C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Only four boys from tricity in AIEEE top 100 this year
l About 7,000 from Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula had appeared in exam l Seven were among top 100 in 2010
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, June 5
Though a large number of students from the tricity have performed ‘satisfactorily’ in the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE), results of which were declared today, they failed to repeat the previous year’s magic, with only four tricity lads making it to the top 100, compared to seven in 2010.

Vishal Dhawan, a resident of Panchkula, scored an all-India rank of 30th while topping the union territory. Gagan Bansal, a resident of Mohali, secured 35th rank (UT rank 2), Akash Goel, a resident of Chandigarh, was 43rd (UT rank 3) and Ankit Aggarwal, also a resident of Chandigarh, was 70th (UT-rank 4). All four studied from schools in Chandigarh.

About 7,000 students from the tricity had appeared in the all-India examination. The score of this examination would determine their admission to about 90 reputed engineering and architecture colleges across the country.

In Chandigarh, these colleges included the PEC University of Technology, the University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology, the University Institute of Engineering and Technology and the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology.



Abject poverty drove three members of family to suicide
Parmod Mehra

Dera Bassi, June 5
Failed dreams to make it big in life and the struggle for survival amid gruelling poverty pushed Mukesh Kapoor, his wife and his son to end their lives in Gholumajra near here on Friday night. As fate would have it, various business ventures never took off and the family remained under heavy debt.

“He tried his hands at different jobs but never succeeded”, said Mukesh’s father, Tilak Raj, who had come along with his brother, Suman, to Dera Bassi to take away the bodies of the three after the autopsy.

Raj said his family had not been keeping in touch with Mukesh for the past one and-half years. “Earlier we had given him Rs 3 lakh when he sought financial assistance. He had left his house in Amritsar in 2004 and later constructed a house in Ludhiana”, he added.

Mukesh was reportedly had an accountant’s job for some time and later floated a software business that turned out to be unsuccessful. He had a BCom degree with his wife, Sweety Rani, holding MA and BEd degrees. Their son, Harish Kapoor, had completed class 9. For the last few days of their lives there were virtually penniless and left with only a few belongings.

After the postmortem examination the bodies of three were handed over to their relatives. The police has initiated inquest proceedings under section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Police officials said the family had shifted to their rented accommodation about ten days ago. According to a suicide note found by the cops, each member of the family took turns to end their lives. First Sweety hanged herself followed by Harish and Mukesh was the last one. “It appears the family wanted to ensure none of them survived to face hunger and poverty”, remarked a police official.



For bona fide Punjab residents only
l Mullanpur urban estate and other future housing projects
l GMADA proposes to keep others out
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune news service

Mohali, June 5
In the upcoming Mullanpur urban estate, only bona fide residents of Punjab will be eligible to apply. On the pattern of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), where only Chandigarh residents are eligible to apply under its various housing schemes, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) proposes to the adopt the same yardstick for its future housing projects.

This means that even residents of Chandigarh and Panchkula will not be eligible to apply under the housing scheme. The move is said to be the outcome of widespread criticism attracted by GMADA for relaxing eligibility criteria while inviting applications for the Aerocity housing project, floated the previous year. The housing scheme saw a record 3 lakh applications.

Officials feel that since the primary objective is to provide reasonably priced good quality housing to residents of Punjab on a priority, relaxing eligibility norms has resulted in many bona fide residents being left out, seen as discriminatory by residents of the tricity. “While Haryana allows anyone to apply for its housing scheme, the stand of the CHB and GMADA is illogical,” says Devinder Singh, an IT professional residing in Chandigarh.

Mohali Additional Chief Administrator Manjeet Singh Brar has said though preliminary discussions on the issue have been held, the decision is yet to be taken. On the other hand, sources in GMADA have said the issue of eligibility and other terms and conditions is being tabled in the next meeting of the authority.

With the dismissal of cases filed by landowners against the acquisition of their land for the Mullanpur urban estate, GMADA is gearing up to float the urban estate. The authority can allow Punjab Government employees residing in Chandigarh to apply under the scheme.

Owners of about 140 acres of the total 447.34 acres being acquired for the project had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the acquisition. “After dismissal of the petitions, we have applied for a written order before the scheme is officially launched,” said a GMADA official.

In the urban estate located to the north of Chandigarh along the Chandigarh-Baddi road, around 2,000 residential plots have been planned. The proposed urban estate is the first urban settlement being developed by GMADA to the north of Chandigarh.

Nestled in the foothills of the Shivaliks, the urban estate will offer plots ranging between 125 sq yards (5 marla) and 500 sq yards (1 kanal). As per norms, around 100 persons will be allowed per acre.

GMADA Land Acquisition Collector Hargunjit Kaur said after getting the court orders regarding the dismissal of the petitions, awards under Section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act would be announced. For the urban estate land being acquired in Devinagar, Bharaujian, Mullanpur, Ratwara Sahib and Ferozepore villages, the compensation had worked out to between Rs 1 crore an acre to Rs 1.5 crore an acre. There was a likelihood of the compensation being raised further, said sources.

Online applications are welcome

GMADA has decided to adopt the system of inviting online applications for the upcoming Mullanpur urban estate to facilitate applicants. On the basis of computer-generated application forms, applicants will be able to deposit earnest money with banks. All those who have plots at Sectors 76 to 80 and Aerocity will be barred from applying in the Mullanpur urban estate.



Three arrested for raping Colony No 4 woman
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
A week after a 35-year-old woman was found raped and abandoned in Colony Number 4, the police today arrested three accused for the crime while the fourth one was still absconding. According to the police, all three were drug addicts and residents of the same colony.

The accused were identified as Sunny Kumar (22), Vinay Kumar (18) and Jatinder Kumar (19) while another accused Lala was still at large. All the accused worked as labourers.

The police said prime accused Sunny had developed a dislike for women as his wife left him two yeas ago. The couple’s child died after Sunny’s wife left him. Sunny, Vinay, Jatinder and Lala were smoking cannabis in the forest area when the victim came there to attend nature’s call at 10 pm on May 29. On seeing the victim alone, Sunny gangraped her along with others. They later strangulated the victim with her sari and fled, the police said.

“All four were heavily drunk and had consumed drugs. They were wandering in the area when they saw the woman and raped her,” said Malkit Singh, SHO, Industrial Area police station. The woman was found abandoned in the forest area the next morning. Her husband, Vijay Kumar, who is a chronic drunkard, looked around for his wife in the morning and found her in an unconscious state around 5.30 am. Her clothes were found to have been torn apart.

Sunny approached Ramesh Kumar, sarpanch of Ram Darbar, and surrendered before the police while the other two accused were arrested on his disclosure.

All accused were produced in the court and were sent to the judicial custody.



129 arrested for defying orders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
The police today arrested 129 persons, including senior BJP leaders Satpal Jain and Harmohan Dhawan, for apprehension of breach of peace as they deified prohibitory orders. Nine of the arrested include women. All of them were produced before the duty magistrate and then discharged.

The protesters had gathered at the Sectors 18/7 roundabout to support the movement of Baba Ramdev and had planned to march to Sukhna Lake, when they were arrested. Volunteers of a city-based group Aawaaz were also arrested.

The police initially requested the leaders not to begin any protest march as Section 144 of the CrPC had been imposed in the area, but the supporters refused. They were thus arrested for violating the orders.

Another 50 BJP supporters also tried to protest near Mani Majra and Colony Number 5 near Sector 34, but they were dispersed off by the police.



UT Admn imposes Section 144
Will be in force for eight days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
In the wake of the protests against the crackdown on yoga guru Baba Ramdev, the UT Administration had imposed Section 144 of the CrPC banning the assembly of five or more persons, taking out processions, making speeches, raising slogans and carrying of lathis, except at the rally ground Sector 25, Chandigarh, for a period of eight days.

The administration issued the prohibition orders as there were apprehensions that certain groups and organisations might cause obstruction, annoyance or injury to the persons lawfully employed and endanger human life and property and disturb public peace and tran uillity, a press note said here today.

The order came into force with effect from 6 pm today and shall be effective up to June 12.

However, the orders would not apply to the police, paramilitary or military persons or any other government servant on official duties, the processions or meetings for which prior permission in writing of the District Magistrate, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Chandigarh, was obtained and the customary and ritualistic procession in connection with weddings and funerals.



BJP backs Ramdev; holds 24-hr protest against UPA
Demands resignation of Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh
Tribune Reporters

Panchkula, June 5
Members of the BJP today announced their support to yoga guru Swami Ramdev and started the 24 hours dharna at Sectors 11-15 roundabout here this evening.
 A BJP activist protesting in support of Ramdev is arrested near the roundabout on the road separating Sectors 8 and 18 in Chandigarh on Sunday.
‘Time to go: ’ A BJP activist protesting in support of Ramdev is arrested near the roundabout on the road separating Sectors 8 and 18 in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Gian Chand Gupta, state BJP treasurer, while talking to the media lashed out at the Central Government for the barbaric police action on the peaceful protesters at the Ramlila Ground in New Delhi.

He said emergency-like conditions were being created in the country and announced that his party wholeheartedly supported Ramdev on the corruption and black money issues that plagued the country.

Gupta said UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was responsible for last night’s ruckus. He said all this was being done on the directions of Sonia, who did not want to take action against the corrupt leaders of her party.

Gupta said Congress led UPA Government at the Centre had tried to suppress the voice of the people who showed solidarity with Ramdev, who was on an indefinite hunger strike since yesterday.

Later in the evening the party also organised a protest march from the Sectors 16-17 roundabout in which hundreds of party workers participated before sitting on the protest dharna at the Sectors 11-15 roundabout.

Ambala: BJP, Ambala, unit burnt the effigy of the UPA Government to protest against the police action against Baba Ramdev and his supporters at Ramlila ground in Delhi this evening. The party workers raised slogans against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and demanded their resignation.

Former MLAs of the party Jasbir Mallour and Faquir Chand Aggarwal and senior party leaders Sandeep Sachdeva, Neeta Khera, Venod Garg, Chander Mohan Fauji, Jagmohan Kumar, Sarla Kapoor, Virender Singla, Rajnish Bhalla and Uma Sharma were present during the protest.

Mallour, while addressing the party workers, said it was a shameful incident in Indian democracy which should be criticised by all sections of society.

Sachdeva compared this midnight action at Ramlila ground to the Jallianawala Bagh massacre in which innocent people were brutally beaten up and were shot dead.

Fatehgarh Sahib: BJP workers today staged a dharna in Sirhind against cane charging on followers of Baba Ramdev in Delhi.

Party workers gathered on the stage of Municipal Council around 4 pm. District president of BJP SN Sharma addressed the workers.

Sharma criticised the UPA Government for cane charging and releasing tear gas shells on followers of Baba Ramdev who were sitting on a peaceful dharna in Delhi last night.

Party secretary Shashi Bhushan said they would observe a peaceful protest, which would continue till late evening.

Others who sat on the dharna include Jagdeep Sodhi, Harinder Sandhu, Harish Aggarwal, Kuldeep Madaan, advocateNarinder Sharma, Manoj Gupta, advocate Sumit Gupta, Dr Jaspal Bawa and Vinod Sharma.

Mohali: Kisan Hit Bachao Committee has supported the cause of Baba Ramdev, who is fighting against corruption. The convener of committee said members of the committee sat on a dharna in support at Sohana in support of Ramdev.


GMADA serves notices over illegal cell towers
Owners of 116 properties failed to seek permission
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 5
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has served notice to owners of 116 commercial, institutional and residential properties in the town for allowing cellular towers to be installed without seeking permission from the estate office. The telecom service providers operating the towers have also been served notices.

After hearing the violators, the estate office has already initiated resumption proceedings against three residential properties. The violators have been given 15 days’ time to explain as to why action should not be initiated against them for erecting towers without securing the requisite permission from GMADA’s estate office.

According to sources, after the notices were served 92 people had applied for the necessary permission. The authority’s norms that permit installation of mobile towers are subject to a number of conditions. However, most of the violators have not bothered to seek the permission.

Following complaints from residential and commercial areas, the estate office found during a survey there were around 116 communication towers, some of which had been set up on school buildings, hospitals and institutional premises.

According to the norms, owners of property in residential areas who intend to install communication towers have to seek the consent of their immediate neighbours. “Rather than giving this consent the neighbours often complain about the health hazard posed by the towers”, said an estate office official.

In some cases safety precautions have not been taken in congested commercial areas. “Mobile towers should not be allowed on hospitals buildings due to their harmful affects. But to earn profit, the property owners often overlook safety norms and also evade government fees,” the official added.

Installation norms

l Cellular towers are allowed on portion of commercial & industrial institutions and residential premises, outside the prescribed setbacks

l Structural safety certificate from government institutions required

l Precautions for fire safety and from lightening

l NOC from Punjab Pollution Control Board for generator sets installed near tower

l Tower should be at a safe distance from high-tension power cables

l Height restriction should be met due to air funnel or due to location of defence installations

l No towers allowed on listed heritage building



Not-so-rosy picture of park in Zirakpur
Residents complain of drinking water, poor illumination n Youths sit in inebriated condition, causing inconvenience to women
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, June 5
The green belt in ward no 6 of Zirakpur has turned into an eyesore for residents, who claimed that the park was poorly illuminated and there was no drinking water facility available.

crying for attention Non-functional drinking water point (left); a damaged light (above) ; and a dustbin whose rear cover is missing, resulting in scattering of garbage in the municipal park at Lohgarh village, Zirakpur. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

They also said garbage was strewn all around in the park and there was no proper sitting facility.

The park has virtually been relegated to the position of a playground, as residents prefer to walk on the streets rather than taking a leisure walk in the park.

All in all, there are just two green belts in Zirakpur and the other one is also not frequented, as it is sandwiched between a police chowki and a cremation ground in Baltana.

Residents have been avoiding going to the park during the morning and evening time. They alleged that most of the times youths were playing football and other sports and it would be difficult to sit peacefully. They also alleged that a group of youths were sitting inebriated conditions causing inconvenience to women walking in the parks during the evening.

They rue the council was taking much interest in concrete buildings from where they were getting good revenue, but failed to use that money for public welfare. They alleged that although the park was located in the ward of Municipal Council Chief NK Sharma, still the park was in a poor condition.

They have been demanding that Zirakpur Municipal Council should maintain parks and provide all necessary amenities.

They also demanded that the council should install caution sign boards, so that children more careful while playing.

Sources in Zirakpur Municipal Council, said the budget of Rs 1.70 crore was approved for green belts in Zirakpur.

The amount would be used for all works related to greenery in the town, sources added.

The sources further said the council had set up two parks- one at Zirakpur and one at Lohgarh and Baltana on the choice resort road.

Sources said the council had been spending Rs 25,000 (approx) per month for maintenance of parks, including salary of the caretakers. However, the council has also planned to construct another park at Dhakoli village, but a case related to the land was pending in the court, sources added.

“There is no arrangement of drinking water in the park,” said Devinder Singh, a resident of ward no 6. He adds: “No one is concerned about the cleanliness at all.”

Another visitor to the park Kulwinder Dhaliwal, a resident of Zirakpur, said he had come to the park for a walk, but faced difficulty, as youths were playing football in the morning.

Zirakpur Executive Officer SJ Sharma said problems faced by the residents would be solved soon. He said a case related to the land for the park at Dhakoli was pending in the court.



Information about plants in nurseries a click away
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
From now on information about availability of any plant in local nurseries is just a click or a call away.The Chandigarh Administration has put all the information of the six nurseries of the UT forest department, one each of engineering department and Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, on website and in “Greening Chandigarh Action Plan 2011-12”.

The information includes availability of all plants in all the nurseries and contact numbers of officials concerned.

“Now, there is no need to go all the way to nurseries to check and get information about your favourite plants,” said Santosh Kumar, chief conservator of UT forest department.

Besides, home gardening tips for residents of Chandigarh with expert advice of Dr Satish Narula, senior horticulturist, PAU, Ludhiana, has also been added as one chapter while one exclusive chapter on medicinal plants/herbs, along with their parts and its uses for various ailments has also been added in the plan.

Earlier, to mark “World Environment Day”, Adviser to UT Administrator KK Sharma released “Greening Chandigarh Action Plan 2011-12” at Botanic Garden, Sarangpur village.

Notably, Chandigarh has been able to increase its green cover from 33 sq km to 54 sq km over a period of one decade, This year, the administration has planted 2,27,291 saplings against the target of 1,90,072 saplings. The target for plantation during 2011-12 is 2,30,897 saplings.

Sharma called upon NGOs, RWAs, eco clubs, schools and colleges and government departments to plant more trees and to make the “Greening Chandigarh Action Plan 2011-12” a success. He also congratulated the department of forest and wildlife department for achieving Indira Priyadarshini Vriksha Mitra Award-2010, which was given to UT Chandigarh by Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India.

A batch of 75 IFS probationers, who were on their study tour to the city, also attended the function.



Charm of animation career beckons youngsters
School of Communication Studies moots courses
Neha Miglani

Chandigarh, June 5
With educational institutes in the region introducing animated and 3-D ((three-dimensional) films in their curriculum, the popularity of animation as a mainstream career is fast growing among youngsters. Specializations like medical animation, in which 3-D diagrams of surgical procedures are made to help young doctors perform better and also used for teaching, has made animation multidimensional.

While privately run institutes in the region offering animation courses that award advanced diplomas and graduate degrees continue to dominate, Panjab University’s School of Communication Studies (SCS) is planning to introduce animation and 3-D courses in the future.

“Though not from the next academic session, we plan to introduce new courses in the department including animation and 3-D. Additionally we’re exploring the possibility of introducing courses on radio production and radio jockeying,” said SCS chairperson Archana R Singh.

According to a recent survey the animation industry will face a shortfall of 3.5 million trained professionals in the coming years. “Even if all privately run animation institutes in the country are put together, they wouldn’t be able to meet the soaring demand,” said Kaushik Gupta, director (operations) of a leading private animation institute in the city.

“Although traditionally there hasn’t been much awareness about animation as a career, but India’s animation experts are in fact working for Hollywood movies like Narnia, etc. Animation is now being introduced as an addon course at several institutes and even in schools awareness is growing fast,” he added.

On being questioned about the government’s statutory body that decides the syllabi of animation related courses, Gupta stated all private institutes had their own academic advisory bodies. “No specific streamlining has been done on the curriculum related to animation courses by any government agency or the central human resource & development ministry. But slowly the significance of doing this is being realized,” he added.

Courses offered by various privately run institutes in the city include BA (animation & visual effects), advanced diploma in 3-D animation and other short-term courses of 12 and 24 months duration.



Samsung dealer told to repair TV free of cost
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
The UT Consumer Dispute Redressal forum has directed a city-based Samsung dealer Dee Kay vision to repair LED (TV) of a Mohali resident, free of cost or refund Rs 1.5 lakh in case it can’t be repaired. The dealer was also directed to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation and cost of litigation to the complainant.

Ritu Singla, a resident of Mohali, had filed a complaint against Dee Kay Vision, Sector 8, and Samsung.

She stated in her complaint that she had purchased Samsung’s LED (TV), for Rs 1.05 lakh on December 10, 2009. After a few months, TV started giving blurred picture with poor backup. She immediately informed Dee Kay Vision and lodged a complaint with the authorised centre of Samsung at Sector 41, Chandigarh.

They sent a mechanic at her place, but the fault couldn’t be removed. When all the efforts failed to elicit any result, she filed a complaint with the forum.

As Dee Kay Vision refused to accept the summons, the court proceeded against exparte. While Samsung, in its reply, admitted the factual matrix and pleaded that there was no manufacturing defect in the TV.

They stated that the defect in the TV pertains to external damage caused to the front panel of the set, on account of external excessive force used, which was not covered under the warranty conditions and the same could only be repaired on payment basis.

The forum observed since the defect developed in the LED (TV) during the warranty period and dealers were under legal obligation either to rectify the defect, free of cost or to replace the set with a new one or find an alternative to refund the price charged for LED (TV), which they didn’t do. Therefore, in our considered view, non-repairing of the LED (TV) amounts to deficiency in service and adopting unfair trade practice.



Road widening work nuisance for residents
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
The work on widening of roads, being carried out by the municipal corporation in Sector 50, has been causing inconvenience to residents.Besides digging the shoulders of roads in front of houses, the careless attitude of labourers risks damage to water pipes, sewerage and underground electricity cables in the area.

Residents claim that the work on widening of roads has been going on progress for the past over one month and the end is nowhere in sight.

Residents say the department has dug road shoulders by over four feet. Consequently, the threat of accidents occurring in the area has become far too real, especially for children and the aged.

Residents say since the start of the work, roads have been dug on both and filled with gravel, making it extremely difficult for residents to commute on such stretches. This has made the stretches highly prone to accidents.Senior citizens and children living in the area fear venturing out to have their daily stroll or ride their bikes for the fear of falling prey to a mishap.



Rs 5,000 fine slapped on complainant for false case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
The UT Consumer Forum has directed a Kalka resident to pay Rs 5,000 as fine for filing a “false, frivolous and vexatious” complaint against a city trader with the intention to harass him.

Coming upon heavily on the complainant, the forum also stated that the “court can’t be used as a money spinning machine” by such frivolous complaints.

In his complaint, Sumer Singh Saini stated that he purchased a pair of Coir mattresses from Kapur Steel Industries, Sector 22, in June 2010, for Rs 7,875, which started to give off a pungent smell after a few days.

Immediately, he informed the trader, who refused to take the mattresses back even though they were within the guarantee period.

In his reply, the trader stated that he offered to send his assistant to Saini’s house to check the mattresses, to which the complainant didn’t agree. The trader, in his reply, stated that Saini also didn’t bring the mattresses to the shop for inspection and instead filed a complaint.

In January 2011, the case was brought before the lok adalat, where the shopkeeper said he was ready to replace the mattresses with a new set or refund Rs 7,875. The complainant, however, didn’t allow them to inspect the mattresses and refused to bring them to the shop.

After considering the case, the forum observed that every effort had been made to reconcile the matter in the lok adalat, but the complainant didn’t budge from his stand and insisted on compensation.

The forum said the complainant can’t be allowed to use the court as a “money spinning machine”, and dismissed his complaint.

The complainant was directed to pay Rs 5,000 to the trader for the vexatious complaint.



Activist denied information sought under RTI Act
Had asked details of property returns of UT IAS officers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
Doubts are being raised over transparency in providing information under Right to Information Act by certain UT departments.Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, RTI activist Ram Kumar Garg alleged that he was denied information when he asked for details of annual property returns of the UT-based IAS and other Grade-A officers two months ago.

“I submitted an application, asking for copies of annual property returns (APR) of IAS and other Grade-A officers at Sampark Centre in Sector 43 on April 11. I was told by the Central Public Information Officer concerned that they received the same at their office on April 26. Then after waiting for 42 days, I got a demand of Rs 18, following which, I was given nine “irrelevant” pages on May 23 and that, too, without any information. I was denied information under Section 8 of the RTI Act,” alleged Garg.

“All IAS officers of the Union Territory, except one, had already filed their annual property returns by January 31 as per the instructions of the Government of India.”

He added that they (the authorities concerned) had the copy of the APRs of all the officers with them, but refused to pass them on under the RTI and exactly within a week of their refusal, the property returns of all IAS officers were available on Internet.

City-based advocate SC Arora said it was usual on the part of authorities concerned to deny the information, revelation of which does not suit them. “They make excuses and use some unrelated clauses to refuse information, which would be a cause of inconvenience for them,” the advocate said.



Seminar on corruption

Chandigarh, June 5
The Global Human Rights Council (GHRC) in collaboration with Gurukul Vidyapeeth organised a seminar on corruption and human rights here yesterday.

Addressing the seminar, Justice RS Mongia, Judge of the permanent lok adalat, stressed on the need for starting a people’s movement against the menace of corruption in public life.

Sanjay Kumar, secretary (revenue) of the Punjab government, and Desraj Singh, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Chandigarh, also spoke on the occasion. GHRC chairman Arvind Thakur informed that the NGO would step up its campaign against corruption in Punjab in the months to come. — TNS



Worried authorities to float tenders again from June 16
Chemist shop at GMCH-32
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
Failing to receive any bid to rent out a chemist shop at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, authorities concerned have again floated the tenders opening from June 16.

The condition of granting discount up to 30 per cent to patients on medicines and surgical items, however, will remain the same.

On the other hand, the Chandigarh Chemists Association has also decided not to change its stance over the issue and boycott the bidding process.

The chemist shop is to be opened at level I of block D. It was in April that GMCH authorities floated the tender to renting out a new chemist shop on the premises making it mandatory to provide medicines at a discount on the pattern of the PGI, ranging from 15 per cent on branded medicines to 30 per cent on generic medicines and surgical items.

Following this, the chemists association had shot off a circular to its members to refrain from participating in the tender process. As a result, no bid was filed for the shop.

The authorities, however, are adamant to provide discount on medicines on the pattern of the PGI. The chemist shops at PGI have already been extending such discounts for years. When chemists at the PGI can afford to grant a discount to patients on medicines then there should be no objection to chemists at the GMCH as well, said Dr Raj Bahadur, director principal.

The association, however, is not the favour of granting 15 per cent discount on branded medicines terming it unjustified.

Chemists are provided with up to 20 per cent of profit on branded medicine and it was not possible to meet the expenses with remaining margin of five per cent, the association claimed. Khem Gupta, president of the association, said it was not possible to give a discount of 15 per cent on branded medicines. A chemist got a margin between 16 and 20 per cent on branded medicines, he said.

After providing a discount of 15 per cent it was not possible to run the shop on a margin of up to five per cent when a chemist had to pay Rs 10 lakh as rent for the shop every month, he added.

“We, however, agree to provide 30 per cent discount on generic medicine and surgical items,” he said.



Chandigarh scan
229 challans issued

The Chandigarh Traffic Police on Sunday issued 229 challans. The police booked a total of 63 persons for drunken driving, 128 for using high beam, while another 128 were challaned against miscellaneous category. The police collected a total fine of Rs 20,100. Two inspectors of PCR challaned 27 offenders, out of which 10 for drunken driving and 17 for miscellaneous offences.

Cops honoured

Thirty policemen were honoured by senior police officials on Sunday for their role in busting inter-state gangs leading to recovery of stolen motor vehicles in the city. The police claimed to have arrested 15 members of various inter-state vehicle lifter gangs, 45 stolen vehicles, including SUVs and high segment cars like Toyota Fortuner, Toyota Corolla Altis, Mahindra Scorpio and Mahindra Bolero. Those who received rewards are from the teams of crime branch, police control room (PCR), Mani Majra and Sector 11 police station.

World Environment Day

The Green Educare, an initiative of teenagers, Archana Yadav of Bhawan Vidyalaya and Rupal of Delhi Public School, got a shot in the arm on Sunday with over 250 boys and girls attending a five-day summer camp at the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Sangthan Centre, Sector 30, organised a candle march on the World Environment Day.

Meanwhile, Ashok Yadav, director general, agriculture, Haryana; and Subhash Dheer, state president, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Sangthan, Haryana; pledged logistic support to Green Educare.

The Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes also observed World Environment Day here. Nek Chand, creator-director, Rock Garden, said environment had become an issue of great importance in the present times.

Tipsy cop suspended

A Chandigarh Police constable Baljit Singh, posted in the PCR, was suspended after he was found drunk on duty. Baljit was on the duty at Mani Majra Saturday night when he created a ruckus there. The Mani Majra Police was informed by a passerby, who found Baljit lying on the road in an inebriated state. His medical examination was conducted that confirmed the presence of alcohol in his blood. The matter was brought to the notice of senior officials, who subsequently suspended the police official.

Special camp

To allow speedy availability of revenue documents, the Mohali revenue department is organising a special camp at the village block level. NK Sharma, chairman of the district planning board, disclosed information during one such camps organised at Saneta village here. He said during such camps, the applicants would be provided copies of mutation and other revenue documents. Additional Deputy Commissioner MS Kainth said during the camp at Saneta village, 45 mutations were registered on the spot and 10 different certificates were made.


NK Sharma, chairman of the district planning board, Mohali, has criticised the action of the UPA government to order cane charge on Ramdev and his supporters. The act has proved that the UPA government believes in crushing the voice of those who stand up against corruption. The Congress would pay price for suppressing the voice of the masses.

Environment Day

Under the banner of the NSS unit, Gian Jyoti Institute organised a tree plantation drive on the World Environment Day .The institute also organised a collage-making competition. JS Bedi, chairman Group of Institutions, inaugurated the venture by planting a sapling. He appreciated the efforts of teachers and NSS units for standing collectively for a great cause. Ranjeet Bedi, principal of Gian Jyoti Public School, distributed saplings to all staff members and students, so that they could contribute to build up a green clean environment.

Blood donation camp

About 182 persons donated blood at a blood donation camp organised by the Shiv Kavand Mahasangh, Saketri, in association with the Blood Bank Society, PGI. —TNS



Proud moment for city coaching centres
Three outstation students make it big in AIEEE
Kunal Chawla from Ropar steals the show
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
In what seems to be a repeat of the IIT results, three outstation students, who took coaching from here, have done their coaching teachers proud, as they have not only made it to the top100, but also scored better ranks than city students. It was Kunal Chawla, a resident of Ropar, who stole the show, as he repeated his IIT success.

Having secured an All-India rank six in IIT examination, Kunal has secured 20th rank in AIEEE. When asked him about his success and he said: “You can call it the reward of my sacrifice of abstaining from computer games for two years.”

Claiming hard work to be the key to his success, he added: “There is no substitute to hard work. It, however, has to be complemented with regular and focused study. Every day in these two years I was reminded of my aim to make it to IIT and this passion has paid me off. We don’t have training facilities in our satellite towns, so I came here and will always be thankful to my teachers.”

Agreeing with him, Sumegha Garg of Bathinda, who had initially secured rank 12 in IIT and now secured rank 22 said: “There is no dearth of talent in our town. But we need good training centres. I owe my success to my decision of coming here in Chandigarh and studying for competitive exams.” Likewise, Simranjit Singh of Bathinda, who has also attended tuitions here, has bagged an All-India 27 rank and he is also thankful to his teachers.

IIT dreams mar AIEEE preparations

While the city usually ends up getting at least top 20 positions in IIT, but it has failed to do the same with the AIEEE. Experts hold fascination for IIT examination as the key reason.

“All toppers wish to make it to the IIT and are more serious with it. For a majority of students, AIEEE holds no importance and they take the examination very lightly. In case anyone fails to make it to IIT, then they prefer to repeat it. So when good performers are not interested in the examination, then how will we score high ranks?”

Sangeeta Khanna director, Chemistry Coaching Circle, Sector 24

“There are a handful of students who are likely to score top ranks. In the case of these students, AIEEE never figures on their priority list and their study schedule ends with the IIT examination.”

— Savin Sandhu director, Pi Scholastics, Sector 20

AIEEE city toppers opt for IIT
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, June 5
While the Tricity’s “fabulous four”, who have hit the bull’s eye in AIEEE examination may not have secured top ranks in the IIT entrance examination, all four have listed IIT as their first preference.

Vishal Dhawan

All-India Rank: 30

State rank: 1

Preference: Electronic or computer engineering

Parents: Father is a property dealer and mother is a housewife.

Success mantra: “Understand your concepts thoroughly, as clarity is the only key to success. After taking the IIT examination, I realised I had made some mistakes that affected my rank. I became more serious about AIEEE. You can’t cram multi-choice questions and be successful.”

Gagan Bansal

All India Rank: 35

State rank: 2

Preference: Computer engineering Parents: Father is an industrialist and mother is a housewife

Success mantra: “Focus is the key to success. I always dreamt to be an engineer and make it to a good college. Though I never gave up on recreation, I ensured that I never compromised on my studies as well.”

Akash Goel

All India Rank: 43

State rank: 3

Preference: Computer engineering

Parents: Father is an engineer and mother is a housewife.

Success mantra: “You have to be passionate about your goals. You have to prioritise your ambition over anything else and give it your best to make your dreams come true.”

Ankit Aggarwal

All India Rank: 70

State rank: 4

Preference: Wants to be a CEO of a multinational company 

Parents: Father is an engineer and an SDO in the PWD department and mother is a housewife. Success mantra: “Regularity and perseverance is the key to success. You can never make it to the top by studying in one or two months before the 

examination. It’s the effort spread over two years which takes you through.”

It’s double delight for Nitin
Made it to IIT, ranked 32nd in OBC category in AIEEE
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News service

BLESSED Nitin Mukesh, who made it to the IIT and also secured OBC rank 32 in AIEEE, shares his success with family. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, June 5
While a majority of IIT toppers have failed to script a success story in AIEEE, this boy has done it again.It’s a double delight for Nitin Mukesh, who not only made it to IIT, but has also secured OBC rank 32 in AIEEE.

Though success has come after a 12-year long struggle for him, but Nitin feels it’s worth the efforts.

Nitin lost his father 12 years ago and his mother was thrown to a daily struggle of sustaining the family.

Not so educated, his mother took to small-time stitching to make her ends meet. While she was never able to guide him much, but increasing wish to make her proud made Nitin work hard.

“I have grown seeing her making sacrifices and I always knew that I had to fulfil all her dreams. My success mantra is my faith in my passion and dream to get her all comforts and IIT is the best way. I am happy that I have repeated my success in AIEEE as well,” says Nitin.

“There was no end to celebrations ever since his IIT results, AIEEE have just made things sweeter,” his mother said.



Summer school on chromatographic techniques
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
A two-week summer school on “Chromatographic techniques for pharmaceutical research” under the UGC programme of Networking Resource Centre was conducted by the University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), Panjab University. Karan Vasisht, chairperson, UIPS, said the present training course was sixth in the series under the UGC-NRC programme to train pharmacy professionals of the country.

The course was attended by 20 participants drawn from 17 different states of the country like Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, etc. The course was completed in 32 hours of oral presentations, 45 hours of wet labs, besides an industrial trip.

The training course was inaugurated by SS Handa, former director of CSIR lab, Jammu. The valedictory address was delivered by KK Bhutani, director, NIPER, Mohali. The course was largely focussed on technique, advances and applications of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ultra-performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography (GC), high-performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) and flash chromatography.



New evaluation system nurtures hidden talents of students

Every child is talented and unique. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) aimed to de-stress the children from the mounting pressure of books with continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) system, which aims at nurturing the hidden talents of students. The system may reduce stress for the students and may give them more time to prepare for a board exam, but I think there is no uniformity in the evaluation. Making board exams optional implies diluting the educational system further.

The assessment will not be similar to the board exam correction, as teachers will definitely have a soft corner for their own school students and possible pressure from the school management. Theory exams have become an intrinsic part of our lives and are regularly used to determine one’s intelligence. In this regard, the Indian education system tends to overlook creativity, problem solving skills and emotional quotient when testing a child. But exams are nonetheless inevitable and if one escapes them in Class X, then sooner or later they will find themselves facing them.

Does removing exams really remove stress? Will the new design work? Well, the answer depends on many other factors. The first and the foremost factor is the attitude of teachers and schools. The schools consider the board exams as a way of evaluating themselves. In this regard, the schools may encourage the brightest lot of the students to take up board exams and score top ranks in the state. Board examination ensures a fair competition for identifying the brightest.

— Sachin Sharma CHANDIGARH

It keeps students on toes

I think the changed pattern of evaluation by the CBSE is a wonderful reform, particularly in the direction of de-stressing students.

There is no unnecessary tension of comparison with friends on the basis of marks. A difference of even one mark could be stressful.

The new pattern of evaluation has another component of keeping students on their toes throughout the year.

In the earlier system, a student could conveniently relax throughout the year and prepare himself for the board examinations in the last two months. Under the new system, a student is evaluated for his performance throughout the year.

It shows a student standing in different arenas, including classroom participation, sports, extra-curricular activities and captainship responsibilities. These rankings are important in making career choices in the future.

— Principal (Capt) Gurpratap Dhillon

New evaluation system is excellent

I think the changed evaluation pattern by the CBSE is excellent. At the level of Class X, there is no need for evaluation of a child. Instead of putting a number along with his name, it is nice to put him in a generalised category of grades. In a small example, I saw from the marksheet of my son that he has a good overall grade of A2, but he had “A” plus in his thinking skills. He is a quiet boy since his childhood, but we never saw anything exceptional in him. I went to his school, a day after his results where I met his Hindi teacher. When he asked me the result of my son, I mentioned the special A2 in thinking skills. The teacher smiled and said he was a gifted writer. He wrote poetry and even stories.

We, in the family, had always noticed him reading books or painting, but we never thought it had any special meaning. I met the arts teacher who said he was exceptionally talented in painting. He had a great sense of balance. I took him for an outing for a drive up hills to Kasauli. I casually asked what he would like to do.

— Amarjit Singh Chatwa SECTOR 38 , chandigarh

Bias attitude comes to fore

The changed pattern of evaluation is only a tool for helping their favourites by teachers. All through the year, teachers threatened us with less marks in formative assessment. My Hindi teacher disliked me so much that even though I scored high in the unit tests, I was given a C2 in the formative assessment. My board grade is A2. Can the board offer any justification?

— Aruna Kapoor sector 19

CCE, too, subjective

The fact that it’s just CGPA and grades that has made board examinations stress free, but the CCE is, too, subjective. My friends who appeared in the school-conducted Class X examination have fared better than me. I don’t know on what basis have I got C in my thinking skills? I wish that every marksheet should come with an explanation why a specific grade has been allotted to me?

— Rajbir Singh SECTOR 45

Grading reflects overall personality

I don't think grading system in schools had any scope for any standardisation. There can be no comparison of grades in different categories of schools, rural, urban, categories of private and government. For a standardised result, we also need a corresponding standardisation in the raw material, including background of students and teachers. So, it is wrong to assume of achieving any standardisation in the school education system.

At the same time, it important to point out that except personal satisfaction, scoring high marks in the matriculation had little meaning in the education future of a child. Grading is good because the marksheet was now reflective of the overall personality of a child rather than only his academic merits.

At the same time, grading, particularly by the schoolteachers will have to be handled professionally. In fact, the board now needs to work out an evaluation pattern for internal evaluation. These comments could have a lasting impact on the future of a child. Teachers need to be specially trained in internal evaluation. It is sad but true that in our country we also need a mechanism to give unbridled freedom to anyone, including teachers. The principals and managements should have a strict control on ensuring greater accountability from teachers.

— Navjyot Kaur



Education dept to outsource computer labs
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 5
To provide better computer education to students in schools, the education department has decided to outsource computer laboratories in all senior secondary and high schools in the district.

According to sources, at present there are only one or two computers in about 27 senior secondary schools in the district. With the outsourcing, about 20 new computers would be installed in all 49 senior secondary and high schools in the district. The sources further said the infrastructure, including rooms and furniture, would be provided by the schools for setting up computer labs in the schools.

The computer labs were being set up under the information and communication technology scheme of the Haryana government in which about 2,600 computer laboratories would be set up in the government schools in the state. District Education Officer Nalini Mimani while confirming the same said this would help in providing quality computer education to the students and help in making them computer savvy. 



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