C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Two hookah bars banned in P’kula
Violation of drugs Act, but food services allowed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 23
Two hookah bars, Head Hose in Sector 9 and Arabian Lounge in Sector 5, in Mansa Devi Complex have been banned from running their business here today. The food and drugs authority department served them with notices under Section 22(1)(d) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act for selling and serving “qehwa tobacco molasses cordinal punch”, a nicotine mix tobacco. The restaurants, however, can continue to run.

Drug Control Officer Pooja Chaudhary said the molasses cordinal punch had been banned. A written undertaking was taken from the owner of these bars and in case of non-compliance, stringent action would be taken against them.

Samples of material being used in hookahs at 11 such bars were taken by the authorities recently. The samples from Arabian Lounge contained 0.46 per cent of nicotine while 0.47 per cent of nicotine was an ingredient in the contents of samples taken from Hose Head, she said.

A team of officials reached the two bars in the afternoon to seal them. However, the management of the bars pleaded with the officials that they had been running eating joints along with “sheesha” bars and if their premises were sealed, their other business would also get affected. After taking a written commitment from them that they would not serve hookah, the authorities allowed them to run the food services.

No records of sale and purchase of “cakes” put in the hookah containing nicotine were maintained, for which notices were issued to them under Section 15-B of the drugs Act.

During inspection, it was also observed that there was no segregation between smoking and non-smoking zones at these places. Also, no exhaust fan facility for fresh air and other requirements were available.

Not cheap

A hookah is served for Rs 230 for an hour. But the ones with a special “cake” mixture cost Rs 330 and those who choose “red bull” in place of water have to shell out Rs 550.

Girls also for it

While “sheesha” or hookah bars are banned in the UT, 11 such bars have opened in Panchkula in the last four years. The clientele of these outlets situated in Sectors 8, 9, 10, 14 and 16, Mansa Devi Complex and Nada village includes a large number of girls.



Appointment of GMCH Director-Principal
Wary UT Admn seeks UPSC nod
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
The recruitment scam tainted UT Administration seems to be leaving nothing to chance. After recently recommending the recruitment of ministerial staff to the Union Staff Selection Commission, it is all set to refer the appointment of the new Director-Principal (DP) of the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

The move to involve the UPSC in the selection process is seen as a departure from the Administration’s bold act of unilaterally appointing the incumbent DP, Dr Raj Bahadur, in December 2007. Not only had the Administration appointed Dr Bahadur without involving the UPSC, it had also ignored the objections raised by the commission.

Dr Bahadur, whose term ends on November 30, was appointed DP for two years on deputation from the PGI and his file was sent for a post facto approval to the UPSC. In February 2008, the UPSC objected to Dr Bahadur’s appointment and wrote to the Administration that rules clearly state that “Chandigarh Administration cannot select and appoint a candidate and then ask for ex-post facto concurrence of the commission”.

With various recruitment scams tainting the Administration in the recent past, those at the helm are not willing to take any more chances and are following rules in “letter and spirit”, say insiders. However, the process for the selection of Dr Bahadur’s successor is far from complete as the file of the applicants is yet to be sent to the UPSC.

With only a week left for Dr Bahadur’s tenure to end, it is unlikely that his successor would be finalised by then. According to sources in the health department, the file of the nine applicants for the post, which includes five members of the GMCH-32 faculty, is at present lying in the Adviser’s office for forward transmission to the UPSC.

Once the file reaches the UPSC, the process of scrutiny of the papers would begin and this would be followed by interviews of the candidates. Health Secretary DK Tewari confirmed that the file was being sent to the UPSC, but refused to divulge further details.

Meanwhile, officials in the Administration have no answers as to why the selection process has been delayed. “When it was known that Dr Bahadur’s tenure would end soon enough, why didn’t the Administration involve the UPSC earlier and finished the process?” asked an officer, alleging that these dilly-dallying tactics were purposely resorted to.

Sources said besides the five GMCH faulty members, Dr AK Janmeja (head of pulmonary medicine), Dr Arjun Dass (head of ENT), Dr Jagdish Chander (head of microbiology), Dr BS Chavan (head of psychiatry) and Dr Suman Kochhar (head of radiodiagnosis), the others in the fray are Dr VK Grover (professor in department of anaesthesia) and Dr SK Singh (professor in department of urology), both from the PGI, and Dr Piyush Gupta, professor in the department of paediatrics at the University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, and another doctor from Shimla.



PU advertises posts, but unsure of qualification
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
In a classic case of lack of coordination at PU, the university has advertised 200 teaching posts, but the Dean University Instructions, the technical in charge of recruitment, is not even clear about the qualification.

Hours after the advertisement was uploaded on the PU website, DUI BS Brar shot a letter to the VC demanding a written clarification about the qualifications in the absence of which the screening will not be conducted. When contacted, Prof RC Sobti, VC, refused to comment.

“I have got to know from media reports that the Senate had passed a resolution saying certain PhD holders, who have not cleared NET, were declared eligible for the posts of assistant professor. Since this office has received no instruction so far, definite orders are sought to start the screening process,” read the letter. Several senators in the last meeting had demanded that candidates who had done their PhD before 2009, when NET became compulsory qualification for assistant professors, should also be considered despite not having cleared NET.

Following a heated discussion, some members proposed and passed a resolution while others refused to accept it. The VC had abstained from making his stand official and even to date, the minutes have not been approved causing confusion.



rte act
102 schools get de-recognition notice
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 23
The education department authorities have issued a show-cause notice to de-recognise 102 private schools in the district for not complying with the Right to Education Act (RTE). The action followed the admonition by the court of the Civil Judge during the last hearing in a case filed by a local resident Pankaj Chandgothia on November 17.

It was contended that all schools were required to seek fresh recognition under the RTE Act by filing self-declaration forms regarding compliance of the RTE provisions. The time-limit for filing such declarations had expired in September 2011, but the district education office was taking a lenient view by not de-recognising such schools. After hearing the arguments, the court granted a week’s time and directed the District Education Officer (DEO), Panchkula, to file the compliance and final action-taken report on or before November 23. Today, the District Elementary Education Officer (DEEO) filed a written statement before the court, saying that 102 schools of Panchkula district had been issued a 21-day show-cause notice under Section 13 of the Haryana RTE Rules for de-recognition.

Jagat Singh, headmaster appearing for the DEO’s office, told the court that only 11 schools out of 113 schools had filed the self-declaration form under the RTE Act.

Schools warned

The show-cause notice issued on November 17 states that if a defaulter private school does not respond, the provisions of Rule 13 shall be invoked and necessary recommendation for its de-recognition shall be forwarded to the competent authority.



City heritage items go under the hammer
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
In a yet another jolt to the UT Administration’s efforts to preserve the heritage of the city, a Paris-based auction house, Artcurial, auctioned city heritage items yesterday. The auction house sold a cane and teakwood dining table and a pair of easy armchairs designed by Le Corbusier’s second cousin, Pierre Jeanneret, for Rs 22 lakh.

This is the second time in November that prized heritage items of the city have gone under the hammer.

Artcurial’s website revealed that the dining table was sold for 12,113 Euros (Rs 8,49,860) while the armchairs were auctioned for 19,126 Euros (Rs 13,41,821).

Pierre Jeanneret designed the table in 1958 in Chandigarh and the armchairs were designed in 1955-56. Various auction houses all over the world had bought furniture from Panjab University, PGI, government offices, and Chandigarh College of Architecture, among others, for a paltry sum.

In 2007, the London-based auction house Christies, had made 8 million dollars by selling furniture designed by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret. It is believed that furniture had been bought from Panjab University, PGI, assembly, government offices, Chandigarh College of Architecture, etc, for a paltry sum.

On May 25, Artcurial had sold four of the seven lots of heritage furniture designed by Jeanneret for Rs 40.75 lakh. Before this, in the November auction last year, 44 heritage items from Chandigarh were sold for Rs 7.07 crore.

Inventory ready

Last month, the UT Administration had finalised an official inventory of items of heritage value. The inventory was prepared by the department of urban planning after a painstaking five-month-long exercise and has a list of over 10,000 items, including furniture, tapestries, models and sketches designed by Le Corbusier’s team. The inventory will now be sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs for the framing of rules for the preservation of these items.


Congress announces list of candidates, sparks revolt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
After the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) formally announced the candidates’ list for the municipal corporation (MC) elections today, a few party members revolted and decided to contest as Independents.

Addressing mediapersons, CTCC president BB Behl said the Anna Hazare factor would not affect the election prospects of the Congress. He claimed that the Congress would be in a majority by winning 22 of the 26 seats.

Expressing satisfaction on the candidates’ list, Behl said the party had considered representation for all categories while selecting candidates for the 26 wards.

Rebels’ show

Party rebel AS Gujral took out a rally in ward 15, from where Chander Mukhi Sharma had been given the ticket. Many slogans were raised against the party and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal.

The public in the ward showed its resentment, claiming that Sharma is an outsider for the ward and the candidate from the ward should not have been denied the ticket.

Supporters of former councillor Sohan Lal Vaid staged a protest in front of the venue where the list was announced. They claimed that Dharamveer had got the ticket on the recommendation of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi.

Protesting against the allotment of ticket to Mukesh Bassi from ward 17, a son of senior leader Naveen Gupta announced that he would contest. Saroj Sharma, replaced by Indu Singla in ward 21, also decided to fight as an Independent.

BJP-SAD list out

The BJP-SAD alliance today announced its candidates from 25 wards. Four seats were allotted to the SAD. The decision on ward 24 would be taken later.

The decision on the final list of candidates was taken by Chandigarh BJP president Sanjay Tandon and national secretary Sham Jaju.

No papers filed

Despite the BSP announcing its candidates for the elections a month ago, nobody from the party turned up for filing nomination papers on the third day today.

As per a report from the election office, not a single candidate from any party filed papers. The last day of filing nomination papers was November 28.

Seniors bypassed

Ignoring senior Congress leaders, Manish Bansal, son of Union minister and local Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal, announced the final list of Congress candidates today.

Missed the bus

The names of sitting councillors Ravinder Pal Singh (Mayor), Kuldeep Singh (Senior Deputy Mayor), Bhupinder Singh Badheri, Anju Beniwala, Rita Sharma, Manjit Singh and Vijay Singh Rana are not in the final list.



Failure to reconstruct wall annoys residents
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 23
Failure of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to reconstruct a damaged boundary wall separating the HIG complex and Madanpura village in Phase II has created resentment among residents of the area because of security reasons.

GS Saraya, president of the Resident Welfare Association, HIG complex, said the vacant area adjoining HIG houses was being unauthorisedly used by residents of the village after the boundary wall got damaged.

This had led to security problems for HIG residents as a large number of migrants lived in the village.

Heated exchanges between residents and villagers were witnessed twice during the past about 10 days after the latter tried to encroach upon the vacant area. The police had to be called to control the situation.

The matter was brought to the notice of GMADA authorities, but no action had been taken so far.



Fog delays trains, people suffer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
The late running of major trains in the region due to the intense fog and speed restriction has caused inconvenience to passengers, stranded for hours at the railway station here.

Trains like 12311 Howrah-Kalka Mail, scheduled to arrive at 3.05 am, was delayed. Shatabdi also arrived late by about one hour.

Similarly, the Himalayan Queen was also late by about 30 minutes. The 12231 Lucknow-Chandigarh Express, scheduled to arrive at 9.55 am, arrived at 4.25 pm.

Station superintendent Parveen Kumar said the 14217 Unchahar Express, that was scheduled to arrive at 10.15 am on Tuesday, was late by 18 hours and arrived at 3.45 am this morning.

He said the train was running late by about two hours today and was likely to be further delayed due to dense fog on its way to the city.

He said the 15903 Dibrugarh-Chandigarh train, scheduled to arrive at 1.15 pm, arrived late by seven hours and-a-half. He added that the 15904 Chandigarh-Dibrugarh train would leave at 1.10 am.

Children and women, huddled together inside a waiting room, could be seen awaiting the arrival of their respective trains. Men could be seen roaming in front of the enquiry office to get the latest update on train timings.

Ravinder Vasudeva, a marketing head with an IT company, said, “This is my first visit to the city. It has given me a chance to observe the multi-ethnic culture of the city, evident from the people waiting on the platform.”



Dip in mercury brings ailments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
With the onset of winter, common cold and flu, skin cracks, joint pains and respiratory ailments may take a toll on the physical health of many. “The dip in the mercury brings in many ailments. However, taking a few precautionary measures can make a big difference,” say physicians.

Cold and viral infections spread like wildfire during this season. “Most viral infections start with a sore throat, followed by cough, sneezing and finally, ending in nasal discharge. This leads to breathing problems and allergies,” says Dr Rajesh Dheer, ENT specialist.

Dr SK Bhandari, physician, says the food we eat can play a preventive role during winter. “Human beings are warm-blooded. They require maintaining a higher metabolism rate during winter to maintain body temperature. Diet during winter is rich in fats and carbohydrates. But the body’s metabolic rates go down during this season. Indigestion, constipation, acidity etc are common problems. To avoid this, one needs to exercise regularly, avoid oily food. One should eat a lot of fruits and vegetables as they give resistance against infection,” he says.

Paediatricians warn against winter diarrhoea and winter dermatitis (skin problems) among infants and toddlers. “Besides skin dryness and other skin-related problems, winter diarrhoea is one common problem seen among children. Children should not be exposed to cold temperature. They should be given food, which has ample amount of vitamin A. Eating carrots and drumsticks can help. Children suffering from winter diarrhoea need to be given plenty of fluids,” says a paediatrician at the PGI.

The cold and dry winter air is very damaging to the skin as it removes all moisture. “Skin problems like excessive dry skin, ichthyosis, cracked heels, dandruff, eczema and psoriasis are known to aggravate in winter. All these ailments may bring discomfort,” says Dr GP Thami, head of the dermatology department at GMCH-32.

The worst affected are asthmatics. Pollution in air triggers release of inflammatory proteins in the body and asthmatics, who are predisposed to breathing problems, suffer from inflammation of the airway.

“Asthmatics should always carry preventive inhalers with them. They should always avoid sudden change in temperature as it can constrict the airway. Pneumonia and other lower respiratory tract infections are common. Old people should avoid morning walks and it will be best if they can exercise in a warm environment,” says Dr SK Jindal, head of the pulmonary department at the PGI.



Canada to give super visas to Indians

Chandigarh, November 23
Going by the claims of Parm Gill, member of parliament, Brampton, Springdale and Canada, the Canadian government in a bid to facilitate Indian immigrations will provide 25,000 super visas this year as compared to an average of 17,000 last year.

Gill along with Jagvinder Singh Virk, senior member, Liberal Party, Australia visited Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Landran, today apprised students about the latest benefits being offered by the government to attract Indian students and residents for immigration. The benefits of this visa will not only allow holders a 10-year long multiple entry visa but will also extend benefits to the near and dear ones of the visa holders. — TNS



Civic body to carry out work
Widening of Zirakpur-Ambala stretch
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, November 23
Widening of the stretch between Zirakpur-Patiala traffic light point and Zirakpur-Kalka traffic light point will now be carried out by the Zirakpur municipal council. Earlier, the work was being carried out by GMR, the company undertaking maintenance of the Ambala-Chandigarh highway.

The issue was discussed in the meeting held at the DC’s office in Mohali today. Dera Bassi SDM, MC officials and traffic police were present in the meeting.

Sources in the civic body said the project report given by the National Highway Authority of India was sent to the MC engineer for estimating the cost of the project and the matter would be finalised in the next council meeting.

Interestingly, the municipal council had written to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for an NOC to beautify the space under the flyover so many times, but the proposal was rejected by the higher authorities in NHAI.

But now the work of widening would be carried out by the council.

Frequent traffic jams were witnessed on the stretch following which the action was taken. In the absence of parking space, commuters park vehicles along the road.

Confirming the development, NHAI project director Anil Dhaia stated that he had written to the Dera Bassi SDM regarding the widening of the stretch. He said to solve the problem of traffic congestion on the stretch, NHAI had granted the permission to the civic body to carry out the widening work. They had also given them the project report.

He said NHAI had not given the permission to use the space for any kind of advertisement to the council.

However, president of Zirakpur Market Association Mahavir Aggarwal alleged that illegal parking of rehris along the highway blocked the passage. He lamented that neither the council officials nor the GMR officials had taken the matter seriously. He also demanded that the authorities should arrange proper parking space for those visiting the market.

The executive officer of the Zirakpur municipal council said the matter was taken up in a meeting held in Mohali. He added that the matter would be discussed in the next council meeting. “After widening of the highway, the local residents will heave a sigh of relief,” he added.



phase vi revisited
Nothing in the name of development
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 23
Residents of Phase VI are a harried lot as the municipal corporation and Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) have failed to provide proper civic amenities in the area.

Even after highlighting the problem in these columns more than two months ago, nothing has been done to improve the situation.

Roads in several parts of the phase are broken. Even the road leading to the Civil Hospital and Government College has not been repaired since long. Sanitation is in a state of neglect as heaps of garbage can be seen lying at various places, especially near the market area. Parks are being maintained on a pick-and-choose policy. Vacant plots are also a nuisance as malba is dumped along these by residents.

A major source of annoyance for residents of Phase VI is an illegal fish and meat market that springs up in the afternoon along the main road. Residents complain that not only does a stink emanate from this temporary evening market, but the area also attracts birds and stray dogs on the lookout for leftovers.

Rajinder Sharma, former municipal councillor, lamented that the number of illegal fish and meat sellers had gone up over the past two months. He had met the Additional Commissioner regarding the problem, but nothing had been done despite assurances. Nothing by the name of corporation existed in the town as hardly any development was taking place, he added.

He lamented that GMADA was taking “extra care” in developing certain parks while others were being totally ignored. Such an attitude was creating resentment among residents.



Protesting health workers lathicharged
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 23
Multi-purpose health workers and health supervisors were allegedly lathicharged by the Chandigarh police this evening when the protesting employees made an attempt to enter Chandigarh.

As per reports, tear gas shells were also thrown at the protesters. Some workers sustained injuries, while turbans of two fell down.

Multi-purpose health workers and supervisors from all over the state had gathered under the banner of ANM and LHV Union. They took out a rally in support of their demands. The protesters raised slogans against the Punjab government.

The protesters had also blocked the national highway near Balongi putting commuters to inconvenience. Later, when they failed to get any response from the authorities concerned, they marched towards Chandigarh, but were stopped by the Chandigarh police near Phase VI. They staged a dharna on the Chandigarh-Mohali boundary. Later, they made an attempt to enter Chandigarh by damaging the barricades, but the attempt was foiled by the UT police by resorting to lathicharge.



Closure notice to two meat plants
Tribune News Service

Mohali (Kharar), November 23
Chairman of the Punjab Pollution Control Board KS Pannu has issued directions for the closure of two meat plants at Chanalon village in Kharar tehsil and Behra village in Dera Bassi tehsil.

Notice will be issued to Thermocraft Industry at Sarsini village for flouting norms set by the Pollution Control Board under Air Act, 1981.

Joginder Singh, environmental engineer, Regional Office, Punjab Pollution Control Board, Mohali, stated that on receiving information that the norms were being flouted by a meat processing plant M/s Sagri Foods (P) Ltd, Focal Point, Chanalon, Kharar, a surprise check was conducted and it was found that the meat processing plant was discharging industrial effluent into sewer. The industry is engaged in slaughtering and processing of broilers. The industry had been granted consent to operate under the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, for discharging its treated effluent into sewer. However, the industry was found violating the provisions of Water Act, 1974. Directions were issued for the closure of the unit under Section 33-A of the Water Act, 1974. The chairman also asked the PSPCL authorities to disconnect the electricity supply to the industry.

At a meat processing plant, M/s Punjab Meat Ltd, Behra village, Dera Bassi tehsil, it was found that an effluent treatment plant installed by the industry was not functioning. Effluent samples were collected and sent for analysis.

Joginder Singh said the board received a complaint from a resident of Lalru that air pollution was being caused by the industry located at the rear of Royal Cinema, Lalru.

It was learnt that M/s Monarch Thermocraft, Sarsini village, Dera Bassi tehsil, which manufactured thermocoal, was using unauthorised fuel.



Bitter pill for Nectar society
Forum tells it to refund Rs 1,11,010 to complainant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I has directed Nectar Cooperative House Building Society Limited to refund Rs 1,11,010 to a Sector-32 resident for failing to construct the flat as it did not have the requisite permission for it. The forum, comprising PD Goel, Rajinder Singh Gill and Madanjeet Kaur Sahota, also directed the society to pay 12 per cent interest per annum from the date of depositing the amount till realisation and Rs 5,000 as costs of litigation.

The complainant, Kamal Chaudhary, had submitted that after the society asked him to become a member thereof, he deposited Rs 1.50 lakh under various heads, including membership fee, share administration fee, earnest money and part land cost payment. He had added that the society issued him a confirmation letter of allotment of a flat at Sector 74-A in Mohali, after which he visited the proposed site.

He had stated that he found that no flat was likely to be built there as the society had neither the requisite permission from the authorities concerned, nor the possession of the land. He had pointed out that he requested the society to refund the amount deposited, but to no avail.

The society, including its president and cashier, could not be served the notice and were proceeded against ex-parte as they failed to present themselves. The official liquidator was also proceeded against ex-parte for failure to appear despite service.

The counsel for society vice-president RK Goyal and secretary Balkar Singh pleaded that no inducement had been given to anyone to become a member of the society. He further said the two persons were never members of the governing body of the society and there was no receipt signed by the society regarding acceptance of money for membership and allotment.

The counsel stated that society cashier Kulwinder Kaur had issued the receipts. He pleaded that the society went into liquidation and the liquidator appointed by the Registrar of Cooperative Societies had to settle the claims.



Friends, staff questioned
Death of IAS officer’s son at Himachal Bhavan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
A day after the body of Abhishek Kapoor, son of a senior IAS officer, was found in room 501 of the Himachal Bhavan, the police questioned friends of the deceased who visited his room on the day of the incident.

The Sector-26 police station SHO, inspector Sri Prakash, said friends and some members of the Himachal Bhavan staff were questioned.

The police said a preliminary investigation suggested that it was a natural death, adding that the actual cause would be known only after the post-mortem report was received.

“Two friends and the hotel staff are being questioned. We are waiting for the autopsy report, from which the actual cause of death will be known,” he said.

Abhishek was a son of PC Kapoor, Principal Secretary, Tribal Development, Himachal Pradesh, He allegedly consumed liquor in the company of two of his friends, who dropped him at his room around 2 am and left.

Police sources said no injury mark was found on the body. A staff member of the Himachal Bhavan was the first to report the death.



Youth killed in accident, friend hurt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
A young life was snuffed out and his friend injured in a road accident past night. The motorcycle they were riding slipped on the road separating Sectors 39 and 40 here.

The police said Rajbir Singh (23) of Duarli village in Mohali district died while his friend Balwinder Singh was injured while they were on the way to meet Rajbir’s father, working at the waterworks in Sector 39.

They were rushed to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16. Rajbir was referred to the PGI, where he succumbed to his injuries. Balwinder was discharged after treatment.



27-year-old ends life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
A 27-year-old youth committed suicide after hanging with the ceiling at his home. The deceased has been identified as Sandeep, a resident of Sector 41.

The police said Sandeep’s father, Kirpal Singh, had passed-away a few days ago and Sandeep was disturbed since then. Sandeep is survived by his wife.



tricity scan
Chandigarh Scan
100 units of blood donated

More than 100 units of blood were donated in a camp organised by the NSS of the Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Pharmacy, Sector 26, on Wednesday. Organised in collaboration with the Rotary Blood Bank Society, the visitors were also given the benefit of free sugar testing.At least 65 volunteers donated blood in a camp organised by Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes in collaboration with the local Rotary International Foundation and Blood Bank Society, Resource Centre, here, on Wednesday. The donors included students and staff members.

T-shirts distributed

Global Environment Concern (GEC) in collaboration with The British School, Sector 44, distributed 50 T-shirts and bags for the underprivileged children of colony no.5, Sector 44, here, on Wednesday. The GEC is a voluntary organisation working on social issues of education and environment in the tricity. 'Project Smiles' is an initiative in collaboration with The British School, which aims at educating the underprivileged kids.

Emeritus Fellowship

Prof Aruna Goel, a former director, Centre for Women Studies, Panjab University, has been offered a Emeritus Fellowship by the University Grants Commission in Sanskrit. Her work will concentrate on role of Sanskrit in India philosophy by covering different aspects related to logic, anatomy, atomic theory, time and gravitation.Goel has authored 25 books on Sanskrit literature. She has been a member of the University Grants Commission. She was conferred a Certificate of Honour by the President on August 15, 2008.Goel has been a member of the Society of Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla, and also a member of the Sahitya Aacdemy.

Spiritual talk

Vijay Kohli from Dublin, Ireland. and pursuing Ph.D in metaphysics, visited Holy Child School. He enlightened the staff and students with his spiritual talks on the “guru-shishya” relationship. He suggested the students not to lose their sanity by following the Western cultures blindly. He advised them to strike a balance between the two cultures and adopt a “pick and choose” policy to maintain peace of mind. — TNS

NCC Week

Brig Satish Kumar, Cdr Gp HQ NCC, interacts with cadets at the NCC Week celebration function in Chandigarh on WednesdayMore than 500 cadets are participating in the NCC Week celebrations being organised by the Group HQ, Chandigarh. The activities so far included a ‘Run for Fun’ and visits to the blind institute and old age homes, separately. Cadets are also organising rallies against global warming and will also organise a blood donation camp. Painting and essay writing contests were also organised.
Brig Satish Kumar, Cdr Gp HQ NCC, interacts with cadets at the NCC Week celebration function in Chandigarh on Wednesday. A tribune photograph



EWS reservation
UT misquotes schools during hearing in HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
In what may act as yet another twist to controversial EWS reservation mandated by the UT administration in several private schools as per their allotment letters, the schools have accused the UT education department of misquoting them in the high court during a hearing on the same issue.

The schools had clarified that they would follow the quota system only if it was mentioned in the allotment letter, the UT had reportedly informed the court that a majority was in favour of the implementation.

Schools in different letters shot to the department have claimed that they had been misquoted in the minutes of meeting held on November14, 2011, which were eventually submitted before the court.

“We have received the minutes of the meeting and I will like to bring to your kind notice that my remarks noted down as minutes of the meeting are not clear. I will like to explain my stand and clarify if there is any ambiguity. On the remark that the schools will follow the directions of the DPI from time to time, which is a part of the allotment letter of all the schools, I had said the schools were already following the directions of the DPI for e.g. age criteria etc. Any direction which has a financial impact attached to it and is not a part of the allotment letter will be difficult to follow”, read the letter sent by the St Kabir authorities.

Will follow if mentioned in allotment letter

Schools had clarified that they would follow the quota system only if it was mentioned in the allotment letter, the UT had reportedly informed the court that a majority was in favour of the implementation.



PUTA demands scheduling of Syndicate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
While Panjab University has decided to hold a senate meeting on December 20, the syndicate members and PUTA have demanded scheduling the Syndicate before it to deal with over 10 issues deferred in last Syndicate because of the MC code of conduct.

Amongst others, the recommendations of the regulation committee to propose enhancement of retirement age to 65 years is the most important one as it is bound to affect 600 teachers.

“There were promotion cases of many teachers which have been pending for months now and if the Syndicate is not held then they cannot be tabled in the forthcoming Senate delaying the matters till march,” said Akshay Kumar, PUTA president.

“Not just promotions all major agenda items were withdrawn last time in lieu of the code. They need to be discussed and then taken in the Senate. We cannot forgo them like this,” said a Senate member.



DAV, West Virginia college tie up for global project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
The DAV College, Chandigarh, and the West Virginia Northern Community College (WVNCC), USA, today entered into a collaborative project, “The Student Enrichment through Global Collaboration Project”.

The project is designed to engage students and faculty in the two countries to gain a firsthand perspective on current topics related to social, economic, judicial, and cultural issues. A series of asynchronous (online) discussions among peers and experts in two countries will be conducted using blackboard learning management system (LMS) to accomplish the project goal. Asynchronous discussions are independent of the space and time and allow students to engage in meaningful discourse at their own convenience.

Dr Purnima Sharma, the designer of this project, has designed and delivered several courses online and as instructional designer trained faculty and students to utilize e-learning environment. To begin the project implementation process, Sharma today conducted a demonstration of the communication and participation tools used in the project for the DAV College faculty. About 50 students have shown their eagerness to enrol in the project.

Officials said that the students’ interactions will be provided using two discussion forums; a “virtual online café` and “intellectual discussion forum. Topics of discussion in online café will be selected by the students in two countries based on the students’ interests. “Participation directions and guidelines will be provided to ensure all discussions are appropriate and conducive to the educational and cultural values of the two countries”, the officials said.

At the completion of the project, discussion messages from the two forums will be analysed for the quantity and quality of interaction, quality of learning, and added value of collaboration and critical thinking skills. A survey will be conducted to evaluate students’ perspective on global collaboration project. Findings of the project will be used to extend collaboration projects in the future.



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