C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Two men shot at, in hospital
Unidentified youth flees in car of a victim
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 8
In a freak incident, two persons who were driving were seriously injured on a busy road in a residential area of Phase 3B1 as an unidentified armed youth, in a bid to snatch their cars, fired at them from close range here this evening.

Both the injured, Gopal Verma and Mankirat Singh Monga, who were rushed to the Ivy Hospital, Sector 70, and the Fortis Hospital, Phase 8, respectively, were said to be stable.

The assailant, who was apparently looking for a mode of transport to flee, was seen desperately signalling the occupants of the cars to stop their vehicles.

Verma (58), a resident of 392, Phase 3B1, was going in his Hyundai Accent (HP51-8400) to drop clothes with a ‘dhobi’ near his house when the assailant, in a bid to snatch his car, parked his bicycle in the middle of a road.

When Verma, a retired government employee, refused to part with the vehicle, the assailant fired two shots at him. While the first shot missed him, the second injured him in the right arm.

While Verma was trying to resist the assailant, a Swift car (PB65B-5737), coming from the same direction, caught the attention of the assailant.

This car was being driven by Mankirat Singh Monga, a 26-year-old son of retired IPS officer and a resident of 54, Phase 3B1. His sister was with him in the car. Leaving the injured Verma, the assailant aimed his gun at Monga.

When he resisted, the assailant injured him in the thigh and fled in his car. The car was later reportedly traced by the Chandigarh Police near Kajheri village. Incidentally, both victims lived in the area where the incident took place.

An eyewitness, Shiv Kumar, who was a painter by profession, said while he looking for an address on his bicycle, the assailant (who was speaking chaste Hindi) forced another unidentified cyclist to part with his bicycle. The assailant, whose hands were trembling, also made a bid to stop a girl who was riding a two-wheeler.

“The account of the eyewitness and the statement given by the victims indicate that the aim of the assailant seemed more to flee than robbing them. We have sounded an alert and hope to catch the assailant,” said Mohali SSP GPS Bhullar.

Verma’s wife Dayanti said they hailed from Shimla, but were now residing with their daughter to look after their grandchildren. Soon after the incident, a number of residents of the area gathered at the spot.

The police believed that the assailant, after committing some crime, was trying to flee as he seemed nervous and was seen stopping vehicles in the middle of a busy road.

Police parties were conducting a recce to know whether any crime had taken place in the area that could be correlated to the fleeing assailant. Last week, a Hyundai i20 car was snatched at gunpoint from the Phase 5 market here.



CAG blasts MC
Service tax not imposed, other anomalies found
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The municipal corporation (MC) has come under heavy fire from the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for not imposing service tax and other anomalies in its functioning as part of the report for 2009-2010.

The MC has lost at least Rs 85.61 lakh on account of not charging tax from service providers and it has been clearly pointed out that the finance department of the Chandigarh administration had communicated clearly to the MC for levying the tax and to credit the amount into the specific account of the Centre before the fifth of every month. The MC, however, has failed to levy the tax.

Service tax is levied on the service providers employed by the MC for public works and the amount collected has to be deposited in a central fund. Several lacunae have been found in appointing the agencies which carried out the MC works and certain among them were not even registered.

The report has named the MC’s MOH (medical officer health) in particular for giving service tax concessions to certain contractors. The department has also found contractors to have not been registered with the corporation.

Under a different head, the MOH has also been pulled up for improper accounting of Rs 2.07 crore, which was taken as advance during the preceding years until 2003-2004.

Resources not utilised

The report has pointed out that the MC was losing lakhs on account of booths not being allotted in different parts of the city. It has made specific references to as many as nine booths in the subways of Sectors 17 and 22 which have not been rented out for the past several years. Certain booths have not been allotted at Butrela and Badheri villages.

Expenses on Mayor’s car

The Mayor spent a little less than Rs 1 lakh on travel outside the city without the required permission during 2009-2010. Objections have been raised with regard to the specific tours of the Mayor’s vehicle to Delhi, Ajmer, Baroda, Surat, Jaipur, Udaipur and Ahmedabad.

Information not provided

Making observations on the MC’s working, the CAG report has blasted certain departments for not providing required information. The audit report has categorically noted that the MC did not provide relevant documents pertaining to cable operators in the city. The report has said officials concerned did not provide information regarding finances of the slaughterhouse managed by the department under the MOH. The CAG has also pointed out inadequate information provided by the MC on the Mayor’s and the Deputy Mayor’s trips abroad in the financial years 2005-06 and 2006-07. The report has also pointed to the inadequate information provided on the pest control wing and certain records of the chief fire officer.



Skewed student-classroom ratio takes its toll on UT’s ambitious e-classroom project
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
While private schools are headed towards setting up 3D classrooms, students of UT government schools students are yet to be introduced to their first e-classroom, which was supposed to be inaugurated almost a year ago in July 2010.

With teacher-student ratios running as high as 1:100 in some classes, the UT education department has shelved it ambitious ‘hi tech’ project, prioritising the ‘basic’ facilities first.

The project was aimed at revamping government school education and bringing it at a par with private schools in the city. The plan envisaged the UT education department initially introducing one ICT (Integrated Communication Technologies) equipped classroom in each government school by July 2010 and eventually graduate to three by that year-end.

Not only were funds earmarked for the same, but many schools had vacated rooms for construction of these classrooms. However, the project which was once declared as a turning point in the city’s education, has now been labeled as ‘non-feasible’ at this moment.

“I am unaware of this project, but even if there is something of this sort, it cannot be implemented at this moment. Government schools are suffering from skewed classroom student ratios. We cater to a large number of students and avoid saying no to any admission seeker. The schools which were already full have been further been burdened with recent admissions and this hour our key concern is to get every student a comfortable place in what ever number of classrooms we have,” said DPI(S) Sandeep Hans.

Although infrastructure, including the number of classrooms, has increased by only seven per cent in government schools, the annual number of admission seekers has increased by almost 30 per cent every year.

A majority of government schools are, thus, left in tight spot as they try to accommodate the maximum number of students, thereby pushing their infrastructure to a limit. This year, though ideally it was a ‘no vacancy’ at many schools, they had to take in the applicants from their own sector.



Lost enough weight? Not these cops
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 8
Even after four months of undergoing a weight loss programme, there is no change in the waistline of more than four dozen policemen, given a rigorous training schedule to lose weight and look slimmer.

The department has decided to have another month and-a-half training for this select group to achieve at least some result to near the target of 34-inch waistline.

The Haryana Police launched a 45-day weight-loss programme for unfit policemen on January 15. Many policemen were losing in the race for fitness after completing the second term of the programme.

The police had enrolled policemen weighing between 80 and 120 kg for this course and they were exempt from duty during the duration of the course.

Physical trainers from the state police were putting them through tough physical exercise sessions.

The programme included physical training and yoga in the morning and evening and lectures on diet, counselling by doctors and playing games.

Senior Haryana Police officials were required to inspect the progress once a week, with the Panchkula SP monitoring the programme twice during the same period.

Inspector-General (Ambala Range) KK Sindhu had written to the Panchkula Superintendent of Police Maneesh Chaudhary in March, stating that these personnel should be made to exercise in a similar manner for 40 to 45 days.

However, these officials had lost only 10 to 15 kg and that too, after two rounds of course being held at the Police Lines here.

Reflecting on the results, a senior officer said the cops in the category of 80 kg who lost at least 10 kg had rejoined their duties.

Those who were more than 100 kg and had not made any commendable progress with regard to losing weight had been retained in the camp.

Chaudhary said the entire effort would mean nothing in case the exercise did not produce the desired results.

There was no reason why the exercise schedule should not give at least half of the desired results. “We are doing this for good health of overweight cops,” he said.

He said jokingly after the completion of the programme that all participating policemen would be gifted weighing machines so that they could regularly check their weight and change their diet accordingly.



Open House Response

Making mockery of education

As a founder principal of a college, I can only say that the article on colleges in periphery of Chandigarh by Sanjeev Singh Bariana was a well researched piece showing the ground realities. I will like to point out some observations that are based on my experience of having travelled in this category of colleges. A sizable number of colleges, in this category, are offering degrees in MBA, however, do not have a single teacher qualified in English. Since communication skills are evaluated internally, there is no check on the quality of education being imparted to these students. All that I am saying might not be true in all cases, however, nothing can deny the fact that a number of colleges are making a mockery of the education just to make easy money. Postgraduate teachers are often hired on the day of the college inspection. Students told me that a majority of teachers had a poor background in education and their pronunciation, particularly, needed to be seen to believe what I am saying. I am also surprised to see the number of cultural festivals and other programmes being organised in this category of colleges. Publicity is the biggest aim in such cases. I must clarify that I have also come across certain institutions which are making appreciable efforts towards giving the best to their students, however, my objection is aimed at the ones where students and parents were being taken for a ride

Bhupinder Sehgal

Another category of 'smart' colleges

The emerging picture of education in new colleges around Chandigarh is, as pointed out, very dark and complex. The universities and colleges, around Chandigarh, established under the Private University Act, are selling degrees like hot cakes and are running their business through admission centres being opened at prices varying between Rs 50,000 and Rs 5 lakh. A number of these centres are also selling degrees at different costs. These universities or their centres, around Chandigarh, are running on papers duly authorised by the UGC, but, do not have any teaching faculty. This category is different from the colleges in periphery of the city. The faculty, on rolls, in these colleges never take any classes. They sit at their homes and are drawing salary by only lending their names. In a number of cases, these institutes have retired faculty members on their rolls. The papers showed that they were being paid full salary, while in reality they got only half as per the understanding with the institute. Who minds getting money for free even in case it is half the amount the accounts show?

Dr SK Sharma

Refresher course must

I must laud your excellent effort to expose the shortcomings of engineering colleges around Chandigarh. Parents/guardians/students must be made aware of the facts and myths about these institutions. During discharging my duties, in an R&D Institute, of screening and selecting six weeks/eight weeks/six months trainees from engineering colleges from all over India and also as an adjunct faculty in teaching MTech students, I got the opportunity to closely interact with them. To my dismay, I found that most of them had very poor understanding of basic sciences. Good students, with clear concept in XI-XII level science subjects, usually get higher ranks in JEE/AIEEE and similar tests. Though, I agree with your assessment of teaching quality in private engineering colleges around the city, their faculty alone cannot be blamed. What I feel is that these colleges should, and maybe must, hold some sort of refresher/tutorial course to inculcate the aptitude of understanding the fundamentals. The coaching institutions never follow this path of teaching.

Dr G Mitra

Playing with students’ future

Chandigarh Tribune has done a laudable job in exposing chinks in the education system in new colleges, particularly, those which have come up in the periphery of Chandigarh. I was amazed by reading a detailed front page news. I have been part of this "business" from the past six months and the pain I felt is unbearable.

These colleges are literally playing with the future of our youth. The admissions happen through consultants on payment of Rs 10,000 to Rs 80,000 as commission. The consultants who bring students for admission are given the amount. Should we call it a scam or a culture? Students are taught by teachers who are passouts of the same college or are just one year elder to students. No UGC or university norms are being implemented while hiring these lectures. There is no criteria for hiring the faculty which has made the entire exercise look too futile. The newspaper has done a commendable job in initiating the debate which needs to be carried to a logical conclusion.

Pallavi Modi

Another brick in the wall

Last 10 years have seen mushrooming of education institutes around the City Beautiful. Students are shown a rosy picture at the time of admission about the curriculum, staff, infrastructure and affiliations with foreign universities.

Despair, anguish and anger await those who spend money and time in hope of glorious and glittering future after completing a degree course from these institutes. Most of these institutes are owned by businessmen whose only interest is in short term capital gains. They have a myopic vision towards education as a whole. A meagre salary is handed over to lecturers and professors and bulk is added to their personal kitty. This process of churning out degrees is facilitated by our very own elected representatives and corrupt university officials who are more than willing to grant affiliations to institutes which are otherwise lacking in many areas. This situation needs urgent attention by everyone concerned. First of all, eminent people in the field of education, should be empowered with checking the quality of education doled out in these institutes. Better pay packages to the faculty to attract best brains to the education sector. We need more transparency in admission procedures. Emphasis on research and latest teaching modalities to be made compulsory for affiliation. And lastly strict action against owners for flouting rules as our nation’s future depends upon them.

Dr Ankur Malhotra

We will like to have your views, if any, on poor quality of education and lack of other facilities in scores of new colleges in the periphery of the city, with suggestions for improvement, at openhouse@tribunemail.com


Chemists stay away from bids for GMCH drugstore
Term condition on discounted medicines unfair
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The dispute over the terms of lease of a new drugstore at the Government Medical College & Hospital, Sector 32 between hospital officials and the Chandigarh Chemists Association appears to be headed for a protracted row. No chemist has bid for the store after the association asked its members to keep away from the tendering process, calling the condition on offering discounts on medicines up to 30 per cent “unjustified”.

On the other hand, GMCH additional director (administration) Jaswinder Kaur claimed chemists at PGI had been extending similar discounts for years. “There’s no reason for the association to create a hue and cry when this condition has been imposed in the interests of patients. I’m yet to go through the report of the tender proceedings and the chemists’ objections. A decision on retendering bids for the drugstore will be taken soon by the committee concerned,” she said.

GMCH officials had floated a tender on April 10 for a new drugstore at the hospital, making it mandatory for the chemists to sell medicines at a discount on the pattern of that being offered at PGI. The discounts there ranged from 15 per cent on branded drugs to 30 per cent on generic medicines and surgical items. The date of opening the tender was May 3. The two drugstore already functioning at the hospital have been giving a discount of 10 per cent on all items.

However, the chemists’ association issuing a circular instructing its members to refrain from participating in the tendering process. According to sources, the association is under pressure from retails chemists in the city. They have reportedly complained to the association that discounts of up to 30 per cent offered by the PGI drugstores has adversely affected their business, saying their customers had been demanding similar discounts.

“While it’s possible to extend a 30 per cent discount on most surgical items and generic drugs, things become difficult for us when it comes to branded medicines that give profit margins of up to 22 per cent”, the retail chemists told the association.

While shops in hospitals have a good demand of surgical items it makes the things easier for shopkeeper there to earn a profit even as selling the branded medicines as well, they argued.

Supporting their argument Deepak Batra, the association’s organizing secretary, said: “None of the owners of the drugstores at the PGI outpatient department chose to have their contracts renewed. After losing out on business all of them preferred not to participate in the tendering process as very few surgical items are required at the OPD while the principal sales are those of branded drugs. Further, the high annual rentals of these stores, which run into crores of rupees, is another big hurdle in running the business honestly. No wonder there have been frequent reports in the media of malpractices by some of these chemists.”

“Unless the hospital officials consider fixing a reasonable amount for rents of chemist shops, it will not be possible for the shopkeeper to extend such big discounts”, Batra contended.



P’kula traffic cops face acute staff crunch
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 8
If you notice fewer traffic cops on the town’s streets it is because of the severe staff shortage in the local police department. Compared to the neighbouring union territory of Chandigarh, where about 400 traffic policemen are posted, there are only 26 traffic cops, 13 home guards and 8 ‘nakas’ (checkposts) to control traffic in Panchkula, which is spread over 32 sectors and has a population of about 210,000.

Underage driving by school students, people riding motorcycles and scooters without helmets and motorists not wearing seat belts - all this goes on unchecked in view of the shortage of traffic cops. Not only this people also jump red lights at busy intersections leading to accidents and heated arguments.

Even though the traffic police launches campaigns in the town almost every day to check traffic violators, there seems to be little or no fear among commuters who continue to flout traffic rules at will.

The town has also seen a spurt in the number of all types of vehicles during the past few years, causing traffic jams during the morning and evening rush hours at the major roundabouts including those at Sectors 8/18 and Sector 7/5. About 11,100 new vehicles were registered in the city in the last year alone.

About 81,850 ‘challans’ (traffic fines) were issued in 2010 as against 58,447 in 2009, an increase of about 14 per cent. About 30,280 ‘challans’ have been issued in the last four months.

The SP said the local police has a force of nearly 1,000 personnel to maintain law and order in the district. “They are managing traffic with whatever force they have and have been demanding additional staff. Recently 42 more men were inducted into the force”, he added.

Over 113 casualties in 108 accident cases were recorded in 2009. Last year about 125 people died in 125 fatal mishaps in the town, an increase of 16 per cent. However, the number of accidents has shown a slight decline as 40 people were killed in 35 accidents reported during the four months of the current year.



Cong seeks probe into Infotech’s functioning
Kharar MLA alleges misappropriation of funds
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 8
Close on the heels of the controversy shrouding the acquisition of land for the Global Industrial and Knowledge City (GIKC) at Rajpura, for which the Punjab Information and Communication Technology Corporation (Infotech) has arranged a loan of Rs 120.06 crore, the Congress has sought a CBI probe into the functioning of the state government undertaking and audit of its spending.

Alleging misappropriation of funds, Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu of the Congress has pointed out that lakhs of rupees were being paid to the consultant in the name of marketing sites for information technology (IT) and commercial use in Mohali, but without any success.

Quoting minutes of the agenda of Punjab Infotech, he said the corporation has exhausted all its funds to pay the margin money for the loan availed. But in two successive auctions, the corporation failed to dispose off commercial sites in Mohali.

Since 2002, officials of the corporation incurred an expenditure of Rs 65 lakh on foreign tours by its chairman, managing directors and other employees to attract investments to Punjab. But the outcome of the tours was still awaited, said the MLA while pointing out that the corporation paid around Rs 3 crore to a consulting firm — Ernst and Young.

A probe has also been sought into the investment of Rs 1,620 lakh made in its various subsidiaries and joint sector companies as all these companies have suffered heavy losses. But no accountability of the directors of the companies has been fixed.

“If the corporation has exhausted all its funds there was no need to approve a budget of Rs 8.40 crore and spending a huge amount on the renovation of its building at Udyog Bhavan in Chandigarh,” said the MLA.



25-yr-old needs help for second kidney transplant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Three years after a mother gifted her kidney to her only son, she is now running from pillar to post to save him as he has lost the transplanted kidney. As his father Ghazi Ansari, a rickshaw-puller, could not afford the post-operative expenses, over Rs 30,000 a month, after his son’s first transplant, the kidney failed, requiring another kidney transplant.

Shamshad Alam (25) was first diagnosed with renal failure in June, 2007. A final-year student of arts in a college of Ranchi University in Jharkhand, Shamshad left his studies and came to the PGI with his mother for treatment.

The donors from the region opened their hearts and made it possible for the poor family to meet the expenses of the surgery, which amounted to Rs 2 lakh in October, 2007.

After the surgery, Shamshad returned home with the doctor’s advice to continue with the medication, which cost several lakh rupees every year in the initial period.

As it was not possible for the poor rickshaw-puller to arrange for such big amount for the medication of his son, Shamshad started showing symptoms of renal complication in July last year and landed at the PGI again only to be told that the transplanted kidney had been infected and that he needed another transplant.

While his sister has come forward with her kidney to save him this time, the expenses of Rs 2 lakh on surgery, besides the post-operative expenses, are not in the reach of the family.

The donors can contact Shamshad on mobile No. 09501809186 and deposit the donation in his State Bank of India, PGI Branch, account number 30233662864.



Reporters' Diary
Who cares about cleanliness?

At public places in the country, including bus stands and railway stations, one can see careless public spoiling the general cleanliness. “This is not my house so why should I bother” is a general remark if one is questioned. There are others, who would stare into your face, as if they would gobble you up for daring to ask such a question.

Course on cleanliness

One expects much more responsible environs in an academic institution like Panjab University. Last Wednesday, Chandigarh Tribune reporter accompanied by a staff photographer was peeved to see students having left their plates, in which they had food, on different benches at the Student Centre. When a student, who was getting up from a bench after leaving his unfinished plate and glass was asked to clean the place, he said “I will do it because you spoke to me nicely, otherwise, cleaning the place is not my job”. Maybe the university is missing on introducing a refresher course on keeping the surroundings clean.

Passing the buck

At a press conference summoned by cops of the Sector 36 police station last week to publicise the arrest of a domestic help with stolen jewellery, DSP (South) BS Negi and SHO of the Sector 36 police station inspector Sukhbir Rana were busy passing the buck to each other as to who would hold the press conference and address the media. “DSP sir will address the media, kindly go to his office” were the words of SHO Rana. On the other hand, as this reporter went to the DSP's office at the basement of the police station, Negi was quick to reply, "There is no conference here, SHO will conduct it, kindly go to the upper floor." Finally, it was the SHO who addressed the media.

Dada worth a chase

Despite retiring from international cricket, ‘Dada’ does not seem to have lost his special charm among the local fans and media. As Saurav Ganguly landed in the city for his IPL outing against Kings XI, media and fans could be seen chasing him all over the city. Dada is a hero and is worth a chase.

Chaos at Sector-43 bus terminus

Women standing in long queues in evening hours to procure a bus ticket at Sector 43 bus terminus had a harrowing time on Sunday. Particularly the counters selling tickets for Ludhiana and Jalandhar witnessed maximum chaos. Several girls who had come to appear in the competitive exams complained of the absence of police personnel on the spot to check any misconduct.

Overweight policemen

Men in khaki were taken aback when senior CPM leader Suhasini Ali made a dig at the overweight policemen who had put up a barricade to stop the CPM workers and villagers of Bataud village from reaching the DGP’s office in Sector 6 on Wednesday. “Hame batayen ki aap kon se chakki ka atta khatein ha jo itne hatte-katte ho”.

Contributed by Sanjeev Singh Bariana, Aneesha Sareen, Akash Ghai, Neha Miglani and Sanjay Bumbroo



New-look park inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , May 8
Union minister for parliamentary affairs, science and technology and earth sciences Pawan Bansal today inaugurated a spruced-up park in Sector 48-A here today. Developed by the municipal corporation, the park has state-of-the-art multi-play equipment for children and well laid-out concrete tracks for morning walkers.

Area councillor Jatinder Bhatia said the MC was committed to the development of phase-III sectors (Sector 48 onwards).

Projects including widening of roads, development of parks, laying of concrete pavements had been undertaken in these sectors.

Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh and Congress local unit president BB Bahl were among those present.



Booth Scam
Probe report not accepted by admn so far
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The inquiry report submitted by PCS officer PS Shergill has so far not been accepted by the competent authority of the Chandigarh administration. This is the latest position of the Shergill report on the booth allotment scam, as per the reply received by Pankaj Chandgothia, national convener of SCAM (Social Campaign Against Mis-information), to his memorandum-cum-demand notice.

On March 10, Chandgothia had called upon the Governor-cum-Administrator, the UT Adviser and the estate officer not to take action on the basis of the Shergill report and declare the report null and void as it did not have any legal sanctity.

The letter sent by the administration to Chandgothia yesterday said: “It is to inform you that as per the information available with this branch till the time the inquiry report is accepted by the competent authority, it is a confidential document. Therefore, the requisite information cannot be given at this stage.”



Protest over govt stance on terror
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh May 8
The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) today organised a demonstration against the soft approach of the UPA government on terrorism as part of its national campaign. The activists gathered near the Tribune Chowk and raised slogans against the Congress-led UPA government.

BJP state general secretary Satinder Singh and colony cell convener Dalip Sharma alleged that the Congress government had always adopted lopsided policies against terrorism, as a result of which the safety and integrity of the country had been put at stake.

BJYM president Maheshinder Singh Sidhu questioned the act of a senior Congress leader of repeatedly sympathising with terrorists and caring about them rather than thinking about the families who had lost their members because of terrorists.



383 donate blood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
At least 383 persons donated blood at a camp organised by the Thalassaemic Children Welfare Association at Zakir Hall, PGI, here today. Donors from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh took part in the first blood donation camp in a series of six camps for the cause.

Prof Yogesh Chawla, head, department of hepatology, PGIMER, inaugurated the camp.

He lauded the efforts of the association in saving the lives of patients, especially during the summer months when there was an acute shortage of blood.



Placements at Panjab University
Advisory panel to meet on May 11
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
To draw a blueprint of placement activity on campus for the session 2011-2012, Panjab University’s 21-member placement advisory committee formed by Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti will hold a meeting on May 11.

The committee will also be reviewing the feedback of placement fair held this year. The fair was primarily organised by students of the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), along with members of the placement committee. The committee members will also take up the grievances of certain students with the university authorities. These students have expressed resentment over the lackadaisical attitude of placement coordinators in certain departments. Possibilities of soft skill workshops and special training sessions for students to generate an employable class on the campus will also be mooted.

“The committee will be able to decide the future course of action only on May 11,” said SK Chadda, professor, University Business School, and member of the advisory council.

Certain other members added that the onus of working towards the placements was on students of the final year batch.

Manu Sharma, member of the advisory committee and faculty, UIET, said the placement committee had been emphasising in the past as well that the final year students across all disciplines, including arts faculties, must take more responsibility since they were the beneficiaries of the placement activity. Students should handle data base, presentations, call companies and deliver seminars.

This is what senior members of the placement committee had been emphasising over the years, he added.



PG diplomas awarded

Chandigarh, May 8
The meritorious and successful students of the northern region were awarded postgraduate diplomas in classical music (vocal, instrumental), classical dances and fine arts (painting) by the Pracheen Kala Kendra at their annual convocation held at the Randhawa Auditorium here today.

Kendra registrar Shobha Koser welcomed chief guest Ajoy Sharma, IAS, special secretary, higher education UT, and eminent educationist, Dr Daisy Walia, professor and head, department of dance, Punjabi University, Patiala, delivered the keynote address.

The convocation began with a brief introduction of the Pracheen Kala Kendra and its multifarious activities followed by traditional lighting of the lamp and a welcome address by the secretary of the organisation, Sajal Koser.

Ajoy Sharma in his address lauded the efforts of the kendra in upholding the tradition of classical art and imparting quality education.

The toppers presented a musical programme, which began with a vocal recital by Swarleen from Bathinda, who presented two compositions in raga Shudha Sarang. This was followed by bharatnatyam performance by Shruti Gangadharan . The third presentation of raga Yaman on flute by Anil Kumar was highly appreciated. Solo tabla recital by Arvind Bhatt provided a grant finale to the event. — OC



Celebrating that special bond

Zirakpur: Students of New Angel Public School, Zirakpur, celebrated Mother's Day. They were accompanied by their mothers. Students enjoyed games and presented gifts to their mothers. They made cards for them.


Chandigarh: Students of AKSIPS-65 participated in various activities to celebrate Mother’s Day. This included making cards by students of classes I and II. ‘Special thanks to my mamma’ was the theme of creative writing for students of classes IV and V. The theme for the bulletin board was ‘What I Admire the Most About My Mother’.


Students of DPS, Chandigarh, celebrated Mothers’ Day. They welcomed their mothers with cards and mementos. A special assembly was held. A skit highlighting the fact that mothers are milled in their never ending household work and are often taken for granted was presented. A group song ‘Meri Pyaari Maa’ by students left the audience spellbound.

St Soldier’s

Kindergarten section of St Soldier’s celebrated Mother’s Day by organising a super mom contest for their mothers. Anu, mother of Ariv from KG bagged the title of Super Mom. A ‘Tribal Cat Walk’ was the attraction of the day and mothers were made to cut a special cake on the occasion. Students from classes IV to X participated in the event by making cards for their mothers.


Hargun Sethi, a student of Class V at Vivek High School, Chandigarh, brought laurels to the school by winning top honours in the first international English olympiad. Hargun is also a golf champion.

Welfare dept

The department of social welfare celebrated Mother’s Day at the Old Age Home, Sector 15, here today.

According to a press note, prominent among those present included Varsha Khangwal, director, social welfare-cum-managing director, Chandigarh Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and Minorities Financial and Development Corporation, Sudhir Chand Jain, company secretary, along with officers of the department and renowned personalities from the field of social welfare.

Shishu Niketan

Panchkula: To make their mothers’ feel special, students at Shishu Niketan Public School, MDC, Sector 5, Panchkula, presented a programme. Class X girls gave a dance performance. Kindergarten students danced to the tunes of ‘Maiya Yashodha’ and later Class II and III students gave a musical performance. Class X student Diksha recited a poem for mothers. Ranjana Bakshi, principal, gave away prizes to winners.

Vijay Public school

Vijay Public Smart School, Sector 17, Panchkula, celebrated Mother’s Day with great fervour. A special assembly was held to celebrate the day. Children made beautiful cards for their mothers.

New India school

Students and staff of New India Smart Senior Secondary School-15, Panchkula, celebrated Mother’s Day to honour mothers. Around 50 mothers were entertained with an emotional poem, two talks and mono acting items. Prizes were given to mothers, who won dance, card making and mimicry competitions. Principal Sharda Gupta congratulated mothers.

Earth Day

Guru Gobind Singh Vidya Mandir, Ratwara Sahib, observed Earth Day. Principal of the school Ritu Oberoi motivated students to save mother earth. A slogan writing competition was held on the topic ‘Save the Planet Earth’. A speech was also delivered. Director of the school S Kulwant Singh Gill appreciated the efforts of students and teachers.

Gian Jyoti

Mohali: Students of Gian Jyoti Global School, Phase II, Mohali, celebrated Mother’s Day during the morning assembly. Students recited poems and were made to enjoy the craft activity in which they made gifts for their mothers. Principal Ranjeet Bedi congratulated students.


Shishu Niketan Public School, Mohali, organised an informative show. Science club presented a talk on the functions of digestive system. During the Maths club activity, students were told about various world-renowned mathematicians. Students were then told about the miracle of number 11 in an interesting manner.


English faculty of Sharda Sarvhitkari Model Senior Secondary School Sector 40-D organised a visit of Class XII students to Government Printing Press (UT), Sector 18, Chandigarh. Students were shown the procedures required for printing stationary and other articles. Meanwhile, 10 Class X students of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31, along with two teachers, visited to Jeenam Mukt Nishwk Vidyalaya at Jagatpura village near Sector 48, Chandigarh. KK Garg, director of the school, said the school started with just 10 students in 2003 and was being run only through voluntary donations without any government aid. The KV 31 volunteers taught English to students.

‘Salad Day’

Kindergarten section of Doon International School, Mohali, celebrated 'Salad Day'. Students brought nutritious salad in their tiffins.


Students of Delhi Public School, Chandigarh, won top positions in various olympiads organised by the Science Olympiad Foundation, New Delhi. A special award ceremony was organised by the Science Olympiad Foundation at law auditorium, Panjab University, Chandigarh, today to felicitate meritorious students, teachers and principals. Reema Dewan, principal, DPS, Chandigarh, was awarded the Best Principal Trophy. Sanat Bhatia, Shreyam Sinha, Shambhavi Ratnapriya, Anirudh Seth and Abhishek Arora, students of DPS, Chandigarh, were given awards in various categories. Shalini Setia, teacher, DPS, Chandigarh, also received an award in the best teacher’s category.

Programme ends

A two day ‘Gandhi Darshan Peace Training Programme’ for over 150 kids from 50 prominent city schools concluded at New Public School, Chandigarh. Students resolved to visit Anna Hazare’s village Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra in their coming summer vacation. The programme was jointly organised by Yuvsatta, an NGO, and Peace Club of New Public School, Chandigarh. — TNS



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