C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Pressing civic issues GIVEN A GO-BY IN MC
Councillors instead debate ‘booth scam’ despite mayor’s objection
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
Politics, not civic problems, dominated proceedings at the monthly house meeting of the municipal Corporation held on Thursday. While major issues concerning amenities for city residents were relegated to the background, the infamous “booth scam”, which does not even come under the MC’s jurisdiction, took centre stage. Urgent matters including supply of muddy water, blocked sewage lines, garbage collection and health facilities were lost in the din.

The “booth scam” was raised during zero hour by BJP councillor Anil Kumar Dubey through a resolution in the house. Playing to the gallery, he wanted to discuss the matter so that a unanimous decision on which agency should conduct an inquiry could be taken. On which, city mayor Ravinder Pal Singh said as the land on which the booths were constructed and the officials who allotted them did not come under the MC’s jurisdiction no discussion could be allowed on the issue.

Taking umbrage, opposition councillors came into the well of the house and began protesting against the mayor’s objection. For more than an hour they continued to debate whether councillors could discuss the issue in the house in line with the Punjab Municipal Act.

A piquant situation emerged when the opposition councillors did not allow even BJP councillor Ram Lal to display bottles filled with muddy water that he had brought with him to the house to depict the quality of the water being supplied to residents of the city’s Ram Darbar locality. After the meeting he alleged despite lodging several complaints regarding supply of muddy water with the public health department the latter had taken no action.

Similarly, when BSP councillor Ram Sumer Morya tried to take up the issue of unhygienic conditions in Colony No 5, he was restrained by opposition councillors who told him to take up the matter later.

Even when the Congress councillor Kamlesh raised the issue of garbage being thrown at a dumping ground in Dadumajra in contravention of official orders, the opposition councillors objected to discussing the matter.

Her argument that an alternative site for dumping garbage should be found out as the existing dumping ground could not accommodate more garbage went unheeded as the fruitless debate on the “booth scam” continued.

Interestingly, there was no discussion on the reports on the study trip made by councilors to Bangalore and Coimbatore.



Khushpreet case
Reinstatement of policemen raises eyebrows
Probe against them still on; were held guilty of negligence 
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
The decision to revoke the suspension of three policemen held guilty of gross negligence in handling the Khushpreet kidnapping case for ransom has raised many eyebrows. Their suspension has been revoked within five months even as a departmental inquiry is pending against them.

Khushpreet’s family, too, has been crying foul on the decision, calling it a “wrap up” exercise by senior police officers to save their men.

The three policemen who have been reinstated include Inspector Udey Pal Singh, the then SHO of the Sector 34 police station, inspector Narinder Patial, the then Burail police post in charge, and sub-inspector Balraj Singh.

The three were held guilty of gross negligence and dereliction of duty in a probe conducted by the then Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) ML Sharma.

Besides a departmental inquiry pending against the three, the Police Complaint Authority is also hearing the Khushpreet case and a PIL has also been filed in the High Court.

UT SSP Naunihal Singh said the decision to reinstate the three has been taken as per the CVC guidelines after a second review in June and there is no “justification” in keeping the policemen suspended for long. “It’s been six months that they were suspended. There is no point in keeping an officer out of work when they are required for their services,” he said.

Calling it unfair and injustice done to them, Khushpreet’s father Lakhbir Singh said, “It’s completely unfair to reinstate those guilty within such a short span when an inquiry is on. Due to their negligence, we lost our innocent child. The accused kept my child in confinement in the same neighbourhood, yet these policemen never got a clue of it. Is mere suspension for five months enough to punish them for their negligence?”

Five-year-old Khushpreet Singh was kidnapped from Burail village on December 21, 2010. The police had laid a trap to arrest the kidnappers a day after the child was kidnapped, but had miserably failed to nab the kidnappers and they had fled with Rs 4 lakh cash right under the nose of the police. The child’s body was found dumped in the neighbouring Mohali town on January 5, following which residents of Burail had indulged in violence on the police inaction. ML Sharma, a Punjab Civil Service (PCS) officer, had conducted a probe to look into the negligence and had held the three guilty of negligence and recommended their suspension in a 109-page report.

What inquiry report said

It is established that Uday Pal Singh has not discharged his duties in a befitting manner expected of such a decorated and senior policeman. The loss of time in the initial stage was crucial. he failed to build a relationship of trust with the victim’s family due to which they did not have faith in the efforts being put in by the police.

It is a mockery that when everybody was aware of the ransom call at 4.22 pm, the proceedings for lodging the FIR were started after 9 pm. His attitude speaks of casualness and he cannot be absolved of this lapse.



Now, Admn OK with shopping on Sunday
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
You can shop till you drop on Sunday in Chandigarh. In partial modification of the earlier stand against seven-day shopping, the UT Administration is ready to accede to traders’ demand of Sunday shopping provided one off day on any weekday is given to the shop workers.

The UT Administration’s new stand seems to be an offshoot of the representations by traders’ bodies in support of the seven-day shopping in the city. “The UT Administration is examining the proposal for the opening of markets on Sunday.However, the shopkeepers will have to implement various provisions of the Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, including a weekly off for the shop workers,” Home-cum-Labour Secretary Ram Niwas said here today.

Officials said the shopkeepers could follow the Delhi pattern, where certain shops were open on Sunday for the convenience of the shoppers and closed on certain other week day. A consensus on the Sunday shopping is being worked out keeping in view the convenience of the shoppers and rights of the shop workers,n the officials added.

Earlier, the UT Administration had disfavoured the seven-day shopping concept in the city markets, particularly the main commercial centre in Sector 17.With no representation from the traders’ bodies to extend the order governing the seven-day shopping, which expired in May this year, the UT Administration had decided to revert to the old system of Sunday off for all commercial establishments.

“Sunday shopping” started in the city on a regular basis in 2004. With the emerging shopping mall culture and entry of multi-national companies in the retail sector, the concept of seven-day shopping picked up momentum in recent years. However, the allegations of violations of labour laws by “forcing” the shop workers to work for seven days a week also surfaced.

Besides, markets in the neighbouring Panchkula and shopping malls were open on Sunday. 



Student groups clash again in PU, 1 hurt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
Within 24 hours after a clash between supporters of the Students Organization of Panjab University (SOPU) and its Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) in Sector 45 at midnight on Wednesday, members of the two rival bodies were again involved in a violent skirmish on the campus, leaving a PUSU member injured.

The brawl was sparked when a SOPU supporter warned Rajdeep Brar, a PUSU supporter, not to “stare” at him. The latter then reportedly abused SOPU members, resulting in a scuffle between the two groups, and sustained an injury on his hand.

Incidentally the students had gathered near the enquiry counter at the Aruna Ranjit Chandra Hall on the campus to “guide new students” seeking admission at PU since the allotment of help desks was due on Thursday by PU dean of students’ welfare Naval Kishore.

At the time of allocation of help desks through draw of lots on the campus, the two factions again entered into an argument. This time it was on who would pick up the slip for allocation of help desk. Kishore intervened and resolved the issue by selecting it and directed installation of only one PUSU stall.

The varsity’s security staff as well as policemen then chased SOPU supporters who had fled from the scene in a Suzuki Swift car.

“It was only a minor incident and PUSU is blowing the matter out of proportion to seek publicity. There were no outsiders and all of them were PU students,” said SOPU president Robing Brar.

However, a PUSU member had a different story to tell. “Those who attacked us were SOPU supporters and students of DAV College, Sector 10 and a few were outsiders. They injured my hand and fled from the scene. All this happened in full public view,” said Rajdeep, MA II (Sociology) student of PU.

When contacted PU vice chancellor RC Sobti said: “I’ve not yet been updated on the incident. I’ll hold a meeting with the dean of students’ welfare and comment on the matter after that”.

Midnight brawl in Sec 50

On Wednesday night there was a clash between Amber Singh, a PUSU supporter and a DAV College student, and some unidentified students of the same college near the Burail jail. The former, whose car was damaged, claimed he was attacked by members of the rival SOPU. “These students called me at night and asked me to guide them on admission. When I reached sector 45, certain boys began attacking my car and fled from spot,” said Amber. He filed a complaint at the Sector 45 police-station but later withdrew it.

Steps to curb campus violence

In April last year vice chancellor RC Sobti set up a 21-member committee to check violence on the campus. One of the panel’s recommendations, which were later endorsed by the university administration, was taking stringent action against those indulging in violence on the campus. “If any such incident occurs in future and the defaulters are found, strict action must be taken. I would further comment on the matter only if the case if forwarded to me,” said GK Chathrath, a PU senate member who headed the committee.


14 agenda items passed without discussion
Opposition, nominated councillors protest, say not approved by two-thirds majority of MC House
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
Passing of 14 agenda items amounting to Rs 7.32 crore by the ruling Congress, allegedly in violation of the Punjab Municipal Act, earned the ire of the 13 Opposition and nominated councillors during the House meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) here today.

Surprisingly, only six Congress councillors approved the agenda. This was done in the teeth of the Opposition when they and nominated councillors present in the House. Secretary Lalit Siwach announced the number of agenda items and Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh passed the same without any discussion.

Taking a serious note of this, 13 councillors, including four nominated councillors, decided to make a written complaint to MC Commissioner Prerna Puri, demanding the cancellation of agenda items, as they were not approved by the two-third majority of the councillors present in the House.

The Opposition councillors protested in the well of the House when the agendas were tabled. They submitted their objection on the approval of the agenda items during the meeting but the Mayor and the secretary ignored the same. Six nominated councillors also distanced themselves from the agenda items.

Interacting with mediapersons, MC Commissioner Prerna Puri said the final decision on agendas would be taken after getting a written representation from the Opposition and the nominated councillors.

Interestingly, none of the ruling councillors was aware of the development works being approved by them during the meeting. After the meeting, the Opposition councillors also protested against Additional Commissioner II-cum-Secretary Lalit Siwach in the well of the House. 



laying of cables
MC shirking from fixing responsibility: Babla 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, it seems, will not fix the responsibility of any official in case of laying of cables in the city without permission of the authorities, alleged Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla in the House meeting today.

Babla made these remarks after the MC official assigned with the duty to table an inquiry report of laying of cables in Sector 34 failed to do so in the House today.

It was decided in the previous House meeting that Additional Commissioner-I Sunil Bhatia would prepare a report and fix the responsibility of the official due to whose negligence the company dug up the road without the permission of the MC. It was also decided that the guilty official would have to bear the loss, which the MC suffered.

Sunil Bhatia informed the House that as the data relating to the work undertaken by the company was yet to be collected, he had not been able to prepare a report till date. However, MC Commissioner Prerna Puri said she would lodge a complaint with the police in this regard. 



Minor fire on first floor of MC building 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
A minor fire broke out on the first floor of the Municipal Corporation (MC) building, a day after it was pointed out at the fire committee meeting that there were no fire alarms in the corporation building.

A peon noticed smoke coming from a washroom and immediately informed the electricity wing
about it. They immediately disconnected the electricity and fixed loose wires.

An MC employee on the condition of anonymity said it seemed that all departments were taking things lightly because
the corporation had separate wings of electricity and fire. Despite this, there is no check on the lose wires in the corridors of the building, no fire alarms to warn employees about any mishap in the building.



Chemist shop at PGI indicted
Sale of used ‘drainage cannula’
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
An inquiry committee of the PGI here has indicted a chemist for selling a used drainage cannula, a plastic pipe used in cardio-thoracic surgery.

The PGI authorities had constituted a three-member committee comprising Dr T Shyam K Singh, head of the department of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, Dr RK Sharma, joint medical superintendent, and Dr Ashish Bhalla, an associate member, department of internal medicine, to probe the matter.

On April 19, a doctor at the time of surgery noticed that the drainage cannula, bought from a chemist shop on the PGI premises, was a used one. The authorities have now been mulling cancelling the lease of shop rented out to the chemist at Gole Market on the campus.

Surjit Singh, a resident of Burail village in Sector 45, Chandigarh, had to undergo cardio-thoracic surgery when Dr Rana Sandip Singh noticed that the drainage cannula lying with other surgical items was a used one even as it was sealed in a cover. It had maximum retail price of Rs 2,100 printed on it.

Immediately, the manager of chemist shop situated on the PGI campus, was asked to come to the operation theatre of the Advanced Cardiac Centre and was asked to explain the reason for it.

However, the manager denied that there was any negligence on part of the shop. “I was told that the drainage cannula bought by attendants of the patient belonged to the PGI. I have no idea how it reached my shop,” he said. It could be one of the articles returned by some patient who had been treated at the PGI, he said.

The committee, however, finding circumstantial evidence against the chemist, has decided to impose a penalty on him.

The chief vigilance officer of the PGI, Dr Surjit Singh, when contacted, refused to comment on the issue.



I-T officials wary of shifting to new building
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
An anxiety stricken Income Tax department today went on an overdrive to set things right in its newly constructed office complex, Aayakar Bhawan, Sector 17, where false ceilings collapsed in several rooms spread across the multi-storeyed building on Tuesday.

The day started with GS Randhawa, who is holding the additional charge of Chief Commissioner, North-West Region, visiting the building and taking a round of all the rooms where the false ceiling collapsed. Randhawa will also chair a high-level meeting scheduled for tomorrow, which would attended by the five Additional Commissioners of various ranges, the Chief Engineer and the Superintendent Engineer of the CPWD.

The mishap has perturbed senior officials of the department and many are wary about shifting into the new building in its present state. “This is life threatening”, said a senior official adding “One would feel insecure till the department carries out a thorough check of the quality of the material used and certify that everything is safe and sound.” Expressing surprise over the claim of some CPWD workers who had said the collapse took place due to the weight of the electrical fittings, a senior official said, “It’s they who had fixed the entire equipment.”

A woman official, who is yet to shift to the new building, admitted that she wouldn’t feel safe working there. She said about 50 per cent staff had shifted and it’s just a coincidence that no one had occupied the rooms where the mishap took place. She said one of the rooms on the VIth floor where the ceiling collapsed is occupied but the official was on leave.

Meanwhile, senior officials are not too happy with the design and the size of rooms in the new building. “The rooms for additional commissioners in the new building are almost half the size of the ones in the old building,” said a senior official.

Another official questioned the haste in shifting to the new building and said that electricity wiring in some areas was still going one. “Wire junction boxes are open in many rooms and it’s dangerous,” said an official revealing that the building had still not been sanctioned its full electricity load. “We are working with 40 per cent of the sanctioned load and as a result, the AC plant works alternatively in parts of the buildings,” he said.



Authorities blind to wild growth in Mohali
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 23
Congress grass and other wild growth continues to spread in various parts of the town much to the annoyance and discomfort of residents as the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the Municipal Corporation have failed to launch a concerted campaign in this regard.

Those suffering from problems like asthma and skin allergies have to face a tough time due to the harmful weed which grows in abundance during monsoons.

The harmful weed can be seen on road berms and in vacant plots, green belts, parks and open spaces. The situation is so bad that congress grass and other wild growth can even be seen on the premises of civil dispensaries and government educational institutions.

SS Barnala, former municipal councillor, said even when monsoon was only about a week away, the authorities concerned had still not cut the harmful weed which would grow manifold during the rains.

Already certain roads had become blind turns due to the excessive growth leading to accidents. Road leading from Bawa White House towards the railway station was full of congress grass. Many accidents had taken place near Mandi Board flats as the turn had become blind due to rich wild growth and one could hardly see any vehicle coming from the other side, added Barnala.

General secretary of the Mohali Industries Association RP Singh said congress grass and other wild growth was growing in abundance in the Industrial Area. Repeated requests to clear the places of wild growth fell on deaf ears. Industrial unit owners faced an embarrassing time when foreign delegates visited the area.

While it is the work of GMADA to keep parks, green belts and open spaces cleared of the wild growth, the council has to remove the weed and other wild growth from road berms in residential areas and the entire Industrial Area.

As far as the work of removing wild growth and congress grass from government dispensaries and educational institutions is concerned, none of the two agencies are ready to take the responsibility claiming that it was the duty of the department concerned to get the work done.

The authorities concerned were not available for comments despite attempts.


Those suffering from problems like asthma and skin allergies have to face a tough time due to the harmful weed

It’s everywhere

Congress grass can even be seen on the premises of civil dispensaries and government educational institutions

Monsoon to spell more trouble

Even when monsoon is only about a week away, the authorities concerned have still not cut the harmful weed which will grow manifold during rains~

SS Barnala, former municipal councillor



Tribune impact
Sec 144 imposed near rivers in Panchkula district
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 23
The district administration has prohibited taking bath in rivers or entry for collection of coins, coconut and other materials for any purpose in the Ghaggar, Kaushalya and Tangri rivers in the district here today.

The order has been issued keeping in view the ensuing monsoon as the flow of water in these rivers may cause to risk to human lives.

Notably, The Tribune had highlighted the issue of children and women getting trapped in the gushing water of the Ghaggar during the past few years.

Taking a view of these incidents, Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar imposed Section 144 of the IPC prohibiting entry into the three above mentioned rivers in the district. Superintendent of Police, Panchkula, SDM, Panchkula and Kalka, and XEN, irrigation, Panchkula, would be responsible for enforcement of these orders, she added.

The Deputy Commissioner has further ordered the gram panchayats in the district to perform patrol duties during nighttime to ensure the security and safety of public life and property to avoid any other untoward incident.

The Sub-Divisional Officers (Civil), Panchkula and Kalka, block development and panchayat officers, Pinjore, Raipur Rani, Barwala and Morni would ensure the regulation of requisite patrol by the panchayats, she added.



School for slum kids
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 23
Slum-dwellers who have been allotted Ashiana flats have another reason to cheer. The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) is likely to set up a small market and a school near the apartments.

According to sources, the proposal is likely to be forwarded to the state government. This will benefit Ashiana residents, who will not have to move to far-off markets to purchase items of daily use.

Confirming the development, RK Kataria, HUDA Administrator, said they were planning to construct a school near the complex so that children of these slum-dwellers could get education at their doorstep.

He said after shifting from slums, children would have to attend school far away from their houses. He said some shops would also be set up.

Around 865 persons frrom various slums of the town were allotted flats at Ashiana apartments in Sector 20 through a draw of lots yesterday after a detailed scrutiny of applications forms.

About 2,072 flats had been built at Sectors 20 and 28 and Abhaypur village in Phase I, Industrial Area, under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Renewal Mission for the rehabilitation of slum-dwellers.



Botanical institute to make Sukhna Lake weed-free 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
A special team of the National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, has found that the Sukhna Lake was choked with four different kinds of weeds, including potamatogeton, vallisenria and Hydrilla.

During a visit to the lake today, the team accompanied by UT engineers collected water samples for a detailed study of the BOD and COD composition of the water. Sources said the weed samples have also been collected for chemical analysis. Details of the report will be revealed later.

It has been pointed out that mere clearing of the weeds every year did not serve any purpose. “A detailed study about the exact nature of the problem after laboratory analysis is required to make the lake weed free,” a senior official said. 



Zirakpur residents suffer as power supply hit
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 23
Life was derailed as there was a blackout in various parts of Zirakpur today. Though powermen maintained that they were trying to rectify the fault, the problem prevailed till late at night.

Residents of more than six colonies were forced to suffer in the scorching heat as there was no power for more than 20 hours. They complained that there was no electricity since past night.

They said a few houses had low voltage since yesterday. They had submitted complaints many times, but nothing had been done so far. They demanded proper power supply.

Mandeep of Zirakpur rued that nobody was present to listen to his complaint past night. He alleged that the condition of the complaint centre was pathetic and there was no register there.

Another resident alleged that there was no power supply past night and inverters could not be charged due to power cuts. He said the worst affected were children and senior citizens.

A Powercom official said there was a fault in the transformer and supply would be restored soon. He added that he would take up the matter of staff shortage with the authorities on a priority basis.



Tricity scan

Chandigarh scan
Dharna staged

Members of the coordination committee of government and MC employees and workers staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office and submitted a memorandum in regard to their long pending demands. Convener Rakesh Kumar said, “The list of demands included grant of central pay scale and conditions of service to UT employees; regularisation of daily wagers; filling up of vacant posts and implementation of pension scheme for Chandigarh Housing Board.

Invite for scholarship
Guru Harkrishan Educational Society (GHES) has invited applications for award of scholarships to needy students for the academic session 2011-2012. Eligible students enrolled with any vocational or professional courses, including managerial, technical, medical or any postgraduate courses, can apply. AS Rawel, society secretary, said students who had secured at least 60 per cent marks and whose parental income was not more than Rs 10,000 per month qualified for the scholarship.

The following have been elected office-bearers of the Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Sector 37 C, president - HS Chawla; vice-president - SS Lamba; general secretary - SS Anand; organising secretary - JS Chhabra; and treasurer - Harbans Singh.

Protest against price rise
On a joint call by the central trade unions, including AITUC, INTUC, CITU, BMS, HMS AND AICCTU, a protest rally was organised near the round of the Cricket Stadium, Sector 16, against unprecedented hike in prices of petrol. Leaders said the price had been hiked nine times in the last nine months, which was unprecedented in the history of the country.

Error in name
Pankaj Chandgothia, president of the Consumer Courts Bar Association, who is handling Suman case, on Thursday gave a written application to the SSP, UT, Chandigarh, calling upon him to correct the mistake in complainant’s name while registering the FIR at the central police station, Sector 17. Column 6 of the FIR in Suman’s case regarding “complainant/ informant” has the name of “Kavle V Parshuram, IAS; occupation, government job; and address SDM/South, UT, Chandigarh,” instead of Suman or Desraj. Chandgothia said, “Although, technically speaking, anyone can be the complainant or informant and it need not be the victim, but in practice it is usually the victim or his/her relative.” In this case, name of the SDM as complainant is likely to delay, and even defeat, the court proceedings and criminal prosecution. The complainant/ informant is the primary prosecution witness and his statements and cross-examination is imperative for the conclusion and conviction. Parshuram being a government servant is “prone to transfer and unavailability” for presence and recording of statements in court. This is likely to delay the case endlessly and may even prove fatal to the case.

Anti-malaria camp
The national vector-borne disease control programme of the Union Territory on Thursday organised an anti-malaria camp at the Civil Dispensary, Mauli Jagran colony. The camp, organised as a part of the ongoing series, was inaugurated by Dr Naresh Kumar, assistant director malaria of UT. More than 130 samples were collected for verifying the infection of certain patients.

National Statistics Day
June 29 will be celebrated as the National Statistics Day as a mark of respect to notable contributions by Prof PC Mahalanobis in the field of economic planning and development of statistics as a science. A special function featuring debate, seminars and lectures will be coordinated by the regional office of the National Sample Survey office at Kendriya Sadan, Sector 9.

Panchkula scan
‘Check water-logging’

Members of various residents’ welfare associations here on Thursday urged HUDA and MC to take immediate preventive steps to check water logging in the town before the arrival of monsoons. The road gullies are yet to be cleaned in most of the sectors and the condition of streetlights, parks, roads and sweeping, etc, in the town is also pathetic, which needs immediate attention. Chairman-cum-president, Citizens’ Welfare Association, demanded that sweeping and disposal of garbage works should also be carried out regularly to keep the town clean during rainy season. Dr SK Chhabra, Capt Rasmesh Sood, Mewa Singh, VP Singla, SD Daid, Sunil Vasisth, Vijai Kumar, Raj Kumar, Kartar Singh, DS Multani, Sunil Jain, ML Sachdeva, Kamla Sangwan, were among those present at the meeting. — TNS

Mohali scan
Rs 5,000 reward announced

The police will give a reward of Rs 5,000 if a click from your mobile phone or camera helps in tracing snatchers. Director General of Police (Law and Order), Punjab, Rajan Gupta said incidents of snatching were on the rise and it was decided to take public help in this regard. If any person was able to click a photograph by using a mobile phone or camera of a person indulging in snatching or fleeing from the scene of crime, the police should be informed. If the photograph taken helped in tracing the snatchers, he would be given a reward of Rs 5,000. — OC



BEd Admissions
PU authorities yet to take decision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
Clearing the status of admissions to BEd course this year in the city colleges and Panjab University (PU), Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti today said the university authorities have not taken any decision on the matter yet.

A committee has also been constituted today, headed by Nandita, chairperson of the education department, PU, to study a notification received by PU from the Punjab government yesterday.

“We have not studied the notification yet. The decision can be taken only after talking to UT administration officials. It has to be a collective decision. We are open to entering students on merit. Even the UT administration has authorised PU to admit students and how it is to be done has been left to PU. However, we wish to bring a consensus on the issue first,” said Sobti.

He added that the city colleges would be issued a notification once the decision was taken.

Incidentally, the university had already prepared a brochure for admissions to BEd course in the academic session 2011-2012. A series of meetings was done by university officials, including PU Registrar AK Bhandari, PU education department faculty members and BEd college principals in the past to arrive at consensus at the issue.

However, the college authorities, where the course is being offered in Chandigarh, expressed surprise on the sudden report of scrapping the entrance examination.

Officials in the colleges have expressed their apprehension on evaluating students from various universities in different states of the country, who would compete for rank in the merit list.

On being questioned how the actual merit would be calculated when there was variation in standards of different universities and colleges from where the students would graduate, VC Sobti said, “We are yet to work out modalities. First of all, the notification needs to be read thoroughly. Only then any decision would be taken.”



Online BCom-I admission causes confusion
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
With the introduction of a fully online centralised admission system for BCom-I by Panjab University (PU) this year, confusion prevails among applicants, who are continually enquiring the status of application and subsequent procedure of procuring admission to the college of their choice.

PU officials, on the other hand, are having a harrowing time, answering queries of students, who are asking for a written confirmation that the university has received their forms. University officials say most parents and students are inquisitive about the allocation of the college since they are used to the conventional form of admission.

The co-ordinator for BCom admission, AK Vashisht, could be reached for comment. A PU computer centre official said, “We have uploaded all crucial information on the home page of our website. Students who are getting panicky have not visited the website at all.”

The deadline for online registration was over at 3 pm on June 21. Applicants and their parents called up The Tribune office since yesterday, expressing apprehension about the fair allocation of the college of their choice through the online process.

“With the new system in place, I am not sure if the college will be allocated on merit in a fair manner. I am worried about my application and have no clue if the PU is processing it. What if my application has not even been processed,” questioned Rohan, a Class XII (commerce) passout.

Another student, Lakshaya, who was enquiring about the status of his form at the PU’s enquiry counter, said, “Although admissions are done online for professional courses at certain institutes, we often hear about several flaws in admission at Panjab University, because of which I am more tense.”

On an earlier occasion, Vashisht had told The Tribune that a team of lecturers from city colleges were manually verifying the applications at the University Business School. He urged students to regularly check the BCom admission website, a link to which was provided at the PU’s officials website www.puchd.ac.in.



Counselling for special BEd course

Chandigarh, June 23
The counselling for admission to BEd (special education with specialisation in learning disability) in the department of community education and disability studies would be held on July 11. 

Students are advised to appear before the board of control for admission on the above-mentioned date and are also advised to bring all original degree, certificates/ documents etc. — TNS



Teachers stopped from entering UT, stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 23
Members of the Inclusive Education Volunteer Association, who marched from Ludhiana and reached here today, staged a dharna near the YPS Chowk after they were stopped from entering Chandigarh by the UT police.

Three women volunteers and one male member fainted after reaching near the chowk. The volunteers had started their march on June 20 from Ludhiana. They protested after they were stopped from entering Chandigarh.

President of the association Gurvinder Singh and general secretary Rajinder Syal said while addressing the gathering that the dharna staged by the association outside the Mini Secretariat in Ludhiana had entered the 42nd day but the government had failed to look into their demands.

They were being given only Rs 2,500 by the Sarv Sikhya Abhiyan to teach differently-abled children even when teachers in government schools were getting a salary between Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000. They demanded that the contract system should be stopped and they be treated like regular teachers and given the same pay scale and other benefits.

The office bearers further said they not only taught differently-abled children in schools, but also went to the homes of such children who could not come to schools to take education.

They added that they played a positive role under the National Rural Health Mission, improved the girl child education and helped stopping social evils like the dowry system and created awareness among uneducated parents so that they could send their children to schools. The protest was intensified as the government failed to intervene in the matter, they added.

Seeking equal benefits

They are given ~ 2,500 by the Sarv Sikhya Abhiyan to teach differently-abled children even when teachers in government schools were getting a salary between ~ 20,000 to ~ 25,000. They demand the contract system should be stopped and they be treated like regular teachers and given the same pay scale and other benefits



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