C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PGI technicians go on indefinite strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
Patient care at the PGI is once again set to be affected as operating theatre technicians went on an indefinite strike from this evening. It has been barely a month that the technicians observed a strike for five days against the delay in the acceptance of their demands.

Today, however, association members alleged that they were insulted by Prof Jyotsna Wig, head of the department of anaesthesia, over their demands. She then issued orders to transfer the president of the association, Jagjjt Singh, the technicians alleged.

“We submitted a list of our demands to be taken up at the department level,” said Manoj, general secretary of the association. “This offended her and she called us to her office today and insulted us,” he claimed. The strike will continue till an apology was tendered by Professor Wig, he said.

Surgeries Hit

n Nearly 110 OT technicians joined the strike on Monday

n At least 200 major surgeries are conducted in the PGI every day

n Surgical operations are bound to be affected at the 20 main operating theatres at Nehru Hospital, nine OTs at the emergency ward, and the gynaecology department, besides the advance paediatric and eye centres.



Heritage Buildings: City’s commercial hub in decay
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Blackening of the concrete surface of the weather-beaten 30 Bays Building in Sector 17, Chandigarh, has defaced the building.
Blackening of the concrete surface of the weather-beaten 30 Bays Building in Sector 17, Chandigarh, has defaced the building.

Wild vegetative growth near the General Post Office in Sector 17-C of Chandigarh has started damaging buildings.
Wild vegetative growth near the General Post Office in Sector 17-C of Chandigarh has started damaging buildings.

Chandigarh, March 14
The architectural heritage of the city’s main commercial hub, Sector 17, is in a state of decay with no uniform policy being formulated for its repair and restoration over the years.

The report of the sub-committee formed as part of the expert committee for the preservation of architectural heritage of Chandigarh comprising UT Chief Architect Sumit Kaur, Punjab Engineering College University of Technology Director Manoj Datta and Chandigarh Housing Board Chief Engineer GS Rosha has observed that vagaries of weather and lack of maintenance are telling upon the condition of major buildings in the sector.

“Though there is no major threat to the stability of these structures, there are definite signs of neglect because of poor/unplanned maintenance which the state agencies need to monitor through a well-defined maintenance protocol that will help in identifying crucial areas for consideration under any remedial/restoration works at a later stage,” the report says.

During the preparation of the report, the committee found damage to the buildings in 17 Bays Building, Neelam Plaza (both in Sector 17), and Gandhi Bhavan, Fine Arts Building, Library Building and the Administrative Block at Panjab University and residential houses (Type 13) in Sector 22. 


What is decaying...
In Sector 17

n Vegetative growth on rooftops

n Blackening of exposed surfaces of buildings

n Certain parapets partially broken

n Spalled concrete cover, exposing reinforcement

n Damaged facia partially broken at certain places with exposed reinforcement

(Left) The spalling of the concrete cover of the columns of connecting passages of a building; and the vagaries of weather and absence of maintenance have taken a toll on another architectural heritage building, resulting in the cracking of certain parapets, in Sector 17-D of Chandigarh.
(Left) The spalling of the concrete cover of the columns of connecting passages of a building; and the vagaries of weather and absence of maintenance have taken a toll on another architectural heritage building, resulting in the cracking of certain parapets, in Sector 17-D of Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan 

In Panjab University

n Blackening of concrete structures

n Seepage from roofs and drainage pipes

n Falling of finished cladding panels at some locations

n Vegetation growth in some buildings

n Cracks in rubble masonry



Mahila Bhavan
Shoddy ground work stalls construction
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The construction of a mahila bhavan, a key project of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC), is in the doldrums. Reason: After seven months of allotment of work, the authorities are redesigning after they found that the design was not suitable for the project due to the foundation.

Water emerged at a depth of 14 feet at the site, which was approved for the building after soil testing a year ago. An 18-ft foundation has already been dug at the site. The construction, which commenced on February 14, has now been stopped by the contractor.

Chief Engineer SS Bidda confirmed that the MC was redesigning the project due to rise in the water level at the site. Soil testing was conducted before approving the site, but after the passage of time, the water level had risen.

Records of the corporation show that last year the contractor had told the authorities that a revised drawing approved for the project was not feasible due to the water level status. Sources revealed that in a written communication, the contractor had warned the authorities that since the site was not feasible for construction, if there was any delay in the completion of the project, the
company should not be held responsible.

Sources said a controversy had also arisen between the contractor and the authorities on the allotment of work. An official said due to some “technical faults” in e-tendering, the company had failed to quote the amount to be charged for some additional work. Now, the contractor is being forced to undertake the additional work free of cost for the mistake committed by him.

The contractor, Rahul Kohli, said there was a technical problem with regard to the site due to which the project had been stalled.



Skipping Classes
Tuition centres make up liberally to schools
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
While the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) mandates a minimum attendance of 75 per cent for students to appear in class XII boards, over a thousand students from across the city have managed to make it to board centres despite of being short of lectures, all thanks to the easily available medical certificates.

Going by the latest CBSE records, 45 per cent of defaulters have got their lectures condoned showing viral fever as the reason, which in many cases repeated itself every month, earning almost 10 days of rest for the student. Also in the list are cold and cough, which was quoted as a reason by 25 per cent, muscle pull, pains and sprains 15 per cent, stomachache 10 per cent and other ailments 5 per cent.

“As per our norms, the regional office can condone up to 15 per cent of lectures on basis of a medical certificate, which are easy to procure. Though the official figure stands at 1,000, there are hundreds of others who may have not even attended 10 lectures, but are able to wriggle out because schools never inform us. This is a basic flaw in our system which we have tried to rectify many times, but are yet to succeed,” said a CBSE official. The “flaw” has proved to be a boon for the flourishing nexus between some schools and medical and engineering tuition centres. Schools primarily “tie up” with these centres and allow students to skip classes and attend tuitions in return of a handsome amount.

“I as a principal having nothing to do with it. The management has tied up with a tuition centre and students studying there are allowed to skip classes. We mark them present so that there are no attendance hassles,” a principal of the school of a renowned education society said.

Agreeing to the “arrangement”, the owner of a centre in Sector 34 revealed: “You cannot clear engineering or medical entrance exams by going to schools. We have a tie-up with three schools. We ensure there are no admission hassles,” he said. There is a second category of schools which despite of the board’s repeated reminders fail to intimate students about their attendance status and then charge hefty fine in lieu of roll numbers.

Hefty Fine

In a recent complaint filed against DAV school in Sector 15, it was alleged that the school was giving roll numbers to students who had attended only 16-odd lectures by charging fines as high as Rs 5,000. Principal Rakesh Sachdeva said: “Nobody has such low attendance in the school. The fine is charged for skipping classes and exams and to motivate students to attend school. We issue proper receipts and do mention it in our admission bylaws which are duly signed by parents.” CBSE director RJ Khanderao and District Education Officer Chanchal Singh said private schools were free to decide the fee and fines.


Punjab Budget a mixed bag
Punjab Finance Minister Upinderjit Kaur’s “no tax” maiden Budget for the fiscal year 2011-12 has evoked mixed reaction from a cross section of society. Tribune correspondents Umesh Dewan and Rajmeet Singh talked to the people from diverse backgrounds in Patiala and Mohali for their take on the Budget. 

People awaiting news on Punjab Budget at a TV showroom.
People awaiting news on Punjab Budget at a TV showroom. Tribune photos: Rajesh Sachar
A family glued to their television set at their residence in Patiala on Monday.
A family glued to their television set at their residence in Patiala on Monday. Tribune photos: Rajesh Sachar

Allocation of Rs 1,441 crore for various schemes to be undertaken in the education sector for the year 2011-12 is a laudable step. It is good that Rs 60 crore have been earmarked for providing furniture in government primary schools. The budgetary allocation of Rs 142 crore for the sports sector in Punjab is also appreciable. The Budget emphasises on the promotion of sports and youth welfare, which is the need of the hour.

— Dr Dharminder Singh Ubha, principal, Khalsa College, Patiala

I am really disappointed with the Budget. Just Rs 229 crore have been earmarked for higher education, which is too less. Since 1980, the budgetary allocation for higher education has been on the decline. In wake of the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, the Punjab government has to pay 20 per cent of the arrears to university and college teachers, from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2010. These arrears are in hundreds of crores and with the budgetary allocation of just Rs 229 crore, it seems that the state government will not be able to clear the arrears.

— Dr Ranjit Singh Ghuman, Professor and Head, Department of Economics, Punjabi University

The allocation of Rs 720 crore to be spent by the health department is a welcome step. The announcement in the Budget that the Emergency Medical Response Service will be made functional by March 31, 2011 is also good. Since, these ambulances will be available within 20 minutes of an emergency call from anywhere in the state by dialing a toll free number 108, it will provide great relief to the people in the state. As far as the rural healthcare infrastructure is concerned, there should have been more emphasis on strengthening rural medical care facilities.

— Dr. Aslam Parvez, state president, Rural Medical Services Association

I am really disappointed with the Budget. The agriculture sector has been completely ignored in the Budget. In wake of the fact that farmers had to suffer losses on account of spurious pesticides and fertilisers, the farming community representatives have been demanding that mobile van service for taking random samples of the fertilisers and pesticides should be launched but in today’s Budget, there has been no such announcement. Apart from this, no announcement has been made to reduce the present rate of interest of 11 to 12 per cent, being charged by the Central Co-Operative Bank’s on farm loans.

— Satnam Singh Behru - Farmer and state president, Consortium of Indian Farmers Associations

I feel that Punjab Budget is good for students, as emphasis has been laid upon providing quality education in government schools of the state. The allocation of funds for the infrastructure upgradation of government schools is really appreciable. As far as higher education is concerned, there should have been more allocation of funds. The state government should have kept in mind that higher education is becoming unaffordable day by day.

— Jasbir Singh, student

The announcement of investing Rs 10 crore for industrial focal points is too little as far improving the infrastructure in the industrial belts was concerned. There is dire need to improve infrastructure in terms of roads and power situation as far the industrial units in Mohali are concerned.”

— BS Anand, former president, Mohali Industries Association 

The announcements and budgetary provisions made in the annual Budget should translate into development projects on the ground. The utmost concern for entrepreneurs is improvement in the power situation. The industry in Mohali should be declared as the no power cut zone.

— Devinder Singh, entrepreneur in Industrial Area, Phase 9, Mohali 

Real estate is an important element of development. The policies of allowing mega projects should be aimed at facilitation while ensuring that the realtors fulfil their social commitment of constructing houses for economically weaker sections (EWS). At the same time the investors in the mega project should feel secure.

— Rajinder Sharma, a former Chief Town Planner, Punjab Government

It is a populist Budget keeping in mind the coming elections. No new tax is certainly a welcome step. The real estate sector has registered an upward trend in Punjab. The announcement on infrastructure development will go a long way in boosting the economy.

— Shalinder Anand, realtor

There is no new announcement. Being the election year, the Budget has been given a populist look. Contrary to the development agenda being claimed by the SAD-BJP Government, the situation at the ground level is bad.

— KS Bedi, former MC councillor and an entrepreneur

The figures presented for various programmes by the finance minister seems to be attractive but the biggest worry is the Budget deficit. The proposal to have no new taxes to fulfil this deficit may further swell the already huge debt pushing Punjab on the back foot . The government employees are waiting for their Sixth Pay Commission arrears. Encouraging sports, education and health facilities are a welcome step.

— Dr D S Multani, president, Shelter Chartiable Trust





Augmentation of water supply on cards
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The water scarcity problem in the city will be solved soon, with the UT administration going ahead with phases VII and VIII of the Kajauli scheme.

The project of augmentation of water supply by laying additional lines for setting up phases VII and VIII at Kajauli has got the green signal from the Punjab government and the UT administration.

The project, which will give the city 34 million gallons per day (MGD) more, is being recommended to the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) by the administration following its state-level steering committee meeting past week.

The authorities are hopeful that the project will get the nod from the Central ministry as the earlier project of augmentation of water supply (phases V and VI) was approved by the MoUD in November, 2009.

Phases V and VI of the scheme were shelved, as the Punjab government did not give its consent for the release of 40 MGD that time. But this time, the Punjab government has given its nod for the augmentation under phases VII and VIII of the scheme by 40 MGD.

“Under the scheme, Chandigarh will get 34 MGD while 3 MGD each will be supplied to Haryana and Chandimandir. There will be no share of Punjab under the scheme,” said SS Bida, Chief Engineer, municipal corporation (MC).

The cost of the required land for the project would be borne by the MC, which had already approved the agenda for acquisition of 66 acres for the project in its 159th meeting in October past year.

“We are waiting for approval of the MoUD, following which work will be started immediately,” said Bida, adding that it would take around three years for the project to be completed.



Pressure eludes second floor'
Sanjay Bumbroo/TNS

Panchkula, March 14
With the onset of summer, residents on the second floor have started facing water crisis in view of low pressure in many sectors of the town.

Though all sectors are facing problems, the situation in Sectors 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 19 is the worst. Residents of these sectors are a harassed lot.

“It has already been two weeks that we are facing this problem. The situation is worse for those residing on the first and second floors. They are facing low water pressure in the morning and evening hours. We used to get water till 9 am a few days ago. As the pressure is very low, we have to use an electric motor to fill water tanks on the roof,” said Anita Sharma, a resident of Sector 10.

A resident of Sector 9, Bimla Sachdeva, said it took about 10 minutes to fill a 15-litre bucket from a tap. The situation was worse in extreme heat conditions, when there was no water supply on the first floor and they had to move to the ground floor to fetch water for drinking, she added.

Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) officials claimed that they had not received any complaint from residents in this regard.

The situation was better this year, they said, pointing out that they had installed three more tubewells in the town, taking the total number to 170.

Executive Engineer Preet Mohan Singh said recently, three tubewells had become operational, two in Sector 12-A and one in Sector 15.

He said most of the triple-storeyed houses had a single pipeline and the pressure became low when people on the ground floor opened taps. Some residents said it was high time HUDA started issuing notices to those who wasted water by washing cars with hose pipes.

“If officials keep sitting on the issue, the problem will only aggravate,” said Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 19.



Road widening has residents fuming
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The ongoing widening of internal roads of Sector 36 has become a source of inconvenience and harassment to residents of the area.

The underground water pipeline has been damaged due to unplanned digging being carried out by the contractor engaged by the municipal corporation.

While the residents have no objection to the work, they are infuriated at the callous attitude of construction officials and workers, who are causing problems to them.

A JCB machine, being used to dig earth, damaged the pipeline and telephone wires. A resident, PS Gill, complained that ever since the work started, miseries of residents had increased.

He said the work was being carried out in an irresponsible manner as labourers had cut wires, due to which all telephone lines remained disconnected for the past three days.

Another resident said labourers unloaded heaps of stones at the entrances of several houses a fortnight ago. He said they came again and dug up the road till the boundary walls, blocking the entrances which residents had cleared on their own.

The residents also claimed that while digging the ground in front of the entrance to houses, labourers had promised to make some temporary arrangement, but went away without fulfilling the promise. They said a number of accidents had occurred as the contractor had not put up any signboard.

The stacking of material, including slabs, gravel and paver blocks, along the roads had been hindering the movement of vehicles.

While motorists had a tough time negotiating vehicles on narrow stretches, bicycle riders and pedestrians were the worst affected.

As the construction material was stacked on both sides of the roads, cyclists and pedestrians were at risk of being hit by fast-moving vehicles.



‘Fatal’ Medication PGI sets up panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The PGI has constituted a two-member committee comprising Dr Ajay Bahl and Dr Sanjay Jain from the departments of cardiology and internal medicine, respectively, to investigate into the allegations of the family of Anil Kumar, who allegedly died in the PGI due to wrong medication on March 3.

Anil Kumar was brought to the emergency ward of the PGI around 9.30 am after he complained of uneasiness. He was suffering from a heart ailment. According to Gulshan Bala, the deceased’s wife, till 11.30 am no one attended to him and after repeated requests, he was put on a drip.

She alleged that wrong medication was given to him and his condition started deteriorating.

A cardiologist mentioned on the emergency card of Anil Kumar that he had shown reaction to a medicine given to him.



Protest rally by guest teachers

Panchkula, March 14
High drama prevailed at the Mini Secretariat today when members of the Haryana Atithi Adhyapak Sangh (HAAS) held a protest rally against the indifferent attitude of the district administration towards the acceptance of their memorandum.

Rambhagat Shashtri, district president of the sangh, said they had sought a prior appointment from the Deputy Commissioner to submit the memorandum. But on reaching the DC’s office, they were asked to give the memorandum to SDM KK Kalson as the DC was not in his office. He said ultimately they had to hand over the memorandum to City Magistrate as the SDM too was not available, as he had left the office at 5 pm.

Shashtri said state-level rallies were being held at all district headquarters in the state, as around 16,000 guest teachers who were working on a contractual basis, were demanding regularisation. — TNS



Building Maps
MC hikes approval fee for plots
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, March 14
Local residents will have to shell out more for getting building maps approved from the municipal council, as the civic body has hiked the approval fee for residential and commercial sites.

An MC official said the building map charges had been increased following a letter from the local government department. The enhanced charges have come into effect from March 1. The proposal was approved by the councillors during a recent council meeting, the official added.

According to sources, the building map approval fee for residential sites has been increased to Rs 323 per sq yd from the earlier Rs 80 per sq yd for residential sites of 50 sq yd to 125 sq yd and Rs 213 per sq yd for 250 sq yd plot and above.

The hike in the fee for construction maps of residential sites will directly affect the owners of small residential plots, as from now on same fee will be charged for all sizes of plots.

For commercial sites, the rate has been increased from Rs 350 per sq yd to Rs 2,815 per sq yd.

Residents have sought a rollback in the manifold hike in building map approval fee. They rue that the property prices in the town have skyrocketed and it was already difficult for the common man to buy a plot in the vicinity.

“Earlier, we had to pay only Rs 35,000 to get the outlay (map) of a 100 sq per yard plot passed from the municipal council. With the revision, we will have to pay Rs 2.85 lakh for the same. The hike is irrational,” says Mahinder Singh, a local shopkeeper.

“We are already taking loans to purchase land and buy construction material. Now we will have to take loans for getting the building map approved,” says Raj Kumar, a resident of Dhakoli.

An MC official said the fee would be increased by 10 per cent compounded every year and the first increase would be applicable from April 1, 2012. The official added that for group housing projects, the fee would be charged double the rate prescribed for residential areas.

Meanwhile, there has been a sharp drop in the receipt of applications by the municipal council after the revision of the fee. The civic body, which receives around 250 applications every month, has received just 20 applications this month for the approval of building maps. The sources say there are no charges for 50 sq yard plot in both categories.



Panchkula MC allows advertisement hoardings on electricity poles
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Advertisement hoardings put up near the Sector 4-5-10-11 roundabout in Panchkula. From April 1, the MC has allowed display of advertisements on 318 electricity poles across the town to generate more revenue.
Advertisement hoardings put up near the Sector 4-5-10-11 roundabout in Panchkula. From April 1, the MC has allowed display of advertisements on 318 electricity poles across the town to generate more revenue. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, March 14
In order to generate more revenue, the Panchkula municipal council (MC) has decided to allow advertisement hoardings on electricity poles throughout the town from April 1.

The council has also decided to invite tenders for the installation of LED advertisement display boards at three places in the town as well.

This is for the first time that LED advertisement boards will be put up in the town.

Sources in the council say the move will help the civic body generate 10 per cent more revenue as compared to last year.

The council will allocate work for a three-year period and is expected to make huge revenue from its new policy, say officials.

Talking to the TNS, MC Executive Officer KK Jain said the expression of interest had been invited from the interested parties and they would finalise the firm by March 28.

He said they would outsource advertisement tenders on 318 electricity poles in various parts of the town. He added that in 2009, the municipal council had given over 130 sites across the town on a five-year contract to Outdoor Communication to advertise through billboards.

However, residents felt that these advertisement boards would deface the town.

Civic body vice-president BB Singal said though it was important to generate funds, the sanctity of the town needed to be maintained.

He said the council officials had failed to take councillors into confidence before taking any decision on the new advertisement policy.



Irregularities in PF accounts
Take action or face agitation, BJP to MC
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 14
Alleging grave irregularities in the provident fund accounts of sanitation employees of the local municipal council, the BJP has threatened to launch an agitation if the guilty are not brought to book soon.

Addressing mediapersons here today, state BJP treasurer Gianchand Gupta said it was shocking that the local administration had done nothing to bring the guilty to book despite a departmental inquiry that had indicted officials as well as contractors for financial embezzlement worth over Rs 2.5 crore.

Gupta alleged that even though the contractor of the municipal council had been deducting the provident fund from the salaries of around 300 sanitation workers, he had not deposited the same in the employees’ accounts for the past over four years.

He alleged that contractors, in connivance with MC officials, had got away with their wrongdoing by submitting affidavits that they had been depositing the provident fund in the employees’ accounts.

The inquiry conducted two years ago by the then city magistrate, however, exposed the same, he added.

The BJP leader said though the inquiry officer examined the period of two years — from 2005 and 2006 — there had been same allegations by the sanitation workers to this date.

He said it was surprising that the administration was tightlipped over the issue even though the employees had been protesting against the same.

He said if the guilty were not brought to book soon, his party would be forced to hold protest in front of the office of the civic body.

One-way flow

A contractor of the municipal council has been accused of deducting provident fund from the salaries of around 300 sanitation workers and not depositing the same in the employees’ accounts for the past over four years



Rs 88 cr more in PU’s kitty
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
Panjab University (PU) is in a peculiar situation, it has been sanctioned ` 88 crore by the UT administration, but it does not know how to use this money.

Responding to the administration’s approval letter, PU has sought a clarification on how to use the grant constructively, claimed the UT officials.

Sources in the UT administration revealed that these funds were allotted to PU in the last year’s budget to enable it to meet its requirements. “However, the process of sanctioning and releasing the funds is taking place now,” they added.

“The funds have not been released by the UT so far. However, an official letter informing about the ‘sanction’ has already been sent. To this Panjab University has asked the administration how to use these funds,” said a senior UT administration official.

Senior university officials also confirmed receiving such a letter from the UT, although PU Vice-Chancellor Ranbir Chander Sobti was not available for comments.

In addition to this amount in its kitty, PU is also close to grabbing ` 50 crore for development and project work as part of the potential for excellence scheme of the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The UGC team members, who were on a three-day visit to PU for the physical assessment, said out of 10 universities shortlisted by the UGC in the country, five would be awarded ` 50 crore.

During their visit this year, members had also termed PU as a “legendary” institution. They expressed satisfaction with the academic discipline and commented that teaching and non-teaching departments were in ‘perfect harmony’.

On the funding pattern of the university, certain PU officials said they were expecting an official confirmation on PU’s centrally funded structure soon from the Union government. 



First-ever by schools
4,000 to take Class X exam today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
More than 4,000 city students will appear for the first-ever school conducted Class X board examination tomorrow. These students have opted out of the CBSE exams and decided to take school exams instead, while a majority of their counterparts chose to stick to conventional system just to be on the safer side.

“The day I came to know about the board issuing similar certificates for both the exams, I decided to go for school-conducted examination. My preparation has been stress-free, while my friends appearing in boards are too anxious. We are not too sure but are expecting relatively easier papers. It’s just another school exam for me,” said Rahul Singh, a student. The board had in 2010 made Class X exams optional and allowed students planning to stay with the CBSE after Class X to appear for school exam.

It had directed all schools to follow a specified marking scheme and paper patterns to ensure uniformity. Students appearing either in the CBSE exam or school-conducted exam will be receiving the same certificates.

The board had provided schools with an option to either design their own question paper or choose from different question papers provided by the CBSE in a CD. Only one school Vivek High, Sector 38, framed its papers and sent it to the board for an approval, but received no reply. The schools will be following ‘sets’ system. Interestingly, while schools claim to be abiding by all CBSE laws regarding the conduct of examination, these students are expected to have an edge over others.

“Students will also be appearing in their own schools where teachers are bound to be more helpful and understanding,” said Madhu Bahal, principal KB DAV, Sector 7. Many schools have also expressed apprehensions of a few intentionally setting easier examination papers or helping students cheat, as there will be no observer.



Mass Copying
Education minister blacklists exam centre
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 14
Students were found copying during their second semester Class XII examination being conducted by the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) at Sant Isher Singh School, Sector 70. Punjab Education Minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan conducted a surprise check at the school. The minister was accompanied by PSEB chairman Dr Dalbir Singh Dhillon. He suspended examination centre’s superintendent Shashi Bala. Controller Monica was directed to enforce strict guidelines.

It was found that government instructions were not being followed at examination centres. On the minister’s directions, PSEB chairman blacklisted the examination centre. For regular students, the centre has now been shifted to Government Senior Secondary School, Phase III-B1. Private students will have to appear at Sant Isher School. The entire staff of the examination centre has been changed.



Tussle over nomination of PUSU president

Chandigarh, March 14
The rift between the two lobbies of Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), which led to a violent clash at student centre on the campus last year, has resurfaced. Nomination of a new president and other office-bearers of PUSU resulted in the tussle. One group announced the names of new office-bearers of PUSU a few days ago for the academic session 2011-2012. According to a statement issued by one of the lobbies, Jaskaran Singh Brar, chairman of the Supreme Council of PUSU, has stayed the recent appointments of Jajwinder Singh Sidhu (Judo) as president and of Harsh Tuli as press secretary of PUSU.

Manmmet Sidhu, press secretary of PUSU, today said, “A large number of PUSU supporters had raised the issue of unilateral announcement of new president and press secretary appointed by certain persons. Eventually the appointments have been held back.”

Sidhu added that all senior leaders of the party would be addressing mediapersons at the student centre at 12:15 pm on Tuesday after the meeting of the governing council of PUSU. — TNS



‘ARCHO-2011’ gets off to a flying start
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
A tree-plantation drive and a sports meet marked the commencement of‘ARCHO-2011’, an 18-day annual event, at Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) today.

Pradeep Kumar Bhagat, principal of the college, inaugurated the fest by lighting the traditional lamp.

Bhagat said, “Education and creativity are both important aspects of an architect’s personality. And ARCHO is a good platform for students to showcase their talent.”

Students and teachers planted 150 saplings in a planned manner.

The evening witnessed a host of sports and cultural events like volleyball and splash, in which students participated with zeal. Students have been divided into houses and each house presented their respective flag designs.

“ARCHO is hosted annually by the Chandigarh Association of Students of Architecture. It is the Golden Jubilee Year of the college,” said a final year student.

Rachit Kaushal, president of the CASA, said, “Four houses-Ashoka, Kalinga, Kanishka and Maurya will compete for the top honours. A cultural evening will sum up the fest with the performances of students in various cultural events.”



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