C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


RTE Act remains a non-starter
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
Controversies, exhaustive deliberations and home secretary Ram Niwas being unceremoniously stripped of the education portfolio: All this about sums up the history of the UT administration’s continued bumbling on the Right Of Children To Free & Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, the implementation of which remains conspicuously absent in the city where the literacy rate has slipped from the sixth to the eighth highest in the country.

Despite all the fuss made by the administration, enforcing the provisions of the act remains a nonstarter, if not an abject failure.

The UT education department, which till a month ago was busy getting RTE postulates implemented, seems to have opted for the safe refuge of enforcing its controversial quota for economically weaker sections (EWS) of the city’s population. In making what is apparently a last effort to follow through on the RTE Act the administration has failed to make any headway even after asking schools to ensure implementation of the prescribed postulates by March 2011.

Issues left midway


Requirement: The Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education Act specifies all schools will have to reserve 25 per cent of seats for disadvantaged children and admit them through random selection

Status: The UT has managed to get underprivileged children admitted to schools under the EWS quota, which is an obligation in accordance with land allotment norms. However, no admissions have been made under the RTE Act so far.

Child mapping

Requirement: Section 6 of chapter 3 of the RTE Act states the UT administration is not only required to identify the disadvantaged children eligible but make their list public. Schools are required to make admissions according to this list.

Status: Though the administration claims to have completed its survey in the first week of January, the data has been found to be faulty. The administration has asked schools to accept all application from parents belong to the economically weaker sections of the city’s population and then carry out a random selection. Newly set up school management committees of government run schools were asked to rectify child mapping results.

Staff shortage

Requirement: With a skewed teacher-pupil ratio haunting 90 per cent of government run schools, the UT administration will have to go in for a massive recruitment drive to deal with the existing staff crunch and comply with specifications outlined in the RTE Act.

Status: Recruitments yet to be conducted.


Requirement: The RTE Act requires the UT administration to reimburse schools for admissions to be made under the EWS reservation quota. The schools are to be provided with the average learner cost of government schools or that of their own, whichever is less.

Status: No admissions have been made under the RTE Act so far. Reimbursements too are yet to be worked out.

Special training centres

Requirement: Children admitted to schools under the RTE Act will be provided special training to bring them academically at par with other students

Status: All 199 alternative innovative educational (AIE) centres have been turned into special training centres, but modalities have yet to be worked out.

Inclusive education

Requirement: The RTE Act requires the UT administration to identify physically challenged students and ensure education is provided without any barriers. Not only are school buildings required to be made disabled friendly but appropriate transport is also to be provided to these students.

Status: The administration has yet to formulate plans even though they should have been completed within a month.

Disparity reduction

Requirement: There is a wide disparity in UT administration-run schools and those run privately in terms of quality of education, staff and infrastructure. Given the fact that a student admitted to a private school under the RTE Act will have access to better facilities compared to his government school counterpart, the administration had announced a “disparity reduction” plan earlier this year.

Status: The modalities have yet to be worked out.

‘We’re working towards it, but…’

Sandeep Hans"We’ve not forgotten implementation of the RTE Act. Our prime concern was to get underprivileged children to schools, which we have managed through the EWS proviso. We’re working towards enforcing provisions of the act but it’ll still take some more time. We’ll be resuming our deliberations with schools after the admission season and then implement the act in a more accomplished and well-researched way."

— Sandeep Hans, director of public instruction (schools), UT administration

‘Where’s the RTE Act?’

HS Mamik"The UT education department’s letter asking us to abide by the RTE Act postulates is a big surprise. What guidelines are we supposed to abide by? No admissions have been made under the act so, if there are no students admitted under the RTE act, where is the act? The administration has tried to act smart by talking about a merger of the EWS quota and the RTE Act. It has implemented its EWS quota, which has its own sets of rules. In no case can it be merged with the RTE Act."

— HS Mamik, president, Independent Schools Association



water crisis in Mohali
Tubewells still non-functional
Kulwinder Sangha

False assurance

It is learnt that the then Mohali Deputy Commissioner, Parveen Kumar, had held a meeting with officials of GMADA, Municipal Corporation and water supply wing on December 28 to know the progress about the new tubewells. Both GMADA and the civic body officials had given an assurance that the new tubewells would become functional by January 15.


The demand of water in the summer months is 23 million gallons a day ( mgd) against the availability of only 13.2 mgd. Mohali is getting only 10 mgd of water from Kajauli waterworks and 3.2 mgd from old tubewells. Now, the supply from deep tubewells will increase the availability by 2 mgd.

16 tubewells were to be sunk

As many as 16 new deep tubewells were to be sunk by GMADA and the Municipal Corporation and the work on the project , worth Rs 4 crore, had started nearly a year ago. GMADA was to sink 11 of these tubewells to overcome shortage .Two new tubewells each have been sunk in Phases XI, X and VII and one each in Phases IX, V , IV, III B 2 , III B 1 , III A, I , Sectors 70 and 71 and Mohali village. However, four of these tubewells have still not become functional. These are located in Phases III A , III B 2, V and VII.

Mohali, April 5
Even as the water shortage crisis looms large in Mohali due to the repair work being carried out in the Bhakra main line, four new deep tubewells sunk by the Municipal Corporation and GMADA have still not become functional.

The Department of Irrigation had decided to carry out the repair work in the Bhakra main line from today and the work will go on till April 21, which will adversely affect the supply of water from the Kajauli water works.

While the tubewell sunk by GMADA was likely to become functional in a day or so, three tubewells being sunk by the PunjabWater Supply and Sewerage Board would take another week or so to become functional. Corporation Executive Officer Amna Kumar Goyal said that the work had got delayed as the tubewells were sunk by the Sewerage Board. Requests were made time and again to the Sewerage Board to complete the work before the onset of summer but all in vain.

Efforts, however, will be made to handover the new tubewells to the water supply wing at the earliest, added Goyal. The Executive engineer of the water supply and sanitation wing, HPS. Dhillon, said that efforts would be made to minimise the water crisis so that that the residents did not suffer. Chandigarh will be pumping water from Kajuali to meet the shortage and it will also benefit Mohali.

He said that the morning supply would, hopefully, remain normal and evening supply of water would be at low pressure. Only afternoon supply would be cut. In case of emergency water would be supplied through tankers but such a situation would not arise, added Dhillon.



Pernicious weed back in Sukhna Lake
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Decline in water level

With the water level having declined from 1,162 feet (during last monsoon) to 1,156 feet, the underwater growth has become visible. The maximum water level of Sukhna is 1,163 feet.

Lake unfit for water sports

Until recently it had among the country’s best rowing centres. Today the Sukhna Lake has been rendered unfit for even basic water sports. The lake’s 2-km watercourse, which has hosted three international events and six national rowing championships, besides producing more than 10 international and national-level rowers, is almost non-existent. Water sports were last held in December 2006 when the All-India Inter-Universities Rowing Championships was conducted. Much to the frustration of rowers, it is currently even unfit for training purposes.

‘Weed unique’

"The weeds are unique and of the kind that we have never seen before. Not only were they thorny, they also caused allergy and skin infection. Many of our workers received cuts and bruises while pulling out the wild growth. Many of the plants were found more than six feet long."

— Shamsheed, head of the weed removal group hired by UT Admn

Samples sent for examination

Samples of the weed have been sent to the Panjab University Botany Department for expert opinion on how to deal with the menace. “The PU experts have been doing research on the subject. Even we are reviewing the ongoing de-weeding project at various water bodies, including Dal Lake in Srinagar,” added a UT Administration official.

Chandigarh, April 5
With the decline in water level, parts of the city’s famous Sukhna Lake have yet again begun to resemble a green playground owing to a large-scale growth of the weed “chara” or musk grass.

The menace not only presents a poor picture of one of the main tourism spots of the City Beautiful, it also makes boating both difficult and dangerous. The musk grass sucks up water and hampers the movement of boats and oars. Not surprisingly the boating business is also being affected, as many people avoid the fun due to the presence of this dangerous underwater growth which can also cause skin allergy if touched.

The task of clearing the lake of the foreign weed, commonly known as “chara” or musk grass, which is generally found in Brazil, was given to skilled workers from Uttar Pradesh last year. How this weed began to grow in the lake, however, remains a mystery.

With the contract being extended for a short period after it came to an end on March 31, the UT Administration authorities are now contemplating to rope in fresh expertise to deal with the menace. “Very soon an e-tender will be being floated in this connection,” said a senior official.

The UT Administration has been paying Rs 6.25 per square feet (the cost of transporting and dumping the extracted vegetation was extra) for removing the weed.

The administration had claimed that the workers, who have experience in removing weeds from lakes in Jaipur, Udaipur and Kurukshetra apart from other places, had claimed that they would solve the problem permanently by removing the weeds from its roots. At that time, almost 70 per cent surface of the lake was covered with the threatening underwater growth, which had posed a threat to marine life. It was not that the hired group did not do its job properly. In fact, hundreds of quintals of weeds have been removed from the lake so far. About 80 workers had toiled hard daily, resulting in the removal of 50 to 60 trolley loads everyday by using special nets for the purpose. By mid-2010, it had seemed that almost the entire lake had been cleared of the menace. But now, the Sukhna lake has again started turning green with the presence of weeds that have begun growing rapidly. The situation is the worst near the Lake Club. “The reason is that regular boating hampers the growth of weed. But the day is not far when this area would also be affected very soon,” said former Punjab Irrigation Department Chief Engineer GS Dhillon.

“I don’t foresee any solution in the near future as the authorities do not seem to be serious in the direction of saving the Sukhna. No water is being taken from the catchment area, which has around 155 check dams full of water. As water is not coming from outside, the lake has become dirty due to stagnation,” he said, adding “Sukhna is dying.”



UT consumer forum remains 2nd best performer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
With a case disposal rate of 96.7 per cent, the union territory’s Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum continues to be the second best in terms of speedy resolution of complaints in the country, trailing the forum in Andhra Pradesh that disposed of 97.37 per cent of cases filed in 2010.

Meanwhile, the city’s State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has performed better than in the previous year, moving to the third slot with a case disposal rate of 96.47 per cent - up from the fifth position that it held in 2009.

According to data on performance of various state consumer forums and commissions, though the UT forum has again got the second slot its case disposal rate has shown a decline, falling from 97.47 per cent to 96.70 per cent. Had it maintained its performance last year it could have been the best performing forum among the 32 consumer forums in the country. Since its inception in1985 the UT forum has disposed of 40,853 cases till December 2010.

As compared to neighbouring states, the UT consumer forum is convincingly ahead of those of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, where the case disposal rate is 96.62 per cent and 94.13 per cent, respectively. However, the Punjab forum has improved its disposal rate and secured the third position in the country. Last year it was fourth on the list with a case disposal rate of 95.8 per cent.

According to Pankaj Chandgothia, president of the Chandigarh Consumer Courts Bar Association, the main reason for the speedy disposal of cases in the city is the availability of two forums. “The fact that all documentary evidence in a case is required to be submitted along with the complaint in UT forums, unlike in other states, has also contributed to the fast disposal of cases”, he added.

The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh, on the other hand, has a case disposal rate of 96.47 per cent, which is higher than in 2009 when it was 91.66 per cent. The top slots are with the Tripura and Sikkim forums but the fact is the number of complaints filed in these states was much less as compared to those in Chandigarh.

Of the 1,239 complaints received since its inception the Tripura forum disposed of 1,223. Similarly, the Sikkim forum disposed of 36 out of the 37 complaints it received since it was set up, while the Chandigarh state consumer commission disposed of 10,700 cases out of the 11,091 filed since inception.

However, the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has come down to the fourth position in the country with a case disposal rate of 95.98 per cent.


No decrease in temporary liquor vends
Excise and Taxation Department rejects MC proposal
Tribune News Service

68 on MC land

Out of the 217 liquor vends in the city, 68 are on the MC land. The MC House had decided to shut down these vends as councillors objected to it as this had sent a wrong message that the MC was promoting alcoholism in the city.

Chandigarh, April 5
The UT Excise and Taxation Department has ignored the demand of the Municipal Corporation to reduce the temporary liquor vends located on MC land on the internal roads of the sectors. As per the new excise policy announced by the department, the permissible number of liquor vends, which were 217 last year, has not been changed.

In October 2010, the MC General House had unanimously decided to suspend the allotment of all wine shops on its land from the next financial year. Former Mayor Anu Chatrath had asked MC officials to inform the UT Administration that from next financial year, the MC would not permit liquor vends on its land in the city.

Sources in the UT Administration said a proposal was sent by the MC to the Excise and Taxation Department in December last year, urging them to shut down the liquor vends located on their land on the internal roads of the city.

Sources said UT Administrator Shivraj Patil had also approved the proposal to reduce the liquor vends.

When contacted, Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh said he would take up the issue in the next House meeting.

MC records show that out of the 217 liquor vends in the city, 68 are on the MC land after V3 roads were shifted to the MC.

The House had decided to shut down the liquor vends as majority of councillors objected to the opening of a large number of temporary liquor vends in different areas which in turn had sent the message that the MC was promoting alcoholism in the city. Councillors also suggested that instead of permitting liquor vends in every nook and corner of the city, the MC should rent out its booths in the markets to avoid chaos around the temporary liquor vends.



Skipping Ward Committee Meet
MC issues show-cause notice to five SDOs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
Chandigarh Municipal Corporation Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria today issued a show-cause notice to five SDOs, asking them to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against them for not attending the ward committee meeting of Sector 46 held yesterday.

The ward committee meeting of Sector 46 was convened by Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh for which prior information had been given to the officials concerned for attending it and for discussing the grievances of the ward. But no official turned up for the meeting. Annoyed, the Mayor asked the MC Commissioner to take disciplinary action against the erring officials for not attending the ward committee meeting.

As per the notice, they have been given 10 days time to explain why they did not attend the meeting when they were intimated about it in advance. MC Commissioner Sunkaria said appropriate action would be taken against the erring officials.

Legal expert said that as per MC Act, ward committees were constituted under Section 41-A by the UT Administrator from time to time by orders published in the official gazette.

A majority of councillors had been complaining to the Mayor that none of the officials of the MC cared to attend the ward committee meetings even if they were informed in advance.

Members of ward committee of various sectors also complained that most of the time clerical-level employees were sent by the concerned departments to attend the meeting, who did not even prepare the list of grievances, which were discussed in the meeting.



Bhakra Canal Repair
BBMB rejects MC plea on postponement
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) has rejected the demand of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) to postpone the repair of the Bhakra canal for three months.

The board is going for a major repair in the canal from April 6 to 20. At a meeting of the board with MC officials today, the former informed the MC that the repair work had been lingering for five years due to delay in getting consent from the authorities of the states concerned.

Sources in the board said the repair of the Bhakra canal was pending since 2007. Last year, at a joint meeting with two states and the UT administration authorities, it was decided to conduct the pending repair work due to which water supply will be shut for 15 days in the areas concerned.

Sources said at a meeting the issue was raised by MC officials that as April was the peak month for the demand of drinking water, the authorities should allow to create a pond near the canal for the storage of water from Bhakra.

MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria confirmed that the board had allowed the authorities to store water by creating a temporary pond from tomorrow, which will increase the water supply of 15 MGD million gallons per day (MGD) in routine water supply.

A senior official of the corporation said to control water wastage in the city, 14 teams had already been constituted, which had issue notices to 45 residents today in the city.

Meanwhile, the water and sewerage committee has also called a meeting tomorrow to review the status of the arrangements made by the authorities for the fortnight when supply from the Bhakra canal will be less.



P’kula taxi drivers protest against speed governors
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 5
Members of the Panchkula Taxi Drivers Union protested near the office of the regional transport authority in Sector 5 here on Tuesday against the Haryana government’s move to “forcibly” install speed governors in their vehicles.

Members of the truck and taxi drivers unions from Kalka and Simla and the Himachal taxi union said the government’s “draconian step” would affect them adversely as they would not be able to get customers due to their vehicles plying at low speed. “The state government has fixed the speed at 60 km per hour, which is very low, even though the central surface transport ministry had fixed the speed limit at 90 km/hour on the national highways”, they noted.

The taxi drivers said if they accidentally crossed the new speed the engines of their vehicles would seize up, causing huge losses to them. “If speed governors are installed in heavy vehicles we won’t be able to drive on hilly roads due to the heavy load”, they averred. Panchkula regional transport authority officer Dharambir Singh said speed governors were being installed in accordance with the government’s recent notification to this effect. Refuting allegations of allotting the task of fixing the speed governors to a privately run firm, he said vehicle owners could get ISI (Indian Standards Institution) certified devices installed anywhere, adding no vehicles would be cleared without the mandatory speed governors.



Army chief visits Chandimandir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
Chief of the Army Staff Gen VK Singh today visited Headquarters Western Command, Chandimandir, where he reviewed operational and training issues pertaining to the western sector.

He also inaugurated the Basantar Sainik Aramgrah in Sector 2, Panchkula. The 56-room complex, dedicated to Army veterans, will provide much needed transit facilities to both outstation veterans and serving soldiers visiting the Tricity for medical treatment or for other work.

He also laid the foundation stone of Basantar Senior Veterans’ Enclave on the campus of the Aramgrah.

The Army chief also met the participants of a two-day tri-service seminar on “Ex-Servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS)” conducted by Western Command. He also interacted with ex-servicemen and discussed their problems.



Finger joint replacement conducted

Mohali, April 5
Fortis Hospital, Mohali, has successfully conducted a finger joint replacement on Balbir Singh, a former Armyman, who had sustained a gunshot wound on his right finger during action.

The surgery was conducted by Dr Manuj Wadhwa, head and director of the orthopaedic and joint replacement department. Balbir had taken voluntary retirement from the Army after 20 years of service. His injured finger had become a serious handicap for his re-employment into the police. — TNS



Truck catches fire

Zirakpur, April 5
A major tragedy was averted when a truck loaded with medicines and chicken feed caught fire near a petrol pump on the Chandigarh-Ambala Highway here late this evening.

According to sources, the incident took place around 6 pm when the truck driver, Ram Kumar parked the truck near the petrol pump and went to his home. A passerby saw smoke coming out of the truck and called the fire brigade.

Sources said a fire tender was pressed into the service and the fire was brought under control within a few minutes. However, the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained, he added. — TNS




Bapu’s dream shattered

With the city having more than 200 liquor vends, it probably has the highest per capita availability of liquor in the country after Goa. Barely does one lose the sight of one vend before he spots the other. It will not be surprising to hear shortly that the City Beautiful would be called as the “City of Taverns”.

The social fallout of the increased number of drinking places “ahatas” cannot be ignored. Besides, there are scores of cases of drinking driving. These joints have a negative influence on the young generation.

Looks like, the bureaucracy has found an easy way of generating revenue through the sale of liquor. The administration, in the first place, should make efforts to explore other avenues of revenue generation. Bapu’s dream of building a strong nation, free of alcoholism, stands shattered.

Kulbir Singh
Sector 18-D, Chandigarh



Three new courses at PEC
Two ME courses and a dual degree integrated programme
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Compulsory training

PEC University of Technology has made the industrial training compulsory for the sixth semester students from this year. Discarding the past practice in which certain students were given an option for training and others opted for course work in the university, all students will now be sent for field exposure. PEC officials claimed that an increasing knowledge gap was being observed between students, who stayed back for course work and those who opt for training

Chandigarh, April 5
Engineering aspirants in the tricity have a reason to cheer with the PEC University of Technology starting three new self-financing courses, including a dual programme and two masters-level self-financing courses from the forthcoming academic session 2011-2012.

PEC’s supreme governing body- Senate has approved the introduction of two masters courses, including masters of engineering (total quality management) and masters of engineering (engineering design).

Both courses will have 18 seats to be filled on the basis of an entrance examination.

Besides, a dual degree integrated programme, including bachelors and masters of engineering (BE and ME) course will also be introduced this year.

The course will be launched in metallurgy and aeronautical departments of the university.

According to sources, in each of the two specialisations, 30 students will be enrolled for 2011-2012 session.

The admission for this dual degree course will be done on the basis of the rank secured by the candidate in the All-Indian Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE).

“Although the cut-off ranks in AIEEE for the dual programme depends on the students’ interest and their applications this year, but as a trend observed in other institutes, students opt for BTech courses and opt for the integrated programmes as next preference,” said Dr Sanjeev Sofat, dean of academics, PEC University of Technology.

Responding to a query on availability of resources for the new innovative courses he said: “We follow a model in which the UT administration takes care of the infrastructure for the new courses, while the teaching posts are filled up by the course fee of the self-supporting courses.”



High drama prevails at open school
Students protest against authorities for not issuing roll numbers as exams begin today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
High drama prevailed at the National Institute of Open Schooling, Sector 11, today where over 300 students protested against the authorities for not issuing roll numbers, even when Classes X and XII exams are starting from tomorrow.

Students, a majority of whom belong to far-flung areas of Haryana, thronged the institute since 7 in morning waiting to get their roll numbers.

According to the students, though they had all documents ready, the institute as usual after harassing them for the entire day ended up refusing point blank.

“The roll numbers should have been posted to us, but we kept on waiting. Our exams start from tomorrow so we reached the institute at 9:30 am and despite pleading for seven hours, the institute is not ready to either give our roll numbers or even tell us our fault. We tried to persuade the director but he shooed us away,” said Sunita Rani, an applicant from Bhiwani.

The institute authorities, however, blamed the students, as one of the senior officials claimed, “There is a deadline to submit the documents. Yes, it has become an annual feature now, but it is the fault of the students and not us. There is a deadline to submit the documents, which they never do. They walk in at the eleventh hour and demand roll numbers, creating a ruckus here. We are tied by norms and cannot entertain last minute requests.”

Interestingly, many students amongst the protestors were those who had received their roll numbers but without vital information. “My roll number does not mention my examination centre. Where do I go tomorrow for my exam? The director is not ready to listen. I am coming from Jind just to beg him to rectify the folly,” said Sandeep Ahlawat, a protesting student.



Roll numbers to be given as per rules: PU officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
Reacting to the protest staged by students of the department of evening studies yesterday, Panjab University officials today said the university would not succumb to any pressure created by student leaders to issue roll numbers to ineligible candidates.

The protest was being contemplated by certain sections of PU teachers as an attempt to create a pressure on the authorities for not being issued roll numbers in the wake of attendance shortage.

Senior administrative functionaries, including Registrar-cum-Controller of Examinations AK Bhandari and Dean Student Welfare Naval Kishore, said as per the university rules, the students whose eligibility to appear in the exams was under question, could be allowed to write the first exam. However, permission would be granted to appear in the subsequent exams only if their case for eligibility is cleared in the interim, said the officials.

Officials added that the university rules would be followed in permitting the girl students and ex-servicemen to appear as private candidates. “On a general level, wherever applicable, the university administration will condone the lecture shortage strictly as per the rules,” said the officials.

Last year a strange case surfaced in the university in which a single doctor was found testifying illness of several students of the department of evening studies, who had produced medical certificates testified by the same doctor. Later, certain students produced more medical certificates claiming that they suffered from swine flu symptoms.

A special inspection committee was formed to review the case and it was resolved that the rules would be followed stringently for attendance from the next academic session.



SOPU demands safe drinking water in girls’ hostels
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
On the issue of safe drinking water in girls’ hostels on Panjab University campus, nearly 70 members of the Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) today staged a protest outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office. The students submitted a memorandum to the Dean Student Welfare (DSW), who arrived on the spot to hear their demands.

SOPU president Robin Brar today alleged that the student council could not sort out student-related issues due to the internal rift. Brar said there was a need to install water coolers on all floors in the hostels with full maintenance of hygiene and water supply also need to be regulated.

“Our organisation has been conducting a survey in all hostels on the campus, starting with the girls hostels, asking their problems. The girls particularly pointed out that they could not even roam inside the hostel premises after 9.30 pm. Others pointed out that there was a need to install spinning machines in the hostels to dry clothes,” said Brar.

He added that since the exam time was approaching, canteens inside the hostels should remain open till late night and coffee machines be installed for the students. SOPU members also urged the DSW to ensure proper security from the gate outside the Kasturba Hall till Sector 14 market. Others demands included better wireless connectivity in the hostels and removal of Rs 4 fine for not having food at the mess and canteen of the hostel.

“We have been assured a timely action in all demands by the university authorities,” said Brar.



Classical ballet ‘Shree Ram’ enraptures audience
SD Sharma

Panchkula, April 5
The spiritual wisdom, philosophy and ethical codes of life as enshrined in the classic epic “Ramayana” came alive in the light and sound dance drama spectacle “Shree Ram” presented by accomplished artistes of the Shriram Bhartiya Kala Kendra, New Delhi, under the aegis of Haryana Kala Parishad at Yavanika theatre here today.

All 35 actors, including 15 female artistes, trained in classical dances like kathak, bharatnatayam, chhau and martial arts displayed their versatility and perfection in dancing, acting spells and facial gestures in the series of sequences, which melted into each other.

All episodes from Balmiki’s inspiration to grooming of Rama and brothers by Guru Vashisht, Sita Swayamber, exile of Rama to the killing of Ravana and coronation of Rama were presented with perfection.

The recorded background music augmented the production level, while light designing was, too, amateurish. Lead actors, Rajkumar Sharma (Ram), Akanksha (Sita), Shiv Ram Mohanto (Laxman), Upinder Sinha (Hanuman) and Shashi Kant Mohanto (Ravana) and others won applause.



From Schools & Colleges


MOHALI: The Shivalik Institute of Education and Research organised its convocation function here. Dr SS Johal, chairman of agricultural and price commission, was the chief guest and awarded degrees to 200 students. Minica, Deepshika and Gurpreet stood first, second and third, respectively, in the college during the academic session 2008-2009. Principal Dr Satpal Kaur Grewal read out the annual report.

Orientation programme

Parents of the students of Smart Wonders School had an insight into their child world during the two-day orientation programme organised by the school. Principal Upasna Babuta said, “The orientation programmes strengthen the bond of the school and parents, as they are equal partners in bringing the all-round development in the child.” She opined that both parents and teachers should work together to facilitate effective learning and growth in their wards. — TNS



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