C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CET forms sold in black
PU runs out of stock; sold between Rs 2,500 and Rs 3,000
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
With Panjab University running out of Common Entrance Test (CET) prospectuses this afternoon, hundreds of forms were today sold in black both on and off the campus that included sale counters in Sectors 8 and 17. Black-marketeers, primarily PU students themselves, made a quick buck by selling prospectuses, originally priced at Rs 1,800, for anywhere between Rs 2,500 and Rs 3,000.

Possibly taking a cue from the large-scale profiteering from black- marketeering of tickets that was in evidence in the run-up to the India-Pakistan World Cup semifinal match held in Mohali last month, university students are learnt to have not only sold prospectuses outside the designated counters in person but even via SMSes and telephone calls by spreading the canard that the university had decided not to print any more forms.

The drama began around 1 pm when sales counters ran out of stock. University officials immediately got into action and brought 100 forms from its centre in Mani Majra. But these, too, ran out in no time. The university authorities then began selling the SC/ST category forms under the general category. But even these got sold off by 2.30 pm.

Eventually, panic gripped form seekers, as the last date of form submission (without late fee) is Monday, April 18, which is preceded by a weekend. An announcement by university authorities that they would be making arrangements for new prospectus by this evening for sale tomorrow did not cut ice among prospective students who turned to buying the prospectus in the black market.

“It is a matter of my daughter’s future and I cannot take a risk. We were informed that we would be able to get forms tomorrow. But I could not wait and take the risk. One of my daughter’s friends, who is a student in the university, told us that no new forms would be arriving. Her friend then arranged for a form for Rs 2,800,” said Dr Meena Sidhu, a Sector-38 resident, who had come to buy the form on the university campus today.



98 pc banks have burglar alarm
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
Banks in the city seem to have learnt a lesson from the infamous Tanishq dacoity incident that occurred in January this year.

Around 98 per cent of the banks in the city have installed burglar alarms with direct connectivity to the police control room following the incident, reveals the findings of a recently conducted police survey.

After a dacoity in Tanishq showroom in Mani Majra on January 12, the UT Police had sensitised banks and prominent jewellers of the city to install burglar alarms and auto dialer systems.

While jewellers are yet to achieve the target and are in the process of installing the security equipment, banks in the city - both public and private - have installed the foolproof security system wherein an alarm will alert the police control room in the wake of a robbery attempt. The system’s alarm will automatically trigger off, sending pre-recorded messages to emergency telephone numbers.

The police survey was conducted across 224 branches of 34 banks in the city. It was found that 98 per cent of them have installed sirens, auto dialers and CCTVs. This is in addition to security guards that all banks in the city have.

The survey reveals that 201 of the total 224 bank branches have siren alarms, 147 of these 224 have auto dialers and 150 of these have installed CCTVs. Most of the bank branches are found to have their security equipment in perfect working condition.

For instance, 17 branches of HDFC Bank are equipped with all the security equipments while 10 of the 13 ICICI branches have siren alarms, auto dialers and CCTVs.

Besides, banks like Oriental Bank of Commerce, Kotak Mahindra, Bank of India, Citibank, Punjab and Sind Bank, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, IDBI have also installed these security systems.

On January 13, a high-level meeting was conducted by UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas and all jewellers and petrol stations were directed to install the auto dialer system.


‘It’s commendable’

It is a commendable step and joint efforts of the UT Home Department as well as the police have borne fruit. Banks as well as jewellers were asked to install the system after the Tanishq incident as it was for their own safety. The police conducted a survey of various banks and we were pleased to see that a majority of them are equipped to deal with robbery incidents.

— PK Srivastava, Inspector General of Police, Chandigarh



Late for meeting, SSP fined Rs 2,000 
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
The practice of imposing a fine on late comers at the weekly crime meeting taken by UT SSP Naunihal Singh took an interesting turn when he himself was fined Rs 2,000 yesterday for coming 40 minutes late for the meeting.

A practice that Naunihal himself initiated in lighter vein ever since he took charge to make his officials learn lessons in punctuality ended up making him shell out the money for not being on time. With Rs 500 charged as late fee fine per meeting, Naunihal paid Rs 2,000 for having thrice postponed the meeting in the past.

All the Deputy Superintendents of Police, Station House Officers, their readers and inspectors of key cells of the police were present during the regular meeting yesterday at the police headquarters. While the meeting was to commence at 11.30 am, it was only at 12.10 pm that Naunihal Singh reached at the meeting.

For the officials who were waiting for him patiently, it was like an opportunity not meant to be lost. "Rules are same for everyone," remarked one of the officials following which the SSP was asked to shell out Rs 2,000. While the amount of Rs 500 was the penalty for being late yesterday, the remaining Rs 1,500 were charged as the SSP thrice postponed the meeting owing to busy schedule due to cricket match duty in the past.

"Yes, I ended up paying Rs 2,000 this time as fine. We all will party with the amount next time we hold a meeting. It's all done in lighter vein. A bit of humour is also essential in the otherwise hectic schedule of officials," Naunihal Singh told the Chandigarh Tribune.



City lad in Junior Davis Cup team
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
Local lad Fatehdeep Singh has done the city proud. Ranked 2 in the under-16 by the All India Tennis Association (AITA), he will be representing the country in the upcoming Junior Davis Cup beginning April 18 in New Delhi.

The 14-year-old player will be the part of the two-member team that will vie with various international players to clinch the top honours. Hyderabad’s Sheikh Abdullah, top ranked in the AITA list, and Garvit Batra from Delhi are the other members in the Indian squad. Being third ranked, Garvit will be a reserve player of the team.

For Fatehdeep, a class 10 student of DAV Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 15, the achievement has been like a dream come true. “Representing the country for a player is always something special, but this is my beginning as winning the grand slam for India is my ultimate ambition”, said the player, who was also ranked 2 in under-14 last year.

Presently Fatehdeep is attending the Indian squad’s camp in New Delhi under the hawkish eyes of team coach Vishal Uppal.

“Sports is in my blood - my father, Ram Singh, is a national record holder in weightlifting and my mother, Sukhbir Kaur is a school national volleyball player,” said Fatehdeep, whose younger brother Karandeep is also in the top 10 ranking in the under-12 age group.

On the accomplishment of her student, DAV-15 principal Rakesh Sachdeva said: “His (Fatehdeep’s) hard work and devotion has started bringing fruit. I’m sure one day he’ll bring laurels to the country at a bigger level”.


Achievements so far

l 3rd in International Challenge Cup, Delhi

l All-India Nationals Series u-16, Kavali (runner-up)

l All-India Super Series u-16, Lucknow (winner)

l All-India Super Series u-16, Delhi (winner)

l All-India Sunfeast Open u-14, Kolkata (winner)

l All-India Adidas Nationals u-14, Chennai (winner)

l All-India Super Series u-16, Jassowal (winner)

l All-India Championship Series u-18, Chandigarh (winner)

l All-India Championship Series u-18, Chandigarh (runner-up)

l All-india Championship Series u-16, Jassowal (winner)

l All-india Super Series u-14, Delhi (winner)

Doubles titles

l All-India u-16 National Series doubles, Jassowal (winner)

l All-India National Series u-16 doubles, Kavali (runner-up)

l All-India Super Series u-16 doubles, Vijaywada (winner)

l All-India 15000 mens doubles, Chandigarh (semifinalist)

l All-India Nationals u-16 doubles, Pune (winner)

l All-India Super Series u-16 doubles, Delhi (winner)

l All-India Championship Series u-16 doubles, Jassowal (winner)

l All-India Championship Series u-18 doubles, (runner-up)

l All-India Nationals u-16 doubles, Jassowal (runner-up) 


Bomb hoax calls cause a flutter at secretariat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
A series of calls claiming that a bomb planted in an office of the Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat is ready to explode sent the UT police in a tizzy here today.

The police swung into action and secured the complex after evacuating people. After carrying out a thorough search of the building, the calls turned out to be hoax.

The caller was later identified as Sonu Kumar, a resident of Balongi. He had made the call from a mobile phone (7814801263). A police team was despatched to arrest him at the time of the filing of the report.

The first call was received at the sixth-floor office of Punjab Additional Secretary OP Popli.

The call was received through the telephone exchange and the caller warned that a bomb had been planted in the building and would explode in a few minutes. As the police got on its toes, another call informing that a bomb would explode the building of the Haryana Civil Secretariat was received at 10.30 am at the office of Haryana Chief Secretary Urvashi Gulati.

Panic gripped the main secretariat, housing the offices of both Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers, as the police arrived with a bomb disposal squad and quick reaction team.

The police conducted a search, which lasted three hours, only to find that it was a prank call.

The police has traced the number of the caller who had called at the office of OP Popli, while the second call could not be traced.

“The calls turned out to be hoax but we carried out an exhaustive search as we could not take chances in such cases,” said Inspector Mahavir Singh, SHO, Sector 3 police station.



Palsora residents sensitised on sanitation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
A sanitation campaign was flagged off at Palsora village today by area councillor Manjit Singh Chauhan here today.

During the campaign, grievances of residents were heard by the councillor. The area was sprayed with insecticides by the pest control wing of the municipal corporation. They also carried out fumigation in the area. People were urged to bring about an attitudinal change especially towards the management of solid waste. The residents were sensitised towards keeping their area clean and adopting hygienic habits to keep them free from diseases. Stickers carrying message of cleanliness were pasted on the walls.

Pamphlets raising awareness on maintaining public hygiene were also distributed among the residents.

They were educated through the public address system to segregate dry and wet waste and deposit the same with the door-to-door collector. Alternatively, they were asked to deposit the garbage in the containers placed by the municipal corporation.



Aerocity draw of lots on April 20
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 15
A draw of lots for 200 plots in the Aerocity for riot victims will be held by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) on April 20.

GMADA has received around 5,000 applications for 200 plots. The officials concerned have scrutinised the application forms and also completed other formalities linked with the work.

Five per cent of the total number of plots has been reserved for riot victims. The plots to be allotted are of seven different sizes. While 32 plots have been reserved in the 500 sq yards category, three have been reserved in 400 sq yards category and 36 in the 300 sq yards category.

Similarly, 26 plots in 250 sq yards, 40 in 200 sq yards, 28 in 150 sq yards and 35 in 125 sq yards categories were reserved.

Estate officer Balbir Singh said riot victims (applicants), who had not availed any benefit earlier, would be given priority.

Applicants could check with GMADA website and could also contact authorities concerned by April 19.

He said draw of lots would be held without any verification and record of successful applicants would later be sent to the Deputy Commissioner so that the required verification could be done.

Waiting lists having a minimum of three names in each category would be prepared. Normally, 10 per cent of the number of plot applicants were put on the waiting list, said Balbir.



Tribune Impact
Two liquor vends challaned

Chandigarh, April 15
A team of the UT excise department today issued challans to two liquor vends, which were found opened after the official closing time 11 pm.

The liquor shops which were found doing the business illegally were located at Sector 22-A and Sector 22-B.

Notably, a report under heading ‘Liquor flows even after midnight’ was carried in these columns that has reported that how openly liquor was being sold in the city even after midnight. Following the report, the department swung into action and made surprise checks at several liquor vends, located in the various parts of the city. The raids were on till the filing of the report. — TNS



Shopkeepers get tips on firefighting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
A fire safety programme was conducted by a team of fire and emergency services at Patel Market, Sector 15, today.

During the programme, a team inspected the market while senior officials of the fire department delivered a lecture on fire safety rules and provided training in fire-fighting equipment to the shopkeepers.

The team directed the shopkeepers to remove loose electrical wiring, encroachment from passages and material hanging outside of their shops.

The shopkeepers were directed to provide sufficient space around the market and shops for the movement of fire-tenders.

The team also checked the condition of fire extinguishers and found them satisfactory.

The fire team was led by chairman, fire emergency committee, Devinder Singh Babla.



Fresh probe ordered against two cops
Had ‘consumed liquor’ while guarding IPL team
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
Senior police officials today ordered a fresh inquiry against the two suspended policemen following reports that the two had gone to a Sector-22 liquor vend to consume liquor and later fled the scene leaving behind a vulnerable head constable Darshan Kumar to face the wrath of drunk youths.

UT SSP Naunihal Singh said a fresh inquiry had been marked against the two policemen — a sub-inspector and a constable — as they had been found absent from their location in the Taj Hotel where, incidentally, they were posted as part of security of the Chennai Super Kings team captained by Indian skipper MS Dhoni.

Sub-inspector Boota Ram and constable Paramjit Singh were suspended yesterday for dereliction of duty as they had been found drunk on duty.

Senior police officials said a separate inquiry had been marked to look into how the two PCR personnel had changed their location from Taj Hotel in Sector 17 and gone to the liquor vend in Sector 22 to consume liquor in their PCR vehicle, which was meant to be stationed outside the hotel where the cricket team members were staying.

“There are two separate aspects of the inquiry. While a departmental inquiry has been marked against them for being drunk on duty, another aspect to be looked into is their change of location and how the two managed to change their location from Sector 17 to Sector 22 while taking the PCR vehicle along to a liquor vend probably to consume liquor,” said Naunihal Singh.

Meanwhile, the two accused arrested for thrashing a UT police head constable at the liquor vend on Tuesday night were remanded in one-day police custody after they were produced in a local court today.

The police said there were more accused in the crime and those arrested needed to be interrogated for more leads into the case.

The police had arrested Rajdeep Singh and Gurpreet Singh on charges of attempted murder yesterday.

Rajdeep Singh is a BTech final-year student and his cousin Gurpreet Singh is an agriculturist. The two are in their early twenties.

Rajdeep, who hails from Bathinda, is studying BTech in Swami Vivekanda Institute in Dera Bassi. He was staying as a paying guest in Phase VII, Mohali. His cousin Gurpreet hails from Barnala.



Affordable public transport top priority, says Adviser
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
“Providing affordable and efficient public transport system will be one of my priorities in Chandigarh,” said new Adviser to the UT Administrator KK Sharma here today.

In an informal chat with mediapersons after assuming charge at the UT Secretariat here today, the 1983-batch IAS officer of the UT cadre said the local public transport would be strengthened to cater to the needs of the population.

With that end in mind, the Metro project was high on administration’s agenda and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has been asked to prepare the detailed project report (DPR), he stated.

Besides, stress would be laid on the development of infrastructure while maintaining the basic character of the city, he added.

Sharma, who was till recently Principal Secretary, Public Works Department (PWD), Delhi Government, had earlier worked with the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

Sharma was earlier received by senior officers of the Chandigarh Administration at the UT Guest House. Later, he called on Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj Patil at Raj Bhavan.

In the evening, Sharma held a meeting with the head of various departments to familiarise himself with the administrative setup in the Union Territory.



Dalit bodies slam BJP over casteist remark

Chandigarh, April 15
Several Dalit organisations today flayed the BJP for its alleged posting of casteist remarks against father of the Indian Constitution Dr BR Ambedkar.

Addressing a mediapersons here today, leaders of these organisation demanded a public apology from the BJP leadership, failing which they would launch a nationwide agitation.

Prominent among those present included Harphool Chand Kalyan, Balraj Singh, Sohan Lal Vaid, Rajinder Makwana, Shyam Lal Ghawri, Dharamvir, Surat Singh,Kesoram Parcha, Jaipal, Bhor Singh Bidla and Om Pal Singh Chawar. — TNS



Distress call to PCR turns unsavoury for woman
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 15
A distress call made to the Police Control Room (PCR) on April 12, asking for the phone number of a snake charmer who could catch a creature found in her friend’s house, has left a Naya Goan-based woman flabbergasted.

Instead of a sympathetic voice asking the caller for any help, the policeman on the other side not only exhibited insensitivity but also asked her personal questions and offered his personal mobile number.

Shocked, the woman caller (who did not wish to be identified) has written to the Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) narrating her unpleasant experience. The phone calls were made between 5.30 pm and 7.30 pm on April 12.

On the other hand, the police, after verifying the facts, denied that any such calls had been received by the Mohali PCR as all call details were automatically recorded in their system. An official said the woman had apparently called up the Chandigarh PCR believing that she was calling up the Mohali PCR.

“Initially, the PCR number (100) dialled from my mobile reached the Chandigarh Police Control Room. They guided me to the Mohali Police Control Room. After repeated dialing, my call landed at the Mohali Police Control Room,” she claimed.

Instead of helping the woman, the policeman allegedly started asking her personal questions and enquired if she was married. Taken aback by the behaviour of the call recipient, she though she had dialled a wrong number.

Repeated calls made to the PCR number landed at the desk of the same policeman.

“After some time, I again called to verify whether I was dialing the right number or not. Again the same policeman answered the call,” she said.

The complainant has sought the retrieval of details of the calls made by her to the control room to identify the erring policemen.



Panel to defuse tension in Bataur village set up
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 15
In view of the tension simmering among different groups in Bataur village in the Barwala block, the district administration on Friday set up a five-member committee under the chairmanship of subdivisional magistrate KK Kalson to ease the situation.

Deputy commissioner Ashima Brar said the other members of the panel include the Panchkula deputy superintendent of police (HQ), the Barwala naib tehsildar and block development & ‘panchayat’ officer and the Chandimandir police station SHO. “The committee will try to resolve the issue by taking the two groups in the village into confidence”, she added.

It may be mentioned here the Rajputs residing in Bataur had not been allowing ‘dalits’ to cultivate their land and were also reportedly abusing the latter’s womenfolk. Not only this, the majority community was not permitting the ‘dalits’ to take up work in nearby villages. The ‘dalits’ had earlier complained against the Rajputs to the deputy commissioner and block development officer over the income accruing from ‘shamlat’ (common) land in the village. They claimed they were being subjected to “repression” by a particular community and as a result were jobless.

The ‘dalits’ also alleged their usual routes of going in and out of the village had been changed and, fearing violence, they had been forced to confine their children indoors after sunset.



Man climbs tree to get ‘justice’
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, April 15
Fight for “justice” today took a politician to new heights. In an apparent attempt to make his voice heard loud and clear, Avtar Singh Nagla today climbed up a eucalyptus tree in a Nagla village here this morning.

All efforts to convince him by the local administration to come down failed until the filing of this report late in the evening as Nagla demanded a face-to-face dialogue with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on the land issue.

Nagla climbed up the tree at Nagla village near Zirakpur and made it clear that he would continue to stay up on the tree until Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal came to the spot and talked to him.

As Nagla refused to come down even after sunset, lights were installed around the tree and a police team was deployed there. He was well prepared to sit on the tree for long as he was carrying water bottles and other provisions.

Nagla had initially come in politics by contesting Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections in 2007. Though he lost the election, he remained in news for one reason or the other. Only recently, Nagla was challaned by the police for using red beacon atop his vehicle.

Talking to mediapersons, Nagla alleged that the government had leased out several acres of the village to a paper mill so as to provide employment to the villagers. But later the mill owners illegally sold off the land to a well-known businessman, he alleged. And now the land was bought by a housing company at a very high price. Nagla said he would not come down from the tree until his demand was met and their village land was released.

Meanwhile, SDM Puneet Goyal stated that he had tried to convince Nagla to come down, but he refused and demanded the CM to visit the spot and look into the land matter. When asked about the demand of Nagla regarding land issue, the SDM said the matter dated back to 1971. He had asked the officials concerned to check the records and find out the reality.



‘Youngsters need to be open to ideas, criticism’
Tribune News Service

Students listen to experts during the conference.

Students listen to experts during the conference.
Students listen to experts during the conference. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Chandigarh, April 15
With “ Making a Difference” being the latest rage post Anna Hazare’s hunger strike, over 200 young enthusiasts gathered today at the CII to attend a panel discussion on ‘Be the Change’ organised by the Chandigarh chapter of Young India (Yi). The panel comprising Manoj Kumar, gold medallist, boxing, Commonwealth Games 2010, Sameer Jain, co chair, Yi Chandigarh chapter, and CEO, Net Solutions, Shankar Vanavarayar, national chairman, Young Indians and Executive director, Sakthi Motors and Raj Chengappa, Editor-in-Chief of the Tribune Group of News Papers, endorsed the principle of “Change Yourself Before Anything Else”.

Highlighting the idea of initiating this change from the bottom of pyramid, Raj Chengappa asserted, “Aiming at a big revolution is not bad, but to start it, we need to first bring in small changes. Before taking on to problems like corruption we first need to get concerned about our roads, traffic problems and try solving them out. We cannot change the nation if we do not care to take the initiative to get the authorities to maintain parks in front of our houses.” Addressing the issue of adoption of Gandhian thought by today’s generation, he said Gandhi himself had once said,” I would like the winds of doctrine to blow through the windows and doors of my house, but would refuse to be swept off my feet”. “Change is dynamic and truth is a mere perception. Gandhi himself was experimenting with it the entire life. Today youngsters need to be open to all thoughts, ideas, criticism information, but need to pick and choose,” added Chengappa.

Agreeing with him, Shankar Vanavarayar said, “Change is constant and we all need to know and decide on whether we want change to affect us or we should take the charge and determine its direction.”

Elaborating on directing the change in the right manner, Sameer Jain said, “We all have spark, we just need to ignite it and channelise all energies in the right direction. And CII-Yi is one such forum. We need to take small steps which will surely bear big fruits one day”.

While many participants raised various questions, it was a young schoolgirl’s query, that highlighted the dilemma of today’s youth .

“ How are we supposed to bring about a change when our parents and elders strictly ask us to mind our business. When I see an accident on a road, I wish to stop and lend help, but my father refuses to do so, what should I do?” she questioned 



Manoj Kumar, Commonwealth 2010 gold medallist, bowled over everybody with his simplicity, as he said in a typical Haryanavi accent, “Jab bhi hum kahin jaate hain khelne aur apne tirenge ko dekhte hain to dil to seena garv se fool jata hai. Aur yehi garv humme himmat deta kuch kar guzarene ki. Agar kuch badlna chahte ho to to desh se pyaar karo us pe garv karo,” (Whenever we go out to play and see the Tricolour, we feel proud. This pride propels us to perform and excel. If you want to bring about the change then love your country and be proud of it). 



Costly admission process
NSUI goes on ‘brief’ hunger strike
Tribune News Service

NSUI activists stage a protest at Panjab University, Chandigarh, on Friday.
NSUI activists stage a protest at Panjab University, Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, April 15
Voicing anger against the ‘costly’ application process at Panjab University, the National Student Union of India staged a ‘brief’ hunger strike in front of the Vice-Chancellor’s office today. Sunny Mehta, vice-president, NSUI, sat on an indefinite hunger strike, but called it off within an hour claiming, “After discussions and heated arguments, the university has accepted the demand and agreed to reduce the rates of the forms. The authorities have assured that a formal order would be issued on Monday.”

However, Dean, Student Welfare, Naval Kishore said, “ We spoke to them and reminded them that following a memorandum submitted by them in the last Senate meeting, the VC had promised to look into the matter. The minutes of Senate will be approved next week and we can expect a decision only then. No assurance has been given so far.”

The NSUI under the leadership of Sunny Mehta has been raising the issue of high prices of CET and OCET forms in the university since a month now. He submitted a memorandum to the VC in the Senate asking him to reduce the prices of CET and OCET prospectus, which are priced at Rs 1,800 and Rs 1,600, respectively.

The VC promised to look into the issue, but according to the NSUI, nothing has happened so far.

Admission process not costly

Our CET form covers more than 10 courses and there is no need to buy a separate form for any subsequent application. Though in case of OCET, a separate application is required, generally students don’t apply in more than two courses so it is not that costly. These require entrance tests which involve process of paper setting and printing evaluation. The cost of an admission form of the university in open courses is only Rs 50. The matter is being blown out of proportion by student groups to gain political mileage.”

— AK Bhandari, Controller of Examination, PU 



Over 1,400 children don’t go to school: Survey
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 15
In a district that has achieved the distinction of having the second highest literacy rate of 84.9 per cent after Hoshiarpur district, around 1,497 children are still deprived of education.

A survey on “out of schoolchildren” conducted in the urban and rural areas of the district, including slums and labour colonies, has officially pegged the figure at 1,497. Most of the identified children in the age group of 6 to 14 years are concentrated in and around Mohali city.

These children, most of whom have never been to a school, were identified during a survey carried out by an NGO-Prathamb. Profiling of all such children was being done so that each of them could be dealt with personally. District Education Officer (Elementary) Surjit Kaur said a door-to-door survey was carried out to identify the children. “Special trainer teachers are on the job of profiling each child,” the officer added.

As per official statistics of the department, there are 32,594 children in 435 government elementary schools in the district. The survey showed that employment as domestic help was the main reason for these kids to opt out of schools.

Another problem faced by the district education authorities was floating population living in the slum areas of Mohali and who at times migrated to slums in the bordering areas of Chandigarh. A section of such children was found to be working as rag pickers and roadside vendors.



Visually impaired teachers seek resumption of recruitment process

Chandigarh: The National Federation of Blind, Punjab, has decided to resume its agitation demanding conversion of Elementary Teachers Training (ETT) posts into the posts of music teacher and tabla player in the department of school education (secondary). They demanded that the recruitment process be resumed. The federation alleged that the government did not fulfil their demands.

In a press release, general secretary of the National Federation of the Blind Ram Murti said the federation had been forced by the Punjab government to start an agitation. He said the members would hold a protest outside the Women and Child Development Centre, Sector 34-A, on May 2.

Placement drive

Patiala: Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar, visited Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology and recruited 22 MTech and Phd candidates. Students were offered an annual pay package of Rs 5 lakh.

Annual function

Banur: Gurukul Vidyapeeth Group of Institutes held its annual function on Friday. DS Saroya, director, North Zone Cultural Centre, was the chief guest. Students danced to the beats of dhol. Others events included fashion show, choreography and folk dance. CEO-cum-chairman of the institute Manmohan Kumar addressed students and urged them to work hard. The function concluded with a prize distribution ceremony.

Students selected

Ambala: All MBA students of Glaxy Global Group of Institutions, Dinarpur, have been hired by various companies. Students were offered annual pay packages up to Rs 2.20 lakh. Companies like Future Group, Sourabh Chemicals, Yellow Pages, Unicon, Money Matters, HCL-Mohali, HCL-Delhi, HB Entertainment Pvt Ltd, Aegon Religare and Microgene Diagnostics visited the campus.

Over 1,000 get degrees

“The government is putting in efforts to make education universally accessible for all sections of society and Haryana is keen on implementing the RTE Act in the state,” said by Education Minister Geeta Bhukkal while addressing a gathering during the annual convocation of Government Postgraduate College, Ambala Cantt.

She said a number of schemes were launched by the Centre and state to get children belonging to the economically weaker sections admitted to schools.

Bhukkal lauded the efforts of staff and students.

Students shortlisted

Mohali: To shortlist students from electronics, communication engineering and computer science streams, an HCL team visited the Quest Group of Institutions.

A team led by Jogvinder, regional manager, along with Navjot Kaur from the HR department, gave a presentation. Around 40 students were selected. These students will undergo training at the HCL. Monika D Mehta, head, training and placements said, “Our association with the HCL will surely bridge the gap between the institute and industry.”

Principal Dr Gurdev Singh read out the annual report. — Tribune Reporters 



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