C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Used surgical items for sale in PGI?
Medical store accused of selling old drainage cannula, police complaint filed
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Medical stores at the PGI are under scanner again, this time for allegedly selling used surgical equipment. On Tuesday, a doctor at the premier health institute noticed that a ‘drainage cannula’, a plastic pipe used in the cardio-thoracic surgery bought from a chemist shop on the PGI premises was a used one.

Following this, the chemist was called to the operation theatre and a police complaint was filed in this regard. The PGI spokesperson confirmed the incident but said nothing had been established as of now. The PGI security wing is looking into the matter, she said.

Following the incident, sources in the PGI do not rule out the possibility of a larger nexus between unscrupulous elements in the PGI staff and chemists in pilferage of medicines and surgical items from operation theatres. “If a inquiry is conducted, it may unearth a big scam,” said a staff member of the Advanced Cardiac Centre.

On Tuesday, Surjit Singh, a resident of Burail village in Sector 45, Chandigarh, had to undergo cardio-thoracic surgery when Dr Rana Sandip Singh noticed that a ‘drainage cannula’ lying with other surgical items was a used one even as it was sealed in a cover. It had a maximum retail price of Rs 2,100 printed on it.

Immediately, chemist shop manager Dr Ashok was asked to come to the operation theatre of the Advanced Cardiac Centre and was asked to explain the reason for it.

When contacted, Dr Ashok denied that there was any negligence on the part of the shop. “I was told that the drainage cannula bought by attendants belonged to the PGI. I have no idea how it reached my shop,” he said. He added that it could be one of the articles returned by some patient who had been treated at the PGI.

“Many times, patients return unused surgical items and medicines bought from our shop after the surgery and there is a possibility that this was one of such items,” he said. 



Finally, Sector 63 housing scheme gets going
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
There is light at the end of the tunnel for over 2,100 allottees of the Sector 63 housing scheme of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) in Sector 63.

The monopolistic arm of the Chandigarh administration has initiated the construction work at site, almost three years after the scheme was launched.

The activity at the site has revived the hopes of allottees that they can get the possession of the land in 2013. “Six of the eight tenders for the construction had been allotted and the rest two would be allotted soon paving the way for the start of the actual construction work,” a senior official told The Tribune.

A visit to site showed that the area was being levelled in the run up to the actual construction. Given its location adjoining Phase IX of Mohali, the terrain of the area was uneven and large-scale levelling was required for starting the construction work.

The CHB plans to construct 2,108 flats in Sector 63, which included 336 three-bedroom flats, 888 two-bedroom flats, 564 one-bedroom flats and 320 EWS flats at an estimated cost of Rs 414.45 crore.

The scheme had been in the news for wrong reasons Golf Club elections todaywith the UT architecture department repeatedly rejecting the layout plan of the housing project. The architecture department’s objections included coverage of the floor area ratio for constructing more than required flats, leaving less space between different blocks and absence of the greenbelt. Besides, several openings on the V-3 road were another irritant, as only one opening was allowed under the rules.



Accused in graft case, ETO commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 23
An excise and taxation officer (ETO) with the department’s mobile wing in Chandigarh allegedly committed suicide by consuming celphos tablets at his Phase II residence late last evening. He died at the PGI.The deceased, identified as 50-year-old Ranjit Singh, who was arrested by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau for allegedly accepting bribe from a trader to release his goods at Mohali on March 29, had been released on bail just three days ago. Though his family members were in a state of shock, his colleagues said he was under stress after being allegedly implicated in a false case. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

As the news about his death spread, there was widespread resentment among his colleagues who accused the Vigilance Bureau of implicating him a false case. The ETO on being trapped was humiliated and bashed up by vigilance bureau officials, claimed colleagues of the deceased.

Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, president of the Excise and Taxation Officers Association said the association had demanded a fair inquiry into the incident by an IAS officer who had worked with the excise department. “Those who are behind his death should be booked for abetment to suicide,” he said.



MC committees only on paper
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
What can the city residents expect from their elected representatives when they have no time or are not willing to meet even once in a month to discuss about their welfare.

MC records reveal that the slum colonies and village development and the house tax committees have not met since long. Interestingly, the elected representatives are vocal in highlighting the problems of their respective areas in the MC House meeting. During the question hour in the House meeting, councillors of slums and villages allege that the officials ignore the problems of their respective wards. However, none of the councillors, who are members of the slum committee, have ever objected to the non-convening of the meeting in the past three months.

Former Mayor Harjinder Kaur had constituted the slum colonies and the village development committees in 2007. Regular meetings were held in the first year but in 2008, the committee only met thrice. Last year, only two meetings were held.

However, the chairman of the house and property assessment committee has not called a single meeting of the committee till date. Sources said that councillors were avoiding the meeting as they don’t want to discuss the issue of imposing house tax during the election year.



Race for PGI Director’s post
CVC’s warnings to Dr Bahadur go unnoticed
Aditi Tandon/TNS

New Delhi, April 23
Questions are being raised on the validity of the panel of finalists drawn up for the appointment of the new PGI Director, with one of the three top contenders having twice received warnings from the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

Official documents with The Tribune reveal that the CVC had on June 4, 2010, advised the UT Administration to “issue a warning” to Dr Raj Bahadur, Director-Principal Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, Chandigarh in a matter involving some irregularities.

The Commission’s office memorandum to the UT Administration said, “Dr Raj Bahadur has sanctioned advance payment to contractor to be recovered in 12 instalments in violation of Government rules and contract’s terms and conditions. Though the amount has been recovered, this is a case of violation of procedure and delegation of financial powers. The Commission advises issuance of warning to Dr Bahadur Director Principal GMCH-32.” In another vigilance inquiry dated February 12, 2001, against Dr Bahadur and other top officers of GMCH-32, who have hence retired, the CVC observed that Bahadur and other members of a technical committee at GMCH, didn’t adopt the prescribed procedures in providing contract for appointment of technical staff of Class III and IV categories and awarding canteen tender. In this inquiry too, the CVC, on May 8, 2007, wrote to the UT Administration: “After reconsidering the matter, the CVC has advised to issue warning to the serving doctors (Dr Bahadur was serving at that time) and government displeasure to those who have retired.”

In the past 10 years, there have been five vigilance inquiries against Dr Bahadur, who has emerged clean in three, with the CVC directing closure of cases, except in two where warnings were advised to be given.

The Tribune has also learnt that until the last week, the mandatory vigilance clearance record of Dr Bahadur hadn’t been sent to the Health Ministry whose selection panel was short listing candidates for appointment as PGI Director.

When asked, Dr Bahadur today said the UT Administration had sent his vigilance record last week. He added that his application for PGI Director had been nominated by former Adviser to the UT Administrator and Chief Vigilance Officer Chandigarh Pradip Mehra. “Had my record been doubtful, why would the CVO recommend me? He has mentioned that my integrity is above board,” Bahadur said. Though he admitted to the CVC’s 2010 warning to him, Dr Bahadur claimed the said warning had no meaning as it was not recorded. “The matter involved safai karamcharis who I wanted to help. They wanted bonus, which I could not have given. So I paid the contractor the money due to him and asked him to recover the same in soft instalments,” Bahadur said.

He admitted that the CVC in 2007 advised the UT Administration to issue a warning to him. “But former Administrator Gen SF Rodrigues filed the case without issuing a warning. The incumbent Administrator also sought legal opinion and filed the case,” Bahadur said.



Youth poses as SP, lands in police net
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 23
An endeavour by the son of a local hotelier to impress his girlfriend with a lavish dinner in an expensive hotel landed him in the police net today as he tricked the hotel staff to book a table posing himself as the Panchkula Superintendent of Police (SP).

The accused has been identified as 25-year-old Vikrant Kumar, a resident of Rally village in Sector 12-A. The hotel staff got suspicious when the youth persistently demanded discount on the bill.

Undeterred by the police presence, Vikrant said he knew local SP Manish Chaudhary. However, the police arrested him and booked him under Sections 419 (punishment for cheating by personation), 420 (forgery) and 170 (personating a public servant) of IPC. He was produced before a local court and was granted bail.

Posing as the SP, the accused made a call at The Bella Vista in Sector 5 and asked to book a table and a room in the SP’s name. He also called up the hotel staff twice to give him discount on the same.

The hotel staff immediately called up the SP and asked him whether he would have the dinner in the dining hall or in the lawn. Shocked to hear this, the SP directed his staff to reach the hotel and arrest the fraudster. The hotel staff had also informed the Sector 5 police station SHO about the SP’s visit.

Laying the trap, the SHO called up Vikrant by posing himself as one of the hotel staff members and assured him that they would give him discount. A police team in mufti also sat in the hotel lobby and waited for the impostor. When the accused entered the hotel along with his girlfriend, the police nabbed him. 


UT dispensaries not in the pink of health
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
On Friday at 9 am, Poonam is standing along with her two school going daughters in the dispensary of Dadu Majra village. While Suman, the elder daughter of Poonam is complaining of stomachache, the younger Anu, a student of Class VIII in a local government school had fallen unconscious while playing in the school playground. However, finding no doctor in the dispensary the poor woman is left with no alternative than going to a quack.

“What to do? Doctors are supposed to come here only on Mondays and Fridays. They are missing more than often”, she laments.

A visit by TNS team to the dispensaries in the rural and slum areas of the city has revealed not just very poor availability of doctors, they are plagued with every possible malaise, including staff crunch, broken chairs, windows, lack of drinking water, toilet facilities and wild grass growing around the building.

The problems translate into a major handicap as the number of patients approaching these health facilities is huge. In fact with an acute shortage of doctors, the Chandigarh health department has rendered these dispensaries into makeshift health centres.

More than 100 patients visit the dispensary in Dadu Majra daily. Doctors come for duty only twice a week. The same set of doctors go to the dispensary in Sector 38 for four days in a week. “Looks like the administration wants us to ask our family members to fall sick on the particular day in a week when the doctors come. In their absence, quacks, spread all over the colony, are doing roaring business ”, said Ram Avtar, a workman employed at a factory in the Industrial Area.

Only recently, Suman, a victim of wrong blood transfusion at GMSH after getting discharged from PGI, was found taking treatment from a quack in her neighbourhood.

His opinion is seconded by Bharat Negi, a lab attendant at a private hospital, who said “I am amazed at people here who are put on drip on makeshift beds, along the streets, many times. These quacks are giving medicines which are not required at all”.

At the dispensary in Sector 38, where more than 100 patients visit every day, the basic facilities provided are pathetic. While no drinking water is available in the dispensary the two washbasins installed in the washroom are lying dirty and without taps.

The doctor visiting the healthcare centre in the neighbouring Dhanas village does not come on Thursdays and Saturdays as she has to go for duty at the staff-tarved Government Multi specialty Hospital, Sector 16. While the building is surrounded by wild grass, an earthen pitcher is placed at a bench so that the patients can drink water fron there in summer. It is another matter that it was lying empty when the reporter visited the dispensary. The health councillor visiting Halo Majra has no place to sit. The Kaimbwala centre has no doctor coming for the past more than three months. Things are no better at Maloya village.

At Mouli Jagran, though one doctor is available throughout the week, she has to look after an OPD of nearly 150 patients every day. A worker said “the number of patients could be as high as 250 during the rainy season with an aggravation in the number of stomach infections, typical to the area”.A sizable majority of the patients visiting dispensaries in these areas suffer from malnutrition. A senior doctor said “A majority of women visiting us here are anemic”. The health issues peculiar to residents in these areas, which is differentiated them from the rest of the city.



Sub-inspector threatened by vendors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
In yet another incident, some vendors in Sadar Bazar, Sector 19 here, allegedly threatened a sub-inspector of enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation today.Sub-inspector Sanjay Rana in his complaint to police alleged that he was threatened of dire consequences by three persons, Sanjay Chauhan, Sunil Puri and Sudhir Parashar alias Pinka, when he asked them to lift their goods from the place, which was sealed by the corporation during its anti-encroachment drive few days before. “They threatened me of dire consequences,” alleged Rana.

Taking action on his complaint, the police arrested Sanjay Chauhan after registering a case under Sections 332, 353 and 506 of the IPC at the Sector 19 police station here today.

It is to be noted that in a similar incident, another sub-inspector of the department Rakesh Gupta was slapped by a vendor Ajay Rana on April 21 in Shastri market, when he went to check the encroachments there. Following his complaint, the police slapped a case against Rana under Sections 332 and 353 of the IPC at the Sector 17 police station.



BSNL services affected in southern sectors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Thousands of BSNL subscribers in the southern sector were inconvenienced today as landline, mobile and broadband services were severely affected due to the damage caused to telephone cables following a fire at Sector 46 telephone exchange building yesterday

According to BSNL officials, the services were affected in Sector 45, 46, 47 and some parts of Sector 48 and 49. Though the fire broke down on the ground floor of the building, which houses the telephone exchange on the first floor, the cables running through the same were damaged. The officials claimed that more than 50 per cent cables were replaced and some service restored, it would take two to three days for the complete restoration.



RMS staff submit demands to Chief postmaster

Chandigarh, April 23
As a prelude to the proposed nationwide strike of the Postal and Railway Mail Service (RMS) employees from July 5, the National Federation of Postal Employees, the Federation of National Postal Organisations and the Grameen Dak Sevak (GDS) unions submitted a charter of demand to the Chief Postmaster General (Punjab).

The spokesperson said the demands include opposition to any closure or merger of post or RMS offices and outsourcing, grant of central civil servant status to the GDS employees, scrapping of the new recruitment rules etc. — TNS



Villagers shoo away contractor, labourers
Tribune News Service

Residents of Dhakola village stall work at the construction site in Zirakpur on Saturday
Residents of Dhakola village stall work at the construction site in Zirakpur on Saturday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Zirakpur, April 23
Unhappy with the construction of a gym at Dhakola village, village residents today shooed away a contractor and his labourers from the site.The municipal council, Zirakpur, is constructing the gym on a common land of the village.

Heated arguments were exchanged between the MC officials and villagers. Both parties lodged a complaint with the police.

Divulging information, Jagdev Singh Dhakola, former sarpanch of Himmatgarh, Dhakola, Ajmer Singh, Inderjit Singh, Akhtar Singh, Gurdiyal Singh and others stated that the village had 33 bighas of common land. After becoming part of the municipal council, the land was merged with the council’s land. Jagdev Singh said they had filed a case in a local court which was still pending. They alleged that as the case was pending in the court, the council had started the construction of the gym on the common land which was illegal. They told the council officials to stop the work, but the latter did not pay any heed.

Manpreet Kaur Dolly, daughter of late Capt Kanwaljit Singh came out in support of the residents.

On the other hand, Gurpreet Singh, MC contractor, alleged that Jagdev Singh Dhakola, along with other residents, had obstructed the officials from doing their work and damaged boundary walls. Meanwhile, ward no. 3 councillor Ajaib Singh claimed that the land belonged to the council.

“The council has planned to construct a gym and a park for residents of the area,” he added.



Standoff between farmers, committee continues
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 23
The standoff between farmers and the market committee continued over the shifting of apni mandi to the Sector 20 grain market, as farmers and vegetable vendors did not hold the mandi in protest against the market committee, which asked them to hold the same for another few days in different sectors.

While the market committee remained adamant on its stand and told farmers to shift to the grain market in Sector 20, farmers demanded that they were ready to shift there, but were not happy over holding apni mandi in different sectors.

Farmers arrived at Sector 15 ground adjoining Industrial Area, Phase II, in the morning to hold apni mandi, but the committee members told them that they should also sell vegetables at the grain market. Irked over this, they did not hold the mandi, as a result hundreds of city residents had to return empty handed.

Meanwhile, Suman Lata, secretary, market committee, Panchkula, could not be contacted.



Draw of lots for remaining plots sought

Mohali, April 23
Members of the Plot Allotment Sangharsh Committee, Sectors 76 to 80, have demanded a draw of lots for the remaining plots failing which protests would continue. Welcoming the decision of the Punjab and Haryana

High Court of vacating the stay orders on 102 acres of land, Sucha Singh Kalour, president of the committee, said GMADA was misleading allottees for the past many years in connection with 102 acres of land. He said now when the court had pronounced its judgement, the draw of lots of the remaining plots should be held as early as possible and the possession thereof should be given to the allottees. The allottees had to bear the enhanced cost of construction as it had risen manifold during the past 10 years . Chief Engineer of GMADA Tarlochan Singh also addressed the allottees and assured them that development of these sectors would be done.

The allottees also decided to meet the Chief Minister, who is also the chairman of GMADA, so that the draw of lots for the remaining plots was held at the earliest and development work of these sectors was also undertaken. They said if the development work was not started and a date for the draw of lots was not fixed, they would again protest against GMADA on May 21. — OC



Wheat gutted
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 23
Wheat spread over more than half acres was gutted at Nabha Sahib village near the Zirakpur-Patiala highway here today.According to a fire official, the fire started around 12.20 pm in the fields near Nabha Sahib Gurdwara and spread rapidly. A fire tender from Dera Bassi was pressed into service. A fire official said more than half acres of wheat belonging to Bhupinder Singh was destroyed in fire.

Bhupinder Singh, a resident of Nabha Sahib Gurdwara, alleged that the fire was caused due to a short circuit.

Meanwhile, Dera Bassi fire official Avtar Singh said exact cause behind the fire could not be ascertained and a probe was on.



No end to family’s 27-year agony
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 23
For the past 27 years, the legal heirs, including the 88-year-old widow of the owner, to a one-kanal plot in Phase 3B2 have been at the receiving end of the officials of GMADA (erstwhile PUDA). All that they have wanted all along is the transfer of property totheir name.

Even as the legal heirs have been knocking at GMADA’s door while pursuing the case, the official file of the property has gone missing from GMADA’s record, raising a question mark over the functioning of the authority.

After the death of the owner of house No. 1729, Phase 3B 2, Gurdial Singh, in December 1983, his widow Parkash Kaur and two sons - Dr Ravinder Pal Singh and Dr Paramjit Singh - applied for transfer of the property to their name.

The relevant documents along with enhanced price of the plot were deposited with the Estate Officer in November, 1986.

Thereafter, the family kept corresponding with GMADA but without any result. In 1995, Dr Paramjit Singh died in New York.

Gurdial Singh’s widow paid endless visits to the GMADA office but to no avail. As the family wanted to dispose of the property, they again started the process of correspondence with the Estate Officer of GMADA.

In 2006, the family learned that the record of the house was missing from GMADA’s record. “No one in the estate office was ready to track the file. The movement of the file showed that it was with the building branch. But officials in the building branch had no clue about the file,” said Sukhbir Singh Shergill, who is pursuing the case on the behalf of RP Singh, one of the legal heirs to the property.

The family members have again submitted a set of papers to the estate office through Chief Administrator of GMADA Saravjit Singh hoping for some success this time.

GMADA Estate Officer Balbir Singh said taking cognisance of the case, the reconstruction of the file had been ordered and a police complaint regarding the missing file was being lodged. Needful action would be taken if anyone was found guilty.



10 illegal entry points closed

Zirakpur, April 23
A team from the GMR, the company undertaking maintenance of the Ambala-Chandigarh highway, today closed 10 illegal entry points to prevent direct access to the national highway between Zirakpur and Ambala.

GMR official Vaibhav Sharma stated that direct access of New Aggarwal Marble, Swami Auto Repair, Global Business Park, Silver City Extension, Motiaz Royal City, Indian Properties, Eicher Swami Auto Care, Mahindra Swami Auto Sales and two unidentified properties was closed. “Trenches were also dug up outside the properties,” he added.

He said these entry points were not only posing danger to the highway traffic, but were also blocking the rainwater outlet. — TNS



Youth drives away test vehicle at gunpoint
Tribune News Service

Panchkula. April 23
Berkeley showroom in Industrial Area, Phase I, once again became the target of looters, as an unidentified youth took away the Maruti SX4 test drive vehicle of the company at gunpoint here this evening.

Staff of the showroom in a complaint to the police stated that the accused who identified himself as Amit had taken away the vehicle around 3 pm. One of the attendants from the company, Umesh, also accompanied him for the drive.

The accused after arriving on the Zirakpur-Ambala national highway threatened Umesh that if he raised the alarm he would be killed. The accused dropped Umesh at Nilokheri near Karnal and took away the car and his mobile phone.

Umesh immediately informed the senior authorities of the company and the police about the incident. The company officials said they were awaiting the arrival of Umesh so that proper complaint could be filed with the police in this regard.

On January 17 last, unidentified persons had struck the same Maruti showroom and looted cash worth lakhs of rupees after killing a security guard on duty. When employees of the showroom came in the morning, they found it ransacked and the body of the security guard, Parshuram, lying in a nearby car. The assailants had decamped with around Rs 15 lakh. 



Wrong addresses on voter cards irk residents
Rajiv Bhatia

A resident of Bharat Enclave shows voter cards having wrong addresses in Zirakpur.
A resident of Bharat Enclave shows voter cards having wrong addresses in Zirakpur.Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Zirakpur, April 23
Voter identity cards, which are used as a vital identity proof, are ironically full of mistakes-at least this is what Baltana residents say.They claimed that addresses written on these were wrong.Some of them even complained about the inordinate delay in the issuance of cards.

SDM Dera Bassi Puneet Goyal said he would look into the matter and residents’ problems would be solved on a priority basis.Residents of Bharat Enclave complained that wrong address had been written on their cards. Instead of Bharat Enclave, it was Yog Vihar, Baltana, he added. They demanded that the department concerned should issue them new voter identity cards with correct residential addresses.

“My voter identity card is useless as the address written on it is wrong,” claims Archna, a resident of Bharat Enclave.

On the other hand, Ghansham Lal, a resident of Parashant Vihar, complained that he, along with his wife, had applied for voter identity cards, but had not received the same. Ghansham claimed that last year he submitted his forms, along with all required documents, to patwari Jaspal Singh in his office at Royal Estate situated on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway.

He alleged that he had approached the patwari a number of times to know the status of his voter identity card, but did not get any satisfactory reply. Ghamsham said he had written to Mohali Deputy Commissioner and Punjab Chief Electoral Officer in this regard.

Meanwhile, Jaspal said he had already sent the forms to the department concerned. He said most of the residents had received voter identity cards. “Those, who have not received the cards, should pay a visit to the SDM’s office in Dera Bassi,” he added.



Realities of life come to fore
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, April 23
Four stories by eminent writers of the region were enacted on the second day of the ongoing TFT Baisakhi Theatre Festival at the Randhawa Auditorium here today.It was virtually the City Beautiful’s affair, as all four story writers, Dr Virender Mehendi Ratta, Dr Kailash Ahluwalia, Madan Rakesh and Manmohan Gupta Moni, belong to the city.

The dramatisation of stories was evolved during a two-week workshop conducted by Dr DR Ankur, former director, National School of Drama, New Delhi, under the aegis of Theatre For Theatre (TFT), a pioneer in dramatisation of the stories.

The stories reflected diverse realities of life ranging from adolescence to the sordid realities of life faced by senior citizens in the fag end of their life.

The stories were directed by noted thespian Sudesh Sharma, while KK Doda (retd fashion judge), Aman Preet Khaira, Mukesh Sharma, Anjali, Rupi Maan and others excelled in the dramatisation of all stories.

Tomorrow on the concluding day, a play “Court Marshal” will be staged on the same venue.



Book on terrorism released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Justice Permod Kohli released Dr Shruti Bedi’s book on “Terrorism: Our World and Our Laws” at Panjab University today. The book deals with the forms and extent of terrorism in various countries and their respective experience in dealing with terrorism.

The function, which was organised by the University Institute of Legal Studies, had Dr Kiran Bedi, a social activist, as the key speaker, who recounted the effects of terrorism on her and her family in Amritsar. She elaborated on the role played by the police, politicians and media in Punjab terrorism and read excerpts from the book, which she considered relevant to terrorism all over world.

Justice Permod Kohli elaborated on the causes of terrorism, highlighting on the role of poverty, corruption and lack of democratic institutions.

‘Make honesty victorious’

Reacting to the allegation being levelled on Lokpal activists, including Anna Hazare, Dr Kiran Bedi said, “Make honesty victorious and not allegations. It has taken year for this revolution to start and it should not die. It is our collective responsibility to decide and support what seems right to us.”

Claiming Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s statement of the government looking forward to enacting a strong anti-corruption legislation to be a big relief, Dr Bedi added, “If we keep moving forward in a single direction and don’t divert, the Bill should be ready on time. Realise and support what deserves attention at this moment. Things deserve to be given importance at this stage.” Lokpal legislation is not just for Anna Hazare or Bhushans, it is for every single Indian and it is high time that we pay our dues to the nation, she added.



Stress on importance of books

Mohali, April 23
The department of library and information science celebrated World Book and Copyright Day at Government College here today. Posters citing the importance of books in the world of computers were displayed.

Principal Dr Kumkum Kohli elaborated upon the importance of books in one's life and how the writings of great philosophers and thinkers influenced society and nation as a whole. The Copyright Act was also discussed and it was admitted that it was the duty of every citizen to respect the act and thus contribute towards India's economic growth. — OC



Non-availability of NCERT books
Parents, students a hassled lot
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
In what has become an annual ritual now, even after 20 days of the commencent of the academic session, NCERT books, especially those of social science, science and mathematics for Classes X to XII continue to be unavailable, leaving parents, students and even schools hassled.

While bookshop owners say they have neither received any supply from distributors nor got the limited stocks, the parents are hopping from one place to another to find books, but with little success. A majority of them have been asked to check after May 1, a majority, however, are expecting only after May 10.

“It has become an annual tryst for me now. My son is in Class IX and for the last 15 days I have visited two to three book stores just to verify whether the books are available or not. Last year also, three books prescribed in his curriculum were of NCERT and I was able to get them only after his first unit test. If they can’t publish it, why they prescribe them?” asked Rupinderjeet Singh, a parent from Sector 45.

In addition to the trouble being faced by the parents, the delay has defeated the NCERT’s perenial mission of popularising NCERT publications and discouraging “over priced” private publications.

“I have brought referance books worth Rs 3,000 for my daughter because her school will be teaching from them till the NCERT books are available. These books might be useless after a month but I am supposed to buy them because my child gets punished. I wonder how can private publications come out with their books on NCERT-specified syllabus much before NCERT,” said Ranjan Gulati, president of a local parents’ welfare association.

Schools, too, face problems

It happens every year. They claim to make changes in the syllabus and books are delayed for months altogether. A majority of the schools prefer NCERT books, specially after Class VIII. Even though we start our session in April, there is hardly any studies because of the unavailability of the books. CCE has made things more difficult. We have so much to complete that even a single day without proper study is a big loss. Formative assesments are supposed to commence in May. So, we are forced to opt for private publications, which cost four to five times more than the NCERT books and leave the parents hassled.

— HS Mamik,president Independent School Association



From Schools
Red Day

MOHALI: Red Day was celebrated by tiny tots and teachers of Sant Isher Singh Public School. Students were dressed in red attires to commemorate the Red Day celebrations. According to school principal Inderjeet Sandhu, the tiny tots brought red tiffins, red flowers, red objects, red balloons, red vegetables and fruits and even red bags. The poems comprising red colour concept were recited by the teachers, which were enthusiastically followed by the children.

Orientation programme

St Soldier International School, Mohali, conducted an orientation programme for the parents to apprise them about the reforms in the continuous and comprehensive evaluation system here on Saturday.

The parents were made aware of the amendments for the session 2011-2012. The salient features of CCE were reiterated through a power-point presentation for clarification. Principal V Tiwana requested the parents to pay attention and lay emphasis on the development of interests, hobbies and passions of children.

Sports meet

DAPPAR: Kendriya Vidyalaya, Dappar, celebrated its annual sports meet on Wednesday. Col Rishi Raj Yadav, Vidyalaya chairman, presided over the function. Addressing the gathering, principal Samarjit Kaur emphasised on the importance of games and sports in a student’s life. — TNS 



Six girls get scholarship
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
DAV-15 celebrated its annual day “The Vistas 2011” with a great zeal and fervour today.Pivoted around the theme of “Peeping in the past through present”, the school honoured its alumni, who have excelled in various walks of life. Keshni Anand, Financial Commissioner, Haryana, was the guest of honour and inaugurated “Project Beti”, a scholarship programme for needy and deserving girls.

Six girl students were awarded the scholarship of Rs 10,000 each. Six teachers, including principal Rakesh Sachdeva, pledged to donate their body organs and tissues to the PGI after their death.

Vineet Joshi, chairman CBSE, was the chief guest and launched the school website. The principal read out the annual report of the institute.



Placement fortnight from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Kharar, April 23
The Rayat-Bahra Institute is holding a fortnight placement drive for students of BBA and MBA from April 25 onwards.In a press statement issued here yesterday, Gurvinder Singh Bahra, chairman Rayat-Bahra Group, said the drive had been planned considering students’ interest of joining FMCG, retail, banking, education sector and to meet with the objective of placements for all.

Dr Sandeep Kaura, AMD, Rayat-Bahra Group, added that 14 companies would be recruiting the students in different business units.

Stress on energy mgmt

ROPAR: The electrical and electronics engineering department of IET, Bhaddal, organised a national seminar on power system and energy management.

The chief guest, Chief Engineer BBMB Kush Gupta, Chandigarh, appraised about intelligent devices used in the power systems. Keynote speaker, Dr Hari Om Gupta, professor and dean, IIT Rourkee, elaborated on the neglected issues in distribution systems and highlighted about accountability at all levels.

Talks were delivered by Dr Ram Naresh Sharma, NIT, Hamirpur on modern trends in operations, scheduling and optimisation of hydropower plants. Dr YS Brar, professor from Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, spoke on the optimal power system operations.



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