C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Fresh faces form majority in new MC
Cong wins 11 seats, BJP 10 & SAD 2; 10 candidates are women; biggest margin 2,779 votes
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
In an important development, the municipal corporation (MC) got 16 fresh faces out of the 26 elected to the fourth House since its inception in 1996. More interestingly, it was the loss of heavyweights of the two prominent parties -- the Congress and the BJP -- which paved way for fresh blood.

The Congress remained the top seat gatherer with 11 seats. The BJP is a close second with 10 seats while two seats have gone to its ally, the SAD. The Congress has got four seats less compared to its previous tally in the outgoing House while the BJP has got four more than its previous figure.

The 16 new faces are Raj Bala Malik (Cong), Saurabh Joshi (BJP), Asha Kumari Jaswal (BJP), Sat Prakash Aggarwal (Cong), Laxmi Devi (BJP), Arun Sood (BJP), Gurbax Rawat (Cong), Darshan Kumar (Cong), Kashmiri Devi (Cong), Satinder Singh (BJP), Naresh Kumar (BSP), Satish Kumar (Cong), Heera Negi (BJP), Davesh Modgil (BJP), Jannat Jahan (BSP) and Rajinder Kaur (BJP).

The old ones who were successful in grabbing the seats are Pardeep Chabbra (Congress), Subhash Chawla (Congress), Malkiat Singh (SAD), Sheela Devi (Congress), Harphool Chander Kalyan (Congress), Harjinder Kaur (SAD), Rajesh Kumar Gupta (BJP), Gurcharan Dass Kala (Independent) and Des Raj Gupta (BJP). The swearing-in ceremony of the new House will be held on January 1.

Interestingly, among all the fresh faces, at least six have routed the “armies” of the old heavyweights who were “well entrenched in city politics”. The highest victory margin of 2,417 is by a new face Darshan Kumar (Congress) was in Ward No. 11 who unseated the BJP sitting councillor Anil Kumar Dubey. The lowest victory margin of the first-timer is of Davesh Modgil from Ward No. 22 with a margin of 261 votes against Congress sitting councillor Jatinder Bhatia.

The BSP bagged two seats and Gurcharan Das Kala, a former BJP Mayor, was the only Independent to win the corporation elections. He is the first Independent councillor to win the election ever. The Chandigarh Vikas Manch, which was originally floated by a senior BJP leader and had bagged four seats last time, did not contest the polls this year.

As many as 10 candidates out of the total 26 are women.

As per data available with the election department, the highest number of 7,702 votes were polled by the oldest Congress candidate, Kashmiri Devi Rana, from Ward No. 14. She also won by the highest margin of 2,779 votes, 944 more than the highest margin during the last elections in 2006. The lowest victory margin was in Ward No. 21, where BJP candidate Heera Negi won by 120 votes, which is 100 votes more than the lowest margin in the last elections.

The lowest number of votes -- only 2,933 -- were polled by Sat Prakash Aggarwal of the Congress who won from Ward No. 6.



The great fall
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
The results have sounded the alarm for heavyweights and sitting councillors from both the BJP and Congress who, contrary to the perception of winning the seats with huge margins, lost the elections. The results are a clear indication that heavyweights are no more a favourite among voters.

Anu Chatrath, two-time winner from Ward No. 2, lost to BJP candidate Sourabh Joshi who had contested for the first time. Chatrath had refused to contest from any other ward and was considered a strong contender, but lost with a margin of 792 votes. In 2006, she had won with a margin of 1,583 votes.

Senior congress leader Chander Mukhi Sharma, a sitting councillor from Ward No. 1 but who contested from Ward No. 15, lost to SAD’s Harjnder Kaur. Kaur, who had earlier won the elections thrice, defeated Sharma with a margin of 857 votes. Sharma had won the elections twice. In 2006, he had won with a margin of 397 votes.

Devinder Singh Babla, another Congress heavyweight and councillor from Ward No. 18, lost to BJP candidate Satinder Singh, who won with a margin of 919 votes. Babla had won the last MC elections with a margin lead of 3,758, the highest among all winners.

Kamlesh, another promising Congress candidate and councillor from Ward No. 6, also faced rejection from voters of Ward No. 24. Kamlesh had won the elections thrice earlier. Kamlesh was 1,128 votes behind BJP candidate Rajinder Kaur who won from the ward.

HS Lucky, another familiar face of the Congress, lost from Ward No. 16. Another Congress sitting councillor from Ward No. 22, Jatinder Bhatia, lost against BJP’s new face Davesh Moudgil.

The BJP also received setback with three of its sitting councillors facing a defeat. Anil Kumar Dubey, a senior BJP leader and councillor from Ward No. 24, lost to Darshan Singh Garg of the Congress. Dubey had contested from Ward No. 11 and trailed by 2,417 votes. He had won the last elections with a margin of 2,270 votes.

Ram Lal, a councillor from Ward No. 23, who was fielded from Ward No. 13, lost to Congress candidate Harpool Chander Kalyan. Kalyan was 1,358 votes ahead of Ram Lal. Sitting councillor from Ward No. 20, Raj Kumari tried her luck from Ward No. 23, but stood third trailing behind BSP candidate Jannat Jahan with 2250 votes. Jannat won from the ward.



List of nominated councillors not out yet
Akash Ghai, and Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Eyebrows are being raised on the “unnecessary” delay by the UT Administration in announcing the names of nominated councillors to the new municipal corporation (MC) this time. In routine, the names of nominated councillors are announced before the results of the elections are declared.

The development is being thought of as “a design to help a particular party”, said an elected councillor. The nominated councillors are important because they have the right to vote. If no political party gets absolute majority, which happens often, the nominated councillors hold the key to the power in the MC.

No political party has got a clear majority in the MC elections, the results of which were declared today. The Congress has won 11 seats, the BJP-SAD alliance 12 seats, the BSP two and one went in the favour of an Independent. The current MC set-up has a total of 26 elected and nine nominated councillors.

Sources in the Administration have revealed that it had shortlisted 30 names for nominated councillors. A formal order clearing nine names is expected to be taken by UT Administrator Shivraj Patil.

Doctors are leading the list of aspiring nominated councillors. Out of a total of 91 aspirants, 12 doctors have evinced interest in being part of the MC House. The number is huge compared to other categories like bureaucrats, architects, advocates, social activists, traders and educationists. The wife of a High Court judge, retired defence personnel and journalists are also in the list of aspirants.

Those in the fray include doctors Jagdish Jaggi, GC Bansal, CP Bansal, Zora Singh and RS Bedi; sitting nominated councillors MPS Chawla and RC Jakhu; former nominated councillors PC Sanghi and Dr KS Raju; advocates Ajay Pal Jagga, Mansur Ali and Hitesh Kumar Puri; architects Rajnish Watts and Surinder Bahga; retired defence personnel Lt-Col JS Panag, Brig BS Gill, MQ Ansari and Major DP Singh; and traders Diwakar Sahoonja, Kamaljit Singh Panchhi and MP Kohli.

Manju Bhalla, wife of High Court judge Rajiv Bhalla, is also an aspirant. 


The nine nominated councillors and one Member of Parliament (MP) holds the key in the Municipal Corporation affairs. In the past, no political party got majority in the House and nominated councillors played the crucial role. Besides, they also have the right to vote in the elections of Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor.


Who will run for Mayor?
Parties in a fix as none has a clear majority in the House
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Confusion prevails among party leaders over whom to field as mayoral woman candidates as no party has bagged a clear majority in the municipal corporation (MC) poll.

Though SAD-BJP candidate Harjinder Kaur, who has been the Mayor twice, has won again, it will not be easy for her to get the support of the BJP. With the BJP bagging 10 seats, it may field its own candidate.

It will not be a cakewalk for the alliance to have its mayoral candidate in the saddle. With 12 seats, it needs the support of six more councillors for a clear majority.

The Congress may field former Deputy Mayor Sheela Devi for the post, but there are two new faces, Raj Bala Malik and Gurbax Singh Rawat, who are likely to be considered.

Political observers believe that the ball is in the court of nominated councillors again. Even if a party or alliance manages the support of two BSP candidates and one Independent, it needs three more votes for victory in the mayoral poll.

Other women who are in the race are Asha Kumari Jaswal, Laxmi Devi and Heera Negi of the BJP, Kashmiri Devi of the Congress and Jannat Jahan-ul-Haq of the BSP.

As per the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, applicable to Chandigarh, the party which has a majority in the House is given the chance to choose the Mayor.

The first and fourth years of the five-year term of the House are reserved for a woman candidate from the general category, the second and fifth are earmarked for a candidate from the general category and the third is for a candidate from the Schedule Caste category.



Youth brigade? Only 4 win!
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Although both the Congress and the BJP had fielded young candidates, assuming that the electorate would prefer them, only four of the 15 in the fray could make it to the House.

The only lucky Congress winner of the seven fielded in this age group was 30-year-old Gurbax Singh Rawat, who had done her MSc in information technology. She would be the youngest elected councillor in the House.

The local unit of the Congress had fielded young faces on the directions of the high command and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi.

Those who lost were Neeru Yadav (28), Jasbir Singh Bunty (33), HS Lucky (38), Dharamveer (34), Anita Tewari (38) and Arshadullah Khan (37).

Compared to the Congress, young candidates fielded by the BJP-SAD had a better showing. Of the eight young faces fielded by the alliance, three won.

They were Sourabh Joshi (31), a law graduate from Panjab University; (35), a law graduate and MA degree-holder in political science; and Malkeet Singh (32).

Those who failed to make it included Renu Bala (36), Chandrawati Shukla (36), Raj Kishore (35), Satyawan Shera (29) and Jagtar Singh Jagga (34).



Bigwigs’ day of shame
Barring Jain, others find chosen ones lose
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
A number of bigwigs’ favourites lost, but Union minister and Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal got the biggest shock as his favourite Devinder Singh Babla lost to BJP fresher Satinder Singh in ward 18 by 919 votes.

Election department records showed that Bansal cast his vote at polling booth 187 in the ward, where the Congress got only 184 votes and the BJP 403.

According to political observers, the victory margin in the ward showed that the Bansals had failed to woo voters in the very area they resided in.

BJP local unit president Sanjay Tandon was in the same boat as party candidate Jatinder Malhotra lost to Congress candidate Mukesh Bassi in the ward he resided in by 1,162 votes.

Another BJP leader, Harmohan Dhawan, failed to ensure victory for his candidates. His wife Satinder Dhawan lost in ward 1, getting only 2,998 votes.

Former MP Satpal Jain was the only leader to emerge with his reputation unscathed. In ward 2, where he resided, BJP candidate Sourabh Joshi gave a tough fight to former Mayor Anu Chatrath of the Congress and won by 792 votes.

Jain’s hand-picked candidate, first-timer Davesh Modgil, defeated sitting councillor Jatinder Bhatia from a ward considered a Congress stronghold, by 261 votes.



Better halves do better
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Although the better halves of two sitting councillors have lost, they have performed better than their husbands in their respective wards.

The SAD-BJP candidate from ward 9, Inderjeet Kaur Kang, wife of Jagjit Singh Kang, gave a tough fight to her Congress opponent Gurbax Singh Rawat, losing just by 148 votes.

Jagjit Singh Kang lost to Congress candidate Subhash Chawla in ward 5 by 1,671 votes. Though he had a long political career spanning 32 years, Kang’s wife contested elections for the first time.

Dr Joginder Mukherjee, Chandigarh Jan Manch candidate and wife of former nominated councillor Pallav Mukherjee, who had no political experience, got 202 votes and was third in ward 1.

Pallav Mukherjee was able to get only 49 votes in ward 2 as Chandigarh Jan Manch candidate. Though he had been a nominated councillor for the past five years, he was fifth among the six candidates in the fray.



Heavy rush outside centres
Supporters celebrate victory
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
It was a routine day before the counting of votes left some candidates sad and others joyous. Some bigwigs missed the post-win ride in an open Gypsy with ‘dhol’ beats, but winners were seen enjoying themselves to the fullest.

Party workers started blocking the counting centre at Sector 20 since the morning, making it difficult even for winning candidates to leave. The Sector-10 counting centre also witnessed a similar rush, with supporters celebrating their candidates’ victory.

Both Congress and BJP supporters could be seen dancing, with ‘dhol’ and band beats, not only in urban areas, but also in colonies. The road leading to Colony Number 5 was blocked by BJP and Congress workers, leading to a long traffic jam.

“I am surprised to see this huge rush. I wonder if all winning candidates are from here,” said Meghna Seth, a local resident. “They deserve to celebrate as they have worked hard. There is no harm in celebrating as long as there is no nuisance,” said a resident of Sector 21.

Policemen were on their toes to avoid any untoward incident during the winning candidates’ march towards their party offices with their supporters. Families of some winners were also seen enjoying and dancing on the roads.



Traffic snarls near centres
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Traffic snarls were witnessed in the city as counting of votes for MC elections was held at four centres today. Thousands of supporters of various political parties took out processions, leading to traffic jams.

Roads leading to the Government College for Men and the Government College for Girls, both in Sector 11, and Government Model High School and Government Home Science College, both in Sector 10, witnessed chaos and traffic jams for a major part of the day.

The traffic police had a trying time managing the rush. The situation outside the centres at Sector 10 was the worst, with vehicles parked in serpentine queues.



Sludge will not flow into N-choe by March: MC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Nearly two years after The Tribune raised a storm over sanitation concerns going down the drain, the Municipal Corporation today claimed sludge would not flow into the N-choe in another three months.

The assertion before the Bench of Justice MM Kumar and Justice RN Raina came in the form of an affidavit.

The Municipal Corporation, in the affidavit, asserted that the entire project was to be completed in two parts. While part two of the project was complete, part one was delayed due to the rains. The corporation added the entire project was expected to be complete by March 31.

Taking on record the assertion, the Bench fixed February 8 as the next date of hearing in the case.

N-choe originates from Shanti Kunj in Sector 3 and enters Mohali after passing through various Sectors.

The news-report in these columns was earlier directed to be treated as a public interest litigation. The then Chief Justice, Justice Mukul Mudgal, had observed: “Le Corbusier, who planned the City Beautiful, wanted to retain the water body to keep the residents of the city in contact with nature.

“The choe is a seasonal rivulet and the water flowing through it without there being rains for long makes one curious about the origin of water flowing through it”.

Taking suo motu cognizance of a news report carried in these columns, Chief Justice Mudgal had also asked the administration to specify “the steps contemplated to improve the condition of the choe”. The news report was also directed to be treated as a public interest litigation.

The corporation on the previous date of hearing in November had informed the High Court that the process of laying sewer parallel to N-choe, and construction of a pump chamber near Sector 52-53, would be complete in five months. A gravity sewer in Sector 50-51 too would be commissioned in a week’s time.

After that, sludge would not flow into the N-choe, as it would be collected into the pump chamber and further pumped into the main sewerage system, Diwan claimed.

On September 28, the corporation had told the High Court that the work of laying the sewer parallel to the N-choe was likely to be completed in the next six months and 20 per cent of it was complete. Similarly, construction of pump chamber near Sector 52 and 53 required six months to be completed. It claimed the process of laying gravity sever in Sector 50 was 80 per cent complete. 



New liver cancer therapy at PGI
Costs Rs 6 lakh at pvt hospitals, but only Rs 10,000 at institute
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
In a major decision, the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) has approved the selective intra-arterial radionuclide therapy (SIRT) for liver cancer at the PGI. The therapy, which costs up to Rs 6 lakh in private hospitals, will be available between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 in the PGI.

The committee has also approved the introduction of new diagnostic tests, including immunophenotyping, for detecting defect in platelet functioning, RT-PCR (reverse transcription, polymerase chain reaction) for the detection of infection in advanced stage and multiplex PCR/RTPCR, which were not available in city government hospitals earlier.

A senior official of the PGI administration said these tests would be starting in the PGI from next year.

Doctors in the nuclear medicine department said the SIRT therapy was used in patients who did not respond to chemotherapy. After assessing the condition of the patients, radiation medicine was put through the catheter in identified vessel affected with the tumour.

As regards the newly approved diagnostic tests, sources revealed that immunophenotyping (haematology department) done to ascertain the platelet function defect, would cost Rs 500 for the general ward and Rs 1,000 for private ward. The other test, RT-PCR (reverse transcription, polymerase chain reaction) for the detection of infection in the advanced stage and multiplex PCR/RTPCR (microbiology department) would cost from Rs 300 to Rs 1,200.

Several other tests, including toxoplasma avidity elisa, trichinella serology, PCR for toxoplasmosis and PCR for leishmaniasis in the parasitology department have also been approved in the meeting. Their rates vary from Rs 250 to Rs 1,200.

While the SFC approved the new rates which were either lower or almost on the par of AIIMS, New Delhi, it has increased the rates of partial embalming (preserving the body after death) from Rs 1,000 to Rs 4,000. However, rates of cervical smear (PAP smear) tests remains the same at Rs 25 to Rs 50. 



No respite from cold wave yet
Minimum temperature falls to 5°C
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Cold wave conditions persisted in the city and adjoining areas in Haryana and Punjab today, with the city recording temperatures below normal. Residents battled the chill as the minimum temperature fell from 5.2°C yesterday to 5°C.

As the chill continued unabated, people were seen snuggled around bonfires, particularly during morning and evening hours. The cold wave conditions also hit day-to-day life in the city. Business had also been affected.

The movement of mercury on Sunday and Monday indicated that the city was under the grip of a cold wave. Weather officials said the main reason for cold wave conditions was snowfall in higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh.

Things were not likely to improve till Wednesday. Weather officials predicted a fall in day temperature, with the minimum temperature likely to hover around 5°C.

Met director Surinder Paul said foggy conditions were likely to prevail for another two or three days. He said cloud formation was expected in the region due to light Western disturbances.

He said there would not be any major change in night temperature while there would be a further decline in day temperature. The department predicted a partly cloudy sky, with fog or mist during morning and evening hours.



Siblings’ murder: Relatives quizzed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Three days after the gruesome murder of two teenagers at their residence in Sector 41, the police today quizzed the relatives of victims, including their grandfather and two maternal uncles. The police questioned the maternal grandfather of the two Gopal Prasad, uncles Mahinder and Jagannath and two students of Panjab University, whose names had surfaced in conversations with Gauang, for any clues. In addition, a youth in the neighbourhood, was questioned by the police again.

“Someone in the family holds the key to the murder and at present the story is revolving around the teenagers, their parents, friends and relatives. We are verifying all aspects and are hopeful of getting a lead soon,” said an investigating officer.

IGP inspects spot

Inspector General of Police PK Srivastava today visited the spot in Sector 41, where the murder occurred. The IG verified certain facts at the crime scene. The house was locked by the police on the day of murder.

The IGP also met the neighbours and requested them to assist the police.

The Special Investigating Team (SIT) formed to crack the case today sent blood samples, blood stained bedsheets and other evidence recovered from the spot to the CFSL. Seventeen-year-old Kavita Sahu and 15-year-old Gaurang Sahu were found brutally murdered at their residence on December 16. The police had recovered a kitchen knife from the crime scene.



GMADA mulls super-speciality hospital
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 19
After announcing a land compensation of Rs 1.50 crore an acre for the upcoming Medicity at Mullanpur, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has started an integrated planning of a super-speciality hospital care hub that will come up on 97 acres adjoining the Mullanpur Air Force Station.

Instead of going for an integrated medical hub, individual plots of 10 acres and 5 acres will be carved out. To make the individual units sustainable, residential and commercial component will be allowed as per the Mullanpur master plan.

Sources said the government was keen on establishing hospitals of national and international repute. The complex will also provide premium housing for the staff of various hospitals as an incentive to come to Mullanpur. “The financial implications are being worked out. We will soon chalk out the plan once the awards for Medicity are announced,” said a senior official.

Contrary to the compensation of Rs 1.30 crore an acre announced for 400 acres acquired for the Mullanpur Eco City, GMADA is offering Rs 1.50 crore an acre for 97 acres being acquired for Medicity against a compensation of Rs 1.85 crore an acre recommended by the District Land Fixation Committee.

The official said the state government was keen on developing Mullanpur Planning Area (MPA) as an alternative to Chandigarh. The Aerocity is basically an extension of Mohali city, but the Mullanpur planning area is based on a totally different concept. Since the area is being developed from a scratch, state-of-the-art health village, knowledge village and eco-tourism related activities have been planned on the foothills of Shivalik Hills.

GMADA consultants for the project, Jurong Ltd, has proposed recreational facilities like amusement park, spa village, open-air theatres, theme parks and lifestyle hub, including golf course and sports facilities around the seasonal rivulets passing through the area. 



5 students hurt as bus rams into vehicle
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 19
Five students, including the school bus driver of Saupin’s School, Sector 32, Chandigarh, sustained minor injuries after the school bus rammed into a stationary vehicle as the breaks of the bus failed near the Patiala lightpoint here this morning.

The injured were taken to GMCH-32, Chandigarh where they were discharged after they were given first aid.

According to the police, the incident took place when the bus driven by bus driver Bindlesh Kumar was moving towards Zirakpur.

As the bus reached near the lightpoint, the driver tried to apply the breaks as there was a traffic jam. After he realised that the breaks were not functioning he rammed the bus into the stationary bus so that the vehicle would stop, the police added.

A passerby immediately informed the police and rushed the students to GMCH-32, Chandigarh. The police said the students sustained minor injuries and were discharged from the hospital.



MC staff get verandas vacated
Our Correspondent

Officials of the municipal council load confiscated goods during an anti-encroachment drive in Mohali on Monday.
Officials of the municipal council load confiscated goods during an anti-encroachment drive in Mohali on Monday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, December 19
Employees of the tehbazari wing of Mohali municipal council today carried out a drive to vacate verandas in the market areas which have been encroached upon by shopkeepers.

Verandas in Phase XI were got vacated today.Shopkeepers said they were compelled to use part of the veranda due to the shortage of space inside the shops.

Rehris were also removed from the area. 



235 examined at medical camps
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 19
It was a moment of joy for the members of Rotary Club of SAS Nagar

when Rotary International president Kalyan Banerjee visited the Rotary Vocational Training Centre in Sector 70, where eye and dental check-up camps were under way. Around 235 patients were examined at the OPD and 60 were shortlisted for eye operations. Over the next two days, surgeries will be performed on 60 patients at JP Eye Hospital, Phase VII, Mohali.



100 applicants to be interviewed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 19
Around 100 applicants for the posts of fireman will be interviewed by a seven-member sub committee constituted by the Mohali municipal council to keep 24 employees on a contractual basis for the heavily understaffed fire brigade.

The process to recruit 24 firemen began after about a year as the panel set up for the recruitment of additional employees became defunct after the civic body was upgraded to the level of a corporation.

The sub-committee will now be interviewing applicants on December 26 and 27. The Commissioner of the council JC Sabharwal is the chairman of the sub-committee. The other members of the sub-committee are executive officers, an additional divisional fire officer and one member each from the SC-ST committee, Sainik Welfare Board and sports department.

The applicants had cleared the physical test earlier.

More than a year ago, the director of the department of local bodies had given a go-ahead to the recruitment of 24 firemen and two drivers on a contractual basis to step up the strength of the staff of the fire brigade.

The fire brigade has only one leading fireman against the requirement of 12 and has only four drivers against the need of 12. Against the sanctioned strength of 46 firemen, the fire brigade has two of them working on a regular basis. Nine firemen were employed on a contractual basis.

The fire brigade at present has five fire engines, one mini fire engine and two fire jeeps. 



UT ropes in Bollywood faces 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
The UT Administration has roped in Bollywood celebrities to enthral the people during their one-week long New Year Extravaganza celebrations, starting from December 25 to December 31.

Bollywood actor Tusshar Kapoor and Kulraj Randhawa will be the special stars of the festivities who would turn up on December 17 at Sector 17 Plaza for promotion of their new movie “ Chaar Din Ki Chandani”, releasing in January. Apart from that ‘Desi Playaz’ music group will perform on December 26. The group, comprising two members Andy BIG (Bikram Bhullar) and Mista H (Harmeet Cheema), is known for invented a new genre of music called Punjabi-Funk (P-Funk). Besides, Indo-Brazilian performer Carlyta Mouhini, who has several hits to her credit like ‘Dilli ki Sardi’, ‘Excuse Me’ (Style movie), Le le Maza le (Wanted) Senorita (Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara), prominent Punjabi singers Honey Singh, Alfaaz, Jay Star and and Deep Money, will also give a live performance.



chandigarh Scan

Christmas celebrations

Christmas celebrations were observed on the grounds of St Xavier’s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44, Chandigarh. The day started with the morning prayer and a speech on the essence of Christmas i.e. the birth of Lord Jesus Christ. Later in the day, there was jubilation in the air when the whole school gathered to watch the tableau on nativity play of Jesus, performed by young angles of class I and II. The school choir kept the air of festivity alive by singing Christmas carols.The children rejoiced by seeing a number of Santas, who kept moving among them and throwing sweets.

Students of Shiamak Dawar Dance Academy peform at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Monday.
Students of Shiamak Dawar Dance Academy peform at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune photo S. Chandan

New Year festivities

The Department of Tourism, Chandigarh Administration is organising "The New Year Extravaganza” 2011 from 25th December -31st December 2011 at, Plaza Sector -17, Chandigarh. A week-long celebration will have series of high end entertainment activities throughout the last week of the year. The celebrations will have dances, live performances- musical nites, international cultural performances, fire-works and much more for the tourists and city residents of tricity.

Aakash talent hunt

At least 133 students from the tricity cleared the first stage of Aakash National Talent Hunt Exam-2011(ANTHE-2011) organised by Aakash Institute/ Aakash IIT-JEE. Over 3,500 students from the tricity appeared in ANTHE-2011 held on November 27, 2011.

The objective of conducting this examination was to recognise the talent of and to nurture them by providing them free coaching as a reward.

This examination was conducted pan India in which over 46,000 students appeared in 115 test centres out of total 2,931 appeared for second stage.

The second stage of the ANTHE -2011 will take place on December 25, 2011. — TNS



PU teachers refuse invigilation duty in ongoing semester exams
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
In a telling comment on involvement of Panjab University teachers in academic affairs, a majority of teachers out of total strength of 600 have refused to take up invigilation duty in the ongoing semester exams leaving university baffled.

This has badly hit many exam centres like Arts block number 2 but has also forced the university to get 60 per cent daily evaluation done from research scholars.

The fact came to the fore today when examination branch shot a letter to the teachers virtually pleading to attend invigilation duties for at least one exam so that the exams could be conducted smoothly.

“Invigilation and evaluation duties probably fail to figure on teachers’ list of academic duties. We had sent them performas asking about the days when they would be available in the ongoing vacation but nobody responded. We then called a meeting of all chairpersons who assured us to get teachers to agree for duties but they failed and now we have no choice but to go in for research scholars. When they create such a hue and cry for promotions then aren’t they more committed towards their prescribed duties” said a university official.

Interestingly, the teachers had already forewarned about the problem when the datasheet that clashes with the vacations was declared. The examination branch had however refused to shoulder the blame.

“The Senate approved the semester system. Till mid October it was decided that departments would conduct the exams and suddenly were asked to do so but we still managed with an additional load of PG students. Teachers should also shoulder some responsibility” said an examination branch official. 



Groups to leave no stone unturned
Syndicate elections scheduled for December 21
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, December 19
With the Syndicate elections scheduled for December 21, different groups will try to woo supporters through their take on the Senate agenda in tomorrow’s meeting.

The meeting is crucial for several reasons as everybody is up to grab a place in the Syndicate.

While the Chatrath group, which had a clean sweep last year, is struggling to maintain status quo, especially after Anu Chatrath’s defeat in the MC elections, Ashok Goyal is leaving no stone unturned to make it to the Syndicate.

The ‘war’ between two groups, which parted ways last year has made the position of college representatives and ‘VC lobby’ stronger, who may end up being the key deciding factor in the forthcoming elections.

The elections, meanwhile, are expected to keep otherwise fiery Senate peaceful, as Senators are expected to rush through agendas to save time for the last-minute election preparation.

Issues expected to rock Senate

n Alleged tampering of minutes of October Senate

n While four hours were spent last time interpreting the UGC norms related to the eligibility criteria for the posts of assistant professor, many Senators feel that the interpretation had been tampered with.

n Approval for appointment of Registrar AK Bhandari

n While AK Bhandari has been working as an acting registrar for almost a year-and-a-half now, he even after six months of his appointment, the Senate is yet to approve his appointment. Though the university supported the appointment despite complaints, it is speculated that some Senate members will try getting the appointment cancelled tomorrow. The Chatrath group has, however, supported the appointment. “Some members are trying to block it for unjustified reasons, but we won’t let that happen. Bhandari is a qualified man, selected through a set procedure, and if he does not continue on any ground then how will the university justify using him on an adhoc basis for more than a year?” asked a member of the group.

n Honoris causa

n The Senate members objected to not being informed about MP Pawan Bansal’s denial to accept honorary degree. They are expecting the Vice-Chancellor to clarify the status of degree, which was scheduled to be conferred on renowned scientist NK Ganguly.While the Syndicate and Senate had given a thumbs up to honoris causa to NK Ganguly, neither did he turn up for the convocation, nor was his name mentioned there. The house is also expecting a clarification on the constitution of Bambah Committee and guidelines for honorary degree.

n Videography of Senate

n The proposal to video record the Senate proceedings will be tabled tomorrow in the Syndicate



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