C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Six players hurt in clash
Tribune News Service

Randhir, who was injured in a clash, lies at the General Hospital in Sector 6, Panchkula, on Thursday
Randhir, who was injured in a clash, lies at the General Hospital in Sector 6, Panchkula, on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, February 2
A clash took place between players and boarders on the opening day of the two-day district-level Panchayati Raj Sports meet in the Tau Devi Lal Stadium at Sector 3 here today. Six youths were injured in the clash, which took place right under the nose of senior officials of the Panchkula district administration, including Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Jagdeep Singh, and City Magistrate Ashwini Malik.

As per information, soon after the inauguration of a 100m race by the ADC, two boarders came on the tracks, which was objected to by the athletes. Heated arguments were exchanged between them and suddenly other youngsters present in the stadium joined in and started beating up one another with sticks. The police deployed at the stadium controlled the situation from turning uglier.

Barwala and Raipur Rani block players alleged that the sports meet was meant for village residents, but the organisers were trying to include outsiders. The organisers were including boarders in the race, which was objected to by the athletes.

Requesting anonymity a player alleged that the PTI was including boarders in the meet, which was not allowed.

District Sports Officer Ashwini Sharma said they had stopped the PTI from participating in the sports meet and assured that action would be taken against the hostel inmates involved in the brawl.

The Station House Officer (SHO) of the Sector 5 police station said Randhir, a resident of Barwala, had sustained injuries on the head and his statement against the boarders had been recorded. Action would be taken against the attackers, he said.



23,000 applications for 11 posts
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
Often a witness to rigorous drills by policemen, the Sector 26 Recruit Training Centre (RTC) of the Chandigarh Police is witnessing an unusual event of youngsters, including several postgraduates and professional degree holders, walking gingerly to demonstrate their skills to carry a tray full of glasses.

The candidates are appearing for the Class IV post of water carriers in the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) of the Chandigarh Police. After almost three decades, the police has invited applications for the 11 “coveted” posts of water carrier, which have drawn a whopping 23,000 applications.

Such is the desperation of getting a government job that candidates with BSc and even MBA degrees are queuing up at the RTC to try their luck. “Despite being a graduate, I am unemployed. I do not mind carrying glasses of water. At least my future would be secure,” said an applicant.

As per information, the required qualification for the examination was middle standard. During recruitment, it was found that around 850 graduates, 7,400 matriculates, 8,000 plus two passouts, several degree holders and postgraduates had applied for the post. The interviews for shortlisting the candidates will take place from January 30 to May 5.

According to sources, the posts have a pay scale of Rs 12,000.



Education dept reshuffle raises eyebrows
Accused of favouring DEO Chanchal Singh
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
The move of the UT education department to virtually transform one of the two posts of Deputy Director Adult Education into that of “mini DPI” has raised many eyebrows.

According to the order, which will be made public tomorrow, District Education Officer (DEO) Chanchal Singh and Assistant Director Vocational Education Saroj Mittal will be elevated to the post of Deputy Directors Adult Education while Deputy DEO Ram Kumar will be the new DEO.

Though the department claims it to be a routine shuffle, the fact that Chanchal Singh will not only continue to sit in the education department and enjoy many additional powers, making him second in league to the DPI (S), has left department officials cribbing.

Education Secretary VK Singh said the department had now two deputy directors with restructured work area for a better coordination, a fact dubbed by a majority of officials yet another whimsical move to “favour” Chanchal Singh by giving him unprecedented powers and making him “mini DPI”.

“Chanchal Singh played a pivotal role in framing this proposal. He was supposed to get adult education, but because it is an inter-cadre post without much benefits, the department has created this post without any justification. According to the proposal, he will now have many powers, which used to rest with the DPI and will decide many matters. It is not the first time that it has been done. The department went ahead to create the post of a second DEO in 2009 and appointed Saroj Mittal. But in 2010, she was bid an unceremonious adieu to grant complete power to Chanchal,” said a department official.

While Education Secretary and DPI (S) Sandeep Hans and Chanchal Singh evaded comments, a senior official rubbished the allegation, saying: “No new post has been created as the post existed even a decade ago and a DEO (Joginder Moti) was appointed on it. We just revived it and want the department to function in a better way and deal with the work load.”

RS Goraiya, a former DEO, remarked: “We are a small UT with 150-odd schools. Even states, which manage thousands of schools, have no such provisions. What is the justification for this post? It is surprising that a department with one DPI (S), one DEO and two Deputy DEOs cannot manage work. The department has taken up the practise of creating or abolishing designations to appease employees. The move is just to appease Chanchal. The department, which has cited Moti’s example, should know that she had no work and even a place to sit in the department and was thus sent to adult education.” 



Fire dept issues notice to GMSH
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
The UT fire and emergency department has issued a notice to the Government Multi Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, for not adhering to fire safety norms.

A recent inspection conducted by the department had revealed that certain areas of the hospital were inaccessible to fire engines. Sources revealed that the high-level first floor corridor, connecting the emergency wing with the multi-storeyed building on the opposite side of the internal road, was a hindrance to the fire engines, particularly while negotiating turns during emergencies.

Another violation was noted in the basement of the hospital where dental and physiotherapy clinics are running, besides a laundry. Inflammable material and chemicals were also reportedly stored there in gross violation of rules as a basement can only be used for storage and parking.

The emergency ward and the OPD, which has the maximum number of footfalls, have single entry and exit points, even though they are interconnected through a narrow corridor. There is only one ramp in the seven-storeyed building.

Chief Fire Officer Lalit Siwach said: “We have issued a notice to the hospital and asked it to rectify the shortcomings.” However, the department has not given any time frame as the violations cannot be removed in a certain period. Even the hospital authorities said they could not make the suggested changes on their own and had communicated it to the UT engineering department.

Chandermohan, UT Director Health Services (DHS), said they had already informed the engineering department, which would take necessary action. “As far as the ramp is concerned, approval has been obtained from the Administration for extending the ramp from the existing first floor to the top,” said Chandermohan.


20 firms sealed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
The Special Investigating Team of the UT police has sealed 20 immigration firms in the city in a case of work permit fraud. As per the police case, the companies had been sending aspirants abroad on work permit visa without obtaining licence from the Protector of Emigrants, Chandigarh.

The police said innocent persons had been cheated of lakhs by these companies, which grabbed huge amounts for preparation of various documents.

The police sealed the companies after booking those in a case under Sections 188 and 420 of the IPC and Section 24 of the Immigration Act. Two persons, Mahesh Gupta of Conex in Sector 34 and Nitin Gupta, proprietor of AEIS Consultant at Sector 34, were arrested. The companies had been booked for not abiding 
by the orders of the District Magistrate under Section 144 of the CrPC, which had made it compulsory for companies to furnish information to the police. The police said 153 companies furnished information with the police and only 17 were found to be having valid licence.

Dirty twenty

The 20 companies included World Wide Immigration Consultancy Services in Sector 22, Career Overseas in Sector 17, Immigration Private Limited in Sector 17, Ray Numbes Consultant in Sector 22, Sri Balaji in Sector 17, NS Consultant in Sector 44, GEC Consultant in Sector 44, Conex in Sector 34, Pacific Consultant in Sector 34, JA Enterprises in Sector 34, Rapid Growth in Sector 8, Global Visas Consultancy in Sector 8, Visa Ways Immigration Consultant in Sector 8, Pacific Immigration Consultant in Sector 8, Future Wings Consultant in Sector 37, Palta Travels in Sector 40, CSA Immigration in Sector 35, AEIS Consultant in Sector 34, Ezy Gateway Visa Consultant in Sector 8 and Pennacle Career Consultant in Sector 8.



Police raids raise eyebrows
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
After largely ignoring immigration firms that had been duping gullible work permit visa seekers all these years, the police seems to have suddenly woken up to check the menace by booking 20 immigration firms while leaving others scot-free.

Interestingly, the owners of one of the Sector-17 immigration firms had not been touched for reportedly being close to a senior police official.

Apart from registering seven FIRs against the firms, the police sealed offices of all 20 companies in a joint raid with the Protector of Emigrants.

However, there was not a single person who had approached the police, saying he had been duped of money or had been defrauded by any company.

Justifying the registration of cases against the 20 firms, DSP (SIT) Anil Joshi said the police was the complainant in the case and it had registered the case since the companies were duping gullible persons.

On the other hand, legal experts said the cases were likely to fall flat in court for want of evidence and in the absence of any complainant.

The ‘pick-and-choose policy’ of the police in imposing Section 188 of the IPC against the companies raised a question mark on the police case as there were 156 more companies in the city not abiding by the District Magistrate order.

These 156 companies had been merely issued a warning to submit information to the police. “We have issued a warning to the remaining 156 companies to submit information, otherwise those will be booked under Section 188 of the IPC,” the DSP said.

“For filing the charge sheet in court, the police will need to prove wrongful loss and wrongful gain as it has imposed Section 420 of the IPC. It will have to bring some victims to prove the case and develop evidence,” said local advocate Gagan Aggarwal.

“It is surprising that while so many complainants are daily harassed at the hands of the police for not registering their FIRs, the police has registered a case when no one has been actually harassed by any of the companies,” he added.

Contradicting the police claims, Col BS Sandhu, chairman-cum-managing director of WWICS Worldwide Immigration Consultancy Services, said the company dealt in permanent residency for professionals and business persons and study visas for students. It did not deal in work permits, yet it had been wrongfully sealed by the police, he added.



Wetland day celebrated at Sukhna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
In a bid to apprise local residents of importance as well as the rich biodiversity of the wetland, the UT department of forests and environment celebrated World Wetland Day at Sukhna Lake today.

Chief guest DK Tiwari, Secretary Forest, Environment and Science and Technology, stressed on the need to protect and conserve the valuable ecosystem. He also administered a pledge to students for the conservation of nature and natural resources like wetlands by adopting a sustainable way of life.



Fourth floor of hotel razed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
In a major demolition drive, the fourth storey of a hotel, GK President at Attawa in Sector 42 here, was demolished by the enforcement department of the municipal corporation (MC) today.

The enforcement team also demolished other parts of the building which had violations. The drive was carried out for five hours by engineers of the road, building and enforcement wings.

A senior official said the owner of the hotel had constructed the fourth storey in violation of building bylaws and in contravention of the building plan sanctioned.

The official further said a toilet and a store had also been constructed on the fourth floor, adding that a notice had been served to the owner of the hotel by the MC in August, 2011.

He stated that the owner of the hotel had, during a hearing, been given time till December 8, 2011, to remove the violations on his own, but no action had been taken.

He asserted that the MC Commissioner exercised powers of Chief Administrator and she had ordered the demolition.

The MC staff was accompanied by a police team to avoid any untoward incident.



Another witness turns hostile
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
In yet another blow to the prosecution, another witness in the rape-on-wheels case turned hostile today and retracted from her statements given to the police.
The Chandigarh Police had registered a case against former UT Home Secretary and top Haryana-cadre IAS officer NK Jain and others in 2002. Six witnesses had already turned hostile during the proceedings.

As per the case, the victim, in her complaint, had alleged that MK Jain took her from a computer centre at Sector 20 on the pretext of providing her a job.

She had claimed that the accused gave her a cold drink laced with an intoxicant on way to Panchkula and later raped and dumped her near the Sector-33 petrol station.

Investigations carried out by the Chandigarh Police found that the victim was not raped by MK Jain, but by former UT Home Secretary NK Jain, who along with others had hatched a conspiracy to falsely implicate MK Jain in the case.

A Chandigarh district court had framed charges of gangrape and criminal conspiracy against NK Jain, Ram Lal, Narvir Singh, Surinder Sharma and Baldev Kumar in the case.



Grant still awaited
Three weeks to go for Rose Festival
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
With just three weeks to go for the Rose Festival, the municipal corporation (MC) is yet to get the grant of between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 20 lakh from the Union Ministry of Tourism for organising the event.

Records with the UT Administration have revealed that since 1995, the Rose Festival has been included in the calendar of garden festivals by the ministry, which allocates a grant of between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 20 lakh every year for organising the event.

In the special meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) convened here today, officials informed Mayor Raj Bala Malik that they had written to the Administration to release the grant, but had not received a reply yet.

Sources said officials informed the F&CC that as they had not received any grant from the Administration and the cost of the event had increased manifold.

The event, which generated revenue, including from the auction of stalls and space for swings during the festival, would be handled by CITCO and not the MC.

Sources in the Administration said in the past, the grant was usually utilised by CITCO for organising the event. Past year, the Rose Garden was transferred to the MC, but the Administration had not decided on who would utilise the grant.

In the F&CC meeting, the proposed budget for organising the festival, amounting to Rs 34.73 lakh, was approved. The Mayor decided that a review meeting with the committee constituted for the event would be convened tomorrow.

The F&CC further decided that one councillor would be included as observer in each subcommittee and the panel of judges for various events during the festival.



CHB’s annual budget — Rs 354
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has set aside Rs 354 crore as its annual budget for the next fiscal, with which it envisages to kick off new projects, mainly the general housing scheme at Sectors 53, 54, 55 and 26, Maloya and Dhanas.

The figure is significantly less than the estimated budget of this financial year, which touched the figure of Rs 452 crore after revision in yesterday’s board meeting of the CHB.

The actual budget for 2011-12 was Rs 365 crore, but it was increased by about Rs 77 crore in the CHB board meeting yesterday.

Giving the reasons, MM Sabharwal, secretary of the CHB, said delay in certain projects had led the board to revise the estimated budget of this financial year from Rs 375 crore to Rs 452 crore.

He added that the forthcoming estimated budget was not an inflated one, but very close to factual in real terms.

“We are going to start the groundwork on our pending projects like the UT employees housing scheme and another housing scheme at Sector 51,” Sabharwal said.

“Some other new projects are under consideration. I can say our estimated budget for the next fiscal is completely performance-based and close to factual terms,” he added.

For the next fiscal, the board had foreseen expenditure of Rs 465 crore as it had proposed to construct around 4,500 units of various categories at Sectors 53, 54 and 55, 1964 flats at Maloya, 1400 flats at Dhanas and 940 EWS flats at Sector 26.

Apart from those, the construction of flats under ongoing projects, including slum rehabilitation, UT employees housing scheme and housing scheme for EWS, was also in the pipeline.



panchkula kidnapping
Abducted boy handed over to family, 2 held
The accused sold the child to a Gurdaspur-based family for Rs 75,000
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 2
The Panchkula police arrested two accused in the kidnapping of 10-month-old Nishant, who was stolen during the Navratra fair on September 29, last year. The police has arrested Kashmir Singh, resident of Rampur village in Gurdaspur, and his father Pratap Singh.

After his arrest, the police handed over the child to his family members. The accused had sold the child to a Gurdaspur-based family for Rs 75,000. In this case, the police is yet to arrest the two remaining accused.

According to sources, accused Kashmir Singh along with his girlfriend Aarti, with whom he was staying in Nayagaon, had come to the Mansa Devi Navratra fair to kidnap a child as both wanted to show that they were married for over an year and also had an child.

There they saw Anil and his wife Sarita, residents of Pinjore, along with 10-month-old Nishant and later kidnapped Nishant.

Sources revealed that after kidnapping Nishant, Kashmir and Aarti left Nayagaon and went to Amritsar.

But in December, some indifference cropped up between Kashmir and Aarti and they separated. Thereafter Kashmir was finding it difficult to handle Nishant. Later he shifted to Gurdaspur.

Recently, Kashmir’s father Pratap Singh, suggested him to sell Nishant and they found Jaspal Singh, a rickshaw-puller, who had lost his child in a road accident. Sources added that the person who had killed Jaspal’s son in a road accident had assured Jaspal that he would assist him financially whenever he adopted a son.

The sources further added that Jaspal agreed to purchase Nishant for Rs 75,000 and in advance he gave Rs 5,000 to Kashmir Singh.

Two days ago, the police got the information about Nishant’s location and raided Kashmir’s house in Gurdaspur on Wednesday night and arrested him. Thereafter, they raided Jaspal’s house but only found Nishant. Jaspal and his family members had fled from the house.

A senior official of the Panchkula police said that they had arrested Kashmir Singh and his father Pratap Singh and the remaining accused, Jaspal Singh and Aarti, would be arrested soon.

The child is now in Kurali at his maternal uncle Ashu’s home. His uncle Ashu said that they were delighted with the recovery of the child. They had suffered a lot during this period and now it seemed that Goddess Mansa Devi had heard their prayers. 

How the case was cracked

The case was cracked with the help of their ‘informers’ and mobile number, which Kashmir Singh, had given to Nishant’s mother when he had stolen the child from Mansa Devi. The phone was registered in the name of Kashmir Singh, a resident of Hoshiarpur, Punjab, who was working in a mill in Hoshiarpur. There were around 15 people with the name of Kashmir in the mill but Nishant’s mother identified none. Thereafter, the hunt for the person with the name of Kashmir Singh began. Two days ago, the police came to know about Kashmir in Gurdaspur. On Wednesday night the police arrested the accused and he further told them about Nishant. The parents of Nishant told the police that Nishant had a unique identity mark. He had two joint fingers in his both feet. Thereafter, the police also arrested Kashmir’s father Pratap Singh.



Cremation ground bone of contention between GMADA, allottees
The authority to physically get the site spread over a dozen plots verified
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service
Satpal, a resident of Sohana, points to the site where the dead are buried. The site is close to houses under construction in Sector 77.
Satpal, a resident of Sohana, points to the site where the dead are buried. The site is close to houses under construction in Sector 77. A Tribune photograph 

Mohali, February 2
A cremation ground of Sohana village in Sector 77 has become a bone of contention between the villagers and allottee of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) plots. Reason, the authority will physically get the site verified carved out over a dozen plots on the cremation ground.

On the other hand, the inhabitants of Sohana village continue to cremate their near and dear ones in the open crematorium. “The land on which the bodies are cremated has since long been acquired by GMADA. But the villagers refuse to listen”, said an aggrieved resident of the area.

The instances of bodies being cremated at the site have reduced over the years, but the site of a burning body still scares the allotee (who have started construction on their plots adjoining the ground).

Jaspal Singh, one of the allottee of 14-marla house, said, “ We have been allotted plots on the cremation ground. Now, GMADA officials are asking us to start construction at the site or pay extension fee”.

Most of the allottee who have been allotted plots three years ago are now being asked to pay extension fee. An appeal made to the Additional Chief Administrator to provide an alternative site has fallen on deaf ears as the authority feels that no cremation ground is being run at the site. 



NHAI digs trenches to seal 14 illegal entries
Tribune News Service

A JCB machine digs a trench to prevent direct access to the Chandigarh-Ambala highway on Thursday.
A JCB machine digs a trench to prevent direct access to the Chandigarh-Ambala highway on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Zirakpur, February 2
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) today closed 14 illegal entries to the national highway after digging trenches.

Giving information, GMR official Vaibhav Sharma stated that the team had conducted a drive to prevent direct access to the national highway between Zirakpur and Ambala by private establishments. He said the direct access to Empire Fasteners, Global Business Park, Maya Garden, Motiaz Royal City, M/s Ram Nath Dharam Kanda, Jashan Dhaba, Venus Remedies Ltd and seven unidentified establishments were closed. He said these approaches were not only posing danger to the highway traffic. He claimed that nobody had taken permission from the NHAI authority for direct access.

The GMR official said during the drive few property owners objected to the drive being carried out. He said to gain access to the highway, the property owners should approach the NHAI authority after fulfilling the terms and conditions. The official said that in case attempts were made up to fill up the trenches, a formal complaint against them would be lodged with the police. Last year, NHAI along with the local administration had closed around 30 illegal entries to the national highway.



Residents’ bodies participate in police- public meet
Discuss ways to manage traffic problems
Tribune News Service

The Commissioner of Police, Anand Kumar Dhul, talks to residents during a public-police meet at Sector 20, Panchkula, on Thursday.
The Commissioner of Police, Anand Kumar Dhul, talks to residents during a public-police meet at Sector 20, Panchkula, on Thursday. A Tribune photograph 

Panchkula, February 2
AP Dhull, police commissioner, Ambala division, today held a police-public meet at the Sector 20 police station. In the meet, various residents welfare associations participated and gave suggestions for better policing in Panchkula.

Residents questioned about the traffic problem in Panchkula. On the issue, Dhull said that they would take suggestions from the public for better policing and traffic management system. He added that NGOs and residents welfare associations should also come forward in support of the police for better traffic management.

He also spoke about the rehris and rickshaws that were parked on the roads. He added that with the help of the district administration they would chalk out a policy to remove them from the roads.

He added that they would also hold awareness campaign against drunken driving. He further said that soon they would hold seminars on the issue.



Used only 2.9 %? Not UT’s cup of tea!
Science and technology last on priority list
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
Development of science and technology seemed to be last on the UT’s priority list in 2011.
It managed to spend only 2.9 per cent of the total budget (Plan) of Rs 17.17 crore allotted to the UT Science and Technology Department during this financial year.

Sources said of the total budget, the department had only been able to spend only Rs 51 lakh so far and that, too, on not-so-important issues.

The remaining amount had been lying with the department, which had to be spent within two months, before the culmination of this fiscal.

According to rules, if any department failed to consume funds under allotted budget, it had to surrender the amount to the Administration.

However, the authorities concerned claimed that the entire amount of the budget would be consumed soon.

They said some of their projects, in direction of making Chandigarh a model solar city were on the verge of getting sanction from the Centre.

“As soon as these projects get the nod, work will be kicked off. With this, the remaining amount of the budget will be consumed,” claimed Santosh Kumar, Director, Science and Technology, Chandigarh.

He added that a total of Rs 15 crore were kept for proposed renewable energy projects for SPV power plants under the Chandigarh model solar city programme.

“The Administration and the Centre will share the expenses 50:50 on these projects, worth Rs 30 crore. We are hopeful that the Centre will give its sanction within a week or two,” he said.

“After getting the required sanction, we will hand over the amount to the implementing agency, the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Technology,” he added.

The projects included the installation of solar panels on Model Central Jail, Burail (100 KW), Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 46 (50 KW), judges’ houses, Sector 19 (10 KW), Paryavaran Bhavan (50 KW), Punjab Engineering College, Sector 12 (600 KW), Government College for Girls, Sector 11 (500 KW) and Government College for Men, Sector 11 (435 KW).



PGI union for CBI probe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
The PGI Employees Union has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the issue of not depositing the EPF amount of 650 contract workers of the PGI by the principal employer.

In a letter to the Deputy Inspector-General of the CBI, the president of the union, Sanjeev Kumar, has written that Om Securities and Cleaning Services has been drawing the EPF amount, both employer’s share and employees’ share, but has not deposited it in the respective accounts of workers at the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner’s office.

The matter was revealed when the new agency, Good Housekeeping, got the contract in October past year. The union stated that the principal employer had violated provisions of the EPF and MP Act and the amount in question was more than Rs 3 crore.



PAU kisan club holds annual meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
An annual meet of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Kisan Club was held today at the Pal Auditorium of the university. Farmers and farm women from across the state came to participate in the meet. PAU Vice-Chancellor.

Addressing the farmers, Dr Dhillon said that in order to increase its reach, PAU intends to identify one farmer in every village of Punjab to whom the university can communicate the new farm technology through e-mail. The person designated as 'PAU Doot' or 'Kheti Mitter' will further spread the information to his fellow farmers and will also provide their feed back to the university. The arrangement, when implemented, will give a big boost to farming in the state, said he.

The progress made by the Punjab state in agriculture had greatly benefited the fertiliser and farm machinery industry in the state, said Dr Dhillon.

"As the growth agriculture greatly contributes to the growth of industry, it (industry) too should contribute towards research and development," he said. He proposed if 3 per cent profit of the agro industries be given to PAU for research and development; it will yield Rs 285 crore for the university.

Presiding over the function, Dr Mangal Singh Sandhu, director, agriculture Punjab said the state should come out to paddy-wheat rotation. "We must divert at least 10 lakh hectare area under paddy to other crops," he said adding that basmati offers a great promise and paddy growers should shift to basmati to save water. Dr Sandhu urged the framers to adopt technology that minimise the use of pesticides and fertilisers. "At present, Punjab is the highest consumer of pesticides and fertilisers in the country and I desire to make Punjab state, a pesticide free zone," he remarked.



Inspector dead

Panchkula, February 2
An Inspector posted at the CRPF camp in Pinjore died under mysterious circumstances today. According to information, Inspector Kuldeep Singh (52), was found dead in his room. He was staying alone in a room and belonged to Himachal Pradesh. After the post-mortem examination, the police handed over his body to CRPF officials. — TNS



Chandigarh scan
12 NCC cadets felicitated

Shivraj Patil, UT Administrator and Governor of Punjab, inspects the model of a ship displayed by NCC cadets at Punjab Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh on Thursday.
Shivraj Patil, UT Administrator and Governor of Punjab, inspects the model of a ship displayed by NCC cadets at Punjab Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

The UT administrator Shivraj V Patil, on Thursday felicitated 12 local NCC cadets including three girls, who participated in the Republic Day Parade-2012 in New Delhi, at a special function, organised at Punjab Raj Bhawan. Appreciating the role of NCC in nation as well as character building, Patil said that a sense of adventure and a quest for excellence should be developed in the youth. The administrator also exhorted that the cadets should also be trained in the field of disaster management. The cadets also presented the administrator with a memento.

Housing project

Acme Builders has announced a new luxury multi-storey and multi-tower residential project at Sector 91 in Mohali. Harsh Kohli, promoter and director, has said they are constructing 250 fully ai- conditioned apartments, overlooking the proposed golf course and lake, on 6.5 acres, with a price of Rs 4,500 per square foot.

Doctor awarded

Prof Jagat Ram, an ophthalmologist with the PGI, has received Prof P Siva Reddy International Award from the All-India Ophthalmological Society for 2012 during a conference at Kochi. He has received the award for his research on posterior capsular opacification, one of the most common vision-disabling problems after phacoemulsification, with intraocular lens implantation. He has over 185 publications in national and international journals to his credit and has delivered over 350 guest lectures.

Drive to capture dogs

The Dog Control Cell of the Chandigarh MC on Thursday captured five dogs from Sector 8 and 26. The drive was carried out by the Medical Officer of Health, Municipal Corporation for anti-rabies vaccination under the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules 2001. The dogs have been handed over to the Pet Animal Health Society, Panchkula, for sterilisation operations and anti-rabies vaccination to control their population. These dogs are released in the same area after sterilisation and vaccination in accordance to the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules 2001.

Cleanliness drive

To bring awareness among the residents, awareness campaign-cum-cleanliness drive was organised in a colony of Sector 25 on Thursday by the sanitation wing of Municipal Corporation.The Campaign was in addition to the regular sanitation by deploying 20 additional safai karamcharies in small groups under the close supervision of the senior inspectorate staff for getting the public places and open spaces swept in order to maintain the sanitation of the area. Tractor trolleys and cycle rickshaw carts were deployed for lifting roadside waste and garbage containers. Lime dusting was done at all vulnerable places to avoid fly nuisance. The pest control wing of the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh sprayed in the areas.

Beopar mandal move

In a meeting with the Administration held at the abour Department in Sector 30, the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal conveyed the sentiments of traders in the city who were of the unanimous view that the malls in the city and adjoining area be permitted to be opened on all days.Diwakar Shahoonja, president, CBM, said that for making Chandigarh a tourist or retailer’s hub it was important that the markets of the city especially important sector markets be kept open on all seven days of the week so that tourists were attracted to the city. The meeting was convened by the labour commissioner and chaired by additional deputy commissioner-cum-additional labour commissioner and attended by many prominent trader leaders.

Mohali scan
Triplets born

A couple were blessed with triplets after they underwent IVF treatment from Cosmo Hospital. The pregnancy period was closely monitored because there was a high risk of premature labour. A boy and two girls were born by C.section.

Power shutdown

Due to urgent maintenance work at 66 KV Sec-68, power supply to Phase-IX, Phase X, partial Ph-VII and Sec tor 70 , Y.P.S. School, Mohali, will be effected from 9hrs to 17hrs on Friday.

Seminar on placement 

The Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies (SIMS) Lonavala, under flagship of Executive Ship Management PTE Ltd Singapore, conducted an educative and highly motivating seminar for the final year and pre-final year students of mechanical engineering branch of Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology Dera Bassi. Gaurav Bansal, assistant manager, gave an interesting powerpoint presentation highlighting the complete procedure of selection through a test, interview and medical exam of the candidates. 

Declamation contest

The Environment Protection Society, SAS Nagar, on Thursday organised a declamation contest on Importance of Wetlands and Tourism at Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali. Dr. DS Gill (professor emeritus, department of chemistry, Panjab University, AN Sharma (chairman, Senior Citizens Pensioners Council, SAS Nagar) and Bhupinder Singh (senior vice president, Environment Protection Society, SAS Nagar) were the judges.

Placement procedure

The Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies (SIMS) Lonavala, under flagship of Executive Ship Management PTE Ltd Singapore, conducted an educative and highly motivating seminar for the final year and pre-final year students of mechanical engineering branch of Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology Dera Bassi. Gaurav Bansal, assistant manager, gave an interesting powerpoint presentation highlighting the complete procedure of selection through a test, interview and medical exam of the candidates.

Mega job fest

The GGS Sachdeva Group of Educational Institutes on Thursday organised “Mega Job Fest” on the campus. A total of 2,438 candidates appeared for around 20 leading companies. The fest was inaugurated by Surinder Pal Singh Sachdeva, chairman of the GGS Sachdeva Group. The chairman expressed his enthusiasm with a promise that many more such job fests would follow in the times to come. — Tribune Reporters 



25 colleges fooled PU committees
Managed affiliation for courses without enough faculty
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
Over 25 affiliated colleges of Panjab University (PU) have been found guilty of fooling inspection and affiliation committees for quite some time now.
This startling fact, which is bound to land many in trouble, was brought to the fore in the recent Syndicate meeting, where it was revealed that the colleges with lack of enough faculty had managed to get affiliation for many new courses.

“We were shocked to know that there were many colleges which had demanded selection committees, but even after getting those, never conducted interviews. Whenever any affiliation committee would go there, those would show them details of selection committee and get affiliation on the pretext that those were hiring teachers. We would have taken up the matter further, but unfortunately, the names of the guilty were not revealed by either the VC or the Dean College Development Council (DCDC),” revealed a Syndicate member.

While both DCDC Naval Kishore and VC RC Sobti failed to respond to numerous calls, another Syndicate member said, “While college representatives are too quick to raise fingers on campus activities, the conditions in the colleges are pathetic. I have been to many BEd colleges and was shocked to find those running with only 20 per cent of the staff required. Some were not even maintaining students’ and teachers’ records. It is high time the PU pulls up affiliated colleges. For that, we need a regular DCDC soon.”

In the previous Senate, Prof Sobti had declared that the PU would introduce a grading system to map the performace of colleges and identify black sheep, but nothing had been done in this regard so far.



‘Goonj’ on the road ahead of festival

Chandigarh, February 2
The University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), Panjab University, began pre-fest activities of ‘Goonj’, scheduled for February 4 and 5.
Over 200 UIET students went to PEC, CCET, DAV-10 and GCG to declare the celebration open. The road show was a four-hour affair.

The fest would have different activities, ranging from fashion nights to robotics competitions, debates to international rock band performances and fun events to art workshops. 

The fest would promote causes of NACO and PETA. The first alumni meet of the UIET is scheduled to be held on February 5. — TNS



Academic Committees
VC misused powers, alleges Chatrath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
The controversy surrounding the constitution of various academic committees refuses to die down. A day after heated exchanges in the syndicate and Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti registering his reservations on the way the Chatrath group made these committees, GK Chatrath yesterday lashed back at the VC, saying that the House had acted according to the calendar and Sobti himself was responsible for being stripped of the powers to make committees.

“During the tenure of former Vice-Chancellor KN Pathak, there used to be election for these committees, but during Sobti’s tenure, the House authorised him to make these committees on his own. He misused this power to appease people and the university paid for it. So this time, the House did so on its own using the powers conferred by the calendar and passed the proposed names with a majority. It was Gurdeep who proposed the name of my daughter Anu Chatrath. Sobti had reservations on being denied this power,” claimed Chatrath.

The controversy brew when it was revealed that the PU blatantly violated all protocols by conducting its functions without constituting mandatory committees. Chatrath was held responsible for not framing these despite being asked by the House. However, he presented the minutes of the January 2011 Syndicate, stating that the VC was authorised to do so though the House had asked him to seek help from Chatrath if required.

The VC, meanwhile, rubbished the allegations, saying that he always supported de-centralisation of powers to set up committees.



PUTA opposes science city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
Reacting to the Syndicate giving a go-ahead in principle to science city at PU, the Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA), in a letter to the Vice-Chancellor, has urged him not to impose his ambitious plans on teachers and students. Claiming that the project would end up transforming it to a tourist attraction, the association has demanded a feasibility report on the same.

“We know that Union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has promised some financial help, but is that all we need to take up a project of such magnitude? The project will consume a major chunk of land and we will be virtually left with no space for future expansion,” read the letter.

“Need we remind the VC that the university is a destination of higher learning and research. The popularisation of science or the idea of imparting scientific temper to the younger generation is best realised if taken up at the school level. Tomorrow in the name of imparting cultural values among youth, someone may come with a cultural village,” said PUTA chief Akshay.



PEC students demand mercy for three
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
Irked over the stepmotherly treatment given by the PEC management towards three first-semester students of maters of engineering (ME), over a hundred ME students of PEC today held a silent protest outside the Director’s office.

They demanded mercy for three ME students who failed to clear the minimum criterion of 4.5 cumulative grade point average (CGPA), based on which their admission had been terminated. A total 14 students had failed to get the minimum score, of which the PEC authorities decided to give mercy to only eight.

The students assembled outside the Director’s office in the morning after missing their classes to represent their case and demanded a chance to improve their performance. When contacted, PEC Director Manoj Dutta refused to comment.

The PEC authorities had called an emergency Senate meeting to give a sympathetic view to the candidates who had sought mercy. After the meeting, the Senate decided to give another chance to eight students.

One of the students whose admission has been cancelled said the college should give a fair chance to all students who could not score. “When the rules have been relaxed, those should be relaxed for all and not a few,” the student said.

The college had taken an undertaking from the eight students who had been allowed to continue that they would improve their CGPA score in the examinations. Of the remaining six students, three had already left. The protesting students said if the college believed that other students could improve, they should also be given a chance.

Amandeep Singh, president of the Students for Society at PEC, said the college made rules arbitrarily. “How can rules be relaxed for a few, leaving others,” he asked.



History revisited
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
The first-ever alumni meet of the department of history, Panjab University 
(PU), at the evening studies auditorium turned out to be a nostalgic homecoming.

Gagandeep Singh a 1994-batch student, headed the association, christened ‘Aitihaski’. The oldest student of the department to make it to the event was a 1964 passout, Capt S Chaudhry, former principal of DAV College.

“I cannot explain my feelings in words. The PU is my alma mater and coming back to where the foundation of my satisfying professional life was laid was a dream come true,” he said.

Hardeep Dhillon, Punjab’s ADGP (Administration and Crime), who spent a year in the department in 1978, recalled his student days, fondly remembering Prof RC Paul, Prof Sikka, Prof Jauhri and Prof Malhotra.

Talking about the importance of the subject, he said, “History is repeated by those who are not students of history. History gives us an opportunity to learn from mistakes of others and be wiser.”

A former student, who had also been a faculty member of the department, Prof JK Sharma, was honoured and chosen the patron of the association.

The department head, Dr Rajivlochan, congratulated the team for having taken the initiative and formed the history department’s alumni association.



Coming soon — regular college principals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
Government colleges in the city, presently being run by acting professors, will get regular principals shortly.
The department of higher education, Chandigarh Administration, will hold a meeting with the Ministry of Human Resource Development in Delhi next week.

The process of the appointment of regular principals is expected to begin shortly, after getting the approval of the Centre, sources have said.

Of the nine government colleges in the city, only the Postgraduate Government College at Sector 11 has a permanent principal.

Colleges not having regular principals cannot apply for either the potential for excellence status from the University Grants Commission, under which grants are given, or innovative courses.

The colleges without regular principal are the Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11; the Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42; the Government College, Sector 46; the Government College of Education, Sector 20; the Government Home Science College, Sector 10; the Government College of Yoga Education and Health College, Sector 23; the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, Sector 26; and the Government College of Commerce and Business Administration, Sector 42.



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