C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Kajheri Land Acquisition
Setback to UT, told to pay more relief
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, November 8
The UT Administration, already in trouble in connection with land acquisition for the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Information Technology Park, received another setback in another land acquisition case when a local court recently directed the Administration to enhance the compensation for the acquired land of Kajheri village.

The district court has directed the Administration to pay Rs 7.5 lakh per acre to landowners whose land was acquired by the Administration for the development of Sectors 51, 52 and 53, which forms part of the third phase of Chandigarh. Earlier in 2001, the Administration had awarded Rs 2 lakh per acre. But landowners were not satisfied with the compensation, which had resulted in a number of them challenging the compensation amount.

In its order, the court stated: “The claimants are held entitled to get a compensation of Rs 7.5 lakh per acre. They shall also be entitled to interest on the amount of compensation awarded by the Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) from the date of taking over possession of the land till the date of payment.”

There were a number of petitioners in this case whose land was acquired by the Administration. One of the petitioners, Summitter Kaur, had stated in her petition that on July 8, 1988, the Administration had issued a notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act in which it was decided to acquire the land of Kajheri village for the development of the third phase of Chandigarh. The Land Acquisition Collector passed an award of Rs 2 lakh per acre on March 26, 1991. The petitioner’s four kanals and 10 marlas were also acquired.

The petitioner had alleged that the LAC had not taken the potential value of the land into consideration as the land was not less than Rs 50 lakh per acre. After acquisition, the Administration allotted this land to various institutions and the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) at a cost of Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore per acre.

The Administration, in its reply, had stated that there was no locational advantage of the land. The reply reads: “Due to (an) amendment to Section 23 (3) of the Land Acquisition Act in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory of Chandigarh, the market value of the land shall be the values according to use to which the land was put on the date with reference to which the market value is to be determined. No consideration of potential or any hypothetical use is to be given. The UT Administration is not a profit-making organisation and no surpluses are being generated from acquisitions or from allotment of land.”

Meanwhile, expressing satisfaction with the enhanced compensation, the petitioner’s counsel said they would not move any other higher court for further compensation. 



MC elections
UT poll dept says no to fresh voters
Aarti Kapur
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, November 8
The election department of the UT Administration is in a quandary over the fate of hundreds of fresh voters of the city with regard to the upcoming Municipal Corporation (MC) elections. The department is not entertaining applications of those whose name was missing from the voter list of January 1, 2011, or first-timers who have become eligible after January 1 to cast their vote.

Additional election officer Brijendra Singh said the department had commenced the process of summary revision of the voter list for January 2012 as the base year and during the process -- as per the norms of the Election Commission of India -- fresh applications cannot be accepted.

The department had sent a missive to the Chief Election Commissioner to enquire if a fresh supplementary voting list could be prepared during the process of revised summary as hundreds of voters have been approaching the department. He said the department was yet to get a response on the issue.

A senior official of the state election commission said in routine, votes could be made till a day before the filing of the nominations by the candidates. These are usually accepted and made a part of the supplementary list. “In fact, we have been strictly told that we cannot deny voting rights to anyone,” he said.

Sources in the department said the summary revision list would be notified on January 5, 2012.

Congress spokesman Pardeep Chhabra said they were going to submit a representation to the state election commission tomorrow as thousands of voters whose name was missing from the list would be debarred from voting in the election.

BJP spokesman Arun Sood said there were two candidates who wanted to contest the MC elections from their respective wards, but they could not file their applications as the election department had denied making new votes at this juncture.



PU to brace metal detectors to prevent cheating
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, November 8
With mobiles becoming increasingly popular as “aids” in examination halls, Panjab University (PU) will now be using metal detectors in the semester examination commencing from November 21. Not only the invigilators, but also flying squads to various Punjab colleges will be using these detectors.

The detectors will benefit the university, which registered 300-odd cases of cheating during the last examination, where besides “furras” or chits, mobiles had been hidden in dresses.

The flying squads had a tough time as despite suspecting a student, they abstained from checking turbans. Not just boys, even girls were suspected of hiding phones in their clothes, but the squad felt helpless in the absence of physical checking.

“Metal detectors are needed. We were lenient in not checking students physically, but they took advantage of it. The detectors will prove to be of immense help,” said an examination branch official.

The PU had registered an all-time high cases involving use of unfair means, a majority of which were dubbed serious. The cases were primarily reported from affiliated colleges with Guru Nanak College, Ferozepur, topping the list with about 150 such cases.

According to senior officials, the number of unfair means cases registered in 2011 was the highest in the past five years. “We had an improvised and strict examination system and that is why we nabbed a large number of culprits. This year, 40,000 more students will appear for the semester exams and we will have to be more vigilant,” said an official.



Students arrested for laptop thefts
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, November 8
The crime branch of the police arrested two students for allegedly stealing laptops and stereos from parked cars by using a glass-cutter. One of the accused is an engineering student at Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering.

The police arrested 21-year-old Ranjit Singh, a resident of Gurdaspur and a first-year BTech student, and 20-year-old Amrit Pal, a class XII student of a private school in Sangrur.

Thirteen laptops and 40 mobiles were stolen from their possession. A senior official said the duo had taken to crime to support their lavish lifestyle. With their arrest, the police has solved 10 cases of theft reported in the last one year. Out of these, seven cases pertained to laptop thefts and one to a motorcycle. Inspector Amanjot Singh, in charge of the crime branch, said they received information that the gang involved in the theft of laptops was using a Bullet motorcycle bearing a fake registration number (PB12-K-4721).

Ranjit Singh and his accomplice stayed in a rented accommodation in Baltana. Describing their modus operandi, the police said they used to graze the windowpane of a car with a special instrument to minimise the sound of breaking glass. Police sources said they were following up different leads and were likely to make more arrests.



Woman thwarts kidnap bid
Tribune news service

Panchkula, November 8
An attempt to kidnap a woman and her three children from the busy Sector 11 market here was thwarted late this evening when the woman raised the alarm, forcing the unidentified kidnapper to abandon his plan at the Amartex lights.

The woman, along with her children, was waiting in the car for her husband when the kidnapper noticed her fancy jewellery.

The accused approached her and offered to park the car properly, which he said was wrongly parked along the road. He then drove them away and asked her to hand over her jewellery at gunpoint.

However, the kidnapper got jittery when she raised the alarm at the lights point. Leaving the car at the traffic junction, the accused fled from the spot.

It was later found that the kidnapper was using a toy gun to threaten the woman. The jewellery worn by the victim, who was going to attend a wedding, was also stated to be artificial.

It was around 7 pm that Pawan Singla, a resident of Sector 7, along with his brother and wife Darshana went to the Sector 11 market to purchase garments. While Pawan and his brother went to shop, Darshana and her kids kept sitting in the car.

The incident has raised a question on the presence of the police as the Sector 11 market is the most busy area of the town.



Anil Kumar likely to be next HS
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, November 8
The UT is likely to have a regular Home Secretary by next week. Sources said the Cabinet Committee on Appointment has cleared the name of 1988 Haryana cadre IAS officer Anil Kumar for the post.

The appointment would be notified by end of this week, the sources said. Anil Kumar, when contacted, had no clue about the development. “I have no information on the issue.”

At present, Satya Gopal, 1988 batch IAS officer of AGMUT cadre, is the acting Home Secretary of the UT.


Sector Revisited
Things get moving in Sector 25
Work begins on repair of parking, removal of wild growth
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Work has started on a road where a parking lot is supposed to come up.
Work has started on a road where a parking lot is supposed to come up.

Panchkula, November 8
While officials have failed to redress residents’ grievances in most sectors, work on repair of parking and removal of wild growth has been started in Sector 25 a few days ago.

The issues had been highlighted in these columns on September 20.

A visit to the sector revealed that the deep pits in the adjoining areas of the market were being filled with sand to level the area and the roads in the parking area were being repaired.

Efforts were also being made to remove the wild growth all around the area.

The action by the HUDA authorities, however, is apparently the outcome of a warning issued by a resident than anything else.

Anil Pangotra, a sector resident who runs a shop in the local market, had earlier said: “We are planning to move court as officials of various departments have failed to perform their duties.

“The residents will file a case against these officials. We will drag those responsible for the maintenance of roads and removal of wild growth in the area to court,” he had said on September 19 while talking to the TNS.

“Following this, some officials from HUDA contacted us to discuss the issue and assured of doing something in this regard,” claimed Pangotra.

“At least for now, area residents can take the consolation of getting better amenities,” he added.



Power corporation found deficient in service
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 8
The Mohali District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) not to levy excess charges on a complaint.

Holding the corporation responsible for harassing a consumer, Nirmal Singh, a resident of Ban Majra village, Ropar, the forum headed by BS Mehandiratta, directed the corporation to charge the complainant for 328 units for billing circle from February 28, 2011, to April 28, 2011, and not charge any penalty for late payment of charges of bill.

The corporation has also been directed to pay litigation costs of Rs 1,000 to the complainant.

The complainant stated that he had a domestic electricity connection bearing account No.R65DF230057F. The connection was earlier in the name of his deceased brother Mohinder Singh. After the death of Mohinder Singh he was actually using the connection in question and thus he was the consumer. He said the connected load of his connection was only 0.40 KW and he was issued a bill of Rs 16,036. His house consists of only two rooms.

When he approached the corporation for correction, the bill was taken for correction but never returned.

He sought that the bill should be refunded.

On being summoned, the corporation argued that the complainant had concealed these facts.

He had contended that the complainant consumed electricity for which the impugned bill was issued to him and, therefore, he was bound to pay the consumption charges of Rs.12,750. After hearing arguments, the corporation was held guilty of deficiency of service.



Mudslinging keeps Deputy CM busy at Chappar Chirri
Tribune News Service

Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal reviews arrangements for the inauguration of Fateh Minar at Chappar Chirri.
Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal reviews arrangements for the inauguration of Fateh Minar at Chappar Chirri. Tribune photo: VIcky Gharu

Chappar Chirri (Mohali), November 8
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukbir Singh Badal today stated that PPCC president Capt Amarinder Singh had denigrated the Sikh Panth by scuttling the visit of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to inaugurate Khalsa Heritage Complex at Sri Anandpur Sahib.

While talking to mediapersons after reviewing arrangements for the inauguration of Fateh Minar, a monument marking the historic victory of Sirhind by Banda Singh Bahadur, the Deputy CM said Khalsa Heritage Complex was a historic museum to educate younger generations about the richness of Khalsa Panth and the party wanted to give this privilege to first Sikh Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh.

He said Capt Amarinder Singh’s “Punjab Bachao Yatra” was more of a “Helicopter Yatra”, with the PPCC president conveniently avoiding the heat and dust of villages. He said seeing the fate of the Congress in Hisar, it should be renamed as “Zamanat Bachao Yatra”.

He said Khalsa Heritage Complex would be dedicated to humanity on November 25, whereas ‘Badda Ghallughara’ in Kuprohira (Sangrur), ‘Chotta Ghallughara’, Kahnuwan (Gurdaspur) and Fateh Minar at Chappar Chirri would be inaugurated on November 28, 29 and 30, respectively. The Deputy CM inspected the preparations for inaugural function of Fateh Minar, Chappar Chirri and asked the Punjab works department to construct a six-lane road from Landran to the complex and then to Banur to provide easy access to tourists from Punjab and Delhi so that they could pay tributes to Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. 



Deposit money? No hurry!
Mantra of UT estate office on govt receipts it gets
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The approach of the UT estate office is casual when it comes to depositing government receipts with the treasury.

This has been pointed out in an audit and inspection report prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the accounts of the UT estate office for the period from April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011.

Even after the Comptroller and Auditor General pointed it out, the estate office did not care to reply.

Para 16 of the report stated that a test check of office records for the fiscal year 2010-11 revealed that in a number of cases, demand drafts received on behalf of the government for various purposes were neither deposited with the treasury in time, nor returned to the parties concerned.

The same were found placed in official files, stated the report. Citing a case in para 17, the report pointed out that the owner of an SCF at Sector 26 had applied for conversion of his shop-cum-flat into shop-cum-office and deposited a demand draft for Rs 50,000 with the office on July 17, 2008.

It was noticed that the demand draft was found placed in the office file (CP-478), pointed out the report, adding that not depositing the bank draft into the government account was a serious financial irregularity.

According to directions, money received by a government office from the general public or any other quarter on behalf of the government was required to be deposited with the government treasury either the same day or on the next working day and not depositing it in time with the treasury was a violation of Financial Rules and other relevant code provisions.

Lest we forget

An embezzlement of about Rs 5.60 lakh in the Registration and Licensing Authority was detected recently by former UT Additional Deputy Commissioner ML Sharma. During a check of four-month accounts records, it was detected that certain employees did not deposit amounts deposited against at least six transactions with the treasury. The Administration had decided to lodge an FIR against six employees and initiate a thorough inquiry into the case. An employee of the UT electricity department had embezzled about Rs 3 crore in a similar manner around three years back. 



‘Mashaal parade’ back after two decades
IRB personnel perform acrobatics; display of fireworks lights up sky
Tribune News Service

Policemen perform acrobatics as part of Police Week celebrations in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Policemen perform acrobatics as part of Police Week celebrations in Chandigarh on Tuesday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, November 8
After a gap of over two decades, the UT police today revived the age-old practice of a ‘mashaal parade’ at the Police Lines in Sector 26 here amid a display of synchronised movement.

The audience applauded the performance by IRB personnel, who performed various acrobatics. The lights were switched off to enhance the images created.

The march by 192 policemen carrying torches was applauded by the 800-strong audience, including families of police officials. The practice used to be a routine two decades back.

Events like ‘malkham’, tent pegging and ‘bhangra’ were organised, in which Punjab Police personnel participated. The programme concluded with a display of fireworks that lit up the sky.

More such parades would in the future, said Inspector-General of Police PK Srivastava. Punjab DGP Anil Kaushik was the chief guest.



Firefighting system at unit inadequate
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 8
Firefighting arrangements at Colour Udyog, where a worker suffered severe burn injuries yesterday, were found to be improper. The Panchkual administration ordered an inquiry into the incident and a report would be presented to Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar.

Officials with the fire and pollution departments were asked to report on whether the owners of the industrial unit had complied with norms. They submitted their reports today, which were being compiled, said SDM Sharanjeet Kaur Brar.

The SDM said any decision on action would be taken only after the report was presented to the Deputy Commissioner. Sources said fire officials indicted the management for not keeping its firefighting equipment in a proper condition. While water pipes had been installed at the factory, those did not work at the time of the incident, said the sources. Big fire extinguishers were lying empty after the incident while the date of use of others had expired.

The management, on the other hand, told fire officials that the extinguishers found lying empty on the premises were used yesterday. They claimed that fresh certificates of extended validity were taken and extinguishers were painted recently.

The pollution department, in its report, submitted that the industry had neither been using the furnace, nor discharging affluents, and hence, did not require its permission, said the sources.



Gangster Ravi brought to town

Panchkula, November 8
The Panchkula police has got notorious gangster Ravi from the Tihar jail in New Delhi on a production warrant. He had reportedly supplied a countrymade pistol to criminals who fired on the car of a property dealer in a ransom case.

A shot was fired on the car of Anil Bhalla, a property dealer, at his house in Sector 4 here on September 17. Before this, he got a ransom call from the Ambala central jail. As he refused to pay up, the called warned him of dire consequences.

Sachin Verma and Atul, the two accused, were later arrested for firing on the directions of Manga, a notorious gangster. — TNS



‘Congress Ke Ghotaley’ @ BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded a CBI inquiry into the scams that took place during the Congress regime in Chandigarh.

BJP national secretary Kirit Somaiya stated this while briefing mediapersons here yesterday.

He also released the booklet “Congress Ke Ghotaley”. Somaiya said the booklet had been prepared in four months by senior local BJP leaders.

He added that it would be handed over to Lal Krishan Advani on November 16, when his ‘rath yatra’ would reache Chandigarh.

He said corruption was the main reason for inflation. “Inflation has gone up to 12.21 per cent, far more than in other developed countries,” he added.

15 major scams

In the 56-page booklet, the BJP mentioned 15 major scams. The party held the Congress responsible for scams pertaining to cement, paver blocks, garbage processing plant, recruitment of firemen, allotment of booths, allotment of sheds, recruitment of policemen, recruitment of teachers, recruitment of CTU conductors and fake ration cards, besides the CITCO, rehabilitation and sports scams. Alleging the involvement of the UT Administration in these scams, the BJP alleged that the Congress was not interested in nailing the culprits.



BJP bankrupt, claims Congress
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh Congress president BB Behl and other local unit leaders address a press conference in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Chandigarh Congress president BB Behl and other local unit leaders address a press conference in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, November 8
Refuting the allegations in the booklet released by the BJP yesterday, Chandigarh Congress president BB Behl today said releasing such material ahead of municipal corporation elections showed that the BJP had gone bankrupt on civic issues.

The BJP wanted to focus on scandals involving the UT Administration, he claimed. Briefing mediapersons, he said the issues raised by the BJP concerned the UT Administration and the Congress had no role to play in those.

Raising questions on the image of BJP national secretary Kirit Somaiya, who released the booklet, Behl said the BJP chose a person involved in a many scandals in Mumbai, who was known as a share market tout, to release the booklet.

Hitting back at the BJP, Behl said if the BJP felt that the Congress was responsible for the involvement of the bureaucracy in corruption, it should also take responsibility for all scams that took place when it was in power at the Centre.

Subhash Chawla said the BJP had made a mockery of itself by releasing the booklet, which it clearly showed that it had woken up from slumber.



ICMR award for PGI doc
Tribune News Service

Dr DK BhasinChandigarh, November 8
Dr Deepak Kumar Bhasin, Professor of Gastroenterology at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), here has been awarded Basant Devi Amar Chand prize by the Indian Council of Medical Research for his pioneer work in the field. Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad presented the award to him in New Delhi today.

Dr Bhasin’s main areas of research are helicobacter pylori, gastrointestinal endoscopy & pancreatic pathologies and their endoscopic management. He has to his credit more than 240 publications in national and international journals. His extensive work on minimally invasive pancreatic endotherapy has shown that pathologies like pancreatic ascites, pleural effusion, external pancreatic fistulae, multiple and large pseudocysts of pancreas and pseudocysts at atypical locations can be treated successfully without surgery.

Earlier, he has been honoured with fellowship of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (FASGE) and the National Academy of Medical Sciences (FAMS), Parke Davis oration and the Olympus Mitra award for endoscopy by the Indian Society of Gastroenterology.



Tricity Scan
Vijay shines in poster making

A poster-making competition was organised at Government Post Graduate College, Sector 46, in collaboration with the Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes on Tuesday. Tajinder Kaur, CEO, Hara Punjab Khara Samaj, gave a detailed presentation on the occasion. Ravi Kumar stood first, while Vijay Kumar and Vikas secured second and third positions.

Call of faith
Youngsters perform gatka during a procession on the occasion of Gurpurb celebrations in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Youngsters perform gatka during a procession on the occasion of Gurpurb celebrations in Chandigarh on Tuesday. A Tribune photograph

Inconvenience to residents

To cater to the postal needs of Sector 40 and the adjoining sectors, a sub-post office had been functioning since 1989 in a rented house of the Chandigarh Housing Board. More than five years ago, in a dispute between Chandigarh Housing Board and an allottee of the dwelling unit of CHB had led to the closure of the post office on July 19, 2006, resulting into inconvenience to a large number of residents living in Sectors 38, 39, 40 and 42 along with nearby villages and colonies. More than five years after the sub-post office functioning from Sector 40 was closed down, the authorities are dilly-dallying on the re-opening of the post office. As a matter of the fact, when there has been a dispute between the Chandigarh Housing Board and allottee, the postal authorities should have made arrangements well before the actual happening so that the residents would not have to put into in an inconvenienced position. In a joint statement, president Dilbagh Singh and general secretary SK Khosla of the Welfare Association MIG-I Houses, Sector 40-C, Chandigarh, demanded that a full-fledged post office be commissioned immediately.

Rafi Nite

Veteran actor Vyjayantimala would be the star attraction at the Mohammed Rafi Nite being organised by the Yaadar-e-Rafi Society at the Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, on November 12. The actress would give away awards to the winners of a singing contest held on August 13. The Haryana Chief Minster would be the chief guest.

32 cattle impounded

The municipal corporation impounded 32 stray cattle in a special drive on Tuesday. The drive was carried out in Mauli Jagran, Mani Majra, Dadu Majra Colony, Sectors 32, 25, 48 and 56, Colony V, Vikas Nagar, Maloya, Dhanas, Sector 56, Ram Darbar and Airport Road. Twelve cattle catchers and two trucks of the MC were deployed during the drive. The drive was conducted by a team of MC officials supervised by Dr BK Salwan, medical official health.

Sanitation drive

An intensive sanitation drive and anti-malaria awareness campaign was launched in Sector 35 and Labour Colony V by the sanitation wing of the municipal corporation and malaria wing of the health department. Through the public address system, the residents were asked not to litter on streets/open spaces in order to maintain the sanitation of the area.

40 challaned

In a special anti-encroachment drive, the municipal corporation has challaned 40 encroachers and seized various items, including tandoors, dumped parts of vehicles and removed encroachments made by kabaris with the help of cranes from the Phirni road of Burail village here on Tuesday. There were complaints regarding the dumped parts of the vehicles and tandoors, flower pots, etc, in and around the Phirni road of the village regularly made by the market associations, which lead to problems for residents and shopkeepers every time.


“Companies should make an annual preventive medical check-up compulsory for employees to prevent cancer and other diseases,” stated Dr Rajeev Bedi, senior consultant and head, medical oncology, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, while addressing nearly 50 members of the Rotary Club of Chandigarh at Rotary House, Sector 18, Chandigarh, here on Tuesday. He was the keynote speaker at a seminar on breast cancer. The seminar was presided over by Neena Singh, president, Rotary Club of Chandigarh.


The following have been elected as office-bearers of the Panjab University Field Workers’ Union; president- Hari Singh; senior vice-president- Ram Raj Verma; vice-president- Surmukh Singh; general secretary- Jaspal Singh; joint secretary- Swaran Singh; and finance secretary- Nanak Chand.

Gurpurb celebrated

The auspicious occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev was celebrated by students of pre-nursery, nursery and KG of Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali. The “Parkash Utsav” was celebrated with great enthusiasm, gaiety and religious fervour.

Job fest

The Aryans Group of Colleges on Tuesday organised a mega job fest in the campus at Nepra village, Banur, Chandigarh-Patiala highway. A total of 2,746 candidates appeared for around 35 companies. The fest was inaugurated by Dr Anshu Kataria, chairman, Aryans Group. Around 300 get placed in the fest. — Tribune Reporters



Govt smart school in fix over inauguration
Code of conduct imposed in view of MC elections
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The model code of conduct imposed in view of the forthcoming MC elections had taken its toll on the city’s first-ever government smart school built in Sector 53.

While the education department is all ready to admit or shift students to this school, having a capacity of around 2,000 students, it has been left in a fix over its inauguration, which was scheduled for November 14.

While as per the code, the school cannot be inaugurated, officials feel that shifting students without an inauguration will not do justice to the their ambitious project.

“The school is all ready to admit students but we cannot get it inaugurated with this code. It is a revolutionising project and we wished a big inauguration on the Children’s Day, but it is not possible now. If we admit students without an inauguration, it will take away all the charm and if we wait then the infrastructure will lie redundant for months, we are utterly confused and trying to work it out,” said an official of the education department.

The “smart” school is the first government school to be built to accommodate integrated communication technology (ICT)-equipped classrooms with four more in the pipeline. The school aims at providing private sector-like smart education, but at affordable prices. In addition to revamping current education system, the school was being seen as a solution to the skewed student classroom-teacher-student ratio ailing schools in southern sectors like Government Model School in Sector 45.

“It’s not just a school but a revolutionary vision, which has materialised. The school was supposed to start in August but due to technical reasons it was delayed. It is our gift to the city students on the Children’s Day and needs a proper presentation. We might try to reason it out with the Election Commission,” added another official.



Sleepless nights for exam branch officials
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The forthcoming semester examination is giving sleepless nights to Panjab University examination branch officials, who are sitting late in night to complete their work in time.

As postgraduate students will be sitting for the semester examination for the first time this year, hundred odd employees are struggling to make examination preparations for over 40,000 students.

“It’s been almost two weeks now that a majority of us stay till late, as the number of students appearing for the examinations has increased. Everything right from processing forms to arranging for evaluations has to be done by us and by no means over hundred of us can deal with thousands of students,” said an examination branch official.

The varsity in a bid to decrease the pressure on the branch had decided to ask departments concerned to conduct examinations. However, failing to work out the modalities till even a month ago, the branch was asked to conduct the examination. This confusion coupled with persistent staff crunch has lead to the woes.

“We start planning for examinations almost two months earlier. Initially, it was planned that the departments will do the examination work, but we were asked to do so just a month before the examinations. Many tasks like eligibility verification is to be done manually. We had for long been struggling with acute staff crunch and 10 per cent of the staff has now retired making the situation worse. We have repeatedly asked for replacements but of no use,” said another official.



Candidates accuse education dept of bias
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 8
Hundreds of candidates appearing in the counselling for elementary teachers’ training (ETT) post today protested against the alleged pick-and-chose policy of the Punjab education department.

Soon after the counselling began, the candidates who had cleared the Punjab state teachers’ eligibility test for Classes I to V were counselled and left out the candidates who had cleared the eligibility test for Classes VI to VIII.

While officials of the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan, Punjab, claimed that the candidates who had cleared the test for higher classes were not being entertained, the candidates alleged that the condition was imposed at the last minute and not at the time of advertising the ETT posts. Many candidates claimed that they had got orders from the court, but department officials were not listening.

After the protest by the candidates continued, the officials kept the forms of the rejected candidates but did not conduct their counselling.



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