C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


RTE on from 2012-13 in UT
Child-mapping results in a week; Proposed remunerations Rs 1,163
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
After long-drawn sessions of arguments spread over two years, discussions, controversies and unceremonious stripping of the charge of former Education Secretary Ram Niwas, the UT Education Department and private schools have reached a consensus on the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act from the forthcoming academic session.

At a meeting held between education secretary VK Singh and representatives of private schools, it was decided that, while the education department would upload its child-mapping results within a week, schools, on their behalf, will reserve 25 per cent of their seats for children belonging to disadvantaged groups.

The AG office has communicated a monthly reimbursement of Rs 1,163 per child, which will be given to these schools. Schools have not yet been informed and their feedback will be taken before a formal decision in this regard.

A decision is also awaited on the age criteria for the admission of the deserving children. Principals of some of the minority institutions said they were not covered under the RTE Act. The Education Secretary said, “These institutions had gone to the court, however, there is no stay order.”

Nursery admission streamlined

Thousands of parents are bound to heave a sigh of relief as the UT government and private schools will now have a common date for admissions for the nursery class. The schools who will be displaying list of selected candidates between January 10 to January 15 will give a minimum of 10 days time to deposit fee. The move will give parents enough time to make final choice and avoid submitting and losing fee in multiple schools. The schools will submit the details of age criteria being followed in their respective schools as a pre-hand exercise.

It was reassuring to see a proactive approach by the Education Department with the Education Secretary along with the DPI and DEO addressing concerns of most of us engaged with the task of imparting education that is relevant to the new millennium child. One hopes that the effort to make it inclusive, incorporating views of school principals, echoing sentiments of parents and keeping in mind the needs of children, this approach will only get strengthened. Meetings and government orders are all very well but they ultimately have to translate into ground-level action. We have to move very fast to remodel our education system, our admission procedures, our curricula and examination criteria to what the world is following. We can no longer afford to be complacent in our own safe cocoon.

Atul Khanna, director, Strawberry Fields School

The dark clouds which shadowed education scenario have now cleared. The UT had promised to fulfill all its responsibilities as demanded by the RTE and we shall proceed with reserving the seats from this year.

HS Mamik, president, Independent School Association

We are not foes but stakeholders driven by the common goal of educated students. We have had long discussions and worked out a middle path. The RTE is on for 2012-13.

VK Singh, Education Secretary



Accident scene reconstructed
Parents relive the trauma
Tribune News Service

Balwinder Singh and Gurvinder Kaur, parents of Gagandeep Singh.
Balwinder Singh and Gurvinder Kaur, parents of Gagandeep Singh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, October 19
As parents of the 20-year-old student relived the haunting moment when their only son Gagandeep Singh was killed in an accident two years ago, the reconstruction of the accident scene near Kiran Cinema in Sector 22 today brought to life bitter memories.

A team of the Haryana police today reconstructed the accident scene in which the student had died after being hit by a car being driven by a UT police sub-inspector on June 27, 2009.

The case, which was closed by the UT police as it failed to take any action against the accused sub-inspector Jaspal Singh Bhullar, has been reopened on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in July this year after strictures were passed against the UT police.

Haryana DIG (Crime) Rajpal as well as senior Chandigarh police officials, including accused Bhullar, were present when the scene was reconstructed this afternoon. The reconstruction was done as part of the ongoing inquiry by Haryana Police into the case.

For the purpose, the bike driven by the victim and the Santro car of Jaspal Singh Bhullar were placed at the same spot where the mishap had occurred. The area around the traffic light point was sealed from all four corners and closed to traffic when the spot was being reinvestigated.

Mandeep, who was riding pillion with Gagandeep at the time of accident and was the prime eyewitness to the mishap, was also present. The entire reconstruction of the scene was recorded and the video footage will be placed before the High Court on the next hearing.

“We are conducting the inquiry on the orders of the High Court and at present cannot comment anything as the matter is subjudice. We will be out with the findings of the report soon,” said DIG Rajpal Singh.

Helpless parents of the deceased, who are residents of Faridkot, had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court after the UT police refused to lend them audience and closed the case.

They made the accident victim Gagandeep an accused in the case and held him responsible for the mishap.

The mishap occurred late night in June 27, 2009, when the two students, Gagandeep and Mandeep, were going on their bike to take water when their vehicle collided with the car driven by SI Bhullar. The two stayed as paying guests in Sector 22.

Commuters, shopkeepers suffer

Traffic suffered for over three hours as the police sealed the road leading from Kiran Cinema in Sector 22 to the traffic light point from all four corners at 1.30 pm when the reconstruction of the accident scene began. It was only at 4.30 pm that the road was opened to traffic. Shopkeepers of the market raised a hue and cry as their businesses were affected during the festive season as not a single customer could come to their shop when the spot was being investigated with the spot sealed.

‘He was the apple of our eyes’

Breaking down several times at the accident site where her son’s bike lay on the road, Gurvinder Kaur said her son Gagandeep was the apple of her eyes. “He never once argued with me, was so obedient and always looked after us. We lost our daughter at a very young age. My son was our only hope in life, this accident changed our lives forever. I know my son won’t return, but seeing those guilty of killing him punished will make his soul rest in peace.

Gurvinder Kaur, mother of the deceased



PU bans faculty recruitments
Awaits finalising of academic performance index (API) formula
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Panjab University (PU) has banned all faculty recruitments till the finalising of the academic performance index (API) formula for the screening of the campus recruitments.

The index, reflective of a faculty’s academic, extracurricular, research and organisational skills, and notified by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in 2010, is one of the key criteria for the recruitment and promotion of the faculty members.

The ban comes in the wake of recent complaints of discrepancy in the calculation of the API. There are different voices quoting different marks for different skills. The discrepancy in many cases has allegedly led to the selection of certain candidates after the overlooking of recommendations of pre-screening committees who had rejected particular candidates.

The issue had rocked the recent Senate, where many senators along with the Panjab University Teachers Association(PUTA) president, opposed the ongoing interviews in different departments, which were being conducted in anticipation of the finalisation of the API scores. As a fellow put it “the pre-screening and its rejection followed by screening and its selection had led to total chaos in the university functioning”.

The university adopted the UGC formula. The adoption has witnessed severe criticism from PUTA, which claimed that the UGC had dished out a template only which needed to be modified to suit the requirements of each department specifically.

“The API score formula dished by the UGC was just a pointer to guide us in developing an independent version to suit our academic requirements. A person in a science department can always be ranked for his research, but in music is known by his performances. So API had to be worked out differently. We already have committee meant for the same, which will soon be working out the formula. We had finalised one but it was rejected by the PU,” said PUTA president Akshay Kumar.

‘Want to play safe’

We are postponing the screenings till we finalise and get an API formula approved by the PU law-making bodies. This will save us from repeated controversies and allegations of favouritism.

BS Brar, Dean University Instructions, PU



Teenager ‘kidnapped’ for ransom
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
A 17-year-old boy was allegedly kidnapped from Kajheri village in Sector 36 here this evening. The kidnappers have demanded a ransom of Rs 15 lakh from the victim’s family through an SMS sent on his father’s mobile two hours after the teenager went missing. However, the police is also suspecting whether the boy has concocted a story of his kidnapping to extract money from his parents.

Sarabjit Singh, who is a former Class XI student of Government Senior Secondary School in Sector 35, left his residence at 3.30 pm. He failed to return home and his father received an SMS at 5.30 pm, which read that he should arrange an amount of Rs 15 lakh as ransom money for the release of his son. His father, Paramjit Singh, who works for dyeing fabrics in Kajheri, informed the police, which swung into action. The SMS was traced to Himachal Pradesh.

UT SSP Naunihal Singh said primarily it appears to be a case of kidnapping for ransom, but there are some loose ends which we are verifying.

A case has been registered.

A spoilt brat?

Sources said the father of the boy had informed the police that his son was a spoilt brat and always used to ask for money from him. He went missing twice earlier too, but then returned on his own. The police is also verifying if the child had concocted the story of his kidnapping or whether he had actually been kidnapped. The police said he was expelled from the school in July. He also stole an amount of Rs 2,000 from his house before leaving the home in afternoon, sources said. In addition, the boy also withdrew an amount of Rs 1 lakh from his mother’s savings bank account fraudulently in the past.



Jeweller arrested for links with snatchers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
The crime branch of the Chandigarh police has arrested two persons, including a jeweller, for their links with snatchers in a case of receiving stolen property.

The police arrested 28-year-old Om Pal Singh, who used to snatch chains from women and a jeweller Basu Verma, who used to receive the stolen property. With their arrest, the police has worked out 17 cases reported in the city this year, out of which 15 are of chain snatching, one of fake number and one of vehicle theft.

DSP Satbir Singh said the two arrested, along with another absconding accused Vicky, met in Burail jail in May this year as all three of them have a criminal past. The three then hatched a plan to snatch chains and make a quick buck once they are out on bail.

Once they were released from jail, the three initially stole bikes and Vicky and Ompal began snatching gold chains. Basu Verma, who runs a jewellery shop by the name Kiran Jewelers at Jagatpura, facilitated them in selling these snatched chains. After snatching the gold chain, the two snatchers immediately used to contact jeweller Basu Verma on mobile phone which they had kept separately for this purpose and used to never make general calls from these phones.

The police said all the gang members have a tainted past and were earlier arrested by the Crime Branch in vehicle thefts, dacoity, robbery, snatching and receiving of stolen property. All three have cases registered against them in Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and UP.

During the interrogation of the accused, it was revealed that they are active in the area of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula and snatched more than 30 gold chains from the tricity in year 2011 since June.

Accused involved in around 100 cases

Absconding accused Vicky has around 100 cases of snatchings, vehicle-lifting and robbery by the Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula police. He used to take to crime as soon as he was released from jail, the police said.


2 more down with dengue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
With two new cases, including a 16-year-old child, of dengue being confirmed today, the total number of people affected from the disease has gone up to 29, since September.

As per the data collected by the UT health department, 16-year-old child, son of a PGI staff member, and a male from Sector 35 were diagnosed with dengue.

While the child has been admitted to the PGI, the other patient is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Sector 33.

Experts say the symptoms include sudden high fever, rash, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, and muscle and joint pain.

Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite are also common symptoms.

With dengue hemorrhagic fever, blood vessels start to leak causing bleeding from the nose, mouth, and gums. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is fatal in around 5 per cent of cases.

They said symptoms appeared four to six days after the mosquito bite. An infected person cannot spread the infection to other persons but can be a source of dengue virus for mosquitoes for about six days.

Preventive Measures

n Check collection of water anywhere in the open i.e. at rooftop, coolers and in abandoned tyres
n Complain to the MC if the drainage is not clean
n Prevent mosquitoes from entering houses, offices
n Use mosquito nets or mosquito repellents at night while sleeping



consumer courts
Commission directs institute to refund Rs 27,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, while upholding the order of the District Consumer forum, has directed IITT JEE to refund Rs 27,000 to a Mani Majra resident for not providing coaching to his son, thereby spoiling his one year and affecting his career.

The commission comprising its president Justice Sham Sunder and members Neena Sandhu and Jagroop Singh Mahal observed: “The opposite party had retained the amount with it but surprisingly no interest was allowed thereon. It is not understood as to what more lenient order the opposite party wanted if it was simply asked to return the amount received by it towards fee and was only asked to pay a meager amount of Rs 2,500 towards litigation costs.

The complainant, Ashok Singh, had complained that his son had opted for two years panther (+1) course with the opposite party, which was providing coaching for admission to various professional courses like AIEEE, JEE, AT-I and II exams, for covering syllabus of XI, XII along with comprehensive guidance for engineering, especially ITT/JEE and SAT I-II.

He paid Rs 1,000 as registration fee and test fee for admission and scholarship and the institute offered a scholarship concession of Rs 10,000 as he had performed well in the test. A sum of Rs 27,000 was deposited as tuition fee for the course out of Rs 53,000.

It was alleged that the opposite party hired the services of temporary teachers to impart education. It was further alleged that most of the faculty, including Kapil and Pardeep Mehra, left the institute and in spite of repeated requests made by the parents, regular teachers were not appointed by the opposite party. The complainant further said when his father went to deposit the fee, the opposite party refused to accept the same and declared to close the institute.

He along with other students approached the institute to refund the fee, but to no effect. The institute subsequently circulated a letter wherein he was informed that his name was going to be struck off from the institute due to non-payment of the fee. The counsel for the opposite party argued that the complainant had voluntarily stopped attending the classes in the first session and had not deposited the fee for the second session.

He, therefore, was not entitled to get a refund and the order passed by the district forum, being contrary to facts, should to be set aside. He further blamed the students for the shutdown of the institute, as they had not deposited the fee.



Suman case
Health Director penalised for delay in filing reply
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Taking strong exception to the delay in the filing of reply interrogatories in the infamous Suman case, the UT State Consumer Commission has imposed costs on Dr Chander Mohan, Director, Health and Family Welfare, Chandigarh.

When the case came up for hearing today before the commission, the counsel for the GMSH, Sector 16, again prayed for time to file an affidavit on behalf of Dr Mohan Pankaj Chandgothia. At this, the counsel for Suman’s family pointed out that this was the third consecutive time and over two months since the Director had failed to file a reply.

Taking a serious note of the delay, the commission imposed costs of Rs 300 and directed the filing of answers by way of affidavit on behalf of Dr Mohan and Dr Navdeep latest by November 11.

Meanwhile, in a fresh disclosure, Dr Kirti Sood, one of the guilty doctors, in her affidavit has disclosed that as per the records of the Blood Bank, there were three patients, not two, with the name of Suman on the fateful day of December 16 at GMSH.

They were: Suman, wife of Kedarnath; Suman, wife of Desraj (complainant); and Suman, wife of Shankar.

She has also stated that she is in the process of challenging the SDM’s inquiry report, which held her guilty of negligence. She has also said: “No disciplinary action has been taken against me on the basis of the findings of the inquiry committee”.

Chandgothia said the statement was in direct contradiction of the affidavit filed by Dr Chander Mohan, Director, who has said that action has been taken against all three doctors held guilty by the SDM’s report.



Sweets shop assn for regular raids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
The Chandigarh Sweets Shop Association today dissociated itself from unscrupulous unlicensed manufacturers of sweets, preparing sweets under insanitary conditions.

Saying that the association was “totally against” such “illegal” sweet manufacturers, the association demanded raids by inspectors throughout the year to spread awareness about hygienic conditions in sweets shops.

The association urged the people to buy hygienic sweets from those manufacturers who were licensed by the administration.

Meanwhile, the UT administration today requested the general public to lodge their complaint against unlicensed manufacturers of sweets preparing sweets under insanitary conditions at telephone Nos. 102, 2782457, 26459204, 26459205, 2768255 and 2768263 of Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16.



Woman hangs herself, husband critical
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Leaving behind a three-year-old girl and a two-month-old girl, a couple attempted suicide by hanging themselves at their residence at Behlana village last night.

While 24-year-old Rinky was declared brought dead at the hospital, her husband 26-year-old Sudhir is battling for life.

The police said the two took the step in a fit of rage after a fight. Rinky pulled out a rope and hung herself from the ceiling fan.

Seeing his wife take the extreme step, her husband Sudhir lowered his wife’s body and hung himself.

The police took the two to a hospital, where Sudhir is in a critical state.

Police station-31 SHO Jaspal Singh said the recovery of love letters from their residence suggested that they had a love marriage.

The couple’s children have been handed over to their grandparents.

The police said the couple had an argument over a minor issue and took the step in a fit of rage.



missing realtor
CBI records son’s statement
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 19
As part of its investigation into the kidnapping of Panchkula-based realtor Deepak Rai Sagar, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recorded the statement of Sagar’s son Sameer Sagar today. Besides, the family members also provided details of Sagar’s meetings on the day of his disappearance (June 1, 2009).

On October 5, following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the CBI had registered a fresh FIR under murder and kidnapping charges. The Sagar family had moved the High Court as the Panchkula police had failed to solve the case.

Sources said the CBI had also collected the details of Deepak Rai Sagar’s bank transactions that the Panchkula police had gathered during its investigation.

A well-known name in the realty business, 54-year-old Sagar went missing on June 1, 2009. He was in his black Skoda car at the time of his disappearance.

Sagar had left his office in Sector 11 in a car to meet his friend Vinay at Maheshpur village in Panchkula. Vinay had told the police that Sagar visited his house around 7.15 pm. He reportedly stayed there till 9 pm. After that, he went towards his house at Kendriya Vihar in Sector 14, Panchkula, but failed to reach there.

The police had initially taken intensive measures to trace the businessman and had even announced a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh for anyone providing information about his whereabouts.



Hookah bars raided in P’kula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 19
A team of Drug Controller Department led by Panchkula drug officer Puja Chaudhary raided the hookah bars in Sector 9 and 10 here today.

Chaudhary seized the samples of tobacco containing nicotine also.It was around 2 pm that the drug control officer reached Cupa Mocha, in Sector 9. As soon as the officials reached the outlet a number of youths puffing hookahs in the small cabins left the premises in a hurry. The team, however, left the place after seizing the samples of tobacco reportedly with the markings of nicotine as one of the ingredients in it.

Following this, the team collected the samples from The Nawab Shisha Hub in Sector 10.

“Nicotine is a drug and its use without having a licence form Drug Controller under Drugs and Cosmetics Act is an offence,” said deputy state drug controller GL Singhal. The department has asked the two outlets to present the record of purchase and sale of nicotine, he added.



Shops raided in Zirakpur, Baltana
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, October 19
The Mohali Excise and Taxation Department today conducted raids at various shops in Zirakpur and Baltana and checked their sale-tax bills.

Giving the information, an official of the excise and taxation department stated that the raid had been conducted to check the bills of the shopkeepers. During the drive around 12 persons were challaned and 10 shopkeepers were left after being warned. “We will continue the drive in the coming days”, the official added.



Inter-caste love marriage
FIR registered against husband
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune news service

Panchkula, October 19
The inter-caste love marriage between 29-year-old Praveen and 21-year-old Sonia finally ended up in the registration of an FIR against Praveen by Sonia and her family members.

On October 14, Sonia, who had spent 10 days in a protection home for runaway couples in Panchkula police lines in Sector 26, with Praveen, had informed the Panchkula court that she no longer wished to stay with her husband and was ready to return to her parents.

On Wednesday, Praveen’s family members had reached the Panchkula court to get the order’s copy in which the court had allowed the request of Sonia and Praveen to withdraw their protection application.

Family members said that they would show the order’s copy to the Kurukshetra police where an FIR was registered against Praveen. They said that Praveen had not kidnapped the girl and both had tied the knot with eachother’s consent.

Praveen, an agriculturist and resident of Kurukshetra, and Sonia, a teacher and resident of Karnal, had approached the Panchkula district court for protection on October 4. Acting on their plea for protection, the court had directed the police to provide full protection to the couple in a protection home for runaway couples in Panchkula.

The couple were in a relationship for the past many years. Before marrying each other, both had told their respective parents about their desire to get married. But their families did not agree. Thereafter, the couple ran away and started staying in Panchkula. It was on October 3 that the couple tied the knot in Shiv Temple in Surajpur village, Panchkula.

Praveen’s counsel MS Bitta said that they had come to know about the registration of the case. He added that they were yet to check the sections under which an FIR was registered.



Mohali MC seeks police help
To remove encroachments on roadsides
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 19
The Mohali Municipal Corporation has requested the Senior Superintendent of Police to provide police force to the employees of the civic body to effectively remove encroachments on roadsides and in the market areas.

The market verandahs and other areas are encroached upon by shopkeepers in most parts of the town and the encroachments multiply in the evening when vendors also put up temporary stalls. The problem of illegal plying of rehris has also been a menace which has been condemned by the residents several times. Rehris parked illegally in various parts of the town and persons putting up fruit stalls on roadsides create traffic hazards. The problem was discussed by the Mohali Deputy Commissioner and the SSP recently. The DC then asked the civic body to remove illegal rehris and other encroachments. He said that the SSP could be requested for police help.

The civic body has sent a letter to the SSP in which it was stated that the police force was required at the time of removing encroachments for security reasons. Employees on tehbazari duty at times faced the wrath of shopkeepers who got together when an anti-encroachment drive was carried out.

Temporary stalls

The market verandahs and other areas are encroached upon by shopkeepers in most parts of the town and the encroachments multiply in the evening when vendors also put up temporary stalls



Six test positive for dengue
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 19
Six persons suffering from fever have tested positive for dengue in Mohali while the number of suspected cases have reached 22.

Dr Usha Bansal, Civil Surgeon, said that out of the six persons, one had come from Bathinda. He had given the address of a local relative while getting admitted to a hospital. The others were from Zirakpur, Bad Majra, Sector 70, Phase IV and Sohana hospital.She said that all six patients were out of danger and were undergoing treatment in their homes.

The teams set up by the district health authorities today visited 541 houses to find out if anyone was suffering from fever.Coolers and pots containing water were also emptied.

Bansal said that private hospitals had been asked to inform the health officials if any patient suffering from fever were admitted and blood samples should also be collected to find out whether it was dengue fever or not.



Stray dogs, poor sanitation continue to mark Phase II
Kulwinder Sangha

Poor condition of green belt in Phase-II.
Poor condition of green belt in Phase-II.

Mohali, October 19
The problem of stray dogs, poor sanitation and badly maintained parks is still being faced by residents of Phase II. Nothing has changed since August when the poor state of civic amenities was highlighted in these columns.

Insanitary conditions around Madanpur village and existence of an illegal “mini bus stand” near Bassi theatre are among the major problems faced by residents.

The market areas are also in a state of neglect. Though persons visiting the market late in the evening feel impressed by the high-mast lights put up in the area by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority, insanitary conditions prevails otherwise. Safai karmacharis rarely clean the market as one can see filth lying all around. The green belts near the parking areas are also in a state of neglect.

A bus queue shelter in Phase-II.
A bus queue shelter in Phase-II.

One of the shopkeepers said on condition of anonymity that the illegal bus stand had become a nuisance for those running business from this part of the market. Luxury buses remained parked in the area and it became difficult for shoppers to park their vehicles.

Manmohan Kaur, a former municipal councilor and a member of the working committee of SAD, said that nothing had changed over the past two months. The position of sanitation was still as bad as it was earlier and the nuisance of stray dogs still existed.GMADA had installed some play items in the park outside her house but she said they were of no use as the park was in a state of neglect.

Many roads in the area have potholes. Sullage flows through open drains in Madanpur village, which is part of Phase II, and heaps of cow dung can be seen lying at many points in the area.

The executive officer of the corporation could not be contacted for comments.



Robot power unleashed at UIET tech fest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
The second day of ‘Avishkaar’, the innovative tech fest of the UIET PU, was marked by robo-wars and junkyard wars.

While on the one hand, student invented robots pitted against each other in an arena with the ‘best destructor’ winning the contest, on the other stood not-so-beautiful yet eco-friendly robots made from the junkyard.

The fest commenced with the event “Kaushalam”. It invited plans by students to innovate new technologies that are both practical and economical.

The event saw participation of 15 teams with their plans.

This event was followed by “Apaatkalin”, event on disaster management requiring the students to present plans to make the existing infrastructure more secure using the most economical ways.

The next event to follow was “strategise”. This event saw the participation from different colleges presenting their plans to make the university greener and more environment friendly.

“Shakti” was the most innovative event of the fest. It included running of a vehicle engine using alternative fuels like bio-fuels. The purpose of the event is to focus on the use of alternative fuels to cut back the dependence on non-renewable and environment degrading fuels like petrol and diesel.



belling the cat
Changed pattern set to test candidates
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
With just a couple of days left for the Common Admission Test (CAT), to be held from October 22 to November 18 for the 3,000 MBA seats at the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) among other prestigious institutions, students are all jittery over the changed pattern.

The CAT paper will have only two sections instead of three. Till last year, the paper was divided into quantitative ability, verbal ability, and data interpretation and logical reasoning. This year onwards, the first section will focus on quantitative ability and data interpretation and the second on verbal ability and logical reasoning.

In addition, the two sections will now have to be tackled sequentially with separate time limits, unlike earlier when students could divide their time between the sections as per their priority.

The total time for the test has been increased from 135 minutes to 140 minutes, and 70 minutes each have been fixed for the two sections.

Over 10,000 students from the tricity and its periphery have registered for the test as compared to the national figure of 2,05,000. Every student has been allotted a different slot as per his preference.

“The pattern has brought in many changes. Time management will be the key this year but a student will not have to bother about dividing time between the sections. A student will have to be good in both sections as even if you complete one section before time you won’t be able to start the next section before the stipulated time. Practice is the only mantra as more the students practise, the faster they can deal with questions.

Success Mantra

n Go for easier questions of the section first
n Don’t invest more than 2.5 minutes in one question
n Don’t try anything new as it just ends up exposing your weaknesses
n Practise fewer papers, but the mistakes should be rectified y Practise online since the papers will be online y Don’t set a target of solving a minimum number of questions, as in attempt to achieve this, you may get many questions wrong



from schools & collegs
Students pitch for cracker-free Diwali
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Prakriti, the environment society of Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, organised a two-day awareness campaign on the safe and pollution-free Diwali by holding a slogan-writing competition, lectures and an anti-cracker rally on Wednesday.

The resource person, Tejinder Kaur, vice-chairperson, Desh Bhagat Group of Colleges, in her keynote address to the students and faculty members underlined the alarming rise of pollution and created awareness about the hazardous effects of air and noise pollution arising out of bursting of firecrackers. She also spoke about the significance of the medicinal plants.

She also donated saplings of medicinal plants like neem, sukhchain, aswgandha to the faculty members and students as part of her resolution to donate one lakh plants this year.

The faculty and students of the college also took a pledge to celebrate a safe and pollution-free Diwali by not bursting crackers and thereby protecting the environment.

Around 200 students of the college participated in the campaign to protect the environment.

Government Model High School, Sector 38 D

Students launched an anti-cracker campaign by organising a rally here today. Around 250 students in different age groups participated in the rally.

The students went around the sector carrying placards and banners to spread awareness about the hazards of crackers.

The students were exhorted to celebrate Diwali with colours, flowers, sweets, rangoli, etc. They also also took a pledge to refrain from buying crackers.

GSSS, Dhanas

Students took an oath against the use of crackers during Diwali here today. At least 200 students of Vasundhara Eco Club held an anti-cracker rally at Dhanas village and its adjoining colonies to raise awareness on celebrating a pollution-free Diwali. NSS volunteers also participated in the programme.

Sharda Sarvhitkari Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 40 D

An anti-cracker rally was flagged off by principal BS Kanwar here today. Students of class IX took part in the rally. They carried placards bearing slogans against the use of crackers and went round Sectors 39, 40 and 41.

The school campus was decorated with posters and quotations on the hazards of firecrackers.

Shivalik Public School

The school witnessed a captivating performance by violin maestro Johar Ali Khan today. The sargam was well received by the audience. A jugalbandi between the violin and the tabla was the highlight of the show. Shivalik Public Schools director DS Bedi commended the performance of the artist and honoured him.

Govt Model High School, Sector 36 D

A facilitation ceremony was organised to honour the school team that won the Mir Qasim Hussain Football Trophy recently. Headmaster Rakesh Sood welcomed and congratulated the players for their performance. The students also won a bronze medal at the national championship in the under-17 category held at Srinagar.

He also congratulated sports teachers Satnam Kaur and Pardeep Kaur for their role.

St Stephen’s School

An eco-friendly Diwali Mela was organised here today. Stalls of games, food, play stations, gifts were put up. An awareness camp on diabetes was also organised. Polythene bags were banned during the mela. A dance stall was set up in the basement to minimise noise.

Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77

Students organised an awareness campaign ahead of Diwali in which students took an anti-cracker pledge and raised slogans by holding banners depicting the hazards of firecrackers. School chairman Col CS Bawa (retd) exhorted the students to celebrate a cracker-free Diwali.

Swami Ram Tirtha Senior Secondary Smart School, Phase IV

A health workshop was organised for the students of classes VI to X by doctors of a private hospital here. They highlighted the importance of personal hygiene and balanced diet. They also informed them about adulteration in food products.

Gian Jyoti Global School

The tiny tots observed the World Habitat Day by trying their hands at sand drawing. The colouring activity was undertaken under the supervision of teachers. The winners were given away appreciation certificates by principal Ranjeet Bedi.



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