C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC projects, bylaws stuck on discussion table
Residents devoid of better amenities
Municipal councillors face heat in election year
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Thanks to the ‘inefficiency’ of Municipal Corporation officials, the city's major projects and crucial bylaws framed to regulate the dumping of debris will probably see the light of the day only during the next tenure of the General House slated to begin in January 2012.

Several rounds of discussion have been held and action-taken reports on the status of the projects have been tabled on the floor of the House but without action. It is not only the residents who are being devoid of better amenities, municipal councillors too are facing the heat due to non-completion of the development projects in the election year.

If one goes by the minutes of the meetings held over the last one-and-a-half-year, five major projects comprising allocation of an air-conditioned fish market, the construction of mahila bhawan, implementation of the global positioning system, allocation of land for e-waste disposal and the issue of imposing of the malba bylaws have only remained on the discussion table.

Fish market allotment

Purpose: In 2007, the UT Administration proposed to construct an air-conditioned fish market as a majority of fish vendors in the city are doing their business in unhygienic condition from temporary outlets where there is no provision of cutting, loading and unloading fish. As per a survey conducted by the medical health department, about 50 quintals of fish is consumed in the city everyday during winter and 20 quintals during summer. Keeping this in view, the UT Administration constructed a fish market in Sector 41 and handed it over the MC for auctioning its shops last year.

Current status: In all, 12 booths of three different categories varying from 22.75 square yards and 25.37 square yards for the retail shopkeepers and 47.25 square yards for the wholesalers and one of 380.2 square feet chill room was constructed at considerable expense. The MC has twice tried to auction these shops but there have been no takers due to its high reserve price. Now, the MC recently decided to allot it on lease.

Malba and debris bylaws

Purpose: In August 2010, the General House of the MC had approved the draft of fresh rules proposed by the malba committee to deal sternly with violators of the disposal of construction material. The House approved the proposal that if any owner or occupier of the construction site dumped malba or construction material on the roadside, the MC would, at first, impose a fine of Rs 1,500 along with directions to ensure its removal within 72 hours. If the violator does not remove the construction material in three days, then the fine imposed will be enhanced to Rs 5,000 until the occupier removed the construction material or malba from the site. Any person caught red handed throwing malba in any other area, he or she would be charged a penalty of Rs 10,000, which would be added to the water bill of the concerned occupier.

Current status: MC authorities have failed to notify the rules for its execution in the city which were approved last year. In fact, in 2009, on the recommendation of MC councillors, a special committee was constituted to draft a stringent act against the violators as the existing act had many loopholes.

E-waste disposal

Purpose: In 2007, a joint committee comprising officials from the UT Administration and the MC had been constituted to work out modalities on how to dispose of or manage e-waste. But it seems that it has been shelved as no action has been taken on it till date.

The committee met three years ago and submitted a 13-point recommendation to the UT Administration. But so far, the committee has not received any response from the administration. A committee was constituted on handling e-waste with nominated councillor Arshad Khan as chairman along with a member each from the MC, the Chandigarh Pollution Control Board, the UT Administration and an NGO.

Current status: Both the UT Administration and the MC have failed to reach a conclusion as to who is to deal with the e-waste, due to which no by-laws had been framed about this important task till date.

Global Positioning System committee

Purpose: In 2009, a special committee was constituted by the MC General House to work out the modalities of GPS and draft bylaws for its execution. The House had suggested that by-laws should be drafted by the committee on how the GPS system could be executed in the MC. The committee recommended that a GPS system could help in carrying out a detail mapping of the city.

Current status: The report has not been tabled in the House for discussion till date.

Mahila bhawan

Purpose: The project was mooted to empower women and start various independent courses for girls to make them self-dependent. The construction of the bhawan commenced on February 14, 2011, but was held up as after seven months of allotment of work, authorities found that the approved design was not suitable for that site.

Current status: The chief engineer claimed that by next week, work would start as the fresh design of the building has been given to a contractor.



Age comes to the rescue of art gallery ex-assistant curator
High Court takes lenient view
Hands out Rs 10,000 fine for hiding material facts
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Age has come to the rescue of Government Museum and Art Gallery’s former assistant curator. Held guilty of suppressing material facts, he has managed to get away with just Rs 10,000 costs because of his age, even though the Punjab and Haryana High Court ruled his act was contemptuous and would have led to the ordering of criminal prosecution.

Taking up a petition by Har Gopal Jhamb, Justice MM Kumar and Justice Gurdev Singh asserted: “We find that the applicant-petitioner is guilty of suppression of material facts because he has failed to disclose the filing of earlier original application, as well as special leave petition and their dismissal by the Central Administrative Tribunal and the Supreme Court, respectively.

“It is well settled that suppression of material facts in order to obtain notice of motion itself constitutes a valid ground for dismissal of a writ petition. We are further of the considered view that the conduct of the applicant-petitioner is contumacious.”

“Those who invoke the writ jurisdiction of this court by making incorrect and false statement, they do so at their own risk and peril. It is well settled that the extraordinary equitable jurisdiction of this court cannot be exercised in favour of a person who approaches the court with soiled hands by making false statements”.

The Bench added: “There has been a malafide and calculated suppression of material facts, which leads to an inference that had those facts were disclosed in the petition, we may have refused to entertain this petition at the outset.

“Therefore, we refuse to entertain the petition and dismiss the same. The aforementioned conduct of the applicant-petitioner would have led us to order his criminal prosecution.

“However, taking into account the age of the petitioner and the fact that he has resigned from service way back in 1983, we consider it appropriate to take a lenient view and impose cost upon him, which is quantified at Rs 10,000.

“The costs shall be paid to the Punjab State Legal Services Authority within a period of one month from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order. In case the costs are not paid then, the aforementioned authority shall intimate back to this court with regard to non-payment of costs.”

On June 8, 1967, Har Gopal Jhamb joined the service as curatorial assistant. In 1972, he was promoted as assistant curator before being selected by the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The deputation period expired on November 30, 1978. But, he did not return. His claim was rejected by the Home Secretary as he “had resigned from the government service, which entails forfeiture of past service”. He then challenged the order issued on September 7, 2009, by CAT, and order issued on July 19, 2007, by the UT Home Secretary, rejecting his claim for pension and other retirement benefits.

The offence

The former assistant curator of Government Museum and Art Gallery has been held guilty of failing to disclose the filing of earlier original application, as well as special leave petition and their dismissal by the Central Administrative Tribunal and the Supreme Court, respectively, to the High Court



Textile students may design uniforms
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Subject to approval, a proposal is afoot to engage students of fashion designing and textile management in various government-run schools to redesign school uniforms and to even stitch them.

Marking a departure from conventional approaches, the UT education department is examining a plan to provide employment to these students by entrusting the task to them, said sources.

“Many students who enrol in such courses don’t pursue higher studies. At times, despite being talented, they fail to secure good jobs due to lack of experience. We spent a huge amount of money to get uniforms stitched, which are eventually distributed free to students belonging to economically weaker sections of the population. If these students are handed over the job then they’re likely to not only gain experience but also earn money,” said UT director of public instruction (schools) Sandeep Hans.

The project, which will be launched on a pilot basis, also aims at redesigning the look of government school uniforms that education department officials feel need to be “smartened up”.

“The details of redesigning the school uniforms are yet to be worked out. But yes, a smarter look is always welcome. We’ll surely encourage these students to come up with convenient and affordable designs and, very soon, one of them may become the face of our schools,” Hans added.

According t the initial plan the students will be divided into self-help groups that will be provided with all the raw materials. Nine government senior secondary schools are currently offering a vocational course on fashion designing and clothing construction with two offering a textile designing and printing vocational course.

The project will surely change the face of these courses as up till now the products designed or produced by students have failed to make it to the professional world and have ended up being their project property or freebies for teachers.



Driver robbed of car at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Two unidentified persons robbed the driver of an Innova car after offering him eatables laced with intoxicants in the PGI today. The police has registered a case of criminal breach of trust and causing hurt by poison under Sections 406, 328, 120-B of the IPC against the accused.

Hardeep Kumar, the driver of the car who works with a taxi operator, reported to the police that he had brought a passenger to the PGI who hired his taxi from Balachaur. He said the passenger went to Nehru Hospital in the PGI to meet his relative admitted there. He returned after two hours and served coffee and sweets to Hardeep.

The complainant said that after consuming sweets, he felt dizzy. The passenger, accompanied by another person, asked him to drive the car back to Balachaur. As the driver’s condition worsened, one of the occupants offered to drive the car.

Hardeep regained consciousness after a day and found himself lying on a deserted road in Morinda and his car was missing.

Sub-inspector Eram Rizwi, in charge, PGI police post, said a case had been registered and investigations were on to ascertain the identity of the accused.




DSPs posted

The UT Police on Saturday issued the posting orders of three DSPs who have recently joined the force from Punjab on deputation. The posting orders were issued after a meeting of the Police Establishment Board.

Ashish Kapoor has been deputed as the DSP (Headquarters) while Anil Joshi has been given the charge of the CID wing. Suman Kumar has been deputed as the DSP (Training).

DSP Satbir Singh is the in charge of the crime branch while DSP Jagbir Singh has been given the charge of the operations cell.

Jagbir Singh will also handle the charge of the DSP (Police Lines) and Suman Kumar has been given the additional charge of band, mounted and dog squad. — TNS


UT does not woo officials anymore
Three posts of excise and taxation inspector lying vacant
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
It seems that Chandigarh is no longer a plum posting for Punjab and Haryana cadre officials for the post of excise and taxation inspector. Two months after the UT administration’s Excise and Taxation secretary on March 15 sent a communiqué to the Financial Commissioner-cum-Principal Secretary, Punjab and Haryana governments, asking them for a panel of inspectors to fill three posts of excise and taxation inspectors, the latter is yet to oblige.

“We are facing a shortage of staff. We have sought two inspectors from Punjab and one from Haryana on deputation to fill three posts. But we have not got any reply from the governments of the two neighbouring states till date,” said a senior official of the UT Excise and Taxation Department on the condition of anonymity.

“It seemed that officers from Haryana and Punjab have lost love for the city. In the past, officers from these states vied to come here on deputation,” added the official.

Haryana Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary Anurag Rastogi said they had circulated the communiqué among the eligible officials immediately after it was received. “But I have to check the development if any,” said Rastogi.

When contacted, Punjab Financial Commissioner A Venu Prasad said, “I would have to check what happened to the communiqué.”

On question of Chandigarh losing charm among both the Punjab and Haryana cadre officers, Rastogi observed: “Everybody likes to stay with his family in his hometown”.

The department has six inspectors against the sanctioned posts of 11. While four inspectors have been looking after VAT, there are only two excise inspectors.

The post of excise and taxation inspector is considered to be a ‘lucrative post’ with the opportunity to ‘make money’.



Govt biased against P’kula residents: BJP councillors
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 21
BJP councillors threatened not to allow the operation of the express highway “National Highway No 22” if proper entry or exit points were not established to connect Sectors 20 and 21 with other parts of the city here today.

Lashing out at the Hooda government for being biased towards Panchkula residents, VK Sood, BJP councillor, said Zirakpur-Parwanoo express highway had divided the city into two parts. He said residents living on both sides of the national highway had to travel around four km extra to reach their destination.

Sood said even though the district administration and the national highway project director AK Dahiya had assured the residents of finding a solution, nothing had been done so far.

The BJP councillor said even the Congress MLA DK Bansal and MP Kumari Selja had failed to bring in any mega project to the city. He said, on one hand, the local MLA was promising to Sector 19 residents that the state government would built a railway over-bridge at a level-crossing in the area, on the other hand a cabinet minister had recently claimed that there was no such proposal.

Jagjit Soi, councillor, ward no 4, said tall claims of the municipal council for major development works in the current fiscal were an eyewash. He said whenever tenders were being invited no party came forward to fill the same. He said if the work was allotted to some party, the work gets halted at some stage. He said government should fix accountability for the delay in the completion of the ongoing projects.



Rain affects power, water supply in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Wrecked Electricity towers damaged following strong winds on Friday night at Azad Colony, Sector 3, Panchkula
Wrecked Electricity towers damaged following strong winds on Friday night at Azad Colony, Sector 3, Panchkula. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, May 21
High velocity winds accompanied by heavy showers late last night affected the power and water supply in the town.

The town and its peripheral villages plunged into darkness on Friday night as the high velocity winds damaged two 66-KV electricity towers in Azad Colony and Ambedkar Colony near Sector 3.

Two hours rotational cuts were also introduced since morning in all the sectors to repair the damaged towers.

Two buffalos also died in Ambedkar Colony. However, no loss of life and property was reported from any other part of the town.

Residents woke up to a power blackout and missed their morning chores as there was no power supply in most of the sectors from 10 pm on Friday to 4 am today.



Commission holds CHB guilty of deficiency
Sets aside forum order nailing codefendant house building society
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has set aside the order of the Consumer Forum, holding Silverton Cooperative Housing Building Society and the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) liable to deficiency in services and ordering refund of Rs 29,800 to a city resident, Surinder Sharma. However, the commission has held that only the CHB was responsible for the delay.

In its appeal, the society had submitted that it had been wrongly held to be liable to pay the amount awarded by the forum along with the CHB. It further submitted that whatever amount was received by it from the complainant was passed on to the CHB. Sharma had submitted that even the High Court in CHB vs Avtar Singh, wherein identical questions of fact and law were involved, had decided that it was the CHB that was liable to refund the amount to the complainant.

The commission stated that the forum was wrong in coming to the conclusion that the society was jointly and severally liable along with the CHB to pay the amount awarded.

It observed that whatever amount was given by the members to the society was passed on by it to the housing board.

In his complaint, Sharma had stated that he had become a member of the society by depositing the share money and membership fee of Rs 110 under the Chandigarh administration’s scheme “Chandigarh Allotment of land to the Cooperative House Building Societies 1991” notified on May 28, 1991.

Under the scheme, the cooperative house building societies were to be allotted land for the construction of multi-storey units for its members. The CHB required the society to deposit 25 per cent earnest money at the rate of Rs 750 per sq yd for the land to be allotted for the construction of dwelling units for its members. However, some house building societies challenged the scheme in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In pursuance of the High Court’s order, the complainant deposited a sum of Rs 12,200 with the Chandigarh administration through the society on May 27, 1992.

After retaining the amount for a period of over seven years, the Estate Officer, UT administration, returned the draft of the respective amount, without paying any interest, in 1999.

It was stated that the complainant was entitled to interest at the rate of 10 per cent per annum as the society had been placed under the charge of the official liquidator and the orders of winding up of the society were subsequently withdrawn.

The official liquidator subsequentlyr eturned the draft to the society president in January, 1999, which was further handed over to the complainant.

It was further stated that the CHB thereafter directed the society to deposit 25 per cent of the earnest money along with interest at the rate of 18 per cent per annum, as per the order of the High Court.

The society, in turn, asked its members, including the complainant, to deposit a sum of Rs 66,100 on March 8, 1999. The complainant deposited the sum with the society, which further deposited it with the housing board.

Thereafter, the CHB through a letter issued on April 11, 2000 informed the society that the administration had fixed the land rates at the rate of Rs 2,500 per sq yd for the allotment of land to the cooperative house building societies on chunk basis for the construction of dwelling units.

The administration, thereafter, asked the society to pay further difference of 25 per cent cost of the land at the rate of Rs 2,500 per sq yd.





Workers’ rally

Workers of the Chandigarh Territorial Janata Dal (United) held a demonstration in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Sector 17 on Saturday. They claimed that the residents were facing inconvenience due to the shifting of food and civil supplies office from Sector 17 to Mani Majra. They urged the authorities to increase the number of ration depots in the city, its villages and colonies depending on the population of the area. They also asked the administration to hold a survey of UT villages where thousands of people had constructed houses outside the ‘lal dora’.

Traders’ plea to admn

A meeting of the Chandigarh Business Council, an apex body of traders, was held to discuss the administration’s move to increase rates for additional coverage under FAR by two to eight times on residential and commercial premises here on Saturday. The members pointed out that the common man was already overburdened by increase in prices of all essential commodities. The prices of petrol, diesel and domestic gas had already been increased. The council urged the administration to review its decision and hold back the levy to relieve the people of the avoidable cost in construction.

Mayor visits Sec 40

On the plea of the Chandigarh Residents Social Welfare Federation (CRSWF), MC Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh visited Sector 40C to assess the problems of residents on Saturday. The residents raised their problems with the Mayor. The Mayor expressed surprise at the sorry state of civic affairs in the area. Taking note of the residents’ grievances, the Mayor ordered the stoppage of widening of V-6 roads, as these had not been completed for the past eight months. He also sanctioned Rs 4 lakh out of his development fund for parks. He assured the residents of taking up demands like upgrade of dispensary to a primary health centre and construction of a bus shelter on the road between Sectors 40 and 41, near Badheri village.

Man arrested

Mausin Khan, a resident of Charan Singh Colony, Mauli Jagran, was arrested following a complaint by Narinder Kumar, inspector, food and civil supplies department, for putting commercial LPG cylinders to domestic use. The police seized two commercial gas cylinders from him. A case under Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act has been registered at the Mani Majra police station.

Man held for gambling

The police arrested Surinder Singh, a resident of Burail, from Oberoi Banquet Hall, Sector 45, for gambling at public place. The police recovered Rs 1,120 from his possession. A case under Sections 13A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act has been registered.

Talk on vascular health

“Every diabetic should take utmost foot-care to avoid higher prevalence of limb amputation arising out of gangrene,” said Dr Ravul Jindal, vascular surgeon at a private hospital in Mohali, while delivering an awareness talk on “Vascular Health and Hypertension” organised by Railway Retired Pensioner’s Association and Central Government Pensioner’s Association here. He said the World Health Organization (WHO) had marked November 14 as World Diabetes Day to raise awareness on the disease. Holding sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity, obesity, stress and consumption of fat-rich diet, sugar and calories, responsible for swelling diabetic population, Dr Jindal said around 7 per cent people between 20 to 79 years of age were diabetic the country as per the International Diabetes Federation. “The figure is likely to get worse by 2030, when an estimated 9 per cent of adult population in India would be suffering from it. Increase in life expectancy and urbanisation are primary reasons for this trend,” he opined.

302 donate blood

The Thalassaemic Children Welfare Association (TCWA) organised the 118th blood donation camp at Zakir Hall, Block A, PGI, today. The camp was inaugurated by Prof Neelam Marwaha, head, department of transfusion medicine, PGIMER, praised the efforts of TCWA, especially during summers when there is an acute shortage of blood. More than 302 donors donated blood in the camp conducted by a team of doctors/technicians headed by Dr Neelam Marwaha.


Allottees hold rally

Allottees of the Sector 76-80 Plot Allotment Sangharsh Committee, Mohali (Punjab) along with their families and various employee associations held a rally in front of the GMADA office at PUDA Bhawan on Saturday over its failure to fix the draw date of the remaining plots despite the rejection of the 102-acre land-related plea by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The allottees raised slogans against GMADA officials during the protest. Chief patron Raghbir Singh Sandhu and president Parmdeep Singh Bhabat accused the GMADA authorities of delaying the development of Sectors 76-80 and not holding the draw of the remaining plots. They threatened to hold a rally on June 16. — TNS

Free stationery distributed

To observe the death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, the local unit of the Congress organised a function to distribute books and stationery among students of Government Primary School, Phase V. The first three students of each section of the school were given awards.

Schools inspected

District Planning Committee chairman NK Sharma conducted a surprise check at government schools to check the utilisation of grants. He also distributed grants worth Rs 9.25 lakh to different schools. At the Government Primary School, Phase I, Sharma inspected the works and distributed Rs 6 lakh for the construction for additional rooms. He also pointed out poor quality of construction of a room in Phase 3B2 government school.


Blood donation camp

Around 333 units of blood were donated at a blood donation camp organised by the Youth Congress in association with the Red Cross Society and Gyan Sagar Hospital at Aggarwal Bhawan, Sector 16, to pay homage to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi here on Saturday. Unit president Vibhor Batra said earlier 32,292 units of blood were donated at the national level by the Youth Congress. He said more such camps would be organised in the near future.

Lecture on organ donation

A lecture highlighting the need, procedure and benefits of organ donation was organised by the Senior Citizens’ Council here on Saturday. Addressing participants, RAMLAD chairman Bhara Hiteshi said after every three minutes a patient died for want of an organ. He said in India, every year around two lakh persons suffering from renal failure needed kidney transplant, while 50,000 needed liver transplant. Each brain dead person could save two kidney failure patients, two liver failure patients, three lung and heart failure patients, who would otherwise die. He said a large number of senior citizens had offered to pledge their organs after brain death. He also expressed gratitude to PGI’s head of transplant surgery Dr Mukut Minz for offering his support to RAMLAD movement.




4-day police remand for Manpreet’s aide

Mohali: Satinderjit Singh Manta, an aide of former Finance Minister Manpreet Badal, was sent to four-day police remand after being produced before the Mohali senior division-cum-chief judicial magistrate DP Singla here today. Manta was arrested yesterday in a corruption case by a team of Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) from his house at Rorawali village near Lambi. He was produced before the magistrate about 4 pm. A visibly upset Manta refused to make any comments. His counsel said Manta had been booked under Sections 420, 467 and 120-B of the IPC. The vigilance has mentioned all properties, allegedly grabbed by him, were under investigation.

One killed in accident

Dera Bassi: One person was killed and another injured after two motorcycles collided near Lalru last night. The deceased has been identified as Harjit Singh, a resident of Chamkaur Sahib, who was employed as a clerk in the nearby brick-kiln. Injured Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Rani Majra near Lalru, was admitted to the GMCH-32 in Chandigarh. The accident took place when two motorcycles collided near the ITI Chowk in Lalru. Harjit died on the spot. The police has registered a case against Jaswinder Singh under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC.

Wildlife wardens appointed

Patiala: As many as 24 honorary wildlife wardens have been appointed in the Punjab Wildlife Department in different districts of Punjab.These wardens will work closely with the department to help improve the condition of wild animals in the state. — Tribune Reporters



Sec 144 imposed at GMSH-16
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The UT administration has imposed Section 144, CrPC, within the 500-m radius of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, premises till May 28. The order comes in the wake of administration’s apprehension that certain groups were planning to organise rallies, dharnas and resort to other agitational methods in the hospital, which may result in obstruction, annoyance or injury, endangerment to human life and property and disturbance of public peace and tranquility.

District Magistrate Brijendra Singh has prohibited public in general and any member thereof from forming an assembly of five or more persons, taking out processions, making speeches, raising slogans, carrying of lathis within the radius of 500 m of the hospital.

Meanwhile, the contractual staff of the hospital withdrawn their strike.



Tabla maestro enchants audience
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, May 21
Benaras gharana maestro Madhuresh Bhatt extracted a cohesive melody through varied rhythmic patterns during a special classical solo tabla concert organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) under their “Horizon series” in collaboration with the Pracheen Kala Kendra at the kendra auditorium here today.

Madhuresh Bhatt commenced with the traditional gradually expanding and unfolding intricate phrases and patterns before delineating the complex qayida and paltas. Accompanied by Ravinder Bhatt on nagma, he reflected dexterity of hand, a mathematically precise approach, artistic endurance, while concluding his boisterous recital with chakardar paran.



PU library faces acute space crunch
‘Heritage’ status prevents university from making alterations in building
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

STUDYING IN PEACE Students find a quiet corner to prepare for their examination at the library
Students find a quiet corner to prepare for their examination at the library. Tribune
photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, May 21
Finding a vacant chair at the Panjab University’s AC Joshi Library during the peak examination season has become a nightmare for most students. For a library with a membership that has grown from 5,000 only a few years ago to 12,000, the recent expansion of the outer reading room from 500 to 650 seats has served precious little to solve the problem.

However, the “heritage” status accorded to the library building by the Indian government restricts the varsity administration from making any further alterations, both internal and external.

“With the addition of departments such as the University Institute of Engineering & Technology (UIET), the University Institute of Applied Management Sciences (UIAMS) and the Institute of Dental Sciences & Hospital, the number of students has shot up correspondingly during the last few years,” said a library official on condition of anonymity.

In an attempt to ease the severe space shortage in the library, an issue that has been frequently raised by most student leaders, the PU administration has proposed to have a common library for two to three departments in a single block where students can also study during exam time.

“PU officials are already aware of the space constraints in the main library. However, we’re now trying to ease the problem by upgrading ICT (information & communications technology) tools. Students can now access about 600,000 journals online. Student leaders have given a few suggestions. However, some administrative hitches need to be sorted to keep the library open 24 hours and create more space for students to read during exams,” said Mohanmeet Khosla, who holds additional charge of PU director of public relations.

Nearly two decades ago the library’s periodicals section was changed into an outer reading room. According to sources, PU administrative officials at that time, succumbing to student pressure, permitted alterations in the library building and the periodicals section was shifted to the third floor.

The library was designed by Le Corbusier's cousin, Pierre Jeanneret, also an architect, along with the university’s chief architect at that time, AN Mathur, and the librarian of the Calcutta National Library, BS Keshavan.

“Jeanneret had designed the library interiors in such a way that every single thing was put to best use. With the coming up of a digital library on the ground floor the beauty of the building’s staircase, which is surrounded by a small pond located inside, got diluted and it was hardly visible while entering the building. There are two dumped elevators, which were originally meant to send books left downstairs to upper floors. So making just one modification in the past resulted in distorting the entire structure besides rendering many facilities useless,” said a library staff member on condition of anonymity.



PEC to start three new postgraduate courses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh, is starting three new postgraduate courses, master of engineering (ME) in total quality engineering and management, master of engineering in industrial design and master of science (MSc) in mathematics and computing from the academic session 2011-12.

The new postgraduate programme in total quality engineering and management leading to ME (TQEM) is being launched with the quality directions in sight. All graduates in engineering or equivalent shall be eligible to compete for the entrance examination of the course.

The programme has been designed to cater to the needs of experienced professionals who may concurrently practice it in the industry or work situation, while they choose to come back to the classroom in the evenings.

Master in engineering (industrial design) would be run on self-financing basis at the PEC University of Technology.

The programme would involve support of experts from the industry in the field of industrial design.

The duration of the programme for regular students would be of two years.

The course would be open to fresh or working graduates with BE/BTech or equivalent degree in any branch of the engineering.

The new MSc programme in mathematics and computing is going to be started by the department of applied sciences from the academic session 2011-12.

It is a two-year (regular) programme with an intake of 30 students per batch.

To be eligible for admission to this programme, a candidate must have obtained a recognised bachelors degree of minimum three years duration (having mathematics as one of the major subjects) with at least 60 per cent marks (5 per cent relaxation for SC/ST and physically challenged category candidates) or an equivalent CGPA.

The admissions to all these courses will be done on the basis of merit list prepared through the entrance test conducted by the institute.



Vocational art from govt schools finds display after a decade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
After almost a decade now, over 500 Vocational Studies students of city government schools got their due in form of a two-day exhibition-cum-sale at Panchayat Bhawan, which saw a massive footfall on its second and last day today.

First held in 1990, the exhibition, though a popular idea, was shelved for a decade thereby crippling these courses.

The idea has been revived to not only give industrial training to students, but also give them a chance to make some quick bucks.

“Vocational education is the future of academics and thus needs to be encouraged. Though we have stupendous resources, it’s the practical training where we lack. This exhibition is a unique initiative that will not just help them earn money and get trained, but will be a moral booster as well,” said Ajoy Sharma, director, Higher Education, who inaugurated the exhibition.

While students of fashion designing and clothing construction and textile designing and printing have put up stalls selling suits, stoles and linen kurtis, students of health care and beauty culture are offering a perfect and reasonable range of handmade face packs, oils, lotions etc.

Students of hotel management and catering technology, food service and management and bakery and confectionery have put up food stalls selling lassi, channa kulcha, etc.

“Students have been preparing articles for the past 15 days now. To build entrepreneurship skills they have been involved from purchasing raw material to marketing their products. People should come and check out stalls here to boost the morale of students,” said one of the instructors.



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