C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC fails to net commercial units in five villages
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Even though the Municipal Corporation (MC) spends around Rs 1.5 crore annually on conducting survey of commercial properties to check evasion of property tax, the mushrooming of hundreds of illegal commercial establishments in five villages, under the jurisdiction of the MC, has failed to come on the radar of survey officials.

This shocking revelation was made in a report tabled by the Property Tax Department in the House Tax Assessment Committee held here today. It mentions that in Burail commercial units have increased from 1,121 to 2,512, in Badheri from 341 to 638, in Buterla from 144 to 207 and in Attawa from 239 to 282.

The loss of revenue in terms of the property tax from such establishments runs into crores of rupees, as the MC has not finalised the tax structure to be levied on such establishments, observed a member of the House Tax Assessment Committee.

The officials informed the members of the committee that no property tax could be charged from these villages as the village bylaws were yet to be finalised by the corporation. Officials said they had tabled the issue at the meeting to obtain the approval of the committee as from which year the department should charge property tax from these villages.

Nominated councillor MPS Chawla asked why “double standards” were being adopted by the authorities for charging taxes in the villages. He demanded that the authorities should exempt all tax payers from property tax till a decision was taken about these villages.

SAD councillor and former mayor Harjinder Kaur said it was strange that in the absence of village bylaws, there had been a manifold increase in commercial property in villages during the past four years. Expressing concern over the mushrooming of commercial units, she demanded that an inquiry should be conducted as to who permitted the construction of these units in villages when there was no law for it. 

Big revenue loss

The loss of revenue in terms of the property tax from such establishments runs into crores, as the MC has not finalised the tax structure to be levied on such establishments, observed a member of the House Tax Assessment Committee. Meanwhile, officials said no property tax could be charged from these villages as the village bylaws were yet to be finalised by the MC.

Panel seeks details

The committee has asked the MC authorities to table details of commercial units in villages at the next meeting so that appropriate decision could be taken about the collection of property tax from these units.



Tax exemption brings PCA under RTI: HC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Tax exemption enjoyed by the Punjab Cricket Association has made it liable to provide information under the Right to Information Act.

In a significant judgment, Justice MS Sullar of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asserted: “It is an admitted position that the PCA is enjoying exemption from the entertainment tax, which is a direct financial aid by the state to it”.

Justice Sullar has also found fault with an order passed by the State Information Commissioner turning down the plea for information under the Act.

Justice Sullar asserted: “Although the SIC made negative the plea of the complainant-information seekers, to my mind, the SIC has slipped into a deep legal error in this regard.”

Elaborating on the reasons behind the assertion, Justice Sullar ruled: “The PCA is saving heavy amount from the exemption to entertainment tax, which naturally is an incidence of financial aid by the government.”

He added: “In addition to it, the PCA is substantially financed directly or indirectly by the appropriate government…”

The assertion came on a bunch of 19 petitions by Hindu Urban Cooperative Bank Limited and others. In some of the cases, information sought was not supplied by the state public information officers primarily on the ground they did not fall within the ambit of public authorities, and the provisions of the RTI Act were not applicable to them.

Justice Sullar held that the association and other similarly placed clubs were bodies owned and controlled by the state government, in view of the provisions of the relevant Acts and rules.

Justice Sullar also made it clear that as the PCA was substantially financed by funds provided directly or indirectly by the appropriate government, it was a public authority within the meaning of the RTI Act.

In his detailed order, Justice Sullar added that petitioners Mohali Punjab Cricket Association, Jalandhar Gymkhana, and Ludhiana Sutluj Club are also registered, governed and regulated by the provisions of the Societies Registration Act and are legally required to act to the terms and conditions of the memorandum of association of this Act.”

He added: “What cannot possibly be denied is that we, the people of India, have constituted ourselves into a democratic and republic nation and are governed by the Constitution of India.

“India is that largest democracy in the world. The democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of the information that is vital to its functions.”



Seeking bigger role, Panchkula councillors boycott MC meet
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 9
Cutting across party lines, elected councillors came together to demand a councillor rather than an official should chair the municipal council meeting that was scheduled to be held Monday. The standoff eventually led to the adjournment of the meet, which has yet to be rescheduled.

While Congress party councillors walked out of the meeting after waiting for MC executive officer KK Jain and the secretary lamenting councilors were not being accorded “proper treatment”, those belonging to the BJP and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD )stayed away, insisting the meeting should be chaired by a councillor.

The meeting, chaired by additional deputy commissioner Sanjeev Verma, was then adjourned sine die for want of a quorum. Of the 34 councillors only three belonging to the Congress party attended.

After submitting the boycott notice to Jain, the councillors left the meeting hall and raised slogans against the district administration. As soon as Verma arrived at the MC building they began raising slogans against him and urged him to go back. However, Congress councilor Sangeeta Goel refused to walk out of the meeting, stating development projects were being undertaken in her ward in a planned manner.

BJP leader and MC vice president BB Singal averred he was strongly opposed to “administrative interference” in the “democratic functioning” of the civic body by deputing the additional deputy commissioner to chair the house meeting, which he claimed had no “legal sanctity”.

“According to the provisions of the Haryana Municipal Act, 1973 it is the president and vice president and, in their absence, any member elected by the members present in the house who are authorized to chair the council’s meetings. Chairing the MC general meeting by the additional deputy commissioner is undemocratic and tantamount to violation of the act”, said Singal.

He insisted the notice period given at the general meeting was “not proper” as the requisite period for sending the notice in this regard was ten days. “Even the minutes of the last meeting, which was held on March 21, have not been published nor circulated to the councilors till date in blatant violation of the established norms”, he averred.

INLD councillor VK Kapoor claimed the contract for sanitation projects costing Rs 6 crore had been given without seeking prior approval of the house. “Various minor development works worth Rs 35 lakh were undertaken during the previous fiscal under section 35 of the MC Act. Though the ADC had demanded a detailed report of these projects at the previous meeting the authorities have failed to submit it,” he added.

Kapoor accused MC officials of deliberately “ignoring” the councillors by incorporating the projects proposed by residents' welfare associations. “This implies wrong intentions on the part of the authorities concerned and as well as abuse of power and violation of the MC Act”, he stated.

While admitting there was a delay in the start of the meeting, Verma said: “The councilors could’ve suggested or demanded incorporating development works in the agenda during the meeting. The deputy commissioner had tasked me with streamlining the civic body’s functioning. Any shortcomings could be resolved by the councilors making constructive suggestions”.

Key points in agenda

* Public toilets in parks with covered area of 5,000 sq yds

* Mobile toilets costing Rs 8 lakh each in slum areas

z Approval of tenders for automatic solar switches on streetlights, costing Rs 8 lakh

* Construction of road from Industrial Area, Phase I to Sec 19 rail level crossing costing about Rs 1.03 cr

* Contract for maintenance of streetlights



Excess iron found in water
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 9
Water samples collected from hand and submersible pumps by health officials in 38 of the 75 villages in the Khamano block of Fatehgarh district have been found to contain excessive amounts of iron. The officials have urged villagers to drink only the water provided by the water supply department and avoid drawing water from sources that may have high levels of iron. The villagers were also made aware of the harmful effects of consuming water with high content of iron.

On Monday members of ‘panchayats’ of 50 villages in the district attended a workshop organized here by the health department.

Deputy commissioner Yashvir Mahajan, who presided over the workshop, said potable water was being supplied to 445 of the 452 villages in the district with efforts on to provide it to the other seven villages.

Khamano subdivisional magistrate Rupanjali asked people not to waste drinking water and use it judiciously.

Health officials informed villagers use of some RO (reverse osmosis) filtration systems could pose health problems as the water obtained from them lacked minerals found in natural water. They asked villagers not to release dirty water in the fields in order to prevent groundwater from being polluted.

Public health executive engineer RP Gupta, who is also a senior community mobilizing specialist, urged ‘panchayat’ members to ensure participation of villagers in all rural water supply schemes. “Every year 2 million people die in the country after drinking polluted water, and 90 percent of them are below the age of 5”, health officials stated.



Disability no bar for this cricket buff
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
At first sight, everyone ignored him, as if he was just another cricket fan with disability. But all of a sudden, he attracted all the attention, when cricketer Yuvraj Singh called him by his name and met him like an old friend.

Meet this 19-year-old polio-afflicted die-hard cricket fan, Dharamvir Singh. Though he is unable to move like others, he can be a cause of envy for any cricket buff as he accompanies the ‘Men in Blue’ to almost every place where they go to play matches.

The icing on the cake is that all the expenditure for Dharamvir’s tours is borne by star cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Suresh Raina, S Sreesanth and Yuvraj.

“They used to give me money and other things just out of affection. And for me, these stars are my gods and my family,” said Dharamvir, who was now busy making preparations for his tour to the West Indies with the cricket team.

Dharamvir said he had visited several countries, including South Africa, England, Australia, West Indies and Bangladesh. “I have seen all World Cup matches India have played. Dhoni had borne all the expenditure, which was around Rs 1 lakh,” claimed Dharmavir.

His most prized gift was the bat which Tendulkar had given him after scoring his 41st century at Vadodara, added Dharamvir.

Born in a small-time farmer’s family at Morena, a small village in Madhya Pradesh, he was a member of his state’s handicapped cricket team.

“In my childhood, my only dream was to meet Indian cricketers. In 2005, I came to Delhi, from where I came to Mohali to witness a match for the first time, between India and Sri Lanka in 2005,” said Dharamvir.

So far, this determined youngster had witnessed over 100 one-day internationals and around 30 Tests with the team.


Cops still clueless about shootout suspect
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 9
A day after an unidentified youth shot and injured two people in Phase 3 B1, the local police launched a manhunt on Monday for the suspect in the town and as well as in neighbouring Chandigarh but without any success so far.

“As the suspect had dumped the Suzuki Swift Dzire car he had snatched at gunpoint from one of those injured in the incident, Mankirat Singh Monga, near a hotel in Kajehri village, there’s every possibility of him hiding in the village. We’re combing the area”, said Mohali senior superintendent of police GPS Bhullar.

Apart from carrying out intensive searches in Kajehri and nearby slum areas, the police today conducted house-to-house checks in residential areas in Phases 3B1, 3B2, 4 and 5. While looking for suspicious persons, police teams questioned occupants of all paying guest accommodations in these areas. The cops were surprised to see a number of unregistered PGs running in residential areas without getting the necessary permission from the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority.

While reconstructing the sequence of events leading up to Sunday’s shootout, police officials observed that going by the nervousness displayed by the suspect and the manner in which he snatched the car, he was in a hurry to flee as he was looking for quick getaway. “An extensive operation was conducted to ascertain whether any crime had been committed in Phase 3B1 and neighbouring areas. So far we’ve received no inputs”, said a police official.

Besides, the police is preparing a sketch of the suspect on the basis of the details provided by two eyewitnesses, Shiv Kumar and Bhupinder, a servant. Several residents were being questioned to find out more about the circumstances in which the suspect was attempting to escape.

Matour police station house officer Tarlochan Singh said the condition of both the injured men, Mankirat and Prem Verma, was stable. On the basis of the statement given by Mankirat’s mother, Baljeet Kaur, the police filed a case under sections 392 (robbery) and the Arms Act.

SHOs, PCR teams pulled up

In the wake of two successive incidents in which armed youths snatched cars at gunpoint in Phases 3B1 and 5, the senior superintendent of police reportedly pulled up the station house officers and police control room (PCR) teams at a meeting and instructed them to be more vigilant. Almost immediately after the meeting was over police officials were seen frisking vehicles and putting up ‘nakas’ (checkposts) in the town.



Imposition of house tax deferred again
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Dodging the imposition of house tax in the city, the house tax assessment committee has deferred a decision on this issue once again. Committee chairperson Sheela Devi deferred this agenda item in a meeting here today.

The committee asserted that as the imposition of a new tax was not under its preview, this matter should be tabled in the General House for approval.

In the meeting, the authorities tabled the memorandum of understanding signed by the municipal corporation (MC), the UT administration and the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) in 2006. According to it, the authorities were to impose house tax to get regular grant for projects.

A majority of members objected to bringing up the issue in this meeting when it was not under the jurisdiction of the committee. Sources said as this was an election year, members wanted to throw a spanner in the works on the issue of imposition of taxes.

Records of the MC showed that in 2009, then Mayor Kamlesh recommended that this issue be approved by the subcommittee first and then be tabled in the House for its approval.

Legal experts opined that the Mayor had absolute power to table any agenda item in the House for discussion and no recommendation from any subcommittee was required for it.

In 2009, officials of the MC had sent the house tax proposal to the then Mayor Kamlesh for five consecutive months for her approval so that it could be tabled in the House, but every time, she rejected it without any reason.



10 km from UT, Jainti Majri has poor bus service
Tribune News Service

Jyanti Majri (Mohali), May 9
The historic village having 550-year-old Jyanti Majri temple is just about 10 km from the state capital Chandigarh. However, when it comes to connectivity through the state-run roadways, including the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU), hundreds of residents of about ten villages in the area are at the mercy of rickety auto-rickshaw operators who fleece the gullible villagers.

The Punjab Transport Department does not operates any bus service in the entire area and a solitary bus, route number 70, operated by the CTU is run irregularly. Soma, a resident of Jyanti Majri village, lamented that only one bus was being run by the CTU between Sector 17 bus stand and Jyanti Majri temple and that too was very erratic.

The residents of the area in a joint representation to the CTU director have demanded regular bus service on the route that not only catered to the villagers, but also to the tourists visiting the temple. On the basis of a representation given by the villagers, the officer of special duty to the Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs has sought that the frequency of the bus service should be increased. The officials were also informed that a lot of residents and students of the area have to depend on auto-rickshaws.



Officials visit proposed site for bus stand
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, May 9
The move to set up a bus stand in Zirkapur today tagged ahead with the district administration carrying out a feasibility survey. The Mohali Deputy Commissioner, accompanied by the Mohali SSP and other local officials, today visited the proposed site for the bus stand that would be constructed by the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB). The officials also checked the traffic congestion problem in the town.

However, an official revealed that the land was not perfect for a proper bus stand and other options would be worked out.

According to information, in December, 2009, the Zirakpur Municipal Council had planned to construct a modern AC bus stand at the triangle on the Zirakpur-Panchkula intersection, near Paras Down Town square. The council had sent a proposal to the local bodies for constructing a bus stand.

Sources said a two-acre land, where the modern bus stand was proposed, was owned by the PWD and the PIDB would take up the construction. Sources said in a recent high-level meeting held in Chandigarh PIDB officials demanded to the state government to hand over the land to the PIDB for setting up the bus stand. The Punjab Chief Secretary had asked the Mohali Deputy Commissioner to visit the site and send detailed report on this matter, sources added.

Giving details, Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roozam said he would evaluate the options and explore all opportunities before submitting the report about the bus stand. He said the administration was also looking for a site to construct bus stops for daily passengers. “We have asked the PIDB officials to re-check the routes of each and every bus and after that final report would be sent to higher authorities,” he added.

SSP, Mohali, GS Bhullar, talking about the traffic congestion problem, said the local administration was planning to widen the roads in the area to solve traffic congestions problem. “We are also planning to start one-way traffic in the town where it is required,” he added.



PGI to tone up cancer facility
Bed number to go up to 113
Arun Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, May 9
After setting up an Advanced Trauma Centre, the PGI is now set to strengthen its Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) by increasing its bed capacity to 113 against the current 23.

This will go a long way in treating the patients of cancer at the biggest facility of its kind in North India after New Delhi.

The additional beds will be of great help to the doctors and other staff in providing better facilities to thousands of patients visiting the hospital every year, said Prof SC Sharma, head, department of radiotherapy.

PGI’s department of radiotherapy, which started functioning independently in 1971, was upgraded to a Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) under the National Cancer Control Programme by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare six years ago in March, 2005.

The department provides facilities like radiation therapy, chemotherapy (medical oncology) for treatment of cancer and palliative care for management of terminally ill cancer patients.

Over 6,000 new patients suffering from cancer visit the PGI every year, while the number of follow-up cases is as high as 60,000 annually.

In fact, the PGI is in the process of building a new ward for indoor patients with a capacity of 250 beds under the Rs 515-crore planned budget allocated in the Eleventh Five Year Plan.

A total of Rs 112 crore has been allocated for the ward and the work on the project will start soon, say sources. The building will be located near the nephrology department in Nehru Hospital building.

Of the 250 beds, 90 will be reserved for cancer patients.



Beant Singh Memorial
Rs 4.88 cr for media centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
The governing body of the Beant Singh Memorial and the Chandigarh Centre for the Performing and Visual Arts today approved Rs 4.88 crore for the completion of the building of media centre of the Beant Singh Memorial.

It will provide facilities for conference and house a media centre, an audio and light centre, a projection room and a studio.

The meeting held under the chairmanship of Shivraj Patil, Punjab Governor-cum-UT-Administrator, at the Punjab Raj Bhawan here, was attended by the Chief Secretary, Punjab Government, the Adviser to the UT Administrator, the UT Home Secretary and Tej Parkash Singh, son of Beant Singh.

A presentation of the comprehensive concept plan of interior designing of the library building of Beant Singh Memorial suggesting floor-wise space usage for audiovisual sections, different kinds of reading cubicles, space for online library, furniture and fittings was made before the governing body.

Patil stressed the need for setting up of a world-class digital library with proper storage and preservation of disks and independent areas for use of electronic material.



CGC seeks UT nod to axe dead trees
Our Golf Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 9
The Chandigarh Golf Club is all set to remove dead trees that are a scar on the greens of the Chandigarh Golf Club.

The issue of removal of dead trees was discussed at a meeting between new CGA president Malvinder Singh, his managing committee and Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj Patil at Punjab Raj Bhavan today.

According to CGC media committee chairman GS Kochhar, Malvinder Singh and his new team impressed on the UT Administrator for the renewal of the lease deed and approval of the revised building plan of the club.

Malvinder Singh apprised the Governor of the urgency of removal of dead trees and replantation by the administration under the supervision of the Chandigarh Golf Club.

He also discussed the removal of eucalyptus trees to avoid depletion of the water table in the area. The club has a total of 266 eucalyptus trees.



Show of strength in Kalia’s support
Not even a BJP whimper at CBI office for Swarna Ram
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
The Chandigarh Police faced a tough time to deal with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists, who assembled in hundreds in front of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) office at Sector 30 to extend support to Punjab Industries Minister Manoranjan Kalia.

As Kalia was scheduled to reach the office at 11 am, the activists started assembling there at 10.30 am. Raising anti-CBI and anti-Congress slogans, party workers, including many women, blocked the road in front of the office.

The police found it hard to make Kalia enter the office as he was surrounded by a large number of activists and mediapersons as soon as he alighted from his vehicle.

Braving the sweltering heat, party workers were seen raising slogans for at least two hours continuously, till Kalia came out of the office.

The road remained blocked for over two hours. On their part, the police did not make any serious attempt to lift the blockade and left many people to suffer.

While Kalia enjoyed frenzied support from local BJP workers, the scene was exactly the opposite when Punjab Social Welfare Minister Swarna Ram reached the office around 1.30 pm. Most party workers disappeared by then and the minister found none in his support.

All praise for CBI

Swarna Ram was all praise for the CBI after he came out after joining investigations. “I have full faith in the agency’s investigations,” he said. He added that the DIG assured them of fair investigations and the dealing by officials was good. “I will join the investigations whenever they call me,” he said.



Young NRIs meet Patil
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
A group of 25 students and young professionals of Indian origin called on Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj Patil at Punjab Raj Bhavan here today.

Welcoming the students, Patil said: “If we develop the capabilities to use the entire resources of land, space and ocean then you don’t have to worry about anything in the future. Our emphasis should be on developing science and technology.”

Vikas Partap, Commissioner, NRI Affairs, Government of Punjab, said the Know India Programme provided a unique forum for students and young professionals of Indian origin to visit India, share their views, expectations and experiences and bond closely with contemporary India.



Blood camp to mark Nightingale Week
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 9
Doctors and staff participated in the voluntarily blood donation camp on the fourth day of the ‘Nightingale Week’ being celebrated at the General Hospital, Sector 6, here today.

The camp was inaugurated by Medical Superintendent Dr Usha Gupta, who was the first to donate the blood. She said the camp was being held to create awareness amongst the general public about its importance.

She also declared that such camps would be held on 15th of every month where the staff could participate and contribute to their service to humanity.

Blood bank in-charge Dr Seema Ghai said 35 staff members and their spouses donated blood today and they were very excited about the wonderful response.



‘Sur Wid Taal’ from May 22
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, May 9
Riding on the incredible success of ‘Sur Wid Taal- Talent Hunt-2010’, the S-4 Trust and Gurukul Vidyapeeth yesterday announced the launch of the second edition of ‘Sur Wid Taal- Talent Hunt-2011’, which would kick off at the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, on May 22.

Aimed at providing a platform to budding artistes and give a boost to performing arts in the region, the cultural extravaganza would culminate into a mega-musical show coinciding with the birthday celebrations of melody queen Lata Mangeshkar on September 28.

The competition would comprise four talent sub-contests- ‘Voice of 2011’, ‘Dancer of 2011’, ‘Great Laughter Champion-2011’ and ‘Cultural Olympiad for Special Children-2011’, disclosed project CEO Rinku Kalia at the launch ceremony at the Chandigarh Press Club here yesterday. Manmohan Garg, CEO of Gurukul Vidyapeeth, announced scholarships worth over Rs 10 lakh for winners.



Domestic violence
PEC students counsel slum women
Special women cell likely at Sector 25
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
In a unique effort, nearly 71 students of PEC University of Technology today interacted with women in a colony at Sector 25 and suggested them ways to tackle domestic violence. A special women counselling cell, which will be run by students, is likely to come up in the community hall of Sector 25 colony.

In its preliminary investigation, the team found that despite a significant number of women working (nearly 85 per cent) in the colony, a majority of them were victims of domestic violence.

These students of BE I (second semester), who have “women and third world development” as a subject, today conducted a survey on health education, sanitation and promotion of self-help groups in the colony.

“We aim at promoting self-help groups in this area. Women can solve their problems on their own by depositing their savings in banks. Also they can sit and discuss various issues with each other. We have been counselling them,” said Satinder Kaur, guest faculty at PEC University of Technology.

“Insecurity forces mothers to confine their daughters to the four walls of the house. These young girls are made to leave their studies after a certain age and the only option they have is to work with their mothers. Such is the terror of sexual abuse that they are not permitted to stay alone and hence work with their mothers only,” said Kaur. Certain other students, however, were disappointed at the unwillingness of the local residents to discuss issues related to women. “We had arranged a session of nearly 40 women at the community centre, but none turned up. Eventually we had to go from door to door to convey our message. Such is the stigma attached to domestic violence that nobody is willing to talk about it. After interaction with nearly 15 women, our team found that for many women it was “alright” to be beaten up by their husbands,” said a student. 



No four-wheelers on campus
SOPU opposes PU authorities’ decision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Objecting to Panjab University authorities’ decision of not allowing students to keep four-wheelers in the hostel, the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) today submitted a memorandum to the university authorities.

SOPU party president Vikramjit Singh Medukheda said their organisation would oppose the decision and would stage a dharna on the issue if students were singled out.

He said if the authorities wanted to make the campus free of vehicles, they should implement similar rules for students, faculty members and all working staff alike.

“Apart from students, 2,500 employees with their families reside on the campus and most of them have a car,” said Vikramjit.

SOPU members also opposed the university’s decision of spending lakhs of rupees on honouring Khushwant Singh with a doctorate degree at his residence in Delhi. “What about the 400 gold medallists whom PU has not awarded medals even,” said Vikramjit. 



Now, staying in touch with campus a click away
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
For Panjab University passouts, staying in touch with the alma mater is a click away. A new online enrolment form for the alumni association membership and an alumni’s community on popular social networking website- Facebook were announced in the 40th annual general body meeting and scholarship award function. The events were organised by the Panjab University Alumni Association (PUAA) at the Golden Jubilee Hall on the campus.

Bhupinder Singh Bhoop, Dean, alumni relations, and secretary, PU Alumni Associations, said the life members had increased by 444, including 17 overseas and nine patron members, and the total number of members had reached 4,600. Former Deans of alumni relations in PU were also felicitated today.

Sanjeev Sharma, joint secretary-cum-treasurer, presented the audited accounts for the year 2009-10 and budget estimates for alumni house for the financial year 2011-12, which were approved by the house.

Students, who were felicitated during an award ceremony, with their trophies at Panjab University, Chandigarh
Students, who were felicitated during an award ceremony, with their trophies at Panjab University, Chandigarh, on Monday. Tribune photo: Vinay Malik 

Scholarships awarded

A total of 52 meritorious students (27 each from the colleges and 25 from university departments), who had topped during the academic session 2009-10, were awarded cash prizes worth Rs 6,500 each, complimentary life membership worth Rs 1,000, certificates of merit and trophies. Stipend to 10 students was also given.

Alumni body poll

For the Executive Council of PUAA elections ( 2010-11) , the Vice-Chancellor and Dean were authorised by the general house to nominate the members.

Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti, in his presidential remarks, advised tangible ways to increase the contribution of the alumni to their alma mater.

He said they could contribute towards the development of institutional infrastructure, placement of outgoing students, their personality development to compete and face the professional world and help in nurturing the institute directly or indirectly. He said there was a need to improve the quality as well as accessibility of education.

“This could be possible through alluring aspirants to take up their unfinished education or doctoral research and permitting college lecturers to supervise PhDs,” said Sobti.

Sobti said the next alumni meet of all those, who graduated from PU on or before 1975, would be held on January 27, 2012.

An announcement was made to increase the prize money to meritorious students from Rs 6,500 to Rs 10,000. Journal released

Chandigarh: RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, released the issue no. 37 of Panjab University Research Journal (Arts). Others who joined the journal release ceremony included MM Puri, former Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University; BS Brar, Dean, University Instruction; SC Kohli, vice-president, Panjab University Alumni Association, and BS Bhoop, Dean, alumni relations. Sobti in his paper titled “Locating Gandhi’s Cultural Swaraj in the Context of Globalisation” has suggested reinvention of cultural studies in institutions of higher learning in India in consonance with the voices and discourses grounded in Indian philosophy and thought.

Date extended

The last date for submission of applications for a fresh batch of coaching classes for UGC-NET (humanities), to be started at the Centre for IAS and other Competitive Examinations, Panjab University, has been extended to May 14, 2011. The classes will begin from May 16, 2011.

Admit cards dispatched

Admit cards for Common Entrance Test (CET-2011), to be conducted by Panjab University, Chandigarh, on May 22, have been dispatched to candidates. Those, who do not receive the cards by May 19 may get duplicate ones from 
the university’s office (CET Cell, Aruna Ranjit Chandra Hall, near Post Office) on May 20 and 21, 2011, after completing pre-requisite requirements as detailed in Para 34 at Page 19 of the CET Prospectus-2011.

Farewell party

Surya School of Business Management organised a farewell party for final year MBA students on the campus of Surya World. Vipul Bali and Ankita were declared Mr and Miss MBA. The show was hosted by students of MBA second semester and the occasion was marked by performances by juniors. The function was presided over by HBL Vohra, campus director, Surya School of Business Management. — TNS



From Schools
Mother’s Day

Chandigarh: Stepping Stones Senior Secondary School, Sector 37-D and 38-A, celebrated Mother’s Day by presenting a skit and a dance. Mothers were treated to a culinary workshop laying emphasis on the importance of balanced diet for children. Nutritious and quick to make recipes were demonstrated.

Baptist School

Chandigarh Baptist School, Sector 45, celebrated Mother’s Day. A special assembly was conducted. Teachers spoke on the importance and place of mothers in one’s life. Songs in praise of mothers were sung by teachers and students. Nalini Joseph, vice-principal of the school, also spoke on the occasion.

Vivekanand school

Pre-primary wing of St Vivekanand Millennium School, Pinjore, celebrated Mother’s Day by presenting a show. Kamal Rai, director of the school, and Usha Bali, principal, were also present on the occasion. A number of games were organised for mothers. Mothers were given cards by students. — TNS



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