C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Minor players no more
After SAD, BSP declares its mayoral candidate
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
Though the prominent parties, the Congress and the BJP, have not opened their cards on the mayoral candidate, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) have done so. During media interaction today, BSP general secretary Narender Kashyap announced the name of Jannat Jahan-ul-Haq. The SAD had already announced the name of Harjinder Kaur, a former Mayor.

Both parties had bagged two seats apiece in the recently held municipal corporation (MC) poll. By announcing their candidates, they were pressurising the prominent parties to support their chosen ones instead.

Kashyap said the BSP would not support any party in the mayoral election. “We will field our candidate, Jannat Jahan-ul-Haq,” he stated.

BJP sources said a meeting was held today to discuss the mayoral candidate and a majority of senior leaders supported the name of Asha Kumari Jaswal.

The sources said it was also decided that the BJP would field its candidate and not extend support to the BSP or SAD candidate in this election.

The sources revealed that an objection was raised to the SAD having announced its candidate without the consent of its alliance partner.

The sources further said senior BJP leaders had been holding meetings with nominated councillors to seek their support for BJP candidate.

A senior BJP leader expressed surprise at the SAD having issued a statement that the BJP would support it, though no meeting was held between them after poll results were out.

Congress sources said the name of Raj Bala Malik was finalised for the post during a meeting of senior party leaders, but the party had not made any formal announcement yet.

Political observers said the nine nominated councillors, and not BSP and SAD members of the next House, would play a key role in deciding the fate of candidates of the prominent parties.

The Congress had 11 seats and with the local MP, had 12 votes in hand. The BJP-SAD alliance had won 12 seats in the MC. Both required seven more votes for the mayoral candidate to win.



Happiness at work eludes PGI, GMCH docs
Say promotion avenues few, physical environment tough, good work not recognised
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
The general perception that doctors at government hospitals are a dissatisfied lot is not wrong if the findings of a survey conducted by the PGI on doctors at the PGI and the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, are to be believed.

While doctors enjoy a high percentage of satisfaction when it comes to salaries and job security, their dissatisfaction levels regarding work atmosphere, recognition of work and lack of promotion avenues are equally high.

While 74 per cent of the 150 doctors surveyed have given the thumbs-up sign to job security, salaries and opportunities to use their skills, a whopping 82 per cent are dissatisfied with the lack of promotion opportunities. The dissatisfaction levels are quite high, over 60 per cent, on issues like recognition of good work, excessive physical work and work environment.

The survey, conducted by Dr Meenakshi Sharma of the public health department, with the guidance of the PGI faculty and Dr Sonu Goel of the community medicine department, has been done to assess the satisfaction and dissatisfaction levels of medicos working at the two hospitals.

The findings of the survey have revealed that only 56 of the 150 doctors are satisfied with the recognition they receive for their work. The others feel that there is no recognition of hard work.

Only 53 doctors are satisfied with the physical work environment, with the remaining feeling that they are overburdened due to the increased inflow of patients. When it comes to promotion, 82 per cent complain of lack of avenues for growth.

A senior doctor with the PGI has said the physical work environment is not good enough as they face problems in the management of patients. “The physical load on doctors has increased due to the increasing number of patients,” the doctor has said.

Doctors with the PGI are not satisfied despite the implementation of the time-bound promotion scheme, introduced after the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations. A senior doctor with the GMCH has said most medicos feel that not many avenues of growth exist. “In spite of eligibility, we have to wait for promotion,” he has said.

Most doctors feel that there should be some scheme at the local level for rewarding and recognising good work. “No one recognises our good work and the administration has not taken any initiative to do something in this direction,” a GMCH doctor has said.

As per the study, satisfaction levels are connected to security, attitude of immediate boss, relationship between management and doctors, attention paid to suggestions, freedom to choose method of working, opportunity to use skills and salary.

The survey has also revealed that over 90 per cent of PGI doctors and 86 per cent of their GMCH counterparts are satisfied with the opportunities given to them for the use of their skills.

The satisfaction levels are low when it comes to relationship with fellow workers. Only 54.6 per cent of doctors with the PGI and 55.5 per cent of those with the GMCH are happy with it.



Day after, mall beats a retreat
Complaint against Pali withdrawn; Babla was not present

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
In a flip-flop less than a day after the incident, the management of the Fun Republic at Mani Majra today withdrew its complaint of misbehaviour against Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh Pali under “political pressure”.

TR Brar, manager of the mall, yesterday lodged a complaint at the Mani Majra police station that the Mayor created a ruckus at the mall and manhandled him.

In his complaint, Brar said he received a telephone call from Pali to book four tickets at the mall for the evening show of the movie ‘Don 2’ for his family, but all seats were booked.

He further stated in the complaint that he received another telephone call from Pali at 8:30 pm, expressing dissatisfaction as his kin were unhappy with the arrangement of seats provided to his family.

He added that after threatening him over the telephone, Pali came to the mall, accompanied by at least 20 persons, and manhandled him. The ensuing ruckus ended only after the intervention of the police and the security staff at the mall.

The Fun Republic management took a U-turn today and withdrew the complaint. While Brar refused to comment when asked the reason, sources said he was under pressure from all quarters to withdraw the complaint.

Refuting the allegations, Pali said, “The allegations seem to be a figment of the manager’s imagination. I have never even seen him. I was not present at the mall yesterday.”

He elaborated, “I did book the tickets and was unhappy with the seats that they provided to my family. I just gave a telephone call to the manager, expressing dissatisfaction. The manager withdrew the complaint on his own today.”

Outgoing councillor Devinder Singh Babla was not present at the mall when the incident took place. His name was not in the complaint given to the police by the management of the mall, as was erroneously reported in these columns. “I am not linked in any way to this incident,” he said Babla. The error is regretted.

Not the first time

  • Pali allegedly created a ruckus at Sector 32 in a drunken state on December 16, the evening before municipal corporation elections. He was gheraoed by residents and later by BSP members, who alleged that he took out a revolver and threatened them.

Unfortunate: Bahl

  • Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee president BB Bahl said from New Delhi that it was unfortunate that Pali was involved in a ruckus at a public place. He added that he would have a word with Pali about the incident and take appropriate action against him after his return.



Increased stress too much to handle
68 committed suicide in city this year, with 49 hanging themselves

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
A majority of the 68 suicides this year occurred in the underbelly of the city, underlining the impact of fast-paced life and increased stress on the downtrodden in particular. The maximum number of suicides were reported from slums, colonies and villages. The number of male victims was 35 and female 33.

Statistics available with the police revealed that unemployment, prolonged illness, drug abuse, family or dowry disputes and broken love affairs were the basic reasons that compelled most of the victims to take the extreme step.

The maximum number of suicides, 18 in all, occurred in areas under the jurisdiction of the Sector-34 police station, with Burail and Colony Number 5 reporting a large number of cases.

The second highest number of suicides, 15 in all, were reported in areas under the jurisdiction of the Sector-39 police station and all of those took place at Palsora and Maloya villages.

Police figures revealed that while 49 persons hanged themselves, 11 consumed poison. Three persons jumped to their death, of which two suffering from prolonged illness jumped from the fifth floor of the PGI building in separate incidents.

Two persons died by setting themselves ablaze, two committed suicide by jumping into the Sukhna Lake and one shot himself. The age group of 25 to 40 years dominated cases of suicide, with six teenagers also taking their lives.

A sensitive age, unable to handle criticism and impulsive attitude were the reasons psychiatrists believed led teenagers to take the extreme step even on trivial issues.

According to experts, the burden of under-diagnosed emotional disorders was huge. It was suggested that residents look out for mood fluctuations, sudden introvert behaviour, decreased societal interaction and staying alone.



Couple killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
A couple died as a rashly driven Swift car hit the carriage auto-rickshaw they were riding at the Sector 27/28 traffic light point here this afternoon. The victims, 50-year-old Dharam Pal and his 46-year-old wife Sushila, were killed as they received grievous head injuries.

The police arrested the driver of the car, 32-year-old Vishay Darpan, an engineer working with Airtel at the IT Park here.

Dharam Pal and Sushila, who were residents of Mauli Jagran, supplied vegetables at the grain market. The carriage auto-rickshaw belonged to them.

The accused was on the way from the IT Park to his Sector-48 residence and the carriage auto-rickshaw was being driven from Sector 27 towards Sector 28 when the vehicles collided.

Dharam Pal died on the spot and was declared brought dead at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital in Sector 16. Sushila was taken to the PGI, where she succumbed to her injuries.

A case of causing death due to negligence was registered under Section 304-A of the IPC at the Sector-26 police station. The couple were survived by two sons and a daughter.



Kaura Murder
Mystery woman eludes police
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 26
The investigations into the mysterious death of Chandigarh-based cardiologist Dr Deepak Kaura seem to have hit a dead end, as the mystery woman still eludes the police. Efforts to trace the other mobile numbers used by the woman to communicate with her contacts have so far not yielded any results.

The mobile connection procured on the basis of a stolen ID was recharged for a short period thrice from different shops since December 6, indicating towards it being a case of contract killing. More than one person seems to have been roped in to eliminate Dr Kaura.

The mobile call details made and received from the mobile number of the mystery woman, who was last seen with the victim, hold the key to those behind the planned murder.

“It seems that the assailants used the victim’s weakness for women to trap him. The moment he dropped his fiancée at the airport, the mystery woman got in touch with him and eliminated him on getting the right opportunity,” said sources in the police.

Dr Kaura, owner of Oxford Hospital in Sector 19, Chandigarh, was last seen with a woman in his Tata Aria car on Tuesday evening and his body was recovered the next day in a car at Dera Bassi.

The woman appeared to be 27 years of age. The police has already released a sketch of the woman. On December 10, Dr Kaura got engaged to a Canadian-based NRI and was scheduled to marry in January.

The calls details indicated maximum movement of the mystery woman in and around Sector 19.

The police sources confirmed that the assailants and the mystery woman had been keeping a watch on Dr Kaura’s movements for a few days prior to the murder.

The woman managed to come in contact with the victim without getting noticed and ended his life.

The police is questioning a number of women who were in contact with Dr Kaura. A through analysis of the call details and questioning of the women in contact with the victim are expected to give a breakthrough to the police.



General Hospital
CCTV installed
Tribune News Service

An electrician fixes a CCTV camera at General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, December 26
After drawing flak over the recent theft of a newborn, the health department finally installed CCTV cameras for surveillance at the General Hospital, Sector 6, here today. The decision to install CCTVs at the hospital was taken after a one-day-old baby, Mannat, was taken away by two women on December 6.

At least seven cameras have been installed at the entry and exit points of the hospital, besides the emergency ward and outside the maternity ward on the first floor.

Senior Medical Officer Dr Usha Gupta said the hospital had decided to upgrade its internal security, adding that more cameras would be installed in the corridors, outside the emergency and maternity wards, for surveillance.

“We decided to install CCTV cameras after the recent incident. It which will help us improve security at the hospital and ensure that such incidents do not recur,” she said.

Dr Gupta said a CCTV control room would be set up in the hospital to monitor the movement of unscrupulous elements.

Another hospital official said hundreds of attendants and patients from various parts of the district visited the hospital daily and it was difficult to keep an eye on all of them at the entry and exit points.

The security at the hospital is currently being maintained by a handful of employees of the hospital. The CCTV cameras would help them keep a better vigil, he added.

Surjeet Singh, a resident of Barwala, said CCTV cameras should also be installed outside the entry gate of the emergency so that immediate help could be provided by the hospital staff to seriously-ill patients who arrived from far-off places.

The catalyst

The decision to install CCTVs at the hospital was taken after a one-day-old baby, Mannat, was taken away by two women on December 6.



Sanitation Services
Performance no criterion for MC?
Keen on extending contract of two companies with poor track record

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
The municipal corporation doesn’t seem to have a yardstick to measure the performance of sanitation service providers while outsourcing work to private contractors. As for the past three years, sanitation contracts for villages have been allotted to two companies even though councillors have been complaining about their poor performance in their wards.

The issue of giving extension to the two service providers for the sanitation work will be tabled in the last general house of the outgoing team tomorrow.

The plea of the department to give three-month extension to the present sanitation providers was that the two were the only ones out of the four companies — that had applied against tenders floated three months ago for new sanitation service providers — that fulfilled the criteria set by the corporation.

However, as per clause 5 of the corporation Act, there should be at least three contractors and each should supply not more than 230 sweepers. The tenders of the other two companies were cancelled on these basis and extension was sought for the existing two service providers.

Interestingly, for the past three years, the councillors representing the villages and colonies have been raising the issue in the House of the absence of any check on the deployment of manpower by the contractors in their areas.

A majority of councillors complained that the sweepers deployed by the contractors never visited their areas on a daily basis, as a result of which there was no garbage collection system in their areas.

In fact, a number of times Congress councillor Kamlesh had suggested that the corporation should have a system of checking the attendance of outsourced sweepers, as contractors often deployed less manpower as compared to the numbers shown on paper.

Similarly, BSP councillor Ram Sumer Morya had been raising the issue of residents’ displeasure at irregular visits by sweepers in their ward, due to which they were forced to live in unhygienic conditions.

Councillors cry foul

A majority of councillors complained that the sweepers deployed by the contractors never visited their areas on a daily basis, as a result of which there was poor sanitation in their areas



Year Ender 2011: Panchkula
Development works take a backseat
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

A view of the Pinjore-Parwanoo bypass. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

The stray cattle menace dots Panchkula roads.

A biker flouts traffic norms as he crosses the naka without helmet in Panchkula. 

Panchkula, December 26
While the status of Panchkula civic body remained in litigation throughout the year, the development works in the district took a backseat. This in addition to putting residents to inconvenience had kept municipal councillors on their tenterhooks. Even as a stay by the apex court on the decision of Punjab and Haryana High Court has once again converted the municipal council into a corporation on August 10, the uncertainty over the fate of civic body still hangs in balance as the Supreme Court of India is to listen the final hearing on the issue in the coming year.

It was on October 29, 2010, a division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had quashed the notification issued by the Haryana government on March 17, 2010, regarding the formation of Panchkula Municipal Corporation.

The state government, however, moved the apex court against the decision, which had ordered a stay and the issue was fixed for the final hearing in January, 2012.

This, however, put a break on the development works in the town.

No contractor came forward to take part in the bid for work worth over Rs 3 crore for which MC officials floated tenders for the first time last month in this year. The works to be done included repair of parks in Sectors 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18 and 19, Mansa Devi Complex, Industrial Area Phase I and construction of rain shelters in many parks.

Apart from this, bids were also invited for providing and fixing of grills on various dividing roads.

The construction of dustbin enclosures and repair of a school and aanganwari centre were also to be done. The district administration even had to face the strict directions from Panchkula courts over stray cattle menace and compliance of Right to Education Act.

However, the district got its first five star hotel in Sector 3 and another resort is to be started soon in the town on the Morni road.

The residents also heaved sigh of relief when HUDA allotted 652 flats to rehabilitate slum dwellers on December 13. A total of 2,072 apartments have been constructed in the first phase.

However, the crime in the district remained unabated. The district witnessed 19 murders, three dacoit, eight robberies and nearly 50 snatching incidents.


  • Panchkula police converted into commissionerate.
  • The district, short of police force, got 65 police personnel in December.
  • NHAI assured the Punjab and Haryana High Court of completing work on the Pinjore-Parwanoo bypass by December 31.
  • Panchkula gets its first five star hotel in Sector 3.


  • On November 5, Panchkula court issued a contempt of court notice to Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar, Additional Deputy Commissioner, MC executive official KK Jain and Deputy Commissioner of Police for disobedience of court orders to take effective steps to ensure that the stray cattle menace was eradicated.
  • Shopkeepers protested against inadequate security in the town after 10 thefts reported from the markets on December 11.

Looking ahead

  • Decision of apex court over status of municipal corporation.
  • Opening of Pinjore-Parwanoo bypass.
  • Start of work on the Pinjore bypass joining Surajpur-Baddi road.
  • Outdoor surveillance system.



City colder than Shimla for fourth day
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
Residents continued to brave the coldwave conditions, prevailing in the tricity region during the past one week, with the night temperature hovering around 3 °C. The weather office has predicted chill during daytime as the minimum temperature is expected to increase in the next couple of days.

The city region remained colder for the fourth consecutive day today with Chandigarh recording a minimum temperature of 3.4 °C, one degree below that of Himachal Pradesh’s hill station Shimla, which recorded 4.4 °C.

There was a slight decline in the day temperature, as the maximum temperature on Monday was recorded at 19.4 °C, compared to 19.8 °C on Sunday.

Similarly, the minimum temperature rose to 3.4 °C from 3 °C recorded yesterday.

The icy winds blowing in the region are expected to continue for another couple of days.

Even though there was cloud formation in some parts of the region due to a slight deviation in the western disturbances, there was no possibility of rain in the near future, said the weatherman.

Surinder Paul, Director, UT Meteorological Department, said the cold wave conditions would persist in the region and the minimum temperature was likely to go up and the maximum temperature could go down in the next couple of days.

He said the weather would remain dry with little chance of rain in the coming two to three days.

Meanwhile, the met department has predicted a cloudy sky with mist or haze during morning and evening.

The maximum temperature on Tuesday will be around 18 °C and the minimum temperature around 4 °C.



Organ trafficking
Gang fudged documents to run racket
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 26
A day after a well-organised racket of human organ trafficking was busted, investigations by the Lucknow police have revealed that the members of the gang operated by manipulating the documents of the sanctioning authority (outside the state) concerned in such a coordinated manner that it raised little doubt about the credentials of the documents.

Lucknow DIG DK Thakur said though the name of the hospital surfaced during the suspects’ questioning, the hospitals had no role to play in the human organ trafficking case.

“After preparing the forged documents of the sanctioning authority, the gang members used to manipulate the verification documents sent by the hospital concerned. The gang had contacts in the office concerned of the civil surgeon or commissioner, who used to give certification to the fake documents. The entire exercise appeared genuine,” said the DIG.

The gang members have confessed to having lured at least seven such unsuspecting donors who were presented as kidney recipients’ relatives. “The verification sent by Shivalk Hospital led to the unravelling of the racket. The sanctioning documents were found to be false and the missing donor was traced with the help of the hospital authorities,” said the DIG.

The police is on the lookout for the other persons who had helped manipulate the documents of the sanctioning authority. The police has not ruled out the possibility of the trade being run in other states.

The police has already arrested four persons — Harishankar Maurya, Dilip Nigam, Vinod Dubey and Harish Prajapati — who used to lure innocent victims and bring them to private hospitals to sell their kidneys.

Modus operandi

  • After preparing the forged documents of the sanctioning authority, the gang members used to manipulate the verification documents sent by the hospital concerned. The gang had contacts in the office of the civil surgeon or commissioner, who used to give certification to the fake documents.



Shortfall in supply leaves residents powerless
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
Local residents have been facing scheduled and unscheduled power cuts due to a shortfall in power supply from various central power generation plants to the UT electricity department.

Residents of Sectors 16, 19, 20, 22, 35, 45, Burail, 46, 48, Dhanas and Mani Majra have been facing unscheduled power cuts varying from one to four hours for the past few days.

Mohit Sharma, a Sector 16 resident, said they had to face power cuts on Sunday and Monday mornings. These were not scheduled cuts and had spoiled their daily routine, he added.

Also, Aman Deep Singh, a Sector 20 resident, said they had been facing power cuts in the afternoon and evening hours for the past four days. It is quite unusual to face power cuts at this time of the year, that too daily, he added.

He said he had bought DVDs of some movies but the power outages ruined his plans.

MP Singh, Superintending Engineer of the electricity department, said various central power generation plants like Chamera-I, Anta, Bhakra, Singrauli, etc. were not working properly, which had resulted in a decline in the supply of power to Chandigarh.

He added that the situation in the entire northern region was bad. He said they would wait for a few more days and if the situation did not improve, they would announce scheduled cuts.

‘Plants not generating enough’

Various central power generation plants like Chamera-I, Anta, Bhakra, Singrauli, etc. are not working properly, which has resulted in a decline in the supply of power to Chandigarh. — MP Singh, SE, UT electricity department



Unscheduled power cuts hit life
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 26
Unscheduled power cuts during the past three days have disrupted the normal life, affecting day-to-day activities in residential, commercial and industrial sectors in the town. Though no official intimation about power cuts has been given, the electricity department is resorting to rotational power cuts throughout the day.

Sources revealed that due to a snag at two thermal plants, there was acute shortage of power. The cuts were extended from two hours to three hours and were being imposed several times during the day. The rising temperature during the early morning and night hours made the matter worse as heating gadgets could not be operated.

Though residents were not very critical about the power cuts in the winter, those who depended on power for earning their livelihood were bitter about the situation. The business in the commercial markets was also being affected due to the cuts.

PS Virdi, president of the Consumers’ Protection Federation, said the power cuts during the winter were posing a major problem to the elderly. The government has been claiming that power would be made surplus, but the position was getting from bad to worse.



245 patients examined at medical camp
Tribune News Service

A doctor examines a patient at the free medical camp in Zirakpur on Monday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Zirakpur, December 26
As many as 245 women and children were examined at a free medical camp organised at the community health centre in Dhakoli here today. The camp was organised in collaboration with Punjab National Bank and Savitri Charitable and Social Welfare Trust. Besides providing laboratory tests for blood sugar and urine, free medicines were also given to patients.

Giving information, Dr Ramnik Kaur stated that the camp was organised to provide free medical facilities to the poor and needy. She said a team of doctors comprising child specialists, gynaecologists, skin specialists, eye specialists and dental specialists examined the patients and distributed medicines.



MC removes 45 hoardings
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 26
The Zirakpur Municipal Council (MC) today removed around 45 hoardings, put up by various political parties, from Baltana, Zirakpur and surrounding areas. The drive had been conducted on the directions of the SDM, Dera Bassi.

According to sanitary inspector Santosh Kumari, the hoardings and banners were put up along the highway, inner areas of Zirakpur, Baltana, Pabhat and Lohgarh and were removed after doing video graphing.



Sibling’s murder
Police still clueless
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
A police team that went to Mewat to find clues into the double murder case of teenaged siblings Gaurang and Kavita returned empty-handed. With the motive of murder still not clear, the case is turning out to be a tough nut for the UT police to crack.

The police had dispatched a team to the native village of the two to get any lead into the case two days ago. Both Kavita and Gaurang were found brutally stabbed to death at their Sector-41 residence on December 16.



156 NCC cadets to attend R-Day camp in Delhi

Chandigarh, December 26
The Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh NCC Directorate will be sending a contingent of 156 cadets, including 36 girls, to participate in the Republic Day Camp in New Delhi. Cadets from 17 directorates across the country will attend the month-long camp.

The cadets, who are in the final stages of preparation and training, are schedule to leave for the national capital on December 30. — TNS



Church clarifies

The news “Special prayer for Manu Sharma” carried in Chandigarh Tribune on Monday stating that “Christ the King Cathedral held a special prayer followed by a midnight mass by Rt Rev Dr Ignatius Mascarenhas, the Bishop of Simla Chandigarh Diocese, for Manu Sharma, alias Sidhartha Vashistha” is factually incorrect.

A clarification mailed by Father Vianney, secretary to the bishop, states that neither any special prayer was ever offered or made by Rt Rev Dr Ignatius Mascarenhas, the Bishop of Simla Chandigarh Diocese, for Manu Sharma, alias Sidhartha Vashistha, nor was it followed by a midnight mass. It further states that Rt Rev Dr Mascarenhas had never met the aforesaid person.

Father Thomas Anchanikal, Parish Priest of the Christ the King Cathedral, Sector 19, has clarified that “the amount mentioned was given to the Missionaries of Charity, Sector 23, for the poor and handicapped children staying with the Missionaries of Charity. The money received will not be used by the cathedral Parish nor by any one of the Diocese Shimla-Chandigarh”.



A clarification

In reference to news item “A smooth year sans major controversy”, carried on December 26 in these columns, it is clarified that under subhead “Probe against PGI chemist” it has been inadvertently stated that the owner of Aditya Medicos was arrested.



Year Ender 2011: PU
A trail of highs and lows
Tribune News Service

Girls perform giddha during the youth festival at Panjab University in Chandigarh.
Girls perform giddha during the youth festival at Panjab University in Chandigarh.
Girl students strike a pose with their certificates at the convocation. Tribune photographs
Girl students strike a pose with their certificates at the convocation. Tribune photographs

Chandigarh, December 26
Just like many preceding years, 2011 was also a “newsy” trail of highs and lows with PU oscillating between credit and shame day in day out.

While the year started with faculty being up in arms against varsity officials of bowing down to alleged unjustified vandalism of student leaders whose insistent and protest lead to Dr Krishan Guaba’s unceremonious exit from the dental college, it ended with three cheers for long awaited 130 CAS promotions finally getting a nod from the Senate.

As far as the students are concerned, as usual they failed to get prominence on any Senate and Syndicate agenda, but all thanks to students leaders, they got their day-to-day problems solved to a great extent. However, what proved to be a historical event were the student elections, which were completely violence-free, all thanks to the UT police, which launched “Operation PU”.

Last but not the least, Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti continued to be reporters’ delight by hitting headlines every other day. He held a special press conference today to sum up PU’s achievements in 2011.

Faculty appointments


  • Under Career Advancement Scheme (CAS): 134
  • Direct appointments: 56


  • Ad hoc system ruled the roost this year also with a majority of teaching and non-teaching positions still lying vacant for an entire part of the year and the Registrar being confirmed only in December while Controller of Examination is still a distant dream.
  • Several appointments, especially of acting directors, defied logic, as chosen ones hold no academic or professional experience in departments concerned. Latest example: Karan Vashisht, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences, is acting director of HSJ Dental College.
  • No accountability of teachers for delayed evaluation or denial to invigilate.



  • WiFi system to be installed in the academic area in Sector 14 and hostels from the UGC grant of Rs 40 lakh
  • Integrated software application (PU intranet) can be accessed by PU employees. Instant information about budget, finance, establishment, accounts, academics, etc, is available to the authorities.
  • The university’s digitisation involves computerisation of the accounts and establishment branch - profile, salary, provident fund, service records, bills, achievements, etc, are available online.
  • Alumni portal, placements, academics, hostels, all automatically linked with students’ data
  • Modules like stores, diary/dispatch, legal cell, enquiry, DCDC, estate, DPR, guesthouse, etc, ensure both transparency and accountability


  • Despite claiming to be thoroughly digitised, PU could not efficiently start online fee system or popularise it. For a general student, queues is what epitomised fee submission, form submission or even getting information at PU departments, which even created a row at the examination branch, making it out of bounds for quite some time.



  • DMCs for entrance tests are now available online resulting in a huge saving of money and time. In the next session, OMR scanning of entrance test applications will be replaced with online capture of data
  • Roll numbers are now available online, which can be downloaded, therefore avoiding delay
  • About 55,000 degrees were awarded with coloured photographs of the students


  • Delayed results haunted students this year. The examination branch blamed it on teachers, accusing them of not participating actively in evaluation.
  • Results hit an all-time low by registering an average of 8 per cent dip even as cheating cases soar to 300.
  • With PU getting busy in “appeasing” VIPs, achievers had to wait for hours to get their degrees at convocation, which were handed out like pamphlets and gold medals are still awaited.



  • PU witnessed its first violence-free elections where SOPU won with a record margin. The credit, however, goes to the UT police that converted campus into cantonment, gave frequent “counselling” to students and ensured compliance with Lyngdoh recommendations.
  • More than 166 students were provided scholarships under the category of sports, need-based assistance, need-cum-merit and handicapped. Fee exemption with free hostel facility was granted to the most deserving students belonging to the economically weaker sections of society. This was over and above the free seats available to such students. Rent-free accommodation is given to blind and poor students as well as international sports players. Performance-based scholarships would be awarded to each player.
  • There was no fee enhancement for the year 2011.
  • Cases of more than 45 orphan students of the university are under consideration for free education/ reimbursement.
  • Additional capacity of 100 students has been provided in boys hostel No. 8, girls hostel No. 9 will be completed by July 2012.


  • Despite several attempts, PU could not solve the hostel availability issue, as the applicant to seat ratio continued to be as high as 1:18.
  • Yet another year and student president failed to get speaking rights in the Senate even as student issues being the last on agenda.

Academic issues


  • Semester system has been introduced in all PG courses.
  • The University is in the process of purchasing metal detectors for ruling out usage of unfair means during the examinations.
  • Many university departments have received grants from the UGC, ICMR, DST, etc, under various schemes for strengthening infrastructure, conducting research, etc, which are valid till 2016. The total amount is to the tune of over Rs 18 crore.


  • Semester system delayed in UG courses due to lack of coordination in colleges.
  • Examination reforms fail to take off.
  • Degrees handed out to sitting politicians.



Destruction of documents
Month later, no action against DEO yet
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
In a classic case of bureaucratic red tape, the UT education department even after one month of being directed by education secretary, DPI (S) Sandeep Hans has failed to initiate any disciplinary action against district education officer (DEO) Chanchal Singh for unexplained and non-procedural destruction of documents pertaining to a complaint against registrar education, Arjun Dev.

While repeated attempts to contact Sandeep Hans proved futile, the copy of letter shot to Hans by director higher education DK Tiwari on November 4, 2011, confirmed that the education secretary had ordered disciplinary action against Chanchal Singh and other department officials who were found guilty at different levels of inquiry.

A local RTI activist had in a complaint to the education secretary had accused registrar Arjun Dev of misleading the department by availing LTC benefits for his son even though he was away participating in a fencing tournament during that period. He demanded a probe against Chanchal Singh and fencing team in charge Charanjit Kaur for making up expenditure details, as he had been provided with two different copies of expenditure details in response to two different RTI applications.

During the course of inquiry, it was found that one of the expenditure statements, which was key evidence, was destroyed in the presence of district education officer Chanchal Singh and new statement was made to put in file.

“While both statements amounted to Rs 38,840, the first statement had been destroyed without following any procedures, as it raised many doubts and questions,” read the letter.

In what has yet again brought to fore the unchecked tampering of bills of sports teams, Charanjit Kaur, PTI, GMSSS-10 and in charge of fencing team, in due course of this inquiry was found guilty of getting fake receipts and a disciplinary action was ordered against her. According to the inquiry report, in a bid to keep the expenditure same in old and new statements, she replaced vouchers of auto-rickshaw worth Rs 70 with Rs 240. What, however, left one and all amused was that in one of the vouchers not only the registration number of auto and taxi, which were used to ferry the teams is same but even the signature and name of the driver proving receipts were wrongly prepared.



Teachers irked over untimely transfers

Mohali, December 26
Large-scale transfers of teachers in government schools in the mid of the session has fumed resentment among affected teachers. They lamented that the transfer orders have been issued at the wrong time to adjust certain teachers.

Incidentally, the director general of school issued the transfer orders on the day the election code of conduct came into force. The transfer orders have been issued in different districts of the state. — TNS



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