C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


BEL census data sees dip in city’s population
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
About 125,000 city residents apparently disappeared into thin air less than six months after the 2011 Indian census report was released earlier this year. At least this is the impression one gets going by the latest data compiled by state-owned electronics firm Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), which was assigned the task of conducting a caste-based census.

According to the data, the union territory’s population has been put at about 925,000. This estimate varies significantly with the provisional figure of 1,054,000 in the 2011 Indian census report released last February.

“The projected total population of Chandigarh in the final report of the BEL census will be about 925,000,” said BEL assistant general manager B Nagraj, who added the report was likely to be completed “within a day or two”.

For the caste-based census the city was divided into 2,067 “blocks”, and the exercise has been completed in only 2,007 blocks so far, pegging the population in those areas at 898,708. This meant there was an average of 447 residents in one block.

Only 60 blocks are left for the count and, if one goes by the average figure of 447 for one block, it is expected about 26,500 more residents will be added to the current total, taking the figures to about 925,000.

“In recent months a large number of migrants left the city and many houses were found locked during the survey. We’ll again visit such houses”, said Nagraj. The “expected” shortfall in the city’s population has left many senior UT administration officials “shocked”. “It’s very difficult to believe people are leaving the city in such large numbers”, said an official.

Behind schedule

Bharat Electronics Ltd, a state-owned electronics company, has been unable to complete the census report within the stipulated time - before August-end. Work on the census was begun on July 18 and the task, outsourced to a private firm, Swati Smart Cards, was to be finished within 40 days.

y A senior official of the Chandigarh administration, which provided 521 enumerators for the exercise, said: “The vendor couldn’t arrange the required number of data entry operators, which has led to the delay in releasing the census report”.



Phone services remain hit for 4th day
Emergency lines disrupted as BSNL, pvt telcos rift continues
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
As the state-owned telecom operator, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, slugs it out with the major private service providers over nonpayment of the latter’s carriage charges, subscribers of both continue to suffer as connectivity, including emergency calls, between the two remained disrupted for the fourth consecutive day. Calls from cellular phones to fixed lines of the police, fire and ambulance control rooms and hospital enquiries were also affected on account of the standoff.

Though services between Reliance Telecom and Tata Indicom resumed later in the day on Monday with the Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) issuing an interim order in favour of the private operators, services between BSNL and all other major players, including Airtel and Vodafone, remained cut off.

Sources confirmed the tribunal had stayed the BSNL order to disconnect services between Reliance and Tata Indicom till September 30. The next date for hearing is fixed for November 1 and both the private operators will pay the interconnection fee at the rates agreed to earlier.

The dispute between BSNL and the private telecom service providers is over payment of carrier charges, the fees paid by cellular operators to fixed line operators (in this case, BSNL). While the private service providers claim the carriage charge is at the rate of 15 paise per minute, BSNL claims about 40 to 60 paise per minute.

According to BSNL officials, in the Punjab circle, which includes Chandigarh, the outstanding dues of carriage charges is to the tune of Rs 13 crore for the period from 2009 to 2011. The maximum dues of Rs 5.97 crore are from Airtel, followed by Rs 3.16 crore from Vodafone, Rs 2.16 crore from Spice, Rs 99,000 from Tata Indicom and Rs 76,000 from Reliance Telecom.

Defending their action of disconnecting the services, a senior BSNL official, requesting anonymity, said: “We’re custodians of public money and if private telecom operators owe us money we are left with no option but to suspend services. Many notices were given to the private operators before the action was initiated”.

On the other hand, private operators accused BSNL of “high handedness” saying its action had put hundreds of thousands of subscribers to inconvenience. “Private telecom operators believe BSNL has shown callous disregard for the needs of customers and has no reason to initiate the disconnection action now when TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) is reviewing the whole matter,” the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said.

Interestingly, services to emergency numbers including the police control room (100), fire (101), ambulances (102) and hospitals - enquiry at GMSH-16, GMCH-32 and PGI - were severely affected.

In Punjab BSNL has about 1,191,000 fixed landline subscribers while the major private telecom operators - Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Telecom, Tata Teleservices and Idea - have a subscriber base of 6,709,000, 4,230,000, 4,622,000, 3,427,000 and 4,734,000, respectively, as on July 31, 2011.

COAI director general Ranjan Mathews has reportedly appealed to BSNL to restore connections of all private operators as the TDSAT order was applicable to all. “This step should be taken in the public interest”, he added.

Carriage charges row*

Private Dues to BSNL

operator (Punjab)

Airtel 5.97 cr

Vodafone 2.16 cr

Spice 3.16 cr

Tata Tele 99,000

Reliance Tele 76,000

* in Rupees



Immigration firm office sealed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh October 3
The special investigation team (SIT) of the UT police, formed to crack down on illegal immigration firms, sealed the Sector 9-based office of Ms Scott Education and Immigration Service for allegedly duping two Mohali residents in the name of sending them abroad here today.

An FIR was registered against the immigration firm at the Sector 34 police station in August, after which the firm’s owner had closed down his office in Sector 34. He shifted his base to Sector 9.

Sub-Inspector (SI) Gyan Singh said a case had been registered against Jashjeet Singh Dhaliwal, owner of the company, on the complaint of Yaman Khan, a resident of Siswan village in Mohali district. He alleged that even after paying Rs 2.30 lakh, he was neither sent abroad nor his money returned. Khan had been promised a student visa trip to Singapore.

Savina, a resident of Mohali, had also filed a complaint against the firm, stating that even after paying Rs 25,000 she was not sent abroad on study visa. She, too, complained that her money had not been refunded.

“The complainant stated that despite repeated requests, her money was not refunded. She lodged a formal complaint, following which a case was registered on August 13, ” the police stated.

Gyan Singh said the firm owner, after duping the customers, shifted the office to SCO 28-29 (first floor) Sector 9. He was, however, running the firm under the same name. “During investigation, we got a tip-off that the accused, who was absconding, was running the immigration business from another premises in the city. We went ahead with the raid and have sealed the office,” Singh said.

No arrests were made by the police, as the owner of the firm who is a resident of Orbit Apartments in Zirakpur managed to escape from the police trap.

Police officials said the immigration fraud victims could submit their complaints at the Public Window of the police headquarters that would be forwarded to the immigration cell dealing with the cases of immigration fraud. 

District Magistrate’s order

DM Brijendra Singh has directed owners of immigration firms to provide their antecedents to thepolice at Public Window, Police Headquarters, within seven days. The order issued under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code makes it clear that before establishing such companies, it is mandatory for the owner of the company to provide the firms’ complete antecedents, and the offenders will be prosecuted. 

Another case

A case under Sections 420 and 120 of the IPC was registered against Ashwani Syal and his wife Reena Syal, residents of Scetor 7, Panchkula, on the complaint of Chand Handa, who alleged that the duo had duped his cousin and cousin’s wife of Rs 45 lakh for sending them abroad.



Government officials double as Ramlila artistes
Mixing business with pleasure 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, October 3
These people were not only doing paper work in government departments and helping in the smooth functioning of offices but also formed the backbone of more than 55 Ramlila committees across the tricity.

These employees were not only performing the role of various characters on stage but also silently working backstage.

During daytime, the employees completed their work at office and at the night, performed in the Ramlilas. During the nine-day affair of Ramlila, these artistes-cum-employees remained “cut off” from their families.

Vikram Bisht, working as an assistant in Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN), said as he was in the administrative branch, he did not take leave for Ramlilas. He added that with the support of his committee, family and office, he maintained a balance between the office and Ramlila.

Paramjit Singh, posted as a constable in the traffic branch in Sector 29, said along with Ramlila, he was also practising for the All India Police Hockey championship, which is scheduled to be held next month in Ranchi. He added that a majority of artistes and committee members in the Ramlila committees across the tricity were government employees and had been actively participating for many years.

Pawan Sharma, director, Adarsh Ramlila Dramatic Club, Panchkula, said he was working as Superintendent in Haryana Secretariat, and his office and seniors always supported him for Ramlilas. He added that he used his holidays for Ramlilas but if there was emergency in office, he also attended the office.



2 gangs of vehicle lifters busted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The crime branch of the UT police has busted two gangs of vehicle lifters. The six gang members arrested include a mechanic and a scrap dealer. As many as 27 two-wheelers were recovered from their possession.

Addressing a press conference here today, DSP Satbir Singh said the accused were found to be lifting two-wheelers from parking lots and then selling these to a mechanic in Mauli Jagran.

The four gang members included Parmod, Mangat Ram, Rajesh Kumar, all residents of Mauli Jagran, and Babla, a resident of Manimajra.

The two accused in the other gang have been identified as Gagandeep of Phase-I and Joshi Kumar, a resident of LBS colony, Sector 56.

Police officials said Parmod and Mangat used to lift two-wheeler from parking lots and residential areas. They used to sell these to Rajesh Kumar, a mechanic, who runs his shop named Partap Autos in Manimajra. The fourth accused Babla, a scrap dealer, had purchased a motorcycle from the duo. Satbir Singh said Parmod and Mangat were arrested on Sunday on the basis of certain information.

Eight two-wheelers were recovered from Partap Motor. The shop owner was arrested. “During interrogation, the accused revealed that 11 two-wheelers and three chassis were dumped near a school adjoining Partap Autos,” the DSP said.

The police further said that the accused also used to steal batteries and other spare parts of the two-wheelers. The DSP said the mechanic used to purchase the stolen scooters for Rs 5,000 and motorcycles at a cost of Rs 7,000 to 10, 000 depending on the condition of the vehicles. “Rajesh further used to dismantle the vehicles and sell the parts to customers visiting his shop.”

All accused are in police custody.



Road panel meeting
MC official’s absence annoys chairman
Cancels engagement; complains to Commissioner, seeks action
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
Attending scheduled committee meetings chaired by councillors is apparently not a priority with municipal corporation officials. This held true today after a peon of the road wing informed the chairman of the road committee that the secretary, Yogesh Gupta, was on leave and could not attend the meeting.

An enraged committee chairman, Bhupinder Singh Badheri, then cancelled the meeting and lodged a complaint in writing with MC Commissioner Prerna Puri, demanding action against the official for absenting himself from the meeting without informing the chairman or even the Chief Engineer, his own department head.

He alleged that the official was intentionally avoiding the meeting as the committee, during its previous two meetings, had asked him to furnish details regarding the number of labourers hired for the road wing and their strength in each ward of the corporation. However, no details had been submitted by him in this regard so far.

In the past also, some officials had absented themselves from committee meetings without informing the respective chairmen.

During one of the fire committee meetings, the official who was to table the details of the employees’ seniority list and their insurance case took leave without informing the officials of the corporation.

Similarly, the electricity committee chairman had sought details from MC officials regarding streetlight poles in the city and their monthly electricity bills in March.

The committee had also asked them to provide with data about the number of functional streetlights in the city. However, the officials concerned failed to table the information.

Humiliated by the attitude of the officials, the chairman had to climb down from her earlier query in the last meeting and asked them to provide data of just one month of streetlight bills rather than of one year.

‘Deliberate’ Act

The official was allegedly avoiding the meeting as the committee, during its previous two meetings, had asked him to furnish details regarding the number of labourers hired for the road wing and their strength in each ward of the corporation



Relief for CGHS beneficiaries
Can avail of specialised healthcare at Fortis from tomorrow
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
Thousands of central government employees and pensioners of the region can finally avail of specialised healthcare facilities with the Health Ministry approving the rate list for services available at Fortis Hospital in Mohali. It has taken nine months for the permission to come through.

Confirming the move, CGHS joint director SC Anand said: “We have received an email from the ministry and will issue a letter to Fortis Hospital tomorrow. All CGHS beneficiaries will be able to avail of services from Wednesday onwards.”

As per a letter issued by Jai Prakash, Under Secretary, Government of India, if the CGHS rate is not available for any of the services offered by Fortis, the rate notified for such services/procedure for the nearest CGHS city or Delhi shall be applicable here too.

It has also been clarified that for any day procedure requiring short admission (a few hours to one day) accommodation charges for one day as per entitlement will be applicable, provided the patient has been admitted to a room as per his/her entitlement. The other terms and conditions will remain unchanged.

With Fortis being empanelled for the CGHS, serving and retired central government employees and their families from the region will no longer have to go to Delhi to receive specialised healthcare. They can now undergo cardiovascular and cardiac surgeries, and investigation facility, besides nephrology, urology, chemotherapy and radiotherapy facilities here. 



Telecom standoff on as 2 pvt players yet to comply
BSNL restores services of Tata, Reliance after payment
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
Stalemate continues between cellular operators and state-owned telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) over the non-deposit of carriage charges, causing harassment to general public.

Even though the POI (point of interconnection) services to two cellular operators — Tata and Reliance — were restored last evening, the standoff continued between the BSNL and Bharti Airtel and Vodafone as they failed to deposit the carriage charges.

BSNL general manager, Chandigarh circle, Naresh Sharma said they were ready to restore the services to the other two operators, provided they came forward to deposit the money. He said Tata and Reliance had deposited the charges and their services were restored from midnight yesterday.

The BSNL had discontinued the services from September 29 midnight after the cellular operators failed to deposit a whopping Rs 1,800 crore as carriage charges with the BSNL, an official in the state-owned telecom operator said. The services remained affected till late in the evening. Not just outgoing calls from private telecom operators but even those made by BSNL subscribers to their near and dear ones using the mobile network of private operators were affected. As most emergency services, including the fire brigade, police control rooms and ambulances, were using BSNL landline phones, general public in distress could not make calls to seek help in emergency.

Rakesh Gupta, a resident of Sector 22, said the BSNL should have made the emergency landline numbers accessible to mobile users in the tricity so that they could seek these services while in distress. He said one of his relatives had met with an accident recently but despite repeated attempts he could not contact the ambulance service to get medical help from a city hospital.

Money Matters

 Even though the POI (point of interconnection) services to two cellular operators — Tata and Reliance — were restored on Sunday evening, the standoff continued between the BSNL and Bharti Airtel and Vodafone as they failed to deposit the carriage charges



Monday turns out to be tough day for commuters in Mohali
Pensioners, pharmacists, panchayat front, Bhullar supporters choose same day to protest
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 3
Commuters to and from Chandigarh faced the heat as chaos prevailed on roads leading to Mohali, with members of the Punjab Pensioners Association staging a dharna in support of their demands at the YPS chowk here today.

The problem was compounded after the Chandigarh Police blocked the Sector-51 road to prevent protesters from marching to Chandigarh, forcing commuters to use alternative roads to Mohali. Four organisations staged a dharna following the UT order, affecting the flow of traffic between Chandigarh and Mohali.

Activists of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani) marched to the UT border near the YPS chowk, demanding a Vidhan Sabha resolution to seek the release of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar.

Even as the police was busy controlling protesters at the Mohali-Chandigarh border, members of the Panchayat Joint Front and the Pharmacists Association staged a protest at the Phase-VIII traffic junction, affecting the flow of traffic on the main road from Phases V to XI.

The widening of the commercial street at Phase 3B2 added to commuters’ woes. “There was no cop to guide traffic. It took me 20 minutes to cover 500 metres,” said Anirudh of Sector 61.

Due to the lack of preparedness on part of the Mohali police, there was chaos on the road leading from Sector 61 to Phases 3B2 and VII. No cop was seen regulating traffic.

A number of school buses and ambulances could be seen stranded in traffic jams at junctions of Phases 3A, 3B2 and VII.

The road diversion plan was not put into action. The problem was also compounded due to the non-functional traffic lights.

A traffic jam at the Kharar-Mohali road due to road widening on Monday. a tribune photograph (2) Activists of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani) protest at the road separating Sectors 51 and 52 in Chandigarh on Monday. tribune photo: vicky gharu (3) Members of the Punjab Pensioners Association stage a dharna in support of their demands at the YPS chowk in Mohali on Monday. tribune photo: vicky gharu



Phase IIIA revisited: Same old story, no change in living conditions
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 3
Residents of Phase IIIA have lost the hope of seeing basic amenities in order. After broken roads, illegally parked ‘rehris’ of slum-dwellers and heaps of garbage were highlighted in these columns, nothing had changed.

Manjeet Sethi of the sector said after the publication of the news report, ‘safai karamacharis’ visited the area for two days, but after that things were back to square one, with no municipal corporation (MC) official visiting the area.

Residents of Nehru Colony, located next to Phase IIIA, was the biggest source of nuisance, causing security problems and unhygienic conditions.

Construction material for laying paver blocks was lying scattered for a month now, blocking half the road. MC executive officer Vijay Kumar said he would enquire from the executive engineer about the work.

The problem of illegal parking of luxury buses continued. Filth and drain water were seen again along the road near the petrol station where luxury buses were being washed everyday. Potholed roads and wild growth remained as before.



Ward watch
Basic Amenities give Ward Number 10 a miss
Condition of internal parks

A public park at Sector 42-A in Chandigarh in a pathetic shape . Tribune photos: S Chandan At every nook and corner of the ward, the work of developing a new green belt or park has commenced with the approval of the authorities. But, interestingly, contractors have not completed the work of a majority of the parks till date. Classic example of which is in Sector 41 where the contractor had dug up the park one year ago to lay the footpath and install underground wires for the streetlights in the park but till date work has been stalled without any scope of completion. Similar is the story of internal parks where the department had installed grills on the boundaries of the parks but rest of the area is in a shambles as wild grass and potholes of the park have not been take care of by anyone.

Blockage of sewers and bad condition of roads

Residents of Attawa village were happy when they came to know that an underground sewer system was being laid in their village, which will help in avoiding the day-to-day blockage of gullies due to throwing of garbage in open. But to their dismay, since the laying of underground sewer, problem of blockage has increased manifold and no MC official is bothering to resolve the grievance of the residents.

In Butrela village, the condition of people is also miserable because the work of making concrete streets in the village had been allotted in 2007 to a contractor, but till date the work has not been completed and no action has been taken against the contractor for inordinate delay.

Sanitation services

It seems that the garbage collection system in this ward has collapsed, as heaps of garbage and broken bins are seen all over the area. Neither MC sweepers nor door-to-door collection employees visit the area due to which residents are left with no choice but to dispose the garbage on roadside. A number of complaints had been made to officials concerned but all in vain.

Non-functional streetlights

In the last two years, lakhs of rupees have been spent by the area councillor and department concerned to get streetlights installed. But at present, about 60 per cent of the lights are non-functional due to technical faults or theft of wires by bad elements.

Stray animals

Tall claims of the MC of making the city free of stray animals are exposed in this ward, as stray dogs and cattle could be seen roaming freely near open garbage bins, parks and on the streets of the villages. The authorities might be louder in making claims that a number of camps had been organised to control movement of stray animals, the fact is that this ward is still facing same problems, which persisted five years ago.

Sectors 41, 42, Buterla and Attawa villages.
Voter’s population
Sector 41: 7,000
Sector 42: 6,000
Buterla: 5,000
Attawa: 6,000

Councillors: Bhupinder Singh Badheri (Senior Deputy Mayor in 2010)
Party: Congress
Ward development fund

Of Rs 130 lakh allotted in the past five years, Rs 127.65 lakh had been spent till March 2011.

Technical know-how

Didn’t respond to grievances of the residents, posted both on Facebook and on official e-mail address.

Questions asked in House in 2010

As he was holding the post of Senior Deputy Mayor in 2010, so he was not able to put any questions in the question hour.


Developed green belts in the ward, which was long-pending demand of the residents.

Installation of streetlights in various parts of the ward.

Laying of underground sewerage system in Attawa village.



Conference on cardiac sciences 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 3
The first global conference on cardiac sciences will be hosted by Fortis Hospital in Chandigarh on November 25 and 26.

The faculty expected to attend it will be from prominent institutes abroad, said Dr TS Mahant at a press conference here today.

There was a need for close co-ordination and an integrated approach between various specialities of cardiac techniques for delivering best services, he stated.

Dr Deepak Puri said the theme would be an integrated approach to the delivery of comprehensive cardiac care.



Trycity scan

Honda Brio launched
Honda Siel Cars India, leading manufacturer of premium cars in India, on Monday, launched its much-awaited small car, the Honda Brio (pronounced as Br-ee-o and means “energetic” and “cheerful” in Italian), in the Indian market. The car, offered as the perfect package for the new era, embodies the best of Honda’s technologies to deliver fun and agile driving, fuel-efficiency, spaciousness and safety. The Brio has a four cylinder 1.2-litre i-VTEC engine that delivers maximum output of 88 PS @ 6000 rpm and Torque of 109 Nm (11.2 kg-m) @ 4600 rpm, while giving an excellent fuel economy of 18.4 km/l, as per test data. Honda Brio comes with an efficient impressive interior design concept, which leverages its innovative packaging to offer occupants an open and spacious interior. Price of Honda Brio (ex showroom, Chandigarh) Variant ‘E’- Rs 3.99 lakhs, Variant ‘S’- Rs 4.39  lakhs, Variant ‘S (O)’- Rs 4.94 lakhs, Variant ‘V’- Rs 5.14 lakhs.

Senior citizens’ body
The following have been elected office-bearers of the Senior Citizens Welfare Association (Greater Chandiagrh): president- Santosh Walia; vice president- FS Chauhan; director organisation- Garnail Singh Sidhu; media- OP Mehta; welfare- Raksha Kataria; public relations- Kamla Mirchandani and general secretary- Pritpal Singh.

India Post, the largest distribution postal network in the world and MoneyGram International, the fastest growing global money transfer company, have joined hands here on Monday in the official launch ceremony. Harsh Lambah, MoneyGram’ senior regional director for South Asia was the chief guest on the occasion. Starting on Monday, 100 important post offices in Delhi, Punjab and Tamil Nadu circles will begin offering MoneyGram instant inward money transfer services. MoneyGram’s services will be extended to other post offices and circles in the country in a phased manner. The service is expected to be available in 5,000 post offices in the country by 2014. India Post and MoneyGram have planned a joint marketing endeavour in a number of states.

SL Garg, a former Chief Engineer irrigation, Punjab, and a former general manager of the Ranjit Sagar Dam Project has been elected President of Institution of Engineers (India) for the term 2012. He has also been nominated as a member, Advisory Board National Water Mission, by the Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India.

Self-service petrol pump
Indian Oil Corporation, the country’s largest state-owned retailer, launched the city’s first self-service fuelling facility at the City Service Centre, Sector 37, a press note issued here said on Monday. RK Arora, general manager, Punjab, said the customers would have the option of refueling their vehicles either through the pre-loaded automation tags or the manual option.

Plantation drive
At least 40 saplings were planted as a part of a tree plantation drive organised by the Yuva Dharti here on Monday. Anshuman Chaturvedi, president, said it was an effort to reduce pollution that would come as a part of the ongoing festival season, particularly because of crackers. The organisation, comprising youngsters below 16 years, “is fighting against global warming and pollution for the past two years and has planted more than 200 saplings in different parts of Tricity”.

Prohibitory orders
The ADM, Chandigarh Administration 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 from Sector 1 to 11, 16, 17 and Sector 34, Chandigarh, for a period of three days. Additional district magistrate ML Sharma issued prohibition orders as there are apprehensions that such groups and organisations may cause obstruction, annoyance, or injury, to the persons lawfully employed and endanger human life and property, disturb public peace and tranquility and cause riots and affrays. The above orders will not apply to processions or meetings for which prior permission in writing of the District Magistrate/ Sub Divisional Magistrate, Chandigarh, is obtained and the customary and ritualistic procession in connection with weddings and funerals.

Camp for making UID cards
The UIDAI in collaboration with the Union Bank on Monday organised a camp for making UID cards for the inmates of the Senior Citizens Home in Sector 43. Keshni Anand Arora and Vivek Kumar, deputy director general and assistant director general, respectively, were present on the occasion, Chandigarh Union Bank chief BB Mittal said the bank was keen on making the UID cards for all sections of society.

Birth registration
The office of the Registrar, births and deaths, has asked parents of all children below 15 years to register the names and dates of their children as soon as possible. The circular clearly reads that “As per the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969, there is no provision to register the name of the child after the completion of 15 years age by the child. The request for the birth certificate can be easily submitted to the office of Registrar Births and Deaths on any working day between 9.30 to 12.30 along with nominal fee fixed by the government. The requests can also be submitted through e-Samark Kendras near their residences during working hours as fixed by the e-Samark Kendras.

The local chapter of the All-India EPF Staff Federation, on Monday began a two-day protest programme wearing black badges in the city. The employees are demanding settlement of the grade pay revision, creation of staff as per SIU norms and for filling up of the vacant posts and other important issues. The employees will also protest on October 5

Employees’ protest
Members of the Electrical Workmen Union on Monday protested against the alleged misbehaviour of SDO Naresh Bhardwaj with trade mate Saligram. In a complaint to the Executive Engineer, the union alleged that the SDO also ordered Saligram to do a domestic chore on October 1. Thereafter Saligram was allegedly abused by the SDO. — TNS



Education Notes

Freshers’ party
Chandigarh: A
freshers’ party was organised at Sahibzada Ajit Singh Group of Institutes (SASGOI), Mohali. Navjeet Singh Gill and Shailza were adjudged Mr and Miss Fresher, respectively (MBA) and Jaskanwalpreet and Nancy were titled as Mr and Miss Fresher, respectively (MCA).

Message of Gandhi
The students of Paragon Senior Secondary School celebrated Gandhi Jayanti. Donald Mcavinchey, American Gandhi, along with international students. Donald gave the message to follow the path of non-violence. The students pledged to live a simple and truthful life.

Placement session
Rayat and Bahra Institute of Hotel Management has announced placement sessions for the 2012 batch. The sessions will start from October 10 and continue for five days. The sessions, which will go on till October 14 will include prominent hotel chains The Pride Group of hotels, The Hilton Group, JHM Interstate Group and Le Royal Meridian, Dubai.

Gandhi Jayanti celebrated
Ashmah International School, Sector 70, Mohali celebrated Gandhi Jayanti here on Monday. The purpose was to inculcate the spirit of peace, love and brotherhood among the students. Students were dressed in Khadi.

69 placed in MNC
An Indian multi-national company selected 69 Engineering and MCA students in a recent campus placement drive at Chandigarh Group of Colleges. — TNS



NSS Camp: Tips on anger management

Chandigarh October 3
A galvanising workshop on “Anger Management” was organised where experts demonstrated techniques for managing anger and stress on the third day of the NSS camp organised by MCM College at Badheri village.

On the third day of the camp, a yoga session was attended by over 80 volunteers at the Dev Samaj College for Women. A yoga session was held where Vijay Kumar Melhan taught the volunteers various asanas.

Geeta Bhagat, assistant professor, department of psychology, MCM College, emphasised on the necessity of practicing self restraint and subduing one’s outrage for one’s own mental well being and for maintaining and promoting a healthy environment around oneself. — TNS



CBSE’s nod to visually impaired-friendly scheme
To replace practical exam with MCQs after class X
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
In a bid to facilitate and encourage visually impaired students to take science stream after class X, the Central Board of Secondary Education has decided to replace practical examination with multiple choice questions (MCQ) for hundreds of candidates across the region.

According to the new ‘visually impaired’ friendly scheme which will be implemented for students of class XI from 2012 and for students of class XII from 2013, the Board will provide separate question papers in lieu of practical containing multiple choice questions based on practical content.

“ More and more visually impaired students are opting for our board and we have time and again received requests to find a suitable substitute of practical activity for them. Following months of deliberations, we have finalised the plan and it will on one hand aid these students who are unable to take practical exams on the other hand it will ensure that they do not miss the board examination. It will not only aid the candidates unable to exercise practical components of science subjects but will also ensure that they don’t miss the inferences as the MCQs will be practical based,” CBSE regional Director RJ Khanderao said.

Meanwhile, the board has also decided to have separate question papers for the science trio and mathematics for these students to do away with the visual-based questions.

“ Many questions in these subjects are based on diagrams and graphs and it is a big hassle to change these questions for candidates so we will be setting separate papers for such candidates. The board is out to ensure that visual impairment does not hamper students’ interest in these courses,” added Khanderao.



Now at DPS, boy of class VIII ‘sexually harasses’ class-V student
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
In a shocking incident, a class-VIII boy of DPS School, Sector 40, was suspended by the school and eventually withdrawn by his parents following a complaint of having allegedly ‘sexually harassed’ a class-V girl student.

School authorities insisted that the girl had approached them accusing the boy of having ‘misbehaved’ with her few days ago. The school principal was said to be away to the UK at that time.

Meanwhile, the parents of the girl approached the police accusing the boy of sexual harassment. According to the complaint, the boy had ‘harassed’ the girl in the school corridor while she crossed him on her way downstairs. The boy, on his part, insisted that he had accidentally brushed against her when he went to her floor to drink water from the cooler.

Sector 39 Station House Officer Charanjeet Singh said that the police was verifying the facts. At the same time, parents of the girl have accused the school authorities of hushing up the matter. Principal Reema Dewan said the school was following all laid down norms.

“I got to know of the incident when I was in the UK for official work. The moment I came back and got to know of the police enquiry I suspended the boy for indefinite period till the truth was established. The parents of both children were summoned and the boy’s parents eventually voluntarily withdrew the boy. The school did what was required to ensure a sense of security among students,” said Dewan.

The incident comes close to the heels of infamous molestation at St. Stephens where a class VI girl student accused her classmates of molesting her for the past 3 years with the help of school employees. Both the incidents have left counsellors and educationist shocked who feel that a through review and counselling of students was required to maintain the sanctity of co -educational institutions.



Paying fee a cumbersome task at PU
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, October 3
Despite tall claims, Panjab university has consistently failed to do away with long beelines at its fee counters. Today, students from far-flung areas of Punjab who came to the university campus to pay their fees had to face hours of virtual turmoil.

Hundreds of students who are appearing as private candidates for various courses were a harried lot today as they had to wait for hours to pay their 
fee at the SBI counter even as the date was extended to October 10 eventually.



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