C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Municipal Corporation mayoral elections
Raj Bala is city Mayor
Congress bags all three posts; 100 pc voting registered
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 1
The Congress made a clean sweep in the Municipal Corporation (MC) mayoral elections today. In the fourth tenure of the MC, the Congress bagged all three posts of the Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Hundred per cent voting was registered in the mayoral elections.

In a triangular fight for the Mayor’s post, Congress candidate Raj Bala Malik was elected the 18th Mayor after she defeated two contenders, including BJP’s Asha Jaswal and BSP’s Jannat Jahan Ul-Haq by a huge margin. Out of 36 votes cast for the post of Mayor, 35 were valid and one was declared invalid as the stamp was put on the name of the candidate rather than the box in front of the name.

For the post of Senior Deputy Mayor, Congress candidate Darshan Kumar Garg defeated BJP candidate Deshraj Gupta by a margin of 10 votes. Garg got 23 votes while 13 votes went in favour of Gupta. Similarly, for the post of Deputy Mayor, Congress candidate Satish Kumar Kainth emerged victorious by securing 23 votes against BJP-SAD candidate Malkeet Singh, who got 13 votes.

Raj Bala Malik won by 21 votes. BJP candidate Asha Jaswal bagged 12 while BSP candidate Jannat Jahan Ul Haq got just two. After being elected as Mayor, Raj Bala Malik conducted the elections to the post of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

The Mayor’s election was presided over by nominated councillor Babu Lal. The Member of Parliament, Pawan Kumar Bansa,l who is ex-officio member of the General House, was the first to cast his vote for the Mayor’s post.

The three-party senior leaders, including Congress president BB Bahl, BJP president Sanjay Tandon and BSP leader Haffiz-Anwar-Ul-Haq were present in the visitors’ gallery of the House during the election. Even former mayor Ravinder Pal Singh was present in the visitors’ gallery.

The supporters of all candidates who could not manage to get the pass of the visitors’ gallery were able to witness the ceremony in the MC office parking lot where two plasma televisions were installed by the authorities.



BJP councillors raise objections

The newly elected councillors of the BJP raise objections before the polling began in Chandigarh on Sunday.
The newly elected councillors of the BJP raise objections before the polling began in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari
Before the commencement of the election, BJP councillor Arun Sood demanded that the councillors should not be allowed to carry their mobile phones inside, as it was a breach of secrecy of ballot. Last year, Union Minister and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal had denied following these instructions in the last mayoral elections. He said, “There is no such norm in the MC Act that does not allow councillors to carry mobile phones.” However, presiding officer Babu Lal instructed all councillors that mobile phones were not allowed inside election booths.

BJP councillor Arun Sood objected in the House to different initials of MC secretary Lalit Siwach, on the ballot papers given to the councillors for the election to the post of Deputy Mayor. He pointed out that on nine ballot papers Siwach had underlined the initials and on two he had made a line above his signature.



First timers clueless

Clueless about the proceedings of the mayoral elections, all first timers in the House started congratulating Congress Mayor Raj Bala Malik on her victory before the announcement was made by presiding officer Babu Lal. Interestingly, the MP, who was sitting next to her, had to guide his party councillors to wait to applause Malik till the formal announcement was made. In fact, Malik’s family members, who were sitting in the visitors’ gallery, start cheering her while the election observers were counting the votes.


Nominated councillor Dr Amrit Tewari found it meaningless for the BJP councillors to object to the size of booth’s enclosure. She suggested that the councillors should not argue on petty issues in the House.

BSP mayor contender Jannat Jahan Ul-Haq, who is a first timer, objected to the commencement of the election proceedings, which was why she was not called by the nominated councillors for an interview. Presiding officer Babu Lal informed her that it was a way of canvassing.



Mayoral elections not ‘managed’, says Pawan Bansal
Tribune News Service

MP Pawan Kumar Bansal
MP Pawan Kumar Bansal

Chandigarh, January 1
Denying opposition parties allegations that the Congress had managed the mayoral polls with the support of nominated councillors, Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal refuted it and said that they had voted according to their conscience.

After a clean sweep in the mayoral elections today, Bansal stated that to avoid such allegations he always supported an open ballot for every election conducted in the House but the MC Act did not allow it.

Refusing favoritism in the selection of the nominated councillors, Bansal said that there was no norm in the Act, which did not permit the selection of family member as nominated councillors, who had any connection with persons having political background.

He said that the selection of existing nominated councillors was on the basis of their contribution for the betterment of the society.

Objecting on the political benefits, which the nominated councillors enjoyed in the past MC tenure, Bansal said that the nominated councillors were selected for their expert opinion and they should only focus on it. Supporting the voting right of the nominated councillor, he said that they should exercise it without the influence of any party.

Demanding an amendment in the constitution, Bansal said that the Member of Parliament should not be a part of the House.

He further suggested that the Election Commission of India should execute “right to reject” rather than “right to re-call”, which the team of social activist Anna Hazare had been demanding for a long time.

Listing out the challenges for the MC, Bansal said that even though the city got top position in sanitation services but there was lot to be done to strengthen and streamline the system.

The maintenance of green belts and parks were also a big challenge for the MC authorities.



It’s not going to be a cakewalk for new Mayor
Major challenges are filling vacant posts, addressing civic problems, getting approval for development projects
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Due to acute shortage of space, mismanagement in a parking lot in Sector 17, Chandigarh.
Due to acute shortage of space, mismanagement in a parking lot in Sector 17, Chandigarh.
Garbage strewn in Sector 25, Chandigarh.
Garbage strewn in Sector 25, Chandigarh. Tribune Photos: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, January 1
The typically flowery agenda of new municipal corporation Mayor Raj Bala Malik listing ambitious projects that she plans to undertake will be incomplete if she ignores crucial civic issues such as parking problem, solid waste management, water supply and staff crunch in the civic body. In fact, the major challenges for the Mayor will be speeding up the process of approval of designs of new constructions from the UT chief architect department, as most of the projects have been shelved.

Last year, a pilot project of the multi-level parking in Sector 17 was scrapped due to delay in getting an approval from the UT administration. Besides, major construction proposals are in the pipeline after the recent transfer of departments of primary health and education.

Parking problem

City is facing an acute shortage of commercial and residential parking lots. In the last decade, not even a single commercial multi-level parking and community parking has seen the light of the day and around 12 projects are yet to take off, as approval for the same is still awaited. The Mayor will not only have to earmark the parking sites, but will have to get these approved as well.

Solid waste management

For the past five years, the solid waste management has become a bone of contention for the Congress party.

The Mayor will have to resolve the problem of foul smell in the city by implementing garbage disposal system.

Water scarcity

With an increase in population, the demand for water has gone up. But after the denial of UT share from Phase V and VI of Kajauli water works by Punjab, it has become a matter of concern for the MC authorities to look for another alternative to cope with the water scarcity in future.

Staff crunch

In all departments of the corporation, the work is suffering due to paucity of staff. The main challenge for the Mayor will be to get 4,203 vacant posts filled. In other departments also, about 1,200 posts are lying vacant.

Primary education

Another challenge for the Mayor will be to get the sites approved for the six new primary schools which the MC has to construct at different places in the city.

The corporation will also have to renovate all seven schools that were shifted to the corporation by the administration. An amount of Rs 2 crore has been sanctioned for the construction of each school.

Primary health

The Mayor will also have to chalk out plans to undertake the renovation work of all 17 civil dispensaries shifted to the MC recently. An amount of Rs 4 crore has been earmarked for a 100-bedded maternity hospital at Maloya. The site has already been earmarked for the project, but the work is yet to commence.

During the maiden interaction with mediapersons here today, Mayor Raj Bala Malik shared her priorities which included providing better community centres and sports facilities in every sector, re-carpeting of roads, developing rural areas, maintaining green belts and parks, curbing stray cattle menace and providing better facilities for senior citizens. She said a proposal would be sent to the UT administration to transfer public transportation to the civic body.
  • When asked if the MC would pursue the proposal of transfer of villages which were under the jurisdiction of the UT administration, Malik said the proposal would be looked into with villagers’ consent. She said if a majority of them wanted a merger in the civic body, suggestion would be taken up with the UT administration.



Not all’s well with children
Fast-paced lifestyle making them prone to depression
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 1
Gone are the days when childhood was all blissful, stressless and carefree. The pressures of modern-day living and fast-paced lifestyles have taken a toll on childhood too, with young children suffering from hitherto known adult problems like stress and depression.

It may sound strange but children as young as four and six years are suffering from depression. One such case was recently reported at the Child Guidance Clinic of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH)-32.

Jimmy (name changed) was a happy-go-lucky child like any other 4-year-old, till he suddenly stopped taking interest in almost everything. All of a sudden he stopped talking, eating and even playing.

Failing to bring Jimmy back to his usual self, his worried parent approached the Child Guidance Clinic where the doctors after lengthy conversations with the child concluded that he was suffering from depression. And the reason for it was the loss of a close friend who had moved out of town.

Dr Preeti, in charge of the guidance clinic, said it took a lot of time for Jimmy to open up. “After several sittings we realised that he had been feeling low, as his close friend and neighbour had moved out of the city, making him feel lonely”, she said.

Dr Preeti said since administrating medicines at such a young age wasn’t advisable, some therapies were suggested to Jimmy’s parents. After a few follow ups, the young boy became his usual self and was normal.

Dr Preeti revealed that on an average, they got one child per month with problems of depression. She cited the case of a six-year-old child who was on medication for almost one and half years.

Just like Jimmy, this child too had lost interest in almost everything and his parents brought him to the guidance centre after consulting neurologists. Though the exact cause of depression in the child could not be ascertained, he was back to being his usual self after prolonged medication, the doctor claimed.

Dr Preeti admitted that over the decade, childhood depression had increased rapidly and despite widespread awareness about it, many parents ignored it. She said depression among children could cause serious health problems if not treated timely.

Causes of depression can vary from situation to situation like separation from parents, divorce, serious emotional crisis in the child’s life, neglect, sexual or physical abuse, death of a loved one and pressure stemming from unrealistic expectations from family members. Genetic background or bio-chemical disturbance can also make some children prone to depression, said Dr Preeti.

Dr BS Chavan, head of psychiatry department at GMCH-32 said, “Depression is treatable and children who exhibit its symptoms should be referred to and evaluated by mental health professionals. It must be borne in mind that inadequately treated childhood depression raises risk of suicide and recurrent bouts of depression, he added.

“Treatment differs according to the age of the child. With small children, play therapy works the best, as they communicate and express themselves openly to the therapist. For older children and adolescents, cognitive therapy helps as it focuses on changing the negative perceptions in to positive self-talk,” he said.



Siblings’ murder case
Neighbour identifies accused
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 1
It was a close neighbour of the two siblings murdered on December 16, who had seen the accused visiting their house on the day of the incident, which helped the Chandigarh police zero in on distant relative Rahul. The neighbour has identified the accused, who is still at large.

Police sources said a neighbour saw Rahul, a Raipurani resident, who had been missing prior to the murder, at the residence of the deceased in Sector 41.

The neighbour, whose identity is hidden, identified Rahul through his photographs shown by the police. The police has not denied involvement of more than one accused behind the murder of the two teenagers.

Justifying the delay in arresting Rahul, the police stated that the accused never kept a mobile, which made it difficult to nab him, as they could not trace his last location.

Rahul has two brothers who are also being questioned by the police in regard to the murder.

The police said the murder was an act of sudden provocation after Gaurang objected to Rahul’s gestures towards his sister Kavita when he came to their residence on the fateful day. “Teams are conducting raids at various suspected hideouts to nab the accused”, the police sources stated.

Accused may have been arrested

Although the police is claiming that the accused is still at large, however, the former having information about the entire murder episode, points to the fact that the accused may have been arrested and revealed the entire story to the police.


Open house response
Controversy over role of nominated councillors

Recently, there has been a serious controversy over the role of the nominated councillors in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. The MC was set up basically on the demand of political parties to carry out the affairs by the elected representatives instead of the bureaucracy; thus the formation of the Corporation came into being in 1996 consisting of 30 members, 20 elected, 9 nominated and with one elected MP. The strength of the nominated members has been almost the half of the total strength of the Corporation, which does not represent the political character in its real sense of the term as was envisaged. At present, the strength of the MC has increased from 20 to 26. While adopting and framing the statue for the establishment of the Corporation, it seems that the framers have not gone into length to study and consequent implications of such a big team of the nominated members in the Corporation.

Though for the first time over 60 per cent voting has been polled during the Municipal Corporation elections held on December 17 by surpassing all the previous records yet the verdict has thrown up a hung House and the reigns have been handed over to the UT Administrator who has nominated nine members to the Municipal Corporation as per Punjab Municipal Act adopted in Chandigarh. Probably, this is the only Corporation in India where the nominating councillors have voting rights.

The whole practice underlines the irony of how the highly literate voter of Chandigarh is rendered virtually powerless in what is supposed to be democratic exercise. First of all, there is no need of such a big team of nine nominated councillors against that of 26 elected councillors. But if at all the list has been out and as reported in the newspapers, majority of them have the inclination with congress party, there should absolutely no voting right with them that spoils the entire democratic structure in the city. The nominated members are the burden on the public exchequer and the people have to pay unnecessary taxes to bear this burden.

Coordination with people must

The nominated councillors are important because they have the right to vote. If no political party gets absolute majority, that often happens, the nominated councillors hold the key to power to elect the mayor of Corporation.

The five-year of service of the Corporation by nominated councillors is crucial. During the period, they are supposed to interact with public to get the feel and first hand knowledge problems related to ‘aam adami’ and social realities. These nominated councillors can open up the minds of corporation officers, by bringing them into direct contact with problems related to ‘aaam adami’s’ life, with people at grass-root level, with their concrete problems and with different human and social problems prevailing there.

“Today’s politicians think themselves to be exclusive guardians of the people. The present working of the officers of the Corporation have lost the faith of the people. The people doubt their credibility and efficacy of occupying policy level posts. Because of inadequate accountability, inefficient working, plans and policies remain on paper or often, far away from the reality and actual needs and aspirations of the people. Closer contact, coordination with people and their confidence in general public could save them from undue political pressure of the councillors.”

Er Sachin Sharma, President Youth Innovative Society

Performance must count

Chandigarh is a modern city, inhabited by educated and responsible people. The outcome of the MC elections clearly gives a message that votes should be exercised wisely and at the end, it is the performance that counts. At the same time, it is a lesson for those who have failed to come up to the expectations of the residents. All the elected councillors should work towards the development and uplifting the city by ignoring their personal and vested interests. The nominated members should not be given the voting right as they are not the elected representatives of the citizens. The practice is in contradiction with the principles of people’s democracy as their nomination is always dubious. Nominated councillors should be allowed to vote for better functioning of the local government and not for electing mayor.

Vineet Kapoor, Panchkula

Sincere candidate should be elected

In the just concluded MC elections, voters have done a great job and have sent a message that they have re-elected only the right and sincere members who have developed their wards to the satisfaction of the residents. The message is a warning to the first time councilors that they need to work really hard to come up to the expectations of the residents. Also, the nominated councillors should not be given voting right to decide as to which party will rule the civic body for the next five years. The nominated members are non-politicians and are expertise in different fields. Their role in the house is to get the right work done along with implementation of policies or schemes for the welfare of the residents and development of the city. They should always remain neutral during the conduct of the proceedings of the house. It has been observed that in the past, the nominated members are politicking in the house and have shown their affiliation to various political parties, which is absolutely uncalled for. The practice is shame of democracy.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Sector 38 C, Chandigarh

Politicisation likely

The nine nominated councillors of the MC Chandigarh hold the key to the election of its mayor in the absence of any clear cut absolute majority for any political party. The UT administration nominated those persons as councilors some of who owe allegiance to congress and in such a situation it is likely that congress mayor shall come up. However, in the backdrop of Chandigarh, which being a Union Territory is governed by the Central Government, the element of politics has entered with the nomination of those persons who belong to the political parties instead of those who should have been above politics apart from being dexterous men of intelligence, honesty, skilled and artists to shape the things of the city beautiful fast losing its splendour by meddlesome way of politicians.

Gurmit Singh Saini, Mohali

No question raised for 15 years

It is totally absurd to give voting rights to the nominated councillors of the Chandgarh Municipal Corporation for electing the mayor. Because the nominated councilors are not the elected representatives of the people. The BJP has also raised the point and has threatened to move to court in this regard. But why such an objection has been raised now? Why this question was not raised for the past 15 years of the Municipal Corporation's functioning. Surely, the BJP is now feeling the heat of the system as it fears that the nominated councillors will vote for a congress councillor for the mayor's post, as most of them have congress background or leanings.

The issue needs to be deliberated upon seriously for a change in the current set up that is necessary.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Open house question

Despite tall claims about the revival of ‘beat patrolling’, by the local police, there is poor visibility, on the ground, of beat constables making rounds of houses and streets for a direct contact with the city residents. Write your opinion on the existing situation of an absolutely collapsed system of the police beats and public expectations to the openhouse@tribunemail.com.

In the local MC, a team of 9 nominated members is taken simply to accommodate bigwigs. There is already an IAS officer along with some PCS or HCS officers to look after the day-to-day affairs of the Corporation. The nominated councillors are not responsible to the people for their commissions and omissions. Though in the initial years, the purpose might have been to keep a check on politically motivated drives of the elected representatives yet with time, the entire purpose has been defeated especially, when some of the nominated members have jumped in a fray of being representatives of the different political parties.

— SK Khosla, Sector 40 C, Chandigarh



Vineet’s family holds warden responsible
17-year-old was found dead in DAV school hostel
Tribune News Service

Grieving mother of Vineet Sharma, who died in the hostel of DAV school, Sector 8, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, January 1
The mystery still surrounds the death of 17-year-old student of DAV, who was found dead in his hostel room. Meanwhile, high drama was witnessed at Government Multi Speciality Hospital-16 when family members of the deceased alleged that the warden was responsible for his death.

To avoid any untoward incident, heavy police force was deployed at the hospital and the school principal and hostel warden were also called there.

The inconsolable family of Vineet Sharma, demanding that a case should be registered against the hostel warden, Ashwani Kumar, refused to allow the police to get the autopsy done unless a case was registered.

ASP Des Raj arrived at the hospital to pacify the family members and assured them that action would be taken against the guilty following which the family gave its consent to the autopsy.

Vineet’s father Devi Dass Sharma alleged that the hostel warden used to harass his son accusing him of being a drug-addict. “My son used to complain that the warden harassed him,” Sharma said.

Sharma said last month the warden had approached him saying his son was in a bad company.

The school principal and warden arrived at the hospital, however, they refused to speak to mediapersons.

Vineet’s sister Renu Sharma, who is pursuing law from Dehradun, claimed that the autopsy report had indicated poison in the body. “The autopsy report states that my brother consumed dinner at around 8.30 and died at10.30,” she said.

However, SHO of the Sector 3 police station Punam Dilawri said it was pre-mature to comment on any such thing. “Viscera of the deceased has been sent to forensic lab. No injury marks were found on the body. The cause of the death could not be ascertained,” she said.

The body was handed over to the family after the autopsy. The police is questioning Vineet’s friends and hostel staff.



Cold wave continues to lash region
Day, night temperatures likely to dip by one degree
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 1
Late night showers that lashed the tricity region on Saturday brought down the temperature, forcing residents to remain indoors during early morning hours. Weatherman has predicted that chilly winds would continue to lash the region as the day and night temperatures are likely to fall further by around one degree.

In the view of dry weather in the region due to western disturbances, there would be no major change in the minimum temperature, while the maximum temperature is likely to go down further with the increase in the rainfall activity in the region during the next two days.

This year, the met department predicted normal winters, which meant chilly nights, foggy mornings and bright sun during the day. The weatherman further said light rain or thundershowers might occur at isolated places in Punjab and Haryana regions with fog and mist occurring in the early morning and evening hours.

Meanwhile, the weatherman has further predicted partly cloudy sky in the tricity region with mist or haze in the early morning and evening hours. The maximum temperature on Monday would be around 21ºC and minimum temperature on Tuesday will be around 7ºC.

The maximum temperature on Sunday was recorded at 22.2 degrees Celsius, one degree above normal, while the minimum temperature was recorded at 8.2 degrees Celsius, three degrees above normal. The maximum relative humidity was recorded at 86 per cent, while the minimum was recorded at 33 per cent.



Explain source of gym equipment: RO asks SHO
Tribune News Service

Gymnasium equipment seized by the Sohana police. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, January 1
The returning officer (RO), Mohali, has issued a notice to the Station House Officer (SHO), Sohana, to explain the source of the gymnasium equipment, seized by the surveillance team of the election department on Saturday night.

Activists of a political party had left the gymnasium equipment in Kharar constituency. As per the election code of conduct, no allurement can be given to voters in the form of cash or any other form. The gymnasium equipment, load in a Tata pick-up truck, were left at Bharatpur village in Kharar constituency.

But a villager called the police to inform that someone had left the equipment in their village. The election surveillance team took the equipment into the custody and started probing the matter.

Meanwhile, the RO has issued a notice to the district food and supplies officer to explain the manner in which 21 ration depot licences were issued after the model code of conduct. An NGO had complained that the licences were given to supporters of the SAD. The food and supplies department in its reply stated that the licences had been issued on December 22.



Work on Pinjore-Parwanoo bypass
NHAI jumps dec-31 deadline
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

A view of the Pinjore-Parwanoo bypass. A file photo

Panchkula, January 1
Those commuting on the Pinjore-Parwanoo bypass will have to face a harrowing time for a few more weeks, as NHAI has jumped the December-31 deadline set for the completion of the work.

The bypass, comprising eight bridges and four underpasses, in fact, is part of the Zirakpur-Parwanoo four-lane project on the National Highway-22.

After its completion, commuters will get rid of traffic jams. While a toll plaza will be set up before Pinjore, there is a proposal to install CCTV cameras on the bypass.

The construction work on the bypass had started two-and-a-half-years ago. The project was supposed to be completed in December last year, but a detailed project report prepared 10 years ago had to be revised as many structures had come up on the land,” said Anil Dahiya, project director, NHAI. Following which, new alignments of the road had to be devised which also contributed to the delay in meeting the target.

This time the construction work had already been completed, said the project director. “The road cannot be thrown open to public due to safety reasons, he said. Signsboards are yet to be put up on the bypass, said Dahiya. The work on both the sides of the 10-km road will be completed in 20 days,” he added.



104 challaned for drunken driving
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 1
A total of 104 revellers were challaned by the Chandigarh police for drunken driving on the New Year eve. The police had specifically laid checkpoints on the roads leading to nightclubs and restaurants to check drunken driving.

DSP (traffic) Vijay Kumar said 104 persons were challaned for drunken driving across the city with maximum share of challans on the roads leading to the nightclubs and restaurants.

“The checkpoints were laid near the celebration points that witnessed huge traffic although nakkas were laid on the major city roads,” the DSP said.

The prime locations where checkpoints were laid included Sectors 10, 15, 17, 22, 26, 32, 34, 35 and the roads leading to Sukhna Lake and Mohali.

The police also issued challans for various other traffic violations.

To avoid any untoward incidents, the Aroma hotel was closed down soon after the midnight and heavy security was deployed outside the hotel. The police also registered cases against persons consuming liquor at public place.



Grievances listening camp
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 1
The SAD candidate from Mohali, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, organised a camp by listening to grievances of girls, who had been deserted by NRI grooms.

About 40 girls from different parts of Punjab turned up at the camp. He said most the girls who turned up at the camp had been dumped after they gave birth to girls.

There were three cases, in which girls’ family had spent over Rs 20 lakh on the marriage but the boy’s family was demanding more before taking the girl home. He said the women cell with the police was often found helping boys’ families instead of helping girls.



Mass com in city schools soon
CBSE has already introduced the course at schools in Mumbai, Delhi

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Getting good response to its pilot project of introducing Mass Media in class XI and XII in Delhi and Mumbai schools, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is all set to offer it as a full time elective course in all schools from 2012.

Inspired by the increasing craze for media as a career option, the Board has decided to introduce the course in schools to help the students start early and enhance their media education.

“Media today is an industry and one of the most popular career options these days. Many students after completion of their schools head for its courses. Providing the subject as an elective subject in vocational stream will help the students get an edge over others by starting it earlier. It will also go a long way in helping the students make their writing more professional by an added brownie of school magazines,” said RJ Khanderao, regional director CBSE.

The course is likely to be included in the syllabus as a vocational stream and will be an elective paper. Once the course gets introduced, the books would be distributed in July.

While the Board claims to be all ready with syllabus, the schools feel apprehensive of going ahead in the absence of proper faculty.

“We will get the course but where to get teachers from? As schools, we cannot afford to pay high salaries matching those being given by the colleges or universities level institutes. Getting it started without proper faculty would be a sheer mockery of it,” said a local school principal.

The Board, however, feels that the faculty will not be a problem as it is already planning to collaborate with a renowned multimedia organisation to train language teachers in nuisances of course.

We will get the course but where to get teachers from? As schools, we cannot afford to pay high salaries matching those being given by the colleges or university-level institutes. Getting it started without proper faculty would be a sheer mockery of it. — A school principal



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