C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Pandemonium marks PU Senate meeting
None of 85 items, part of supplementary agenda, come up for consideration at 8-hour meeting
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Despite having teachers, principals and distinguished luminaries as its fellows, the Panjab University Senate today once again showcased its penchant for sheer indiscipline which over the past some time has become its hallmark. The expected decorum went for a toss for a major part of the day’s proceedings.

Unchecked screaming, shouting and hurling allegations at each other was central to the proceedings of the eight-hour meeting. None of the more than 85-odd items, which formed part of the supplementary agenda, came up for consideration of the house.

Instead of any academic issue, members continued to argue on the interpretation of the UGC guidelines on appointments. After a detailed discussion extending to more than three hours, confusion continued to prevail. Some said the Vice-Chancellor (VC) gave in to demand of the house majority, others said a committee had been formed on the issue. The VC did not comment on the issue.

Ashok Goyal claimed that the VC had consistently superseded the authority of the Senate by not seeking its approval on vital issues. Members objected to him being allowed to raise questions without question hour. This was soon followed by a heated discussion on the consideration of “Non-Net cleared PhD candidates” for various faculty positions.

The meeting, which started on an appreciatory note with Sobti thanking Minister for Parliamentary affairs Pawan Bansal for his efforts in the project of PU dream project of Science city soon turned into a free for all. Local Member of Parliament Pawan Bansal, a former MP, Satya Pal Jain and a former VC, Prof RP Bambah asked the house to show decorum, separately, but to no avail.

While RC Sobti levelled allegations against senators for “intentionally targeting” him. Arguing on behalf of the chair, Jain said, “The issue on hand concerns the welfare of teachers and it is not in a good taste if any decision is taken with the VC’s dissent. You all are academicians teaching discipline to students. So it needs to be observed here tooin arriving on a consensus,” said Jain.

VC chivvied

Jinke ghar sheeshe ke hote hain, voh doosron ko pathar nahi marte”. Senators have no right to scream at me or level personal allegations against me. After all, I can take things to a limit only. I have just seven months to go so they are trying to blame me for everything. You are not thankful for what I have done to the university.

RC Sobti

The brick drama

Senator HS Ghosal literally stole the show on Sunday when he apprised the House of the “substandard construction” at the PU by breaking bricks in the House. This left all, including Sobti, furious who marked an immediate inquiry into the matter. He even asked the building committee to get an external inspection committee to inspect the material bought and construction sites. He also said that the ‘tainted’ XEN Satish Padam was responsible for it, as an auditorium constructed under his supervision recently had started to deteriorate.



Conman held with cloned credit, debit cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The police today arrested a conman with duplicate debit and credit cards from his possession which were being used by him during his shopping spree across the city during the ongoing festival season.

The police is yet to confirm the details of the modus operandi of 24-year-old Mukul Garg, a resident of Ludhiana. Conceding the fact that the accused was using a number of cloned cards, police sources said “as of now, we cannot comment on technical details as to how he was using the fake credit and debit cards”.

The police also received a complaint from a Jaipur resident who reported that an amount of Rs 7,500 had been siphoned off from his debit card without his knowledge. The debit card was found to have been swiped at a mobile shop in the city by the accused.

The police acted on information from a particular shopkeeper about a single person making shopping deals in different parts of the city. Sensing a missing link during his dealing with the particular shopkeeper, the police was informed about the visitor. He was caught after the police followed the lead and caught him driving his Alto Car PB-10-CR-5847.

Following police intervention, at least eight different cards were recovered from his possession. All cards were suspected to have been cloned.

Sub-Inspector Rajiv Kumar, in charge, Sector 22 police post, said besides duplicate debit and credit cards, the police also recovered five fake licences from him, which have his photograph but different names. In addition, the police also found him in possession of fake passes of Metro train and a number of mobiles, which he purchased making use of the cloned debit cards.

The police arrested the youth and a case of cheating under Section 420 of the IPC was registered at the Sector 17 police station. He was produced in court and remanded to four days’ police custody. “It is a mystery why he purchased so many mobile phones and SIM cards making use of cloned cards and how he managed to make them in duplicate. We are investigating,” added Rajiv Kumar.



Admn continues to flout high court directions
Not allowing property sale without NOC from Estate Office
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The UT Administration is continuing to flout directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court by not permitting the sale of property without a no objection certificate (NOC) from the Estate Office. This is in clear violation of the court, which has ruled out the need for obtaining prior permission of the Allotment Authority.

Yet the fact remains that citizens are required to engage with different wings of the administration to obtain an NOC. This, in turn, has provided an opportunity to officials concerned to seek bribe.

Senior officials in the UT Administration are ignorance personified. Their response is a standard “I will look into this”. Says UT’s Finance Secretary V.K.Singh, “I am unaware about the requirement of an NOC. However, I will go through the details,” he added. Interestingly, this system is not in practice in New Delhi and several other states.

But then there are UT Administration officials who offer the ‘perfect’ justification. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior official said the exercise of giving an NOC was to certify to prospective buyers that the property he or she was seeking to buy had a legal, monetary and official clearance. Yet, he went on to concede that they had no official order sanctioning the issuance of an NOC. “This is only an “executive order.”

Property agents in the city are not amused. “It is surprising how the administration continues to flout the orders of the court. When we bring the existing court orders to the attention of the authorities, we are asked to approach the court again,” said Amarjit Sethi, a property dealer.

Says Ranjodh Singh, another property dealer, “The existing system is nothing more than a medium by certain officials to get their palms greased. Getting a file cleared can take anything between two days to two months depending on
the urgency expressed by the applicant.”

It has been pointed out that the Estate Office sometimes dragged the case on issues like improper basements or balconies, besides certain financial issues.

High Court Order, Nov 1999

 "There is no provision under the Act which prohibits the sale of property allotted to a person without the prior permission of the Allotment Authority. There is no such condition under the Act or Rules that the original allotment letter should be placed on record before the property is sold nor permission of the authority is required for the sale of property - A conveyance deed duly executed held to be valid."


All that ‘glitters’ is not gold
With the serving class population comprising domestic servants, labourers, drivers, vendors, cobblers, tailors, janitors, waiters, chefs, plumbers and electricians living in hellish conditions, one can say only one thing about the City Beautiful ...
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Have you ever wondered where does the waiter serving you in an affluent restaurant lives? Or, from where does the maid washing utensils in your kitchen comes from? ….. The answer lies in the lesser visited and unknown underbelly of the City Beautiful-colonies and slums comprising narrow filthy lanes and garbage scattered all around the area. 

Every morning Ramesh (named changed) dresses smartly and rides his two-wheeler after cleaning the dust gathered on it from Dhanas Colony near Sector 38 towards one of the city’s foremost hotels located in one of the poshest part of the city (name withheld to protect his identity) where he works as a chief chef. Ramesh has expertise in cooking Indian food and monitors all food items cooked in the kitchen. After going through his daily routine and cooking delicious food for scores of people, Ramesh heads home late in the evening. As he is about to reach home, the surroundings start changing-dirty lanes and heaps of garbage is what greets a tired Ramesh day after day to the locality he resides in.

Ramesh is among thousands of such serving class population comprising domestic servants, construction labour, drivers, vendors, cobblers, tailors, janitors, waiters, chefs, plumbers, electricians and others residing in the city’s 18 colonies located in the periphery of the city. 

This is the ugly side to the City Beautiful, the clichéd expression used for the country’s first planned city. And most residents shy away from admitting it. However, the denial cannot change the fact that the city’s slums are full of people who continue to reside in poverty and have no access to primary education, health services and a clean environment. Yet, they form an integral part of our daily life. 

Colonies in the city, including Mauli Jagran, Dhanas, Dadu Majra, Ram Darbar, Palsora, Bapu Dham, Colony No. 4 and Colony No. 5 located at a distance of not more than a few kilometres from affluent sectors clearly shows the contrast between the two segments. Indeed, the underbelly of the city reflects a picture of complete contrast of what it is known for. 

Most of the families residing in these colonies are living in a two-room dwelling, some with illegal floors, otherwise intended for one. These are the fortunate ones. They at least have houses. Many maids, gardeners and people working in shops on whom the city's population depends are living in slums with no proper sanitation, water or electricity. 

Shanti, a maid working in various houses in Sector 15, resides in a colony at Sector 25. Every morning she visits four houses where apart from dish washing she also has the responsibility of sweeping the parking area outside the house. But when it comes to her own house, it is pointless sweeping even a few metres in front of the small wooden door of her house which is next to a dusty lane that leads to the colony. 

The Sector 25 colony presents a brighter picture as a ‘cheap pocket’ located in the midst of an expensive Chandigarh where one can reside for as low as Rs 2,000 per month. Expectedly, it is no paradise; it has an inadequate water supply and toilet facilities which worsen during monsoon. And the resultant unhygienic environment poses a serious threat to public and personal health.

They work in luxury, but live in penury


Sikander (47), an auto driver, starts his day early in the morning to earn his living. He starts his day dropping schoolchildren to their respective schools and gets down to transporting passengers across the city. Sikander has six kids and lives in a two-room apartment with a stamp sized kitchen at Dadu Majra for which he pays Rs 4,000. Considering that he earns just Rs 8,000 a month, his eldest daughter, barely out of her teens, augments his income by running a beauty parlour in one of the two rooms of their house. His house is surrounded by dirty lanes and a stinking garbage dump that typifies the city’s colonies. Yet Sikander is happy living there as this is the best he is able to afford

Sikander, auto driver 


Johnny is a well-known painter, who for the past 15 years has been painting houses belonging to businessmen, bureaucrats and other responsible members of the government. His ‘golden hands’ are believed to put life in the walls of houses. After working for 10 hours, Johnny returns home in Mauli Jagran, a colony located in one corner of the city. Bumpy roads inside the colony are in complete contrast to the city’s roads. Johnny’s two-room house and a kitchen, which hardly has space for one to stand, is where he spends the rest of his day only to get ready the next morning for work. The doors of the small houses open to narrow lanes with garbage littered all around and a permanent stench in the air. But Johnny feels lucky that he at least has a house to live

Johnny, painter 


For 40-year-old Santosh, a mother of two children, life in a colony at Sector 25 starts early in the morning as she is required to work in various homes as a domestic help. Her responsibilities include cleaning homes and washing dishes. Although she cleans houses, the area in which she resides presents a complete contrast to her ‘workplace’. One has to cross a crowded stretch of a broken dirty lane that comprises people seated on the roadside and selling vegetables in order to reach her house. Although Santosh loves to decorate her house and keep it clean, the dirty surroundings is a stark reminder of where she lives. The colony comprises illegally constructed tiny shanties, some of them rented out. Residents are forced to live in unhealthy surroundings with no proper arrangement for streetlights and garbage disposal

Santosh, domestic maid


Every morning, Ram Lal wears a white shirt and black trousers before pedalling down from his home in Dhanas on his rusty cycle to a leading and one of the oldest hotels in the city where he works as a waiter. The hours he spends in the hotel involves interacting with numerous customers first taking their orders and them serving a range of fast food items. Ram Lal spends his day in the air-conditioned restaurant with clean surroundings. Late in the evening, Ram Lal goes home in Dhanas located near Sector 38. After cycling through clean roads of the City Beautiful, he finds himself entering narrow lanes full of dust and filth all around to reach his house that accommodates his family with three children. His surroundings comprise overflowing garbage bins with waste strewn all around and dirty lanes and parks. The stink of garbage makes living tougher for the residents. Ram Lal is one among hundreds of waiters who reside in unhygienic conditions in the colonies of the City Beautiful

Ram Lal, waiter


The story of this carpenter is no different. Every day he leaves for work from his house in Vikas Nagar, a low lying colony comprising small houses located near the railway tracks, where locating a house in the dark is tough.

Despite the colony being sans basic facilities such as streetlights, a drainage system, sewerage and a garbage disposal system, the colony hardly has any accommodation available to rent out. There are also many shanties that do not have a sewerage system and drinking water

Suraj, carpenter


Open House question 

l Having a close look at the living conditions of people in the underbelly of the Union Territory, what do you think are the missing links?
l Write to the openhouse@tribunemail.com <mailto:openhouse@tribunemail.com> 



Garbage Plant ‘playing havoc’ with health of area residents
BJP gets a medical camp conducted to prove its point
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
If the findings of a medical camp organised by the BJP’s Pharmaceutical Cell in Dadu Majra today are any indication, the Municipal Corporation’s Garbage Disposal Plant, operated by Jaypee Associates could be playing havoc with the health of residents of the area.

The medical examination conducted at a medical camp, organised in wake of the Chandigarh Tribune’s report, “Garbage Plant Processing Ailments” (October 13), revealed that as many as 500 people examined there were either suffering from respiratory disorders or skin allergies. The figures are quite startling as 213 persons were diagnosed with respiratory problems and 160 with skin allergies.

While the doctors, physician Dr SK Bhandari of the Community Health Centre, Sector 22, Dr Bhushan Kumar, former head of dermatology, department of PGI, and eye specialist Dr Vikrant from Mirchia Institute, who examined the patients, refused to categorically say that these ailments were due to the pollution caused from the garbage disposal plant they were candid in mentioning that “unhygienic” conditions do cause such problems.

Talking to The Tribune Bhushan said 160 patients with skin disorders were suffering from scabies, acne and eczema. He said, “Unhygienic condition is one the reasons for scabies, a contagious disease spreads very fast in crowded areas”. Unhygienic conditions were also responsible for the spread of eczema and other skin related problems, he added. The medical examinations also revealed that 130 persons were suffering from eye problems. Bhandari said several people were also diagnosed with cough and cold and he attributed this to the prevailing weather.

Interestingly, while the Congress councillors, including former Mayor Kamlesh are the ones who have been vociferously opposing the garbage plant, the BJP has taken a lead in organising a medical camp and lending some credence to the claims of the residents about ailments caused by pollution from the plant. Even the UT administration has done nothing in this regard and has not conducted any health survey in the area for quite some time despite people claiming an increase in health-related problems.



Mayor Pali passes the buck to BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Ahead of the Municipal Corporation elections, the Congress leaders are blaming the BJP for setting up the garbage processing plant and have promised the residents of Dadu Majra that the MC will not hesitate to shut the plant if it did not function properly. The MC Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh Pali made the announcement at the inauguration of the Community Centre.

Pali passing the buck to the opposition said that the councillor’s from the Congress were not in favour of setting-up a garbage-processing plant at Dadu Majra until the company ensured that the plant would work properly. Although the Congress is in power in the House from the past 10 years, Pali surprisingly blamed senior officials of the UT administration and the opposition for inaugurating the plant without even considering the demand of the Congress councillors for inaugurating the plant after proper inspection.

“On the day of inauguration Pardeep Chabbra who was then Mayor of the MC, didn’t attend the function and it was Harjinder Kaur who sat on the Mayor’s seat. I can also show the pictures to establish my claims”, the Mayor claimed.

The Mayor promised the gathering that the MC was ready to shut the plant if it didn’t function properly. “We have directed the operators of the plant to instal heat generator that would burn the garbage. They need to install it before October 31 or else their contract would be terminated”, Pali said.

Pawan Kumar Bansal, local MP, in his speech also blamed the opposition for inaugurating the plant without proper inspection. 



Black flags greet Pawan Bansal at community centre
Tribune News Service

Protesters detained by the Chandigarh Police for staging a protest outside the Dadu Majra community centre in Dadu Majra, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
Protesters detained by the Chandigarh Police for staging a protest outside the Dadu Majra community centre in Dadu Majra, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Tribune Photos By- S Chandan.

Chandigarh, October 16
inauguration of a community centre at Dadu Majra by local MP Pawam Kumar Bansal was marked with a protest staged by BJP supporters with black flags on his arrival. The supporters raised slogans against the Congress and the MP asking him to leave the venue, later the police detained the protesters.

Sensing that there would be a protest, the security was already beefed-up by the Chandigarh police much before the MP reached the venue. All the lanes leading to the community centre was blocked by the police and cops were deployed on the rooftop of the house and the community centre to keep aerial vigil.

As soon Bansal’s convoy arrived at the venue, the BJP supporters moved out of the narrow lanes of the locality where they were positioned much in-advance to show black flags to Bansal, by jumping the police security. However, before the protesters could reach near the MP’s vehicle the police and Congress supporters began moving the agitated protesters back.

Pamphlet criticising the Congress were also thrown in air by the protesters.

The black flags were pulled-down by the police, meanwhile seven protesters were detained to avoid any untoward incident who were later released after a warning.

Fearing more protests, the road leading to the venue was blocked by the police even for the local residents till Bansal left the venue. The security at the other two venues at Dadu Majra where inaugurations were to be made by the MC Mayor, was also beefed-up.



GMADA may jump deadline
Tribune News Service

A view of the upcoming air-conditioned bus terminal-cum-commercial complex at Sector 57
A view of the upcoming air-conditioned bus terminal-cum-commercial complex at Sector 57 in Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, October 16
City residents will have to wait for another two more months before they are able to board a bus from the upcoming air-conditioned bus stand in Sector 57 here.
Reason-the October 31 deadline set by the state government to make the first phase of the bus stand operational is nearing and the work is still on. “It is likely to take at least another one-and-half month or so to make the first phase operational,” pointed out sources in the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA).

Col CVS Sehgal (retd), project manager of the C and C Construction, was not available for comments.

The multi-storey bus stand-cum-commercial complex coming up along the Chandigarh-Kharar section of the national highway will have a night parking facility for 98 buses. There will be 50 bays, waiting lounges, online booking facility, food courts, restaurants and an electronic display board.

The Rs-500 crore complex will have 17 storeys, a 10-screen cineplex, a high-end shopping mall and a luxury hotel. There will be a three-layer underground car parking, capable of accommodating 2,100 vehicles.

The bus stand was in news recently when a portion of the building caved in. But GMADA officials had then stated that it was not going to affect the schedule of the completion of the project. 



Architects’ festival concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The three-day Young Architects Festival (YAF) 2011, a national-level event of the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA), which concluded here today, saw the participation of over 1,000 architects.

According to Surinder Bahga, chairman of the Chandigarh-Punjab Chapter of the IIA, besides a conference "Archibuild 2011", an exhibition on building material and technologies was organised in collaboration with the PHDCCI. Besides, an exhibition on "Contextual architecture: An Indian experience", a travelling exhibition on contemporary architecture, was organised at Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10. 



Sand quarrying continues unabated
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 16
The district administration and Punjab forest department seem to have turned a blind eye to sand quarrying, especially being done in the delisted area.
The practice is causing loss to the ecology of fragile Shivalik Hills.

A majority of quarrying takes place in different places spread across 15km north of the city beyond the PGIMER.

Despite the Supreme Court imposing a ban on commercial exploitation of the delisted areas under the Punjab Land Preservation Act, repeated complaints of quarrying keep pouring in from residents of these areas.

In a recent incident, three tractor trailers were caught lifting sand from Singadevi area. Drivers of the vehicles were let off after a senior BJP leader of the area came out in their support. Those indulging in sand mining claimed that the sand was being removed from the delisted areas.

Last year, the Union Forest Ministry had stopped the work of widening of the Chandigarh-Mullanpur road as the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) had failed to get clearance for a section of road that had been delisted from the PLPA.

While the forest officials have been passing the buck on the mining department and the district administration. In the process, truckload of sand was being illegally removed from ecologically fragile forest area with no department ready to check the activity.

Conservator of forest Parveen Kumar in a meeting chaired by the chief secretary said instructions were passed to the departments concerned to act as custodians of the area.

The demarcation of the land in Nayagaon and Nada had been done and the exercise to demarcate the remaining land in the state was still in progress.

The activity gains importance in context of massive urbanisation boom in Chandigarh’s periphery.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Mohali Vishal Chauhan said the department had been acting against violators, who removed sand from the forest area. Complaints of quarrying had been received right from Nayagoan-Nada area to Perch, Seonk, Jyanti Majri, Mullanpur, Kasauli, Parol, Nagal and Siswan villages. At some places, the indiscriminate quarrying had left 10 to 15 feet deep craters in the rivulets.

Economics of illegal quarrying

Inquiry revealed that after arranging quarrying machinery, an operator of this illegal trade removes sand from rivulets and ferries it to the construction site at a rate of around Rs 2,500 per 150 cubic feet. Due to large-scale urbanisation in Chandigarh’s periphery, the demand for sand has gone up suddenly, resulting in a number of people jumping into the business.



Over 1 lakh forms sold
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 16
With seven days left for closing the Mullanpur eco city scheme, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has till date sold off over 1.10 lakh forms. Going by the response, demand of another 20,000 forms was expected over the next week by the time the scheme closes on October 21.

Though officially no figures were available with GMADA regarding the number of applications received by the authority, sources said while 400 persons had already applied online from outstations, at least 70 per cent of the buyers of application forms were expected to apply. Compared to the Aerocity project that had attracted over 3 lakh forms, eco city is expected to attract lesser number of forms due to the stringent eligibility conditions fixed by GMADA.

After the transfer of Estate Officer Balbir Singh, the work of handling eco city has been entrusted to Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) Hargunjit Kaur.

Compared to the Aerocity project when a number of banks fleeced applications by adopting unfair practices in retaining the earnest money of the applications financed, this time the banks are promising to refund a portion of interest charged on the financed earnest money subject to refund by GMADA. To gain confidence of the applicants, the State Bank of India (SBI) has taking credit for its policy to refund portion of the earnest money in case of Aerocity.

This time GMADA has announced to hold the draw of lots within one month of closing the scheme. The scheme closes on October 22 and draw of lots would be held on November 30. Accordingly, GMADA will be refunding the earnest money within a few days from the date of draw of lots.

GMADA officials are very particular about mentioning the date wise schedule of the entire process, the banks should have no problem in refunding the earnest money to the applicants.



Gangster was involved in murder bid also: Police
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 16
The notorious gangster Atul who fired on the car of local builder Anil Kumar Bhalla last month for ransom was also involved in an attempt to murder case on Ambala Central Jail DSP Sanjay Bangar on October 5 last year. This was claimed by the CIA staff of local police here today. Atul is on judicial remand and lodged at Ambala Centrail Jail since last month.

CIA inspector Karamvir said the local police got Atul Verma, a resident of Surajpur, along with his accomplice Aneesh on production warrant for investigation into a case relating to the theft of a car. During investigation, Atul revealed that he along with Bunty Parcha and Vijay Lalla, both from Meerut, fired upon DSP Sanjay Bangar on the night of October 5 last year when he was going to his house located near the jail in Ambala City.

Bangar escaped unhurt in the incident while all three accused managed to flee. They tried to kill Bangar at the instance of Bunty, another gangster lodged at Ambala jail, said Karamvir.



Vendors not issued receipts for installing stalls

Chandigarh, October 16
High drama was witnessed at Apni Mandi in Sector 34 today, when Councillor AP Sanwaria on a checking spree found that the vegetable vendors were not issued a receipt by the contractor for installing their stalls.

Sanwaria said that at 6 pm he went to Apni Mandi and found that none of the vendors operating their stalls was issued a receipt. “According to the rules by 3 pm all vendors should pay the amount and take the receipt for installing their stalls, however, even in the evening, nobody had the receipt”, Sanwaria said, who is also a member of Apni Mandi committee.

Sanwaria said that the contractors were allotted contracts of the Apni Mandi and they had to charge a particular amount for installing stalls from the vendors, a percentage of which was to be paid to theMunicipal Corporation, however the contractors even after charging the money don’t issue receipts to the vendors in order to make profit. Sanwaria said that they would be carrying more such checks in Apni Mandi’s in future. The matter was also reported to the MC commissioner. — TNS



Syndicate meeting
University accused of ‘selling’ additional seats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Contrary to its tall claims of being against the commercialisation of education, Panjab University has not only charged late fee of Rs 1,800 from the students applying for additional seats provided to colleges recently but has even asked them to cough development funds worth Rs 5,000.

Rabinder Nath Sharma who condemned the sale of seats brought the issue to the fore at Panjab University Senate today.

“What is the fault of students if the addition of these seats was elayed. These seats have unfortunately come to be dubbed as management seats, which are being sold rather than being given to meritorious students,” He said.

Infuriated by this, Vice Chancellor RC Sobti claimed that he had to generate funds to provide pensions or other benefits to the faculty, which left the House in an uproar.

Senate member Ashok Goyal claimed that the faculty was not dependent on the Rs 6,800 of students for benefits like pension as they were mandated by law and would be provided even if the university went bankrupt. The college representatives demanded the university to sanction all seats at one go rather than giving additional seats from time to time. Sobti refusing to refund student’s money said that this would be abolished from next year.

PU gives personal hearing to ‘corrupt’ official
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
In what is being dubbed as a ‘shielding’ exercise, the Panjab University Senate has decided to give Satish Padam, executive engineer with the Panjab University (PU) a personal hearing before reacting to CBI’s request for starting prosecution proceedings against him. Sleuths of the Central Bureau of Investigation had apprehended Padam last year in July on charges of demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 32,000. Padam’s accomplice Nand Lal Kaushal, a subdivisional officer, was also booked in the case.

While the bureau submitted all evidences, including his call details which proved him guilty, the university on one pretext or other has deferred the prosecution raising many a eyebrows. While some senate members wanted CBI request to be approved, GK Chatrath said that he deserved a chance to explain as there were a lacunae in the complaint.



PhD versus UGC NET
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Are PhD qualified candidates who have not cleared UGC NET eligible for the post of assistant professors (lecturers) in Panjab University?

The questions rocked Panjab University Senate meeting today where heated arguments, allegations, a free for all and a three-hour prolonged ‘discussions’ failed to yield any result as Vice Chancellor RC Sobti refused to divulge his or House’s stand on the same.

The high drama which overshadowed the senate leading to its conclusion without completion of the upplementary agenda started when college representatives like Dr Gill, IS Sandhu and Kuldeep Singh claimed that the recruitments in colleges were suffering due to misinterpretation of the UGC Act by the university.

While Dharinder Tayal who interpreted it in English supported the colleges, Gurmeet Singh who gave a Hindi interpretation supported the VC’s stand on considering the NET compulsory.

The discussion left the VC harried who was literally pleading for dicipline in the House. Though on suggestion of some members like RP Bhamaba the VC constituted a committee to interpret the recommendations the college representatives mooted a resolution on their stand and claimed it to be passed even as the house and teachers were left in dark over the final status. Meanwhile, following the high court orders the PU has stayed all appointments under ST category.


I will not say anything on this as discussion was hijacked by few members. No resolution is passed and no decision has been taken on this

— RC Sobti, VC, PU.


On one hand, they break bricks to show the substandard construction on the other hand they are shielding the corrupt official behind it. If Satish is not guilty then he will get a chance to prove so in the court we cannot be shielding people proved guilty with evidence it negates our transparency and upright endeavours

— Rc Sobti, Vice Chancellor


CVC guidelines mandate initiation of prosecution proceedings in such a case within three months but the university has been sitting on an issue for almost an year. As per the norm, proceedings are initiated on the basis of evidences proving the accused guilty and not on any personal hearings or representations

— Mahesh Aggarwal, DIG, CBI, Chandigarh zone 



Grading system on the anvil
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16 
Taking a cue from The Central Board Of Secondary Education, Panjab University is all set to introduce grading system for all postgraduate courses this year to curtail re-evaluation requests and enhance placement opportunities for various students. The 9 -point grade system, which forms the part of the semester system introduced this year will prove to be a milestone even though some toppers will loose their sheen. 

In addition to this the Senate has also restricted the re-evaluation upto two papers to decrease the burden on examining body. The semester system, which though is being dubbed as a revolutionary step created ripples as senators accused the Vice-Chancellor of going ahead in anticipation of the approval.

“ It is a sheer mockery of the House. The semester system has already been imposed in April itself and exams are due in November but we are getting the request for approval now. No rule allows the Vice-Chancellor to implement such major decisions without our approval. What if we refuse to approve? We will now have to do it just for the sake of students which is unjustified,” said a college representative.



PU not centrally funded, still an ‘inter-state’ body
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
In a starling revelation, which left the Panjab University Senate surprised, PUTA president Dr Akshay Kumar claimed that PU was still an inter-state body corporate rather than a centrally funded university as professed by Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti for almost a year now.

Saying that PUTA representatives had visited the MHRD he said that officials had clarified that though the UGC would take care of PU’s budget but its officials status was still not centrally funded which made faculty devoid of benefits like enhancement of retirment age from 60 to 65 years.

He also claimed that while the university records claimed that a request for enhancement age had been sent thrice and Sobti confessed to have taken it up in person with the MHRD never got it and it was only two days ago that PUTA submitted it to the ministry.

“We have been befooled and the VC has played with the aspirations of hundreds of teachers. We asked for letter from the MHRD under the RTI but were informed that they never got any such request while we got its copy from the registrar’s office,” said Akshay.

Senator Ashok Goyal questioned Vice-Chancellor authority to have even made a request on the issue without the approval or knowledge of the Senate. Sobti marked an enquiry to find what lead to the failure of submission of the request in the MHRD.



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