collected during the corresponding month of the last fiscal year.

“The hotel has not only made an ascending graph of all-time high sales but also netted Rs 2 crore more than the target for this fiscal year and the stigma of non-performance, which is generally associated with some government wings, has been washed clean,” stated Singla.

“The hotel has recorded total earnings of Rs 11.58 crore from food sales, Rs 2.5 crore more than Rs 9.2 crore of the last fiscal year. It has netted Rs 14.93 crore from room sales, Rs 3.66 crore more than the room sales netted in 2009-10. Also, there has been an increase of Rs 1.86 crore in bar and banquet sales compared to the corresponding period of the last fiscal year,” said Singla.



Getting examination certificate an uphill task for
PU toppers
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
Securing first or second rank in examinations conducted by Panjab University may not be as tough as procuring a certificate of having passed them. With the deadline for certain prestigious scholarships expiring in March 2011, research scholars, particularly in the varsity’s science departments, are running from pillar to post to get hold of certificates, which state their rank in the exams held for their previous degrees.

These students are also forced shell out Rs 400 as fee for a certificate and too after repeated visits to the PU administrative block. Certificates mentioning ranks in examinations are mandatory to apply for certain scholarships.

As part of tradition certificates stating ranks are given free of cost to students at the university’s annual convocation, along with the gold and silver medals to first and second rank holders, respectively.

At this year’s convocation held on February 14, however, these certificates were not given out. Instead varsity officials announced another convocation would be held shortly, apparently in anticipation of the Indian president’s visit to the campus.

However, students are now in a fix since the deadline for some scholarships, including INSPIRE that is offered by the Indian government’s science & technology department, expires on March 20.

“The university must ensure that at least the toppers don’t have to fork out extra money to get their certificates. Several research scholars are keen to apply for scholarships offered by the central government, but we require our certificates that state our ranks. It seems the struggle to get hold of the certificates is proving tougher than efforts to excel in the exams”, said a PhD student on condition of anonymity.

PU registrar AK Bhandari could not be reached for his comments on the issue. However, a senior varsity official said, “The university will ensure the top rank holders don’t have to pay any fee to obtain their exam certificates”.

More scholarships

The Panjab University syndicate on Saturday increased the number of scholarships from 10 to 20 for toppers in the entrance examination for the PhD degree. These scholarships will be awarded to students studying in various departments of the varsity 



Meritorious students felicitated

Chandigarh, March 5
Meritorious students of Bhavan Vidyalaya were felicitated at the annual prize distribution function held on the school premises here.

The students who excelled in the field of academics, art, literature and cultural activities were awarded top honours.

RK Saboo, chairman, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chandigarh kendra, distributed the prizes among the winners. Vice-chairman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chandra Mohan, secretary PR Aggarwal and school principal Vineeta Arora also presided over the function. — TNS



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