C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


P’kula gender ratio far better than UT
n District population: 5,58,890 n Panchkula town population: 2,10,175
n Literacy up from 74 pc to 83.44 pc; but every third woman illiterate
n Has best gender ratio in state; close to national average
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 1
Compared to the neighbouring union territory of Chandigarh where the gender ratio is 818 (the country’s third worst), Panchukla has recorded a far higher gender ratio of 870, which not only figures as the best district in Haryana, but is only marginally lower than the national average of 877.

Urban areas in the district have recorded an even higher gender ratio of 882, which is up from 856 recorded in 2001.

A more dramatic rise has been in the rural areas of the district where it has increased from 798 recorded in 2001 to 855. This possibly reflects on some effectiveness of the family planning and literacy programmes initiated by the district authorities.

The literacy rate among women, however, is alarming with every third female in the district illiterate. The total population of literate women stands at 1,78,209 in a total female population of 2,59,971.

However, the literacy rate in the district has shown a considerable increase -- from 74 per cent in 2001 to 83.44 per cent in 2011. There are now 4,11,964 (2,33,753 men and 1,78,209 women) literates in the district as compared to 2,97,795 (1,78,592 men and 1,19,203 women) in 2001.

The lure of living in urban areas has also resulted in people moving from rural areas to the municipal area of Panchkula city and subdivision headquarters of Kalka, Pinjore and Raipur Rani. While Panchkula has registered 32.94 per cent increase in its population, Pinjore and Raipur Rani have also shown an increase of 29.23 and 22.13 per cent, respectively, in their population.

The setting up of urban complexes in Kalka, Pinjore and Raipur Rani blocks of the district has resulted in the shifting of the rural people to these areas as there were better educational and healthcare facilities available to them.

Literacy rate down in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 1
The population of Mohali is 1.74 lakh as per the Census report. The figures reveal that the literacy rate has gone down by 2 per cent from 83 per cent in 2001. Punjab, however, is yet to make an official announcement about the figures. The data has put the increase in the population figures, during the last decade, at about 50,000. In 2001, the population of the town stood at 1.23 lakh. The Central government had sent the official record to various state governments who would forward it to the district authorities concerned.



Skeleton in Cupboard
Prankster SHO gets dressing down
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
A distress call informing that a human skeleton has been found in a cupboard in the Sector 26 police station was enough to press the panic button among senior police officials this morning. The caller was a Station House Officer (SHO) of a key police station, which, for a brief moment, sent the police top brass in a tizzy.

“A human skeleton has been found in a cupboard in my police station,” were the words of Inspector Sri Parkash, SHO of the Sector 26 police station, when he called the DSP (Communications) Roshan Lal at around 11 am. The Inspector also added that he was shocked to see the skeleton protruding out of the cupboard on the second floor of the police station, which, he said, had been opened after many months today.

While the sole intention of the Inspector was to make a fool of the DSP, what he did not think was that the DSP would immediately flash the message to SSP Naunihal Singh. The SSP, in turn, swung into action and asked other officers, besides a Central Forensic Scientific Laboratory (CFSL) team, to rush to the spot.

As jitters spread in the police fraternity, Inspector Sri Parkash realised his folly and soon called back senior police officials to inform them that he had played an April Fool prank. Sources said the DSP was believed to have taken serious offence to the prank.

SSP not amused

The SHO of the Sector 26 police station is learnt to have been pulled up and severely reprimanded by UT SSP Naunihal Singh for playing the prank with his seniors.



Every 5th woman in UT illiterate
* Slight decline of 2,038 in number of illiterate women during 2001-2011
* City seventh in female literacy; 10th in male literacy; overall 8th

Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Every fifth woman in Chandigarh cannot read or write. The number of illiterate men is 48,929 while the number of illiterate women comprise a whopping 78,151 out of a total of 1,27,080 illiterate persons. In percentage terms, the male literacy is 90.54 per cent while the female literacy rate is only 81.38 per cent.

A close look at the provisional Census 2011 figures showed that the decline in the number of illiterates was reported to be 14,691 — down from 1,41,771 in 2001 to 1,27,080 in 2011. In case of male literacy, the decline was substantial at 12,657 (from 61,588 in 2001 to 48,929 in 2011). However, in the case of women, decadal decline was only marginal (2,038) from 80,189 in 2001 to 78,151 in 2011.

Data showed that Chandigarh with a female literacy rate of 81.38 per cent ranks seventh in the country. Two of the union territories, Lakshadweep and Andamans and Nicobar Islands with a female 
literacy rate of 88.25 per cent and 81.84 per cent, respectively, are ahead of the City Beautiful.

As far as the male literacy rate is concerned, the city is placed at the number 10 slot with Lakshadweep (96.11 per cent), Puducherry (92.12 per cent), Daman and Diu (91.48 per cent) and Delhi (91.03 per cent) above the city’s overall literacy rate of 90.54 per cent.



Watertight fortnight ahead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Be ready to feel the pinch of low water pressure in the coming week. Instead of the normal supply of 67 million gallons per day (MGD) water, the city will receive only 37 MGD for a fortnight due to major repairs in the Bhakra Canal.

As per a communique from the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), the municipal corporation (MC) has been informed that from April 6 to 20, the city will not be able to get the routine share of water supply.

MC Chief Engineer SS Bidda said to cope with the precarious situation, the MC was going to install 10 temporary water pumps in the Kajauli waterworks.

The afternoon water supply is likely to be suspended in the coming days.

Residents on the first and second floors in various sectors, especially in the southern area, are already feeling the pinch of low water pressure.

Water Deficit

According to official records, the demand of water in the city is 100 MGD (million gallons per day) against an availability of 87 MGD. Chandigarh is receiving 67 MGD supply from the Kajauli waterworks while 200 tube wells in various parts of the city provide 20 MGD.

Notices Issued

On the first day of the commencement of ban on the misuse of water in the morning hours, the municipal corporation teams issued notices to 43 residents.

A ban has been imposed on irrigating lawns and washing cars and courtyards from 5.30 am to 8.30 am from today.



Chaos at PU over roll numbers on exam eve
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Postal delays and nonsubmission of previous class mark sheets by students, further compounded by the lackadaisical attitude of some examination branch employees, resulted in utter confusion at the Panjab University’s administrative block throughout the day. And that too just one day before the exams scheduled to begin.

The worst affected were privately enrolled candidates, many of whom were seen running from pillar to post throughout the day to get their roll numbers issued. In all there are 85,000 such students and it was not known whether all of them succeeded in getting their roll numbers.

While some of these candidates had earlier not received roll numbers due to postal delays, others were not sent their numbers because they had failed to attach detailed mark sheets of the previous class. However, this did not stop several students from complaining that the examination branch should have verified documents as early as four  months ago when the last date to fill up forms had expired rather than causing such harassment at the last moment.

The university staff, on the other hand, claimed that despite repeated reminders most of these students had not submitted the relevant documents like migration certificates and detail marksheets of the previous class.

The final exams for most courses offered through distant learning, including BA and MA, are scheduled to begin on Saturday.

Students who had lined up in serpentine queues to get their roll number alleged harassment at the hands of varsity employees. The rush was particularly high for candidates enrolled for the BA-I course since they were required to submit their class 12 result scores.

“I started from Bathinda at 5 am to get here in time so as to get my roll number. I have attached all relevant documents, which has been acknowledged by the office staff here. I have been asked to return after one hour. Last year the roll number of my elder sister was delivered by post after she had appeared for two exams,” said Sukhwinder, a private candidate for the BA-I exam.

“My English exam is on Saturday and today, only a day before the exam, I’m having to run around to get my roll number issued. This is waste of precious time that we should have instead been utilizing to revise for our exam,” said Manu, another private candidate.

Although a majority of students expressed their ire there were some others who, in the midst of the chaos, appeared to be understanding of the situation. “Most students who have come today are those who didn’t attach their mark sheets or other relevant documents. What more can the university do than to give them a chance to fill up all details again?” asked Sonu, who had come to collect his sister’s roll number.



PU faculty doubles as clerks
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Juggling multiple jobs at the same time. The teaching faculty on the Panjab University campus is now also being forced to do clerical jobs.

Posts to be filled

"There is a Supreme Court judgment related to a case (Uma Devi versus state of Karnataka) in which guidelines have been issued to regularise the services of contractual staff and daily wage earners. The posts lying vacant will be filled through an entrance examination. The process of regularisation has already begun in the PU. A related announcement was made at the senate meeting held two days ago."
AK Bhandari, 
Registrar-cum-Controller of examination, PU

From photocopying documents to personally delivering documents related to research scholars at the university’s administrative block, the faculty members at some science and mathematics departments are doing it all. The reason: non-filling of vacant Class B and C posts at the university for almost a decade now.

Despite an increase in the number of students on the campus, which has shot up from nearly 14,000 in 2010 to 18,000 in 2011, the number of non-teaching employees has been on a rapid decline.

University sources revealed that on an average, between five and 10 clerks retire every month across various teaching departments. “We have five clerical posts in our department, all of which are lying vacant. Yet we have to do petty work individually. There are occasions when we get documents of research scholars and other important papers delivered personally to the administrative block,” said a teacher.


Wall Collapse
Rs 3-lakh relief to kin of deceased
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
A day after four labourers were killed in a wall collapse in an under-construction mall in the Industrial Area, the UT Administration has announced a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the families of the four deceased. An inquiry into the incident will be conducted by MC Joint Commissioner Kamlesh.

Four labourers were killed and seven critically injured after a 20-ft wall collapsed last evening. The accident occurred while the labourers were constructing the wall in a 40-ft pit where the foundation for a multiplex was being laid. The Administration has sealed the mall.

While the police has booked three persons for causing death due to negligence, no arrests have been made so far. Inspector Malkiat Singh, SHO Industrial Area police station, said they were in the process of identifying the accused and they would be arrested soon.

The general manager of Ahluwalia Contractors, site engineer Anurag and the supervisor have been booked in the case.

Meanwhile, the labourers who were admitted to the GMCH-32 yesterday have been discharged.

Thirtysix labourers had come from Chhattisgarh for the construction work at the mall. The labourers cursed their fate and said they had been rendered jobless after the incident and had their families to feed. 



Security Gates
Contractor skips March 31 deadline
25 out of 69 installed so far
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 1
The contractor allocated the work of putting up security gates in various parts of the town has failed to meet the March-31 deadline set for the completion of the work by the then Commissioner of the municipal corporation.

Former MC Commissioner Parveen Kumar had directed the contractor concerned to put up all gates by the end of the financial year.

He had cleared the sample of a security gate put up in Sector 70 around February 20 after suggesting minor changes in the earlier design.

Only around 25 gates out of the total 69 had been so far been put up, it is learned.

Vishawdeep Dutta, the contractor, said the work had got delayed due to the three ICC World Cup matches held in the town.

Many areas could not be accessed for days due to security reasons, he claimed.

Moreover, the municipal corporation will have to identify spots for putting up 30 gates, as roads in many areas are being widened and previous spots will not prove useful, he added.

As many as 69 security gates are to be put up in various parts of the town. The contractor has also been asked to arrange for security guards to man these gates at night.



Collector Rate
Threefold hike set to hurt P’kula industry
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune news Service

Panchkula, April 1
A steep hike in the collector rate announced by the district administration late last evening is likely to hit the industry as well as commercial properties in the district.

The district administration had approved around threefold increase in the collector rate on industrial plots besides effecting a steep increase in the rate for residential as well as commercial properties.

While the hike will prove to be a major revenue earner for the government, for those who plan to buy property, the increase is surely not a welcome news.

As per the new collector rate approved by the district administration last evening, industrialists will have to pay Rs 2.5 crore for a 1,000 sq yd plot. Earlier, they were required to pay Rs 77 lakh. Similarly, the buyers of a 2,000 sq yd plot will have to pay Rs 4.5 cr against Rs 1.4 cr earlier.

Similarly, those buying a shop-cum-flat will have to pay Rs 2.21 lakh against the earlier Rs 1.7 lakh. For a built-up booth, the buyer will now have to pay anything between Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 2.25 lakh towards collector rate depending upon the location of the site.

For residential plots allotted by HUDA, the purchaser will have to pay Rs 1,000 per sq ft instead of Rs 850 for the ground floor. Similarly for the first and second floors, the buyer will have to pay Rs 900 per sq ft against Rs 750 announced last year.

Property dealers, developers, agents and advisers have opposed the substantial increase in the collector rate of property.

Real estate observers are of the opinion that the increase in the collector rate is likely to put a damper on property transactions.

Suresh Aggarwal, president Haryana State Property Dealers Welfare Association, said the threefold increase in the collector rate for industrial plots would hurt the industrial activity in the district as it would make it difficult for new manufacturers to pay the exorbitant rate.

He said the hike for commercial and residential properties would also affect the forthcoming auction of plots by HUDA.

For a showroom plot, the bidders would now have to pay between Rs 42 lakh and Rs 45 lakh against Rs 7 lakh fixed earlier, he said.

Unwelcome move

While the hike will prove to be a major revenue earner for the government, for those who plan to buy property, the increase is surely not a welcome news



Disrespect to Tricolour
ICC legal adviser booked

Mohali, April 1
The police has booked the legal adviser to the International Cricket Council (ICC) on charges of showing disrespect to the National Flag of India. SP (City) Harpreet Singh said a case had been registered against Holica Sen Oberoi under Section 2 of the Prevention of Insult to the National Honour Act, 1971. 

He said an activist of the Mohali unit of the Human Rights Protection Forum, Ashok Kumar Verma, had complained that the legal adviser to the ICC had shown disrespect to the Tricolour during the India-Pakistan World Cup tie held in the town on March 30. — OC



Removal of turban
Inquiry report sent to govt
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 1
The inquiry marked by Deputy Commissioner Parveen Kumar into the incident of removal of turban by a police official during a protest held by members of the Rural Health Pharmacist Association has been completed and sent to the government for further action.

The inquiry was conducted by Additional Deputy Commissioner Mohinder Singh Kainth. He had been directed to submit the report at the earliest. The statements of a number of persons, including police officials, were recorded by the inquiry officer, it was learnt.

The Deputy Commissioner had marked the inquiry on the directions of the government.

Though, both the DC and the ADC failed to divulge the details about the report, sources said the inquiry had been completed and the report had been sent to the government.

The issue of the removal of a Sikh agitator’s turban had snowballed into a major issue and a number of religious organisations had demanded the arrest of the police official concerned for hurting the religious sentiments of the Sikhs.

The incident had taken place on March 28 when members of the association were cane-charged by the police while they were marching towards the PCA Stadium.



CHB unconcerned over vacant property worth crores
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The fact that its properties in various city areas, valued at several crores of rupees, has been lying vacant for several years does not appear to bother the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB). The properties comprise several booths that have not yet been allotted, shops-cum-offices/flats, car garages, scooter/motorcycle and bicycle sheds, one room flats and various other sites earmarked for restaurants and service outlets in various city sectors, Manimajra, Indira Colony, Maloya and Dadumajra and other locations.

Though CHB prepared a list of such properties in January, board officials are yet to initiate any action in the matter. According to the list, hundreds of booths and shops, which the board had built several years before, have been lying vacant due to the lethargic approach of the authorities concerned. Many of them have reportedly been encroached while the rest are in a dilapidated condition because of no maintenance.

Ten of the 16 booths constructed in 1978 in the densely populated Sector 40 remain vacant. The vacant commercial properties just go to show how much board officials are concerned about their assets. In the absence of any maintenance, most of these booths are in a rundown condition.

In the same sector the board is yet to auction five shops-cum-flats that were built in 1986, while in Sector 34 three shops-cum-offices have met the same fate.

The other shops that have been lying vacant for several years include seven in Sector 38 (constructed in 2000), eight booths in Sector 49 (2002), 25 in Sector 51 (2006), 34 in Sector 61 (1997-98), 90 booths and shops in Manimajra (1993-96) and 58 booths in Pocket III of Manimajra.

At the Modern Complex in Manimajra the board has erected as many as 331 extra car garages for “category IV” houses. As these garages are yet to be allotted, most of the structures are being used as dumping enclosures. The situation is no different for 288 motorcycle/scooter and bicycle sheds built way back in 1992 in Sector 40C

Sources close to the board said hundreds of one-room houses, which were constructed with funds released under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission for the underprivileged, are still waiting for their occupants. “About 550 such houses are lying vacant in various areas including Sector 38 (West), Dadumajra and Dhanas. Though construction of these houses was completed about a year ago these structures still lack basic facilities like electricity and water connections as well sewage disposal. Now, in absence of any maintenance, the houses are beginning to suffer damage,” the sources said, adding many of the flats had already been encroached upon by migrants.

Over 200 apartments, built for high and middle income groups in various city areas including Sector 49, Manimajra Modern Complex and Sector 38 (West), are also awaiting buyers

“The authorities are losing revenues from properties worth hundreds of crores of rupees just because of their nonprofessional policies,” averred a local property dealer.

A senior CHB official claimed the board intended to formulate a “concrete policy” on the matter. “Appropriate action in this direction would be initiated soon,” he added.



Dhaliwal HC Bar body chief
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, April 1
The legal fraternity was since long talking about an electoral wave in favour of Kulbir Singh Dhaliwal, but his victory as president of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association by a margin of around 419 votes took everyone by surprise here this evening.

Dhaliwal polled 1,122 votes, while his nearest rival Atul Lakhanpal secured 703 votes. As the results came, advocates surrounded Dhaliwal. A continuous stream of advocates could be seen congratulating him as he expressed his gratitude to the voters.

Talking to The Tribune soon after emerging victorious, Dhaliwal said protection of the respect and dignity of the lawyers would be top on his agenda.

He added that his tenure would see the initiation of steps to further improve infrastructure and the creation of additional space for advocates to sit. The feasibility of constructing two additional floors on the Bar complex would be considered.

The other areas of concern would be housing facilities for advocates and helping the freshers out, his daughter-cum-advocate Lovleen Dhaliwal added.

She attributed her father’s success to his down-to-earth attitude and goodwill. The results were out at about 9.45 pm. Parveen K Kataria emerged victorious on the post of Bar association vice-president, with 1,179 votes. He defeated Amarjit Kaur Khurana, who polled 896 votes.

Jagmohan S Ghumman was declared elected to the secretary’s post by bagging 858 votes, while his nearest rival Ranjivan Singh secured 642 votes.

Advocate Harsimrat Rai was elected joint secretary with 1,098 votes. She defeated her nearest rival Kuldeep Kaur Ghumman, who polled 697 votes.

Nanda again

Elections for the UT District Bar Association were held at the district courts in Sector 17 here. NK Nanda was elected president of the association for the record eighth time. He bagged 802 votes, as against 448 by AS Chahal.

A total of 1299 votes were cast. The third candidate, PK Gill, bagged 40 votes. Inderjit Bassi was elected joint secretary. She bagged 596 votes, as against 226 by Kanwal S Walia. Sunil Dikshit was elected treasurer. He bagged 752 votes, as against 462 by Vipin Negi. Rupesh Kumar had earlier been elected vice-president and NS Rana secretary unopposed.

Toor wins

Mohali: Parminder Singh Toor was elected president of the District Bar Association, Mohali. Elections were held only for the posts of president and vice-president. Other office-bearers had been elected unanimously.

Toor polled 160 votes while Harmanjeet Singh Dhanoa got 147 votes. A total of 281 votes were cast. HS Dhillon was unanimously elected general secretary, Harjinder Kaur Bal joint secretary and PR Mann cashier.



Deadline for BSNL bill payment extended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited has extended the deadline for payment of telephone bills issued for January, February, March and up to April 15, 2011. According to a press note issued by the department, subscribers can pay their bills at BSNL cash counters/authorised post offices/ Sampark Centres and Gram Sampark Centres.

“The department will not charge late fee if the customers pay the bills for November-December, 2010 and January-February, 2011 by April 15.

The BSNL has asked customers to only pay the amount due.

They also “regretted” the inconvenience caused to public due to the error. In case of assistance, subscribers can contact phone Nos. 1500/ 2667060/ 9463100252.



Next PGI Director
Chargesheet no bar: CAT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Issuing a notice to the PGI, its director Dr KK Talwar and the Union of India on an application filed by Dr Kartar Singh, a professor with the PGI, the Central Administration Tribunal (CAT) has directed that consideration of the applicant for appointment to the post of PGI Director will not be impeded by the pendency of the chargesheet served on him last month.

In his application filed before CAT today, Dr Kartar Singh apprehended that chargesheeting him by the authorities was a ploy to ensure that he was not considered for appointment as PGI Director, for which the selection process was going on.

Substantiating his apprehension, he contended that he was chargesheeted on March 18 on the preliminary inquiry report as old as November 2008 and he had not even been afforded an opportunity of a hearing in the context till date.



Sec-33 petrol station goes to men in khaki
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The Chandigarh Police Welfare Society took over business operations of the Sector-33 petrol station today. It was inaugurated by UT Inspector-General of Police PK Srivastava amid fanfare.

The petrol station was earlier being run by the Indian Oil Corporation. The money generated from it would be used for the welfare of the police force.



Workshop on sample size analysis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Over 50 researchers from Moradabad, Haryana, Punjab, and Chandigarh participated in a biostatistical workshop on sample size analysis in medical research at the department of biostatistics, PGIMER, here.The sample size determination directs researchers to have minimal number of living organism that empower necessary and sufficient power for obtaining scientifically validated outcome.

In addition, appropriate sample size along with valid details is also important in order to get ethical approval as well as financial sanctioned.

Six luminaries in the area of biostatistics providing consultancy to government as well as international agencies like the CSIR, the ICMR, the WHO, the World Bank, UNAIDS delivered the lectures.

The speakers pronounced that sample size was not just numbers that researchers sought for. It was well a established scientific procedure that varied study to study and depended on several inputs which needed to be provide to the biostatistician consultant by the researcher in order get the appropriate outcome.



14 teams to check water wastage
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Around 14 teams have been constituted by the municipal corporation to check water wastage in the city. The teams will be headed by the SDEs. From April 1, teams will be issuing challans and disconnecting water supply.

The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by MC chief engineer SS Bidda here on Wednesday. It was decided that washing of vehicles and watering of lawns would be prohibited.

Those violating the norms will be issued a notice. A penalty amounting to Rs 500 will be imposed on those who overlook the notice.



Oppn submits memorandum against Cong councillors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Demanding that suspension of all 11 opposition councillors of the municipal corporation (MC) be revoked and strict action be initiated against the disorderly behaviour of Congress councillors, a delegation of councillors led by BJP general secretary Arun Sood submitted a memorandum to the UT Home Secretary-cum-Secretary, Local Bodies, here today.

The delegation brought to the notice of the Secretary that during the House meeting on March 29, all opposition councillors protested symbolically over the booth scam as two members of the House, Union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and Congress councillor Pradeep Chhabra, had been indicted in the inquiry report by the former UT SDM.

They stated that when the councillors entered the House, Congress councillors Manjit Singh Chauhan, Chhabra and Davinder Singh Babla, on the directions of Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh, attacked opposition councillors Raj Kumari Mishra, Sarita Sharma and Anil Dubey and tore their black gowns.

A few nominated councillors tried to pacify them, but they were threatened by Babla. At this stage, the Mayor suspended all opposition councillors and asked the marshals to throw them out of the House. During this melee, councillor Harjinder Kaur was pushed to the ground.

When the nominated councillors protested against this barbaric act, the Mayor abruptly adjourned the House instead of bringing the situation under control. The delegation demanded that their illegal suspension be revoked immediately and an FIR be lodged against Babla.

Babla had threatened nominated councillor AP Sanwaria of dire consequences for proposing the name of JS Kang for the mayoral election. Other members of the delegation were Kang, Ram Lal, Ram Sumer Maurya, Rajesh Gupta, Raj Kumari, Harjinder and Sarita.



Overcharging by chemists
Ball in PGI panel court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Initiating action against the chemists found to be overcharging, the authorities at the PGI have decided to take the case to the committee looking after commercial sites. The issue was highlighted in these columns on March 24.

Deputy Director (administration) Dr Surjit Singh said an explanation was sought from the shopkeepers and they had submitted their reply.

It would be taken up during the meeting of the committee, he stated, declining to reveal the contents of the reply of the shopkeepers concerned.



Short film on Partition screened
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
A BBC film on India’s Partition “The Day India Burned” was screened by the First Friday Forum at the auditorium of Government College of Art here.

Students, staff and guests were glued to their seats for 90 minutes while experiencing the horrors of holocaust that accompanied the Partition dividing the country into two independent nations: India and Pakistan on August 14-15, 1947.



‘School to Range’ programme tees off
Our Golf Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 1
“It is a wonderful initiative... We are with you,” said DPI (Schools), Chandigarh, Sandeep Hans, as he inaugurated the “Schools to Range” programme initiated by the Chandigarh Golf Association (CGA) to tap talent in government schools of Chandigarh.

Principals of 20 government schools of Chandigarh and around 10 students were present as CGA secretary-general CSR Reddy and CGA president JS Cheema unfolded the programme to woo students to the CGA range.

Reddy said: “Our aim is to bring the students to the range. We have to sensitise them. It is not a sport of the elite any more. We have the facility that can be put to use to tap talent among these children.”

Cheema said: “We do not look at just the 2016 Olympic Games.We are looking beyond. Maybe the 2020 Games when the talented among them will be able to make a mark for themselves. We have the best equipment and the best equipped academy. We could provide just the right platform to give exposure to the kids.”

“For that our slogan is ‘Schools to Range’ and we plan to implement it with the help of the education and sports departments of the Union Territory,” he added.

Chandigarh joint director (sports) JPS Sidhu promised help from the sports department in implementing the programme.

Hans said he liked the idea mooted by Cheema during an informal meeting. “I take this opportunity to accept the initiative of the CGA and am willing to place the talent available in 105 government schools. Groom them. I am sure a number of youngsters would love to take to the greens,” he added.



Pvt schools deny admission under EWS quota
Submit details of admission process: Education dept
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Flooded with complaints of the city private schools denying free admission under the economically weaker sections (EWS) category, the UT education department has asked schools to submit details of admission process which concluded on March 31.

In a letter issued to private schools today, the UT education department has asked them to inform the department about the total number of seats advertised, number of applications received, date of draw of lots, number of seats filled and those lying vacant.

The schools have been asked to respond with an immediate effect and have also been directed to abide by directives of the Right To Education Act issued in respect of admission.

As part of its earnest efforts to get schools to reserve 15 per cent of its seats for students belonging to economically weaker sections, the UT education department had advertised a list of over 450 seats available in this category in different schools.

It had also launched a massive awareness programme and had asked interested parents to apply for admission to nearby schools by March 31. Unfortunately, going by the average of over 10 complaints received by the DEO or DPI (Schools), a majority of schools refused to entertain applications stating that their seats were full while many others charged ‘minimalist’ fee from applicants’.

“On its part, the department not only advertised complete details of vacant seats, but also postponed the last date of application twice just to ensure that everybody could get their documents in place and apply. However, we got many written and verbal complaints stating that many schools had turned away parents saying they had already conducted the draw for admission. One or two schools have acted smart and charged parents for admission which was supposed to be free,” said a senior official of the UT education department.



Notice to DC, principals of 6 private schools
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 1
A district court has issued a show-cause notice to the Panchkula DC and principals of six private schools asking them to reply to an application filed by petitioner Pankaj Chandgothia alleging non-compliance of interim orders issued by the court on March 8.

In its orders, the court had stayed admission to 25 per cent of seats up to Class VII in schools for the academic session 2011-12.

Civil Judge Renu Rana while issuing the show-cause notice also directed the DC to give a "wider publicity" to the policy through media.

Petitioner Pankaj Chandgothia filed an affidavit that the DC had only issued two public notices in print media, which was insufficient and had not issued any notice in electronic media which amounted to violation of the court orders.

Regarding school admissions, Sanjeev Sarin, who belongs to economically weaker sections, has also filed an affidavit stating that defendant Hansraj Public School had refused to issue him a nursery admission form for his son under the RTE policy.

The court had earlier granted the stay on February 17 on a public interest litigation filed by a Panchkula-based couple, Pankaj and Sangeeta Chandgothia, seeking implementation of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education to Children, 2009, in private schools. Apart from Hansraj Public School, Chamanlal DAV-11, DAV-8 and DC Model-7, Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 15, and British School, Sector 8, are among the defendants in the case.

Surprisingly, the district administration, which had earlier filed a reply admitting the case of petitioners, today filed an application seeking dismissal of the case under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code, on technical grounds. Chandgothia has also been asked to file a reply to the application on April 8 next.



Scrapping of Sanskrit school project opposed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 1
Activists of the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) are up in arms against the scrapping of Sanskrit school project by Shri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board(SMMDSB).

Gian Chand Gupta and BB Singhal, cashier state party unit and MC vice-president, respectively, said they came to know about the scrapping of the project after they had sought information under the RTI Act.

They said foundation stone of the school was laid by the then Union HRD Minister, Murli Manohar Joshi, on January 27, 2003, on the land opposite 11 KVA switching station of the board. They said it was the project of the education department for housing the academics of the department, along with a Sanskrit school. They added that a chunk of land measuring two acres was allotted to the education department for two years on a lease hold basis. However, the lease deed was terminated by the SMMDSB on August 20, 2006, after the education department started constructing its building in Sector 14, Panchkula.

Gupta said the foundation stone pillar could not be retained and a parking lot had been developed on the same land for the benefit of devotees coming to pay obeisance during the Navratra fair. BB Singhal said scrapping of the project was politically motivated. It was suitable for Mansa Devi as old manuscripts were to be preserved in the museum with the school. 



PU Notes
Moot court

Students buy products made by the underprivileged children at student centre, Panjab University, on Friday.
Students buy products made by the underprivileged children at student centre, Panjab University, on Friday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh: University Institute of Legal Studies organised an intra-institute moot court competition. The moot problem highlighted the ethical question of DNA testing and gene profiling to know the character traits of a person. Team comprising Nishant, Naina and Ankush emerged victorious, while a team of Aviral, Chetan and Kashika was adjudged second best. Naina Khanna was declared the best student advocate, while Manan Kathuria was named the second best student advocate. The team of Ivan, Shivam and Surya Pratap bagged the best memorial award.


Professor Jitendra Mohan, professor emeritus, psychology, Panjab University, has been invited as a keynote speaker to the second world congress on “Excellence in Sport and Life” to be held from August 22 to 26 in Pristhina, Kosovo (Yugoslavia). — TNS 




Chandigarh: Students and teachers of GMSSS-33-D visited Pushpa Gujral Science City, Kapurthala, to learn basics of science and technology. More than 40 students, accompanied by five teachers, went to the city. The visit was organised by the department of science and technology for popularisation of science.

Annual day

Ryan International School organised its annual day function amidst great enthusiasm and zeal. The programme entitled “L’ESPRIT DE JOIE” meaning Spirit of Joy was an adaptation of the movie ‘The Sound of Music’. The school thanked its chairman Dr AF Pinto and managing director Madam Grace Pinto. Chief guests Suman Sharma, deputy DEO, Chandigarh, Sandeep Hans, DPI, UT, Bikram Rana, state liaison officer, NSS cell, and Dr Gulzar Singh, ex-deputy director (adult education) motivated students and congratulated them on their performances. Montessori students presented rhythmic rhymes. Aerobics, Russian dance, wonders of the world and bhangra culminated the programme.


Pre-primary wing of AKSIPS-41-B, organised an orientation programme for parents. Executive director of the AKSIPS Group of Schools Jasdeep Kalra welcomed parents and shared his thoughts with them. Dr Jyoti, resident doctor of AKSIPS-41, gave medical tips regarding health and hygiene. It was followed by a PowerPoint presentation, where parents were acquainted with the motto of the school “Education is Life”. The pre-primary wing will have smart class-based learning from this year onwards.


DPS, Chandigarh, organised an orientation programme for parents of nursery students. The programme was held to apprise parents of the curriculum and teaching methodology.

The programme began with lighting of the traditional lamp followed by two dance sequences. Principal Reema Dewan emphasised upon the need of spending quality time with children. — TNS



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