C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Gaping holes in new breed of engg, mgmt colleges
Fool students on placements l Charge exorbitant fees l Have sub-standard 
faculty complemented by equally poor students
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
A majority of engineering and management colleges that have sprung up in different parts of Punjab, particularly in the periphery of Chandigarh, are fooling students in the name of excellent placements.

During a random survey of the new breed of colleges (approximately 10 years old) in the periphery of the city, over the last fortnight, students disagreed with the tall claims of different colleges, saying “the entire profile of youths in the region would have changed in case the claims of colleges on placements were true”.

A majority of the colleges in this category are affiliated to Punjab Technical University (PTU).

More than 100 colleges, offering engineering and management degrees, have opened up in different parts of the state during this period and the city periphery has more than a dozen colleges.

Dr Rajnish Arora, Vice-Chancellor of the PTU, while talking to The Tribune, said the “university was delivering very good results in student placements”.

However, a cross-section of teachers, students and even managers say that “the picture is not as rosy as is being projected”.

Students say low-end jobs in different companies are being flaunted as big achievement by such colleges. “To quote a small example, our college made a claim about students being placed in a leading car manufacturing company. But on ground students had been picked by a car dealer for minor jobs with a tiny pay packet. There are many more examples.”

Different placement agencies mince no words in decrying “a below average” candidature for specialised jobs, particularly in engineering and management. A senior manager with a leading company said “students of colleges in this category are placed at the end of our list for any selections during recruitment in our company”.

Interestingly, heads of three colleges, among this category of colleges, requesting anonymity, gave notes on lacunae in the management of colleges in this category. Certain common issues highlighted, in different notes, included: lacking competent faculty; poor quality of students; government discrimination in grants to private players; technical and higher education missing from the list of priorities in the state agenda; lack of research and development; and very high expense being paid to the university.

“Not uniformly true, however, there is no denying the fact that students are suffering on account of poor education in a large number of colleges in this category. The government is just interested in making money because a number of colleges are nothing more than pure business ventures. The ground realities need to be checked,” a director said.

Poor Faculty

Students and even the college managements mince no words in pointing out the abysmally poor quality of faculty available for teaching in a majority of colleges in this category.

A college principal said “candidates fulfilling the desired norms of MTech, PhD with industry exposure are not easily available in the teaching faculty. To make matters worse, faculty does not tend to display any sense of belonging to the institution, with many of them changing employer for a meagre increase in their salary. Since almost all colleges in this category are family-run, many of these do not follow the requisite HR policies and many are totally ignorant about the need for any HR practice.”

He said, “The success of any institution totally depends on a dedicated team. In education, the raw material, the finished product and even the machines for bringing about the finished product are all human. Hence, it is of primary importance to have a highly qualified, dedicated team in place to produce quality engineers and managers.”

False claims on placements

Posters of colleges claiming top placement results ever year can be seen on different highways. Student of one such college, near Ropar, said “the claims are not true”. Shivesh Kumar, a student from Vaishali district in Bihar, said “the placement scenario is not great as is being claimed by colleges. What to talk of placements our result(engineering college near Lalru) is not out for the fifth semester as yet.”Students say low-end jobs in different companies are being flaunted as big achievement by such colleges

Despite tall claims by many colleges, a cross section of HR personnel in different companies said “we are not satisfied with the quality of manpower that came for placements, particularly from this breed of colleges.” The opinion was seconded by a Reliance manager. There is a very strong voice against the poor quality of communication and presentation skills, in this category of colleges.


Huge fee disparity

Having come up largely as big business ventures to encash on the huge student market, there is a very big fee disparity between these professional colleges and the government ones. While a student in a government engineering colleges pays less than Rs 20,000 annually, the average fees per year in this category of colleges is more than Rs 1.20 lakh. Students here are spending far more than a government institution on their stay, food and travel.


Lack career counselling

Educationists, from among this category of colleges, accept that “no counselling is done either before or after admission, just lectures are organised, examination conducted and a certificate is doled out. The objective of filling up seats assumes paramount significance. 


Average students

That engineering and colleges offering management degrees in this category do not get good-quality student input is a known fact. As a teacher put it “sometimes the first two years of their education are spent in making them mentally suited to the professional courses”. 



Brats’ muscle power to fore
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 2
In yet another incident reflective of frequent clashes taking place in various engineering and management colleges dotting Chandigarh’s periphery, two student groups of Rayat and Bahra College, Kharar, near Landran, clashed, resulting in serious injuries to a student of Tangori college this evening.

Due to the clash that reportedly involved firing of firearms by the students, the traffic on the Mohali-Landran road remained blocked for some time. The police, however, did not confirm firing but said a case of attempt to murder, obstructing traffic and fighting in the presence of a police official against the unidentified youths. The victim, Gurpreet Singh, was waiting for his bus when the recklessly driven vehicle of the students hit him. He was admitted to hospital.

Three vehicles Suzuki Sx4, Ford Ikon and a Esteem car were left behind by the students after police reinforcements reached the spot. The police reportedly recovered swords and rods from the seized vehicles.

Superintendent of Police (City) Harpreet Singh said strict action would be taken against the erring students. “ We are trying to identify the students”.

During the last nine months alone, at least seven cases of major clashes between students of different colleges have been reported from the periphery colleges.

Open House

Write your opinion on education through breed of new professional colleges, particularly near Chandigarh, with suggestions for improvement in the existing lacunae to the openhouse@tribunemail.com



They earn money by filling out forms for the unlettered
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

High literacy rate According to the latest census data the literacy rate in Chandigarh is 86.43 per cent, declining from the sixth highest in the country in 2001 to the eighth position in the 2011 census.
High literacy rate According to the latest census data the literacy rate in Chandigarh is 86.43 per cent, declining from the sixth highest in the country in 2001 to the eighth position in the 2011 census.

Chandigarh, May 2
Illiterate residents of slums and villages in the union territory, that has one of the country’s highest literacy rates, have become a source of livelihood for “agents” who throng offices of public departments in the city. Every day scores of people from colonies and slums visit various administration offices to get documents like ration cards, driver’s licenses and birth and death certificates, all of which require filling out copious forms. It is here where such “agents” come in handy, that too for a small fee.

Thakur Dass, 62: While most people of his age prefer to remain at home after retirement, Dass has found a novel way to utilize his time, which also helps him to earn a few bucks. He can be seen sitting next to the boundary wall of the UT food & supply department in Sector 17, usually surrounded by many people, most of whom are migrants. These people come to him to get their forms filled out for securing ration cards in consideration of a meager fee, which ranges from Rs 5 to Rs 20.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Dass said he enjoyed his work very much. “I want to help the illiterate folks and it gives me immense satisfaction,” he stated, adding the purpose behind charging a nominal fee was to pursue his interest.

Dass said he had retired as section officer at the Survey of India two years ago. “My livelihood doesn’t depend on my present work as I get a handsome pension that is enough to meet my family’s expenses. All my three children - two sons and a daughter - are married and well settled. Basically I find this the best way to pass time. ,” said Dass, who lives in Manimajra with his family.

When asked how he began this work, he replied it was by sheer chance. “I came with a friend to make his ration card two years back. A person met us and offered to get the work done in lieu of a fee of Rs 100. I saw him deceiving many illiterate people by charging a hefty fee for very little work. Then I decided to start this work. I am still charging Rs 5 to Rs 20, which is affordable for any person here,” said Dass, adding at the end of the day, besides satisfaction and happiness, his work also manages to provide him an average income of over Rs 500.

Rajinder Kumar, 17: Yearning to earn some money this youngster adopted this line of work only a few days back. “I was inspired by my friend’s father who also earns some money by filling out driver’s license forms while sitting in front of this office,” said Kumar, who has appeared for the class 10 exams recently.

Aspiring to be an engineer like his cousins, he added with this kind of work he was also able to help his father, a private employee, in running the household. “Like others my clients are illiterate. I fill out their forms for a mere Rs 10-15. With this I end up earning over Rs 250 per day,” he stated.

“As this is very easy way to earn some money I would continue this ‘business’ even during my studies in the coming days”, he added.

Pyare Prasad, 45: This middle-aged ‘agent’, who is a painter by profession, claimed he has been around for the last 25 years. “In fact this (filling out forms) is my side business,” said Pyare, who claimed the buildings housing the offices of the UT food & supply department and the municipal corporation were painted by him.

“Whenever I get free I come here to earn money by filling out forms of labourers,” he said. Prasad, who resides in Mauli Jagran with a large family consisting five children, said he earn Rs 150 to 200 daily from this work.

“Though we earn our income by ‘helping’ uneducated people, the authorities don’t allow us to work here. They use to shoo us every now and then from the front of the offices, which is not fair,” lamented the ‘helpers’ in unison, adding they (the authorities) asked us to do the service for free. “Are they doing their work free and not getting salaries from the government?” asked Dass.



PGI Admission
Biometric system in place for entrance test
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
After facing embarrassment over admission scam in postgraduate courses last year, the PGI authorities have decided to introduce biometric identification system during the forthcoming entrance examination.

Over 8,000 candidates are expected to take the entrance examination for 183 seats of MD and MS in nearly 20 specialties on May 22 at different examination centres.

Dr Amod Gupta, dean, PGI, said the arrangements for the examination were watertight like any other examination. “All measures have been taken to plug the loopholes in the procedure,” he said.

On September 28 last year, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested two junior residents of the PGI on charges of fraudulently securing admission in postgraduate courses after The Tribune broke the story.

The two doctors — Dr Sujay Sonawane (paediatrics) and Dr Amit Musale (pharmacology) — were later suspended by the PGI.

The two had reportedly admitted before the CBI officials that they had never taken the entrance test and only visited the PGI on the day of the medical test at the final stage of admission.

The two had also admitted to having paid Rs 20 lakh each to the conduits for the admission.

This time, however, the PGI authorities are not taking any chances. The thumb impression of each candidate will be taken at different levels, said Dr Gupta.

The impression will initially be taken at the time of the examination, then at the counselling and finally before joining the institute, he added.



Maid held for stealing jewellery, cash
Tribune News Service


Chandigarh, May 2
A domestic help reportedly stole gold ornaments and cash from her employer’s Sector 35 house on Sunday when the family was not at home. Bala, 25, a resident of Maloya village, was arrested by the police on Monday and the entire stolen jewellery was recovered from her possession.

The theft took place when Gurpreet Singh, the owner of the house (no 3361), and his family had gone to Nada Sahib on Sunday. He told the police when they returned home they found cash and jewellery missing from a cupboard and suspected the maid.

Sector 36 police station SHO inspector Sukhbir Rana said two gold sets, eight gold bangles, one gold earring and cash amounting to Rs 18,200 was recovered from the suspect’s possession after cops searched her home. “She stole the duplicate key of the front door and thus managed to enter the house when she got the opportunity”, he added.


Poor upkeep turns gardens into eyesore
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Weeds and grass grow in a flower bed at the Bamboo Garden in Sector 23.
Weeds and grass grow in a flower bed at the Bamboo Garden in Sector 23.

Broken hut in Bulbous Garden in Sector 23.
Broken hut in Bulbous Garden in Sector 23. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, May 2
Chandigarh may soon lose its vaunted status as the ‘city of gardens’. The reason: Six big gardens that are spread over 235 acres have only two gardeners, five head gardeners and two supervisors who have none of the requisite gardening machines and tools to maintain them. The result is all the gardens are in a pathetic condition due to lack of maintenance for the past two months.

On March 1, the UT administration through a notification transferred all the city’s gardens and parks to the municipal corporation with the staff placed on deputation, with their salaries to be borne by the administration till March 2012. The gardens transferred include the Bamboo Valley and Bulbous Garden in Sector 23, Rose Garden in Sector 16, Leisure Valley in Sector 10, Bougainvillea Garden in Sector 3 and Rajindra Garden in Sector 8.

However, only two of the 40 gardeners hired by the administration were shifted to the MC for maintaining these six gardens. Also, the UT horticulture department has not handed over the gardening machines and tools like tractors, grasscutters, leaf collectors and pest spraying pumps to the MC for the proper maintenance of these gardens.

At a recently held committee meeting MC chief engineer SS Bidda informed civic officials he had sent a note to the administration saying the MC would not maintain the gardens till the required staff and machinery was provided as per the notification. However, the administration has responded till date.

Sources close to administration said pressure was being exerted on MC officials to deploy their own staff for maintaining the gardens. They added 38 gardeners could not be transferred to the civic body on deputation due to a pending court case filed by UT employees on transfer of staff to the MC.

With the civic body already facing a shortage of staff required to maintain about 70 green belts and parks in the city, it would be an almost impossible task for it manage these big gardens without any additional manpower and machines.



Its monkey business as usual

They are the constant troublemakers in Sectors 7, 8,10,11, 12, and Panjab University. They are seen everywhere in the vicinity of the area. Be it roads, house gates, cars or terraces, these simian miscreants are a regular here. Residents have been complaining about the menace to the district administration but all in vain. Tribune lensman S. Chandan captures some of them in action.

(L-R ) Comfort zone: Monkeys sit atop a car in Sector 8, Chandigarh. Looking up: Monkeys try to climb the main gate of a house in Sector 7.
(L-R ) Comfort zone: Monkeys sit atop a car in Sector 8, Chandigarh. Looking up: Monkeys try to climb the main gate of a house in Sector 7.

(L-R) Common ground: A monkey crosses a road near Panjab University. Catch me if you can: A simian tries to climb a gate in Sector 7.
(L-R) Common ground: A monkey crosses a road near Panjab University. Catch me if you can: A simian tries to climb a gate in Sector 7.



UT amends liquor licence rules
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The Chandigarh administration has amended the Punjab Liquor Licence Rules, 1956. The rule will now be called the Punjab Liquor Licence (Chandigarh 4th Amendment) Rules, 2011. This rule has come into force with the immediate effect (May 1, 2011).

According to a release issued here today, the Chandigarh administration has also amended the Punjab Restaurant (Consumption of Liquor) Rules, 1955. The rule will now be called the Punjab Restaurant Consumption of Liquor (Chandigarh Amendment) Rules, 2011.

“Subject to the other provisions of these rules, a licence in Form L-52 (tavern) and subject to the conditions contained therein, may be granted by the Collector (Excise), Union Territory, Chandigarh, for a period of 12 months commencing from May 1, 2011, to April 30, 2012, on the payment of following fixed fee,” the press note said.

It said the fee for sale of Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) (L-2) vends will be Rs 1.2 lakh while for the retail sale country liquor (L-14-A) vends it will be Rs 60,000.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh administration has amended the Punjab Distillery Rules, 1932, which will now be called the Punjab Distillery Rules (Chandigarh Amendment) Rules, 2011. 


Type of liquor Sales volume in 2010-11 Brand registration fee

IMFL & beer Over 20,000 cases Rs 1.60 lakh

IMFL & beer Over 10,000 cases Rs 80,000

IMFL & beer From 1,000 to 10,000 cases Rs 20,000

IMFL & beer Less than 1,000 cases Rs 10,000

Imported Foreign liquor Rs 50,000 per brand & imported beer

Wine, cider, champagne Rs 25,00 per brand

liqueur & ready to drink beverages 

Price control

The administration orders said the wholesale licensees would be required to maintain a reasonable price line. Any abnormal increase in the prices would invite the intervention of the Excise Commissioner, the order said.



Chafekar takes over as AOC 12 Wing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
Air Commodore SC Chafekar took over as the Air Officer Commanding, 12 Wing, here today from Air Cmde Rajeev Scahdeva who has been posted to Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff, New Delhi, on promotion to the rank of Air Vice-Marshal.

On assuming the command of the 12 Wing, Air Cmde Chafekar emphasised upon the importance of air maintenance in national security and quality improvement in all aspects military service. Both officers later interacted with senior officers of the station after a ceremonial parade parking the change of command.



General Hospital gets approval to set up nursing college
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 2
Rao Narinder Singh, the state health minister, has given its final approval for setting up a nursing college at the Sector 6 General Hospital here, as the director-general has asked the hospital authorities to prepare a draft proposal for setting up the college. At present nursing courses were being provided by some private institutes in the district, which were charging around Rs 50,000 per annum for the three-year course. With the setting up of government nursing college here, the students of economically weaker sections of society would now be able to apply for the course, as the government would be charging Rs 20,000 per annum.

The nursing college with 60 seats would be set up at the General Hospital in Sector 6, which is being upgraded from 150 to 300-bed hospital on the lines of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak. Earlier, district health officials held a meeting about three weeks ago and had sent a proposal to the state health minister.

Confirming the same, Civil Surgeon VK Bansal said they had received a communiqué in this regard from the DG health and would be submitting the draft proposal about building and infrastructure to be provided to the students on the hospital complex.

The setting of the college would also help the hospital authorities where more than 2,000 to 3,000 patients visit OPD daily. As the hospital has well-qualified staff, the nursing students would be able to get quality education and practical training at the hospital.

INLD leader Advocate Vijay Kumar Bansal said if the project saw the light of the day, the young girls would not have to move to far off places to get training in nursing. He said the students had to shell out huge amount to get training in the private nursing colleges, which were ill-equipped and the students do not get practical training.

Bansal said with the opening of the government nursing college in the city, the students from the city and its adjoining town, including Zirakpur in Punjab and Parwanoo in Himachal Pradesh, would not have to pay exorbitant fee, he added.



JDU holds protest, hunger strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
Members of the local unit of the Janata Dal United (JDU) today held a protest and a 24-hour hunger strike at the Sector 17 Plaza today to protest against the “indifferent” attitude of the Chandigarh administration towards the problems of city residents.

The protesters demanded immediate revocation of the “Disturbed Area Act” notification, re-designation of the Adviser to the UT Administrator as the Chief Commissioner, conferring the permanent status of Union Territory on Chandigarh on the pattern of Delhi and Puducherry, formation of a separate the Chandigarh Public Service Commission and the Chandigarh Subordinate Services Selection Board to provide jobs for more than three lakh unemployed youth and the formation of the Chandigarh Development Authority. 



Membership drive by Youth Cong

Chandigarh, May 2
The Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress (CTYC) organised a membership drive at Mani Majra here yesterday. Addressing the youth, Gurpreet Singjh Gabi, CTYC chief, said the Youth Congress had undergone many changes in the recent past and had become more common-man-friendly.

The initiatives of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi to conduct elections for all posts in the Youth Congress had helped a large number of people from ‘ordinary families’ to get elected, he said. Almost 350 applications were filled for Youth Congress membership and 900 forms were distributed among the persons in the age group of 18 to 35 years.

Such initiatives would bring in more people from society into Youth Congress fold, according to a press note. — TNS



Fair organised to exchange soiled notes

Panchkula, May 2
Around Rs 55.25 lakh soiled notes and disfigured coins were exchanged during a “Coin Mela” organised by HDFC Bank for its consumers in the try city today. SJS Bhar, RBI Chief Treasurer, inaugurated the fair at Panchkula.

Speaking on the occasion, Krishan Kumar, State Head, Wholesale Banking Operations HDFC, said a total of over Rs 1290.0 lakh soiled notes were exchanged across the 20 locations, including Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Patna, Jaipur, Vadodara, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Indore and Gurgaon. — TNS



Green, blue signage to adorn road intersections in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 2
Visitors to the city will soon be conveniently guided to their destination. For the convenience of the road users, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has initiated an ambitious plan to put up informative road signage on all road intersections and entry points to the city.

On the basis of feedback and study conducted by a consultant, GMADA has started putting up the signage of new design. So far, around 200 points have been identified where the new signage will be put up at a cost of around Rs 4 crore.

Unlike the existing signage that are not readable from a distance due to poor design and small-sized text, the new signage will mention all the important places, government offices, sectors and public places and their distance from the specific location. The signage will be in green and blue colour. The entire exercise is part of sprucing up the open spaces along the roads and undertaking landscaping across the city.

A senior GMADA official said on a trial basis the signage has been put up near YPS Chowk. He said the signage would also include police and fire brigade helpline numbers. Last time, the route maps of Mohali city erected by GMADA was criticised for being small in size. 



Doc recruited at GMSH

Chandigarh, May 2
Conditions at the gynaecology department of GMSH Sector 16, are likely to improve as the authorities have recruited one doctor on contract basis.

The new doctor is expected to join duty with in next couple of days. The director, health Services, Dr Chandermohan, said the name of doctor had been finalised.

A nod to a proposal to recruit 20 doctors through the National Rural Health Mission is also expected very soon which would definitely improve things at the hospital, said Chandermohan. — TNS



3 AC buses for advocates

Chandigarh, May 2
In order to decongest city roads, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association today took the first step by rolling out three air-conditioned buses for its member advocates. The buses will ferry advocates to the Punjab and Haryana High Court and back from Panchkula, Mansa Devi Complex, Mani Majra and Mohali.

The buses will start at 9.15 am and reach the high court at 9.45 am. The return journey will begin at 3.30 pm. The action comes soon after the Punjab and Haryana High Court suggested the running of such buses to decongest the city. — TNS



Armour Day observed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
To commemorate the mechanisation of the Indian cavalry regiments, Armour Day was observed by Army formations across the region yesterday evening.

It was on May 1, 1938, that Scinde Horse became the first regiment to convert from horses to tanks. The first such equipment was the Vickers light tanks and Chevrolet armoured cars.

At Chandimandir, a social function was organised at the Kheterpal Officers Institute, which was attended by large number of retired cavalry officers from the tricity. Prominent among them were Lt Gen GS Kler, Lt Gen Harwant Singh, Lt Gen Surinder Singh, Lt Gen BS Takhar and Lt Gen Pradeep Khanna, The GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lt Gen SR Gosh was the chief guest on the occasion.

Expansion and modernisation of the Armoured Corps was initiated post-Independence with Centurions and AMX-13 light tanks. Since then the Armoured Corps has operated the indigenous Vijyanta tanks, the Russian T-54, T-55, T-72, T-90 tanks and the Arjun tanks. The existing fleet is being refurbished, with state-of-the-art systems being inducted and work commencing on the design and development of the next generation tanks. 



Violators beware, traffic cops in action mode
Rajiv Bhatia

Risking lives for a shortcut, commuters drive on the wrong side near Baltana on the Panchkula-Zirakpur highway.
Risking lives for a shortcut, commuters drive on the wrong side near Baltana on the Panchkula-Zirakpur highway.

An overloaded autorickshaw plies at Zirakpur.
An overloaded autorickshaw plies at Zirakpur. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Zirakpur, May 2
The traffic police are coming down heavily on traffic violators here. On an average, they have been issuing 15 challans a day for various traffic violations. They have issued 1,794 challans in the past four months.

Violations include driving without helmet, jumping red light, driving on the wrong side and using mobile phone while driving. Motorists often loosen their seat belt or remove helmet as soon as they cross from Chandigarh.

Violators are largely youngsters. Risking lives, these violators can often be seen driving rashly or without helmet and at times, seated beyond the capacity prescribed. The traffic police feel helpless in keeping a check on traffic and parking violations.

Sources in the traffic police revealed that 1,794 vehicles were challaned from January 1 to April 30 and approximately Rs 6.14 lakh was recovered as penalty.

The sources said 754 were challaned for driving without helmet, 447 for violating no-parking restrictions and wrong entry, 28 for overloading, 118 for not wearing seat belt and 44 for using mobile phone while driving. As traffic lights had started functioning a few months back, 91 vehicles were challaned for jumping red light.

At least 37 vehicles were impounded under Section 207 of the Motor Vehicles Act. Other violations included use of red beacon, pressure horn or tinted glasses, driving without documents and smoking while driving.

Mohali DSP (Traffic) Darshan Singh Mann said six more personnel would be deployed at Zirakpur to curb violations. “We will introduce a new machine to check the percentage of black film on windowpanes of cars,” he stated.



Cong failed to check price rise: BJP
Tribune News Service

BJP activists take out a protest rally at Sector 1 in Panchkula on Monday.
BJP activists take out a protest rally at Sector 1 in Panchkula on Monday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, May 2
Accusing Congress leaders of involvement in various scams, Krishan Pal Gurjar, Haryana BJP president, said here today that Congress governments at the Centre and in the state had failed to check unprecedented rise in prices of essential items.

Leading a protest march from the party office at Sector 2 to the Mini-Secretariat at Sector 1 here, Gurjar said the Congress leadership had been exposed in various scams.

He said Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had a skewed approach for the state. He said the Chief Minister had only been concentrating on the development of Rohtak area and completely ignoring the rest of Haryana.

Terming the land acquisition and SEZ policies of the state government the mother of all scams, Gurjar said Hooda had betrayed farmers in the state by acquiring their land and offering it to the real estate developers at throwaway prices.

State BJP treasurer Gian Chand Gupta said the Hooda government had cheated the people of Haryana by imposing house tax again.

He said the Congress had not only goofed up in the making of lists of ration cards for people living below the poverty line, but had also ignored projects pertaining to the rehabilitation of slum dwellers.

Gupta said people in the state had been hit hard by the imposition of house tax, fire tax and sewerage tax. Former Ambala MP Rattan Lal Kataria and state BJP vice-president Rosy Malik also spoke on the occasion.



HJC: Hooda should resign

Panchkula, May 2
The Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) said here today that the Congress government led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda should resign immediately as it had failed to keep its promises to the people in the state during the last Assembly elections.

Addressing mediapersons here, Shashi Sharma, district HJC president, said Hooda should contest elections again as he had betrayed the people of the state by announcing house tax.

He said the district administration had also increased the collector rate, which was not acceptable as people would not be able to purchase property due to enhanced collector rate.

Sharma said they would soon submit a memorandum to the district administration in this regard and if the administration failed to roll back the increased collector rate, they would be forced to launch an agitation. — TNS



Property dealers demand collector rate hike rollback 
Submit memorandum to DC
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 2
Members of the Haryana State Property Dealers Welfare Association (HSPDWA) here today urged the Deputy Commissioner to roll back the steep hike in the collector rates as it would to be a dampener in property transactions in the city besides causing loss to the state exchequer.

A five-member delegation led by HSPDWA chairman OP Oberoi submitted a memorandum to DC Ashima Brar urging her to roll back the collector rates, as it was likely to hit industries as well as commercial properties in the district. He said about threefold increase in the collector rate on the industrial plots besides making steep increase on residential as well as commercial property was unjustified.

The district administration on March 31 had issued the new collector rates and as per the new rates, the industrialists would have to pay Rs 2.5 crore for a 1,000 square yard plot. Earlier, they were required to pay Rs 77 lakh.

Similarly, the purchasers of 2,000 square yard plot would have to pay Rs 4.50 core against Rs 1.4 crore. Similarly, the purchaser of shop-cum-flat would have to pay Rs 2.21 lakh against Rs 1.70 lakh. For a built up booth, the purchaser would now have to pay collector rate ranging from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2.25 lakh depending upon the location of the site.

Oberoi said that with the introduction of new increased collector rates, the common man’s dream of having a property in the town would fade. For a residential plot allotted by HUDA, the purchaser would have to pay Rs 1,000 per square feet instead of Rs 850 for the ground floor while for the first and the second floor it would be Rs 900 per square feet against Rs 750 announced last year, he added.

Suresh Aggarwal, president, HSPDWA, later told the media that steep hike on commercial and residential properties would also affect the forthcoming auction of plots by HUDA.

He said for a showroom plot, the bidders would now have to pay Rs 42 lakh to Rs 45 lakh against Rs 7 lakh fixed earlier. The DC has assured the delegation that she would review the collector rates, he informed.



DAV-10 peace talk fails
Josan demands fair inquiry panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The UT higher education department’s court directed endeavour of organising a “peace meeting” between DAV, Sector 10, administrative principal BC Josan and DAV management failed to bear any fruits as neither was ready to budge from its stand.

The two parties, which have been at loggerheads for almost eight months now, refused to address each other. The director higher education pointed out that the management in its haste to suspend Josan overlooked all norms and procedures, in response to this, the management has promised to revert within next 15 days.

The controversy was sparked off when the college’s governing body transferred BC Josan to DAV, Malot, citing several serious allegations as the key reason. The principal, however, moved the court and got stay orders. Months after, in September 2010, the governing body called an emergency meeting and suspended him for embezzlement of funds and misuse of authority and declared Shashi Sharma as new principal. Josan, however, declared the decision to be illegal as it was taken without the mandatory presence of a UT administration representative and moved to court, which stayed his suspension. Ever since the college is functioning with two principals, one with financial powers and other with administrative powers.



From Schools
Water Resources Day

CHANDGARH: The Sheesham Eco Club of Government Model High School, Sector 36, celebrated the Water Resources Day to spread awareness regarding judicious use of water. Various activities were held to mark the occasion. A placard-making competition was held in which the students participated enthusiastically. While Karan of Class VIII stood first, Rohtash of Class VII stood second and Nikhil Sood, a Class IX student, stood third. School principal Rakesh Sood flagged off a cycle rally where over 200 students participated in it.

Peace awards given

Yuvsatta, a city-based NGO in collaboration with the Peace Clubs of GMSSS-10A, KB DAV-7 and Divya Shiksha Gurukul College of Education organised the peace awards ceremony at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, in which Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Cabinet Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Government of India, was the chief guest. Dr AC Vaid, principal of GGDSD College, Sector 32, was honoured with Dr KBS Dhillon Memorial Peace Award, while Jaskiran Harika, principal of DAV Public School, Sector 8, was honoured with Kailash Bahl Memorial Peace Award and Jaya Bhardwaj, principal of Mahatma Hansraj Public School, Sector 6, Panchkula, was honoured with Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Peace Award. Two special commendation awards were also presented to Indira Beniwal, principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, and Piyush Punj, director of St Vivekananda Millennium School, Pinjore.

Earth Day

Earth Day was observed at MDAV School, Sector 22. Students from Classes VI to X participated in the poster-making competition in which the students depicted degradation of environment and also ways to conserve and protect the earth.

Poster-making contest

MOHALI: Sir Mcauliff High school, Mohali, organised a series of competitions on Monday to apprise students of environmental threats haunting Mother Earth. While senior students participated in card making and poster-making competitions, primary classes participated in slogan-writing competition. Students of nursery class were encouraged to plant saplings.

Annual day

Gian Jyoti Global School, Phase II, Mohali, presented a cultural burlesque of melody and ballet to mark its annual day celebrations. Chief guest Jagdeep Singh Nakai, chief parliamentary secretary, was given a warm welcome by the students, school principal Ranjeet Bedi and chairman SJS Bedi, along with other members of the staff. A scintillating bouquet of cultural extravaganza was united with dances like Barbie dance, which were delightfully presented by the students.

Health awareness

A health awareness programme for students of Class VIII was organised at KBDAV-7. Dr Sandeep Jain, consultant, a paediatrician at Fortis Hospital, Mohali, delivered a talk on “How to stay healthy”. The main focus of the talk was eating healthy food and informing them about the disadvantages of excessive use of the Internet and television. The students were told about the importance of regular physical exercise and good sleep. Harmful effects of obesity and how to avoid it were the highlight 
of the talk. — TNS



50 city students to participate in final
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
Mexus Education Private Limited, an education innovations enterprise, conducted the city-level “Iken Scientifica 2010” for over 1,000 students from 50 schools of Chandigarh and surrounding areas of Punjab here yesterday.

After two rounds of the competition involving events like model making, group discussion and individual story telling, about 50 finalists were chosen for the nationals to be held in Mumbai.

Children from Classes VI to VIII participated in the competition and were excited at the prospect of sitting for the innovative tests aimed at testing their common sense, presence of mind, sense of humour, and ability to speak among other things.

The first round saw problem statements being given to the students on the basis of which they had to make models. In the second round, they were given topics on which group discussion and individual story-telling sessions were held.

Some topics were about science, some were teasers and for others, the students were required to apply common sense. Children said they could manage a few things they knew, but for other things they just depended on flukes (tukkas).

Iken Scientifica 2010 is a hands-on science and technology competition where one can experience science in its true essence by testing, verifying and applying theories in a practical hands-on scenario.

Speaking about the competition, Shikha Sood, director, Iken Scientifica Punjab, said the aim was to make students enjoy the process of learning. Iken Scientifica is a platform for the students from all across India to unearth a new hands-on way of learning.



Declamation, extempore mark creativity week
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 2
The creativity week was celebrated in the senior wing of Satluj Public School, Sector 4. The creativity week was celebrated as a part of the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system.

A convocation function was also held, in which about 104 students were awarded KET and PET certificates from the Cambridge University by Maria Shasha from Russia.

Giving details of the creativity week in a press note, principal Krit Serai today said a trip was organised for the students and they visited Science City, Kapurthala; and Yavnika Garden for the nature study project.

The school was presented with an environmental award by Deeksha, an NGO, for water conservation.

Various competitions like best out of waste, healthy food, declamation and extempore were also organised. The students were presented with the best spoken English award.

Serai said, “The main objective of the creativity week is to start with holistic education in the new session and give a platform to the students to showcase their talent in the field of academics, sports and cultural activities.”



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